you're the only ten i see.


Our original plan for this trip was to go over Bonnaroo to visit family and also see Alt-J perform. One morning a few months ago I read that one of Alt-J's bandmembers had quit and they pulled out of Bonnaroo altogether. CRUSHED, but also grateful that we hadn't bought tickets. So we re-evaluated and decided to go a couple weeks earlier than planned. Russ was stressed as he is knee-deep in his very first home flip and didn't want to leave, but he was a good sport and it ended up being perfect. The weather wasn't too hot yet, and as it turned our my brother Chad's family is moving soon to Arizona so we were lucky to be able to spend time with so much family all at once.

Flying four people anywhere is just the plain worst these days, for so many reasons, but our first meal together in Nashville, Hayes and his cousin Max became joined at the hip. While we ate this amazing meal Charity made, Max was getting his plate filled by his dad and looked up and said "Make sure my best friend cousin Hayes gets one!" A lump filled my throat and my heart melted. That made it worth every moment of stress. It's one thing to live far away from family and not really have any idea what you're missing, but to spend quality time together and see how much these cousins loved each other makes it all the harder to be apart.

Magnolia Trees || Hayes & Max

Franklin is just the cutest place I've ever seen. Downtown especially. Rolling green hills, giant walls of trees and bushes. It looks like Hawaii, it's SO green. Every house looks similar to these, and every kid we encountered was quiet and well-mannered and called me ma'am. Let's move to Nashville!

We went to church on Sunday which shares a parking lot with the temple. Awesome! We got the cousins together for a pic. (Another thing I noticed here is that there is no such thing as frumpy moms. Everyone is dressed nicely, hair perfect, jewelry stacked on, high heels, perfect makeup. Charity confirmed, people don't do sweat pants at the grocery store, period.)
We didn't have a ton of time to try a ton of new food, but the ones we did try were incredible.
Pancake Pantry - sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon sugar butter and syrup - I am going to have to try and make them here because I can't live without it.

We also went to the Pharmacy, a hip little burger/wurst joint that played all our favorite music and had two of the best burgers we've ever eaten.

Swimming. Cal lives for it. And was all about catching lightning bugs.

An example of the walls of green everywhere at the YMCA pool:

Sleeping brothers || Thrifting brothers. They spent an hour playing with toys at the Treasure Chest Thrift. Russ almost made it home with this vintage Huffy. In the end tired and hungry kids (and wife) trumps your haggling abilities. Sorry, babe. (For the record he was down to $70 from $130.

The Nashville Zoo had this killer dinosaur exhibit - Hayes asked if we were at the jungle or the zoo - the kids loved seeing all the animatronic dinos!

Making wishes

More dinos || Hayes at the peak of heat exhaustion. It was only like 75 degrees but felt like 100.

I loved being with my siblings so much. It makes me want to cry to be apart. I often think how different my life would be if they were close by. Having Collin and Bethany and even Casey when he rolls out of the cave, is such a blessing. Cousins are literally everything to my boys. I remember feeling the same way most of my youth, too.

Chad taking Callum outside to ride out a tantrum. He's so patient and kind. 

Charity and I at the Honky Tonks. It's basically 20 bars on each side of Broadway street where different types of live music are playing all night every night. Luckily Charity will be back in Utah for the 4th so I could hold it together.
We had yet to meet Liam and he won our hearts. He is just the sweetest little guy. Snuggly and sweet and I love him.

 The boys loved and treated Izzy like one of there own spending our stay under his roof. Which means they were darling and then rough and then loving and then fighting. Izzy was a good sport and so loving no matter what mood they were in.

Cousins! When we left Brinly cried and gave us the sweetest little drawing. I cried too. I love my family! Brinly is such a wonderful girl. I want her to be my best friend. Adam is wicked smart and such a great big brother and cousin. They all looked out for my boys and it was amazing to watch.

Then on the way home we were basically on an episode of Punk'd brought to you by Frontier Airlines. We were on the runway and then de-planed. The next flight we were in the air and turned around. The next flight they threatened landing in another city due to a storm, but then said just kidding.

To be nice they gave us $100 in food that expired the next day, so we ordered literally everything they offered to get the voucher spent. Traveling can be trying in virtually everywhere, but it makes me grateful that in the very most annoying of times, we can laugh through it. But seriously, never again Frontier.

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