Celebrations, Cul-de-sacs, and Catering!

May 2020

May marked the second full month of going through the whole COVID-19 pandemic and it was definitely interesting. Trying to figure out how to cope with everything, how diligent to be in hanging out with people, and trying to understand the state of the world has been super interesting and mentally consuming. Although, we’ve made the most of it and have it enjoyed a lot of great things over this month.

We’ve spent a lot of time on video calls with the Mazzolas and have recently booked a trip for next June to charter a 50-ft catamaran complete with our own chef and captain. We will be going with Joe, Leslie, Craven, and Carol (no kids!), and cannot wait. It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime and can’t come soon enough!

We celebrated Trent’s 46th birthday with some very unique gifts. Each of the girls wanted to give him something sweet and personal. Brayden found one of our favorite pictures from Turks and Caicos last year and had that printed onto canvas for his office. Hanleigh wanted to give him something that represented his two favorite things (according to her): beer and Yoda, so she painted exactly that onto canvas as well. I gave him a pair of Ugg slippers and a few other things. Once things get to somewhat normal of a state in the world, we will go out and celebrate much more.

Our neighbor, Debbie, has done an awesome job of keeping our neighborhood close during these crazy times. She organized a food truck to come to our cul-de-sac every Friday night in May (Italian, spuds, cajun, etc.). It was so nice to relax after a hard week of work with some of our awesome friends and just chill out and catch up on life.

My Mother’s Day was pretty special. I woke up and the girls joined me for some hip hop dancing in the garage. Then, Trent made an amazing brunch and gave me a gift card for a saltwater flotation therapy session. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m guessing that you go into a pod of sorts that is full of salt water which allows you to weightlessly float and relax to the sound of calming music for an hour. It should be interesting and therapeutic. The girls gave me a handmade coupon book full of creative things that I can redeem: an hour to myself, a spa day, a day that is whine-free, a meal cooked by them, a date night with Daddy, and a movie of my choice. I can’t wait to cash them all in!

The US National Whitewater center opened up some of their activities, so we ventured out there and spent an afternoon paddleboarding. Myers joined us and he was a little reluctant to get in the water, but at one point he kept dipping his paw in the water off the front of Brayden’s paddleboard and eventually launched himself in. He really hasn’t spent any time learning how to swim, so we quickly grabbed him and got him back on the board. We’ve since ordered him a life jacket and can’t wait to go back out there and try it again. This is still my favorite place to go in Charlotte. So relaxing, and it’s full is great people, food, and beer. We always create such awesome memories there.

Brayden had an exciting month going through a teen right of passage, that she handled like a champ. It’s hard to see my little girl growing up, but at the same time I really enjoy watching her blossom into a young woman. In other news, we really enjoyed watching the SpaceX launch on TV. Very much a key milestone in history in terms of American space travel.

We wrapped up the month with a neighborhood date night that was supposed to be scheduled at a restaurant. Instead of cancelling it, we decided to hire the same chef (Cherie Cook! She’s amazing!) who catered Kyle’s 40th birthday at our house, and instead, hosted a get together with our neighbors. It was exactly what everyone needed: uninterrupted time hanging out with amazing friends, getting to know new neighbors, enjoying incredible food and drinks, and chilling out on the back porch listening to gangster rap. There was a lot of laughter that evening and we can’t wait to do it again!

Brayden-isms occur much less frequently as I guess teenagers say more profound (and less silly things). But, when they do happen, I’ll definitely document them here!

Hanleigh-isms:

  • She had a class assignment related to animals and needed help from one of us. Trent asked her, “How do humans help animals? Who helps animals?” to which she said, “Veterinarians.” He said, “Ok, when do they help animals?” to which she said, “I don’t know. Tuesday and Thursday.” Hahaha!
  • One night I was tucking her into bed and this is what she told me: “Brayden has a boyfriend. He is a lumberjack from Chicago. She met him at the Atlantic ocean last night and got there by swimming from Charlotte. His name is Todd. His real name is Toddette, but he goes by Todd. And he has really long eyelashes.” I honestly don’t know where she came up with this.
  • She was making pudding one evening and I started noticing that she was grabbing all of the ingredients from the pantry to make it. When I looked on the island, I saw she had cornstarch set out, so I asked her, “Why do you have cornstarch out here?” to which she said, “It’s listed as one of the ingredients.” Ha! I asked her, “Where in the world are you going to find disodium phosphate then?” I told her it’s not quite like a recipe in a cookbook, but instead, on a box of pudding, you look at the directions and not the ingredients.

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