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How the Gospel Is Wrecking My Life
Foster care, adoption, and the American Dream
The Little House That Could
How to thrive in family life

State Hopping Day 2: North Carolina

Hello from Jacksonville, NC!

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Yesterday was day two of our Griswold Holmes family vacation: a week long adventure of seven assorted family members traveling to and from Florida in the smallest crossover vehicle known to man with a two day cruise sandwiched in between.

Our strategy is to try to make the most of a very long drive to Florida by stopping in a different state every day to visit family and friends or just to take in the sights.

The cast of characters include me and my hubby, our three girls: Autumn, Alexis and Angel, and my two lovely nieces: Layla (age 20) and Miriam (age 17) – both of whom happen to make perfect companions for Angel.

girl's selfie

Sidebar: Not sure what the strategy for this selfie was…the leaning tower of pizza girls? Anyway, I love the young people because there so…young!  Like, I noticed that my niece (brown shirt) is pouting her lips, which is something I see all over the internet. It may be cute on a little teenie-bopper like her, but if you’re over 20 something you might want to reconsider this; just sayin’. :o)  And Angel’s facial expressions are seriously expressive (black shirt).  I wonder where she gets that from?  Hmm?

me and the girls

Anytime my day starts off at a leisurely pace with coffee and international news, I’m in heaven!

So, I’m at the hotel, sitting and sipping my coffee while watching CNN, when into the hotel breakfast area walks Josiah (and his rack mate, Speller, whom we’ve come to know and love.)

*My son, my hero! Where have you been all my life?*

{Hugs and big kisses ensue, with a reminder that I breastfed him – which didn’t go over well – but I reserve the right to put my foot in my mouth at least once every major visit, and my kids are (mildly) OK with that.}

Needless to say I was one happy momma!!

Josiah is a good big brother and his little sisters were very happy to see him.

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I loved getting the opportunity to finally see his “world,” to see what military life looks like for him.  We toured his base at Camp Lejeune and hung out for a while in his barracks.

He took us to see where he works as a “large engine mechanic.”  The facility was closed, so we peeked through the gates and looked on while he explained exactly what that means.  We looked like tourists and my husband was sweating buckets with his red cloth on his head! (Still searching for that perfect terry cloth lined, wide brim hat for him.)

The family at Josiah's job

He’s a great kid! He always steps in and helps in any way that he can. Here he is helping his dear ol’ dad tie our luggage on top of our car.

Siah helps with car

(Forgive me, but doting mom’s always take pictures of silly stuff like this. In my case, it’s because I suffer from not seeing him regularly, so everything he does is just…so…darn….EXTRA!)

Here, his dad and I are trying to force him to take a selfie with us.  (This kid refuses to smile for the camera.) Of course, what you can’t see is Josiah and his father wrestling with each other between camera clicks.

selfie collage with josiah

Sidebar #2: And while I’m critiquing people, I might as well add that my facial expressions here exceeds the lawful limitation for a “normal person with an excited smile.”  I appear to have lost all sense of composure; I actually look like I’m snorting!)

Well, before I knew it, it was time to say Goodbye.  I almost cried when we pulled off…but I didn’t, and I sort of felt proud of myself for not crying and I wore it like a badge of honor as I bragged to my husband: Hey honey, look at me, I’m maturing up as a mom. I’m not turning into a big ball of tears every time I say goodbye.

My husband didn’t appear to be impressed, probably because he wouldn’t think there’s anything wrong with a few motherly tears.

{And just when exactly does that feeling go away…the urge to cry when you part with your (newly adult) kid?}

What a great day is was!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s picture postcard from beautiful Georgia!

xo Tiffiney

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