Birthdays, Breweries & Back to School

August 2020

August is quite the festive month for this family. Filled with all kinds of birthdays and celebrations as well as getting ready to go back to school, there is always something going on. I started the month off with a neighborhood girls’ night out to a relatively new restaurant called Lincoln Street Kitchen and Cocktails. It was super delicious and I cannot wait to go back. The next day, I celebrated my 43rd birthday! I got a yoga mat and a gift card for two treatments to the Ballantyne Spa, which is always the best gift ever. The Dunlaps surprised me by meeting us out for brunch at Legion Brewery, which was followed by Jeni’s ice cream (I’m seeing a tradition forming here).  Thank you, my wonderful family, for always making me feel super special.

Hanleigh wrapped up her last day camp with one that was focused on visual arts and photography. We are very impressed with the attention to detail and photography skills she learned that week. Trent went on his annual guys river trip, “Canoe the New”, although this time around it should have been called “Not Canoeing the New.” The water was so high from recent rainfall and the current was too quick which made it dangerous for canoers. So, they hung around the campsite and did what guys do: eat, drink, sleep, chat, and goof around. I know he always looks forward to this trip every year.

Hanleigh had a festive weekend celebrating her first double-digit birthday. It’s hard to believe that she’s 10 years old already! She had some of her best friends, Mila and Lila, over for a slumber party. We tie-dyed pillowcases (which turned out to be a total bust and we later redeemed ourselves by making homemade tie-dyed shirts) and they ran around the house being silly and having a blast. They finally settled down in the evening after dinner and watched a movie. I think they went to bed shortly after midnight. The next day, for her actual birthday, we went to the pool and then to Cowfish for dinner (her request). They sang their silly happy birthday song and rang the gong in her honor as well. It was pretty cute. We came back to the house and she opened gifts, one of which was a new Chromebook and she was so ecstatic to get it! Hanleigh, you are the silliest, wittiest, caring, and cuddly little thing ever. As much as I want you to stay small, watching you grow up has been such an adventure. You never cease to amaze us with your funny sayings and wild antics. You are such an old soul as well.

Trent and I had our 19-year wedding anniversary, which we would celebrate later on in the month. In the meantime, Tonya and I took Heather out for dinner as a diversion for what would be a surprise 45th birthday party back at her house. We had a great time at Dogwood and then came back to her house under the guise of opening presents there, where her friends and family would greet her by yelling “surprise”! She was definitely shocked. All of our girls were upstairs playing and when they came downstairs, they were dressed as dudes with facial hair. They nicknamed themselves Tyler, Greg, Jonathan, and Carl. It was completely hilarious! The next day, we went to the Whitewater Center for some rafting, deep water solo rock climbing, lunch, and obstacle courses. It still is, and will continue to be, my favorite place in Charlotte.

As everyone knows, 2020 has been nothing short of challenging due to the global pandemic that is COVID. This meant, for our school district, our kids would be back to school 100% virtually until further notice. The good thing about this is that it is night and day different than the lack of structure we had back in the spring when the pandemic first struck. Each child begins and ends their school day at the same time they did when they were in person. It is a mix of Zoom calls (synchronous learning) and independent work (asynchronous learning). We are able to see their assignments and their grades on a parent portal, which is good. I know we all want school to resume when it is safest to do so, but the kids are definitely looking forward to getting back and seeing their friends. Social interaction and physical activity are pretty limited with this model. We are just sitting here trying to be patient and watch how it plays out. We are lucky that both girls have amazing teachers.

For our 19-year anniversary, We went to Asheville for the weekend. It was awesome. We stayed at the Kimpton hotel, which was really chic, and ate at some delicious restaurants. When we arrived, we walked around downtown and then had a couples massage. Later that evening, we ate dinner at The Blackbird, which was so delicious. The next day, we had reservations to go river tubing, but just like Trent’s canoe trip, the water levels were too high and too dangerous. So, we did what any normal person would do when in Asheville…we went brewery hopping! But first, we went on a four-mile jog from our hotel down to the River Arts district and walked back. It was a total of six miles, so we totally earned the beers that followed. We went to Burial (and sat in the bus!), Urban Orchard Cider Company, and the Chemist, which is a prohibition craft cocktail bar that even resembles the look and feel of the 1920s. Yummy! That night, we had dinner at Sovereign Remedies, then walked back for some nightcaps and people-watching on our hotel patio. It was really an awesome weekend and provided us with a great chance to reconnect.

Brayden attended one of her great friend’s, Maisie, 13th birthday party that entailed swimming and spending the night. They had a fabulous time. I enjoyed an evening out with some girlfriends and we spent another awesome evening with the Bufords. We can’t wait to hang out with them again soon!

Hanleigh-isms:

  • We were watching TV where they were talking about growing crops. It showed someone growing pineapples, to which she said, “So, they grow pineapple? You don’t just buy it? Oh my God! Wait. What about taco meat?” Her mind was blown (I also think she was trying to picture a farm of taco meat!). I honestly think she just thought that food comes from a grocery store and never really thought about the real source of where it comes from.
  • One day, she asked if she could do her school work on her Chromebook in my office. I told her yes and then she set up her bean bag chair, technology, and schoolwork right next to me. Once she got all settled, she rolled her eyes and groaned, “I am covered in school.”
  • We we’re watching an old commercial on Saturday Night Live where they explain how ketchup makes that farting noise and how don’t you wish that it was a more pleasant sound that came from a nearly empty ketchup bottle. Introducing Heinz Relax (it basically makes a very sexual moan). Now, anytime we are somewhere and she wants to put ketchup on something, she squeezes the bottle and does a moan herself. It’s all we can do to keep from dying laughing!

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