As we entered November, Cotillion continued where Hanleigh was learning new dances like the shag and foxtrot. We already had taught her the shag many years back, so I’m pretty sure that was pretty easy for her to pick up again. She said it’s absolutely hilarious dancing with the boys in class and how nervous they are. She continued having weekly rehearsals for her Madagascar, Jr. play, which she really enjoyed. Theater is her jam. Trent and I enjoyed amazing massages and also had a date night in Waxhaw at Cork and Vine. That place is delicious, but I wish it were closer. We attended our last NC State home game of the season against Wake Forest University, which was another awesome time and super exciting. It was the perfect football weather. We love the fall so much because of all the awesome tailgating, but it is nice to have this season in the books and have a break from all the travel each weekend.
Brayden continued practicing for field hockey as the season drew to an end. We have been so proud of how well she has done this season, especially considering the fact that she was only one of three sophomores on the varsity team. A very big accomplishment!!! Erin and I spent an awesome evening at Abby’s house so that the three of us could get together and catch up. The evening was full of laughter and excellent conversation! Can’t wait to do it again! We also got to meet the Buford’s new French bulldog puppy, Pookie!
We signed Charlie up for doggy training, because she desperately needs it since she is constantly counter-surfing, pulling on the leash, and in general, just testing her limits. We are using the same trainer that we hired for Myers and he does an amazing job. I can’t wait to see how she progresses! I enjoyed a fun night out with Tonya and Julie where we went to Dilworth Tasting Room for dinner and then went and saw an ’80s cover band called Blue Monday. It was a fabulous evening full of laughter and great music!
After months of numerous weekly practices, Hanleigh’s performance weekend for her play was finally here! Over the course of three days, she had five performances. On Saturday afternoon, we went to the matinee with Brayden, Mom, Terry, Fran, Dad, Christel, GG, and Aunt Patty. It was great to be able to show her our support with such a large crowd. I’m always so proud of watching her perform. She really enjoys it and always ends up making new friends in the process. From choreography and singing to memorizing lines and dressing up in fun costumes, she did awesome job in the ensemble, playing various characters like a fossa, which apparently is the largest carnivore and top predator native to Madagascar. Who knew?!? After her final performance on Sunday night, the director awarded superlatives to each of the cast members, of which Hanleigh received “most improved”. The four of us then went to dinner to celebrate a job well fin done at one of our local favorite restaurants, Juniper Grill.
One of our good friends in the neighborhood, Amy, has been dealing with some major foot pain and recently had surgery to fix her issue. I coordinated a meal train for all the neighborhood women to pick a couple nights a week to make her dinner while she’s off her feet. That’s what I love about this neighborhood…everyone is here for each other, through good times and bad! Trent spent a week in Raleigh for a work trip and was able to check out some restaurants he had not tried before as well as meet a lot of new co-workers. While he was gone, I had new experience of my own: spending many hours trying to get Taylor Swift concert tickets. Let’s just say that it was an ordeal, if you haven’t already heard in the news. I’ll give you the recap. The minute we knew that she was touring and what cities she was visiting, I booked three hotel rooms close to the stadium in Atlanta (smart move!). Then, Trent, Brayden, and I all applied for the early access code wait list, which did not mean that we actually got it. We were basically in a lottery to get the rights to buy tickets early. Brayden and I both got codes, but Trent did not. Neither did my good friend, Melissa, who was also going to join Brayden and me for the concert. On a Tuesday morning, I logged in around 9:00 a.m. with my code, which put me into a waiting room, which then put me into a queue. When the tickets went on sale, I had a lovely progress bar that seemed to be moving, even though there were over 2,000 people ahead of me in the virtual line. Needless to say, around 11:00 a.m., the computer seemed to freeze and I was navigating other browser windows, viewing things in incognito mode, and other internet hacks to try to figure out what the heck was going on. However, one thing I kept reading about was to not refresh your browser no matter what you do and don’t close out of it either. Many of you know that I’m a very impatient person and it was all that I could do to not hit the refresh key. I stayed strong and around 2:00 p.m. Ticketmaster started working again and resumed