Wednesday, July 1, 2015

10 Year Anniversary Trip

Carl and I celebrated our ten year anniversary earlier this month with a trip to Boca Raton, Florida. My mom and aunt were so sweet to come stay with the kids. It was our first time leaving them! Of course, they were fine and we were fine too. I had a few tears every day missing them a bit but knew that within minutes of seeing them life would be crazy again.

We enjoyed relaxing on the beach and eating yummy food. It was wonderful to have a break from the daily grind of motherhood. We love our children dearly but being a parent is a ton of work. Way more than either of us anticipated - it is constant and this break was wonderful in every way and much needed! We will not wait another 6.5 years before leaving again. 

Carl read a book which has not happened in years and I read a few books. We drank yummy cocktails and watched the waves come in and out. The beach is much easier without wrangling kids for sunscreen or toting down toys and snacks.  Our kids adore the beach and we enjoy family vacations but it was so nice to just have us to worry about. Life is much easier with just us but it is also not the same. I was just shocked by how easy it was to do everything without my kids in tow and hope this is something I will remember so I can be empathetic and helpful to other parents with young children as our kids get older. 

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Boca Beach Club and I highly recommend it. Hotel was beautiful and the staff were amazing. Everyone went above and beyond to make us feel special and took care of us so well. We took a water taxi between the two resorts and there was also a shuttle. We only left the resort once to go into the neighboring town for a bite to eat. 

On our anniversary, June 11, we ate dinner on the 27th floor at a restaurant called Blue. It was divine and they certainly made a HUGE effort in making it a special night for us. Perfect table, an anniversary card, a gorgeous dessert, etc. We had a fabulous view to enjoy while dining on scrumptious oysters, swordfish, salads and desserts. 

Wish I had more to say but it was just a perfect, low-key trip with my sweet husband. I will say that within moments of walking in the door - we wished were back in Florida. Our AC went out three times within the first week we were home and one of our children gave me a run for my money for an entire week after I got back and Carl left again for a week of travel. It was immediately back to being a mom and that is just the way I like it but it was beyond wonderful to spend the week with Carl! 

A BIG THANKS to my Mom and Aunt Libby for giving us a break and taking care of our kids while we were gone! 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Kiawah 2015

We drove to Kiawah from Lake Keowee, South Carolina which made it a much more reasonable drive.  We were in Charleston by 2 and went to swim at Uncle Rusty and Aunt Anne's house. There were 12 kids in the pool and everyone had a fabulous time. We miss seeing all of our family now that we are so far away.

From there, we had a 45 minute drive out to Kiawah but it is the most beautiful drive. Angel Oak trees, winding roads, salt air and a sense of nostalgia. 

We stopped at the grocery door and then checked into our cottage. Our family was on the beach within thirty minutes of arriving on the island. Beach life is the best!

We spent the week getting into my favorite type of routine - morning coffee around 8 and then beach until 1 and then a sun break with either an activity or a movie. Then, we'd hit the beach again either late afternoon or evening. Our kids love the beach as much as we do which makes it so pleasant.

We rented bikes which shortened our trip to less than three minutes. Kids love riding the bikes or in the burley. I think Evie will ride her own bike next time since she is getting so big.

We made our traditional trip to Red's for some yummy seafood, ate tons of boiled peanuts and enjoyed an early dinner by the golf course one evening. 

The best part about being at Kiawah is we can see some friends. Our friends the McDonald's came out on Wednesday for  an early dinner and some beach time. Evie and Henry adore their boys and it was a reunion for sure.

On Thursday, my sweet friend from college, Susan came out to visit us with her boys. My kids loved meeting Jack and Finn and it was so wonderful for me to see my friend!

It was a fabulous week at the beach - it always goes way too quickly. The first week back is tough too adjusting back to reality. It's been a hard week back for us. Our favorite neighbors moved to KY, my Harris Teeter closed and adjusting to summer with kids home all.the.time is always a bit tough. We are back in the swing of things and had a great week hanging with friends enjoying summer here in Nashville.

We loved our trip to Kiawah and cannot wait for next year! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

First Day, Last Day: Kindergarten

First Day of Kindergarten!

Last Day of Kindergarten

Kindergarten has gone by in the blink of an eye! It's so bittersweet. I can barely walk in the school this time of year without getting teary. Evie has learned so much this year! Kindergarten has been a BIG learning curve for us and I did not expect that after teaching first grade for many years. School has changed a lot. Evie learned to do most of what I taught my class of first graders.

She is reading fluently, counting to 100 in multiple ways, solving math equations including word problems, identifying famous people from Tennessee and writing complex sentences. I am so proud of my sweet girl!

Kindergarten is a special year that sets the foundation for the years to come. Evie has not loved school every day but she adores her teacher and friends. She is happy, confident and has learned to adapt to new situations. 

I remember the first day of school like it was yesterday! Evie got off the bus and I caught this awesome image on my camera. Evie was worried she was never going to make it home when the bus went past our neighborhood. Our neighbor, Callie, talked her off the ledge and assured her that the bus would drop everyone off soon.

Evie is excited to start first grade and has already picked out a few teachers that she thinks would be fabulous! Mrs. C has been awesome for Evie - loving her and encouraging her every step of the way. Teachers make the magic happen in our school and I appreciate their hard work so much!

Evie had her program this week and of course it was a tear-jerker. She sang First Grade, First Grade to the tune of New York, New York!

"Start spreading the news.

We are leaving today

We are going to be a part of it

First Grade, First Grade!"

Here's to a fabulous summer and another terrific school year coming soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What's Been Going On!

I love my quiet mornings with this guy after Evie leaves for school! 

Henry's class at the Bike A Thon!

Henry loved taking his "bike" to school!

Evie's art debut at the Art Show at school!

Three kids is a LOT harder than two. Leah is our sweet friend and we love to have her visit.

Carl had to get a new vehicle for work and Henry was so sad to sell the truck. 

Evie's class before their end of the year program! This has been a fabulous class!

Evie went with me to the Search Committee meeting for a new record. Baby Bennett was there too!
Both my kids love babies!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First Day, Last Day of the Panda Class

Henry finished his three year old preschool year yesterday. Tear! He is getting big so fast. in August, he was wearing diapers, sleeping in a crib and had the attention span of a flea. Now, he can write some letters, has been potty trained, sleeps in a big boy bed, counts, knows his letters and can even use large words such as metamorphosis in conversation. His teachers have been absolutely phenomenal!They deserve the world and I am so appreciative of their hard work and kindness this year.  I am super impressed with everything Henry has learned this year including his social skills. He has learned to work with a group, wait his turn and show empathy to others. Henry continues to show us what a sweet, smart boy he is every day. Cannot believe this little buddy will be in Pre-K in the fall!