C rides the Choo Choo

Several weeks ago, Josh caved and told me about a surprise trip he had been planning for the three of us. I absolutely adore surprises and this was definitely a big one! As of right now, little boys world revolves around choo-choos. And that's putting it lightly. He's full on obsessed. It's the first word out of his mouth in the mornings and the last at night. He only wants to watch Thomas or train documentaries. It's all he reads about. It's mainly all he plays with. It's amazing to watch your kid be so fascinated about something, so I was beyond excited when Josh said the surprise was to ride the TN Valley Steam Engine in Chattanooga. In case you didn't know, Chattanooga has trains every.where.you.turn. It was heaven for our little guy.

We left early Friday morning after a stop for donuts of course:)
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We drove straight to the Chattanooga Zoo (fun tip: if you're a member of the Memphis Zoo, you get a great discount here! Only $8 for Josh and I both and C was free). The Zoo is much smaller than our zoo, but it was still so much fun. The weather was crazy cloudy and hardly anyone was there besides us.
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 I forgot to take a picture of it, but they had an old train car for you to go in to view the cougars. Trains everywhere I told you. C was ecstatic.
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 After the Zoo, we headed over to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel also known as C's paradise. It's an old hotel that offers nights in an old train car, dinner in the train car, a model train museum, and lots of other train activities. So so so awesome basically. Best part? the Tour is free & the model train exhibit is only $5 (kids free). We didn't stay the night here because one night in the train is $200. And we didn't eat here either because the meal was overly priced. But we did tour the trains and visit the Model train museum. C's face the entire time was so serious and mesmerized. Little guy was in pure heaven.

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 Can't tell, but below he's doing his happy dance. It's the worst moves you ever seen and absolutely precious all at the same time.  photo chattanooga-009.jpg
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 Josh's mom came along with us, and we are so glad she did! I was thrilled that C was getting all this time with his Mudgy. Such a joy to have her there!!!
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 These pictures don't do the model exhibit justice. It was overwhelming and incredible. C hardly spoke a word the entire time. He just pointed and stared.
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 Afterwards, we stopped for dinner at a yummy place called The Terminal, and then we headed to our hotel (if you book the day before your trip on Hotwire it's insanely cheap).

The next morning we went to the TN Valley Railroad Museum. There are atleast a dozen trains in front for you to tour and play on. We played while daddy bought our tickets for the train ride. They offer several different excursions but we chose the shortest- a 1 hour ride.
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 ^^Happy dance:)
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 Josh's mom bought C this train. We had no idea at the time how much devotion C would have to that little piece of plastic. It never left his hand the remainder of the trip. Like the entire 5 hour drive home, he just stared at it. And I'm not exaggerating. He napped for one hour and the other 4 he just starred at it. It was unreal. And it hasn't left his sight since returning home. It sits on his night stand at night and is glued to his hand during the day. Even joins him for bath time and every meal. It's kind of absurd how much he loves it.  photo chattanooga-047sbw.jpg
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 The Steam Engine! photo chattanooga-050.jpg
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 photo chattanooga-054.jpg photo chattanooga-056.jpg photo chattanooga-058.jpg He was so serious the entire time, with little moments of cracking a smile. He was just in AWE of the entire thing. We drove 30 minutes to another station where we got off to watch the engine turn on the round table. We also toured the engine work shop before getting back on and heading back.
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I 100% teared up editing these photos. It was just seriously one of the best trips I've ever taken. We didn't do anything other than this, but it was seriously the most fun I've ever had. And it was such a cheap trip, that I know we can do it again in the future. Our time just the three of us is coming to a fast close, and this trip was the perfect way to close this chapter of our lives. I love this little boy more than I could ever imagine. I love his father all the more. Thank you babe for doing this. For planning this surprise, for loving our boy. Watching him that weekend, in his element amongst all the trains, I can't even explain how much of a blessing it was. Parenthood is hands down one of the greatest gifts a human can be given. It's hard at times, duh. but. So. much. joy.

It's hard to imagine how in the world my heart could love another person as much as I love these two. I know it will happen, she'll come and boom, room made easily. But as of right now, my heart is already over flowing.

Thank you babe for this. It meant more than you know. And I have to quit writing now because I'm crying. Thank you preggo hormones.


September Goals

First things first, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! I've completely forgotten to blog my July and August goals. But oh well. I did get so so so so much done over those two months. Some goals I completed during those two months:

-Kept working out consistently!
-I made a ton of progress on Willow's room. Not done yet, but it's more than halfway there. I completed painting, curtains, finding furniture, and several DIY projects.
-Pushed myself creatively by opening my Etsy and learning to make Weaves.
-Kept our family dates and date nights on track
-Read a total of 4-5 books during those months!

September goals:

-Consistent quiet time with my chronological bible study
-Completely finish W's nursery and all the projects that go along with it
-Make one weave, hopefully two. but most likely only one.
-Conquer all the sessions I have booked and get them all completely edited before Oct 1. This will be a struggle. I'm booked solid. And all the editing alone could keep me from completing all these other goals. yikes!
-Plan C's birthday party. It will be super small, like family only, but I wanted to get a cute cake!
-Get more items crossed off my "To Do around the House before Willow Comes" list.

So there we go. It's the first week of September. I can do it! Next month's goal... HAVE A BABY!!!


Date Night 8/12

We squeezed in on our August date night at the very tale end of the month. Since husband had not tried the new mexican place in mid town, we decided dinner there was must. The whole point of our once monthly special date nights is to do something we don't normally do on all other date nights. We tried two new places that night, and ended it with a redbox at home. Not that different, sure, but money was tight this month so we kept it simple. And to save a little bit more money, we decided not to hire a babysitter, and we took C along with us. The trick to taking your child on date night is to order them ridiculously yummy (and probably way greasy) food to keep them quiet and hush so you can pretend they aren't there:) Worked like a gem.
 We talked on the way home how fun it was that C came along this time. I know he's still very little and won't understand, but I love the idea of him coming along every now and then to witness first hand "dating". I want our kids to know that mommy and daddy's marriage is a priority over them. Spouses come first (after Jesus and before children) in our opinion. One great way to show that is to make date nights and spending time together a must. I also really want C to witness (every now and then) our dates so he can learn to open car doors and how daddy treats me and how we love each others company, etc etc etc. I can't wait for the day that C and I go on our first date, just the two of us. Maybe when he is around 5 or 6. Dad will give him some pointers before hand and fill his wallet with cash. He'll open my door and wear a little tie:) We'll order dinner at a "fancy" restaurant. He'll hand the waiter his money, and then we'll head to a movie. It makes my heart melt just thinking about it. I know that him seeing us date and knowing what that is will only bring about safety and love for his little world. Safety that momma and daddy's marriage is strong, and he is loved. I'm rambling now, but I hope you catch my drift with all this. Date your spouse. Period. And when you can't hire a baby sitter, still take that date, bring your littles along, and teach them the importance of it.

even though our bellies were full, we stopped at the candy store right next door and filled a bag with sour candies. Munching on them all the way home while singing songs and giggling. We only have two months before Willow comes. I'm thankful for this extra time with him, but for September and October's date night, hopefully it was just be the two of us.

Date Night 5/12: not blogged
Date Night 2/12
Date Night 1/12