Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Holy Productive Weekend

Remember that massive Honey-Do list? Well, we knocked it down (Jeff in particular) this weekend.

This is going to sound like a laundry list - because it is! I want to take the time to CELEBRATE all of the good work the hubby has been doing.

The nursery is PAINTED! (It looks super fab, even if the color we chose is Martha Stewart's "File Cabinet" tan from Home Depot.)

My childhood bookcase is repaired and repainted an awesome light turquioise / bright blue (covering up the lead paint that was likely on there before LOL). Apparently the shelves were in tough condition, and Jeff had to wood glue and hammer together some fixes on the trim as well.

The guest bathroom paint was touched up (had been damaged by bleach cleaner around the toilet).

The bathroom shower handles were repaired and are no longer leaking!

The kitchen paint that was dinged because I leaned my purse against it too soon after painting was touched up.

The lawn is trimmed up for fall - probably another mow is required to chop leaves but we might be about done.

My car got cleaned, vacuumed, and fully detailed inside by the hubby (it was a bit funky!).

Purchased a foot pedal switch for the fish tank room lamp (long story) and bamboo wood roman shades from Home Depot.

We ordered a crib. :)

We purchased a crib mattress, changing pad, and cover.

We started a baby registry (mostly to just keep track of what we will need to buy, and to take advantage of the discounts when we ordered the crib!).

I bought another pair of jeans and another pair of work pants from Motherhood Maternity (aye-yie-yie).

We tried out a new restaurant - Newk's in Newnan (and it is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

I went to the bank, picked up my fancy shampoo and conditioner, stopped by the farmer's market for my weekly egg supply, bought birdseed (with a coupon!!), and dropped off more stuff at Goodwill.

I started a baby blanket crochet project and purchased YARN and a BOOK for a new project for Peanut.

Washed 4 loads of clothes.

We had dinner with friends and their kids (OMG, I LOVE LITTLE 3-4 YEAR OLDS! THEY ARE HILARIOUS!!!).

Took a nap!!! Ok, maybe 2.

Honestly it kind of felt good to be at work on Monday...all of that stuff made me tired (and I only did about 15% of it!).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ups and Downs - 21 weeks

This week's edition of the Pregnancy Ups and Downs!  I have a lot to report...

Up - Baby is moving! He is most 'awake' around lunchtime till about 2PM, then again in the evenings (haha, he takes after mom and dad!).

Up - My sister in law HOOKED ME UP! I got a glorious package with TONS of boy baby clothes for 0-3 months, and a bunch of maternity tops that I will be able to put to very good use soon :). She also sent me a couple pairs of jeans - but since she has no butt, and I (ahem) do...they didn't fit. But I will tuck them away in the closet just in case anyway!

Down - I have a crazy metallic taste in my mouth like, ALL THE TIME! So weird.

Down - we had our 2nd anatomy scan ultrasound on Thursday but Baby will STILL not cooperating. We have to go back a 3rd time - in 3 weeks - to get better pictures of his heart and spine. Apparently he was standing straight up, feet down, to the left, and facing forward - so no good photos.

Down - I have been a real bitch this week.  Jeff gave me the "you're being totally crazy" look more than once but bless his heart, has hung in there like a champ.  I'm going to try to do better this week...or at least be cognizant of when it's happening to try and cut it off at the pass.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 25, 2013

I wish I was domesticated.


I think Gina is a genius.  The photos are food porn.  The meal ideas are family-friendly.  The recipes are HEALTHY and EASY (my two requirements).

Some of my favorite recipes from her site are crock pot barbacoa, Italian turkey meatballs, and huevos rancheros.

But she has outdone herself again with these awesome little Mummy Cake Balls.  (3 points per mummy)

I really really really want to eat these.  Probably partially because I'm pregnant but also because I just want them!

Here's the problem: I don't want to make them!  I don't have any baking ingredients at all in the house (trust me, it's better that way).  Plus I'm totally lazy.

