May 2016
2016,  Birthday,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  May

Moms, Movies, Missing Indi, and Major Adventures!

May turned out to be quite the bittersweet month. Of course, it was filled with our typical hustle and bustle of fun, kid- and adult-related activities, but a dark shadow was cast over the month when we lost our beloved Indiana Jones. Trent’s parents came in town to visit us for his birthday and Mother’s day, but unfortunately, our little four-legged buddy making an unexpected entrance to doggy heaven made the celebrations much less festive. More to come on that incident in a separate post as I like to keep these more positive. We enjoyed our visit with Trent’s parents, celebrated Trent’s birthday, had a nice date night out to a friend’s Cinco de Mayo party, and a nice brunch on Mother’s Day with my mom as well. Grandma and I joined Hanleigh at school for the annual “Muffins with Mom” event where she gave me the sweetest bag with her handprints as the “o” and “v” in “Love” as well as an “All About My Mom” sheet where she answered questions about me in the most adorable way possible. Some of her responses included that my favorite food is dumplings, I love to play ball with her, I would let her play on my computer in my office if I had extra time, that I look prettiest when I go on dates with daddy, that I forget my sunglasses, and she loves me the most because I have a big bathroom. Brayden wrote me the sweetest note saying that she doesn’t tell me thank you enough and that she loves me so much. Trent bought some flowers and a gift certificate to a nearby luxurious spa. I will be redeeming that very soon! I am very lucky to have such beautiful girls who teach me so much everyday about myself and how to be a better person. Without them, I wouldn’t be a mother!

Both girls continued their swim and tennis lessons, which are going great. Trent and Brayden spent the weekend at Camp Harrison with their Y Guide tribe. This is not only an incredible bonding experience for the two of them, but a chance for Brayden to channel her inner tomboy and courageous nature and try fun activities. They participated in the obstacle course (high above the ground), ziplining, skeet shooting, climbing wall, etc. It’s pretty cool to see Brayden’s bravery blossom over the past four years, considering she didn’t want to climb very high her first year in the tribe. All of that hesitancy is out the window now. While they were enjoying the outdoors, Hanleigh and I joined Nana and some of her friends for an outdoor movie in the park, followed up by the Run! Ballantyne fun run the next morning. Hanleigh loves these little races. I really think, between the two of them, we have some runners in the making. And soon, I’m sure they’ll be able to pass me! Hanleigh and I spent Sunday at Carowinds and realized she’s now tall enough to ride some new coasters…she was thrilled!

We attended the annual improv night at Brayden’s school and had a blast. Those events challenge adults’ tendency to stimy creativity and help to bring it back to the surface. Seeing Brayden in her element was awesome, too (by this, I mean that I feel she has a real gift for theater and acting, as much as she isn’t willing to admit it…more to come on that in next month’s post). We took the kids to see Jungle Book, but not in just any old theater…in a remodeled one nearby where every seat is a leather Barcalounger with a swivel tray/cup holder, they serve craft beer and it costs less than our local, traditional, stadium-seating theater. Oh, and you can reserve your seats online, so you don’t have to get there as early. Genius! Our good friends turned us on to this place and I really don’t think we’ll go to any other theater again. It was incredible. Of course, beer + movie + comfy chair = me catching some Zs (note to self: do not set seat to recline mode if feeling even remotely snuggly). Brayden had a sleepover at a friend’s house and then it was time to prepare for the EOGs (end of grade testing). She was really nervous the night before, so we helped ease her by writing encouraging notes that she could read each morning before her tests. Of course, she passed with flying colors, achieving a level five on both reading and math tests (denotes superior command of knowledge and skills)!

Probably the most exciting event of the month was that Hanleigh learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. I’m sure she could’ve learned much earlier…we just never removed the wheels until now. She was getting so good at riding her scooter that it was the next logical step. We are still keeping her in the grass because her instinct is to just jump off the bike when she wants to stop. We are so incredibly proud of her as evidenced by the video. Look at her happy face!

The last weekend of the month, we spent a day at Carowinds with Grandma and Grandpa Hall where once again, Brayden was brave (so were Grandma and Grandpa!) and rode the Fury. She is now a rollercoaster aficionado! There are still three more coasters she has yet to ride, so we’ll tackle those over the summer. I was so proud. As we were going up the first hill, about to drop 325 feet (at a speed of 98 mph!), Grandpa turned to Brayden and said, “I always throw up on the person to my left on these rides” (kidding, of course). She wasn’t buying it. We had a great day, but it was crowded. Good thing we got there early! We wrapped things up with an awesome pool party with our good friends at the country club watching the kids play games, eating delicious food, and sipping on cocktails. It was so fun!


  • She and I were talking about evolution, when she said, “Well, everyone came from apes except wrestlers.”


  • While watching the HGTV show Caribbean Life, the house hunter guy with a Spanish-accent says something and I say, “Did he just say he wants a tree house in Dominican Republic? I’m not sure what he said. I can’t understand his accent.” Hanleigh then says (while shrugging her shoulders), “Well, they are from Boston.”
  • We were naming as many dinosaurs as we could, to which she looked at me and said, “That dinosaur isn’t around anymore because he stinked” (of course, she meant “extinct”).
  • I asked her one day what her weekly theme was at school and she said “oviparous animals”. I must’ve asked her three more times because I had no idea what she was saying. Turns out, she was right. These are animals that are hatched from eggs. You learn something new every day. There is something so cute about kids saying grown-up words (ones that I didn’t even know!).

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