Spring Break & Easter 2018: Knoxville, TN

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Two Sundays ago, we traveled 6ish hours from our house in Chapel Hill to Knoxville, TN. We stayed with friends for a week.

Spring Break Goals:

*Find a house to buy for when we return to Tennessee in June.

*Visit with as many friends and family as possible.

*Eat all of our favorite Knoxville foods.

On Monday, we went grocery shopping and to the park with the kids in the morning. That afternoon, we paid a babysitter to hang with the twins while we went to see six houses with our realtor. Tom has made quite the hobby out of house-hunting on realtor.com, so we had sent our realtor a list of our favorites prior to viewing houses in person. Highest items on my list included enough bathrooms for a family of 6 (plus a half bath for guests!) and a big kitchen. Highest item on T’s list: a nice backyard with a view of the mountains. Monday’s house search had some decent possibilities and some definite no’s.

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Tom’s ideal mountain view

On Tuesday, we toured the twins’ preschool for next fall. They felt right at home in the classroom and joined in for center and circle time while we talked to the director. There were monster trucks to play with for M week, so Eli’s day was made.

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Tuesday afternoon, we joined our old playgroup for an Easter egg hunt. The kids have grown up so much in the past 2 years since we lived there, plus there are new babies in every family. Eli decided to hunt for all the dark blue eggs in the yard. Emry Jane was less picky as long as she found lots of eggs for her basket. Nathan enjoyed meeting his new baby friends, until they tried to climb on top of him!

We also celebrated Larson’s third birthday with her on Tuesday. Larson’s mommy has been my best friend for over 15 years. They graciously let us stay at their house all week and the twins had a great time playing with Larson. Larson’s daddy is also a doctor so they lived in Connecticut for a year to complete his specialty training right before we moved to North Carolina for two years for T’s fellowship training, so the twins and Larson have not spent much time together in the past 3 years.  Fun Fact: My best friend and I both grew up in middle Tennessee, but our husbands both completed their residencies in Knoxville (in east Tennessee) in different specialities and were both offered positions to stay at the same hospital. I am really looking forward to living in the same town as my bestie and watching our kids grow up together. *insert praise hands

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Wednesday was our most restful day. We went back to the park with friends and watched movies at Larson’s house while T went to work for an interview with the Dean and a research meeting.

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On Thursday, the house hunting continued. Eli and Emry Jane played at their friend Mary’s house while T, Nathan and I went to see the last 6 houses on our list. Most of these houses were definite no’s, though we did decided that we wanted to take a second-look at a couple of the houses on our list the next day. The twins had so much fun with Mary that they did not want to leave. Her Mommy made them several fun activities to do, like the contact paper Easter eggs pictured below.

On Friday, MaMarsh, Granddaddy Jer, Auntie Mamey and cousin Tenley came to Knoxville to spend the day with us. We were supposed to see them Thursday evening, but traffic kept them on the road until after 10pm. We had two second-looks and one new house scheduled to see with our realtor that morning, so we dropped the twins and Nathan off at their hotel to hang out while we were gone. The hotel where they were staying had a swimming pool so the twins enjoyed swimming before and after lunch.

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It was Nathan’s first time swimming. T and I joined them for lunch and the second round of swimming. The water was a bit chilly, so we did not let Nathan stay in the water very long but he loved splashing in it.

After swimming, we went to the park and back to Larson’s house to play before my in-laws had to leave. The biggest event on Friday– we put an offer on a house! After a second look at my favorite house from Monday’s house tour, we decided that it was THE house for us!

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On Saturday, we went to the Knoxville zoo with our friends Cayce, Mary and Will. We used to stroll through the zoo quite a bit when the twins were younger. They have also added some awesome new exhibits for the animals since we went a couple years ago. The Knoxville zoo is one of my favorites because it is so interactive and kid-friendly– like these climbing nets for kids at the gibbon exhibit.

The weather was great, finally warm and sunny after being dreary for most of the week. The twins had great fun climbing on all the animal photo props and meeting the zoo mascots. Emry Jane played veterinarian in the Wee Play part. Nathan only lasted 5 minutes in the stroller. He preferred being snuggled in the Ergo or sleeping on Daddy. The twins preferred squeezing into the single BOB stroller anyway, so it all worked out. Eli’s favorite part was seeing the giraffes. Later that afternoon, we met up with friends at the Market for another birthday celebration and playing in the hammocks and sand boxes. I am so thankful that we got to see so many of our friends while we were in town, though there were still a few that we missed.

Sunday was Easter. The Easter Bunny brought baskets of goodies for the littles. We had church at Cokesbury in Knoxville, picked up Noah and then it was time to head back to North Carolina. We also found out that afternoon that our offer had been accepted by the seller and we were officially pending under contract to buy! Spring Break goals COMPLETED! It’s crazy to think that the next time we will be in Knoxville, it will be to close on a house. Just 10 weeks until our move back to Tennessee.

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