Thanksgiving Day, 2017: Ft. Walton Beach, Florida!

I'm finally getting around to posting photos from our Florida trip (back in November! haha). It's almost better looking through them later, though, because it's like re-discovering the memories of the trip all over again! It was such a good one, and it literally came about because of a split second decision. 

Here's the backstory: We originally had plans to head up to Indiana to be with family and friends for Thanksgiving, but then Brighton got Botulism. He was in the hospital from October 26th- November 17th. We missed Halloween with our kiddos (luckily my sweet parents flew in to be with them), and we got released to come home just a few days before Thanksgiving. We knew our original Indiana plans needed to change. Brighton was not up for tons of interaction with other people, and we felt like we needed some quality time with our kids after being away in the hospital and back and forth for so long. 

Initially we planned on laying low and staying home for Thanksgiving. But you know, nothing puts life into perspective like having a sick child in the ICU. We had just been through one of the hardest times of our life, and we needed some release. 

We woke up the day before Thanksgiving, looked at each other, and said "Let's go to the beach." We kind of say stuff that a lot, but this time, we really did it. We needed to get away with just our family for the holiday, and just relax. We didn't need turkey and potatoes-- we just needed sun, sand, and each other. This would be the second time we had spent Thanksgiving at the beach, and we knew how amazing it was for our family. (To see photos from that trip, go here: part I, part II, part III, or the video

So we literally packed up the car in one hour, threw the kids in, and headed out. We figured out what beach we were going to about two hours into the drive, booked a condo about four hours in, and arrived in Florida a few hours after that. It was awesome.

Here are some photos of the day after we arrived-- Thanksgiving Day!
^Thanksgiving Day, 2017^
^Waking up after a long drive and realizing you're at the BEACH!^

^The boys loved this bunk bed at the Condo. Cutest ever!^
^What's a vacation without cartoons?^

After the kids ran around the condo for a bit, we set off to find the biggest pancake breakfast in town. I mean, you've gotta' start a vacation-Thanksgiving-day with a bang!

^Sweetest, tiniest, post-botulism baby ever.^

After breakfast and a quick stop to grab some groceries, we headed back to the condo to suit-up for the beach! We were DYING to get to the sand and the waves.

Our balcony had the best view of the beach, and the kids could not wait to get down there and play!

^"Can we go yet??"

^ H O L L A N D ^

^ B R I G H T O N ^

^ B O S T O N ^

^ C A M D E N ^
^"Yook at da sea-sells, mama!"^

After the beach, we walked over to the pool to swim for a bit before we got some dinner. The kids had a blast jumping in over and over again, and Brighton loved chilling on the sidelines with momma.

Everyone swam and swam, and then we got cleaned up and headed out for Thanksgiving dinner! I don't know about you, but not cooking A SINGLE THING on Thanksgiving was pretty amazing. Instead, I had popcorn shrimp and jammed out to the restaurant music with Jordan while the kiddos colored and ate pizza.

It was perfect.
^I love him.^

^Botulism Brights. He was so tiny!^

^Love this little squishable!^

^Running back to the room in wet swimming suits and towels. Such a classic vacation memory!^

It was a perfect Thanksgiving day with my people, in the best place ever.
I'm so glad we just WENT for it and drove down, even if it was a little crazy. So many good memories!!

 (More pictures of Florida, coming up next!)


The Kentucky Railway Museum!

Whenever the weather warms up, I start scheming. I want to get outside, take road trips, and find new little pockets and places that we've never been before. It's my favorite!

Last Friday while Jordan was at work and Boston was at school, I loaded up the three other boys and we headed out on an adventure! I wasn't quite sure where we'd end up, so I just started driving. Sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn't, but luckily this time it did. (I like to live life on the wild side. Haha!)

We ended up at the Kentucky Railway Museum in New Haven, and it was so much fun! The boys and I explored old trains, played with model sets, and ran around in the grass. It was a gorgeous day, and it was so fun to be outside!

Also, we were literally the only people there, which was AWESOME. It's always nice when I don't have to worry about my kids being too loud or breaking things or bothering other people, and we can just roam free and have fun.

We missed Boston and daddy on our little adventure, but it was such a good day with my three littlest boys.

