Thankfully I was able to spend this weekend with my family — the very best distraction and support system. My parents arrived in town on Thursday evening and left for Virginia on Friday morning. Ryan, Chase, Ryder and I dropped Sadie off at our friend Ben’s house and then followed behind a few hours later. We met up with my mom and dad at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and though Ryan and I booked a separate hotel room for our family, we spent most of Friday and Saturday at my parents’ rental condo on the VIR grounds. It was heaven for Chase who is 100 percent race car obsessed!
My parents also rented a golf cart which made it easy drive all over the VIR grounds and explore. I’m convinced there is somethings magic about kids and golf carts. Chase and Ryder loved our golf cart adventures in Jellystone Golden Valley last month and I don’t think either of them stopped smiling as we all road around together this weekend.
It rained off and on most of the day on Saturday which was a bummer from a racing perspective but not terrible from a spectator perspective since it kept everyone cool. On Friday we had a glimpse of what Saturday would’ve felt like had the rain not come in and we were all sweating like crazy!
We drove back home around dinnertime on Saturday just as my parents were getting ready to meet up with some friends for dinner and we were shocked when Ryder stayed awake for the entire 2.5 hour drive. Fortunately we had both boys in bed before 8:30 p.m. and quickly followed suit ourselves.
Sunday morning felt like fall in North Carolina. It was a welcomed reprieve from temperatures in the 90s! We opened up the windows in our house and the boys loved playing in our new screened-in porch while Ryan tackled a little bit of yard work.
The ceiling of our screened-in porch is complete (LOVING the skylights!) but we still need to have the base painted and figure out what kind of outdoor furniture set up we want to have in the space. I am currently at a loss for any kind of screened-in porch set up inspiration, so if any of you design-lovin’ people out there have recommendations for how we might be able to best set things up out there, please let me know. We are hoping for the space to have almost an indoor/outdoor vibe with comfy couches and/or chairs, an outdoor-friendly rug and a little table or something of the sort.
After some playtime at home, our crew was ready to get out of the house and we headed off to grab some doughnuts at Reigning Doughnuts, a charming little order-at-the-window doughnut shop located in NoDa.
Ryan snapped the above picture of me and the boys and it made me smile. I feel like there is so much going on in this photo, but isn’t that the truth about motherhood always? It’s so much all at once all the time.
When we told Chase we were heading out to get doughnuts, he said he needed to “pack a bag” to bring with him. Apparently his bag of instruments seemed like the logical bag of essentials to bring along to the doughnut shop (hence Ryder blowing into the recorder in the above pic). There’s something magic about four-year-olds and their little brains, I’m telling you. I just love it.
Once we were sure Ben was awake for the day, we piled back into Ryan’s car and drove over to his place to thank him for watching Sadie and scoop up our girl. Ben recently moved to Charlotte from Mooresville and we took advantage of being close to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and headed off on a family walk with Sadie after we hung out at his place for a bit.
The Greenway runs along a small creek and took us under lots of bridges (a highlight for Chase) and through lots of urban areas of the city. We walked along and stopped for a break at a small open field park where the boys ate some snacks and we played for a bit before turning around and walking back to our car.
I carried Ryder in my baby carrier for most of the walk which worked well until he was ready to run around and be free!
And here’s the pic I snapped during our walk that served as the best family photo I got of our crew on Sunday:
At least we’re all accounted for, right?
By the time we made it home, it was naptime for Ryder. Ryan hung out at home with Chase while Ryder slept so I could run a few solo errands and attend the parent-only open house at Chase’s preschool. The school year kicks off for Chase next Tuesday and I already have the best feeling about his teachers. They seem absolutely wonderful.
As for the week ahead, everything is a bit up-in-the-air around here. It’s our last “official” week of summer before preschool and we have ISR every day and meet-the-teacher for Chase as well. I hope you all have a good week and thanks so much for making PBF a part of your day today.
