May was pretty low-key in terms of out-of-town travel, which was nice. The girls began swim team, after a bit of hesitation from Brayden (she was concerned about swimming 50 meters each time since she’s 11), but they both thoroughly enjoyed it! Their practices were every evening, Mon-Thurs for about an hour each. Add to that gymnastics and each weeknight was slightly hectic. Thank goodness it was only temporary (until school lets out in June, then they switch to morning practices). They continued with gymnastics and tumbling as well. Trent and Hanleigh had a Y Guides meeting one evening, too.
We also discovered that on Thursday and Friday nights in the summer, the Whitewater Center has what they call “River Jam” where (typically) a bluegrass or folk band plays on stage while “Big Water” takes place. This is where they close up some of the dam openings in order to force all of the water through fewer areas, which makes the water levels much higher and causes the rapids to go up by about one class each. What does this mean? Rafters are more likely to go flying out, which makes for an awesome viewing experience from the river’s edge! We saw many rafters launch overboard. It was very amusing and thankfully no one was injured. Apparently, anyone can participate in Big Water, but I’m happy to just be an observer! The next day, I had a fabulous massage at the Ballantyne Spa, followed by an hour by the pool with a mimosa…the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day!
For an early birthday present, I surprised Trent with a day at the Wells Fargo golf tournament. The two of us got there around 10am and were able to see Tiger Woods on the putting green and driving range, watch Adam Scott hit a ball right next to my foot (yay!) and admire him, and see Ricky Fowler, Phil Mickelson, and other great golfers play through. We hung out with Abby and Justin for a bit at one of the wine tents as well. It was an awesome day soaking in the sun and relaxing. We capped the evening off with a street party in Justin & Abby’s neighborhood where they had a band/food truck and the kids ran wild. Trent turned 44 and we all went out to dinner to celebrate at the Liberty. Happy birthday!
Brayden and I went to the Old Dominion/Kenny Chesney concert and had an absolute blast. It was our first time seeing either band and neither one disappointed! We met up with Lindsay & Tony and even got caught in a rainstorm. As I say, some of the best memories are made in the rain, so we added one more to those! I had always heard how Kenny was an amazing performer and he definitely is. All of his music takes me to my favorite place, the Caribbean islands! The next day, we met Dad & Christel for lunch at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, so it was great catching up with them! Then, Brayden and I met Kendall at the Whitewater Center to tackle some ropes courses while Trent and Hanleigh flew his quadcopter and managed to lose it while he was flying it (oops!). The next night, we had dinner at Mom & Jack’s house.
The next weekend, Trent & Hanleigh went to her spring longhouse for Y Guides at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain where they ziplined, jumped off diving boards into the lake, rockclimbed, and did archery. On the way home, Hanleigh insisted that they stop by Waffle House because “it has the name ‘waffle’ in it, so it has to be good.” Meanwhile, Brayden & I went to the NASCAR All-Star Race on Saturday night (thank you for the tickets, Lindsay!) where we were treated to a free concert by Cole Swindell, which was awesome! Then, we went to the race where we apparently sat in the wrong seats for the first hour or so. It was Brayden’s first NASCAR race and only my second, so she had no idea what to expect. I think I loved her reaction to the noise and power of the engines more than the race itself. Her mouth was gaping open when they came zooming by! We had a blast together! The next evening, I hosted Brayden’s “BEAM” crew (Brayden, Emily, Anabella, Madilynn plus Ashlynn) and their moms (who are awesome!) over to the house for dinner and to hang out. This group of girls is SO close and I can’t wait to see how their friendships flourish over the next seven years!
Then, the “dreaded” sex ed talk approached as we neared the end of fifth grade. I knew it was coming and had already read Brayden the book “Ready. Set. Grow.”, so she was pretty much up to speed on everything except the “birds and the bees”. The great thing is that the fifth grade teachers had a parents-only meeting for the RHASE program (reproductive health and safety education) where we watched samples of the videos and materials the kids would be seeing a week from then. I asked the question, “so, will the kids learn how the sperm get to the egg”? to which the teachers responded, “nope, we are not allowed to say that and must direct the kids to ask their parents.” Mission accepted. I requested the materials from the teachers so I could show them to Brayden before she learned about it. The two of us spent about 2-3 hours on the back porch looking over the materials, asking and answering questions. We actually had a lot of fun and when I broke the news to her, there were some eye rolls and “oh, ughs”. I let her know that not all parents will talk to their kids about this topic and some will only tell half-truths, so unless one of her friends has accurate information, it’s not her place to share what we talked about. I know that this will be just the first of many serious conversations we have with her and I’m fully ready to maintain an honest relationship with her full of open communication. My mom did that with me and I never hesitated to come to her with questions or for advice.
I enjoyed a girls’ night out with my neighborhood friends to Loft & Cellar. We had a blast and went to Merchant & Trade to enjoy to view afterward. We met Kyle, Erin, and Cooper at Carowinds for a day of rollercoasters and other rides. The older we get, the more that place has less appeal and more headaches. We chose not to get season passes this year, which I think will work out fine. The girls really never ask to go there and really enjoy their season passes to the Whitewater Center, so I think it all works out well. On Memorial Day, we kicked off the “summer season” by attending a neighborhood pool party which was nice because we got to meet a lot of neighbors we never had met before. We really live near some amazing people!
- We were talking about how Leo Hall (dog cousin) had a hot spot. Trent said that he thought Myers had one on his back right leg as well. Hanleigh asked what a hot spot looked like to which he said, “it’s an area where he itches it and it’s red and the fur is all gone”. She said, “no, Dad, that’s called his butthole!” Seriously?!? Oh my goodness!