Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gatlinburg or Bust: Day 3

I think Sunday was my favorite day.  It started out as a bust and we weren't sure we'd get to go anywhere but it shaped up to be awesome.  

The cabin had a pack and play so we didn't take ours.  The sides on the one they had were lower than ours so Barrett just climbed right out.  So we ended up sleeping three deep in the king size bed.  I was nervous because he never sleeps with us at home.  He never has.  We don't have a big enough bed.  But he did great.  
We loved all the extra snuggles.

We woke up Sunday morning and got ready to go to Mass in Gatlinburg at 11:00.  We were planning to leave by 10:00 just to give us plenty of time to get there.  We loaded up in the truck and Patrick started pulling out of our driveway/parking area, and he casually said, "Hey isn't that the neighbors Durango in the ditch down there."  We all looked and sure enough it was.  John and Patrick got out and walked down there to make sure there wasn't anyone in it and just see how slick the roads were.  They came back up and said that the roads weren't bad and there was no one in the car but there wasn't enough room for us to get around them.  So we weren't making it to Mass.  I was so disappointed.  I knew no one was going to believe that we got all dressed and ready to go to church and then couldn't get there because there was a car in our way.  We took a group shot of us dressed up when we got out of the truck.  We tried to find it on tv to watch but couldn't.   
(Our cabin looks trashed in the background, it wasn't really that bad).

After the neighbors got their car out of the way we decided to make the most of the rest of the day.  The weather was kinda overcast and yucky.  First we went downtown to the Ole Smoky distillery to taste moonshine.  That was so much fun.  It was neat to hear about the process (and taste them all to decide on your favorite.)  We left there and headed to Cades Cove.  It was my favorite thing we did when Patrick and I were there in 2010 and I really thought John and Hope would enjoy it.
Driving to Cades Cove is beautiful.  Hope asked John to take some pretty pictures, so naturally he took one of Patrick. 
We started the loop and almost immediately people were pulled over.  We looked out and there were about 6 deer and a woman right in the middle of them taking pictures.  So Hope and I jumped out of the truck and "hiked" out to see them.  I didn't have my good camera.  I was using Patrick's iphone.  Most of these are from Hope. 
It was so foggy.  I love these that Hope took.
Of course I had to get a selfie with the deer.
This was with Patrick's phone.
On our "hike".

I was a little disappointed when we got to the spot we had our picture made in 2010.  It was so foggy you could see the mountains at all.  

We still made pictures. 
Barrett with his Godparents.

Another one of us.  (I know the hat is a little obnoxious but I love it.)

A couple of me and my boy.  I think he was looking at the deer.
He was so sweet.
For fun here we are 5 years ago (almost to the day) in 2010 and now a family of 3 in 2015.
We saw so many deer, it was so cool.  We even saw a big buck.  
we left Cades Cove and headed back to the cabin.  I was very close to getting carsick on the way home, that was fun.  John and I both get carsick and I was nice and let him ride up front.  (It may or may not have been because I'm terrible at giving directions because I may or may not get my rights and lefts confused often.)  Luckily we made it back without any vomit.  I did ride with the window down a lot of the way just in case.   We spent the evening finishing our game of Mexican train dominoes, John won.  Surprise Surprise. 
We woke up Monday morning and it was snowing again.  It was time to pack up and head home.  We had a really fun, relaxing weekend.  I was sad to leave but ready to get back to some normalcy.  Which is a joke now because this week has been anything but normal with all the winter weather.  In fact i'm still unpacking and doing laundry.  That has to be the worst part of coming home.  We're thankful for the memories and can't wait to do it all again!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Horton House Daily: Week 8

Week 8 has been crazy!
Between vacation and snow days I've only worked a few hours.  As nice as it's been to have some down time, I'm ready for some normalcy.
Day 50:  We finally arrived at our cabin and it was so cold.  I think the car said 6 degrees.  There were icicles 3 feet long hanging from the house.  
Day 51:  We woke up to a beautiful snowy scene and frozen pipes.  (You'll notice that snow becomes a theme this week)
Day 52:  We enjoyed sledding that morning then we got cleaned up for the first time all weekend to head to downtown Gatlinburg.  We took Barrett to the aquarium, I think we enjoyed it more than he did.
Day 53:  This might have been my favorite day of vacation.  We went to taste moonshine and then we drove out to Cades Cove because I wanted to get a picture of the three of us in the same area that Patrick and I had out picture made in 2010.  We saw so many deer.  It was so foggy that you couldn't see the mountains but it was still beautiful.
Day 54:  We finally made it back home.  Daddy stole my before bed snuggle time.
Day 55:  We geared up for Wednesday's snow day by watching Frozen.
Day 56:  After staying home and watching it rain  It finally started snowing and sticking around 5:30.  We ended up with about 3 inches and Barrett was a fan.  We've got to invest in a good coat and mittens for him next year.  
I can't say I'm sad to see February come to an end.  It's been a tough one.  I'm ready for spring and the fresh start it brings. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gatlinburg or Bust: Day 1&2