where I was in line. While this is all going on, Brayden is ferociously texting me from school asking me if I got in and so is Melissa. When I finally got to the screen where I could purchase tickets, they were selling like hot cakes. The minute that you tried to pick seats and hit the word ‘select’ was the exact minute you were given the message that someone else had snatched them up before you. We had no idea what tickets were going to cost going into this because that information was never released, so we were at the mercy of whatever seats we wanted and we had decided we wanted to sit in the lower level, which meant they came with a hefty price tag. What started out as a conversation of, “Oh, hell no we won’t pay that much money for tickets” very quickly turned into, “Well, I haven’t gone to a concert in a long time!” (Melissa) or, “You know what, this is a huge opportunity, let’s do this!” (me) or, “Dude, I am like the biggest fan ever!” (Brayden). I knew that if we did not make a game-time decision, that we would definitely not be going to see her show. So, we paid way too much money for the seats, but we have lower level, row 20, in Atlanta, and get the benefits of club-level seats. We are beyond excited! And if you thought that wasn’t enough, we also wanted to go to the Friday night show in Atlanta, using Terry’s Capital One card (thank you!). While not as drawn out of a process as the previous day, the tickets still went just as fast, but we got them! So, Melissa will come stay with us on Thursday night in Charlotte, we will drive down to Atlanta on Friday, Brayden and I will see her that night while Momo chills in the city, we will all bum around Atlanta on Saturday morning and afternoon, and then the three of us will go see her on Saturday night. I told Brayden that this will be her birthday and Christmas gifts for a while!!! Can we sell all of our tickets and make three or four times the amount that we paid? Yes. Was our intention to ever buy the tickets and then sell them for a profit? Never. You can’t buy experiences and memories like this. Atlanta in April with Taylor Swift… Here we come! Are you ready for it (see what I did there?)?
I mentioned earlier that Charlie went away for training. Her trainer kept her at his house, where his wife wanted him to actually pick her up a day early because she loves Viszlas so much. He has since told us that she is the smartest Vizsla has ever trained and that he has trained hundreds of them over the course of his life. We knew she was really smart, but it’s nice to have it verified by him. This can be a good and bad thing because she’s always trying to outwit us! After many years of asking, I took Brayden to get her ears double pierced, which came with a prerequisite that she had to show she was responsible for an extended amount of time…which she has done. Kendall and I had a fabulous dinner at Napa, complete with belly laughs and likely embarrassing our waiter.
On Thanksgiving morning, Trent, Abby, and I ran the Southpark Turkey Trot and had a great time doing it! The weather was perfect and it was a fabulous way to kick off a day of thankfulness. We hosted Terry and Fran for the big meal later in the day and it was awesome hanging out with them as well! The highlight of the evening was the story of Myers and the squirrel. His entire life, he has been chasing after these little furry creatures and never quite comprehends where they go when they climb up trees. To the unfortunate luck of one squirrel in our backyard, he finally was successful. Later in the evening after everyone had left, I let him outside as usual. However, this time he came back with something in his mouth. I saw him outside the door, wagging his tail, and I’ve never seen him so happy! While he was elated with his successful conquest, I (on the other hand), screamed really loudly, “Oh my goodness, he finally caught one!” But, I couldn’t even tell what it was. I thought it was a bunny at first, but when I realized that it was a squirrel and upon closer examination, I also then realized it was a decapitated squirrel!!! So disgusting, yet he continued to be so proud of himself! Trent had him go into the backyard and drop it so we could throw it over the fence. It definitely made for a very exciting (and gross) evening!
Another eventful news, we have really enjoyed watching the World Cup soccer games! It’s been very exciting to see all the teams play! We wrapped up all of our holiday shopping at an event called Shop Small Southend, where we made a yummy pit stop at Hawkers Asian Street Food, followed by Jeni’s ice cream. Dad and Christel invited us to the Panthers vs. Broncos game, which Brayden and I joined them for, and actually saw them pull out a victory, which has been very rare this season. While we were attending the game, Trent and Hanleigh went to Pin’s Mechanical for a little friendly bowling competition and lunch. Lastly, Hanleigh, got molds made for braces, which she has been very excited about!!!