So I will just tell yall about them, have you try them, and then tell me how easy it was so I'm inspired enough to possibly try them!!!!!!!!

Uh, a domestic housewife I am not.  But I totally appreciate those who are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great Georgia Airshow

Saturday before last we went to the Great Georgia Airshow in Peachtree City. 

Jeff calls it it the Good-not-Great Georgia Airshow.  After a year hiatus to "reorganize", they were back! But not in full effect.

Because of the reorganization - and the budget cuts and furloughs - there were NO military planes or shows on display.  What a bummer, because those are truly some of the coolest parts about air shows.

But the other acts did not disappoint!

This was an 4-plane aerobatic team that did tons of passes in various formations and was really cool.

This glider plane is TINY!  I don't think I could even fit in the cockpit.  And it did some amazing stuff.  It was probably Jeff's favorite due to the majestic arcing and diving this one did over and over.  I loved the two trails it left all across the sky - very cool.

This little stunt plane was probably my favorite.  I love seeing knife edge passes and crazy stuff that I'm sure is dangerous!

The one that made jump up and about pee my pants was this guy - THE JET TRUCK.

The truck was racing the above red stunt plane.  The stunt plane was just barely off the ground, above the truck.  As they made the final pass, the JET TRUCK overtook the stunt plane and OHMYGOD A WALL OF FIRE JUST BROKE OUT ACROSS THE WAY WITH A HUMONGOUS BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

The heat flashed in front of us, and the smoke obscured the hot sun for probably 15 seconds.  Ok, ok, it was planned pyrotechnics - but I almost lost my shit as much as the 8-year-olds sitting behind us.  WHOA DUDE!


After a good four hours out in the bright fall sun, and 3 liters of water - we packed up our chairs and headed home.  A super fun day!

PS - Four hours of afternoon sun in October sans sunscreen will still give you a KILLER sunburn.  (This note is for Jeff for next year!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ups and Downs - 20 weeks

Ok, time for this week's pregnancy Ups and Downs. We have made it halfway!

20 weeks. Wow. It seems like it has gone fast, and slow, all at the same time.

I guess that's what happens when you get busy with life, and start a new job, and go on vacation, and also spend 80% of the summer napping...

Well, the Downs this week were a bit of a doozy...but turned out in the best possible way they could have.

Down - on Thursday morning I had spotting. And tummy cramps. And back cramps. PANIC! I called the OB office right away and they wanted me to come in to get checked out.

So we showed up - and had to get worked in...so we waited probably about an hour (which isn't crazy) but by that point Jeff and I were very distraught, but trying NOT to be. We just had our 20 week appointment on Monday and everything was good, so to have this scare just a few days later was so sucky.

We got an ultrasound - and there was Peanut waving, and wiggling, and little heart beating at 166. Long story short - everything is fine! I have what they call a "friable cervix" (which means my cervix is sensitive, and with the increased blood volume just about anything can make it bleed).

So, it's possible I will have these symptoms again, and it will be ok again. They of course said to come in if I get worried, but I have some reassurance now that if it does happen again within the parameters that everything is probably FINE.

Up - I love this little baby so much already. I don't feel super 'bonded' yet, exactly, but he is so wanted by Jeff and me, and with this scare this week I found out how much my heart has grown already.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Honey-Do List

Our honey-do list in advance of the baby grows!  It seems like we are so busy during the week (with my new job and Jeff has been REALLY busy at work lately) we don't have mental or physical energy to tackle a lot of this, so we save it up for the weekend.  But on the WEEKENDS, I want to have FUN!  And I insist on going out and doing fun stuff instead of honey-dos.  So stuff doesn't get crossed off very fast.

AND unfortunately with my being a bit out of commission the past two weeks with sciatica, I haven't felt up to doing much...so Jeff has been handling the brunt of it!  He is a champ though - #1 husband if you ask me. :)

Since I have a terrible memory anyway (which is NOT improved with the pregnancy), I have made a list.  Truthfully, when I put everything on a list - in one place - I got a LOT overwhelmed.

