What!

I turned 33 last Sunday.  Let me repeat.  I turned 33.  3-3. What!?  I’m approaching my mid-thirties and I think it’s time I simply write thirty-something in my about me page. 

I have a lot to say about my age but I don’t feel like spilling my wisdom today. 

Celebrating my birthday was about as low-key as it gets.  The only for sure things I wanted to get out of my birthday was to drive somewhere to witness the changing fall colors and a slice of coconut cake.  And that’s what I did. 

Since fall has failed to grace Charlotte, Bubba and I loaded the car with the toddlers and drove to Gastonia, NC.  We hiked upwards on Crowders Mountain for 1.5 miles before it became tricky to march forward with two little kids.  But we all LOVED it.  Especially Bubba and I.  (We’ve missed our Utah mountains!

// To sum it up, everyone treated me like a queen.  Even the little ones.  All day they wished me a happy birthday.  Constant hugs and kisses.  Can’t argue with that. 😉

// Scout managed to fall 8 times.  He basically ran the entire way up the mt., then ran down the mt., and crashed as soon as we made it home.  He was also very proud of himself for the rock he found.  To him it was a fossilized footprint.  (that’s the pic of him with his foot on the rock)  He felt like an explorer.

// Why do husbands have to make their wives nervous by holding their offspring in crazy ways?  It’s such a guy thing to do: toss kids in the air, hang them upside down, push kids high on the swing.  Gives me anxiety!

// Rori found out how slippery moss can be.

// I’m terrified of heights and I nearly shat my pants while standing on a large boulder to get that first picture up above.  My knees were knocking! 

// And I think that is all of my notes for the photos. Oh, and if you’re wondering where Nathan is, he stayed home to clean the house as his birthday gift to me.  One last thing: All but one of my pictures were taken by my phone camera.  Bad idea.  It really failed to capture the beauty. 

 

 

 

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden | Charlotte, North Carolina

A few months ago, April I think, we drove to the very edge of Charlotte–basically South Carolina–to visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.  It is the smallest botanical garden I’ve visited, but I am comparing it to the Ft. Worth botanical garden, which isn’t fair since everything seems to be bigger in Texas. 

Evidently, the owners must share the same thought as myself because they are already posting signs with new maps boasting a garden expansion.  In fact, they have already broken ground on it!  I’m excited to see what they add to the place.  

They also offer an amateur photo contest every year and I’ve thought about entering it this year.  The rules are simple: just a photo taken somewhere on the grounds.  The winner receives a year membership.  I’ve thought about making my way back up there in the fall to snap a few photos to submit.  We’ll see.

Anyway, if you’re a local, I definitely suggest putting this place on your list of places to visit with the kiddos or if you just want to take a stroll & have a picnic.

Mayberry

The Andy Griffith show is before my time, but like most people my age, we had parents that subjected us to reruns.  The show made a small town in North Carolina famous.  The fictional town of Mayberry is the actual town of, Mt. Airey.   “Mayberry” is often romanticized by people who daydream of living in that picturesque town where residents know your life story, everyone is friendly and traffic doesn’t exist.  The air is clean and the crime is low and people reside in cute farmhouses.  

Guess what?  Mt. Airey really is like that.  I didn’t think it would be, but it is.  

Visiting this little town that sits on the hills in NC has been resting on our bucket list since we came here.  In May, we decided to cross it off our list by making the 2 hour cruise heading north. 

Of course–in true Bubba and Liz fashion– we picked one of the hottest days in May (93*F) to walk around.  With two recovering sick kids to boot.  We were ready to leave after a couple of hours. 

What were we thinking?

I also had certain expectations of this town that were not met.  I assumed the museum would be large and fancy.  I thought the streets would be buzzing with vibrant shops reminiscent of the show and that the town would be large with a lot to do.

The town was pretty much opposite of that.  The museum was as big as the bottom floor of my house, and they didn’t allow any pictures to be taken inside.  They charged way too much money to see a couple of old uniforms, autographed pictures and a bunch of news articles.  That’s it.  Everyone there was complaining about the museum’s audacity to charge such a fee to view a bunch of nonsense.

Main street  was not filled with vibrant shops either.  Instead, it was filled with a bunch of junky gift stores.  We managed to find an okay pie shop to buy a few goodies for thirsty and hungry kids and took home a couple of souvenirs. And that my friends; sums it up.      

