Birthdays, Beach Trips, and Beautiful Things!

Summertime has concluded and my what a fun one it was! I think at the beginning of summer, Brayden was slightly hesitant to start camp. It meant new friends each week and new activities she may not have been familiar with. It was definitely a success and helped us determine which sports she gravitated toward, so we can sign her up for future classes. August wrapped up with cheer/tumble camp (her favorite!), afternoon exploration, intensive dance (she now wants to be a hip hop dancer when she grows up…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), gymnastics, and martial arts. Through all this madness, both girls took swim lessons and Brayden got her green band, which means she can go down all the waterslides at the Y. She was SO proud of herself (but I think we were more proud). There is so much ease that comes along with knowing that your child can tread water and swim long enough to get to the edge of the pool.

This month is always full of celebrations as well. I turned 36, Kyle turned 34, Hanleigh turned three, and we celebrated our 12-year wedding anniversary. All of this was back-to-back. I think we ended up having three weekend date nights in row (that gets expensive with babysitters!). I visited with my friend I’ve known the longest, Susan, and her newborn baby boy, Reed. It is always so amazing to hold an infant (you forget how tiny they are), see a new mom navigating her way through sleepless nights, yet maintain that adoration for their new bundle of joy. It was so great to see her in her element with him! Mom treated me to a massage and body scrub for my birthday (it’s nice to have connections!) and then we went out with Kendall & Andrew for a date night. It was so awesome to hang out with them! We had Hanleigh’s birthday party at the YMCA and lots of friends and family showed up. She loved the bouncy house and Dora cake.

Happy Birthday, Hanleigh! Three years ago, I was worried about having another child and how in the world I was going to be able to have as much love for you as I have for Brayden. Well, that wasn’t a problem at all. The minute I laid eyes on your sweet face and smelled your sweet baby smell, it was love at first sight. You are quite the little character and are in a good mood nearly all of the time. Your little voice sounds like you breathed helium and you make up the funniest words, do the silliest dances, and laugh about everything. You love all fruit and aren’t big on pizza…both of which are the exact opposite of your sister. You are like her in many ways, but very different as well. You think Brayden hung the moon and mimic her every move, but need your space (when it’s on your terms). Sometimes you like to instigate things and you are very brave (read: jumping off things, running very fast and making us nervous). You have a best friend named Brody, which the two of you have so much fun together that you disrupt your class (oops). Your favorite colors are pink and purple, you love Dora, headbands, and making funny faces. I am not sure if it’s knowing that you will be our last child or the fact that you are the sweetest thing ever, but you are not lacking in getting attention. Your concept of time is improving, but you constantly tell us you will be five tomorrow and that you are going to kindergarten soon. I don’t want to wish this time away at all. I cherish you so much and am completely in love with your little cherub (and many times, impish) ways. Happy birthday, sweet girl!

We celebrated our anniversary as well. It seems like just yesterday we were married, yet we have experienced so much in these 12 years: six jobs, tons of traveling, three houses, two kids, two dogs, and two cities. Trent (disclaimer to readers: it’s gonna get sappy), you are still that guy I met in college that I was completely enamored with. I knew I loved you then, but I didn’t expect my love would grow exponentially watching you become a father. I still find myself just staring at you thinking, “damn, he is hot!” and watching you play with girls and how much you love them is a beautiful thing. You make me laugh, support me when I’m feeling down, we act goofy together, and just make a darn good pair. I could not be happier. Thank you for being so incredible.

We had a playdate with one of Brayden’s friends and I also went to Raleigh to meet up with my friends, Laura and Tonya (who lives in Italy now and I hadn’t seen her in two years). We picked up right where we left off…a true sign of a real friendship. We concluded the month with a well-deserved and much-needed beach trip. We piled into a very packed car and headed to Holden Beach where we met up with Trent’s parents, my mom and her boyfriend (David), Kyle, Erin, Sharon, and Cooper. It was such a relaxing week and we definitely plan to make it a tradition! Hanleigh and Cooper were frick and frack, following each other around laughing like crazy and getting into short-lived spats where they would actually apologize to each other. So cute! We saw a baby sea turtle, who had lost his way, swim into the ocean…this was the highlight of my trip. What are the odds? We tried to see a nest hatch while we were there, but weren’t so lucky. The kids loved playing in the pool (which is a necessity) and having an oceanfront home was the way to go. No lugging all your junk to and from the beach multiple times a day. It was the perfect week!

Brayden began first grade and has about five kids from her kindergarten class in there as well (one of which is Cora, her best friend). She has also met some new friends. I can’t wait to watch her excel and see how all the reading she did over the summer has prepped her for another successful year! We also kicked off another football season. So begins seven weekend trips this fall to Raleigh and racking up hotel points. GO PACK!

Brayden-ism:

  • I recently got a new laptop bag. When I showed it to Brayden, she said, “When you die, can I have that laptop bag?” Geez. Talk about calling dibs.

Hanleigh-isms:

  • One night, after bedtime, Hanleigh crept out of her room and said, “I don’t want that giraffe with the big eyes looking at me. He’s tall.”
  • After spending the night at a hotel in Raleigh, the next day Hanleigh kept talking about our new house: “Are we going to our new house that has all the numbers and lots of doors and a big girl bed and a one potty?” “Yes, sweetie” (we thought she meant our actual house. She actually meant the hotel.).

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