A Family Tradition

Friday, October 14, 2016

Something that Juston and I have talked about since before we even had kids was the types of traditions we wanted to have as a family. Near the top of that list for both of us was always the hopes that we could have a family tradition of going to the annual matchup between our teams at either Neyland Stadium or Sanford Stadium. The Georgia vs. Tennessee football game is officially now under our belts with year one of this family tradition in the books! 

It's quite possible I'd temporarily lost my mind when I thought it was a solid idea to take a five month old to this football game, but I couldn't make myself leave him overnight yet, so he came.

We decided that since Caroline was old enough to have her own opinion, whichever team she chose to root for in the game, we'd dress Carter in the other teams colors so we'd be fair (this year at least). Being the intelligent little girl that she is, Caroline chose to cheer for Georgia! So Carter got to sport the Tennessee orange.  The kids were both excellent on the drive to Stone Mountain, GA where we stayed. I bought out tickets back in July, but hotels were already booked solid in and around Athens. I'd been wanting to see Stone Mountain for quite some time anyway, so I booked us in the Stone Mountain Inn.  We hit a ton of traffic once we got into Georgia, so that added about an hour onto our trip when we'd already left an hour later than planned since Juston got home late. Since we got in so late, we didn't get to do anything Friday for the kids. Saturday, we got up, got breakfast at the hotel and hung out on the little porch our hotel had, complete with rocking chairs.

I was really hoping when I bought our tickets that the game would end up being a 7:00 matchup, but when they released the time a week out, it was a 3:30 game. Turned out to be super hot and our seats were right in the sun, so the first half of the game, I walked Carter around in the shade. Both kids behaved excellent once we were at the game and were fascinated by everything going on. This was obviously Carter's first game, but we took Caroline to a Tennessee game last year, which she loved, so we knew she'd have fun. If you didn't catch the game, we could not have picked a more exciting one for our first family game. It literally came down to the last 4 seconds. I thought for sure Georgia had it won after Eason came in clutch with a pretty touchdown pass, but Dobb's ended up coming in clutch, too with a hail mary pass with 4 seconds on the clock. Not the way Caroline and I were hoping the game would end, but man it was awesome! 

This was our only family photo from the whole day, and yes, Caroline did fall asleep in the middle of the game. Not sure how that even happened since the child maybe naps once a month and it's usually when she's strapped in to a car seat. 

After the game, we headed back to Stone Mountain and after getting everyone some food, we walked across the road to catch the Stone Mountain Park laser show. We only stayed for about half of it, but it was so cool. I'd definitely recommend it  and we will be going back another weekend just to do Stone Mountain. There's so much there just inside the park to do. 

And no Pate family road trip would be complete without a stop at Cracker Barrel, per Caroline's request. Turns out this trip wasn't going to be complete without two stops at Cracker Barrel. Ha! It was a great family weekend and we are already looking forward to hitting next year's game in Neyland. Go Dawgs!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I think fall has officially arrived in the Bluegrass! And we have the front stoop decorated to prove it:) It's been holding steady in the 80's for most of October up until this past weekend. I was loving it, but I admit, this weather shift has me ready to lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement, something I haven't done near enough of since having Carter. 
Anyway, here is how we decorated the porch this year. Caroline went with Juston one day to Southern States and she picked out all the pumpkins and gourds. I want to grab another couple of larger pumpkins for carving, but otherwise, it's all dressed up for fall. I even have my window boxes dressed with pumpkins, cabbage and some pretty mums. I always hate to see summer leave, but I admit, I do love all of the beautiful colors fall brings. 

One day last week, while Carter napped, Caroline and I went outside and she painted a pumpkin she chose from the grocery store. We are going to do a family carving sessions soon, but I thought she would enjoy painting as well. You can see the finished product displayed on the porch above.  

And in other news, my baby boy started sleeping in his crib this week! I admit that I hate not having him beside of me at night, but I know he'll sleep better this way. He has been sleeping in a cradle Juston built when I was pregnant with Caroline up until now. The first night, he just screamed for about an hour before he finally fell asleep the rest of the night, but last night, I laid him down, he looked up at me before rolling over and going right to sleep. You can see a little thigh chunk peeping out of the hiney flap in his pj's....maybe I need to size him up ;)