Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well, we made it back from the beach.  Ashley and I were the last ones to leave so we drove home with David and Caroline in the back seat.  They slept most of the way and did so good until the last 30 minutes or so.  Then they both melted down.  That was a long drive for them, though, so I would say the trip was a success overall!

It has been a nice week at home even though it has been cloudy most days.  It has just been one of those regular weeks of running errands and doing laundry and just the usual.

I thought I would share just a couple of quick things with you today.  

First of all, when we were at the beach last week, we didn't try to go out to eat but one night.  It is just too hard with two kids under two, so we ate at home almost every night.  We usually get seafood when we are at the beach, though, so when I came home I was craving some!  The first night I was back, I made Pioneer Woman's Recipe for Shrimp Scampi.  I have made it lots of times and it is a big hit every time!  Plus it is super quick and easy.  If you like shrimp, I bet you would love it!

Have you been watching all the Royal Baby coverage for the past few days?  It has been so much fun to see all the excitement over little Prince George.  I felt kind of sorry for Kate having to come out less than 24 hours after giving birth and talk to the press.  I know I would have hated having to do that.  But she is so naturally beautiful  and sweet and I love how she just is who she is.  She didn't try to hide her little post baby bump and she looked like all the regular mommies in the world do the day after having a baby! 

I remember when Charles and Diana got married.  I was a junior in high school and I was at the beach with my family.  (Steve had come with us, too!  Haha!)  My mom and I woke up at 5:00 in the morning to watch it on TV and I remember thinking how elaborate and romantic it was.  

Then it wasn't too long before Baby William was born and I watched that on TV, too.  

So, it was neat to see everything come full circle yesterday.

Mark has been getting ready to move to Washington in a few weeks and start law school there.  I am excited for him.  It is going to be intense, but he will do great!  I was keeping Caroline this morning when he woke up, so I wanted to get a picture of him with her before he leaves.  She sure does love her Uncle Mark.  He can make her smile so big!  It's cute.

We are leaving for the West Coast tomorrow for a little trip with Lindy and Mark.  We are visiting Portland, Seattle, and Canada too.  I have never been to Canada, so I am looking forward to seeing it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Myrtle Beach Days

Our week at the beach has been so much fun.  We only have one more day and then we are heading back to Charlotte.  It has been a long time since we were able to stay on vacation somewhere for a whole week, so this has been perfect and so relaxing.

We have spent every day on the beach building sand castles, playing in the ocean, and just hanging out.  David was not too sure about the ocean at first, but by the end of the week he loved it!  And Caroline enjoyed it too most of the time.  Several mornings we were able to get her to sleep in her little tent on the beach in the mornings and then Ashley could stay on the beach and not have to take her inside.  It was too hot to do that by the afternoon though.

Mark got to come down for a day or two so we were glad we got to see him!  He had been in Miami with friends the week before, so he couldn't stay long.  He needed to get back to work.  David loves playing with Uncle Mark!

One night we took a walk to get ice cream.  David has four "friends"--Doc McStuffins,  and Jake, Cubbie, and Izzy from the Neverland Pirates that he takes EVERYWHERE.  This night he brought Doc McStuffins to get ice cream with us.

Ashley carried Caroline in the baby carrier on our walk and she loved it!

We have been trying to take turns giving everyone a chance to go down to the beach or the pool while somebody stayed up in the condo and watched David and Caroline if they were too tired to go down or if they were napping.  One day David and I had a picnic on our balcony.  It overlooks the beach and the pool so we could see everyone having fun!

I got lots of baby snuggles from this sweet girl all week, too.  This week we learned that Miss Caroline LOVES music, dancing, and Michael Jackson!  She had a few dance parties with her Aunt Lindy this week that were so much fun!

We even went to dinner one night at Sticky Fingers.  That really is a pretty crazy adventure with a two year old and a baby!!  But they both did really well!

Steve and I have been going to the beach together since we were in high school.  We have so many fun memories of being here and it is so neat to think that now we are coming here with our grandkids and making even more fun memories!  Gosh, I feel old though!  :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Beach Vacation

We left yesterday for a little family trip to the beach.  This year, Laura couldn't come with us since she has a big girl job up in Boston now, so we were sad about that.  And Mark has been in Miami all week with friends, so didn't come down with us, but he is meeting us here tomorrow.  Ashley and John and their kids came with us and Lindy also brought her boyfriend Sean.  All the way down here it was raining like it has been for almost every day this summer.  Uuugghhh!  I was really hoping our week wasn't going to end up being stormy and rainy.  But when we woke up this morning it was absolutely gorgeous outside.  We couldn't have asked for a prettier day.

When  we are at the beach, we usually wake up pretty early in the morning and eat breakfast, then we head down to the beach for the day.  Steve and John went down while we were getting our swim suits on and set up a canopy for us so we would have some shade. 

 David has been to the beach before, but I think this is the first time he really remembers it.   Yesterday when we got here, he ran straight for the ocean and was so excited, and then a wave knocked him down and scared him.  So today, he was not a fan of the ocean.  

