After a fun New Year’s Eve party with the neighbors, we kicked 2023 off with a relatively low-key month of staying in Charlotte. This gave us a chance to do some recharging and resetting for the fresh, new year. Hanleigh used her creativity by setting up an activity for the dogs to paint. She took a sheet of paper, covered it in wet paint and laminated it. On top of it, she put a coat of peanut butter and then set it on the floor so the dogs could lick it, while creating their own little masterpieces. She’s always coming up with innovative things like that and I’m so impressed! However, on the flip side of that, we ended up grounding her for a month because she had downloaded an app that we told her she wasn’t allowed to have and also had one of her best friends help her set up the account secretly using a phony email address. Our kids should know better that they are the daughters of a very smart IT person (Trent) and they will not pull the wool over his eyes. So, we took her phone away from her for a month and she was not able to go to any social functions with friends. This was the first time that we had really been consistent and stern with our reinforcement of consequences. And, she had never been grounded for this long before. It may have been more tough on us than her. She took it all in stride and respected the grounding rules. I think she did learn a lesson this time around…at least, I hope so.
One afternoon, Brayden went hiking with her friend, Annie, to Crowder’s Mountain while we took Hanleigh to play putt-putt. We had a great afternoon enjoying a sunny and relatively warm day in January. Brayden resumed her weekly weightlifting and speed training classes for field hockey and has also recently enjoyed taking a weekly barre class. Leslie celebrated her 45th birthday down in Naples and I’m really looking forward to seeing her soon. We spent a fabulous evening with Mike and Tonya at Beef & Bottle for a great steak dinner (although, they have a 90-minute time limit on dinner reservations, which made us feel rushed and a bit frustrated…even though the food is delicious, I don’t know that we will be back there for a bit.) followed by a glass of wine at Foxcroft Wine Company, one of our favorites!
Charlie got her flu vaccination and I hosted the first Selfish Club with a new group at my house. It’s always awesome to meet new people and just celebrate each other. We will do this monthly and rotate between our homes, with a different theme each month. I ordered new art for the bonus room to coordinate with our comfy couches. Thanks to Erin, I was able to get a large canvas print based on a photo I took in Turks and Caicos years ago and it is the perfect compliment to that room. It turned out so nice! We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Char Bar with GG, Dad & Christel and it just so happened that the Bufords and a friend of theirs from Turks and Caicos also showed up. We had a great time seeing everybody!
Trent and I attended a surprise party for our neighbor, Phyllis. She was totally taken off guard and it was great to hang out for the evening with a lot of our fun neighbors that we don’t know quite as well. Our entire family had off work for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and for Christmas each year, my mom gives the girls and me gift certificates to get facials. So, we cashed them all in that day and then had lunch together.
Both girls had their midterms and did great on them, and Hanleigh had one of her appointments to get her braces tightened. Later that week, she had her monthly Cotillion class where she’s continuing to learn awesome manners and life skills. Mom celebrated her 71st birthday by coming to our house for a delicious dinner with her best friend, Kat, from Austin. In typical Effie form, the night concluded with dancing on the island to “Get Low”. The two of them asked what they should do after they left our house, so we told them to check out Bradshaw’s, where she would once again drop it low to that same song while the band was on break. I think she even had an admirer in the crowd who was playing tambourine while she danced. Mom, you are so young at heart and I love you so much for it!
Trent and I had an awesome date night at Ilios Noche in preparation for our trip to Greece later this summer. The food was delicious as always. As Hanleigh neared the end of her grounding term, I woke up one morning to a very cute note written by her with a list of reasons why she should be able to go see her friends that afternoon at the trampoline park. She talked about how good she’s been and how she’s cute (that was one of the reasons!). I stayed strong and held my ground, but we told her that while we appreciate her being on good behavior during this time, she had five days to go and was still grounded. She took it in stride and understood, but I really appreciate the adorable note. Of course, I will keep it. We wrapped up the month with dental appointments and then I capped it off by celebrating Julie’s 51st birthday with her and Mary at Barcelona Wine Bar, followed by The Breakfast Club at Amos’ for some awesome ’80s jams!