I'm hoping when my family comes for the holidays they may be able to help a bit with some of this stuff too - especially the outdoor stuff (Dad, I know you like to be busy, and you like to be outside...it's for the best!).

Here's where our list stacks up today:

Peanut's room
  • Repair and prep for painting
  • Paint walls 
  • Hang new light fixture 
  • Modify new roman shades with ribbon 
  • Prep and organize mural 
  • Paint mural
  • Hang quilt on wall 
  • Buy crib
  • Buy rocking chair
  • Shop for daybed frame
  • Shop for daybed bedding that matches our theme (click HERE for the super cute nursery stuff we got) (but we don't have the bumper, bedskirt, curtains, diaper hanger, or mobile because it's been DISCONTINUED! Blerg)

  • Purchase and lay down pine straw 
  • Redo front mailbox bed / border 
  • Trim front bushes down the hill
  • Power wash and paint the front porch and steps 
  • Cut apart fallen tree on property line 
  • Repair fence 
  • Chainsaw downed tree in back 
  • Gather and burn limbs and sticks 
  • Clean gutters 
Guest room
  • Dresser – polish and buff
  • Hartman table - polish and buff
  • Complete DIY headboard 
  • Look for side lamps 
  • Buy and Install Wood Blinds (4)
  • New office chair 
  • Artwork over desk 
  • Look for another downstairs rocking chair / glider
  • Run new network cable to upstairs bedrooms
  • Have another garage sale, including a mower, TV, night stand, dining room tabl and chairs (in addition to the other stuff that didn't sell)
  • Begin researching all baby products
  • Start baby registry
  • Crochet blanket
  • Crochet booties and hat
  • Make a Goodwill dropoff
It's a big list, but I know we have plenty of time to tackle it.  Right? Right? Right?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

It's FALL! Weather is starting get cooler (ok, low 70's here but like 50's in the morning!) and I love to have a hot breakfast.

I found a version of this recipe on the internet (of course) and modified it just a bit for my liking.

It uses a crock pot - which I love for ease of use in cooking and the quantity of leftovers it makes! I got about 5 servings from this batch.


In a medium crock pot (coated with nonstick spray) layer in the following:

2 medium apples, sliced

(Mixed together)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup Quaker steel cut oats

4 cups of water (maybe a bit more)

Cook 6-8 hours on low, or until desired thickness. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have been eating all week for either breakfast or lunch (since I LOVE breakfast foods all day) and it is so filling and fall-like.

And it's a great way to use up some apples from our orchard visit (without making pie or crisp)!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How to Know When to Move

I am so incredibly happy for my sister. She has FINALLY made the decision to move out of the city (WELCOME TO SURBURBIA!!!).

Most "hip" people would say - why???? Why would someone EVER pack up and leave the city, with all its restaurants, and good vibes, and stuff to do???

Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Move to the Burbs.

1. Your commute SUCKS.

Seriously.  You drive one hour, one way, in heavy traffic...twice a day?  That's a true drain on your quality of life...  Dealing with idiots.  Noxious gases.  Stress.  Inevitable fender benders.  Gas money.  Reclaim 10 hours of your life back already.  It's YOUR LIFE.  You only have one.  Make the most of it.

2. Your support system isn't physically nearby.

If you can, move to where your support people are at.  Or where you can access them semi-easily.  Sometimes you just need someone to come jump your car.

3. You want to save money.

Have you SEEN the rates for apartments in the city?  Rent a townhome in the burbs for the same money, twice as much space.  Or same space, half the money.  And don't get me started on the awesomeness of eating out - I love it, and I love being able to walk anywhere or order in anything.  But your health and pocketbook will thank you if you just get groceries and cook more.

