Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Great Falls adventure

On Tuesday Kelsey took us on another fun outing. With the kids being older except Jack of course our options for exploring have increased dramatically!  Just about an hour from their house is the C & O canal. There are great easy to use trails for walking and biking. And there are the Great Falls. We were on the Maryland side. It was pretty cool to look across the Potomac River and see Virginia. 

The trails to the falls are stroller friendly. It is like walking on a boardwalk just narrower. 

It was an absolutely beautiful day. We went early in the morning to avoid the heat which was a good plan. 

This was the first fall we saw and I thought this was it. I was kind of disappointed and glad when Kels said this was just a small waterfall...thank goodness!

This was the second set of waterfalls we encountered. Totally pretty, but still excited to see the big one. 

Finally we arrived at the main waterfall. Simply beautiful and worth the short walk. The kids loved it and all the rocks they could climb. 

Next we walked back the entrance and headed down an actual through the woods trail.  Kelsey and Jack stayed up on the canal trail. I went with the others and arrived at this peaceful spot. 
I love the stillness and reflection in the water. 

After seeing a black racer snake on the trail I was done. I made the kids, much to their dismay, go back to the main path. We walked along the canal, took a few more pictures, and then had lunch. 

Samuel looks so much like my Pop! We are desperately missing Emma on all our adventures and in all the pictures!

We had a great picnic lunch which was cut short by geese. They decided to join our lunch uninvited and it freaked out the kids. Annoying things....

By that time it was hot and everyone was a little tired.  So I guess the geese interruption wasn't too awful. It was a great morning. I highly recommend visiting the Great Falls!  Thanks again Kelsey!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A day in Annapolis

Yesterday Kelsey took us into Annapolis to tour the Naval Academy and to have fun in Old Town Annapolis. I absolutely love Annapolis. I love the history, the boats, the old houses, the brick streets, and the setting for the city. It is just a fun quaint town. 

We both thought touring the Naval Acadmey would be fun for all the kids but especially Samuel. He still is focused on being an Army Ranger and Kelsey is hoping to convert him to the Navy. She wants him close to her!

We visited the welcome center before heading on to the campus. It is beautiful and immaculate.  I swear there is barely a leaf out of place. And peaceful...which is ironic considering it is the Naval Academy. 

The kids loved seeing old pictures of flags, uniforms, and weapons. Again, Samuel was in his own personal heaven looking at everything. 

While on campus we walked around, visited the Chapel, toured the John Paul Jones crypt, and saw Plebes. Seeing the Plebes was exciting for the kids and the moms!

After visiting the academy we headed into Old Town Annapolis. We tried to beat the rain and failed. While we waited out the storm we indulged in some yummy fudge from a store owned by Kelsey's friends. It was yummy!

When the rained stopped we walked around the streets and went to the Capitol grounds. Unfortunately our time was cut a little short by more rain. 

It was a super fun and educational afternoon!  Thanks for sharing your "places" with us Kelsey!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The best of the rest of July

Four of us are off again today.  Emma has to stay because of gymnastics.  Yes, she still practices as much as she can.  The season starts in September and hopefully her finger will be ready to go by then.  Drew has to work.  Part of my heart will remain in Texas, but I am excited to have a little adventure with Samuel, Jonah, and Elena.

July was crazy busy and we had lots of fun adventures.  I haven't shared every photo I took.  Could you imagine how long that post would be???  There are some moments I don't want to forget so here goes....

On our way to North Carolina we stopped in Alabama for lunch.  We were about 30 minutes north of Mobile in the middle of nowhere and I am not exaggerating at all!  We happened upon a historic park where we ate lunch and then toured the historic buildings.  The buildings were from the mid 1800's.  There was an old store, a church, a house, and a work house.  We all loved it except for the snake I saw!
They ate lunch in an old wagon

Outside the old store

The organ worked

Outside the work hut
We had a very social dinner together at Buffalo Wild Wings!  Actually the kids mostly played while waiting for our food, but I thought this was just too funny not to capture.

I sat in just about every rocking chair there was in the South.  My first and last rocking chair were in Alabama...

Samuel packed a few hats to go to North Carolina.  This time he has 8 hats packed...slight obsession!

The kids learned how to play drums and thoroughly enjoyed it!

I took my favorite pictures of the summer thus far.  Well, Kels took the family pic, but I took the one of Samuel and Drew fishing at sunset.

The day after we got home VBS began.  This was Elena's first year to attend VBS and she loved it so much.  Emma was a helper this year and enjoyed being a leader.  It was a crazy tiring week, but oh so fun!  The kiddos besties went with us....Conner and Carmendy!

Samuel played his last baseball game of the summer.  He had a great last game going 3-3 with a double and two singles.  As soon as the game ended he asked when football begins.  He only has to wait three more weeks and he will be playing baseball at the same time.  It will be busy!  Love my #5!

We took advantage of Chick Fil A day.  The kids dressed as cows and they had free food...yum!

We went to the lazy river one more time.  It will probably be the last time this summer and we had a really fun day.  Of course, the kids think we need season passes for next year.
Being lazy and relaxed in the Lazy River

Emma and I were finally able to complete our first volunteer hours with NCL.  We went to a local assisted living home and worked the "horse derby".  It was so silly and so fun!

Last, but not least, because it was a top five for me this summer was going to the Imagine Dragons concert last week.  Drew gave me tickets for my birthday and I had no idea we were in row 4 until we arrived!  How awesome is that?  Being close was great and the concert was AMAZING!!!  I will definitely be at their next concert in the Houston area.  We had the best night!
Where is he looking?
Spoiled by Drew and so thankful!

Can't wait for it to be cold so I can wear my new hat!
Our next stop this summer is Bowie, MD.  Kels....here we come!!!!  There are more pictures to take, memories to document, people to visit, and places to explore!