June 2023
2023,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  June,  Vacation

Cousins, Crowders, Colleges, Camp, & Chillin’!

June kicked off with a bunch of needles in my body. I continue to getting acupuncture to treat hot flashes, and as doubtful as I was at the beginning of my treatments, I have to admit that I do think it actually works. I haven’t had any since my second appointment. I’m hoping this will be a permanent fix, even though my appointments end after six treatments. Fingers crossed. Trent and I had an awesome date night at a brand new restaurant near our home called Hestia. It is located on the rooftop of the AC Hotel and has an incredible view of uptown and the Ballantyne area. While the food was slightly overpriced, it was delicious and we decided we would definitely come back for appetizers on the outdoor patio and take in the view with some nice cocktails. We had an awesome cousin hang-out day and evening at Abby and Justin’s house where we brought the dogs over and watched all six of those little canines and our two-legged kids run around the entire day. We spent the afternoon in the pool, eating delicious food, and that led us into the evening where we had an impromptu dance party and laughed like crazy. We always have the most amazing time with them every time we hang out. I capped off that weekend with Heather and Tonya for our regular “blue-haired girls” dinner at Link & Pin. It was delicious and the three of us always have so much fun together laughing and catching up. Trent spent a week in Raleigh for work and while he was gone, I had mom over for dinner and enjoyed a relaxing massage. The girls also had their last day of school. It’s hard to believe that the school year has already gone by so fast and now we have a rising junior in high school in a rising seventh grader. Both girls got straight As on their report cards. Time, slow down!

Before school ended, Brayden had this idea to take her and her best friends to the coast for an entire day on the last day of school. We nipped that in the bud for a few reasons: she is the only one of them that has her full driver’s license, it would be a seven-hour drive round trip with her being the only driver, and other challenges as well. She even put together a very compelling PowerPoint presentation about why she should be allowed to go. I love the creativity! As much as we wanted to say yes, safety trumped all of her fabulous reasons. After a bit of a meltdown about it, we gave her some other ideas and ultimately, her “four-pack” spent the day at Crowders Mountain, then the Whitewater Center and had an absolute blast. We celebrated our neighbor’s (Tiffany) birthday one evening and over the course of a few weeks, Brayden and I began researching colleges online by watching tours of the campus and signing up for virtual information sessions. She has a nice list of schools she is interested in applying to, so we’ll see if these get paired down after we organize some in-person visits hopefully for this fall: Duke, UNC, NC state, Wake Forest, UGA, University of Tennessee, Colorado, and University of Miami. She said she will only go to a college that has a football team, and of course, we don’t blame her! 

Brayden hung out at one of her best friend’s (Sejal) house for a birthday dinner and we had a fabulous date night with Mike and Tonya at the Vintage Whiskey and Cigar Bar, followed by Dilworth Tasting Room for dinner and then Tyber Creek Pub for dancing. It was awesome hanging out with them! We dropped Hanleigh off for a week of stay-away camp at Camp Harrison with her best friend, Mila. They had a blast swimming, playing in the lake on the blob, ziplining, doing arts and crafts and archery, and just enjoying the start of the summer. It was kind of a last-minute decision to sign her up for this, but the two of them had such a great time throughout the week meeting new friends that when we picked them up, they were crying because they didn’t want to leave. They are already vying to go next year for two weeks in a row! While those little chickadees were at camp, Brayden attended one of her friend’s (Emily, who will be attending NC State next year) graduation, I had a real quick trip to Denver, Colorado for a work event, and Brayden had a meet and greet followed by a concert with Noah Kahan. Mimi celebrated her 94th birthday and we are so happy to spend special time with her!!!

We met with our travel agent, Shannon, again to finalize our trip to Greece and can’t believe the trip was almost here. Brayden attended Emily’s graduation party and we enjoyed an awesome Father’s Day lunch at Charlotte Beer Garden with Fran, Terry, Dad, Christel, Kyle, Cammy, Cooper, and the girls. Most of us had never been there before and it has such an amazing layout across multiple floors with hundreds of beers on tap. The rooftop is open air and has such a cool outdoorsy vibe. There is even a humongous tree that occupies the first two floors around which they built the bars and seating. Hanleigh began a two-week Beauty and the Beast theater camp, Brayden continued her field hockey practices and cardio/weight training, and we attended a virtual information session for Duke University. The colleges are really smart because they have students as ambassadors for these virtual visits, which is a great marketing tactic because the high schoolers listen to someone who is relatable and closer to their age.

I spent an awesome long weekend with my fabulous group of Triple B friends at Lake Lure, a beautiful mountain town where Dirty Dancing was filmed. Shelly flew down from Maryland and I picked her up at the airport and we made the two-hour drive to meet up with everyone else. We stopped into a really cute boutique and I bought a few dresses for the girls and me, and then we joined the rest of the Bees for lunch at Highlands Kitchen and Bar, which was absolutely delicious. When we arrived at our gorgeous lakefront home, unfortunately, the air conditioning was totally broken, so we were able to get our first night refunded, which we just transferred into our “Bee Grateful” fund. This is a savings account we set up in the last year where we contribute to it whenever one of our fellow bees is in need of some support. The idea is that when the money accumulates, we can all collectively decide if we want to spend a portion of it to do something as a group, rather than waste it on something materialistic…collect memories, not stuff! Such a genius idea!!! I fixed dinner for everyone that night (sesame chili London broil with Jasmine rice and peanut butter pie for dessert), we danced and sang, and the air conditioning was fixed before we went to bed that night, so all was well. The next day, I got up and exercised and then Becky, Heather, and I hiked to the top of Chimney Rock. It was a beautiful view from way up there and we had an awesome time bonding! While we were there, the other three ladies relaxed on the boat dock, where we joined them (after walking down the 100 steps to get to the lake (this ensures that you don’t forget anything before you make the trek down) when we returned. Our house came with kayaks and floats and we just chilled out for hours until it was time for dinner. We got all dolled up and found a local college student to pick us up via his parent’s pontoon boat and shuttle us to dinner at Legends on the Lake. The food was so delicious! We came back home and played Telestrations After Dark (best game ever!) and laughed until our stomachs were sore! The next day, we spent the entire time on the lake again just having an absolute blast and laughing like crazy. At one point, we were all hanging out on the dock and looked up and there was a raccoon about two steps away from being on the same level we were. Shelly shooed him away with a noodle and he disappeared…or so we thought! Later on that afternoon, Heather was sunbathing on the dock and we were inside of the boathouse listening to music when a pontoon boat full of people pulled up in front of us and yelled, “Raccoon!” We just laughed and smiled at them and said, “Yeah, we know. We saw him earlier!” They said, “No, he’s on your dock. Is your boat house door open?” Oh, crap! We all shrieked a bit and grabbed some brooms and stuff to make sure he wasn’t in there with us, but also checked on Heather and made sure she was okay. I guess we scared him away, but for all we know, he could have been right next to Heather reading a book with her. Kerri made us an amazing meal that night consisting of wagyu beef steaks and shrimp and then we partied late into the evening with karaoke! There is never any lack of fun when this group gets together!!! I love my Bees! While I was on that trip, Trent and the girls had lunch with GG and spent some quality time with her back at her house afterward.

Hanleigh wrapped up her Beauty and the Beast play with a fabulous performance. She played the role of Babette, the featherduster that lives in the castle. She really gets into her theater roles and loves being on stage! I attended our annual marketing meeting in Spokane, Washington where my team presented our marketing updates to our peers. We went out to dinner to a really fun hibachi grill where are chef was extremely engaging and absolutely hilarious. He was spraying cold sake into everyone’s mouths from a distance, which was very amusing to watch. The next day, we had more presentations to watch and had a teambuilding activity, consisting of trivia, at a local winery. Our teams are always extremely animated, energetic, and competitive…not to mention, very silly. I work with some of the best people ever! Brayden had one more virtual tour for Duke University, I flew back home and we made our way to the annual family reunion. More to come on that in the next month’s post.

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