There is something very magical about spending a day in a place full of happy people. I laughed as we walked out of the park thinking every person in this world needs a trip to Disneyland to be reminded of what life is about. People of all different ages, races, religions, languages, abilities and stories all together pursuing happiness was the most refreshing aspect of the day. That and it was Wyatt’s first time at Disneyland!

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As I watched his little Mickey Mouse hat being embroidered by the machine, I talked with Gavin about how the memory of this trip will be one we will never forget, and will cherish forever!  Let me tell you, Disneyland through his eyes is far more magical than we could have ever imagined. His little eyes lit up when Mickey came out of the doors, probably thanks to a couple too many hours of watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so I could get something done around the house. In fact he is watching it as I type this now haha! What i loved most was that he was initially shy when meeting Mickey, grabbing his shoe and holding up the line but instead of rushing us, the staff gave Wyatt the time to warm up and made his little meet and greet so full of happiness.

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We were at Disneyland for two days about five hours each day, the reason being we were there for Gavin’s work trip so we waited until he got off each day and then headed into the park! The first day we met up with Gavin’s parents, his brother Zach and his goofy friends CJ and Jace. They were so sweet to do all the kid rides with us and watching them with Wyatt was so special because I knew that it takes some very kind and genuine humans at 18 years old to choose to hang with the baby instead of going off on their own. A highlight of that day was It’s A Small World, watching Wyatt in between his grandparents with a giant bag of Carmel Corn chowing down so happy and safe in good company and good food.

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The second day was just the three of us (four, technically  :), and although we missed the family we really enjoy doing things as a little family.  Gavin took Wyatt and I on all the rides again, and watching the two of them was the greatest. Their mannerisms are so freakishly similar that it’s almost trippy! I am so grateful Gavin is such an amazing Dad to Wyatt, multiple times I turned to see this giant, strong, handsome man turn into this little kid laughing and being super goofy with Wyatt who was obviously eating it all up. We ate too much junk food, and talked about everything under the sun.. then indulged in a massive meal at The Cheesecake Factory before heading home.

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Different trips bring out different feelings and although they are all generally very positive, this trip took the cake as far as reminding us of all the good and wonderful people this world has to offer. The smiles, the happiness and the magical moments are ones we surely won’t forget.

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Have a wonderful weekend!! You guys are appreciated.

xoxo,

Stephanie

Hey everyone, hope this post reaches you well and you’ve had a good week so far! Getting closer and closer to the Holidays is the best feeling, all my siblings are arriving within the week and nothing makes me happier than having them home.. especially my sister Jenna!!!!  Life around here has been busy busy, but Gavin was able to snag two days off in a row which is a big deal for us so we surely took advantage of it! Sunday we were able to get Wyatt blessed at our Church, a very special day for our entire family. Monday we decided to get out and explore somewhere we have never been, so after searching around on our phones as we aimlessly drove around, we discovered Condor Lookout and began our adventure.

 

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Situated at 3198′ on the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains, Condor Lookout is located in the Los Padres National Forest between Lopez Lake and Pozo. The scenic drive was about 1 hour on a pretty rough road (thankfully we had 4WD!)  Mid-way I climbed into the back with Wyatt as I was fearful he wouldn’t like the constant jolting but his self was fast asleep so he was obviously just fine. We turned up the country music and thankfully had all day because it took quite a quite to get up to the very top. Once we did,  it was more than worth it.

 

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The uninterrupted 360 degree view was breathtaking and we were able to enjoy it just us three and our dog Tank. We watched as wildlife soared around us with Wyatt pointing his little finger at the birds while snacked on peanut butter sandwiches. We sat in awe, thankful we made the trek because the beauty and freeness we experienced there was liberating.

 

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Coming down the road there was a pretty big area of water, impossible for Gavin to resist in his truck so I snapped a few photos as he went mudding over and over again. One thing i’ve learned is to enjoy these moments with him, sometimes they seem so silly to me but then I realize what is life if we don’t support each other in the little things that we each enjoy?

