I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

8 Jul

when you take a teen to france …

Two of my girls would be heading to summer camp … two down, two to go!

After many conversations with the seven-year-old, she decided she wanted to go to camp too. Piper and Wynter had friends they’d be going with, Hunter didn’t have any. But she bravely decided she would make friends while she was there.

And she did. With a bee. But that’s a different story!

Anyway. Since all three younger girls would be gone for a WHOLE week, that left Taylor and I with a week on our hands to play! I haven’t had but two days without my girls in over two years … so this momma was just a wee bit excited about the possibilities!

After we dropped the girls off at camp, we hightailed it to the airport. Taylor, Talley {tay’s bestie}, and I.

After one long flight, and a layover in Dusseldorf {say that ten times fast!}, we landed in Nice, France!


Exhausted, we made our way to the hotel, checked-in, freshened up {or not}, and set out to explore.

Exhausted after our exploration, I couldn’t have been happier to get into my pj’s and melt into this beautiful bed! I.was.out!

And I’m happy to announce … I slept for FIFTEEN hours!! 15 beautiful hours that I will cherish forever!

Unlike me, the teens did not sleep so well.

They were up, and slept, were up, and slept,

and slept,

and slept,

and slept …

and then for some reason got annoyed with my texts.

Go figure!

Eventually they did, in fact, finally wake up and we made our way to the beach.

A very rocky, crowded, but oh-so-beautiful beach!

In fact, we spent every day at this beach … you know, as soon as I could get the teens outta bed. Cuz that text message over there? It was an every day occurrence.

Seriously, how else was I supposed to get them up-and-at-em? Yeah, I coulda called their room, but for some reason I didn’t figure that one out until the last day we were there … leaving for the airport.

The good news is … this is where we spent most of our vacation. And it was blissful! The weather was beautiful, the scenery gorgeous, and the people watching … well, let’s just say it kept me entertained!

I love Europe. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to live. Not in a forever-kind-of-way. But definitely in a life-experience-kind-of-way! In fact, just yesterday the kids and I were playing “Would You Rather,” and the question was asked, “Would you rather live in Europe or in North America?” With no hesitation I answered, “Europe.”

There’s just something so magical and beautiful about the architecture, stores, restaurants, streets, and yes, even the entertaining people.

One night we decided channel our inner Selena Gomez Grace Kelly and head to Monte Carlo. I’m so glad we did it … definitely a fun treat!

And you know … cuz mommas rarely have proof they were on vacay, I needed to do a few obligatory selfies. What’s a mom to do?

A couple highlights of the trip were:

  • the fish spa! yes, fish spa. the fish munch at the dead skin on your tootsies, leaving it feeling soft as a baby’s bottom! for realz!
  • a pedicab ride! we had the most awesomesauciest driver around. he helped us make tourist fools of ourselves all through the old city of Nice. crazy fun!

I am soooo incredibly thankful I was able to take this trip with Taylor. Quite honestly, it wasn’t the mother-daughter dream trip I’d imagined … understandable with a friend along, and totally okay … I love Talley! she’s been a complete blessing to Taylor!

But you see … Taylor has been like my shadow for the last threeish years. She’s not had a close friend for most of her teens and I’ve pretty much been it for her.

Well … that’s all kinda changed. She has a “life” now and is out almost all of the time. I’m thrilled for her! She’s missed out on a lot over the last few years and it’s warms my heart to see her having fun and having friends.

But at the same time, I realize I’m kinda missing her. And I guess that all came full circle for me on this trip. Not in a bad way at all, just in a your-kid-is-18-now-and-momma-gotta-let-go-a-little way. :)

I love this girl so much. She means the world to me and I’m soaking in every spare minute she has left with me!

Posted in europe, taylor, vacation

9 Apr

rest and relaxation …

The girls and I will be lounging around here this week and I’m planning a {semi} computer/social media break. On the bloggy-blog, I’ll be re-posting some oldies but goodies for you!

I pray you had a blessed, blessed Easter weekend!

Posted in vacation

9 Dec

can’t wait!

I can’t wait for my girlies to wake up this morning!

It all started with a crazy idea from a friend wondering if the girls and I would want to come down to Orlando for a program at her church.

I thought about it … but not too long … I was just crazy enough to say YES!

So … the girls and I are headed to Florida this morning!  But they don’t know!!  I think surprising them is the thing I’m most excited about!  Well … that and getting to see Stacey!

The girls think they have to go to school this morning, but I’m letting them sleep in and we’ll see what happens when they wake up.

Then on Saturday we’ll explore one of the theme parks {I’m going to let them choose … Disney, Universal Studios, a water park?}.

I’m sorta bursting and wanted to share!

Thanks for listening!

Have a blessed weekend!

As you were …

Posted in girls, random, vacation

7 Jun

a visit to the lake

We spent last week at the lake house in Wisconsin.  Went from one lake view to a new one … although a much colder climate!  We needed to switch out our swim suits, tank tops + flip-flops for much warmer gear!

Anyway … summer was definitely on the verge and the trees were blossomed and green.  I found much solace and peace during my time there.  Well … actually, I take that back a bit.  There were definitely a multitude of internal struggles, but it was a good place to be to work through some of them.  And if you’ve seen me back on twitter and facebook … you’ll see that “Tracie got her groove back.”  Well … trying anyway … :)

The girls were beyond excited to be back to their old adventures of trunk riding + suburban surfing …

We spent an afternoon picnicing at a cabin in the woods …

Creature hunting …

Fishing …

And we even made some new friends!  We had a bucket of worms ready to feed them, but they were rarely awake.  When we came back from this afternoon at the cabin all their little heads were poking out of the nest with hungry mouths open.  But by the time I got up on the ladder to take a photo, they were zzzzzz …

And yes. this is a real bear!  It must’ve been just a year or so old, cuz mommy was long gone.  But this little guy hung around all weekend.  At one point, while we were eating dinner, he was on our patio with his nose against the glass trying to get in!  Thrill of the week for my adventuresome gals … actually no, I take that back, suburban surfing was numero uno!

Posted in family photos, family thoughts, lake owen, vacation

24 Feb

winter break :: aspen 2011

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Posted in aspen, family photos, movie, vacation