Oh, Julie, I’ve been faithfully reading your blog for many, many years and immediately upon reading the beginning of your post, I knew I had to reach out to you. No matter what you’re going through, I wanted to offer you my support and let you know I’m keeping you in my thoughts. Though we don’t personally know each other, you’ve always come across as someone who is strong and resilient with a kind heart. I’m wishing you all the best and sending you strength and support.
Thank you, Melissa. I so appreciate your kind words and so want to thank you for reading for so long. I appreciate it so much.
Sending strength and positive vibes your way!
Today is a rough one over here too, as I’m back to work after a year’s maternity leave and it’s my baby’s first day at daycare. Nothing like completely changing a 14 month olds schedule. My momma heart is sad today for sure!!
Sending you love, Laura ??
I’m so sorry for whatever it is you are going through. Sending you good thoughts and prayers today.
Hope everything will be ok Julie.
Rachel Schlosser says
Sending you lots of love and support. If I could reach through and give you a big hug I would.
As someone who has been following you for years now, I feel that I “know” you and just really hope you know you are thought of and cared for even from people who you don’t personally “know”. I’m all the way in Canada and still feel that you are a part of my days. The internet is weird, right? 🙂
My prayer is that you will have comfort in your family and that you will lean on those who love you to get through this difficult time of pain and uncertainty. You aren’t alone.
Wishing you many hugs and better days 🙂
Positive vibes your way today for sure! (Also, Ryder’s sneakers are adorable! Do you happen to have a link to them? I am looking for a “transition” shoe from the Velcro sandals my son, who is two weeks older than Ryder, to wear as Fall approaches. Thank you!!!)
Bryanna Engle says
Praying that you feel God’s peace the surpasses all understanding!
Julie, As a longtime reader, I worried something was up when there was no “Things I’m Loving Friday” post. Sending you love and lots of positive thoughts your way that everything works out amid the uncertainty.
Sara Wilson says
Me too! Thinking of you Julie!
I love that picture of Ryder and your screened in porch!
I’m so sorry for whatever you are going through right now. Know you are loved!
Thinking of you and hope that everything turns out ok. xo
I am so very sorry to hear that you are going through something very difficult. I wish you all the very best!
Just want to say thinking of you and you are obviously in a lot of people’s prayers 🙂
Anytime I mentioned your blog to someone, I catch myself saying, “my friend, Julie.” 🙂 You are loved by so many! Sending you hugs, and praying for answers, clarity, strength, and PEACE.
I say the same thing! ”So my friend who lives in Charlotte…..”
Julie, Sending love and peace to you and your family.
this is very sweet of you to say — thank you, lauren <3
i love this and it means a lot to me — we’re definitely friends <3 thank you for your kind words and prayers, stefanie.
Allison Thompson says
Sending love to you, Julie! I am so sorry to hear you’re going through a challenging time right now. <3
Julie, I’m thinking positive thoughts for you and your family and hope that everything works out the way it’s supposed to. Like so many other readers have said, I feel like I know you and that you’re one of my friends. Thank you for continuing to share a little slice of your life with us.
Thinking of you, Julie! I love your blog and you seem like such a sweet, positive person.
Sending prayers for you and your family!
Praying for you, Julie. I love reading your blog! I’m sorry things are difficult right now for you.
Sending good vibes your way!
In terms of porch inspo another blogger I love redid their porch/patio and I think it looks so cute!
obviously layout is way different but the furniture/ vibe could be good inspo. good luck with everything!
that’s beautiful! thank you for sharing.
Alicia @Bridges Through Life says
Sending some positive vibes your way.
On another note, that screened in porch looks amazing. A screened in porch is on my next house wishlist since the bugs really like to bite me. It also looks like you had an amazing weekend to distract your mind.
thank you, alicia — it’s been on our “wish list” since we moved in and the bugs in our backyard are TERRIBLE so we are so happy to have this space now.
Sending you prayers and a big hug!! So sorry to hear you are walking through something really difficult right now ♥️
Screened in porch question for you! My husband is in the process of building ours right now, too, and we are at a loss for when to paint the wood. We used pre-treated wood and have seen everything from waiting 1 full year to just until water beads up on the wood. I noticed yours isn’t painted either but has the screens and tracks installed. What did your contractor say about this?
