We kicked April off with our first official spring break (well, since Trent and I were in college…which is TOTALLY different than this experience) with having a child in grade school. It is kind of nice to have a guaranteed week of vacation in the spring that is automatically planned…deciding where to go is the challenging part. This year, we decided to venture to the Florida Keys. Trent had been to Key West a few times before in college, but the rest of us had never been. So, we flew into Miami, rented a car, and drove south to Duck Key where we spent four nights at Hawk’s Cay Resort. It was a wonderful time, the weather was perfect, and the kids got to play to their heart’s content. Our room was great and overlooked the main pool, lagoon, and ocean.
Our first night there, we thought we’d be bold and let the girls share a bed (this would be Hanleigh’s first night in a true “big” bed). Bad parental choice as Hanleigh rolled off in the middle of the night and wedged herself in between the bed and nightstand. She was actually stuck, so we had to pull her out. On night two, she slept between us after whining to get out of the pack n’ play, but proceeded to maneuver her little body like a helicopter blade and chop us with her hands and feet ALL NIGHT LONG. Needless to say, by the third night she was in a pack n’ play all night, no matter what.
We visited the Turtle Hospital where we got to learn what a “bubble butt” is (when turtles have been injured and air gets into their shells, they can no longer submerge themselves and their bottoms float to the surface…the doctors adhere weights to help them go under once again), watched the dolphins in the hotel lagoon, and played in the many pools on the property. Our last night was spent in Key West. We stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast and walked around the city for a bit. Key West is an interesting place, but “family friendly” is definitely not a term I would ever use to describe it. For example, we watched the street performers at Mallory Square before enjoying a beautiful sunset. Unfortunately, they cussed up a storm and made some vulgar references. Good times. Then, on the walk back to our B&B, Brayden and I took a pedicab where we saw a “really tall, beautiful woman” and a bar where there were men in really tight underwear (in the words of Brayden, “look, that guy has underwear on standing outside of that place…oh, look there are guys dancing on the bars in underwear”). I was prepared to have some ‘grown-up’ conversations, but was never asked any questions. We just kept on..hilarious! Thanks, Key West! Whew, dodged that one. Overall, it was such a wonderful week away and I look forward to many more as the girls venture through school.
Upon returning from spring break, Trent and I dropped off the girls with Nana and then drove to Charleston for the annual Cooper River Bridge Run. The weather was gorgeous and we all did great during the race (Trent and I finished in 58:55 and 57:17, respectively). Not too bad considering neither of us were training much through running. We’ve both been heavily involved in exercise classes, which apparently helped out with our cardio endurance. It was our sixth year doing the race and a great time was had by all (maybe even too good a time…we got a bit rowdy Saturday night).
We are getting closer and closer to finishing up the touches on our den downstairs…we had the entryway, upstairs hallway, and den painted a nice, subtle gray-ish beige color, which looks so much better than the putrid mustard color that was there when we moved in. Next is end tables and lamps and we’ll tackle a rug later on. Trent went on a work trip to NYC, we attended Cooper’s birthday party (how is he already two?), and Trent/Brayden went to their second Y Guides longhouse overnight camp. They were in a cabin with a bunch of 5th-grade girls and their dads, which meant Brayden was very distracted from the activities because she wanted to hang out with the older girls as much as possible. I think it also made for later bedtimes since they were up chatting. However, Brayden enjoyed archery, BB guns, and a few other activities (unfortunately, the weather was cold and rainy, so they didn’t get to do everything they wanted).
Kyle and I (along with a large portion of the family) attended an award ceremony for Dadaw. He was recognized for a Lifetime Achievement Award in Construction Management from the University of Kentucky. We flew to Lexington for a quick trip, decorated Mimi and his hotel room with silly photos and captions like “I’m steamrolling the competition, suckers” and “You know you dig me. Get it?” and surprised him with the room décor. We all donned our best suits and dresses, attended a great dinner, watched a video describing Dadaw’s history in construction, and then enjoyed him standing at the podium accepting his award in front of hundreds of other industry colleagues. It was a true honor to see him receive this prestigious award and I am so happy to have been present to witness that moment. The word ‘proud’ doesn’t even begin to explain my feelings. He is such a giving man with such an open heart and has helped so many others realize their dreams through his motivation, ethics, determination, and persistence. I know that there are so many lives out there that he has touched and whom he has inspired. GREAT JOB, DADAW! I LOVE YOU!
We also now have a guest house in our backyard. Specifically, the playhouse that was built for me circa 1981 (by the great Dadaw and Mimi) has now been transferred from Hall Contracting to our backyard. The guys that moved it are true professionals and this isn’t their first rodeo, so to speak. It was actually the fifth or sixth time that it has been moved in 31 years. We ate dinner in it the first night it was here and the girls love it. We’ve been making minor upgrades to it over the weeks with the addition of little push lights and flowers in the window boxes. Trent has plans down the road to add some windows in the front and maybe even add a screen door to the front to allow more light/air to come in when it’s warm outside.
Brayden had another perfect report card this past quarter, excelling in nearly every category. She is such a wonderful student and said the other day that she wishes her teacher could be her teacher until she goes to college. Even though she loves kindergarten, she is also counting down the weeks until summer break. Her summer camps should be a blast and I can’t wait to see if she gravitates toward a certain sport. We have started to notice a bit of competitiveness going on between Brayden and Hanleigh. During any given day, you are bound to hear “No, I said it first…I did it better…etc.”. One day, we had enough, so we instituted a new rule: if any competitive comments arise, they lose one piece of candy from their special treat bowls. We told them that competition like that should be reserved for sports and not between sisters. Not sure that Hanleigh understands it yet, but Brayden’s getting it. Those comments are much more few and far between now, thank goodness. They are really the best of friends 99% of the time and now call each other “sissy”.
- “I’m a rock start” (rock star)