The closing post from my Atlanta trip. That was almost two months ago.
I apparently like to take my time in posting my little excursions.
It is what it is!
As Katie and I headed back south, she knew of a good spot for some hiking before heading home. She said it was like a mini grand canyon.
She was right.
One of Georgia’s State Parks is called Providence Canyon has been referred to as “The Little Grand Canyon.”
*Click to enlarge photos*
Living in Florida, I’m used to everything flat. This little hike made my hiker’s heart flutter.
The gullies are a result of poor farming practices in the 1800’s. Though it didn’t work in the lands favor, it makes for a gorgeous site for people to explore.
Discovering water on the ground is a common find when walking in some of the deepest canyons.
Due to my work schedule we could only explore for an hour. So we got a little taste of the wonderful spot and definitely have it on my list of places to visit again for a time when we aren’t in a hurry.
With that little hike under our belts we had most definitely worked up an appetite and headed to Thomasville, Georgia to grab some grub. Downtown Thomasville is a quaint little city with brick-paved streets, unique shops and restaurants with tasty food for a pair of hunger hikers.
We ended the day with a spot to meet Katie’s dog crush from Instagram.
A few weeks ago I posted here about a baby shower I helped throw for one of my best friends.
You definitely could grasp the eagerness and excitement just about the shower.
Imagine my excitement after waking up to this voicemail.
Ecstatic is an understatement.
Here’s a little glimpse of my emotions in a Facebook post I woke in the wee hours of the morning while camping out at the hospital.
Dear sweet Susannah,
When I woke up to your dad’s voicemail saying, “You have a niece!” I did the happy dance as I blew up daddy and grandma’s phone until someone picked up. In my defense, I told mommy that I’d be obnoxious when I you’d get here. The amount of excitement has been too much to handle.
After parking in the garage and entering two wrong buildings, I finally found “the gold elevator” that would bring me to the Labor & Delivery floor.
I walked in to you in daddy’s arms talking to Aunt Amber while mommy was resting.
I got hold your 6 pound 7-ounce human self when you were a mere six hours old!
You were so eager to meet me you came a week early.
I don’t blame you.
I’m pretty awesome.
Don’t worry, I’ll teach you my ways. 😉
As the day progressed your mommy had some boo boo’s. But mom dealt with each boo boo with an unbelievable amount of strength and grace. Your mommy is indeed a super hero. And your daddy was a trooper. He doesn’t like all the yucky, sticky stuff but he stayed super strong for you and your mommy.
Can I tell you a secret?!
Your parents are super heroes!
You are just SO lucky.
As I sit next to your mommy, holding you at 2:15am while mom and dad finally sleep, I’d never anticipated the admiration and love I’d have for you and your mommy. Looking back at all the times your mommy and me shared. We knew each other in the stone ages when phones didn’t have Bluetooth OR even Internet.
One thing I always knew, even back then, was that Ali was going to be there great mom. So, you lucked out Ms. Susannah.
I can’t wait to see Ali mother you.
I can’t wait to see you teach her things.
I can’t wait to see daddy scare off your future boyfriends.
I can’t wait to see you grow.
I can’t wait to get in trouble with you.
Welcome to the world, Susannah Grace.
It’s a prettier place with you in it.
Seeing the hospital room filled with countless bags it reassured me that mom would always have any and every “baby essential” on hand all times.
Seeing people pack into the hospital room eating birthday cake to celebrate Susannah’s birth made my sweet tooth happy.
Seeing MiMi take thousands of pictures of everything made my photographer’s heart smile.
Celebrating Susannah’s life with sparkling apple cider in the hospital room made for precious Hallmark moment.
Seeing Ali fight through unforeseen post partum complications with a silent strength and grace made me admire her only 100 times more.
Seeing the Ali’s eyes light up when she saw the new dad hold their daughter made my heart want to burst.
Seeing Jonathan hold Baby Susannah to calm himself made my heart smile.
Seeing Ali staying up all hours of the night nursing and caring for Susannah reinforced what I already knew:
That she’s going to be phenomenal mother.
Being able to help the new mom and dad with baby made me cherish every moment of Baby Susannah’s first few days.
