Last Friday morning, Jillian and I hit the road and made the drive to Richmond Hill, Georgia (riiight next to Savannah!) to spend a couple quick days with Meg and her kiddos, Jack and Brynn. Her husband Chris recently deployed for nine months, so that gave me the push I needed to get in the car and go squeeze one of my most priceless friends.
Just like last month when we went to Indianapolis, we hit the road around 4:15 a.m. Jillian slept all the way to Atlanta (3.5 hours) before waking up and demanding we stop for a nursing break. After going through the drive-thru at Starbucks, we parked so that I could nurse her, change her diaper, and let her stretch her legs while playing on my lap.
I order a Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream, and it hit the spot (Jamie had made me a coffee before I left the house, so this was coffee #2, a road trip essential, haha!). I also ordered the Egg White and Roasted Pepper egg cups, and man oh man – they are so, so good.
I admittedly had a good bit of anxiety about road tripping with Jillian alone since her car seat screaming would make me crazy. I was even researching flight options 24 hours before we left! I knew if she fussed a lot we would just stop a lot, but hell or high water, I was getting to Savannah to see Meg!
Backtracking a bit, I never intended to bring Jillian on this trip. She takes a bottle like a champ, so I thought this would be a great three-day getaway for me where I could focus on the Landers and leave the kids in the very capable hands of their father.
A few weeks ago though I started to get anxious that Jillian would whack out because she wouldn’t have the comfort and activity of nursing. I didn’t want to be in Savannah and be distracted by Jillian losing her mind at home with Jamie over missing me and the ability to nurse routinely like she does now, so I mustered up the mental energy and brought her along. I’m so very glad I did!
Logistically, my parents were a great help with the kids. Sadie stayed at my parents’ house on Thursday night since her and my dad were off work Friday. (Sadie was out of school for Veterans Day weekend.) Hadley had a half day, so Mom grabbed her from the bus stop and took her to their house until Jamie got off work around 2 p.m. to pick both kids up.
I absolutely adore this picture of my dad and Sadie eating breakfast at the “little table” together. This was the table my siblings and I ate breakfast at every morning when we were little. Getting these pictures from my mom made me happy.
Jillian did absolutely incredible on the trip and barely fussed. She slept so much! The only part of the trip that was a big thumbs down was getting my first speeding ticket. I made it almost 16 years without getting pulled over for speeding… whomp whomp. I thought for sure he’d let the mom in the minivan go, but not a chance. Oh well. ONWARD.
Throughout the weekend we played hard at home, watched movies, played in the front and back yard, ate some of Meg’s fabulous cooking, went on a long walk at a local park, watched Jack’s tennis lesson, checked out Meg’s awesome church, and stayed up way too late both nights talking until my throat hurt!
Getting to spend time with this boy made me so happy. I met Jack when he was about 16 months old, and now he’s 6.5 and so handsome and smart.
This is about how old I will always picture Jack and Hadley together (this was in the 2015!)
I think this was from February 2016. They were so teeny and precious.
It actually hadn’t been that long since I’d first visited Richmond Hill. Another Army bestie Jessica lived in Richmond Hill until last July, and the girls and I loaded up and visited her and her daughters in May 2018. During both of my visits to see these friends of mine, we ended up at the same beautiful park.
You know who threw a wrench in things right off the bat though?
He is so beyond attached to me and got himself a terribly upset stomach within hours of me leaving. The older he’s gotten, the worse his separation anxiety has gotten when I go away, but never had he had such an upset stomach like he did this time. He is so smart, and we feel pretty confident he saw my suitcases and just knew I was leaving. Jamie had a ball cleaning up the mess of course. I made him promise me he’d love on Ted as much as Ted would let him until I got home. Jamie said the difference in his disposition from before I got home until after was absolutely night and day. Dogs are funny.
My maps app told me that it would take exactly seven hours from driveway to driveway, and each way ended up taking eight hours and 20 minutes. I didn’t think that adding 80 minutes to the drive was bad considering I had a tiny baby on board!
Seeing these faces made a lot of driving in a short amount of time so worth it. I’ve preached on this blog 100 times about how investing in the right friendships makes life so much sweeter, and Meg is one of those friends who my time and money will never be wasted on. She and her family makes our lives better!
It was so stinkin’ cute to see Brynn love on Sadie the way she did all weekend because in my mind, Brynn is still a baby herself.
This is partially how I’ll always remember Brynn (on the right) laying next to baby Sadie when they were 1 and 2 months old.
Though I missed Hadley and Sadie, I knew they were having fun at home, which helped me turn my attention to Jack and Brynn and get to know the special little people they are. They are doing phenomenal with their dad overseas and I couldn’t be one ounce more proud of this family.
Though I’d give just about anything to have this girl around the corner to do daily life with again…
… I’m grateful for the friendship we’ve been able to maintain the last 2.5 years of living many miles apart.
How do you maintain long-distance friendships? Annual trips? Traditions?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo