2023,  Birthday,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  March

Spain, Soccer, Service, & San Antonio

March was another fabulous, yet very busy month…once again full of lots of travel, mostly business, but some personal. Charlie had another one of her lessons to continue learning how to be a good girl. I think they are definitely working, but we need as much training as she does! Alexis, one of Hanleigh’s friends, spent the night with us. She is so hilarious and cracks all of us up because she laughs at everything she says herself. Trent had his annual beer run with his F3 friends and later that evening, the four of us went to Pin’s Mechanical to play arcade games and duck pin bowling. We had an awesome time! The next day, Brayden celebrated her friend Abby’s birthday with a tea party and discovered some new finger foods and petit fours that she enjoyed. We met with our travel agent to continue prepping for our trip to Greece. We are getting so close to this bucket-list trip and are so excited!!! Kendall and I had dinner in Fort Mill at Illumination Wines, which is an old bungalow home that they converted into a restaurant that serves delicious charcuterie boards and wine in test tubes. It’s a very creative concept and I cannot wait to go back. Brayden continued her weightlifting workouts for field hockey and Hanleigh attended the final ball for her Cotillion. She got all dressed up and looked gorgeous. Although, when I look back at the pictures that were taken that night, it’s just so cute to see how seventh graders dance with members of the opposite sex. I think the boys are way more uncomfortable than the girls. It’s comical.

We enjoyed an awesome evening with our fabulous neighbors at the Bartley’s for a happy hour and dinner. Never a dull moment with them and nothing but lots of laughter and smiles. I know I say this all the time, but our neighborhood is absolutely incredible. I don’t know how we got so lucky to live here! That same evening, Brayden had her Sadie Hawkins dance at school, but her group of friends just decided to skip it and instead have a great dinner at the Pump House. 

I took another work trip…this time, to Malaga, Spain. It was absolutely breathtaking. I was there for eight days total, with the first five days dedicated to attending meetings to help our sales team be more equipped and learn how to sell our solutions. There was one hiccup, though. My suitcase didn’t arrive at the same time I did. Rather, I didn’t get it until about two-and-a-half days after I landed. What this meant was that I took a few cabs to a local mall and did some awesome shopping. While it wasn’t ideal to have absolutely any clothing or toiletries with me, it was a great opportunity to stock up at Zara, one of my favorite Spanish stores! We did have fun in the evenings, though. Everyone participated in a team-building activity that included watching horse dancing, followed by making paella and sangria. Our team did a great job making the paella, but the sangria was another story. I saw two pitchers on the table as well as a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine, so naturally, I thought we were making two different types of sangria. Boy, was I wrong. After we had already mixed the bottle of white wine with some of the vodka and fruit, the taste testers and judges made their way to our table. Our fatal mistake was that we never tasted our concoction before the judges visited us. Apparently, what we thought was a bottle of white wine was clearly a bottle of liquor, so our white wine was extremely sweet and tasted like maple syrup that was very strong. It was pretty heinous. When we realized this, we were laughing so hard. It was hilarious. The last night of the work trip always concludes with a gala in which everyone dresses up very fancy and has an extremely delicious dinner, followed by some dancing. This year, however, it culminated in a party back at Angela’s suite, and it felt like a high school party. We had so much fun playing some old school jams. A bit too much fun considering that the cops got called because we were all so loud. Luckily, I had darted out of there about 15 minutes before that happened. Everything ended well, but it was pretty funny knowing what happened the next morning. A few people had to leave the hotel at 3:30am to go to the airport, and they just decided not to sleep that night and just keep partying in the room. So fun! About seven of us decided to extend the business trip over the weekend so we could do some sightseeing. We visited Marbella, which is a bougie coastal town with an amazing marina full of gorgeous yachts. We had cocktails at a rooftop bar and then proceeded down the boardwalk to have a fabulous dinner. The next day, the same group took a 90-minute road trip to the Alhambra, which is a huge palace in Granada, Spain. We had a tour of the grounds that lasted a few hours and it was awesome to explore this very popular monument and learn all about its history. It was absolutely stunning! That evening, after a quick turnaround, we ventured back out to a small town called Mijas, which was about ten minutes away from Malaga. This quaint little village sat atop a steep hillside and was picture perfect—narrow cobblestone streets flanked by stark white buildings full of boutiques, restaurants, and bars. I hope to go back there again someday! I did return from Spain with a nasty cold, as did many of my coworkers. The good thing is that I did not get covid, but one of them did. I was very lucky in that regard.

Hanleigh has started playing soccer for the first time, so she began her weekly practices. Unfortunately, it took a while before someone volunteered to be the coach, but now she has one. She is enjoying it, but there really is no structure and the kids are not really learning the basics before they hit the field for games. They do appear to be improving each game, though. Also, the good thing is that she enjoys it enough to continue playing after the season is over, but we will likely change to a different league that is more structured and regimented. I enjoyed an awesome dinner at Little Mama’s celebrating Amy’s birthday. It’s always great to spend time with the neighborhood women. Hanleigh had an orthodontist appointment to keep her braces in check, I enjoyed a massage, and Brayden’s Ambush field hockey practices began.

The four of us took a quick 24-hour trip to Decatur, Georgia for Mitch’s funeral. It was on a Saturday evening and it was truly touching to see how many people showed up to celebrate his life. Janet was very welcoming and eloquent when she spoke to everyone. I honestly don’t know how she did it. The band that he was a member of for so many years played songs in his honor, even using his guitar, which was very moving. There was a video that showcased his incredible musical talent, highlighting many of the scores that he had written. Friends from all walks of life were there, from those in his neighborhood to the students he taught. We got to see some of our dear family from Kentucky (Mary Ann, Joan, Cathy) and from Charlotte (Katherine, Thomas) and have dinner with them, so that was very nice. After the service, Janet had organized it such that everybody could meet up at their favorite bar where the first round of beers was on her. Mitch, you are very missed. Thank you for shining such a beautiful light on this world.

I had one more work trip to round out the month…this one was in San Antonio for our annual conference’s planning meeting. This is the 23rd customer conference I have planned at my company, so it’s comes as second nature to me by this point. I even made a flat Stacy since she was under the weather and couldn’t join us. In other exciting news, our little girl, Charlie, turned one, so we celebrated her awesomeness! We met with our travel agent for the second time in the month and I had Selfish Club at Dana’s house. There were even more new girls this time and it’s awesome getting to know new people. March 31st was Dadaw’s birthday, and it was sad this year because we did not have him with us in person to celebrate. However, Mimi did have flowers placed at his gravesite from all of us. We miss him dearly, but know he is looking down on us and watching over us every day. We love you, Dadaw! Lastly, we enjoyed watching the play, “Into the Woods” at Brayden’s high school, we’re one of her good friends played the role of Little Red Riding Hood. She did an incredible job.

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