Our ranch-style home has a walkout basement with large mature trees providing beauty, shade, and lots of leaves to jump in during the fall. It also features a large fenced in backyard to play in. Our quiet subdivision is home to young children and retirees offering a good range of ages and experience to interact with. One set of neighbors are adoptive grandparents to Ainsley. Across the street is Claire, a teenage girl that frequently babysits for us, who Ainsley adores. Within walking distance is one of several city parks, a walking/biking trail that connects several areas of the city, a high school, and a large medical center.
The city we live in is an education and healthcare hub for the region. There are excellent public schools, five colleges, and two major hospitals. With multiple performing arts centers, a zoo, minor league baseball, an educational science museum for children, a farm park, thriving youth sports leagues, and college sports there is always a fun activity to participate in. Multicultural festivals and events celebrating the Hispanic and Latin American cultures are held several times a year. There is also a conservation center with walking trails where deer, birds, fish, squirrels, and snakes can be viewed up close while getting exercise. Five lakes are within an hour drive offering opportunities for boating or fishing.
Between our home and the diversity of entertainment and outdoor activities, there are plenty of opportunities to play and make memories here!
We are blessed to have our parents and siblings living in the same community allowing us frequent opportunities to get together to celebrate holidays and everyday events. This also provides a great support system. Our daughter is extremely close to her grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Additionally, we have several cousins, aunts, and uncles that we see on a regular basis.
Almost weekly we share meals with our parents. We celebrate birthdays with parties that include our parents and siblings with cake and ice cream that is homemade. Each Christmas we celebrate Midnight Mass with Will’s parents and brother, have an early Christmas breakfast and exchange gifts with Nicole’s mother and her siblings’ families, and then have Christmas dinner and open packages with Will’s brother and parents. We have also shared vacations with our parents, traveling to Disney World and Orange Beach, Alabama.
We also see our greater extended family (our parents’ siblings and our cousins and their families) frequently. We celebrate Independence Day at Will’s cousin’s farm with a barbecue, homemade ice cream, and fireworks. We have an annual “surprise” birthday party for Will’s aunt with a bonfire, s’mores, hamburgers, and hot dogs. Nicole’s family on her mom’s side has an annual family reunion at a former country school turned community center where the kids can play together in the old gym and the adults provide a tasty pot luck dinner and a gospel sing.
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