October was a jam-packed month of sports and fabulous vacations. Let’s dive right in! We cooked for the Louisville/NCSU football game and even though the weather was rainy, our gourmet taco bar was incredible! It’s always a bit of a challenge trying to figure out what we can cook, since we live three hours away. Thank goodness for warming trays! In mid-October, I flew to “Lost Angeles” (as Hanleigh calls it…also where all the really bad kids live, hence the need for a large “kids’ jail”) for my company’s annual users’ conference. I know I say this every year, but it just gets better and better. Our onsite team worked so well together and the networking in the evenings with coworkers and customers was amazing. I love the energy of having this event in a large city because there were opportunities to go offsite, eat at great restaurants, and go dancing at some very upscale, elite clubs.
Brayden attended a cheer camp at the high school she will ultimately attend in a few years. It was here that she learned and practiced a series of cheers she performed during a Friday night football game. She looked so cute out on the track with the older girls and kept doing all these high kicks at the end of each cheer. We were screaming her name when she first walked out and she did this tiny, little wave to us (I’m sure because she was embarrassed). Brayden continued her tennis lessons and we signed Hanleigh up for gymnastics. When she first started, she was in the entry-level class, but quickly moved two levels higher. She loves it and it’s a great way to get all that energy out of her little body!
Brayden turned nine years old and invited her BFF, Cora, to a day at Carowinds. They had a blast and returned home to a sleepover with two other friends they all had kindergarten with. When planning her party, I had asked her if she wanted an official party and she said the only thing she wanted was to be with her BFF and then have a slumber party. Least expensive birthday party thus far! During the slumber party, the girls ate pizza, painted their fingernails, made glow-in-the-dark pillowcases, and watched a movie. I think they went to bed somewhere around 11:00pm or so. It was a success! Hanleigh had her five-year checkup where she was 3 feet, 7 inches and 38 lbs. 3.2 oz. Her growth is right on track.
At the end of November, I met up with five other girlfriends from college for one of the best trips I’ve ever taken! We went to Playa del Carmen for four full days of fun. This was with a group of girls I knew in college, but not that well. That changed, though, during this trip. We had such an amazing time relaxing by the pool, eating delicious food, and staying up until 3:30am and 4:30am each night dancing. That city is so unassuming (I had never been there before). There are all these nice resorts on the beach, but when you venture into town a few blocks, there is this street that reminds me of New Orleans, except instead of jazz clubs, it’s all danceclubs…my kind of place. We lived it up each night VIP style and then layed by the pool all day long the next day…and repeat. We are already planning our trip next year for Miami! It can’t come soon enough!
While I was in Playa, Brayden had her annual Boosterthon event and then Trent took both girls to a pumpkin carving party, so they stayed busy. We had our parent-teacher conference with Brayden’s teacher where she told us (as we expected) that she was a great student and good at helping mentor other kids in her class. The odd thing is that she is being funny about participating in school-related spirit activities (like funny sock day, etc.). We did find out that her teacher nominated her to represent her class in the student council and she is very excited about helping make important decisions as a representative for third grade! She also won a spelling bee, but didn’t want to move to the next round. She said she didn’t really win, but her teacher said she did. We didn’t push it with her, but just encouraged her to soar in school and be proud of her accomplishments because she is very gifted and to use that to her benefit. We’ll see how this transpires throughout the years.
We wrapped up the month with a fabulous date night to Pearlz (new restaurant that originated in Charleston) with our awesome neighbors and then to our local watering hole. The next night was Halloween! Trent and I donned our costumes, which were a hit. For those of you who are fans of Jimmy Fallon, we represented the “tight pants” skit, fresh with white pants, tight, ugly sweaters, and our certificates that declared our pants the tightest in all the land. It was creative and fun. One of our neighbors even yelled from their front porch, “Oh my gosh, tight pants!!!”. It was a bit obscure, but those who were familiar with it, loved it! Brayden dressed up as an “I don’t know” and Hanleigh was Wonder Woman.
- Hanleigh set this goal for herself: “Before I go to kindergarten, I want to learn how to write the word ‘comfortable’!”