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Hi.

Welcome to my blog about our family of six. Thanks for visiting!

Pullen Park

I shouldn't disclose this, but I have embedded subliminal messaging on this blog targeted toward family and friends in an effort to convince you to move here.  It's so subtle you would never be able to detect it, nor should you try, but just know it will eventually work. You might as well start looking into real estate.

I'd like to think that this brainwashing technique was the reason our cousins have chosen to move here from Chicago. DJ, Monica, Faith, Luke and Ava are uprooting their lives and moving down south (yay!). A few weeks ago they stayed with us while they searched for a home around Raleigh. 

Monica was the one who planted the initial seed for the migration. She said she was done with the harsh winters and wanted a new adventure for the family. After some research and visits to other southern towns, they settled on the Raleigh-Durham area. Their intention was to bring their extended family with them wherever they landed and Monica's brother got a job offer at a hospital here so that sealed the deal (not the subliminal messaging....so they think...).

This place is an easy sell. You have the beach a quick 1.5 hour drive away, the mountains only 3 hours, and with so many big name colleges nearby, there's always something interesting and fun going on. My cousins could quickly see why it's frequently rated as the "best place to live" in all those super scientific, completely objective articles that populate on your newsfeed. (That I 100% endorse!)

Seriously though, it is quite wonderful, especially in the fall, winter, and spring. DJ and I talked about how it seems strange to think of raising kids in a place where they don't have to shovel snow early in the morning, or stand at the bus stop in subzero temperatures. We agreed there is something good and hearty about those experiences, and we wonder if our children will be less tolerant of adversity because they'll miss exposure to the tundra. Although you could argue that the summers here offer an extreme (but far from equal) source of suffering. I have yet to acclimate to the intense heat and humidity that happens from June through August, so we always make sure to take a long trip up North during that period.  

Thankfully this visit was at a time when the weather was perfect. We went to one of our favorite spots, Pullen Park, which is where I took the pictures in this post. It's a great place for kiddos with lots of playground space, a train for riding, a carousel and other fun rides that all cost a whopping dollar each. 

You can see in the pictures that my kids fell head over heels for Faith and Luke. It's been three weeks since they were here and I still get questions about them daily. I'm so glad I can say that we'll be seeing more of them soon! 

Smiles before our train ride and lots of fun at the park.  

There's my mom pushing the twins around in our double stroller. Levi is longingly looking in at the carousel, which he did ride while holding on to me with a death grip (which is why I don't have pictures). He puts on a brave, stubborn act most of the time, so I cherish moments when he shows vulnerability. I'll offer an arm for a death grip from my sweet boy any day, anytime. 

This shot below is of Levi after Monica gave him a mint.

He didn't like it. 

Here's a picture of my big kids with the cousins. In order to get this shot, everyone had to wait until Levi stubbornly sat down somewhere and then they all crowded around him. I think he was still mad that I let him eat the mint...

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