Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Over the river to Grandma's House

All dressed up and ready to go to the Toys for Tots event.

I knew it was only a matter of time before I transformed my hubby into a runner.  On Thanksgiving, he ran his first 10K race!  (Cooper did the 5K too!)

He did it, and he's still smiling!

For Thanksgiving, we visited Chris's parents at their Lake Norman, North Carolina home.

 Cooper served as Grandma Wood's Thanksgiving apprentice. 

I can't remember the last Thanksgiving where the boys were comfortably wearing shorts and t-shirts outdoors!

Ready to feast.

View of Lake Norman at another morning run.

The Raptor Center with Grandma!

This guy never tires of exploring the beaches.

A trip to Charlotte followed Thanksgiving.  Regardless of their age, the boys found things to do.

Charlotte Science Museum was another stop.

I'm on a quest to take the kids to all 50 states.  Being that we were so close to the South Carolina border, we had to pop over state lines to grab an ice cream and cross off another state.

Chris's parents were gracious enough to babysit the boys so we could have a night out.  We were hungry enough to agree to outdoor seating (and bypass the hour wait to get a table).  Note we are the only ones outdoors:)

Two days after Thanksgiving break, the kids were back to their school routines.  Collin was reciting his Ugly Duckling project at school.

We've never traveled over the river and through the woods to get to Grandma's house.  For all of my kids' lives, Grandparents lived with an hour to two hours.  Things changed when my in-laws moved to North Carolina a few months ago.

With modern technology, we can keep in touch.  But modern technology doesn't work for holidays.  Holiday text messages pale in comparison with sitting across the dining room table from a loved one while feasting on Grandma's signature sweet potato pie dish.  So we packed up four kids and all their belongings (grumbles Chris), and we took the nine plus hour trek down to Grandma's house.  

Some may find this sort of holiday travel to be arduous.  Traffic congestion and busy airports can zap the holiday spirit out of the best of us.  Maybe because this was our first holiday jaunt, I found the experience to be refreshing.

We had a lot of time in the car, but we were together in the car.  We watched the flat plains of Indiana transform into hilly Appalachian terrain.  The frigid Midwest air warmed as we headed South.

Once at my in-laws, I wasn't at the mercy of my dishwasher, laundry machine, and computer.  My time was spent with my kids, my husband, and my in-laws.  We explored their beautiful new hometown and became familiar with all the beauty the Carolinas have to offer.

The ride home was a bit more difficult.  Traffic was congested and tired boys (and parents) were less patient.  But, the happiness we felt about the trip remained.

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