However, the town itself is very pretty and friendly; just like the show depicted.  It’s an isolated town in a very rural setting.  If you like that sort of thing, then this is probably a perfect town to call home.  Or visit.

Click through gallery for more pictures.

All photos were taken by me unless otherwise stated.

 

Cape Fear

For some people in this world, the daily grind of life, a monotonous routine, endless responsibility, and life problems will often become a few reasons they pack their bags, hop in their car and say au revoir!  

Bubba and I fall somewhere between one of those.  Normally, I am the spontaneous one in our marriage, but this time Bubba is the one that broached the subject for a day trip.  I’m thankful he did, too.  I have been ready for a break from the lack luster summer days and Bubba has felt bored being home from school. 

So, that’s what we did.  That next morning we left with our packed bags in hand and drove to Wilmington, NC.  It is a three hour drive from our house, making it a pretty straight shot.

We tried to jam in as much as we could for the day.  We hit the beach first, ate dinner, and then went to the river boardwalk in Cape Fear.

The boardwalk is the type of place that you catch yourself lingering for hours.  The views, stores, and restaurants make the perfect backdrop to simply take your time.  It’s part of the magic of the South.  There is no rush.


in an effort to keep any fingers from falling off while scrolling, I am showing photos in my handy slider option. hopefully it works okay!



Message To The Sea

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My son and I combed the sandy beach daily, looking for the biggest, and whole seashell.  Every time, we came up empty handed.  It was always the really small, broken, shells. My husband even went down at 5AM to search for them, but still, nothing
On our last night there, my son and I wrote a message to the sea, in hopes that when the high tide came in, it would take our letter with it, and in return, leave us a seashell.
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To the sea,
Leave us a treasure while we sleep, so we may find it on mornings rise. –L&N
We never did find the seashell we were looking for, but it was certainly worth the try.
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A Rough Start

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At first, I thought this trip was doomed.  Mainly because our overnight trip to Asheville, was the stuff my nightmares are made of.  I let the experiences there set my expectations for our trip this week to Myrtle Beach. 

Annnnd

, at first, it appeared like things were starting off just the same. 

We packed our car up, Griswold style, and hit the road. 

The rest of the day went a little something like this.

Rori wailed, the entire drive, and

we get lost, twice.  (No fancy GPS for us. We roll old school around here, lol)

When we arrive at the hotel, 4 hours later, the gentleman kindly tells me our room will not be ready for another

THREE HOURS

.

The hotel offered zero parking and make its guests park a few buildings down. 

Oh! There was also a crotch rocket rally being held on Memorial weekend causing us to be surrounded by a very, very, rowdy crowd.  Even the hotel employees were counting down the days until the rally was over. 

“Just one more day…”  the housekeeper told me.

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Three miserable hours later, we grab a hotel dolly, cross the busy street, down the sidewalk, and up a hill to the car and load it up to the top.  My husband was in charge of getting the dolly across the street and into our room, while my job was to safely cross the street with three kids.

However, we didn’t account for the bump in the road, sending two of the frozen meals I had prepared in aluminum baking dishes,

flying through the air and onto the street corner

Lovely.

Bubba scrambles to save what is left and made a flying leap to the sidewalk just before the herd of crotch rockets hit him.

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Relieved to be in the room and settling in, we all dress in our swim suits and head to the beach, where Bubba and I try to corral two crying toddlers running in opposite directions across the beach.  During this time, I get

pinched by a CRAB

!  If you follow me on

Instagram

, then you probably saw the delightful image of my pinched foot.  And if you’re wondering, it hurt! hahaha! Bubba tells me this sort of stuff can only happen to me, lol. 🙂 (Thanks hun.) 

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Even after all of that, the trip was awesome, and I will be documenting it here over the next week.  As for the rest of that first day, the motorcycle crowd & staff were very polite to us and held the doors open for our brood.  Others welcomed us with smiles and

hellos

.  The waves and weather were picture perfect, and after the initial first few hours there, everything straightened out, kids slept like champs, and we all had a memorable vacation.  In fact, we didn’t want to leave!  I think we could have stayed there for the rest of the summer.

Wouldn’t that be a dream come true?!

Until next time!

