We recently got back from a wonderful trip at a cabin in the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, TN with Les’ family.  It was our very first trip with his parents, siblings, and their families.

I have to admit that my ideal get away is at a cabin in the woods.  My goodness…I could stay there forever, especially with views like this greeting me when I wake up.  If my kids would let me, I would have sat on the balcony or stared out our window for most of the day over several cups of coffee. 

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But it’s just as well that they didn’t otherwise I would have missed these moments:

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And…because we homeschool, we took the opportunity to have some lessons while at the cabin as well.  Grandpa, who is literally a rocket scientist for NASA, gave a little astronomy lesson to the boys while we were in town getting some supplies.  (He doesn’t want me making a big deal about it – but sometimes you just can’t help but give a little shout out to the ones you love.)  Les also gave the boys a lesson on the moon as well. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to use the telescope grandpa brought because it was raining most of the week.  Maybe next time.

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This was the first time in years that we had the entire family together, so a family picture was most definitely in order!

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And…because I put together the annual family calendar, I took plenty of couples’ shots as well and got some great laughs and poses from it.  (Of which…those are staying tucked away for use only in family calendars otherwise I’ll never get people to let me take pictures of them again.)

But…here’s one of my favorites of Les and myself that will be our anniversary picture for this year’s calendar.

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We ended up leaving a day early due to a meeting Les needed to get back for at work but we received texts from my in-laws the next morning.  I was grumpy that work was interfering with our family time, yet again…but in reality, it was probably a blessing in disguise.  A bear was scrounging through our neighbor’s garbage because they didn’t put it away properly.  I’m sad we missed out on seeing the bear from the safety of our balcony but at the same time, it’s a bit unnerving knowing that my kids were walking our dogs all week where the bear came to visit and possibly would have been out that morning pottying the dogs.  When I heard in the Liturgy this morning, “…For blessings seen and unseen…” – it made me think about this.

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