October was another awesome month, filled with travel, football, and really fun weekends! I flew back from Spokane after attending Haley’s wedding and shortly afterward was the one year anniversary of Dadaw’s passing. It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year. We miss him all the time and know that he is watching over us. Dad had hip surgery and is recovering from that and Hanleigh had a school field trip to an outdoor obstacle course where they focused on team-building activities. She continued with weekly soccer practices and games on the weekends. Her team continued to improve with each game and it was so awesome just seeing her enjoy a new sport that she had not participated in before.
A co-worker of mine, Mike, was in town for a conference and so we had him over for dinner one evening, which was really awesome to hang out in a setting other than a work conference. I was able to take a half day off work and go up to Kyle and Cammy’s mountain property to spend time with them, mom, and a bunch of their friends who were at their wedding. We had a great time and since they do not have any electricity, water, or lodging, Trent made me a bed in the back of his Sequoia where Mom and I slept. The property is beautiful and the top of the property has a gorgeous overlook of Grandfather Mountain on one side and the Pisgah National Forest on the other.
Brayden had many field hockey games against Marvin, Latin, Northwest Guilford, South Meck, Myers Park, Providence, and Ronald Wilson. Unfortunately, some of these games required traveling a couple hours away on a weeknight, which meant getting home pretty late. The good thing is they were able to take the activity bus, a luxury they did not have last year before they were a school-sanctioned sport. This gives them the flexibility to do homework on the way to and from the games and also a chance to relax and spend quality time with their teammates and friends.
I was finally able to attend my first football game of the season when NC State played Marshall. Tailgating is always the most fun part of the day and I really never want it to end. The food is great and so is the company! As we say, “we always win the tailgate!” The next day, I met up with Heather and Tonya for our blue-haired girls dinner, which we have now officially changed to blue-hair tribe since each of the initials also represent our first names. We have the dinners regularly and it is a great time for the three of us to catch up in a smaller group, since many times we are hanging out during a couple’s night or with the much larger neighborhood crew when conversations can be quick and not as in-depth. Myers celebrated his seventh birthday as well with some peanut butter & blueberries (his two favorite foods).
I attended a PTSO meeting at Brayden’s school where we learned about the new high school that Hanleigh will attend. There’s been a lot of drama in the area about boundaries and which neighborhoods will attend that school versus the other one. It seems like it changes every day. One thing that I learned was the fact that the only way you can still attend the new high school is if you fill out an application and have a good reason for wanting to still go there, which we do not. The good thing, though, is that one of Hanleigh’s best friends is now going to go there as well, which makes it much more bearable. I’m actually very optimistic about it because her former middle school principal was promoted as the principal of the new high school and he is excellent! This will help out with the overcrowding of all the local schools, albeit not solve the problem. Nothing but good things to come!
I enjoyed a relaxing massage, and Brayden participated in the homecoming parade for field hockey and later attended the pink out football game to support breast cancer awareness month. They day had finally come to where we could attend the Taylor Swift Eras movie, which we had bought tickets for a couple months ago. While Brayden was at the football game, we took Hanleigh and Alexis out to dinner (of course we all dressed up…even Trent represented as Travis Kelce) and then went to see a late showing of the movie. I thought it was going to be a bit of singing and then some backstage interviews, but it was actually the concert in a somewhat shortened version. It brought back all the memories of seeing her in April and just how magical the entire event was. She truly is a musical genius, and a genuine human being. The cutest part of the night was when Hanleigh and Alexis met a bunch of other teenage girls toward the front, danced, sang, and even put their arms around each other. Of course, there was the requisite bracelet trading, too. The next day, we went to the Whitewater Center for the annual Build Your Own Boat competition, and it’s truly entertaining to watch these makeshift rafts navigating their way down the channel and rapids. We took the dogs with us, which is always a bit of a challenge to handle them, but we know they absolutely love it. That evening, we went over to Terry and Fran’s for dinner to celebrate her birthday. Happy birthday, Fran! Meanwhile, Brayden went out with Cam to Paco’s Tacos for a homecoming dinner. Apparently it’s not common, at least at her school, to go to the homecoming dance; rather, friends get together and go out to dinner. I think my high school might have been the same way. The next day, I saw the Taylor Swift movie again, this time with Brayden, Samara and Cora (and yes, we dressed up!). Neither of them had been to the concert, so they were just astonished watching the whole thing! After that, we went to lunch at 131 Main and just had an amazing time. I love those ladies!