Liz

City-Slicker

A city slicker from the windy city blew into our household this week for a visit.  He came adorned in his city clothes and boots speaking with his northern accent.  I kid, I kid.  Sort-of.  His clothes are fancy and his accent is very real, but his roots lay in the heart of Texas where he spent his boyhood with my husband. This friendship runs deep and they refer to one another as brothers.  As always, it feels good to have visitors come to see our new home here in sweet dixie.  We were able to catch up on missed moments, laugh, and drink merrily.  Sometimes though, it is nice to throw back to a more simple tradition and enjoy the quiet of the country and go fishing.  

And that my friends, is exactly what the boys did.  Fish… for hours…and hours.  I’ll let the pictures explain the rest.

The
City Slicker
A.K.A
Ricky

Looks like we will be having fried fish for supper this week.
How was your week?

Scenes From DC | Part II

The Smithsonian: American History Museum

 Could you imagine vacuuming with this ladies!?

Just so you know, I would have totally pimped that Winnebago for this trip.  My kids were so squished in our backseat, it was ridiculous

The Smithsonian was by far my favorite spot.  My favorite exhibit was the Star Spangled Banner.  That flag is HUGE!  To put it in perspective, if your bedroom is 10X12, then imagine three bedrooms and that would be the size of the flag.  I wish I could have taken pictures, but they don’t allow it. 🙁  
I wish I could have taken more photos in general, but it was REALLY hard for me to take any pictures, let alone a “good” picture.  If you have a husband who doesn’t want to wait while you take photos and you’re constantly chasing after children, then you know that sometimes you just have to click fast and call it a day.  Plus, I didn’t exactly have the right lens for the pictures I was wanting to take. One day I will buckle and finally purchase them.

Annnnnnd….in true Luscomb family fashion, when we finally made it home after battling the blizzard that rolled through the entire state of VA, we realized that we had locked ourselves out of the house.  Yep.  We locked ourselves out of the house.  After a few freak out moments and pointing the finger at each other, “this is your fault!”, the hubs hoisted himself onto the roof, climbed through the window and broke the blinds.  

Ahhhh….memories.

If you find yourself planning a trip to D.C., I want to offer a few tips. 

Tips:
  • Use the metro!  The metro train will drop you off right at The Smithsonian.  The train system was easy to navigate, and the only help we needed was purchasing the tickets using the kiosk.  
  • Find a map.  You’ll need it.
  • Wear the most comfortable shoes you own.  The amount of walking you will do is exhausting.  I was actually jealous of the people taking the Segway tours! LOL.  
  • If you have small kids, take a stroller.  Even the older kids will be tired.
  • Bring snacks and plenty of water.  There were not any places to find drinks or food except for the museum.  
           If you eat at the museum, plan on spending a fortune.   
           We purchased
2 sandwiches, apple, 1 bag of chips, 1 hotdog, cheese curds, 1 water, 2 chocolate milks, fountain drink. 
And it cost us $44
  • We purchased the rest of our food from Groupon and Restaurants.com  It is expensive to eat out with a family of five and I really couldn’t find many family restaurants that was close to our hotel. Do some research before you leave.
  • Make sure your hotel offers a shuttle to the train station. 

Scenes From DC | Part 1

Bubba, the kids, and I quietly sneaked a spontaneous trip to Washington, DC last week for two days.  
I’m serious when I say spontaneous.  
Bubba came home from work Sunday night and I said we are going to DC tomorrow, and he said, “awesome” and the rest, as they say, is history.
I chose Washington, D.C. because 1) I’ve always wanted to visit and 2) everything is FREE!  

This trip was exactly what we all needed, too.  Do you ever feel like you just need a breather from your day to day routine?  A break from your own backyard?  A chance to have someone else make your bed, prepare your meals?  I know we did.  We haven’t had a getaway in a year and a half!  So to us, this was exactly what the doctor ordered.  Some of you would probably say we are nuts to take two babies on a trip like that, and I totally get why you think that.  The kids were cranky, they screamed, tried to run off into crowds or streets, and they made public embarrassing scenes with their bodily functions.  However, if I stayed at home because I knew my kids would behave like the toddlers that they are, then I would be stuck inside my four walls for many years, and I don’t want that.  

I’ll leave my Washington, D.C. tips and closing thoughts on part II.