4. You own a car in a wintry environment.

Off street parking is stupid.  Otherwise it would be available in the city, right?  The burbs are sprawling land masses for a reason...get a garage.  Or at least a parking space nearby.  And for god's sake, hire someone to shovel.

5. You have access to public transportation TO and FROM the city.

Are you REALLY missing out on late night bar crawls if you can still catch the train or cab home?  Hey, what, that's what you do now?  In the city?  Might as well do it to the burbs.  Oh, and when you hit 30...just sayin...10PM on a Saturday is about the end of the night anyway.

Even if you check only a few of these boxes...you'll know when the time is right. Just like my sister did.

Ups and Downs - 19 Weeks

I have been listening to Pregtastic podcast (which sadly is no longer in production) and they have a segment that I LOVE - Ups and Downs.

As someone who had NO IDEA WHAT PREGNANCY WAS REALLY LIKE, it has been super helpful to hear other women going through similar things...or things that don't apply to me at all but similarly suck or are exciting.

Anywho, as we prepare to cross into the HALFWAY POINT (eeeek) I thought I would bring you my new segment............

Ups and Downs - 19 weeks

I'll start with my Downs so I can end on a positive note:

Down - Sciatica pain.  WHOA MAMA.  I spent one night in my chair - that helped.  My chair has like anti-gravity or something - no pressure points.  I have been icing and heating.  I saw my chiro.  Yikes, I really hope it doesn't continue!  I called my massage therapist who is injured :( and she advised some stretches and foam rolling with either a roller or a tennis ball (I have both).  That is totally on the docket this week.

Down - Remember when I couldn't go potty?  Now I can't stop.  I probably have been sneaking into too much "wheat and dairy"...known trigger points for gut distress and inflammation.  Bad Jessie.  Will work on that one this week.

Up - It's a BOY!  As long as he never brings me snakes or mice to "look at", I cannot WAIT!  Boy Scouts, baseball, piano lessons, camping, swimming, starting campfires, being dirty...it's going to be fun :) :)

Up - Great Georgia Airshow!  I have been feeling GREAT for the most part, and we have been going out and doing fun stuff again. So we booked some upcoming fall campground weekends, and are going to the airshow in Peachtree City.  Jeff is sooooo excited for the show...I hope the weather holds and we have a great time!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

And the winner is

BOY OR GIRL??????????????????????????????????????????

It's pretty easy to tell....

We can't really tell who he looks like yet though.  He would NOT cooperate!

We are so excited!!!  And, for me, this week it's all starting to feel more...real.

I had a realization a couple days ago.  You know when you're sick and feeling crappy, you look forward to when things go back to "normal", you feel like "yourself again", you can go back to "your routine", you can have "fun again" with your spouse instead of laying around miserable?  Usually I can't WAIT for that moment when you turn the corner.

Turning the corner this time means...

When I feel "normal" - I will no longer be pregnant.

When I feel like "myself again" - I will have a baby. 

When I go back to my "routine" - I will be a mother. 

When we have fun again - there will be three of us. 

Holy shit. Everything is changing. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Activities!

On Saturday we did one of my FAVORITE fall activities - pick your apples in North Georgia!  Ellijay - and Hwy 52 specifically - sits nestled in the foothills of the mountains and must have the perfect climate for apples.  Any further south and it's just not possible to grow them!

We again went to R&A Orchards - bypassing the madness of the other orchards (think: petting zoos, bouncy houses, milk-your-own-cow) and enjoyed the simplicity of a family farm that features apples, apple cider, some canned stuff, and a bit of other produce.  

Beautiful, eh?

We drove the almost 3 hours with traffic in the morning but had a SUPER QUICK (ha!) stop at REI...except this time we were looking for baby gear!!!

Enter...our new stroller!

Our first baby purchase was from REI (how appropriate) and it was quasi-gear because it will very necessary to take Peanut out camping, hiking, and walking on the gravel.

Anyway, after that detour we finally arrived at the orchard.  We picked Rome Beauty and Stayman Winesap, and then purchased some Galas.