A few days later, Brayden celebrated her 17th birthday! She is so smart, funny, loyal, beautiful and we are so lucky to call her ours. She was the first one to call us Mom and Dad and we are so proud of her and the young woman she’s become! I honestly don’t know where the time goes and that’s so cliché to say, but it’s so incredibly true. It feels like yesterday she was born. Very bittersweet. We celebrated her birthday at Cowfish, one of her favorite places!
We recently had some beautiful art commissioned of the three homes we’ve had over the years. My cousin, Abby, connected me with someone she grew up next to who has this amazing talent using felt to create works of art. I gave her pictures of our homes and she turned them into something beautiful. I love looking at them and relishing in all the awesome memories that were created in those homes. Thank you so much, Marley! I attended the annual customer conference that my company hosts, of which I play a major role in planning. As a result of this, our conference manager usually hooks me up with an awesome room, which I truly appreciate. We had our requisite marketing team dinner at a very delicious and authentic Mexican restaurant where we even ordered two different appetizers that contained bugs: one had larvae in the other had a bunch of cricket-looking things. I’ll try anything once, so it was kind of fun to see who was willing to eat them and who was too scared. I helped host a couple customer forms and led our annual 5K fun run. It made my heart so full because this year there were ~40 runners, which was twice the size it usually is. I led a really fun warm up, part of which was captured on video by one of our designers. It was an awesome course and everyone seemed to have fun. We got done right before the sky started pouring, so the timing was great, too. Each night, we were allowed to go up to our marketing suite, which is reserved just for the corporate marketing team and gives us a place to chill out and relax amidst all the hustle and bustle of the conference. Our party this year had a Let’s Fiesta theme, which meant we saw people dressing up mostly in Hispanic apparel, but there was a bit of southern influence there as well. I blended the two with a Hispanic embroidered dress and cowgirl boots. Of course, there was tons of dancing and I was a sweaty mess by the end of the night. On the final evening I was there, I had an awesome dinner with some co-workers and apparently some other uninvited guests…raccoons! These little boogers are super friendly and just hang out around the whole property, but they were really interested in our dinner. They also were not shy as they got really close to our table. I am not normally skittish about bugs or animals in general, but because I didn’t know they were there, it was the element of surprise that got me. My back was to the lawn where they were hanging out and as they approached the table, my coworker shouted, “Oh no!” to which I turned around and saw them very close to our table and just immediately jumped up in my chair and screamed. It was kind of comical and I think they were very domesticated; however, where I live, you don’t get close to raccoons! Overall, I think it was probably one of the best, well-run conferences we’ve had. Sessions were full, speakers showed up, all logistics seem to run pretty smoothly, the hotel property was very conducive to hosting events as they had an amazing layout, etc.
We had the trees cleared out of our backyard to make room for the pool, which is so exciting! Our yard looks so much bigger and it’s crazy to think that this project is actually taking place. It really feels like a dream to me. I’ve always wanted a pool and here we are. Hanleigh had another orthodontist appointment and still no idea when she will get her braces taken off, but I think it will probably be another year or so. Her soccer season came to an end and it’s so awesome that she loved it so much and wants to continue to play. Her coach, teammates, and her eagerness to learn were all contributing factors to this. We went to the NC State vs. Clemson football game and won. Go Pack! I had dinner with Tonya at Link and Pin, then the four of us had dinner with Mimi at Firebirds. Trent and I wrapped the month up by spending Halloween at the Whitcomb’s (we dressed up as Après-ski) while Brayden had a field hockey game in Greensboro and Hanleigh went trick-or-treating as a cowgirl in a different neighborhood with her best friends, Riley and Riley.
- “Screw soccer, I’m going to start hobby horse-ing!”