Good Eats & Great Friends

This month was pretty low key in that we remained in town every weekend. It is so nice to have down time like that. The month started off with a bit of a health scare for my grandfather when he had a stroke. Thankfully, he was in excellent hands at the hospital, followed by a few weeks of speech and physical therapy, which helped his recovery. I know he was ready to come home as were all of us. We love you, Dadaw! The girls continued taking gymnastics and are beginning to work on their routines for the end of the semester. They both have really taken to the class; however, I am interested to see how Brayden takes a liking to summer camps (such as soccer). Brayden attended a friend’s birthday party at a local pottery painting studio and I had dinner with a long-lost friend from high school as well as one of my best friends from college (who now lives in Hawaii). We enjoyed a nice date night out with our neighbors at a delicious, new restaurant and had a great dinner at the Dunlap’s house. Having moved to Charlotte nearly two years ago, we knew Kendall and Andrew, but other than them and immediate family (and a few distant high school friends of which I don’t talk to anymore), it was like moving to an entirely new city in terms of starting over with friendships. We feel truly blessed to be in a neighborhood and community where we have created the start of some (what will be) amazing friendships whether through workout groups, classes at the YMCA, the pool, or right across the street. It’s nice to feel settled in and have an abundance of social activities with some awesome people.

Trent redeemed (a year after receiving it) his ride-along NASCAR experience. This was super cool. When we were driving there, the GPS took us to the smaller race track across the street from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I have to tell you, I was a bit bummed that Trent would be riding around on a dinky, little track. Good thing this wasn’t the case as we called the school and they directed us back to the main track! After going through some minor clearance, we entered a tunnel that took us under the track where we emerged to find ourselves in the infield surrounded by the sound of roaring engines. After waiting for a bit, it was finally Trent’s turn. He got his helmet on, climbed into the car Dukes-of-Hazard style, and sped off in the passenger seat. While he was racing, I found out he would be going 175 mph! After this third lap, he climbed out of the car with thumbs up, a permagrin, and a “whoa, that was crazy.” He said it was so amazing when you go around the turns that the car simply hugs the track and defies all physics. I could tell he was on a bit of an adrenaline kick from it. What made me most happy was seeing the smile on his face. The present was well worth it and the girls got to watch the whole thing, too.

Joe, Les, Chase, and Emilia came to visit us one weekend as well. Again, we are very lucky to have such amazing people in our lives. We miss them SO incredibly much and they were the main reason moving to Charlotte was such a tough choice. We knew we wanted to the kids to be close to family, which was our main motivator in moving to Charlotte, but leaving Joe & Les made it a very tough decision. Thankfully, we are only a few hours away and make an effort to see them a number of times throughout the year (I will see Les again in September for a girls’ beach trip and we just booked a long, adults-only weekend in October with them to NYC).

I traveled to Oconee, SC for a work event I had been planning for a few months and that event went off without a hitch, which was a relief. I think I had a nightmare about it the night before, which was quite comical. I was totally ready for the event, and was in the parking lot going to my car after buying some breakfast when this person came out of nowhere and sprayed me with a water hose. Instead of freaking out and going crazy (like I wanted to do), I turned to her and calmly said something I can’t type in this post and then walked away. When I got to work, the event went flawlessly. That was the nightmare, but all turned out very well. If I were a dream interpreter, I would take that to mean that if something were to go awry during the event, I was going to take it in stride, overcome it, and keep my head high.

We enjoyed seeing Pentatonix in concert one night (they won a season of the show “The Sing Off”) and are an a cappella group that sings covers (and has original songs). They were pretty incredible. Definitely a different type of concert than we are used to, but they didn’t disappoint. Our friends Carol and Craven (that we met through Joe & Les) were in town for a work meeting, so we were able to meet up with them for dinner and dessert. We need to hang out with them more often…there were a lot of laughs and some great conversation. Plus, their kids are adorable. There were lots of birthdays to celebrate, too: we had a great time at Max’s birthday party and Dadaw and Erin also had a birthday in March.

In kid news, just when we thought we were over the getting out of bed at night ritual, Hanleigh surprised us again. Once it is bedtime, that little stinker likes to climb out of her bed to come get a hug, tell us something about a sock, go potty two more times, etc. Basically, anything to avoid getting some sleep. It really is the cutest thing ever, but we have to hold our ground. After a couple weeks, that phase fades away and then it will be something else to which she gravitates. At school one afternoon, Hanleigh got in trouble because she coerced her best friend, Brody, to hide in the bathroom one afternoon and the teachers didn’t know where they were. She quickly learned that wasn’t acceptable (again, it is still pretty cute).

As we do every morning, we feed the dogs, let them outside to go to the bathroom, and then come back in to feed the girls breakfast and get them ready for school. One morning, I never saw Indi come back in, so I began searching for her in the backyard and didn’t find her. My heart started beating faster and I got nervous. Both Trent and I were outside in the front yard walking up and down the street calling her name and in my mind, I had already thought about patrolling the neighborhood and putting up “lost dog” signs…but our girls were still inside and I needed go check on them. Brayden kept getting up from the table because she was very worried as well. She wanted to help find her. After about 15 minutes of searching, Trent went upstairs to see if Indi was up there at all and there she was, relaxing on the couch. When Brayden opened the door to let Peapod in, Indi snuck by her. Trent then asked Brayden, “Did you see her come in and go upstairs?” Brayden said, “Yeah. I remember her walking in the door.” Hilarious. How fleeting their memories are at key times. That would’ve been a good detail to know before we all (even Brayden) started worrying. Needless to say, even though it was a false alarm, Indi’s embarrassing dog collar was immediately put on her.

Brayden-ism

  • One afternoon in the car, Brayden says, “Mom, I’m hot in both ways.” to which I replied, “Oh? What do you mean?” She said, “Well, the first way, I mean I am hot like temperature.” I said, “Ok. What is the second way?” to which she said (with a matter-of-fact, get-with-the-program-mom tone), “You know, fancy.”

Hanleigh-ism

  • We were listening to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ song “Can’t Hold Us” when Hanleigh said, “Mommy, you know why the ceiling can’t hold them? Because they don’t have any tape.”
  • Trent and Hanleigh were driving one afternoon, when she looked up, pointed to a cloud and said, “That cloud looks like a horse smelling its bottom.”

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