Lisa Rhea Photography, LLC - Chesapeake, VA - - (619) 799-9933

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A Tennessee Hurrication

September 25, 2018



I have been meaning to start blogging for some time now, and our Hurrication adventure seems like a great place to start. That, and my boys are now in preschool, which frees up just enough time for me to fill it with twice as much as I probably should!  


Well, Hurricane Florence was predicted to be a nasty one, so when the storm rolled in, we made plans to roll out and stay with family in Tennessee. As all my friends in Hampton Roads know, it doesn't take much more than a downpour and a strong wind to wreak havoc around here, so I was all about getting out of Dodge. 


It was supposed to be the storm of a lifetime, but heck, even if it wasn't, I wasn't about to hang around with two toddlers, a dog, a cat and no electricity -- especially with my husband out of town. As timing would have it, they ordered the evacuation less than a week before we were set to meet the grandparents in Florida. So our trip to Disney World got a five-day Tennessee detour. 


The extra time with family made up for the extra miles on the road (just around 12 hours each way - eek!) and I learned my true "road warrior mom" abilities. Or at least I made for quality entertainment trying to wrangle a crazy toddler, a public potty phobic three-year-old and an overly-excitable dog. There's nothing like hitting the bathroom with one screaming "no potty mom!" and the other attempting to flee out under the door. Multitasking in full force!


Travel logistics aside, it was a wonderful trip full of amazing memories and crazy chaos and all the things family adventures are supposed to be made of. While managing my children in un-childproofed locations is about like running an obstacle course endlessly all day, it was all worth it for the huge smiles that lit up their faces when riding the 4-wheeler with Gpaw, jumping into GiGi's arms and being tossed around by their Uncle Nick.


The icing on the cake is my in-law's beautiful 14-acre hobby farm which is a photographer's dreamland. Of course trying to photograph my boys is like herding cats, but I was still able to capture some fun memories of them with their grandparents and uncle and enjoying the farm.























I purposely didn't take my camera to Disney World for a couple of reasons - because it's very difficult to wrangle 70-pounds of child and protect your gear, but also because I wanted to be fully present and enjoy my time instead of worrying about the lighting or settings or attempting to get my boys to cooperate.


Buzz Lightyear was the big highlight of the trip for Corbin and Aiden was absolutely adorable meeting Mickey, and both loved Animal Kingdom more than anything. I think the biggest hit was the swimming pool at the timeshare and all the water time. These two are little tadpoles and swam until they were waterlogged and wrinkled and still protested leaving the pool each time. 


Kudos to my husband's dad and step-mom for hosting us, keeping up with the demands of entertaining toddlers, being tolerant of Corbin's endless string of "no this" and "no that," Aiden's crazy spider monkey protests when he didn't want to sit still, and always encouraging me to have a glass of wine and relax through it all!  


As with any trip, it was definitely nice to back home, back in a routine, put the kids in bed early, and sleep ALONE. (Side note - I don't know how you co-sleeping mamas do it - seriously! Aiden slept in a pack-n-play in my room and his middle of the night wakeup and screams nearly scared the life out of me at times, and Corbin slept in bed with me, although rarely without his feet in my face, ribs, back, etc. Oh - and he managed to puke on me not once, but twice). Oh the joys of motherhood!


I have a busy fall season of photography coming up, and plenty to write about, so stay tuned!



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