Saturday, November 18, 2017

What September Looked Like

These were the first two items on my grocery list.
Do you get my NBA joke? :)

Time for the Folk Festival!
This was Greensboro's last year of hosting this event.
We LOVE it and were so happy we could go again this year.

It has been a ROUGH hurricane season.
Someone expressed their hate for hurricane Irma 
through sidewalk art.

Andrew and I took the girls on Fri night, 
then went back on a date on Saturday.
We got to do a little dancing.

And watched a little bit of a B-boy competition.

Caroline is competing in Battle of the Books at school this year.
They have to read these fifteen books by Jan, do a little
book report on them, and pass an AR test.
She's off to a great start!

I moved up to play on Div 2 for Gate City this year.
We are doing awesome!
We're in third place and BEAT the first place team 4-1!
Woo hoo!

Tennis and Qdoba date night.
My favorite.

September was THE month for bouldering competitions.

First, both Caroline and B competed at Triangle Rock Club in Durham.
It was a huge competition.

Caroline took fifth place!

Their coach, Matt, and some of their teammates.

It's also marching band season!

It's funner for the girls when they can bring
friends to the game!

Another weekend, both climbers competed at the US National Whitewater Center.
I had never been there.
That place is amazing.

It was a smaller comp overall,
 but their team was well represented!

And both kids took FIRST in their age group.
Woo hoo!

General Women's meeting.
LOVE it.

I've spent MANY hours over the last couple of weeks looking for a third car for our family to buy. I wanted to spend less than $3000, was hoping for a Toyota or Honda, and wanted it to have 150k miles or less. After test driving a few beaters, we came across this Toyota Solara and took it! It is SOOOOO nice to have a third driver with a third car around.
(Our new insurance bill is NOT so nice....)

My softball team made it to the tournament this year!
After taking an early lead, our opponents broke out
their big bats and beat us badly by the end.
I had a great time playing and hope to play again next year.

Annual Lakefield Ward Talent Show!
Whit and Andrew played a duet of Canon in D.
It was so great!

Whit also did a BEAUTIFUL ballet solo with some help from Miss Shelley.
She has been working HARD on her dancing this year and it shows!

This rice cooker was a wedding gift.
Our family loves rice and I use it often.
But after twenty years, it bit the dust this month.

Andrew took Brandon down to CliffHangers in Charlotte 
for his THIRD competition this month.
He climbed well, but didn't place this time.
He's looking forward to competing in Regionals in December.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Beach Trip with Grandma and Grandpa

Andrew's parents came out for Labor Day weekend to spend some time with us and we got a beach house and headed down to Kure Beach for some sun and relaxation.

Before we left, Grandma and Whit
had some time at the piano playing and singing show tunes.
So fun.

And Grandma arm-wrestled buff little Caroline. :)

We also got to watch Whitney's new Ballet Company
rehearse for their workshop performance next month. 

Our beach house was AMAZING. 
We rented the middle unit of these three.
It was right across the street from the beach.

This was our view of the ocean from one of our many balconies.

 Here's the main living area.
We loved those red lights above the bar--
they look cooler in real life. :)

Our first day at the beach was very overcast
with a chance of rain in the forecast.

But the water is so warm, that the cloudy skies actually felt great.

The cloudy skies also kept a lot of people away.
Look how empty the beach was!
This was Labor Day weekend and
we practically had the place to ourselves. 

Digging for mussels 

In our happy place. 

When the sun peeked out for a minute,
Grandma and Whit tried to soak it up.

Felt so good!

So many fun memories!
One of my favorite was not captured on film,
but Grandma and I had a blast boogie boarding together.
She had tried boogie boarding a couple of other times in her life,
but had never figured out how to actually catch a wave.
She caught some great waves while we were out there together!
While we were out, it started raining.
It was not too heavy and the water was so warm that we just kept going.
That was a first for me, boogie boarding in the rain.
Loved it!

That night, we went to The Deck House,
our favorite seafood restaurant at the beach.
While we were waiting to be seated,
Caroline performed stunts for us,

We compared heights.
Looks like B passed Grandpa.

But still has a few inches to go before
he catches his Dad.

Whitney might catch me!

While we were waiting for our entrees,
we had an enlightening discussion on
the orbits of the earth, sun, and moon
using the vegetables from our salad. Ha!

Andrew's favorite dinner of the year!

After dinner, we went down to the boardwalk.

I love having teenagers to hang out with.

We went to sacrament meeting on Sunday.
It was a great testimony meeting.

I have to tell you the funniest story about this dress.
Andrew drove down on Fri morning with Caroline and his parents.
The big kids couldn't miss school, so I stayed with them and
we left when school was done. We had to drive through torrential rain
and tornado warnings. It was awful and stressful.
We stopped after an hour or two to grab some dinner.
When we got out of the car, we saw something HANGING OUT of
the back. IT WAS MY DRESS!!! I don't know exactly how it
happened. (In my mind, I blame the kids!) But, my dress had
been trailing along behind the car like a superhero cape in
the pouring rain. I was upset for about 30 seconds and then
I started laughing my head off. We must've looked SO funny
driving down the road that way! We squeezed out as much of the
rain water as we could and asked for plastic bags at Wendy's to
contain the rest of the moisture. Our condo had a washer and dryer,
so I threw the dress in there and VOILA, good as new!
It was amazing. And hilarious.

After church, we went back to the beach.
It was sunny and beautiful and a lot more crowded.

Oh, how I love spending time at the beach.

That night Barb and I worked together to make
a DELICIOUS dinner with roasted veggies,
stir fry chicken and steak, and fried rice.

We played some board games after dinner.

Then the four of us went out to look for crabs that night.
We could only find TEENY ones.
Caroline had the best crab-spotting eyes.

On Monday, we went down the pier.

Can you see the fish jumping OUT of the water?
Wonder what was under there....

Then we drove down to the aquarium.
We hadn't been there in a while.
Caroline wants to be a marine biologist
when she grows up and LOVED being up
close and personal with the animals.
White alligator

Baby sea turtle

She even got to touch a shark!

We were going to the ride the ferry,
but every other tourist in town decided
THEY wanted to ride the ferry, too.
The line was too long and we gave up.
We stopped for an oceanside picnic instead.

Then we split up. We sent the boys home in Andrew's car.
And I drove the girls home in my van.
My favorite part about it was belting out show tunes together
as we drove. My girls can SING!
We stopped at the Cotton Exchange to do a little window shopping.
And eat ice cream.

Andrew had taken the next day off of work, so he went with his parents to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. That's so beautiful and one of those places you have to visit at least once. They had a great day together.

So happy to have time to ourselves with Grandma and Grandpa!
Thanks so much for coming to see us.
Let's do this again soon.