At the beginning of that week I had five cancellations. That has never happened. Three full days free of all nanny responsibilities. Usually I’d be rather bummed about that.
Now, I truly believe that was God saying I should be on auntie patrol.
Be on Doozer Duty and feed the pets at the home front.
Make runs home to grab things from the nursery.
Hold Ali’s hand through hard times.
Hold baby when mom and dad rest.
Steal their house key and decorate it with everything fall.
P.S. Ali has a gigantic obsession with autumn.
One of my friends was able to drop off countless homemade meals at the hospital and still accommodate my lactose intolerant self.
She asked, “How long should I stay? How long do people usually stay?”
My response: “Don’t ask me. I’ve been here for three days.”
The day came that I had to leave the new family of three behind and let them fend for themselves.
“We’re going to have something missing with Auntie Emmy not here tonight.”
P.S. Fall decorations combined with sleep deprivation made for a fairly hilarious DIY creation.
… that they’ll probably hide in the closet to insure no one sees it.
I may have swaddled this in their bassinet. You know, just to insure they saw this masterpiece.
Don’t worry. There were still goodies that the family came home to that they’d actually use.
Yes, I got treats for Doozer.
He’s no longer the center of attention. I figured some doggie treats would help ease his pain.
I spy a sleeping dad.
First sleep over!
Click on pictures to enlarge and see captions
To see the adventures of Auntie Emmy and Susannah Grace be sure to check #TheAuntieEmmy on IG for some epic photos.
So, with my dad living a mere twenty minutes away from some mountains, it was a must to go on a trail.
Mountains make my Floridian-self so happy!
I would say the hike was a wonderful but I’d be lying. Combine a pounding migraine with hiking up-mountain it was quite a trek.
But mountain views makes it all better, am I right?
Eventually, I caught up with my speed hiker of a family at the top and got to take in some pretty scenery.
We finished the day with some korean food and visiting the church where my brother was born.
Twenty-one years ago, my parents couldn’t make it to the hospital in time so my mom gave birth to Tummy Timmy at our church. Which has since then turned into a korean church. Tim thought he ought to take a picture with the church sign in the fetal position.
I will see you soon.
That Floridian Girl.
Please note the post white water rafting injury bandages.
Even though it doesn’t feel like it just yet, FALL IS COMING!
Which means crockpots are a tad more popular for all those yummy hot meals.
Little fact about me: I’m kinda sorta a crockpot FANATIC all months of the year.
Starting Septempter 26th I’ll have an online event, “Rock Out with you Crock Out!,” sharing some of my favorite crockpot recipes. PERFECT for feeding your whole family or to get your meal prep off to a yummy start with less work.
If you want in on this action visit my Facebook page here and let’s connect!
I had lunch with with one of my sweet mentors last week and she asked how I have time for myself because I’m typically on the go all the time. My answer: All I need is my Jesus time and my sweat time. Those are my stress relievers and “me time.”
My workouts help me escape for 20-40 minutes. Currently, I have lots things on my plate accompanied by a decent amount of stress.
Today’s workout was a milestone for me. It was my first emotional workout.
In the middle of the work out I just stopped and let it go. Caught my breath and pressed play again.
In my spiritual walk I tell myself, “If God carried me get through that struggle, he can help me through this. He’s got this under control.”
In my physical journey I tell myself, “If I can get through this rep, I can do the next. I’m strong enough to do this.”
Before I get started, let’s take a moment to view this little video I posted on Facebook to give a preview of this post a few weeks ago.
So let’s start from the beginning.
My sister was driving from Michigan down to Florida. Our dad lives a little north of Atlanta, and she thought it would be fun to meet in Georgia to do some outdoor festivities. I was the first to get to the Peach State to venture around and I got to have dinner with my dad. My sister, Katie, got to my dad’s house later that night, followed by my Tim and Brittany (my brother and his lovely girlfriend) who got there in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
My dad lives an hour or so from Tennessee so we geared up, packed into the car, and headed out before the sun was out.
Can we take a minute to appreciate the look on my dad’s face.
He’s ready to go and HE is the captain of this raft.
When we got to Raft1, we checked in and waited for our names to be called. We had signed our waivers online prior to getting there. Usually in a waiver you see a lot of fine print. Yeah, not when white water rafting. They put the “possibility of injury, disability, or death” in bold print. Haha! I mean, they have to cover all their liability issues, right?
