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Archive for the 'Adventure' Category

She’s here!

Molly Francis Griffin is here!
She arrived on September 2 at 11:51 pm. We made it to the hospital about an hour before she was born! I labored at home for nearly 36 hours, and thought it had stalled. What an experience! She came out beautiful, healthy, and chubby – 8lbs 12 oz.

We just love her!



Falls Lake

Since I strained a muscle in my back last weekend I’ve been resting as much as possible. It was pretty much impossible to sit, stand, or walk for a few days. And I started praying that I wouldn’t go into labor anytime soon. (Someone listened). I also decided to take a few days off work to rest up even more. My leave starts next week but the extra bit of rest has definitely helped. We decided to check out a nearby lake since we were all getting a bit of cabin fever. It’s not far from our house, and is so peaceful! Perfect for future kayak and picnic dates!





Eleanor right for the water even though we weren’t prepared for swimming. She is such a fish and would have kept going if Nathan wasn’t there to hold her back.

Down by the river

Our friends showed us this quiet little spot along the Eno river to cool off. And so we went two days in a row recently. The second day we brought Nathan’s parents.

I’m a little nervous about the bottom…slippery rocks and all. But it’s so beautiful, clean and just the right temperature. We are lucky that there are so many fresh water swimming holes, rivers and lakes in this part of North Carolina. We might check out Falls Lake tomorrow…or maybe just a swimming pool! The humidity is thick as honey!







A Vacation on Thursday

Setting out with a loose plan on my sporadic days off has helped us all cope a little bit better with the everchanging world we are living in. And with the sudden onset of summer sunshine and light breezes this past week I heard the ocean calling my name.


I’m not kidding.
And with a little bag of snacks, change of clothes and lots of sunscreen our family set out to the North Carolina coast. I remember making this same trip as a 5 year old with my mom, brother and my best friend Eric’s family. He was the oldest of 5 and somehow all us kids fit into one car. Eric had bright red hair and mine was blonde as the sand, and together we would sing Bruce Springsteen songs and play games huddled together in the hatchback of the car. It was the 80s of course.

Back to yesterday, Eleanor was in the happiest of moods despite her awful cold. She loved the sand, the waves, the seashells. We played at the beach for a while until our skin was salty and glowing, and then we headed to town for food. I just love beach towns. Everything is so slow and relaxed. And something about yesterday felt like vacation. A nice little getaway on a random Thursday. I’d say it was just what the doctor ordered.














My Green-Eyed Lovey


We visited the ocean today. Eleanor’s first time. She adored every minute. And, so did I. It was a beautiful day in our family. More tomorrow…

The Next Big Move


We have some exciting news that we have impatiently been keeping mum over here! Our family is making a big move to North Carolina! And, if that wasn’t enough we will be there in two weeks time! Our house is currently stacked with boxes, and I am not going to lie we are a wee bit stressed about how it’s all going to work. But more than anything we are excited for this new chapter that awaits us.

I am transferring with my company to Durham. In order to get us there Nathan and I decided we might have to make some sacrifices. So while I have taken a step down, my hope is that in the end it will all work out for the best both for my career and my family’s happiness. The other bit of fantastic news is that Nathan’s family including his sister and parents all moved back to North Carolina a few weeks ago. We have dreams of family cookouts, weekends at the beach, camping and hiking in the mountains together, and of course cousins for Eleanor to play with! My home state of Tennessee isn’t that far either so hopefully I will be able to make it back more often to visit, and after a few months my mom is even considering a move to North Carolina! Yay!

We have also found a cute three bedroom house with a fireplace and big back yard for Tucker to run freely chasing squirrels all day. There is a nice little park close by, lots of swimming pools to teach Eleanor how to swim this summer, and great little shops, farmer’s markets and restaurants for Nathan and I to explore.

We will miss Chicago dearly. I’ve learned so much in time here. I grew up here. I fell in love here. I had my first baby here. This really was “the future” as a dear friend and I once called it. I’ve seen so many people come and go through the revolving door of this city off to explore a new adventure. Our turn has come.

There are very distinct moments in my life when all the little puzzle pieces lined up just so perfectly to allow for me to make the next big jump – choosing to go to an out-of-state college where I knew no one, making the big move to the Chicago all by myself, and meeting Nathan and falling in love in just 3 days. And, this is another one of them. While I am nervous about what is on the horizon I know in my heart of heart that it is bright and promising.



Nathan whisked me away for an overnight date on Tuesday. It was lovely. Just what the doctor ordered. I don’t think I’ve had a full night’s sleep in over 8 months. I was almost nervous I wouldn’t know what to do with myself slipping in to bed with a full 12 hours ahead of me with nothing to do but close my eyes, breathe deeply and rest. The location and details of our date were a surprise. I love surprises.

Nathan pretended that we were lost for a minute or two until we pulled up to Mathieson State Park. We hiked the trails and canyons. It was just us, a few thousand falling leaves and a couple of bubbling brooks. Beyond peaceful. We had a picnic lunch, and headed to our cabin! The biggest surprise of all Nathan got me a one hour deep tissue massage. Hallelujah! Oh wow. It was amazing.

There were lots of plans to go swimming or hot tubbing but we ended up snuggled on the bed around 9 pm. And, we drifted off to sleep. Twelve uninterrupted hours of sleep. Okay so the reality is that my boobs woke me up at 4:30 am. Knock knock! And, at one point Nathan pulled out a pair of Eleanor’s shoes from his pocket. I think I may have cried as we turned the corner leaving our house on the way to this adventure. I was leaving my baby for the first time overnight (with my mom). But we all survived. And, I came back a very well rested mama.

We were too busy relaxing and didn’t pull out the camera once. Those are the best vacations.


This past weekend we had a lot to celebrate. Thursday was Nathan’s last day of school – ever! He is a graduate. Sunday Eleanor turned 6 months old! And, Monday was our 2 year wedding anniversary. Whew! We had the perfect weekend.

Saturday we got up early for pancakes, and then hung out in bed until noon! We even took a family nap! It almost felt like we were sleeping in all morning. It was amazing. We spent the afternoon taking a long stroll around the neighborhood, stopped by a local comic shop to visit a friend who was drawing a comic book in 24 hours, and headed to the dog park. Lunch was Sultans falafel sandwiches under warm rays of sunshine and blue skies. Then we watched 8mm films from Nathan’s mom’s family circa 1950!

Sunday we headed to Apple Holler. We’ve gone every year for the past three, and I was so excited to take Eleanor. Last year I was pregnant with her! But no one could tell yet.

Apple Holler

It was super busy so we didn’t stay too long, but we had a lot of fun. We got lost in the apple orchard maze, munched on apples, fed the goats, and admired the chickens. We also snapped a few photos of our little pumpkin in the patch!

Eleanor - 6 months

Apple Holler

Apple Holler

Apple Holler

Apple Holler

Apple Holler

Apple Holler

Apple Holler

Apple Holler

Apple Holler

Apple Holler


Day 3 Belize - Tropical Storm Alex blows through

While I look like an absolute lunatic in this picture there are so many things I love about it.
Tropical Storm Alex.

It looks like pure bliss, really.

Welcome Home!

We are back! It was a whirlwind of a vacation – it flew by so fast like so many things lately! Hopefully I will have pictures up soon. Eleanor traveled so well! And, on top of that her two bottom teeth came in while we were in New Hampshire. She’s been really needy since we’ve returned home but she’s a trooper that’s for sure.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip – Eleanor taking her first official swim in Lake Sunapee! Like most things she loved it as well.