 

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A long day had us practically starving so we hit up out favorite burger place, Old Village Grill for a strawberry milkshake, fries and a burger. With happy bellies and a tired baby, we reached the end of the day and went on home. We chatted on the way back how we are so grateful for the ability to go explore the earth with our little dude. Showing him these places and discovering them all together make for memories I know he probably won’t remember but we will never forget!

Happy Day!

Stephanie

 

Our trip to Yosemite was spur of the moment, quick, and unforgettable. The best part about it all was experiencing such an amazing place with such wonderful people. I decided to do a short post today and include 10 things about our trip! Check them out below! Happy Monday!

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  1. We decided Thursday afternoon we were going to go, and left just 8 hours later.

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2. We were only in Yosemite for 26 hours.

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3. We joined Gavin’s family in a beautiful little cabin in Yosemite West

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4. We did a 3 mile walk around the valley, Wyatt asleep in the front pack for most of the time!

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5. There was nothing sweeter than seeing the valley through the eyes of my 4 year nephew, Jeremiah. Spiders, frogs, cotton, praying mantis, rocks… you name it, he was excited and it was one of the very best parts of the trip for all of us.

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6. We sat in awe as a deer literally crossed the river right in front of us and casually walked within 15 feet. Above is a photo by my brother in law Chris Burkard.

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7. We took advantage of the visitor center and watched a video on the history of the park, well worth the time.

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8. We laughed and smiled the entire time with our family. There was such a happy vibe as we all knew we were experiencing something so special together.

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9. Wyatt went down his first “rock slide” with Gavin.

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10. Gavin and his brother Chris decided on a spur of the moment jump off a massive bridge into freezing cold water.

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Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Stephanie

There is nothing better being in an amazing place, experiencing fun new things. However there is nothing worse then being in amazing place, experiencing fun new things without your whole family. If you couldn’t tell by my Instagram photos,  our favorite person was missing, my husband Gavin. A few weeks ago I told you about his new job and his transition requires him to be there quite a bit so he decided he was going to have to miss the wedding and trip. We missed him terribly and were so thankful for FaceTime. By the end of the trip, Wyatt was looking at any taller male with dark hair saying “Dada” it was quite uncomfortable for both parties and a great indicator that it was time to get on home!! I am typing this post now watching Gavin feed Wyatt peanut butter and my heart is finally whole again being home with him.

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Other than him being gone, the trip was amazing. It began with a 12.5 hour travel day from  San Luis Obispo to Knoxville. I was lucky enough to travel with my brother, his girlfriend Sam who I love, my cousins Grace, Madi and Jordan, all who were more than happy to hold, play and entertain Wyatt. It’s not easy traveling alone with babies but with them it couldn’t have been better, and I’m so thankful for their help!

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A wedding brought us to Knoxville however my newly engaged best friend from college lives just 2 hours away and no matter what my trip plans were I was going to make sure I saw her! Wyatt and I woke up and got in the car the next day, and headed to meet sweet Anna in Johnson City, Tennessee! We got there just in time to watch her as the morning news anchor for the tri-cities, I was SO happy watching her. I watched her all throughout college work her booty off with internships and jobs pursuing her dream and that moment I was able to witness it all come to fruition, I felt like a proud mother haha!

img_3595After, we met up with her Fiance and ate at the world famous Tupelo Honey! We grubbed on fried pickles and sweet tea then toured the town she now calls home. Driving back to catch the rehearsal dinner I reflected on how grateful I am for friendships, and how important it is to nurture them even when I feel like my own world can be a bit consuming.

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Saturday morning we woke up wanting to make the most of the day before the wedding, so I jumped in the car with my sister Jenna and her boyfriend Nick to explore downtown Knoxville. It was THE coolest little place, not at all what I expected. There was a farmers market going on so we got to explore all kinds of little businesses, watch street performers, and play in the water fountain. I absolutely love being with my sister, and her boyfriend Nick is literally the nicest person i’ve ever met so being with them and exploring the awesome downtown made for the best afternoon!img_3715

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We met up with my parents, Lori and Rob Gillespie, Madi Jordan and his parents at a great spot called Bar 5. A room full of chandeliers, great drinks, and delicious avocado toast!

