Sunday, June 26, 2011

Still Alive! Pictures to prove it!

Yes, I'm still alive! I feel like it's been forever since I've been able to sit down and blog! I feel the need to reintroduce myself... Hi, my name is Hilary and I've been crazy busy! Wanna know what we've been up to?!

The busy hoopla has all been good stuff, fun stuff, and family bonding stuff- so the kind of busy I'm grateful for! We just got back from spending a week in the beautiful East TN mountains at Doe River Gorge (the camp we used to work at, pre-Jude days).  We kicked off the visit by celebrating with my dear friend, and gorgeous bride,  Lauren, on her wedding day! Joshua and I found ourselves smiling, having flashbacks to our big day over 6 years ago, where we were married at DRG as well, and I'm tellin' ya folks, it's the perfect setting for a fairy tail wedding! It was a such joy to share in Lauren and Josh's special day and we pray God's blessings of adventure and joy on their marriage! May He write great stories in your life Lauren and Josh!
Jude saw Lauren from a distance and told daddy, "There she is!"... and wanted to go see her up close! 
Me and my sweet friend and lovely bride! 
Some of the girls house girls I had the privilege to live with before getting married- I've built some of my favorite memories in life with these girls and love each one of them so much!

We decided since we were coming in town for the wedding, we might as well just spend the following week out at the gorge and soak in the outdoors! Joshua decided to volunteer as SWAT (servants with a testimony- they set up all the high adventure activities) for the week of camp while Jude and I took it easy and visited with friends! Jude had the time of his life, from the freedom of wide open spaces to run, to a unimog ride, to a speeder train ride, to hanging out with the horses, to swimming in the lake, to hiking back into the gorge on the tracks, to splashing in rain puddles, to playing with the staff kids, to all of the attention from the college summer staff (Raquel was by far his favorite there- a summer staff from Costa Rica who he called his "girlfriend"), I mean honestly... does life get any better for a 4 year old boy?! Truly, it was our little man's heaven on earth!
Hiking back in the gorge and trying not to soak our shoes in the process! 

Mama (hanging on tight) to Jude at Pardee Point
Jude and his salamander buddy he found while exploring!
Daddy teaching Jude how to skip rocks down by the river
River rock face painting with daddy
Family hike 
Jude's choice of vehicle- the unimog! 
Fun at the lake with his new buddies!
Playing after dinner with some more buddies!
Jude got to tag along with daddy and his group of boys on the unimog ride, he laughed the whole time!
My boys checking out King David, daddy's favorite horse.

It was such a blessing to have enriched conversations with old friends that are near and dear to my heart! I cherished each visit and am forever grateful for the time I was able to catch up with everyone!  I was also able to swing over to Kingsport to see some of my dad's side of the family that I hadn't seen in several years.  There was a sense of "home" with everyone we were able to spend time with and it made my heart smile!
Grateful for my time spent with the Smythe's! Thank you Pam for all our talks! 

Me and my sweet cousin Christy
My Aunt Jane, cousin Cindy, Jude and I visiting Cindy at her work. Thank you Aunt Jane for your hospitality and generosity! I love you! 
My dear friend Julie (she was my camp counselor when I was in high school!)  drove from South Carolina with her kiddo's to spend the day with us! We took the kids on a speeder ride back into the gorge! 

Jules and I before they headed back out. Thank you so much Julie for coming out! I'm so grateful and love you so much!
Our boy tuckered out from a full week of fun on the car ride home!


  1. sweet pics... thanks for sharing... AND yes, East TN is one of the most beautiful places on earth... 6 weeks and I'll be there!

  2. Just lovely! I'm sure Jude was in 4-year-old bliss. Can't wait to catch up!

  3. So fun!!! Looks like ya'll had a great week!!!

  4. I loved looking at all your pictures, glad you guys had so much fun!!


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