Sayonara Summer, Staycation, & Starting School

We wrapped up the final month of summer vacation with more theater camps. Brayden took a two-week High School Musical-themed camp and absolutely loved it, and shined as usual. We celebrated Kyle’s 40th birthday with the extended Hall family at Paco’s Tacos and had a great time. That night, we went to see Love Canon in concert at a smaller venue near uptown Charlotte. The next day was my 42nd birthday and we celebrated it by going out to dinner. The following day, Trent and I drove to Raleigh to celebrate the wedding of our dear friend, Greg Carlton, and his new bride Lindsay. The wedding was at the Matthews House in Cary and was absolutely stunning! It was great to see some of our old college friends that we don’t see very often and continue celebrating into the wee hours of the morning. There’s never a dull moment with this crowd to say the least.

After returning back home, I packed my suitcase and headed to Spokane for the annual Global Marketing Meeting. We have this once a year and it’s a chance for everyone in the marketing communications team to get together, exchange ideas and learn more about each other’s business units, but most importantly network and have a great time celebrating our accomplishments. This year was no different. Our team building exercise included playing trivia in different bars around downtown. Our last stop ended with some appetizers and we played a lot of really fun games. Then, in what seems to be a tradition, the marketing women went to a local dive bar to do karaoke and completely embarrass ourselves. It was awesome.

Hanleigh took a two-week theater camp that had a Hogwarts theme, where she and her other campmates we’re in charge of writing the script from scratch. They adopted a Queen theme and incorporated some of the band’s greatest hits into the play. Meanwhile, Brayden took a cooking camp during this time. Hanleigh turned nine years old and invited some of her best friends to an escape room party. Mila, Lola, Morgan, Hanleigh, Brayden, Trent, and I all participated. These escape rooms are no joke and are actually quite challenging! I think it really makes you realize how much you should think outside the box and be as creative as possible in trying to solve the riddles. Needless to say, we made it out with three minutes to spare and even beat the team of adults that had just gotten out of the same room prior to our turn! That night, we dropped the kids off for open gym and a night at their grandparents house while we went to Oggi for dinner and then spent the next day celebrating our anniversary at the spa with treatments and sometime laying by the pool. It was very relaxing and much-needed.

The girls jointly attended an improv camp. They both had a blast and are absolute naturals at thinking on the spot. Of course, being silly comes very easily for both of them and neither of them are shy on stage. The girls and I enjoyed a dinner with the Dunlap’s as well. I just absolutely love how close Kendall lives to us. We just are so busy that we need to plan when we are going to see each other next in order to keep something on the calendar.

This year, we attempted a neighborhood river float, which ultimately ended up being a total flop. All 26 of us congregated ready for an awesome and adventurous day, but as it turned out, the outfitter didn’t have enough rafts and went completely missing in action for a couple hours while we waited. So, we made lemons out of lemonade, walked to a local bar, had some drinks, ate some food, and then continued the party back at the Farrell’s house in the pool and enjoyed dinner together. We’ve learned our lesson and next year we will purchase our own rafts, which would have cost the same as our trip! We are all still trying to get our money back from the outfitter and it is a very frustrating process. But, you all know me, and I’m not giving up on getting our money back.

The next day, I took the Brayden’s best friends to Skyzone for some trampoline fun. The girls took an obstacle course camp, a teen camp and a cooking camp. I had fun with some of my great girlfriends for the fifth annual Girls Staycation in uptown Charlotte. As always, there were tons of laughs, lots of eating and drinking, and of course, dancing. The weather wasn’t on our side this year because it was unseasonably cool, but that didn’t stop us from hanging out in a cabana by the pool…wrapping ourselves in towels. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Hanleigh started third grade and has the same teacher she had last year, who moved up and took many of the kids with her. She loves her teacher and is constantly challenged to excel beyond what she normally does in class! Brayden started seventh grade and is taking honors classes, specifically a ninth grade math course for which she tested. We are so proud of her and the dedication she has to her school work! She also began her field hockey practice, which she loves. Lastly, football season is officially here, so we rang in the start of it with the first NC State football game of the against ECU in scorchingly hot conditions at Carter-Finley stadium. Tailgating is such an incredible part of the whole experience and we have been doing it for so long. The kids have been going to games since they were four weeks old and absolutely love it as well.

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