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The wedding was real reason we were there, and it was the most beautiful occasion. First, my little brother Scotty was there from University of Georgia and he was just a dream to be around. His happy spirit, positive attitude and all around fun demeanor had me smiling THE entire night, he just gets better with age. My cousin Jack got married to my Chi Omega Sister and dear friend Macy, the love was so evident and I am so proud of both of them. Their love is a one of those ones that is so pure and real and we are so lucky to have them as friends. Another highlight of the night was seeing my Chi Omega sisters from  my days at the University of Colorado, they could not have been more darling. We caught up, laughed, and I genuinely loved getting reacquainted with each of them.

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I held Wyatt asleep in my arms while dancing around, watched my grandma get it on the dance floor with my brothers as my parents looked on with smiles, and laughed like crazy with my cousins and siblings. It was the best evening, and a great reminder of how much I love and appreciate our family. There is always an amazing feeling in the air when people are brought together to celebrate love, and this past weekend was just that.

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Hope you all have a wonderful week! Leave a comment if you can, I love seeing who is on here reading my blog!

Love you all, and in the words of my adorable niece Georgia, HAPPY DAY!

Stephanie

You know how there are some vacations that just open your eyes to how cool this world and the people who live in it really are? Well, this last trip was one of those. We knew it was going to be a great time but had no idea what Chicago really had in store for us.

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We are not city people, we are a “put us in a small home in the country and we will be happy” kinda people. Chicago changed that for us, the city was epic. The flowers, the cleanliness and the people…the smiles and the happiness that the city exudes was one we were certainly not expecting.

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To start we had pretty much the greatest hosts of all time, my Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Robin and my cousister (cousin+sister) Rachel let us stay at their awesome apartment with a killer view (see below). If you haven’t caught on yet, my Uncle is the manager of the Chicago WhiteSox which is why we decided  it was only fitting to take Wyatt to his first baseball game to watch and support him.

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We got the better end of the deal. We had awesome seats, a ridiculously gross amount of ballpark food and best of all, an after the game field session where my Uncle took Wyatt out to show him what his job is all about. Wyatt didn’t know the field from the bathroom but I can tell you I’m certain he will be taking the photos we took for “show and tell” one day at school.

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It was a pretty awesome first baseball game experience if you ask me! Wyatt was in heaven, he was dancing to the music and eating his fair share of junk food which left him knocked out for a few innings so we were happy with that.

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Along with the baseball experience we got to explore the city. I’ve always loved the idea of Chicago since Kanye West rapped about it in one of my all time favorite songs, Homecoming. Anyways, we couldn’t get over how clean this place was, how beautiful the flowers were and the architecture… never appreciated architecture so much in my life. The Bean, the amazing playground, the amphitheater to name a few, I could go on and on but the bottom line is we want to go back.

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Some of you messaged me about how we also ended up at a Ke$ha concert… long story short our great family friend and her buddy manage bands, so they invited us to a Rae Sremmurd concert (That’s “drummers ear” backwards). It was entertaining and i’ve always had a little ghetto fab in me so we loved the rap concert, not so much the opening act of Ke$ha but we had fun. S/O to my babysitters on that one, having a night out with my hubby and cousin was hilarious and so fun.

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Last, but certainly not the least (in fact maybe the most important of it all) was the deep dish pizza. We all went out to dinner and ordered two HUGE deep dish pizzas, it is the type of meal that has everyone saying “my diet starts tomorrow” and funny story it really did have us saying that. Not only was it delicious then, but 11pm that night it was even better ha ha.

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Chicago was amazing, as Wyatt sleeps and I type this..I realize I’m still half-watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but I’m smiling. Trips like Chicago have Gavin and I talking about how important it is for us to take Wyatt to see the world and its people. Near and far there are so many wonderful places and things to experience and we feel blessed that we were able to experience the good Chicago had to offer .

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