January 2022
2022,  Birthday,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  January,  Vacation

Surprise 73rd, Celebrating Seventy, & Scavenger Hunts

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s crazy that it’s 2022 already. I feel like just yesterday Trent and I were ringing in the year 2000 and wondering if the world was actually going to end or not. A lot has changed since that day for sure. We kicked off this year with some awesome celebrations, which I’ll get to in a bit. Hanleigh was invited to go snow tubing at Appalachian Mountain with her best friend, Mila, and a couple other friends. They had an awesome time and continued the festivities back at her house with a slumber party. I treated myself to a massage as a gift from Terry and Fran, and we had an awesome dinner with Nina and Keith at a new Asian-themed restaurant, Miso, in Southpark. It was absolutely delicious and the view was pretty awesome as well. Brayden enjoyed a celebratory high school field hockey banquet to recognize all the players for their hard work over the course of last season. It was also nice for her to see her friends and teammates.

My dear friend, Alison, visited again on her drive from Virginia to Atlanta. I took her to a hip hop class, which was reminiscent of our college days dancing in the clubs. We always have so much fun together. Mimi and Dadaw celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary as well. Aunt Patty did an incredible job of working with the Cypress to set up a surprise romantic lunch for them, complete with flowers and candles. There were tears shed, judging by the pictures, which, of course, made me get teary eyed as well. They definitely give you something to aspire to. Even though Dadaw’s memory isn’t anything like it used to be, you could tell he’s still enjoyed spending time with her. Every time we go visit him, he talks about how lucky he is to have Mimi as his wife and that she “puts up with him.” He also tells a couple of jokes. I love that he still has his sense of humor!

Trent and I had our first of four surprise date nights (a gift which he gave me for Christmas where he planned something over the course of the next few months and just told me what dates to hold…I love a good surprise!). As it turned out, Becky and Matt were in town for their daughter’s cheerleading competition and we met up with them for drinks before heading over to Sea Level for dinner. The food was delicious and Trent and I had a pretty passionate conversation that led to a bit of an argument, but what was comical about this is that we actually were feeling the exact same way as each other. Looking back on it, it’s pretty funny as we were basically expressing the same thing to each other, but not realizing it. Mars and Venus, but as always, we do an excellent job of communicating to one another and sorting things out. We wrapped up that weekend with a fun Sunday afternoon at the Farrell’s watching football and eating delicious chili!

My mom, who is such an important part of my life, turned the big 7-0 in January! Kyle and I planned a surprise getaway for her at Kendall’s beach house in Ocean Isle. We really gave her absolutely no information about where she was going. We just had a caravan and she followed us. Going to the beach in January does seem a bit absurd, and we were met with a small ice storm of sorts, but it didn’t affect our happiness at all. We made a pit stop for a late lunch at Causeway Gourmet, which never disappoints. On Friday night, we fixed a delicious Mexican fiesta and just hung out around the house playing games and catching up. On Saturday, we quickly learned that the bridge to the island was closed due to ice and we did not know when it was going to open…so, we were stuck. This posed a bit of a challenge as we knew we wanted to make a delicious dinner, but still had to go shopping for the ingredients and the grocery store is across the bridge on the mainland. Around 3:00 p.m., the bridge opened so all was right in the world. We picked up the most beautiful pink tuna I’ve ever seen as well as some delectable salmon and veggies. Meanwhile, the kids decorated the kitchen and den with all kinds of awesome and festive bling, including pictures that her sisters and friends emailed me. Around 4:00 p.m., we scattered random questions around the house which was the basis of an awesome and hilarious scavenger hunt. Most of the questions had her providing details about embarrassing stories throughout her life. Everyone learned a little bit more about her that day. The scavenger hunt culminated with a live Zoom call that I arranged with many of our Louisville family members. It was hilarious as she didn’t realize that it was a live video feed. She thought it was pre-recorded until Jennifer asked where we were. She teared up a bit as she saw family members joining the video, which made me tear up. That was the emotional and endearing part of the day. We left Mom and Jim at the house while the rest of us took the golf cart to the beach to watch the sunset and run around. It was chilly, but it was stunning. We later fixed her an incredible meal and once our bellies were full, we proceeded to break out the infamous wig bin, crank up some awesome jams, and danced our faces off. At one point, while Flo Rida’s song, “Low”, was playing, she proceeded to climb onto the island and dance. Let’s just say that when that “shorty got low” that she couldn’t get back up (watch the video)! I was worried I was going to have to pay Kendall for a new pendant lamp replacement! We danced for hours, sang her happy birthday, and capped off the night by playing lots of inappropriate games at the kitchen table. It was the perfect way to ring in her milestone birthday. After a delicious breakfast on Sunday, we headed back home. Happy 70th birthday, Mom!

That same weekend, we did learn of some very sad news. My mom’s best friend since fourth grade, Judy, lost her daughter to a glioblastoma that had metastasized from her spine over the course of the past 14 months. Missy felt like an older sister to me when I was little and I really looked up to her. She was an amazing wife, mom, sister, and daughter. My heart goes out to the Wilson family. The world lost an incredible, witty, funny human being, but as they say, heaven gained an angel.

The four of us enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Queen City Craft, which is one of my most favorite restaurants that is close to our house. The next night, I hung out with some of my girlfriends (Megan, Renee, Tonya, Julie) to celebrate Julie’s 50th birthday. More to come on that in next month’s post for her getaway trip. That weekend was capped off with a preference sheet planning Zoom call with our “Boats n’ Hoes” BVI crew in anticipation of our trip this June. We discussed what islands we want to go to, what type of meals we like to eat, and which cocktails we like to drink. Tough decisions. This will be a trip of a lifetime!

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