Once roll call was checked off the list, we went to a school bus with other people and was shuttled to one of the Upper Ocoee Riverwater Rafting section. When we first got there, we were given a quick rafting 101 session with our guide. The guide told us the basics: how to paddle, when to paddle, and what to do if we got thrown off the raft. Then we carried the raft to the starting point and braced ourselves for what was to come.
The first two minutes when we hit the rapids a lot happened. Let me give you some white water rafting basics (look at me talking like I just know everything. Haha!).
To keep your balance, you want to lock your feet between the seat in front of you and the side of the raft. Now balance and me are not in good terms. So, I wanted to make sure I had my balance so that I didn’t get thrown from this raft and plunge to my death. So I jammed my feet into the creases of the raft. It just so happened that a zipper was where I locked in my foot, so almost half of my toenail got clipped off.
So it started out painful.
While I’m trying to figure out why there’s a piercing pain in my toe, Brittany’s paddle flew from her hands and we’re in the midst of rapids after rapids. So we have a guide yelling commands on how we are to paddle while we have Brittany trying to catch a paddle that is clearly nowhere close to arms length. After we made it past the rapids, the guide moved the raft to where we could grab the paddle as it made its way down the rapids. So all was well.
Well, with the exception of the blood coming from my toe.
I was so upset that my the video that captured those moments on my GoPro were “damaged.” I mean, come on now! It would have been priceless footage.
During the five miles, the guides pulled to the side of the river and got to explore some secluded wilderness or swim in the calm parts of river. In the river there would be large rocks that we’d navigate around.
Please excuse the picture quality. My little GoPro did its best 😉
At one point, Raft1 made a DIY water slide. One of the rafts had the passengers get off the raft and stand on one of the rocks. Then they flipped the raft, which made a slide. This is when one of my most embarrassing moments took place. We were supposed to get a running head start prior to jumping and sliding off the raft into the water. Well, me being a scaredy-pants, didn’t get a running start in fear of slipping off the rock. So when I got on the slide there was no sliding. I just didn’t move. Haha! I then proceeded to drag myself down he slide into the water. Not one of my finest moments. That video was the other footage that was “damaged” and I wasn’t very torn up at that.
One of the most memorable moments was watching my brother “riding the bull.” That entailed him sitting at the front center of the raft during some rapids. He was supposed to straddle a rope at the center of the raft. Well, unfortunately, Tim misinterpreted what to straddle and ended up straddling the raft with one foot in the raft and one foot in the river. Before you know it, we’re going down some rapids and Tim falls over! Now, with rapids it’s not like you can just pump the breaks. You’re still going forward. So as the guide is still trying to navigate the raft so we would not hit any rocks and telling us how to paddle, Brittany is trying to hold on to Tim’s hands to keep him from going under the raft. During all of this fast paced chaos, my family apparently deals with stress in a humorous way. Katie and me are dying laughing, yet we were terrified for Tim, but I still manage to yell out “Never let go, Jack!”
Eventually, Brittany loses her grip and Tim gets run over by the raft. I may have felt him bopping up under the raft as we were propelling forward. Then the rapids are over. We’re all in the raft looking back for Tim and finally see him bop out of the water and you hear all four of us “TOES TO NOSE! TOES TO NOSE!” It was one of the safety procedures they told us before: If you get thrown from the raft bring your toes to your nose to keep afloat. Then the river bends and Tim was out of sight.
What was even better, this was when Raft1 had someone taking pictures while we were on the river. Apparently our family picture consisted of everyone looking behind us (looking for Tim). In one of the other family photos, there’s a picture full of confused girls looking at this tall brunette guy in their raft.
So, good news, Tim got rescued by a bunch of girl scouts.
After that craziness, it was smooth sailing.
No big life endangering moments.
We got to the end, boarded the school bus, and headed back to our cars.
After 3 hours on the river, to say we were hungry was an understatement.
We hunted down a restaurant in Copperhill, Tennessee that was a mere ten minutes away.
After lunch we decided to explore the small town in Polk County.
The small, quaint shops were full of homemade quilts, yummy honey and fudge.