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

Charleston, Covers & Charlie!

And just like that, we have another child getting ready to go through cotillion. This time, Hanleigh is with five of her best girlfriends, so they all get a chance to learn some serious manners and social skills come this fall. Kam, Mila, Hunter, Nina, Alexis and other buddies of hers will all be taking the same class on a monthly basis for the next two years. Brayden took cotillion as well and I really do feel like it benefited her. Meanwhile, Brayden prepared for her first AP exam in Human Geography. What I didn’t realize is that no matter where you are in the world, all students take that exam on the exact same day. I guess it’s to ensure that everyone is given the same chance and that no one is able to cheat. We won’t get her results until July, but hopefully this will help her chip away at her college credit hours. Hanleigh also took a fifth grade field trip to Anne Springs Greenway where they did some light hiking and learned about nature.

One weekend, we ventured to the Charleston/Daniel Island area for a field hockey playday where Brayden’s team ended up being undefeated! It was really cool to get to know some of her other teammates’ parents as well. This was her second to last playday of the season with Ambush and now we start focusing on getting ready for high school tryouts. We rushed home from Charleston just in time to make homemade fascinators for the Kentucky Derby. The next day, we celebrated Trent’s 48th birthday (he got a Charlotte FC rally scarf, a soft Yeti cooler, and a few other fun items). Quite often, his birthday is also shared with Mother’s Day, so we rallied the family and had a big lunch with Kyle and his posse, Mom, Terry and Fran for a brunch at Legion Brewery. Delicious, as always.

To celebrate the end of the school year, Hawk Ridge honored all volunteers by providing them with a breakfast one morning. Brayden had her final field hockey game, Hanleigh went to Sky Zone with Noor and some friends, and I enjoyed a delicious dinner with Tonya, Heather, and Julie. We attended a relatively new event called Markets at 11, which gives the South Charlotte community a venue upon which to listen to live music and shop for other items like clothing/gifts. It’s a pretty chill atmosphere and gives us something really fun to do once a month. That evening we attended the Charlotte FC game vs. Montreal and we got our butts kicked. Apparently, they were the best team in the league at the time we played them. Regardless of our loss, we had an amazing time and the girls loved going to the game and cheering on the team. The next day, Brayden concluded her field hockey season with the last official playday.

The next weekend, we took the girls to Atlanta where the pinnacle event was the Kenny Chesney concert (the same one Trent and I saw in April). They hadn’t been to ATL since they were three and six years old. We stayed at the Westin in downtown, had dinner at Biggerstaff Brewery, and then ventured to The Yard milkshake bar (as in “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard”). The next day, we woke up and spent a couple hours at the World of Coca-Cola, where everyone had the most fun sampling around the world. Trent continued to impress me as he still has not broke his lack of soda streak in so many years. Strong-willed, he is. We went to the Virginia Highlands area to enjoy lunch at Bartaco (all of us loved that place!), go shopping, get cleaned up, and then head to the concert. It was so incredibly cool to see a concert in the Mercedes-Benz dome. They even opened the ceiling up for Kenny. I do think this concert was better than the one in Charlotte because the sound was better. We danced the whole time and Hanleigh only slept for a little bit. 🙂

That Sunday morning, we all parted ways when I flew to Dallas from Atlanta for an industry-related conference while Trent and the kids drove back to Charlotte. While in Dallas, I had dinner with customers at Harper’s, then staffed the booth and met with media/partners at DistribuTECH, had dinner with Chris & Stacy at Neon Kitten (where we proceeded to laugh our faces off, especially in the Uber ride back to the hotel), and enjoyed a marketing team dinner at Hawthorne. Great food, poor service.

Hanleigh wrapped up the month with reading, science and math EOG tests, and gymnastics. Brayden started her high school field hockey practices as well. And in true artistic form, Hanleigh entered and won the yearbook cover contest! Her artwork is now featured on the back of her yearbook! She sketched out her entry in the course of a couple hours and sort of nonchalantly turned it in. We are so proud and she is as well! We told her that everyone in her school will have that yearbook the rest of their life and can look back on it and say that they knew the girl who drew the back cover! Pretty cool!

However, the biggest highlight of the month, and maybe the entire year (so far!) was that Trent secretly flew to Memphis to pick up our newest family member, a baby girl Vizsla named Charlie, and fly her back to Charlotte to surprise the girls. The official name on paper that we gave her is “Echo’s Queen City Angel” and since the Queen City is what Charlotte is known as, we only found it fitting to nickname her Charlie. The girls have always said that our next dog would have a grandpa name, so this checked all the boxes! This is something that Trent has been researching heavily for the last four or five months in terms of finding the right breeder…however, it is a breed that we have been interested in owning for at least seven years. When he brought her home, I couldn’t have even begun to anticipate how incredible the girls’ reactions would be. Excited, overwhelmed, and elated are words that don’t even begin to scratch the surface. Brayden literally dropped to her knees when he came around the corner with Charlie in his hands and probably sobbed for solid 10 minutes straight (check out the video—it’s heartwarming!). Hanleigh kept asking if this was really happening. It was way too cute. We are excited to watch Charlie grow up (read: lose her baby teeth!) and see what kind of trouble she causes!

In other exciting news, Brayden got her first job at Tropical Smoothie CafĂ©. They are giving her a fair amount of hours while successfully balancing her school work as well. The look on her face when she received her first paycheck was pretty awesome. I’m so proud of her to take the initiative and start working. I think this is an important thing to do as a teenager so she can begin understanding and appreciating the value of a dollar.

We enjoyed lunch one afternoon with GG at Reid’s and visited Dadaw, too. Alaynah spent the night with Hanleigh and we enjoyed a fun afternoon at the Pierpoint’s annual pool party for Memorial Day! It was a great way to wrap up such a fabulous month!


  • We’ve been telling her for years that once she gets a job, she can cuss within reason. A friend of mine gave this rule to their kids and it’s actually quite comical. When she was officially hired at her new job, Hanleigh brought this rule to my attention (btw, why are kids’ minds like elephants? They remember everything!) to which Brayden said, “Ooh, this means I get to cuss now! YESSS!!!”

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