We are hoping he gets used to it as the week goes on.  But he had fun playing in the sand and swimming in the pool.  

Caroline loved the beach!  Ashley bought her a little tent to sleep in and once Ashley got her settled down and used to it, she took a great nap.  

She slept so good and then woke up and was happy as can be!  We put her feet in the water and took her to the pool and she had a good time.  We laughed so much at her crazy mohawk hair!  :)

I definitely don't want to be in the kitchen cooking when we are on vacation, so I try to think of easy things I can make that everybody likes.  Tonight I made chicken in the crock pot with salsa and taco seasoning.  Then I just shredded it and everybody could make tacos or nachos or whatever they wanted to with it.  Ashley also made her awesome guacamole to go with it.

Then after dinner, Steve and I kept Caroline while Lindy and Sean and Ashley and John and David went to play putt-putt.  It was David's first time playing and he said he had fun!  

One of my very favorite things to do in the world is to be at the beach on a beautiful, sunny day and today was just like that.  Ashley and I were both saying we could almost start crying because it was the first time we had seen the sun shine in so long.

It was just perfect!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


So...after being on a really fast track for the months of April, May, and June, it has been so nice to finally slow down a little bit these past few weeks.  I feel like I have finally been able to enjoy all the fun things about summer--my favorite season!

This month, I've been able to do some things I really enjoy... like spending time with one of my former students, Brianna, who I just love.   I try to keep up with her and get together with her every month or two.  She recently had her birthday, so I took her shopping and then we got lunch and ice cream.  She is such a sweet little girl and we always have fun together.

I have also been spending time with David and Caroline.  Ashley and John are all settled into their house now so I have gone over there with them to the pool and we have had some Chick Fil A dates too.

And they still come to our house to play and eat dinner and share popsicles on the porch!

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to hang out at the pool and read and listen to my 70's music!  Haha!  To me, that is probably one of the most relaxing things in the world.  :)

I have been reading some really good books this summer.  The best one I have read in a long, long time is called Love Does, by Bob Goff.  Go get it.  Seriously.  It was so good!

I am also reading Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn and Pioneer Woman's love story called Black Heels To Tractor Wheels on my Kindle.

Another fun thing I got to do recently is get together with a childhood friend of mine, Lenora.  We went to Two Rivers Baptist Church together in Nashville and have been friends since we were in the 1st grade.  She is a high school biology teacher and she lives in a town nearby.  We have been wanting to reconnect so we finally made it happen and got together.  Our lives are so parallel it is crazy.  We had so much to catch up on!  I love old friends.

I also took my sister in law, Britney, out to lunch for her birthday to the new Chuy's that we just got here in Charlotte.  Chuy's is so big in Texas and I was excited that we finally got one here!

 And I have spent my Tuesdays tutoring several of my students at Barnes & Noble.  I love seeing them and working with them over the summer!

Since Lindy has been home this summer, we have been watching the show Nashville together.  I love it because I lived there when I was little, plus I love all the country music in it.  I just get it on my Amazon Prime account and we watch it whenever we have some time.

Last weekend Steve and I made a quick trip to Atlantic Beach to visit his family.  They were all spending a week there together.  We couldn't go for the whole week, but we enjoyed seeing them for a little while and just getting away together.  One night we went to dinner in Beaufort, NC.  That is such a quaint little town. We passed this cute little house with a swing in the yard as we were strolling around.  I had to take a picture because it reminded me of when I was a little girl and my Pappy built me a swing just like this on a tree in their yard.  I had lots of good times there!

We ate dinner right on the water and watched the boats go in and out, but I didn't take a picture.  I got shrimp and grits for dinner.  When you're from the South, you HAVE to get shrimp and grits when you are at the beach!  Yummmm!  And to make it even better, it was topped with fried okra!

It was actually pretty cloudy and windy while we were there, but we had a great time anyway just sitting on the beach and reading and talking.  It was nice to see Steve's aunts and uncles too. This was what our trip home looked like and what the weather has pretty much been like here for the past month.  Sometimes it seems like the sun will never shine again!  I am not a fan.

Of course, Steve always has to stop at Smithfield's BBQ on the way home anytime we are in the eastern part of the state!  Now, that is some down-home cookin'!

We had a nice fourth of July.  Laura came home from Boston for the weekend and I was so glad to see her! We went to one of her favorite breakfast places called The Flying Biscuit that morning.

Then we had Ashley & John, my parents, and a friend of Laura and Lindy's over for dinner.  I grilled steaks and we had fruit pizza for dessert.

 We didn't go out to see the fireworks anywhere, but we did light a few sparklers!  :)
July has been much calmer so far and I am so thankful.  Next week we are headed to the beach for the week and I can't wait.  I just hope it doesn't rain the whole time we are there.  Tropical Storm Chantal is supposed to be heading right towards the Carolina Coast.  Boo!! :(