Road Trip: JD turns 1!!!!


JD’s first move— He seems to be having a pretty good time.

 Today Alan and I kissed our children good-bye and set back out–alone this time–on our big cross-country road trip. It’s really been fun so far.

 Over the last few days I have gotten to visit both sides of our families, swim in the backyard pool with my two oldest boys, celebrate JD’s first birthday, visit a Pioneer Museum in Alabama, and even revisit the University of Alabama campus, where Alan and I got our undergraduate degrees!


Seriously, one of the ‘funnest’ (totally SHOULD be a word) things I have done this whole summer is swim in the wading pool with Joshua and Caleb. I highly recommend it. If you haven’t swam with your kids this year, you have just got to go do it, even if it’s only a wading pool!!

Photo Highlights:


I love it when they look all sweet and brotherly like this.


This was so fun. Playing ‘sharks and minnows’ is really hard in a pool this small, but we did it anyway. I can’t wait to go swimming with them again!



This is why you don’t let your husband pick out your baby’s birthday cake.

Just for the record, if I had the whole ‘baby parenting’ thing to go back and do over again, this is the ONE big tradition I would IGNORE. Giving a one-year-old nasty sugar-laden RED birthday cake and letting them just go for it….this idea could not have come from any mother ever. Horrible idea. If I were to have any more babies, they would learn the beauty of a nice birthday bag of gummy fruit snacks–delicious and clean.



Yep. He did all the messy-baby-lovers proud. Even after the bath that followed this immediately, I still found some stray red icing–in his ear. Terrible idea. Seriously.


And the road trip resumes! We made it through Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas today. We are now on the western side of the Mississippi River!

More photos to come in the next post. For today, I’m going to focus on the Pioneer Museum that we visited in Alabama. Alan and I love history stuff. I have throughly enjoyed researching my ancestry and reading history books. 1796, a Thomas Jefferson biography, an Andrew Jackson biography, The Mayflower, Rose Kennedy’s autobiography, and Ronald Reagan’s autobiography are a few of my favorites.

Therefore, this side trip was perfect for us.



Do you see the tall loblolly pine tree behind the triangular sign? That is the ‘moon tree’, grown from seeds that traveled to the moon on Apollo 14.


Beautiful. Alabama is beautiful.


This place had a collection of around 20 carriages and buggies. Love!



I have an ancestor listed on this plaque!!  So cool!


 I’ve always loved American history, but I got into the genealogy thing on accident! A few summers ago, the two oldest boys were spending a couple of weeks in Alabama with their grandparents. I was kid-free, so I took a couple of days to just explore D.C. on my own. It was heavenly.  While I was out, I happened upon the 1st Annual Genealogy Conference at the National Archives building. It was free, so I just went right in, attended a couple of classes, and brought home a whole bunch of information. Then I got to work!

 I rarely get to do any research now. Okay. Actually, I never do any research now, but I do miss it. One day!!


This was an especially exciting day because we also got to visit our old stomping ground: The University of Alabama. The thing is, I have a whole lot to share about that too, so it will just have to wait until tomorrow!

Come back and see me tomorrow for some UA pics and stories!!


Denny Chimes


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