Scriven ~ Chadwick ~ James Families! Could I Love Them More?!!!

I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but within a few months I had the Scriven Family in front of my camera twice! WIN FOR ME! One of my favorite families in life!

Now, add Dan and Martha (Kate's mom and dad) and the James crew into the mix, and we have nothing but fun here!

I can definitely tell you that apples don't fall from trees. Dan and Martha are amazing in every way and, well, their girls are equally as extraordinary.

Now, these cuties are a fabulous foursome......loving - funny - gorgeous - basically super-awesome!


Todd, you melt my heart sometimes. 
I think you secretly love getting family photos!

Really, Grace and Kate?!?! 
I believe this needs to be giant on your wall! 

Fast forward a few months and the rest of Kate's family arrived for some fun! 
What a perfect way to celebrate a dad's milestone birthday! 
I asked when they last had a picture of just the four of them. 
Let's just say it had been a while. 
This day I became a serious fan of the "core unit" photo. 
Doesn't matter how old you are. These are so important! 


James Family 
You five and this light = Perfection!

Love

And let's end with this fabulous shot. 
I was taking a pic of the grandparents and the grandkids and told these rascals behind me to get the party started so we could have some good smiles. 
Then I turned around and saw this. 
It's one of my favs from the day !


Sometimes I feel so lucky. And I feel so grateful for each photo in this post. 

I love moments. They are the best. 

xoxo

-Stacy

"11"




Dimples.
Kind.
Smart.
Intuitive.
Hilariously witty.
Creative and strong.
Lover of Skittles, soccer and back-walkovers.
Avid reader.
Lover of Thailand.
Snorkeler.
Such a good cook.
So decisive.
Friend for life.
One of my favorite travel buddies ever.
And she's 11 today.
Whoa.
On our recent trip I kept finding myself in these great conversations with her and thinking, "Seriously, I can't believe we are having these conversations and I'm so glad we are."


Getting older pulls at my heartstrings, but experiencing her fabulous character as she evolves into this special young lady is awesome! 
Happy 11th Birthday Audrey! You are majorly loved!






xoxo

-Mama

Thailand

Me, at this very moment.....sucked into reading cool quotes about travel!

My fav so far...."One of the great things about travel is you find out how many good, kind people there are in the world!"

To say we loved Thailand  just doesn't really do the whole experience justice. It was so good for us....for our family....for our hearts.

A few of us Gendreaus are suffering from "fernweh" at the moment!


My sweet girl has it the worst. She would go back tomorrow.....she'd live there....and enroll in an International School. I'm not kidding. But in retrospect, all that is the Thai culture is so her.....quiet, peaceful, calm, loving, uncomplicated, kind...it was the perfect cultural fit!!!! And she misses it - we all do! And I am so grateful we were able to experience it together. She is forever changed and so are we!

I'm not sure how many posts I'll write about our travels. It always takes me some time to decompress and let everything settle when I get home. That's the greatest thing....you don't always realize how something impacts you until you are home and back into your groove.

I know for sure, Todd's birthday at Patara Elephant Farm will have it's own post. I'm sure Audrey and Nate in Thailand will be another.

But for tonight I'm going to share what I loved about our trip and this beautiful country full of so many beautiful people and experiences. So sit back and get ready to breathe in some Thai fun!


I loved watching them enjoy the view!



We loved the temples and learning all about the Buddhist religion!



We loved chatting with the monks. 
And I'll never forget the monk that wanted to practice his English with Nate. 
In general, Nate's interactions with everyone he came upon were hysterical and so fun to watch.
And watching both my kids pick up the basic Thai words and use them daily was awesome!!!!
And the smiles and hugs that came in return - priceless!

I loved just playing!
(And P.S. - thanks to Audrey I showed up in photos on this trip) 

We loved the Elephants!
And I loved Nate's smile because of them!




I loved watching Audrey on day #2 sign this silk in a temple in Chiang Mai. 
Audrey LOVED the temples. 

Thai Coke Light
I love international pop cans! HA! 

I loved watching people get around. 
You never know what you'll see!

These are tuk-tuks. 
And we loved them!

My traveler. 

 We love the Phi Phi Islands

I loved that our long tail boat guide helped Nate catch a tropical fish in an empty bread bag! 

I loved watching her!
And if you look closely in the photo below you'll see the tropical fish in the water!

Long Tail Boats
All those ribbons and decor on the front - for good luck. 

Monkeys
They were everywhere

I loved watching my kids snorkel and become slightly obsessed with it! 

Sunsets. 
Railay Bay. 
The best I've ever seen. 

Limestone cliffs that knock your socks off. 
AMAZING!

I love this. 
This was basically him all the time. 
I'd literally pull him up out of the water to take a photo. 

The water. 
Are you kidding? 
Prettiest I've ever seen! 


And my Todd. 
Best dad - always fun.
I loved our quiet moments together!
I'll travel anywhere with you, any day of the week!!!




 I loved watching her do handstands on the beach as the sun went down. 

Three words. 
Thai Banana Pancakes
(topped with chocolate)
AKA - Thai Roti
New fav dessert for sure! 


 Pretty sure this was the favorite place we stayed. 
Huts on the beach 
Monkeys
Nicest people
Quiet, relaxing, getting up every morning to watch the sunrise with Audrey.
Then ending the night in a beach chair staring up at the skies watching the stars. 
Totally perfect. 

Best reading happened on our bungalow deck. 

 Nightly soccer games with kids from all over the world who spoke all different languages. 
Play, smiles, and soccer are universal! 

The food. 
Don't even get me started. 
Like nothing I've eaten here. 
SO delicious. 



 I loved roadside markets. 

And I loved that we hopped in the back of this truck to drive up to the hill tribes in Chiang Mai. 

These kids spoke no English. 
But Nate brought a bag of jolly ranchers to share with whomever he met.
It was clearly a hit! 
Nate learned quickly how to make friends even when you speak different languages. 

I loved hiking to the coolest places!

I loved our guide, Seng. 
He taught us about medicinal plants on our hike, made the best food at the waterfall, and made these fantastic bamboo pop guns for the kids (imagine the best spit wad shooter you've ever known). 
Sadly, security at Krabi airport deemed them as un-passable. 
Oh well, they had fun while they lasted. 

Thanks Audrey for rockin' the photos on this crazy experience!
Fish Spa. 


And the crazy moment someone puts a tiger on your lap!!!!!
WHOA!

Her heart in the sand says it all!!!! 


There are more stories to tell......like Todd feeding monkeys in the jungle then being surrounded by about 15 monkeys wanting bread.....hunting monitor lizards in the park in Bangkok.....Nate and the markets (lord help us).....an international playdate with friends from home in Phuket.....Audrey's insights and post trip planning to travel with her friends after high school...the boys catching a Muay Thai fight...there is so much to share. But it will all come in good time! 

Since we've been home I've had many people ask me if I felt safe traveling with my family in Thailand. I posed the question to the kids the other night. They looked at me as if I had just asked them the craziest question they'd ever heard. "Mom, of course we felt safe, we were in Thailand!" 
I will say, "ditto".  As I said to a friend earlier this week - in Thailand there are millions of mom's just like us loving their kids and loving on ours when they have the opportunity! I'm not going to lie and say there weren't parts of me that were nervous about different aspects of traveling across the world with my kids. But the cure for that - traveling across the world with my kids! 

Signing off from the house with the globe on the kitchen table because my kids are obsessed with researching our next trip! Always good to dream!!!

xoxo

-Stacy