Hugs to you!!!
hi katy! our contractor told us to wait a few months to paint the wood at the base of the porch around the screens but since it’s been nearly 2 months since that part was built, we’re hoping to move forward with the painting process soon. i’m really not sure how it all works but just passing along what he told us! wish i had more details to share!
Praying for you, Julie. I’ve been following you for years and hope all is ok. BTW I think little Ryder has your dad’s smile! You are very blessed.
thank you for your prayers, beth. i am definitely feeling extra grateful for my little boys right now.
Sending lots of love and prayers!
Megan Ruth Rowlinson says
I am so sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult time. I hope you find peace soon. I definitely missed Friday’s post, but totally understand the importance of taking time away when dealing with a difficult situation. Hugs. Wilmington, DE
thank you very much <3 <3
Hope you know there are lots of prayers and good vibes being sent your way. Many more than you know. Wishing you strength and courage, comfort and surrender, grace and peace.
thank you, heather <3
Dallas Woodburn says
Julie– as so many others have said, you have become a friend through reading your blog for so many years. You seem like such a caring and strong person, and my heart is heavy to learn you are going through a difficult time. Sending you the love that you obviously give to so many others. You are in my prayers. ♥️
thank you, dallas. i appreciate your prayers so, so much.
Catherine l. says
Hope you are well Julie. Sending hugs and love your way.
Juliette | Namastay Traveling says
Sending you positive thoughts and strength for any challenges ahead of you. This seems silly and obviously insignificant at this time, but would love some info on your porch project. We’re trying to do this EXACT same thing and the estimates we got were insane. Would love to know how you found a builder that worked for you.
hi juliette — thank you for your kind words. as for your question, we found our contractor through the husband of one of my friends who is a contractor. he replaced our kitchen backsplash for us and we ended up hiring him for the porch project, too, because he’s incredibly talented but also his prices were really, really affordable compared to other quotes. he did our porch for around $3.5k (before we decided to add the skylights which increased the price a bit) and we’re so happy with it!
Juliette | Namastay Traveling says
Wow! It looks gorgeous! Our estimate for a small screened in porch (without even an added floor!) was over $20,000! I really appreciate you sharing. Sending love to you and your family!
Thank you! He was able to build it in a way that utilized two sides of our house as two of the walls and we used the concrete floor that was already there from our patio so I think all of that really helped us save a lot of money.
Thinking of you lots! Sorry to hear you are hurting. God Bless!❤️??
Julie I am praying for your family. Sending positive vibes and thoughts your way.
Hi Julie, I hope all is well and that your week is going better. Hugs to you, whatever the reason <3
I was rereading Chase's 9 month update as my daughter is that age now, and I swear I could relate to every single thing! My sweet girl was sleeping SO WELL then all of a sudden wakes herself up in the night not only from teething, but also from rolling onto her belly from back and getting caught in reverse turtle! I was getting worried, but I love reading your updates because they help me realize we're all in the same boat!
thank you, steph <3 and yessss to the sleep struggles. chase honestly was a rouuuugh sleeper until i weaned and stopped all nighttime feeds when he was around 15 months. thankfully he's a great sleeper now so there is HOPE!!
Sarah @ Sweet Miles says
I hope everything is ok, friend! Sometimes stepping away, and doing what’s best for you heart, is so, so needed, when much of your life is lived in this online space for all to see. It looks like you guys had a great weekend though, and those little boys are so lucky to have you!
thanks, sarah. your comments are always so encouraging and i appreciate your words a lot.
Heidi O. says
Add me to the list of people who have been lurking/reading for many years and almost feel like I “know” you. I hope everything is ok! Sending peaceful vibes.
Also – loving your new screened-in room! Skylights are awesome.
thank you for reading for so long and for your kind wishes <3
Anthony Allen says
your family is happy. your boys are so cute. hope you will share more recipes. thank you!
My heart felt nervous as soon as I read your words. Praying that all things get better very soon.
Thinking of you, Julie.