July kicked off with our annual family reunion to the Virginia Creeper Trail. We had 28 family members show up this year, which is only half the size of our family, but still a great turnout! We always have such an amazing time with everyone…real salt-of-the-earth souls and spirits who know how to relax, party, and laugh. Everyone always pitches in and helps with meals, watches kids, etc. All of the “first cousins” (my layer of the family tree) usually get out one of the days/evenings for a fun event…this time it was to hang out at the Damascus Brewery. There was about 12 of us that went and indulged in some tasty beverages. Nearly everyone rode the Creeper Trail on Friday and our family rode it again on Sunday with the kids. It was Brayden and Hanleigh’s first time riding their own bikes and they both did an amazing job. At one point, Hanleigh wrecked and skinned up her knee, but she’s a trooper, so she was fine. We came back from that trip and went to the Berger’s house for a July 4 party. It was awesome…Kan Jam, delicious food, face coasters, and even a crazy thunderstorm.
The girls continued attending summer camps (cooking, mermaid, games, gymnastics, theater, splash). The theater camps usually end with showcases which are pretty entertaining, especially when there are a bunch of K-2 graders forgetting lines, lifting up their clothes, falling down, and running into each other. One evening, both girls had some of their best friends over for a slumber party. I figured I would invite the moms over for some wine for a couple of hours before the girls took over the house. I know there will be many more slumber parties over the years, which means that our house can be a “home base” for friends to hang out. This is what my house was like when I was growing up as well. It is so important to know the type of people your kids are hanging out with, and if you can provide a home where everyone gravitates, then you know what your kids are up to, etc. So, it’s good to start that process early.
We had a date night to Porter’s Steakhouse with our neighborhood friends, of which two couples are new to our typical “crew”. We are just so incredibly blessed to have such amazing families and friends that are so close by. I just find it so interesting that when you move into a neighborhood, you have absolutely no clue who lives there and whether or not you’ll connect/click with people. When we lived in Cary five years ago, we weren’t close to anyone in our neighborhood and hung out with our friends we had met while living in our first house. So, to have such a tight-knit group of friends that just happen to live in the neighborhood is so awesome!
We went to Carowinds, I had dinner with Kendall (love that girl!), and spent an AMAZING weekend in Wrightsville Beach, NC with my Triple B’s crew of girlfriends. We have gotten together as a group at the beach for over 10 years and even though we don’t see each other all the time, we pick up like it was yesterday. There is no conversation that is off limits, no judgment, and everyone is free to do what they want. We hung out at the beach, indulged in some delicious meals, went to some hole-in-the-wall beach bars (shout out to Red Dogs and King Neptune!) and danced like crazy. We even had some fun dance parties and rap challenges back at the hotel (see my Beastie Boys challenge submission on the video at the 7:55 mark). We went stand-up paddleboarding one morning to Palm Island and had so much fun. It was a good workout, but great to paddle past some of the most beautiful homes along the waterway. I think I found one of my dream homes there…very modern with glass windows from floor to ceiling. I can’t wait for our trip next year, which looks like it’s turning out to be Turks & Caicos to celebrate Momo’s 50th birthday!
Myers continued taking his group lessons, Trent and the girls attended Wyatt’s birthday party, both Grandpa Jones and Grandpa Hall had their birthdays, and I took a quick trip to Raleigh for work. We spent a weekend at Lake Tillery with Aunt P, Uncle J, the Bufords, the Halls, and GG/Dadaw. It was so much fun! The kids “managed” the Snack Shack very well and all patrons were served some incredible lunches. Brayden called all the other cousins in for a “staff meeting” where she briefed them on their responsibilities beforehand. The kids enjoyed riding around on the rafts, visiting the ice cream boat, and everyone got their turn skiing. It’s nice to know that you can get up on a ski each year, even when you are out of practice. I guess it’s like riding a bike!
Trent and I did a three-day juice cleanse just for sh*ts and giggles. We wanted to see what the effect would be and it was quite interesting. We thought day two would be the hardest (because that’s what we had been told), but we found that day one was the most tough. We found that we had headaches all day (maybe from the detox and shock to our system, and for Trent, the lack of caffeine from coffee) and were just overall exhausted. The third smoothie was hard to take down, but filling, so that was good. But, each evening you were “rewarded” with some tasty flavors like choco nana or peanut butter/jelly. For me, the result was a few pounds of weight loss (I wasn’t trying to lose weight), but I can’t say that I felt like a new person or anything. I know the benefits were probably more of “cleansing out my system”, but it was hard to see them in an obvious way. Will I do another one again just to “reset” my system? Most likely. I can’t say it was the most fun thing to do, but I’m always up for a challenge!
My mom joined us for dinner one evening and Hanleigh attended Graham’s birthday party. Trent’s parents came in town to watch the kids to kick off my big 40th birthday extravaganza, which was completely surreal and unforgettable. More on that in the August post…how’s that for a teaser?