^That blossoming tree!! So gorgeous.^
^Love this Holland monkey!^
^Brighton loved the flashing train lights! I'm pretty sure he's trying to jump out of his stroller in this pic.^

^"Yook at da choo-choo trains, mama!"^
^Brighton in the headlights^

When the boys found out we got to go inside an actual old train, they were seriously jumping up and down with excitement. Their excitement kind of faded, though, when we made our way into the train and realized how creepy old trains are. 

At one point I looked over at Camden (who was standing completely still) and said, "Buddy! Isn't this awesome??" And he said, "Um, yeah. But can we go somewhere else now? 'Cause it's pretty spooky in here, and it smells like pee-pee."

Haha! I mean, he wasn't wrong. But I still thought it was cool! 
^Cutest train buddies.^

^Trying to show the kids that trains are fun. Photo cred: Camden Race^

I gave my phone to the boys a few times throughout the day, and it was so fun to see what they captured. They're becoming quite the little photographers, and I really love it.

The next photos are a few of my favorites, shot by either Holland (age 2) or Camden (age 4). I need to let them take pictures more often!! They seriously had a ball with it.

^"Help me jump, mama!"^

I always feel weird when I'm missing a kid, but sometimes it's good for the other kids to get more attention. I really saw Camden taking on the role of "big brother" and being a leader while Boston was gone. He helped Holland climb steps, showed him where to go, and then Holland stepped up too and was extra loving to Brighton. It warmed my mama heart.

I love seeing my kids in different lights every now and again. They are such special little boys. Sometimes I can't even believe I get to be their mom.

And then sometimes I'm like, we are a circus. You guys are nuts. We live in total chaos.

Haha! Motherhood is wild like that. But I love it.

^"Choo-choo! We're driving to Utah, mom!"^

We had so much fun!

I can't wait for more adventures this Spring and Summer. 
Warm weather, please stick around so we can play!! 


Elizabethtown Easter 2018: Family photos!

 Happy Easter Sunday!!

I feel so lucky to be spending today with my family in our home, watching LDS General Conference. Whenever Easter falls on Conference weekend, it's pretty much the greatest weekend of the year! I love the uplifting messages and beautiful music of Conference, and I look forward to it so much. It's such a good reminder of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and such a perfect way to spend Easter.

Yesterday we dressed in our Easter best and headed downtown in Elizabethtown to get some fun Spring family photos. The boys were SUCH good sports (I'm sure the Baskin Robbin's ice cream cone bribe had a little something to do with it. Haha!), and I'm so glad we took these photos.

I have slowly fallen in love with our Elizabethtown, and we feel so, completely at home here. It was so fun to capture our family downtown!

^McMurtrey family, Spring 2018^

It was sooooo hard to narrow it down, but here are some of my favorite photos of the boys!

I can't believe how old they're getting. Time is seriously flying in this phase we are in.
(I know everyone says kids grow up so fast, but man, it's the truth!!)

Our house is complete chaos like 99% of the time, but it is so, so fun--and I can't imagine it any other way!
^Boston Emery, six and a half.^

^Camden Race, a month away from five.^

^Holland Beck, a month away from three.^

^Brighton James, one year.^

^I mean, are you kidding me?? I can't handle how handsome they are!^

^HOLLAND. I die over that face every time!!^


^Those dimples are just everything.^

I asked Boston to snap a couple of photos of just me and Jordan, and he was the cutest little photographer. He'd say, "Okay, now Mom, you go over there. And dad, scoot that way." (Click click click) "Ohhhh cute! Okay, now kiss each other!" (Click click click)  Haha!

But my favorite thing was how Camden and Holland immediately photo-bombed us. Hashtag, life with kids!
^This little Brighton boy!! He is the sweetest ever.^

^Wandering downtown Elizabethtown^

I love these next photos. The boys were doing so well standing and smiling, and then they took off running before the camera was done. Haha! (But like, where does their energy come from??)

I guess it just shows how they're literally ALWAYS on the move. Ain't nobody got time to sit still for pictures! 
^Annnnnnnd they're off.^

I loved the moments we captured with Brighton, too. He is just the sweetest baby ever.
I think pretty much all of us are equally obsessed with him.
He fits so perfectly into our family!
^Oh, little boy. How I love you.^

^Learning to walk with daddy^

^We've almost been married 8 years, and it just keeps getting better. I love you, Jord!^

I will always cherish these photos of our family in E-town!
We feel so happy, and so lucky to have each of our sweet boys.
Life is so good!


(The end.)