Friday, August 31, 2012

A great end to summer!

This past weekend I got to travel...ALONE!!  It's been a year and a half since I have left all my babies home and though its always hard to be gone, the short time away is such a treat!!
Last weekend I visited one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jessie and her family.  Jessie and John live in Maryland with their sweet daughter Ava.  Jessie's been to Charlotte twice to see my new hometown and a trip to Maryland was long over due!
Ava is just over a year and all weekend I wished Elle was with me just so the two of them could play...they would have had a ball!!
Jessie and John took such good care of me while I was there.  John cooked meals for us and we went out to eat.  We got to relax and spend time catching up.  It really makes me wish we lived closer!  Jess and I grew up 4 houses away from each other from before Kindergarten until after college.  I am so blessed to have her friendship over so many years, so many life events, and so many changes.

I did an awful job taking pictures while I was in Maryland, and it rained all day Sunday while we walked around and shopped.  So we finally got a picture when Jessie dropped me off at the airport.
While I was away, the girls were spoiled and loved :)  LD's parents came down to spend the weekend with them, and I have no doubt they love having everyone to themselves anytime I'm away.  :)

They asked if they could buy the girls their birthday presents early so they could enjoy playing with them while they were there.  So we headed to Target and came home with some fun toys!  Elle got this very cool princess bike, which both girls love!

And Clare picked this cute camera, which is pretty fun!  It takes movies, pictures, has games and a little double eye viewer to make it easier.  Clare loves it!

And she was sweet enough to share it with Elle too!!
We have had big summer adventures in the month of August!  But next week starts a whole new chapter for us...Clare starts preschool!! And we are all So excited!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

College Roomie Reunion

I had the most amazing group of college roomies!  For four years I lived with the same roomie, 3 years with the same 4 girls, and 2 years with these beautiful 10 ladies!!!  The 10 of us have not been together in 8 years, since mine and LD's wedding!  Last summer at Renee's wedding we decided it was time to make a plan!

So we headed to Burlington the middle of nowhere, but was halfway for most of us.  Two families traveled from North Carolina, one from Utah, one from Indiana and the rest from Michigan.

I have to say I am in awe that in 8 years our group of girls went from just the 8 of us to this....36 individuals!  WOW...we have grown!!!

This is the perfect house we stayed in where each family had a room.  A few were in the guest house on the left and the rest of us were in the main house.  There was a pool, a playground and TONS of room to play!

Even though the water was FREEZING the kids enjoyed swimming and playing!

And then sunbathing while they shivered before hopping back in the water.

I think Luke and Clare were usually the earliest to wake up at 7am and spent the early mornings playing their Ipads side by side :)

I will say Kristen was our resident planner and we were all paired up to prepare either a breakfast or a lunch for the crew, and that was the only meal we had to worry about.  It worked out awesome...and was very cost effective!

We took walks....

And had new people to carry us when mom and dad refused!

We made lots of new friends!  Elle and Avery are 1 month apart and seriously look like they could be sisters.  They are so sweet!

They had carpeted and finished off the garage, so it was a great place for us to eat all of our meals together.

And of course we had a campfire and roasted smores!

And just TRULY enjoyed hanging out together!!

We decided to be really brave and take 16 children on a hike to do some geocaching.

Clare was VERY unimpressed with the activity. :)

But the after hike snack made up for it!!!

You would assume taking a trip with 16 children ages 7 and under in one house would be a complete nightmare...but you don't know my friends.  They are quite awesome and all the children were incredibly well behaved.  Everyone was in bed by 9pm every night, which allowed the adults to hang out until the wee hours of the night.  And who would have thought with all the chaos we would be able to spend sweet moments just swinging!

We all know that no summer vacation is complete without watermelon!!!!

All of the adults decided to put together a 4 vs 4 volleyball tourney.  So whichever teams were not playing were in charge of babysitting.  This i what it looks like during craft time with 16 children!

There are two of us girls currently pregnant, bringing the total up to 18 children when we do this again in two years.  But I would guess we will have more like 20 - 22.  These ladies love being mamas!

I am in such awe that in 8 years my beautiful college roomies were blessed with these 16 precious faces!!

I love you girls and can't wait to do it again in two years!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just a little getaway

While my family was here this week, L.D. and I celebrated our 8th anniversary.  I realized it had been a long two and a half years since our trip to Charleston and any overnight get-a-way...meaning one was desperately needed.  I also knew if we didn't go before baby #3 came along it would be another 2 years before we went again!

So, I asked my mom and Aunt Tina if we could take off for 24 hours and they were thrilled to have the girls to themselves (to spoil without mommy around!).  Then I asked LD if he would pick a place close by and book a room.

We ended up in Greenville, SC, and this could easily be one of my very favorite places to visit.
It is so unique with this gorge and river running through the town, the fun bridge and trails to walk along with little swings throughout.

Then LD had booked a yummy dinner at a steakhouse just down the street from our hotel.  The cute couple in the background was also celebrating their anniversary and expecting a baby the end of January.

We shared a yummy meal and then the waitress brought out this super yummy chocolate covered cherry cheesecake...heavely!!

We stayed right in Greenville and walked to breakfast and then up and down the unique downtown streets, in and out of shops.  We stopped by the mall on our way home, and then at the outlets.  Such a perfect little 24 hours.

It is amazing the impact that lasts from 24 hours spent together, especially in the middle of a chaotic life of little children!

Happy 8th Anniversary love!  Thanks for taking the day off to spend some time with me! xo

Grammies, Aunts and Cousins, oh my!!

The worlds GREATEST vacation for a mom is to have family in town when you are not used to having family close by!  I seriously take a vacation whenever family comes in town...I sleep later, stay in my jammies later, take a shower while the girls are awake, make dinner after nap time.  All of this is a BIG treat!!!

So I was THRILLED that my mom, Aunt Tina and cousins Timothy and Emily were coming for the week.

Of course there were a LOT of presents and surprises while they were here!  I didn't do great on pictures, but both my mom and aunt came with bags full of presents for the girls.

And then after opening all of them, we did lots of shopping, so they got even more fun things!

But every morning was spent in our jammies, which is the best!

Clare got about 5 new work books and everyone worked on them with her all day. I cannot believe how big she is getting.  And since Aunt Tina is a preschool teacher, Clare just loved having her help with the books.

And my little mooch ate everyones cereal with a sweet "please, bite?" every morning.  I mean who couldn't resist her??

The girls were very lucky to have Timothy and Emily carry them everywhere.  It will be an adjustment not that its just mommy again and I refuse to carry my peanuts around.

But, my almost 4 year old ate it up and loved being held.

Such a cute picture of Elle and Aunt Tina getting they  morning wake up time.

We did a LOT of shopping while everyone was here.  Emily found a homecoming dress, both of them got some back to school clothes, and we hit the teacher store for my aunt.

But, we also found time to swim and relax in the sunshine!

And the girls were thrilled to show off their pool tricks!

We were sad to see them go this morning and get back to reality!  Laundry, dishes, grocery shopping and errands were all on the agenda for today.  I really do take a vacation when family comes in town!

These girls are blessed to have some pretty awesome cousins.