We relaxed and people-watched while we shared a milk and fried pies (apple fried pie for me and chocolate pudding fried pie for Jeff).  Yes.  That's right - Fried Pie.  Mmmmm, baby likey.

We had planned to also stop by Burt's Pumpkin Farm to get some ginormous pumpkins - but by that time it was already after 4PM, we had a 2-hour drive back home, and I was pooped (of course).

And, we remembered that last year we paid a ridiculous amount for GIANT PUMPKINS (which were awesome by the way) but we are definitely trying to scale back and save some dough.  So we bypassed the patch this year.

But - Jeff has PROMISED to be my photographer next year when we can plop Peanut on huge pumpkins for photo ops.  I have no shame there...and we'll probably go to the petting zoo, bouncy house, and milk-your-own-cow too...in our new stroller.  Next year.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

First Trimester Scares

When we saw the positive test laying on the bathroom counter - after Jeff grinned at me and said "Did you see this?" - I didn't know what to do next.

So I slyly asked some of my friends (who happened to recently have babies) who their 'lady doctors' were, and if they liked her. (Turns out I wasn't so sly - and Jeff brought over some food in the sack that had the receipt for the 3 tests in it to one of our friends' house so they TOTALLY knew right away too, although they let us wait to tell them!)

Anyway, I called the new OB/GYN office. They asked when was your last menstrual period? I checked my app and told them. They said to wait 2 more weeks.



So we waited. And then went in at the first possible time. There was no heartbeat. They were too small to see or tell yet. Yes, I said THEY. Two sacs.

One was empty.

So in the very beginning, we had twins...but no longer.  And now, we had to wait another week to come back and see if the baby was developing into a viable fetus or not.

After an agonizing week of waiting, we went in again.  Still no heartbeat heard - but we could see the faintest flutter on the monitor.  165.  Perfect.  But they still had concerns because the baby should be a bit further along according to the calendar.  So now we had to just continue to wait and see, and get to that sacred 12-week mark.

Granted, the risks really go down once the heartbeat is detected, but I have known too many people...so I did not let myself get fully excited - just anxious and excited.

The summer hummed along, with a spotting scare just a few short weeks after.  But - again the doctor said not to worry because it was short-lived and not volumetric.  Ok.  Keep on trucking.

We did!  With lots of resting, napping, sleeping, and grilled cheese / tomato soup combinations...we made it to 12 weeks.

And so far, things continue to go well.  I'm really happy to be in my 2nd trimester.  I feel a whole let better physically, and mentally a lot of worry has gone away.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to know when the time is right

That's one of my favorite quotes (from a movie I've never seen, so maybe it's out of context...but I don't care).

How did we know it was time to have a baby? After almost 9 years of marriage, and definitely over a decade together - what made us take the plunge? Truthfully, I wasn't sure when I wanted kids. I knew in some obscure way that it was in the plan, but just "not now".

After all, I had my career...and Jeff...and we were really happy to travel the world...and sleep in on weekends...and do basically whatever we wanted.

But about 2 years ago, my doctor asked me if I wanted to have kids. "Yes."

Do you know how many? "Maybe 2?"

How far apart? "I dunno.  I haven't thought that far."

Well, you should really try to have them before you're 35 because there's this thing called 'Advanced Maternal Age' and...on and on... "Oh. Ok."

Enter my healthiness journey of the past 2 years. Enter the Weight Watchers plunge. Enter the focus on weight loss. Enter the focus on improving my overall health by eating less processed, more organic, more natural foods. Enter the focus on strength training.

All of this, not just for me, but to prepare myself to even be able to conceive, let alone carry a baby.

The other question the doctor asked - which my mom also said she saw on Oprah or Dr. Oz or someone was... Picture your holidays and your life when you are 65. Do you have grandchildren? If so, children come first...plan accordingly.

So. After some soul searching and looooooong discussions, we began trying to have a baby.  Nothing happened for almost a year. And then it did.

And we are amazed, excited, scared, nervous, and definitely NOT ready...but we're not waiting anymore.

Guess what...

..............WE'RE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After almost a year, we are so excited to announce we are expecting a baby! Our due date right now is March 2nd - I'm at 18 weeks.

 Here are the Top 3 baby-related things that have happened this summer while we were keeping it a "secret".

1. We found out RIGHT AWAY. The pregnancy test kit (2 pack) that we had in the closet came back positive on a weekend...which was like maybe 4 days after a missed cycle. Of course, being the scientists we are, we wanted independent verification. So Jeff headed out the next day - after work - and picked up another test. Or should I say tests:

2. I knew NOTHING about pregnancy. Most of my friends who have had babies live far away from me, and I have therefore not been exposed to the daily or weekly updates about what is "normal". Which truthfully, has been totally ok with me.

Any time friends HAVE started talking about pregnancy stuff in the past, my eyes glazed over so I could go to my 'happy place' because I was NOT READY for that kind of chatter myself. Turns out, I'm still not ready but it's happening to me anyway!!! Thank god for the internet (although you have to be careful) (more to come - see #3).

3. Knowing nothing about pregnancy has been good and bad. Good as in, EVERYTHINGISNEWANDEXCITING. Bad as in, HOLYSHITISTHISNORMAL. Here are all of my particular experiences...(Amy probably will have the same someday LOL...apparently these things run in families?).

 - Morning sickness was not "morning" and was not "sickness". It was "all day nausea but mostly when I started getting hungry". But no barfing.

 - Fatigue is NOT TO BE UNDERESTIMATED. I have literally never been so pooped in my entire life. Including 2-a-day summer practices for sports in high school.

 - My heart rate while exercising immediately went to 140 like, with just walking. Annoying. I wasn't even sweating or breathing hard. (My trainer has helped me with all of that. Hi Carla! You're the bomb.)

 - My once-a-day dropping kids off at the pool...um...the pool closed for the summer. I. Could. Not. Go. Potty.

 - Cravings were not super present. Although I have always loved bacon, it now seemed like it should go on everything. Also chips (I tried to mostly have popcorn when I wanted chips though).

 - Aversions were definitely present. I could not eat salads. Or apples. Or pretty much anything good for you in the fruits and vegetables category. Jeff bought me a Ninja smoothie maker just to try and get some of those in (it totally helped and I highly recommend it).

 - Eliminating coffee is stupid. It makes me happy and in the middle of the miserableness I needed it (still do!). I still have a cup a day - which is about 100-110mg of caffeine - and stay below the limit of 200mg per day.

I definitely have more to tell - about our first appointment, some of the drama, why we waited FOREVER to have kids, and my more recent feelings both emotional and physical. But that is for tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Beach Vaca

We took our camping "on the road"...to the BEACH!!!

We went to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in sunny Florida.  This park is located on the Gulf side, about an hour south of Panama City Beach.

After about a 6.5 hour drive, we pulled into our camping spot about 5PM on Thursday.  The drive took us a little longer than anticipated - between 2 gas stops, a lunch stop, and the HOT weather (95 degrees) limiting our speed of towing (no faster than about 62MPH).

And this is probably gross - but somewheres around Eufala, AL we hit a LOT of bugs...yuck...

Anyway, after we arrived, we set up pretty fast, cooked up a quick dinner, and then walked over to see how close the ocean waves were...it was probably less than a 5min walk from our site!!

We walked down just in time to watch the sunset over the calm water.  It was beautiful.

Also of course, being a peninsula, there is a bay side as well.  The bay is super shallow a long way out in places (we'll get to that later) but it is not walkable from the campground.

On Friday, we woke up to birds chirping and (G-D) yellow flies buzzing.  Those suckers BITE!  So we cranked on our A/C and had breakfast inside the camper...lame, I know, but it was already really hot and the bugs were impervious to Deet.

