Jul 17, 2014

SWEET SUMMER TIME




     I am trying to get back into some sort of home routine - we just got home from a two week stay at the beach.  Barrett and I stayed the entire time (with the dogs and cat). Art, Brittany and Brooke were there on the weekends.  I was so glad that Brooke's flight schedule allowed her to fly from DC both weekends. It was so nice having everyone together TWO WEEKENDS IN A ROW.  I was a happy mom!  


    Before heading to the beach  I started stacking clothes up on my bed and getting things ready to leave Raleigh.  Lola knows exactly what is going on when I do this. She won't let me out of her sight. This time she laid on top of my clothes and stayed there.  She was making sure I didn't forget to pack her!






         Barrett and I got to the beach the day before Hurricane Arthur hit. Our beach wasn't under a watch or warning, but was preparing for A LOT of rain. 

     This is the calm before the storm……you obviously cannot tell from the picture, but it was very windy the morning of the storm…..




and the water was very high. This is a picture during the low tide. The water is as high as it usually is during high tide and it kept rising. 





It rained and rained and rained all day long. The water pooled and flooded the streets. 





The one great thing about a big storm is the beautiful sunset that follows the next day. 





     Art, Barrett and I watched the annual 4th of July parade. The other girls were not at the beach yet, but were on their way. 



 Finally, all of my girls were together this summer! Brittany (and BF1) drove from Raleigh and Brooke flew in from DC. 

We had a great weekend!






Friday nights at the beach, we have appetizers for dinner and either watch a movie or play games






We spent a lot of time on the beach and just hanging out at our house.









One of Art's sisters had us over for dinner. She has a condo near us on the waterway. 



















(Art and two of his sisters)


     Art and the two older girls had to go back to work during the week. Barrett and I caught up on some craft projects, TV shows, shelling and reading while they were gone. But a few days later, when they came back, we decided to go to Southport for dinner (Brooke wasn't there yet). Southport is about forty minutes away from Ocean Isle Beach. It is a cute little town with restaurants on the water. Several movies have recently been filmed there. 

   






















Brooke arrived later that evening and was able to stay for another three days!  





We just spent a lot of time together on the beach and outside during the day. Gotta love the lazy days of summer! 








One night we made shrimp and grits……so good!




Some friends (22 years) of ours came by. They are originally from NC also, but now live in Florida. They were at Ocean Isle staying with family.  It was so good to see them! 





I love seeing my girls together. I am amazed at how much they look alike now that they are older. Lola loves having everyone together too. She can't get enough of them and is usually right in the middle (or right on top). 










Charlie loves having everyone together too, but even family doesn't come between him and his naps.






      I am not sure if my entire family will be together again this summer. That really makes me very sad. One of the hardest things about everyone growing up is the lack of together time. It does, however, make our time together much sweeter.





























Jul 2, 2014

DC IN THE SUMMERTIME






     Art has a conference in Washington DC every June. Since #2 lives there now we took advantage of his stay there and used it as a family vacation.

     Before hitting the road that Saturday morning Brittany had a little business to attend to. She was running in her first half marathon in Raleigh. We went to see her cross the finish line and then went home to let her  shower.






DC is a about a four hour drive from Raleigh.  

Guess who took a little nap in the car!






Our first night there we went to Georgetown to walk around and have dinner. 






It was sooooo nice to see my girls together!










Mr. E joined us.



While Art was in his meetings the girls and I wandered around the DC area, ate lunch and shopped.
We finally got to try Le Diplomate.










So what does a University of North Carolina grad purchase at TJ Maxx?

A ram's head!





We met with Art in the evenings for more eating dinner






and one night we had ice cream in the hotel room. 




Another evening we went to a rooftop reception with Art . 












Art had a special role at the conference and introduced Dr. Ben Carson.






 We got to meet Dr. Carson and spend some time talking to him in a smaller reception later. 



Barrett and I went to the National Zoo to see the pandas.  
It was feeding time for them when we got there and we got a very good long look. 
Very cute!




The morning before we left we went to take a peak at the White House.
Our hotel was only a block and half from it and we hadn't seen it the entire time we were there. 








          I love spending time in Washington especially now since Brooke is there. There is so much to do even outside of all the typical tourist things. We discover something new every time we go. 

     We are packing up this morning and getting ready to head to the beach for the Fourth - maybe next year we can spend it in DC! I bet the fireworks are spectacular! 




Jun 30, 2014

FATHER'S DAY AND BEYOND







     You would think that the summer time would slow us down around here, but it does not.

      The summer days are just ticking away. This is a sweet summer for us and I know there will never be another one like it.  The house is full of noise and activity (minus a little) this year. I love it and appreciate what is here now, but am missing the good ole'days of girls coming and going, wet footprints leading to the "monkey" bathroom, pool towels piled in a heap on the laundry room floor and a never ending carpet of crumbs on the counter.

      I have two girls home this summer.

      Brittany is a UNC Nursing School graduate and is still looking for a job. Finding a job as a new nurse graduate in the Triangle is a looooong blog post itself,  especially with the healthcare system so erratic right now.  Anyways, she is living at home now and working part-time in an office.  With Barrett being a rising senior, I know next summer will be very different with all the college prep and dorm room planning going on .  She and I are spending a lot of girl time together and trying to check a lot off of our to do list.  Brooke is the one not here. She is living in DC and has a schedule that you cannot put your thumb on or plan anything around since she is a flight attendant .  We talk all day via texting and usually have a conversation at night. I do not emotionally miss her thanks to technology and social media, but oh how I physically miss her! I miss her curled up in her chair smack dab in front of the TV watching the Kardahsians or So You Think You Can Dance while eating chips and salsa.  I miss her crawling in bed with me and her dad late at night while we watch TV.

     I feel like I am in transition.

     I know there are great things on the horizon and I cannot wait for them, but right now I am half full on good days and other days I am half empty.  I am working part time and I want to be a full time employee.

     I am so blessed with what I have going on today and I know it. I love the summer time and the time we do spend together.

     Here are some summer pictures so far…..

 

A dad and his dogs





and me and my frog! 



*******

Art brought home two box seat tickets to see Katie Perry
and 
Barrett and I were happy to use them. 




The concert was really good - very colorful and entertaining. 
I had to joke and compare her to Miss Miley………


Katy did an entire show without sticking out her tongue, dropping the F bomb or grabbing her crotch! 
Imagine that! 




The guys caught up on their sleep while we were gone and watched the World Cup.




On the nights when Art is out of town, we have full-blown girl's nights……
sewing in the kitchen, baking and Netflixing.








********
We decided to not go to the beach this past weekend and stayed home to catch up some things. 
Art got busy tackeling some of the overgrown trees in the yard. 
He had to rent an industrial size chain saw from HD and it came with  a very unsexy safety suit. 





He also got busy putting together and installing two sections of fence in front of the pool pumps. 
We have planted (and spent tons of money) trying to camouflage this area, but the deer have devoured everything everytime. We decided to not plant a forth time
and 
put a fence in front of the pumps instead.




I am so happy with how it turned out. 

 We now have a white picket fence inside a black metal fenced area and I suppose we are breaking a lot of designer rules mixing everything together, but I do not care. 



Finally, after five years, something deer proof!




While Art did that, I tidied up the rest of the backyard,




 dead headed my flower pots,




weeded the beds,




and took a little nap on the patio couch…in the shade. 



*******
Sunday after church we went to the (NC) State Farmer's Market.



It is huge and wonderful! 














I buy an elephant garlic from the Garlic Lady everytime I am there. 



And I cannot resist the flowers even though I have a yard full at home. 








 We are headed to the beach for the Fourth!
What are you doing?