Spring Break 2013: Florida Road Trip

  Dale and I are still on the mend from our year of tragedy turned triumph. I know it, because we still get weary of life and its demands more than we used to.  We had been hoping for some time away from life these past few months, and wouldn’t you know, the Lord provided!  🙂

  Dale’s grandparents, who he lived with on the farm all during high school, needed someone to drive their truck from Florida back home. {They are Florida Snow Birds.} So, they were gracious enough to fly both Dale AND I to Florida to help them load the truck and drive it back. 

  We were so excited! Everything was going well until the night before our flight, I realize I can’t find my wallet.

Which means I can’t find my ID. 

Which means I can’t fly, right!?

   I tore our luggage, my car and our home apart.  OH MY WORD.  No wallet.

What was I going to do? 

  After many, many tears, and much research on Google, I packed an old Drivers licence in my maiden name, my birth certificate, and my SS card, all with my maiden name on them. THEN, I threw in our Marriage license because it showed I was indeed the Tonya Ferguson on the ticket after all. 

  You better believe I barely slept a wink from 12-2 worrying about it, and we got up at 3 am to get ready to go. {YAWN!}  Praise God, they were satisfied with all my ID’s and let me on the plane with no trouble at all, just a joking hint that it’d cost me my cute earrings to get on the plane.


Know where my wallet was?

At Target.  

Where I had run errands the day before with all 4 kids and somewhere in the commotion of coats and bags, left it in the cart.  

Target, where I had JUST been that night, only hours before our trip, making a return with Dale.  Never even guessing my missing wallet was behind the service desk counter, turned in by some nice lady the day before, trip cash and all!  

Seriously, what are the odds?!    But at least it was safe and sound!

Blog collage 1

5 hours later, we were in Sunny FLORIDA!  {not so sunny, more like COLD, but oh well!} That didn’t stop us from being lazy in the sun!

blog 2


  While we were there, we stayed at my Dad and Drea’s home.  They live close by to Dale’s Grandparents, small world, right!? 

  It was QUIET there with no kids, and we were able to go out to dinner late at night and everything! Just like real grown ups. 

Haha! It’s been a while since we’ve been able to do that. 

collage 3

We had a great time and got some much needed shopping done for all of us.  They have the BEST bargain stores there!  blog 6

Great food, great company, just an all around amazing time!

blog 3

  Before we knew it, Grandpa’s were packed up and ready to fly home, and our short little trip was up.

  On the way out-of-state, we stopped in at my brother, Chad and sis in law, Lauren’s home to kiss on my sweet baby nephews, Colby & Brayden.   They are getting SO big!

blog 4blog 5

Then it was back on the road again, this time 5 more hours upstate {Florida is SOOO long!} to surprise a life long friend at her Beach Wedding! You may remember Kris & Melissa from their engagement session I shared recently.


  We caught sweet Melissa off guard.  She came over the wooden bridge towards her groom and the beach wedding location and her jaw hit the floor.  She told us later, she almost cried. That made our long drive totally worth it!
It was such an honor to be able to be there to witness their I Do’s. 
Only the Lord could work out the details to such perfection, that we’d be there not only the day of her wedding, but able to make the time of her ceremony as well. 

The wedding photographers contract said no cameras at the wedding, so I only have a few of the before shots.  It was such a beautiful wedding!!!!! I snagged what I could before packing the camera away.  I didn’t want any trouble! Winking smile 

  Long before we wanted to leave, it was time to hit the road again, this time for 16 more hours of driving.  All went smoothly, until we got into some bad weather in Texas.  We just rode it out a bit at a gas station, and praise God it passed quickly without the hail they predicted!

Blog 7

  We spent a grand total of 22 hours of travel and poor, poor Dale drove straight through so we could see the kids before school started up the next day.  He took 2, 45 minute naps. I was blessed to sleep in 3 hour increments in the back seat of the truck.  Poor guy, after we got home and played with the kids a bit, he crawled to bed at 5 for a nap, and slept until 7 the next morning!

  Oh, I almost forgot to tell you.  This is so exciting!  A friend of ours from here, has some BFF’s down in Florida that do photography. 

  So, knowing all we had been through these past few years, she made a couple calls, and got us hooked us up with a Couples Session on the beach!  {squeeeee!} 

  The following photos are taken by Drea, she and Dad hung out and watched our shoot.  Before you go, I want to share some of my favorites with you…..she did a great job capturing moments even though we totally were looking at another photographer the whole time!

beach 1beach 2

We had so much fun, with some serious, intimate shots…..

beach 4

beach 6 

And NOT so serious moments in the mix! 

We call this next photo, “Parents of 4”…..

beach 9

And let’s not forget some Beach side planking with a little Ta Da thrown in…..

beach 3
  In all seriousness, this opportunity was a big deal to us.  You have to remember, the last time we were there, Dale re-proposed to me on the beach, as we were fighting for our marriage after “the truth”. 


2 years and a whole lot of healing later, it was so amazing to have a photo session on the beach in honor of all that had taken place.

beach 8

Mel and Jen were so fun to work with, I wish I had thought to get a photo of THEM! They were such sweet girls, and we all had a blast! Even though it was WINDY and super cool out.

  Check out this next shot, we were trying to get our feet tangled for a shoe shot, it was so not easy!  

beach 10

  Drea did such a good job capturing all the little moments during our photo shoot! 

IMG_5049 (2)

I will have to wait to share the pictures from the actual shoot until I get the disk and release from the photographers, but I just HAD to share some of these today too. 

beach 11


  I am proud of how far we have come.  It’s been a long, long weary road……..timeline

  But God is so, so faithful to walk with us every step of the way! ~T

  beach 12