January was quite a busy month of travel, but it started off with some really fun activities! After having a fondue pot for over 18 years and not having ever used it, we finally had reason to when Brayden received a second fondue pot from one of her friends as a birthday gift. We whipped out all the stops and had cheese, broth, and dessert fondue. The kids really liked it and we watched a movie while we ate it, which was really fun. Grandma and Grandpa Jones took Brayden shopping as one of her gifts and, of course, they stopped at alocal chocolatier. Brayden and I were also able to redeem a gift I gave her for Christmas, which was going to the Whole Foods cooking school for their “Wok & Roll”- themed class. We made spring rolls, orange chicken, broccolini, and Nutella-stuffed wontons. Everything was so delicious, the class was incredibly fun, and Brayden and I had an awesome time hanging out and cooking together. The next day, Trent and Hanleigh participated in the annual Y Guides Polar Plunge. It was the first time she had done it and they were all very brave. Glad it wasn’t me!
We had Kendall and her kids as well as my mom over for dinner one evening, which was awesome to have everyone together in fellowship. Hanleigh went to Mila’s 9th birthday party at Great Wolf Lodge and had an absolute blast. She even rode the Tornado, so I was very proud of her for her courage! We had a neighborhood date night and went to Bistro D’Antonio in Waxhaw and then headed to Dreamchaser’s brewery. Trent and Hanleigh attended their monthly Y Guides meeting and Brayden had her monthly Cotillion meeting as well, where she learned more ballroom dances and had a fun male-versus-female table-setting competition. Brayden also enjoyed a fun ice skating birthday party in celebration of her awesome friends, Ash and Maddy.
I was lucky enough to go to our annual sales meeting again this year to an even more incredible locale…Cancun! We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, which was very beautiful. I got there a day or so early So I could take advantage of scuba diving in Cozumel. After taking a shuttle to the ferry dock, a 40-minute ferry across to Cozumel, and then hanging out at the Iberostar, it was finally time to dive! The first dive wasn’t very eventful, but the second dive was pretty awesome. Aside from the variety of fish, such as lobster, crab, turtles, grouper, and rays, the absolute highlight was navigating through these coral caverns that surrounded all of us. It was truly magical and I was just in awe at how beautiful it was. We had to get in a single-file line in order to swim through the various passageways. I’m so glad I have that experience and memory! I was able to spend some great time on the beach with one of my close friends, Christina, and have some much-needed girl time. It was also awesome to see so many of my fabulous coworkers! One afternoon, we had the luxury of selecting an activity in which to participate. I chose the catamaran sail and snorkel to Isla Mujeres. I think we definitely had the most fun excursion out of anyone. Most of our Latin American team was on the boat as well and they know how to party! The boat was complete with dancing, fabulous music, and incredible views. The snorkeling left much to be desired, but the time spent at Isla Mujeres was awesome! During the days that week, we had non-stop presentations and interactive working sessions, which everyone loved. The latter is much more preferred over having a talking head preach to you all day long. People are much more attentive, interactive, and really retain what they are hearing through engagement. The pinnacle of the week is the awards gala, which was Thursday night. This honors our top sales performers of the year and everyone gets all dressed up to celebrate in our accomplishments. It’s a real morale-booster! It was a long week, but very enjoyable!
I was home for about one day and then flew off to the largest annual industry conference, DistribuTECH. My company is the most prominent sponsor and our brand and messaging can be seen all over. This event brings us a lot of leads and utilizes a lot of the messaging that I work on throughout the year. It’s another event where I get to see a lot of my colleagues from the corporate marketing team, which is awesome! After all that travel, it was great to be home for a little bit. I actually don’t travel again until late March, which is nice.
The months concluded with the annual school-sponsored movie night where Hanleigh meets up with her friends while Trent volunteers. They had a fabulous time together!
PS-Happy birthday, Mom!