We recently got back from a long 4th of July weekend in the North Carolina mountains, and it was just what we needed. We haven’t been with my entire family at once (Mom, Dad, Two sisters, brother-in-law, and dog-nephew, Flint) since Thanksgiving, and we got to meet them at my Aunt and Uncle’s place in North Carolina for a few days of fun and relaxation with some of my extended family. 

I use this blog both as a place to share inspiration and also to keep track of my own memories, so i figured I would share a recap of our few days in the mountains. 

We live in a world that makes it really hard to just take a break and rest. The mountains are a place that I feel like I can do that. I absolutely love the grandeur of peaks and cliffs and valleys. I love lakes in the mountains. I love oceans that jut up to massive rocks. I would choose a mountain cabin over a Caribbean beach any day. 

Every morning while we were gone, I woke up before sunrise and watched the sun come up. I brought my journal and read scripture; I find so much joy in the solitude and the stillness as the sun comes up…especially when I get to watch it rise over the mountains. 

While we were celebrating the freedom of America, there were quite a few news stories that made headlines which had me questioning freedom for all and the reliability of justice in our country, But vistas like this one remind me that God is still in control. The purple mountains are still majestic. The spacious skies are so beautiful. The ULTIMATE freedom still rings for those of us who have found our freedom in Christ. 

My great Aunt and Uncle are members of a beautiful mountain resort in Cashiers, North Carolina, and that community knows how to do the Fourth of July weekend up right. We started out with Bingo night on Sunday night. On the Fourth, we woke up and ran a 5K. It was my first ever 5K. I’ve been running for the past month or so, and a 5K on a mountainous course was a big accomplishment for me! 

On the evening of the Fourth, we went to the annual Mountain Top Family Carnival, and it was such a blast! The perfect place to eat American food, watch fireworks, and dance to a live band. 

Also, my sister is an amazing photographer! I love these photos she took that night. Be sure to check her out at www.sydneygoodwinphotography.com.

Raegan's Dress: Old Navy (last season). My top: LOFT. Necklace: Francesca's. 

Raegan’s Dress: Old Navy (last season). My top: LOFT. Necklace: Francesca’s. 

Time with family paired with gorgeous views was just what we needed to get some rest. Sometimes we have to step out of the normal to force ourselves to slow down and enjoy what’s around us. 

I hope your Independence Day was full of rest, beauty and family.