I apologize for the long intermission regarding my New Orleans trip recollection. I'll pick up where we left off:
After Jonathan returned to Knoxville, I pretty much had a week to myself with the kiddos! My mom returned back to teaching school, my sister Emily flew back to NYC, my sister Hillary went back to high school, and my dad worked off and on throughout the week. We all hung out in the evenings, but my days were pretty much just me and the kiddos. This was great because it left plenty of opportunity for us to just relax, let the kids nap, and we also had plenty of times where we got together with some girlfriends of mine and their kiddos!
Tuesday, November 17th, we had a playdate at the Audubon Zoo! It was such a great day! If you ever vacation in the New Orleans area, please do yourself a favor and visit our zoo. It is gorgeous and so well taken care of! It is so kid-friendly, which means it's mommy-friendly!
Anyway, there was a huge group of us:
Stephanie, and her little girl Lydia (2) and her son, Carter (3 months old)
Hope and her baby boy Liam Walter (also 3 months old). (Yes, we have two Liams now!)
Chrissy and her two girls, Ava (3) and Sam (2)
Erin and her son, Aiden (1)
Lauren and her two girls Hannah (2) and Kaitlyn (4 months)
Elizabeth (a new friend) and her little girl Lucy (2)
Me and Nora and Liam
I think that's everyone. Needless to say, we probably saw about 1/100th of the zoo due to the grand number of children we were toting around and trying to keep track of. If you count, we had 5 two-year-olds in that mix, which was hilarious! We had so much fun though and I wish we could have stayed longer! I am so thankful that I am able to get together with these girls every time we come into town so that we can catch up and our children can get to know each other!
Jenn & Nora
Jenn, Liam, Lauren & Hannah
Nora & Liam all bundled up before entering the zoo!
The next day, Steph and I decided to get together with us and the kids since we weren't really able to visit all that much at the zoo. We ordered a pizza and let the girls play while Liam and Carter played and napped. It was a great few hours to catch up and chit chat like old times. I managed to capture a few shots, but not too many.
Nora & Lyddie hugging
Nora & Lydia playing a picnic....Poor Lydia fell down at the zoo, hence the nose! You'd have thought these girls played together all the time the way that got along so well.
Steph & Carter
Liam & Carter
Thursday night I went out to dinner with four of my best girlfriends growing up: Steph, Hope, Abi, Chrissy & Jenn. We went to Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro (divine) and then went to our favorite coffee shop of all time, Caffe, Caffe! So many memories with those girls (But, unfortunately, not one pictures). I had to bring Liam with me, which worked out great because Steph brought Carter and Hope brought her Liam. So, it wasn't a total girls' night out...the boys were with us, and funnily enough, all three boys look just like their fathers. It was like there were spies there: a little Jonathan, little Kurt, and Little Eddie.
By Friday, I was so badly missing my husband and really wanting him to be there. Liam had been suffering from a cold or allergies, so sleep hadn't been going so well for the two of us. We just hung out at the house most of the day, and a good friend, Tina, stopped by to visit for a while, see the kiddos, and capture a few pics! (She's a budding photographer).
Saturday morning, shortly after breakfast, my dad took Nora for a ride to the airport to pick up my hubby! We were so happy to see him and so glad that he survived the week safely without us. To celebrate his arrival, we whisked him away to one our favorite poboy places, Parkview. It's located right outside of City Park and is a poboy place that my mom would go to as a little girl. I just love the history and culture of New Orleans! It's just so rich! I can just imagine my grandparents and my mom and her sisters and brother gathered around a table sharing a "loaf." And now we take our kids there when we come to visit. So neat.
Sunday morning, Jonathan and I took the kids to our old church stomping grounds, Lakeview Christian Center. For a small history, the old building the church met in when we lived there was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The new church building was completed just over a year ago, and this was our second visit to the new sanctuary! It is so beautiful. We love being able to walk through the doors of the church and feel like we haven't been gone for months! Everyone is so kind and welcoming and just loves seeing the kids and how they've grown. It's great to see how God has blessed the church so much in spite of the destruction that Hurricane Katrina caused.
....okay, okay. I'll have to continue this later. Babies call!