2015,  August,  Birthday,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  Vacation

Saltwater & Whitewater

Our last month of the summer, and the one jam-packed with birthdays and an annual beach trip. Ah, August…my how you keep us busy.

We had a blast with Grandpa and Grandma Hall at (what has become) an annual pool party/cookout. Hanleigh finally was able to go down the waterslide sans floaties, thanks to her swim lessons. We had a great time with Cooper and Kyle, too! Trent surprised me the evening before my birthday with a fabulous date night out with Kendall and Andrew. For my actual birthday, we spent time together as a family and enjoyed some delicious food and treats. It feels so great to be 21! Brayden wrapped up her summer camps by taking cheer/dance and visual arts. We went on another date night with my cousin, Lindsay, and her boyfriend to a new restaurant (Rocksalt) that was yummy and then ventured out to a new brewery in town, the Wooden Robot! We celebrated Hanleigh’s fifth birthday at Chuck E. Cheese with family and friends. Even though I was secretly dreading having it there, I was very pleasantly surprised. We had it on a Sunday at 11:00am, which meant it was hardly crowded at all (I guess because everyone else is at church during that time…we’re heathans!) and quiet! She had a fabulous time! How she is already five, I have no clue. Boo.

Brayden continued her tennis lessons and we celebrated our 14-year anniversary. WOW! I know I say this every year, but the time has honestly just flown by. I feel like it was just yesterday that I saw Trent for the first time at NC State and it still makes me giddy thinking back to that day and fast forwarding to now and all that we’ve experienced together. Not sure if many of you are familiar with the artist Brian Andreas, but he is known for his Story People pieces. I have loved his work for as long as I can remember. I bought Trent a piece that says “It’s not that I can’t live without you. It’s that I live so much with you that I don’t want to miss a bit of it.” I love living life with him and am so blessed that we are together! Happy anniversary, sweetie!

We went out for a date night with our awesome neighbors and I surprised Brayden and took her to see Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line in concert one night. She was so excited and we had a blast together. Going to concerts is one of my favorite things to do and since we both share a deep love for music (and the innate talent to memorize song lyrics quickly), I figured I’d start her off right. I plan on this becoming a tradition of attending concerts together.

We headed off to a very relaxing week at Ocean Isle with mom, Kyle, Erin, Cooper, Sharon, and Trent’s parents. Each year, we’ve made this a tradition by going to a NC beach and renting an oceanfront house with a pool. Ocean Isle is one of our favorite beaches because there are plenty of activities (Putt-Putt, concerts, bars) and the houses are kept up well (not run down like some NC beaches). We were actually quite active on this trip, too. I managed to go running, bicycling, paddleboarding, and sea kayaking. Ok, so that last one was short-lived and I flipped the entire sea kayak completely over with Hanleigh in tow, but it was fun while it lasted. We taught Cooper the “Watch Me (Whip Nae Nae)” dance, too. It was awesome watching the cousins play together. They get along so incredibly well, which makes vacations like these even more enjoyable. I am not sure what we’ll do next year as both Hanleigh and Cooper will start kindergarten, so we’ll have to go earlier in the season, which means more expensive. We’ll see…

We returned from the beach trip to jump right into Brayden’s starting third grade. It’s hard to believe she’s now old enough to join school clubs and become more involved in other activities. She has a lot more homework and tests than ever before, too (which means homework for us, too!). We wrapped up the month with another date night with my high school friend, Christina, and her husband then had lunch with GG and Dadaw the next day. We took Brayden to the US National Whitewater Center for a day of ropes courses, ziplines, and rafting and had a great time. Our raft guide was incredible and made the ride pretty exhilarating with some “surfing” and “happy turtle” maneuvers. Needless to say, we were all SOAKED! Brayden had a look of terror on her face a couple times, but afterward smiled and said she’d do it again. Victory! Check out the awesome video!


  • One day, she said, “When I’m in kindergarten, it’s gonna be hard not to go to the principal’s office.” I said, “Why?” to which she said, “Because you have to be good all day.”
  • She told me one day, “You aren’t allowed to cry in kindergarten.”

View Photos | View VideoView Whitewater Rafting Video

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