Our friend Anna came down from Tallahassee with her almost-4-year-old Owen and spent the day at the beach with us.  We had a ball!!!  Owen and Jeff were two peas in a pod - they both LOVE LOVE LOVE the water and don't want to come out if they don't have to.

We floated on rafts, jumped waves, chatted, and totally relaxed.  And - not too sunburned!

On Friday night, the bugs were having none of it so we decided to go into Port St Joe for a "date night".

We went to dinner at Sunset Coastal Grill.  You can see why it's named that!

In addition to the view being absolutely amazing, the food was so incredibly good.  Jeff had some sort of local white fish and I had the most excellent fried shrimp EVER.  I don't usually order that dish (anti-fried) but it sounded good and was a specialty.  I did not regret it!  So, so yummy.  So fresh and crisp and delicious...I'm hungry just thinking about it.

On Saturday, I learned to snorkel.  We headed to the bay side and (upon advice of someone who had been there) walked a small hiking trail to a secluded beach area.  We parked our stuff and waded in.  Boy, was I glad for the water shoes!  Those sea urchins were sharp - and the bay extended really really really far, so you could walk out and not hardly get more than waist deep.

We snorkeled, and snorkeled, and snorkeled...and snorkeled.  We came up really often to talk and exclaim how much fun we were having.  And, we took one break to eat a bit of our picnic lunch and reapply sunscreen back on shore (note to self for next time, put it almost IN the private bits because your tush literally sticks in the air the whole time).  (Also note - not really photo of me and Jeff but wanted to illustrate the tush idea.)

After probably 6 hours in the water, we were pooped.  We showered and headed into town again (damn bugs) to hit up Joe Mama's Wood Fired Pizza.  So good!  Food always tastes better when you're starving, but this was truly yummy.

On Sunday we woke up mega-early to mostly tear down so we could - you guessed it - snorkel some more!  We went to a different area of the bay, and saw TONS of stingrays - one so big it startled Jeff really bad...but luckily no real "encounters".

We had soooo much fun and feel super lucky to have the beach only 6 hours drive away.  It was a perfect way to spend a perfect weekend!  We can't wait to go back soon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vogel State Park summer camping

A Georgia summer would NOT be complete without a camping trip to my 2nd favorite park,  Vogel State Park.  It's located about 3 hours from home (with a trailer and traffic) in the Smokies.

It has swimming, hiking, fishing, putt putt, and usually TONS of families.  And it is beautiful - located in the valleys around Blood Mountain and Slaughter Mountain (I know).  Despite the names...

We pulled into the campground after harrowing traffic (again) and tried to go to our favorite site.  It took forever to get backed in....then our cords and hoses were not long enough to reach to the hookups...so we left again (empty site sadness).

Luckily our 2nd favorite site, right nearby - home of the infamous 'Jessie fell off the retaining wall incident of 2012' was still open.  These are my favorite sites because they hook right up to the hiking trails, and you can hear the creek running nearby.

After we arrived, relaxed and took it easy, and had bit of dinner.  Jeff bought a bunch of firewood from the camp store - because usually Vogel wood is "not too wet".  Um.  Yeah.  Not this time.  We went through a LOT of lighter fluid after giving it the good ol' college try for a couple hours.

We also paid our penance to Blood Mountain from the same retaining wall...Jeff had an "incident" while trying to get said fire going...it's steeper than it looks!

On Saturday we FINALLY got the state geocache but didn't do much other hiking - it's really pretty strenuous here and I didn't feel up to it.  But we DID go swimming - or at least tried to.  The weather was absolutely beautiful - high of 71 degrees.  But a spring-fed mountain lake in that temperature is COOOOLD.  We lasted maybe an hour in the water and then just watched people paddle boat and kayak at the rental marina.

All in all - not our "typical" Vogel experience but definitely fun, relaxing, and wonderful!