Summer Days. Atlanta Ways.

Last week, my mom and I strapped the kiddos in the van and drove to Atlanta to spend the weekend with my sister’s family.  Chris was supposed to fly up to meet us on Saturday morning, but after arriving to the airport at 5:00 in the morning, he was told he missed the check-in time for his flight – by 5 minutes.  We were all SO disappointed be couldn’t be with us.  Just imagine him standing next to us in all these pictures.  🙂

We got into town on Friday afternoon and grilled out on Ginny and John Michael’s back deck. It was a lazy night and I didn’t take one picture (probably because we were having some issues with ClassMax and I was glued to my phone with that – thankfully, that issue was put away for the weekend on Friday night and I didn’t have to look back at it until Sunday night when I got home).

Saturday morning, this petite little pixie named Faith crawled into my bed to wake me up. She is the tiniest little thing ever! I forget every time I am away from her how small she is! But there’s nothing small about her personality! That little bit is a spitfire and I ADORE HER. She crawled right up into my bed Saturday morning and goes, “Whassyer name?” (What’s your name)

“I’m Aunt Katie, you goofball!”

“No you not!” she giggled. “You name is Gwacie!”

I could eat her up I love her so!

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After a morning of gymnastics class and baseball practice, the family loaded up and spent a few hours at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, where my sister’s family are members. It was BEAUTIFUL!!!

They have installation artwork all throughout the gardens and everything is so lush and green, which is something compared to our hot, dry summer in Orlando right now. All our flowers here are dried up by this point in the summer, but Atlanta’s were in full bloom and gorgeous!

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I told my mom this looked like her “Winter is Coming” throne. 🙂

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Here is our gang sprinting to the bathrooms. Between four kids, someone was always having to go to the potty RIGHT. NOW. I think my sister and I spent half our weekends in public restrooms around the greater Atlanta area.

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There was a beautiful reflection pond that the kids wanted to throw pennies into. We gave them each a few to toss, and then Faithy decided she wanted her back. We turned around two seconds later and she was up to her elbows in the water. Don’t you love toddlers?!?! Of course, none of us pulled her out until we all got pictures. #parenting

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My sister is one of the funniest people I know and she married another one of the funniest people I know. They are a hoot when they get together and I love hanging out with them! This is John Michael striking a romantic pose in the gardens. What a nerd.

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On our way to the children’s area and splash pad, we passed this beautiful Te Fiti garden sculpture, which was perfect because we had just watched Moana the night before. Isn’t she pretty? The kids were in awe that the movie had come to life. Bean even whispered to me, “That’s not real, right?!”

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At the children’s area, the kids stopped and played in the splash pad for a while. It was perfect weather, but that Georgia heat is fierce! They cooled off a bit and the adults kicked our feet up for a while. We didn’t stay long because it was getting close to lunch time, so when we got hungry, we changed the kids back into their clothes again and hit up one last place in the gardens… the orchids.

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This mist is not actually from the heat (like I originally thought). The splash pad has this cool statue in the corner and the kids can push a button that mists up the entire splash pad! You can’t see a thing! It would have made me a little nervous if I had younger kids there because you can’t see the kids at all, but ours were old enough (and loud enough!) that we could find them pretty easy.

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Our last stop was the the greenhouse where they had fabulously fancy orchids hanging from chandeliers! Aren’t they lovely?! And kind of creepy in that “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” kind of way????

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We left the gardens right after the greenhouse and went to lunch at a barbecue place called Fat Matt’s. You know it’s going to be good barbecue when you order at a window and the line is out the door and around the building. It was delicious! We had baskets of peanuts to snack on, barbecue chicken, ribs, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and plain white sliced bread (which is the only bread that should ever be allowed near barbecue, by the way). It was so good! I’m getting hungry just talking about it. Sadly, I was so busy (and messy) eating that I didn’t get a picture. But trust me. If you’re ever in that area of Atlanta, add this to your list.

After a big lunch, we went home and put everyone down for naps. My kids even laid down and watched a movie. My sister and I took advantage of the quiet to run a few errands. One of her sweet friends just had twins the week before and Ginny took them groceries and a few meals for the week, which was really just an excuse to snuggle babies. Ginny and I are baby addicts. There’s no help for an addiction like ours. Just give us babies to hold and we’ll be fine. Aren’t these two gents the cutest things ever?! They were TINY and it was like holding little dolls! I sniffed them for ten minutes straight.

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When we finally gave the babies back and had ourselves a good husband-bashing session because neither of ours will give us third babies, we headed home to wake up our own monsters and get ready for the baseball game! We had tickets that night to see the Braves play in their new stadium. We spent the first part of the game in the children’s area, which was awesome. It had a zip line, a climbing rock, pitching and batting cages, a race lane, and lots of carnival games. And it was all really affordable. We bought a few tokens and the kids had a blast!

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Our two daredevils, Bean and Tillman, wanted to climb the rock wall. They did a great job! I lost a year of my life because Bean got too far over to one side and when he let go to repel back down to the bottom, he did this totally terrifying sideways swing first and almost crashed into the side of the attraction. But he survived and they had fun!

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After the kids got some of their energy out, we headed to our seats for the rest of the game. We had two sets of four seats, so Bean and I sat with Tillman and John Michael and my mom and Ginny took Faithy and Gracie. Our seats were AWESOME! We were two rows above the Braves dugout. We were so close to the field and as the players came into the dugout, they were always talking to the crowds or tossing balls and things up to the kids. It was so fun!

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In true baseball fashion, I had peanuts and beer for dinner and boys had ice cream and Dippin’ Dots. Everybody was happy!

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It was a quick trip – never long enough, really – but we had so much fun packed into our time together. It is always so good to see John Michael and Ginny and I never pass on a chance to love on Tillman and Faith. Family is good for the heart. 🙂

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