Home at Last!

Hellooooo, friends!

We got back home Sunday night after being gone for 9 days to Georgia and Nashville!  It was a wonderful trip, and we made so many wonderful memories!  I wanted to share some of them with you.

First off, this is the first trip where we had to take TWO CARS!  I drive a GMC Denali that holds seven people, but it doesn’t hold all of our luggage, plus fishing gear.  :)  Cy and I are talking about getting some type of luggage carrier for the top of the car or one of those little luggage trailers for the back of the car.  However, extra luggage carriers will not take care of another problem we have….all five kids stuck in the back of the car for 8 hours!  Jonathan and Luke sit in the middle of the car since they are bigger, which means that Eli, Sania, and Adam are in the very back of the car, and let’s just say that can be a lethal combination for that many hours!

So we took Cy’s car too.  Luke and Eli road with him, and Jonathan, Adam, and Sania rode with me.  I let Jonathan do some driving on the interstate to get some good practice in.  Pretty soon, he will be driving down to Nashville by himself, and I want him to get as much experience as possible before then.  I am so glad we took two cars because it was a much more peaceful drive down to visit Cy’s family. :)

Cy’s parents and sisters live in Georgia, and we always have a blast when we go down to see them.  Our boys get to hang out with their boy cousins, and they have a big ole time on Pop and Gammaw’s farm. :)

We spent 4 days there fishing, canoeing, swimming, celebrating the 4th of July, and celebrating Jonathan’s 18th birthday on the 5th!

My in-laws have beautifully restored two old “shot gun” houses on their property, along with a big barn that holds a fun “man cave.”  Be sure to check out all the details of these spaces in my video below!

After our time in Georgia, we headed to Nashville for Jonathan to start recording his first EP.  Our first night there, we went to the Grand Ole Opry and had so much fun!

The next day, Jonathan had an afternoon meeting with Brandon Hood, and then we went and visited our sweet friends the Gustafsons, in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Do you remember who they are?

They are the sweet family whose home’s exterior we renovated two years ago during the Lowe’s Spring Makeover!


Beth has become a dear friend of mine of the past two years, and we look forward to many more fun times with them in the future!  I took a cute picture of her and I together on my Insta-stories last week, but I forgot to save it.  :(

But Beth sent me this cute pic of her and Sania together.  Beth got her that cute hat, and it says, “Mermaid Hair, Don’t Care.”  :)

The next day, Jonathan was in the studio all day long working with a live band recording the songs for his EP.  He worked in a studio called  “The Castle.”

It’s a building with a lot of history!

“The Castle was built from 1929 to 1932, purportedly under the auspices of the notorious gangster, Al Capone, and by Chicago bookie/gambler Ed Welch. It was used as a “half-way” point for the travels between Chicago and Florida or New Orleans, and was operated as a clandestine gambling casino in the 30’s. As proof, local yard spinners used to point to the gambling symbols which are embedded in the front rock walkway as a reminder of its prohibited activities. Part of the lore is that there was a mushroom cellar designed to hide “guests.” The mysterious Welch returned to Chicago after the local police busted the gambling operation. Then came the restaurant incarnation during the 40’s where Bob Hope, Spencer Tracy and other actors were regular visitors during the filming of a movie in the area.”

How cool is that?!!

And there is a LONG LIST of amazing artists that have recorded there including:


Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Scotty McCreery, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Keith Urban, and more!


Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, Etta James, Kansas, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ziggy Marley, Lionel Ritchie, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.


4Him, Audio Adrenaline, Caedmon’s Call, Jeremy Camp, Steven Curtis Chapman, DC Talk, Kirk Franklin, Amy Grant, Al Green, Jennifer Knapp, Toby Mac, Twila Paris, Point Of Grace, Side Walk Prophets, Michael W. Smith, Third Day,  and many more!

It was so much fun to be walking around where so many famous artist have been.  And to think that Jonathan was singing into the same mic that some of them have sung into is surreal.

The band and his producer, Brandon Hood, were amazing to work with!

That night, we went to see the new Spiderman movie in Franklin, where we were staying.  The boys loved it!

Saturday, Jonathan went back into the studio with Brandon to do his vocals for the tracks.  Brandon owns a studio in the Warner Music building on Music Row in Nashville!  Again…surreal!

I snapped a pic on my phone while Jonathan and Michael Blanton were listening to the rough tracks of his three songs.

Check out my video below to see a few more clips of this day.

To finish off our trip, we took the kiddos to the Wildhorse Saloon in Downtown Nashville, and had a blast!

I shared a lot of what we did in Georgia and Nashville on my instastories last week, but I have had several of you say you do not have Instagram and would still like to see what we’ve been up to.

I tried my best to remember to save my instastory videos, and I put them together in a video for you to see.  The quality isn’t the best, but at least it’s something. :)

I hope you enjoy it!

We have some VERY exciting things coming up with Jonathan’s music, and I can’t wait to share it with you soon!


  1. What a wonderful trip. I was raised in GA and lived in Nashville a few years ago, so it all felt very nostalgic.♥️
    I was hoping we’d hear a sneak peek of Jonathan’s project. So excited for y’all! ::squeal::

  2. Girl your kids are growing up soooo fast! And how exciting for all of you with all the many things going on! Can’t wait to hear from Jonathan! My girls still listen to his music from the Voice we bought! Yay!!! Can’t wait!!!

  3. It looks like y’all had a blast! I can’t wait to hear what is next up for Jonathan. I suspect it was better taking two vehicles. Another option so that y’all can co in one vehicle, is to buy a carrier that you put in the receiver below your bumper. There’s just two of us, but our two big dogs always travel with us, so we have to use our carrier for extended trips.

  4. Wow Traci what a blessing for sure. I just can’t help but think of your mom looking down on all of this, she would be so proud of all of you. How exciting for Jonathan to record in “the castle” and for all of you to be a part of something so exciting. Wish you all nothing but the best.

  5. Awesome!
    Sania was so cute at Jonathan’s birthday you can hear her say I’m so happy for you Jonathan. :)

  6. What an amazing trip. Looks like everyone had a good time. Also, best of luck to your son and his new career! Very exciting for an eighteen year old for sure.

  7. We live at Lake Oconee. I have a shop called The French Hare right in the shopping center where you pic in front of movie theatre was. Come see our little home interiors shop on your next visit to Lake Oconee.

  8. Wow, what a great trip and a fun, fun video. I really enjoyed it! I have a feeling your Jonathon is going to be a Heart throb!! Looking forward to hearing his music.

  9. I am so excited for Jonathan and his future! What a boatload of memories was made while visiting family. Two cars likely was the best idea. :o)) Can’t wait to hear more about Jonathan’s project. Happy weekend!

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