September 2018
2018,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  September,  Vacation

Beaches, Bonding, Diving, & Dinners (+Field Hockey & Longhouse!)

September was another awesome month. We kicked it off with a beach trip to Kendall’s house at Ocean Isle along with the Whitcombs, Farrells, and Blackwells. It was such a great time. We had gorgeous weather and were able to chill out on the beach and just relax. We made some amazing food and she had lots of laughs. Trent and the girls headed back home and I stayed at the beach with Kendall and worked for the next few days in anticipation of a fabulous reunion of our college girlfriends. There are 13 of us that have kept in touch over the years via a Facebook group message chain and we had been planning this trip for an entire year. On Thursday of that week, girls started coming in from all over the country so that we could spend the next four days together at the beach house. It was absolutely incredible. There was an obscene amount of laughter, tons of great heart-to-heart conversations, sad tears, happy tears, exercise, and fabulous time at the beach just relaxing. What’s so incredible is that the entire group of us had it on the calendar for a year and no one backed out. They’re also was absolutely zero drama all weekend and we really just enjoyed connecting. I love these girls. Even though some of them I didn’t know very well in college, that has changed with the numerous trips we’ve taken over the years together. Brayden continued to with her field hockey season and had an absolute blast. Their team, while not winning any games in September, maintained high spirits and great camaraderie throughout every game. It’s so nice to see Brayden play in a team sport since she really hasn’t done that at all before. She’s made some great friends over the course of the season as well. We are very proud of her for taking a leap of faith and trying something that she has never done before nor knew anything about.

At the start of middle school, Brayden had her first school dance, which she did not want to go to, however all of her girlfriends were going so she joined them and had a great time. Of course, no boys and girls danced together at all. At this point, boys are still considered extremely gross in her eyes. In other Brayden news, she did her SCUBA diving pool dive and had an absolutely amazing time. She is a natural and her instructor said that she is picking up everything so well. I love seeing my little fish diving feet first into such a big accomplishment. Brayden had her first cotillion class, which, much to her dismay, she did not want any part in wearing a dress or skirt. However, the evening ended with a bunch of cookies, so it’s really not that bad according to her. She learned how to sit properly like a lady and keep her ankles crossed versus at her knees. She also learned how to introduce herself properly to others at social gatherings. I think these are life skills that everyone should learn because they help build confidence and allow you not to be awkward in social situations.

We got together again with my friend and roommate from college, Jackie, and her family as well, but this time at our house. We had an absolutely amazing time reminiscing about all the memories from college and catching up on life since then. I love that we had this newly rekindled friendship and the fact that she lives so close to us is icing on the cake. Amidst the most recent hurricane, we held steadfast and had a BEAM dinner so we could get all the girls together and of course, they are still as tight as ever. It doesn’t hurt that the moms are incredibly awesome as well. We spent a weeknight at the Maren Morris and Niall Horan concert. Of course, I love Maren Morris, but was a bit skeptical to see Niall in concert. Surprisingly though, he was very good and is very much an entertainer and a great guitar player. We ran into Brayden’s teacher as well, who is obsessed with him and even had backstage passes to meet him. Too cute.

Hanleigh had her annual field day at school and had an absolute blast eating snow cones, playing tug-of-war, and doing some obstacle courses. Each year, we love to go visit her in the morning and watch her have a blast and laugh. She also had her curriculum night with her teacher where I learned everything she would be absorbing over the course of second grade. Her teacher was in fifth grade last year and is teaching second grade this year, and I know she has high expectations of the class, which will help challenge Hanleigh and push her to be her best. Hanleigh describes her teacher as “fierce, but nice”.

We had Selfish Club at Mary’s house and the theme was “tiaras and tutus”. Everyone donned their cutest attire and we had an amazing time in her beautiful home. Brayden had her check-out dive for her SCUBA class at a quarry in North Charlotte by Lake Norman. It was two-days worth of exploring the underwater craziness that included sunken buses, airplanes, pipes, and other interesting apparatus where they performed their drills. The visibility wasn’t great due to the hurricane, but the good part about that is anywhere we go diving, we will have amazing visibility. She seems very excited to go diving next year during spring break. I am beside myself and so incredibly proud of her.

We had dinner with GG & Dadaw one evening at Brio and it was awesome to see them and catch up. I try to organize dinner with them whenever we can because I love the fact that the girls can get to know their great grandparents and we can catch up on life. Tonya and Kaitlyn came over for dinner one evening and it was awesome to see them as well. We had curriculum night at Brayden’s school as well and it was insightful to really get a taste for her schedule as well as get to know her teachers better and the expectations and syllabi they have for the upcoming year.

I attended our annual Itron Utility Week conference (the 16th one I’ve attended and 18th one I’ve planned) at the end of September in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is one of the highlights of my year in terms of my job and it was great to see co-workers as well as witness all the hard work I put into it over the year transform itself into a very successful event. I even ran a run club three days while I was there, which, even though it had me waking up way too early, the camaraderie that I had with customers and partners while there was very inspiring. Hopefully, this is something we will continue each year at the event. Lastly, Trent took the girls to the bi-annual Y Guides Longhouse to Camp Cheerio. They did their typical horseback riding, riflery, swimming, games, bonfires, etc. Of course they had an absolute great time.

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