We just got home from a fun long weekend in the Smokey Mountains with my little brother and his wife.  This trip couldn't have come at a better time for us.  We needed this little getaway/ pick-me-up in the worst way.  We knew the weather was cold and snowy but we didn't let that stop us.  We loaded up the truck, dropped off the dogs and headed out Thursday afternoon.  
We stopped for dinner at Burger King in Chattanooga so Barrett could run off some energy in the play place.  When we got out of the truck it was so cold.  We'd been keeping an eye on the temperature while traveling and it was dropping fast.  The low in the Gatlinburg area was supposed to be around 2 degrees.  We finally arrived at our cabin around 10:15.  We almost immediately realized the code that we were given to get in did not work.  I called the owner, no answer.  I called his wife, no answer.  I'm freaking out on the inside.  We found another number on the paper work for emergencies.  We called and the guy was so nice.  He didn't have our names down on his list but I guess he felt sorry for us because he gave us the code.  He seemed shocked that we were able to get to the cabin since the roads were covered in snow and had been all week.  He let us know that our cabin was dirty because they hadn't been able to get to it all week because of the weather.  We didn't care at that point we just needed somewhere warm to sleep.  We unloaded all of our stuff, changed the sheets and tried to wind down for the night.   I should also add that Barrett didn't sleep at all on the drive.
We woke up Friday morning and the view was beautiful.  John made coffee, Hope made cinnamon rolls and we just laid around.  Then the water quit running.  I was on the phone with the owner at the time and he casually said "Oh yeah the pipes probably froze over night."  We were practically camping at this point. Ha!  He told us to turn them all on and crank up the heat.  He was going to send someone out to set up the heaters under the house.  John went to check it out and found a heater and plugged it up to help warm/thaw the pipes.  It didn't take too long for everything to heat up and we were good.
We bundled up and headed out to see the snow.  Luckily we borrowed some warm/snow clothes for Barrett and I'm so glad we did.  He played outside for a while, which really surprised me.
I loved the view.
He was so cute in all his gear.

We didn't have a sled so we tried to use a plastic storage bin.  It worked okay.

I love this cutie!

We were so glad we decided to drive the truck.  

The roads thawed enough to run to the store and grab some groceries.  While were were at WalMart we grabbed a couple of sleds.  It was probably the best $20 we spent all weekend.
Seriously, it was so much fun.  Being from the south I don't think I've used an actual sled.  You could steer it and everything.  It took a few turns for us figure it out but once we did, we were unstoppable.
John was the dare devil and tried everything first.

Hope stayed on the "bunny hill".  

Maybe I should have stayed on the "bunny hill".

Patrick had a ball.  I love seeing him enjoy stuff like this.  He's always so responsible I love to see him let loose a little.  Friday night it was nearly dark when we finally came in.  We had meatless nachos for dinner since it's Lent.  Friday night was probably my favorite.  After dinner we put Barrett to bed and started our game of Mexican Train Dominoes.  John and Hope brought their set and they are double 15's.  So it took us all weekend to finish.  After we played a few rounds we decided to get in the hot tub.  It was so much fun and so neat to be sitting looking at all the snow and ice.  

Saturday we got up, ate breakfast and headed back out for more sledding.  We knew the temperatures were going to rise and we probably wouldn't get to sled anymore.
This little guy was pretty much the cutest thing ever in his flannel coveralls and snow boots.
We took a group selfie in the snow before we headed out for the afternoon.

We took another group selfie after we cleaned up.  We headed to downtown Gatlinburg to go to the aquarium.  Barrett enjoyed it but I had a total mom fail when I realized he was hungry and I didn't pack any snacks.

I loved the penguins.  They were so sweet.  After the aquarium we walked to find something to eat.  We ate at Mountain Edge Grill and it was pretty yummy.  There was rain moving in so we decided to head back to the cabin.  Not before we stopped for some candies.  Once we got back we played a few rounds of dominoes and headed to bed early because we had to be moving a little early on Sunday for church.  
I'm going to wrap this up here since it's so long.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Horton House Daily: Week 7

Day 43:  Patrick took the afternoon off work and got to take us to lunch.  I took this picture just thinking how thankful I was for that sweet boy.  I'm always thankful for him but that moment hit me hard. :)
Day 44:  Lorie, Kristen and I met for Mexican.  I enjoyed this beverage.  I love getting to catch up with them.  It makes me sad that I don't see them as often as I used to.  Babies are fun but they take a lot of time.
Day 45:  We stopped at the park while we were out running errands and Barrett climbed the rock wall all by himself.  I couldn't believe it.
Day 46:  The static is too much.  Barrett's hair is either stuck to his head or standing straight up.
Day 47:  Trying on some hats for an upcoming adventure to the mountains.  We had to borrow some warm clothes!
Day 48:  My sweet friend Crystal let Barrett come play with her boys.  Barrett loves their house because with two boys you can imagine how many cars they have.  He cried when I went to get him.  He tried to run back up the stairs to the playroom.

Day 49:  We went to Target and you know you're getting old when your "splurge" purchase was house shoes.
This week has been tougher than most.  But we survived and we're thankful for a clean start each day.  I'm looking forward to this week!