Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our Trip to Atlanta

Oh boy. It's taken me 2 days to get this post done! Let me just warn you that there are a TON of pictures too! And it might end up pretty long so if you get bored and decide to go bathe the dog or watch paint dry or something more intriguing then I completely understand, really. Ahem.

Mom, Grace, and I drove to Granny's house Friday evening to stay the night with here so we could get an early start Saturday. We didn't make it to bed until almost 11 and were back up at 4 and on the road by 5! Although with all the excitement I really wasn't that tired. We loaded up the car, picked up Courtney and we were Georgia bound!! It was a 12 hour drive and my little 2 year old did wonderful! I was so very proud of her! I would just like to stop here and say a few thanks....1) thank you Target for having the dual screen portable DVD player at such a wonderful price 2) thank you sweet mother of mine for purchasing said DVD player at the wonderful price 3) thank you Scooby Doo for keeping that DVD player running 4) thank you Courtney for entertaining and feeding my child snacks!!! Moving on.

We stopped for breakfast and lunch and a few breaks in between to stretch, potty, get gas, etc and made it to Atlanta by 5 pm their time. As you can tell Grace was so happy to be able to once again move her legs in a front to back motion. Otherwise known as walking. Or running, whatever the case may be. The Gerens were very happy to see everybody, as they should be! ha! I drove the whole way there because well, I sort of have this thing about being in control and it felt so good to be still and not have to concentrate! Uncle Greg had made some gumbo for dinner and it was delicious...because it was seafoodless!! So, we stuffed ourselves and then we did it again because Aunt Cathy had made a special kind of rice krispie treats, a blueberry crunch, AND some delicious chocolate chip cookies! Oh. My. Word. I was so full I couldn't breathe! It was oh so worth it though.

Grace was completely in awe of J.T. the time and she followed him around everywhere! They bonded and it was so cute to watch him play with her! Of course J.T. was the whole reason for the trip because we went to attend his high school graduation! I can't believe all the grandkids have graduated now!

Sunday morning we got up and went to church and luckily Megan was in the 2 year old room so Grace was with her the whole time and I didn't have to worry about her being in a new place all alone! The service was great and then we all had lunch at a mexican restaurant called La Cazuela and it was yummy. We went back to the house after lunch and changed into comfy clothes. The weather had been yucky all weekend, but we decided that we wanted to check out the outlet mall. So, we all loaded up (except Granny, J.T., and Uncle Greg who stayed home to rest) and headed out. Folks, I discovered a very special kind of heaven that day when we pulled into the North Georgia Outlet Mall. It would have been even better if I hadn't been so broke, but I have the most amazing mother who just so happens to kinda like me...and my kid so we were both pretty much spoiled!! It was great! Love you Mom! Thanks!!!!! Ok. So, we spent a couple of hours wandering around in this newly discovered heaven and once we felt that all the necassary stores had been visited we loaded up to head back. Now, have you ever been driving along and you see dark dark skies above you and then about 10 humongous raindrops land on your windshield and you think to yourself "this can't be good?" Well, that's exactly what happened when we got back onto the interstate after leaving the mall. Holy mother nature. The bottom literally fell out of the sky and it absolutely came a torrential downpour! We were going 20 mph in a 65 mph zone. Whew, there were tons of people pulled over to the side of the road because it was so bad. Not me. I kept trucking, well ok, suv-ing. But you get the picture. It was miserable and it finally decided to let up a bit...once we got off the interstate! It was almost worth it though because after if quit we saw the beautiful rainbow pictured above! At first we only saw this side of it then eventually we were able to see the whole arch and it was amazing. God is quite the artist!

Grace also made good friends with Duke, their schnauzer! He has one ball that he plays with all the time and he and Grace played tug-o-war like crazy. It was the funniest thing to watch them and Uncle Greg was sitting down on the floor and kept telling Grace to growl at Duke and of course she did! Too funny! I have a hilarious video but it's so long that it would take 32 days to upload it on here. That may be an exaggeration. And it may not. I'm not going to find out either way though! It was cute and you'll just have to take my word for it!

Ok, just when we thought that our sweet tooth could not be treated anymore...Aunt Cathy made not only a chocolate chip pie but also a butterfinger cake!! Oh it's a little slice of heaven I tell ya! Megan did help with the pie as Grace looked on! Aunt Cathy was styling in her apron! It actually was super cute because it matched her outfit! No, she did not do that on purpose. I don't think. Hmmm....

Now, I know that you're surprised we ate anything else the whole rest of the time because we'd already had so much but oh no, we didn't let that stop us! We had a Memorial Day lunch Monday afternoon complete with cheese dip and veggie dip for appetizers then grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, and pork tenderloin, and baked beans, homemade mac n cheese, AND potato salad!!! I'm telling you...I spent the week in a southern heaven!

Grace loved the cheese dip in her patriotic get-up!

Way to eat your veggies Meg!

The filling of the plates.

