2014,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  June,  Vacation

Seattle, Skiing, Seniors, Saturday, Shrieking, and Champs Elysees

The first week of the month, I traveled for work to Seattle. June is the perfect time to go there! The conference was pretty uneventful, but the highlight was definitely visiting the Chihuly museum. I have always been enthralled with how beautiful his work is, all stemming from the first time I saw the ceiling of the Bellagio lobby in Las Vegas. His colors are so vibrant and his shapes are so unique! Brayden finished up 1st grade with the rite of passage that is Field Day…sprinklers, sack hop, egg-in-spoon race, etc. She had a blast and it was the great end to another fabulous year!

The first weekend of summer was spent at Lake Tillery with the Burds and Bufords where Brayden “learned” how to ski. She actually got up on her first try, but didn’t realize it. We went over all the basics of waterskiing with her and did a gentle tug before pulling her up. We had mentioned not to stand until the boat pulls you up, but soon realized that she wasn’t sure what was considered “up”, so she stayed in this perfectly little crouched/squatted position for 100 yards or so. After splashing face first into the water, she was pretty down on herself for not skiing. We kept telling her how fabulous she did and that she actually did get up and did one of the hardest thing to do during skiing, which is to stay squatted. After an hour or so of some pouting, she realized she had actually done it and was quite proud!

Trent spent the week in Raleigh for work while the girls and I hung out. We attended a pool party in the neighborhood at one of Brayden’s classmates. Peapod celebrated his 17th (yes, can you believe it?) birthday on June 13 and Indiana (Indi-Beans) celebrated her 13th birthday on June 18. I can’t believe how old our little wiener dogs are now. Peapod definitely has his share of “old man” problems: incontinence, hearing and eyesight loss, etc., but he’s still our little “Bubba”, “Mommers”, “Pomtroms”. We’ve had to start putting diapers on him because he just can’t control when he goes to the bathroom. There is no rhyme or reason in terms of timing. Indiana is still healthy as can be, but has started getting nervous in her old age. We’ve had to move them out of the pantry at night and into the front of the house because she had begun scratching the walls past the paint and down to the dry wall. Couple that with Peapod’s bathroom issues (aka “poop parade”) and you have yourself one heck of a mess each morning. Sometimes I feel like we live in a circus tent.

I was able to spend the afternoon at the spa enjoying a massage and some mommy-alone time by the pool one Saturday. After that, Trent, Kyle, and I went to Good Food on Montford, Duckworth’s, and then enjoyed Love Canon (bluegrass band that plays 80’s covers!) at the Double Door Inn. It was a fabulous day and we spent a lot of time laughing. I can’t say I felt so great the next morning, though! The next day was both Father’s Day and Mimi’s birthday, so we spent the afternoon at the Burd’s home playing in the pool and enjoying some quality family time.

Brayden begun her summer camp at the Y and has already taken tumbling, cooking, gymnastics, and art around the world. In her art camp, she made a Leaning Tower of Pisa, a Chinese lantern, and a Modigliani portrait of me. I was really impressed. This girl has artistic talent (she doesn’t get it from me)! Hanleigh has a summer camp theme each day at her school, too (ice cream truck, water play day, pony day, bike day, etc.) and she is eating it up!

We enjoyed a wonderful vacation at the Mantak’s beach cottage in Nags Head for a long weekend. Although the drive was long, the weather was amazing, and we had an absolute blast! Both Hanleigh and Brayden were in love with the ocean and kept jumping over the waves. There were many sandcastles and other figures built and at night, we had an absolute blast going ghost crab hunting. I never realized exactly how much fun that could be. Brayden is on the fence about it, but I think deep down she loved it. All of us scoured the beaches with our flashlights for little crabs scurrying across the sand in the pitch dark. When we would find one, either Trent or Jason would bend down and quickly snatch it up. Sometimes they got pinched and flung the crab away from them, which made all of us (boys and girls) scream! But, after warming up to the idea, we eventually had a bucket full of about eight crabs. When it came time to empty the bucket out, no one knew where they could go, so everyone started screeching again. That made me laugh. It’s as if you were on edge constantly, not knowing where the crabs were, if they were going to pinch you, where they were going, etc. This will definitely become a beach tradition!!!

I was fortunate enough to spend a week-long work trip in France; visiting Poitiers, Chasseneuil, Issy les Moulineaux, and Paris. It is quite comical throwing a non-French speaking person into this type of situation. The good thing is that I had been to France before and had navigated both the train and metro systems, so that greatly helped! I was able to work in some shopping and also spent a couple hours walking past the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs Elysees, along the Seine, and next to the Eiffel Tower. Brayden requested that I take a picture of the Eiffel Tower at night with all the lights, but the sun didn’t set there until around 10:30pm, so I got some good shots during the afternoon.

Kyle and Erin moved into a new house, so we helped them with that and Hanleigh attended a friend’s birthday party. The girls are loving their summer break, but I feel like it is going by way too fast!


  • Brayden drew a picture of me. When Trent saw it, he asked, “Where are her boobies?” to which she responded, “I wanted her to look younger to make her feel better.”


  • “Mommy, can I ask you a question? Is it OK if I am Elsa when I get older?” (from Disney’s movie, Frozen)

View Photos | View Video


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *