Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Three Days Just Aren't Enough

Three days of family fun time! I love long weekends and wish each month guaranteed one. A couple of weeks ago, Grady came up with the idea to spend the Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. Our family loves visiting the city and our list of things to do and see there seems to never end.

First up this time: Stone Mountain.

We hadn't visited Stone Mountain since before Micah was born and decided now was as good a time as any. The temps were warm, er hot actually, but the partly cloudy sky gave good breaks from the sun. 

Because we haven't studied early American history yet, my boys weren't familiar with Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, or Jefferson Davis. But, they know a few high-level facts about the Civil War and were able to make some (very limited!) connections about the figures carved on the stone.
The boys were ready and rearing to make the one mile trek up the mountain, but this 6-month pregnant mamma wasn't so sure. I admit it: because of the very hot temperatures I was a little concerned about a climb up the mountain. When I was offered a free Summit Skyride to the top, my decision of what to do was made! Annalyse and I rode the cable car up and waited for our handsome men to join us.
After a short half hour, these red-faced, wet-shirted, stinky-all-over men showed up. They guzzled a bottle or two of water, sat for a few minutes, and were ready to head back out and explore.
We walked around the top of the mountain taking in all the views and trying to identify various things far off in the distance. With only an argument or two over who got to use the binoculars and with only one skinned knee, our mountain top adventure was a lot of fun!
Even though I had my generous gift of a free ride back down the mountain, I opted to join the rest of my (active and fun and curious) family and walk back. And, since it was all downhill it was no big deal. Little Miss Annalyse walked almost the entire time, only being carried when the rock was too steep and slippery for her small legs. I'm fairly certain she talked the entire walk down - about anything and anything. She was just delighted to have her Daddy's hand and his complete attention while her brothers were up ahead on the path doing their own thing.
After a few hours on Stone Mountain, it was time to visit some long-lost friends, the Cahill's. Grady and I enjoyed serving with them at Moody Church during our years in Chicago and just a couple of months ago, they left Chicago and relocated to Atlanta. What better way to welcome them to the fantastic South East than to invite our *quiet* family to their home for an evening?!

They graciously hosted us for dinner and a wonderful evening of swimming. Their darling twins were outgoing and eager to play; and my kids were obsessed with the diving boards at their pool. Micah gave his best attempt at diving and, if nothing else, put on a humorous show for anyone watching his efforts. 
A full day of driving and hiking and swimming made for three tired kids, which is always a welcomed sight when staying in a hotel. 

We visited North Point Community Church the next morning to scope out the ministry of Andy Stanley. Our experience there merits a post all of it's own, but for now, suffice it to say it was an enjoyable hour. My boys loved hearing the familiar music of Crowder and Hillsong, and Annalyse walked into her classroom without so much as a glance back to say goodbye.

After church it was a quick lunch out followed by naps for Annalyse and me (yes, me), while Grady told the boys he had a surprise and needed them to join him for an errand. They ventured to a local mall, located a store selling team hats, and he told them to pick out their favorite Atlanta Braves hat! We had tickets for the ball game that evening, and Grady decided our family needed hats supporting his all-time favorite team. My boys were over the moon; Annalyse wasn't so sure about it, but decided it was a fun idea when she saw her brothers excitement; and my handsome man looked pretty happy watching his family don matching ball caps as we walked into the stadium that evening.
The skies were overcast with a light drizzle as we drove to the game and parked, but by the time we reached our seats the rain had stopped and the rest of the night was clear. The cloudy skies probably made the evening more enjoyable, actually, because we didn't have the glare or heat of a setting sun.

Every couple of innings Grady treated the kids to "overpriced stadium food that isn't worth it for any other occasion except when you're at a ball game." For my cost-conscious husband, this splurge communicated volumes to me about how excited he was to be at a Braves game!
Although the Braves didn't pull in a win, it was a fun evening together. Our seats were great and behind a railing so the kids had freedom to stand and move. And, because many prior ball games have proven differently, there weren't any drunk fans spilling and cursing near us. Phew!
Our short three day getaway was over on Monday and Micah announced that "this vacation would have been a lot funner if we could have stayed in Atlanta for at least 13 more days." Although it wasn't 13 days of family fun time, I'm thankful for a very full and very fun three days with the four people I treasure most.

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