Mmmmmm.....yummy food! We also got to meet, Heidi, J.T.'s friend that is a girl but not his girlfriend. Maybe? I'm not real sure. :) Either way, Grace just loved her and made great friends with her! It was kinda funny though because she kept calling her Katie-girl, which is what we call Tanner's girlfriend! Heidi thought it was funny. Thank goodness!

More food!

We little firecracker! Are those pigtails cute or what?! That's usually the only thing she'll leave alone for any lenght of time. If I try just a ponytail it's down by the time I turn around! Courtney was vegging on the couch after filling her tummy!

Granny relaxing after our big lunch!

We made a trip to Super Target (have I mentioned the word heaven yet?) Monday after our lunch had settled some and Grace got some new prizes. Shocking, I know. One of them was a little etch a sketch from Aunt Cathy so she and Granny were writing! That girl loves her Granny!

J.T.'s graduation was Tuesday night so that day we paid TJ Maxx and Home Goods a visit!! Gene got the goodies that trip! Megan also just completed her first year of teaching and had to work on Tuesday breaking down her room so we stopped by her school to see it and her! Very neat and I'm so proud of her and her accomplishments! I know she's the very best 1st grade teacher!! We got to graduation about an hour and a half early and they didn't even open the doors to let anyone in until 30 minutes after we got there so Uncle Greg took charge of occupying miss thang!! Here they are walking back and forth!

Megan and J.T.'s other grandparents, John and Pat, drove in Monday afternoon to attend the graduation and here they are (at the far end) with Uncle Greg, Aunt Cathy, Granny, and Courtney waiting for it to begin.

And the other end....Mom, Megan, Grace, and myself!

Grace actually did really well all through the ceremony as well and didn't fuss too much! She is a pretty big fan of her cousin Megan!! I'm pretty sure I see some family resemblance!!

And all the seniors walking in!

I know you can't really tell, but that really is J.T. receiving his diploma! Yay!!! There were about 540 some odd seniors in his graduating class and the whole ceremony ran so smoothly and only lasted about an hour and a half!

Afterward we were all outside taking pictures. And by we I mean every person that was inside the arena for the graduation!! It was a big sea of people and it's a wonder we even found J.T.!! Here's the whole Geren family!!!

Grace and the graduate!

Me, Grace, and Mom with J.T.

Granny and her baby grandchild!!

Courtney and J.T.

Megan and J.T.

After all the pictures were taken we headed back to the house for cake and ice cream! He graduated from South Forsyth High School, who's mascot is the war eagle and will be attending Samford University in the fall and their mascot is the bulldog so Aunt Cathy had each school and mascot put on it! It was chocolate and very yummy!!! The graduation didn't start until 7 and we didn't get back to the house till right at about 9. So, after eating, visiting, and packing stuff up, we were finally in bed around 10:45 or so and back up at 4 am to hit the road to head home. We were tired! It was all well worth it though!

We made even better time coming home and I actually sat in the backseat with Grace while Courtney drove for about an hour and a half or so. I was reminded of why I usually drive on trips like that because I was getting so light headed and head swimmy sitting back there. It took me a little bit to get adjusted to just riding and plus I think watching the DVD player was throwing me off a little too. It's a little weird watching it while the car is moving. Grace watched Scooby Doo.....over and over and over again. And slept some. Mom and Granny had also wrapped up several different prizes to give to her when she started getting a little restless or fussy and they worked wonders!! It is such a good idea for toddlers on long road trips! They ranged from crayons and coloring books to a little ball to stuffed animals to lick lip (Grace's word for chapstick)! She didn't sleep quite as much coming home as she did going, but we still couldn't have asked for her to be any better!!

Courtney has a little yorky, Chloe, that we dropped off in Little Rock to stay with Hillary and Josh while were gone and the morning we left Grace was still so sleepy that she wasn't completely aware of the fact that there was a little dog in the car with her! Now Wednesday when we came home and picked up Chloe Grace was fully aware of her presence! It was so funny and usually Chloe only wants Courtney to hold her but she actually sat in Grace's lap for a long time!! It was the sweetest thing because she was just Grace's size and of course she just loved having a dog that would fit in her lap!! That made the last 2 hours to Alma pretty easy as far as Grace is concerned!!
We got Courtney dropped off, then Granny dropped off, then headed on up the mountain (as Papa T used to always say) to Fayetteville where we finally arrived at the Johnson household! Mom helped us get unloaded then she took herself home! We were all worn out and ready for our own beds but the trip was SO SO SO worth it and we had an absolute blast! I'm so glad that it worked out and that my husband allowed Grace and I to leave for so long!!!!! I know you'll read this, so thank you honey!! And thanks again to the Granny and Courtney for letting us tag along and to the Gerens for letting us in!!!!!! We love you guys and can't wait to see you again!!!


Geren Family said...

I'm glad you got a good picture of J.T. and Grace in his cap and gown. Ours didn't turn out! I'm so glad you guys got to come it was SO fun!!