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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Talk about a fresh start, its a Monday and its the first of the month, I feel like I should be starting something today like a diet or setting a goal to reach! We have a super exciting month ahead of us, Wyatt turns 1, fun work changes for Gavin, and we are headed to Wyatts first Major league game to watch the White Sox.. so be prepared for some fun blog updates 🙂

Today I’m sharing our last minute adventure to the California Mid State Fair. Sounds super cheesy but Gavin and I literally fell in love during the mid state fair years back, so bringing Wyatt this year was extra special as we talked and walked through the place where we have so many great memories.

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Wyatt absolutely loved the fair, the bright lights and loud sounds of the rides had him pointing right and left, making happy noises as he observed the craziness from Gavin’s shoulders. We bought a few tickets and took Wyatt on the Merry Go Round, he loved it. He wasn’t too sure of it when it began, in fact Gavin and I both thought for a moment he was getting sick but thankfully his blank stare turned into a big smile and we were all good haha.

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We had a Big Bubbas Bad BBQ for dinner, and enjoyed plenty of bomb desserts! Being together with just the three of us was literally the best, as we walked to our car we chatted about how much fun it was to watch Wyatt enjoy something so much. We knew that watching him enjoy things would bring us happiness but we had no idea it would be that wonderful. Any of you guys have memories of watching your kid enjoy something so much? I would love to hear about them!

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Hope you all have a wonderful week!

xox

Stephanie

Once a year our entire family packs up and heads north to a two bedroom house for a weekend at Lake Nacimento. Doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that our “family” consists of about 25 people! Call it organized chaos as bodies and bags of clothes can be seen every place you turn, no television, no internet just good ol’ conversation and laughs. My mom cooks amazing breakfasts so waking up to the smell of bacon always starts the day off just right. “Last call for anyone getting on the boat” can be heard every few hours as people pile into the John Deere Gator and head to the boat ready for a good time of wake surfing and inner tubing! Years and years of good times have us all waiting for this time of the year and it never disappoints.

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This year, we had Wyatt so that changed the dynamic a bit, and got us a big queen bed in the air conditioned room so we had no complaints there! We took Wyatt out for his first official boat ride and he loved it until we put his life jacket on, poor guy hates being confined.

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He watched Gavin as he killed it on the wake surfboard and enjoyed time steering with Uncle Kraig and hanging with everyone until the lull of the boat had him fast asleep. It is so fun to be with Wyatt when he watches Gavin because it reminds me over and over of a Brad Paisley song “Watching you” about a little boy who wants to be just like his dad, and I’m convinced Wyatt already thinks Gavin is his hero.

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Time truly flew by, and before we knew it we were on our way home with a baby in the back asleep as we laughed at all the hilarious events that went down. Life is always a little better at the lake.

 

Have a wonderful week! Side note, love running into you guys and hearing about you reading my blog! Makes my day 🙂

xoxo

Since Gavin and I started dating, the tide pools have always been a spot he loves to go. Something about the ocean is so therapeutic for us both, we are so grateful we get to live so close to the ocean!  Gavin has been counting down the days until he could bring Wyatt to enjoy his favorite thing to do, so one morning he got up and literally started packing the cooler announcing it was time to take him!  Its even more adorable because gavin truly believes wyatt is his clone in baby form and that comes with knowing everything he will like/not like to do… I go along with it obviously. Shell Beach is an amazing beach, especially with Wyatt. He loved the tide pools, exploring all the little nooks and crannies and getting to see the sea life up close and personal. It is much better than behind glass at an aquarium, and much cheaper.  The sand is coarse so its not getting stuck in every crease, and the position of the beach sits on a cliff so there is ample shade to relax in. The parking is super easy, and after a short walk down a flight of stairs you arrive at what seems like your own private beach! Our favorite beach hands down if you can’t tell 🙂

We packed a lunch and spent the afternoon searching around the tide pools watching Wyatt explore and discover all sorts of new things! From tiny crabs (that Wyatt tried to eat), lobster shells, sea anenamies, and starfish there was no shortage of sea life where we were looking!

Thinking of going? Be sure to check the tide to make sure you are going at low tide so you can access the pools. Click here to check the daily tide report.