B’s, Birthdays, & Beaches
August always brings about lots of amazing activities for our family. This month was no different. Hanleigh wrapped up her summer camps with a “Where in the World”-themed theatre camp while Brayden enjoyed trying out for her high school field hockey team. We are so proud of her because she made the team and has already received a lot of shout outs from her coach. Little did we know how serious high school sports were, though. As a result of the making the team, afternoons, evenings, and weekends are filled with practices and games, many of which can change dates/times as quickly as the wind.
I went to Kiawah Island as part of a week-long birthday celebration for my good friend, Kerri. She turned 50 and invited her friends along for a wonderful, fun-filled week at this incredible beach house. We had an absolute blast. We arrived to find a beautiful charcuterie board as well as a fully stocked pantry. Our first night there, we had appetizers and hung out and caught up. Each day, I would wake up and go running or do a different workout, then we would all either take bike rides on the beach, walks around the island or go lay out at the beach for a few hours. Each evening brought a different and exciting dinner. One evening we did low country boil, then next night we ate dinner at the very upscale seafood restaurant on the ocean (which, also happened to be my 44th birthday, so we celebrated that as well), we had a private chef make us a gourmet meal one evening, took a sunset cruise, and ate at a delicious wine bar with these really cool wine stations where you could measure various pours into your glass. Our house was gorgeous and had more than enough room to accommodate our dance parties, afternoons enjoying cocktails by the pool, and evenings around the kitchen table playing games. She was so generous to do this for all of us and I feel so honored to have been chosen out of all of her friends to join her and celebrate how fabulous she is. Thank you so much, Kerri!
Bback to field hockey. As I mentioned above, high school sports are taken very seriously. Little did we know that the month of August is pretty much off limits in terms of skipping practices or games, as we did not know that the season begins at that time. As a result, Brayden basically missed 90% of our annual family beach trip. Although, after a field hockey Jamboree on a Saturday, Trent took her and Hanleigh to Emerald Isle to meet up with everyone for the annual family trip. She was there less than 24 hours and I met Nana halfway where she drove her back to Charlotte so she could attend all of her practices that week while Terry & Fran watched her. She really loves playing the sport and I’m so proud of her and how well she is advancing. It also doesn’t hurt that she has met upperclassmen which helps her feel more comfortable at high school.
Our week at Emerald Isle with Dad and Christel was incredible. We had a duplex, but our side had a swimming pool, so that was really nice in the afternoons when we came back from spending the day at the beach. Kyle, Cooper, Cammy and her girls joined us as well. We played bocce ball, swam in the ocean and acted like whales and flailing fish, took long walks on the beach, rocked out to music each afternoon by the pool and taught the kids how to play poker. Each evening, they begged us to play and after a few nights of learning the rules, they really got the hang of things. We celebrated Kyle’s 42nd birthday, Hanleigh’s 11th birthday, an our 20-year anniversary all during that week. For our 20-year anniversary, I gave Trent a piece of art that has the latitude and longitude coordinates of where we met at NC State University with the words “We Found Each Other | Raleigh, NC” underneath them. We have been through many adventures over the years (very good and very bad), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. He is the most kind, loving, complimentary, silly, hilarious, considerate, and beautiful human and I love him dearly. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life and father to our wonderful girls.
Brayden head her first scrimmage against Charlotte Latin, a Queens University play day, and field hockey practices that were interspersed four times a week. Hanleigh enjoyed her birthday party at Adventure Air with Kamryn and then celebrated back home where Hunter came over for cake and gifts. We got her an Airtrac, which is something that she can blow up in the front yard and safely practice her back handsprings. Brayden met up with some friends at Zinicola for dinner and she looked absolutely stunning when she went (skirt and all!). Terry and Fran took Hanleigh to a local cat cafe where she was able to play with a room full of kittens. I can tell she loved it just by the pictures.
One weekend, the Farrells, Whitcombs, and the four of us spent an awesome weekend at the Virginia Creeper Trail. We rented the cabins that we typically rent for our annual family reunion and rode the trail on both Saturday and Sunday. We went to the Kickin’ Chicken, the Damascus Brewery, had nightly campfires, roasted marshmallows, the kids jumped off the rock and floated down the river, and just had a great time relaxing and enjoying nature. It was an awesome trip, as always.
The girls each had their open houses for school. I went with Brayden to hers and was so overwhelmed by the size of the school. There are nearly 3,600 kids that go there, so it’s incredibly large, but we walked her schedule a couple times to help her (and me) get acquainted with the layout and feel more comfortable about navigating the hallways. She was also able to meet a lot of her teachers. Hanleigh had her open house as well where we met her teacher and got all of her school supplies settled into her classroom. Now that Brayden is in high school, we are all getting a lot less sleep considering her first bell rings at 7:15am, which means she gets up at 5:00am to leave the house by 6:00am for her bus. The good thing is that it all works out because once Brayden leaves the house, that’s the same time that Hanleigh gets up and both kids are out of the house by 7:00am. I do enjoy having the structure with school in session as summertime is a bit of a free for all.
My fabulous friends, Laura and Stacy, visited me from Mississippi and Washington, respectively. We had a long girls’ weekend where we were super active and had an absolute great time. We had dinner at Foxcroft Wine Company, spent an entire day at the Whitewater Center followed by dinner at home, went to kickboxing on Saturday morning followed by lunch at Barcelona Wine Bar then shopping, scooter riding, cocktails, dinner at The Stanley, and dancing at the Gin Mill. It was an action-packed weekend, but the best part of all of it was the endless girl talk, deep conversations, and belly laughs. Those two girls are gold and I am so glad that my job brought us all together. I can’t wait for the next time the three of us can hang out!