August 2016
2016,  August,  Birthday,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  Vacation

Memories, Martha’s, and Mud!

August kicked off with a work trip to Spokane, WA for some marketing operations meetings. While I was there over my birthday, the highlight of the trip was the fact that we got to go ziplining across steep canyons, about 500-feet from the ground…all as a teambuilding activity! There were a total of about 11 ziplines and the last two scooted us across these vast mountains at around 50 mph! We went so fast that I was a bit nervous to turn my head as I was afraid I would lose my sunglasses. It was an exhilarating experience and great time to bond with all of my awesome coworkers. It was a nice break from our all-day meetings, too.

The girls wrapped up their summer camps with dance, gymnastics, slime, outdoor adventure, amazing race, cooking, American girl, visual art, and theater. They are such the little performers and really enjoyed being on stage singing, dancing, and acting! I am very interested to see how this interest evolves over time (especially for Brayden as she definitely has the gift of drama). Our neighborhood crew spent the day at Piedmont Social House bowling, playing shuffleboard, and throwing darts. We then ventured to Brazwell’s for a few drinks and brought the festivities back to our house for the inaugural block party (a tradition we hope to continue on Friday nights during the warm months).

Hanleigh turned six and celebrated her birthday at Build-a-Bear Workshop with a bunch of her friends. How she is six years old already is beyond me! She only asked for a couple specific items: a Star Wars towel with her name on it and mouthwash. She has been wanting mouthwash for at least the last year and was so bummed to find out that you have to be six to use it. It’s the little victories! Grandma & Grandpa Jones and Uncle David drove down from DC to spend the week with us as well. It was so great to hang out with them!

Trent and I celebrated our 15-year wedding anniversary in Martha’s Vineyard in mid-August. We decided we wanted to visit someplace in the US (we always gravitate to the Caribbean since it’s so close and our favorite) that we had never been to, so we settled on MV. We went up there on a Wednesday, only to be greeted by the most quaint, little airport I’ve seen in a long time. The baggage claim was merely a little retractable door and a 15-foot wide bin to catch bags. And, of course, everything had shake siding on it. We made our way to the Charlotte Inn, which would be our home for the next four nights. It was a very ornate, traditionally decorated inn. After we dropped our bags off at the room, we headed straight to The Atlantic for some drinks and appetizers (including the most delicious lobster guacamole) then perused the streets.

The next day we went for a morning run and enjoyed passing by some beautiful homes, one of which had llamas (or alpacas…heck if I know!) sunbathing in the yard. Odd. We spent the afternoon laying out at the Edgartown lighthouse beach and admiring all the gorgeous yachts passing by. That afternoon, we had some toddies at the Seafood Shanty (favorite place by far)—it was casual, had excellent food & drinks, but the view was spectacular. It was the perfect place to take in the breeze and watch the sailboats keeled over! We had dinner at Atria for our actual anniversary and the food was phenomenal. I am pretty sure we had some form of seafood at nearly every meal. We strolled casually through downtown and came upon a street that was blocked by police. Knowing that the Obamas were in town on vacation, we figured that’s exactly what was going on…and it was. We were drawn to the hubbub and probably waited outside with 200 other people just to catch a glimpse of them leaving. A bit anticlimactic, but it was cool to see all the security detail that is involved in them just wanting to have a (relatively) peaceful dinner out. I don’t envy that lifestyle at all. Ugh. We headed to Port Hunter (favorite bar there) and listened to a band. It was fun!

The next day, we took a one-hour ferry ride to Nantucket, home of the extravagantly and obnoxiously wealthy (check out the pics of the mega-yachts)! We sat up top on the ferry where we were greeted by some very heavy ocean sprays, so needless to say, we were a bit wet by the time we disembarked. It was so much fun, very serene, and I was in my happy place being on the sea! While in Nantucket, we did some sightseeing and then went on a bike tour where we learned about the history of the island, got the insider’s scoop on the non-touristy places to visit, and took in some incredible views. The bike tour ended at Cisco Brewery which, on a Friday afternoon, was quite popular! There were food trucks and the beer was delicious! We made our way back to MV and went out to dinner again (can’t remember where!).

On our last day, we rented bikes and rode to South Beach where we laid out for about four hours (and where I neglected to put any sunscreen on my stomach…way to go, Becs!). It was so relaxing and gorgeous! That evening, we had dinner at Port Hunter and then meandered around town trying to find a place to go to the bathroom. We hopped into The Atlantic again to go pee and on the way out discovered a DJ setting up his gear. Awe, snap! Fast forward a few hours later, covered in sweat, we got our groove on! You know I can’t turn down dancing! I am sure we will return to MV one day. It is a great place to visit (and breakfast at “Around the Corner Café” is unbelievable!), very family-friendly, and has plenty of posh!

Brayden experienced a big rite of passage as well…BRACES (and an expander)! She will wear these for six months and then will likely have another round of braces once her 12-year molars come in. She is so excited to have them and especially excited to change out the rubberband colors at each appointment. Brayden and I went to the Maren Morris, Brett Eldredge, and Keith Urban concert one night and had such a good time. Music is one of the most important things in my life and concerts are such a big component of that! We joined the Mantaks and Bryans for the Big Muddy Challenge (check out the article that a local paper ran about it with our group featured in the photo), a 5K mud run (and Hanleigh’s first). She was a bit hesitant at the beginning, but after the first obstacle she was all in! Everyone had a blast! Brayden continued playing tennis and Trent went to a Knights game.

Hanleigh had a major rite of passage as well…first day of KINDERGARTEN! She had a staggered day on 8/30 where they break the entire kindergarten class into fourths and assess the kids on their capabilities. On Mon, Wed, and Thurs of that week, she spent a few days at her former preschool. When leaving her on the staggered day, my eyes watered a little bit, but I held it together pretty well. Brayden started her first day of fourth grade on 8/29 and knew so many kids already. Very easy transitions! We are really blessed to have two amazing kids who both absolutely love school (and do very well in it) and have made so many friends. The month concluded with a girls’ night out to dinner and then to watch Bad Moms (highly recommend that movie….freakin’ hilarious!).


  • “Why don’t mommys and daddy’s have bunk beds?”
  • On the way home from school, she told me, “Hard things are good for you, like steak, grapes, and gummies.”
  • She pointed out a photo of someone and said, “She’s a party pooper because she has a hat on.” to which I responded, “Hanleigh, a party pooper is someone who is in a bad mood.” She then said, “Oh, I thought a party-pooper is someone that poops at a party!”
  • When she went to her preschool the week of her staggered start, she looks at me and says, “Really, guys? I am WAY too old for this school.”

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