Monday, August 31, 2015

Charleston Getaway!

You know what's one of my favorite things? Birthdays. Birthdays are one of my favorite things! I mean, I love everyone's birthdays but mine are my most favorite;-) This year I was super excited to be able to celebrate in Charleston, SC (another one of our favorites!) as we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary and my birthday all wrapped up in one!

We hit the road Friday morning leaving the babe with David's parents in our rearview mirror. Don't get me wrong, we love our girl more than life itself, but a kiddo-free weekend is priceless! Since it had been a while (a whole two months!) since we had been to the beach we headed there first. Apparently, the rain hadn't been in a while either and followed us to the shore. We sought shelter under an umbrella our hotel had out with some chairs and hunkered down with a few Bud Light Limes (I'd like to argue the best beach beer that exists). The storm passed and we were able to walk the beach and enjoy the rest of the afternoon. We decided to stay on the island for supper and headed to Taco Boy for some fantastic tacos and a not so fantastic drink. Has anyone ever had a "sangrita"? Well, don't. It tastes nothing like a sangria or margarita! We then traipsed across the street to Snapper Jack's for live music and a dozen oysters for David. We ended the evening watching HGTV's new show about tiny houses and devouring cupcakes. Perfection.

The next morning we were woken earlier than ideal by a fire alarm and siren throughout the hotel. David moved at a turtle's pace, but we finally made it downstairs only to learn there was no fire and that someone had hung their wedding dress on the sprinkler head in their room. Whoops-a-daisy! At least we all got a show and I got to people watch to see what everyone wore to bed that night, te he he. We decided to seize the day and headed down the road to the Lost Dog Cafe for breakfast. Another delicious Folly Beach meal in the books. We hit the beach for a few hours before heading downtown.

One of my favorite parts of Charleston is downtown. Between the food, the shopping, the drinks, the people, the history, the shows-it's hard to really pinpoint what makes it so wonderful. Just take my word for it. We enjoyed a late lunch at The King Street Grille before hitting King Street and the Market for some shopping. We wandered all about before heading to Pearlz for drinks and more oysters. If you are in Charleston and like oysters with any fiber of your being you have to go to Pearlz! David and our waiter actually persuaded me to try them and I ate more than one! Haha. I ate about half a dozen and didn't hate them. I doused them in cocktail sauce and lemon juice and served it on a saltine, but it was good! While we were enjoying our happy hour snack David happened to look up and see some good friends of ours from Charlotte strolling by. Say what?? They were in town for their fifth anniversary too! WHAT??? We were able to catch up for a bit before we headed back in to finish our snack.

We then headed to the water to walk around a bit before our dinner reservation. We quickly decided next time we came and brought Amelia Grace we had to head there for her to splash around and play. We wandered around for a bit and even saw a few dolphins! We were quickly approaching our dinner reservation and walked towards Poogan's Porch. This Charleston classic is known for being the most haunted spot in Charleston and while we didn't see a ghost we did enjoy a fantastic meal. I had shrimp & grits and David ate (in his words) "the best fish he ever had". We then rolled ourselves over to Kaminsky's Dessert Bar for dessert before heading back to the hotel where we crashed from a crazy long day of walking.

Sunday morning we woke up and hit up the Lost Dog Cafe again before a fantastic walk on the beach. Talk about a great start to a birthday! We rounded out our trip with a quick visit to the outlets before hitting the road to head home. It was a wonderful way to ring in 27 years!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Home Sweet Home

It's official-we have a house!! After three longgggg months in an apartment we could have fit multiple of in our Concord house, we found a fantastic house in Holly Springs. 

I mentioned a month or so ago I posted about my thoughts on house hunting in this hot market. Before we got to this house we had put in offers on four other houses; all either at or above asking price. We were beginning to feel very discouraged and I may have sworn we would be in an apartment for the rest of our lives (okay, okay, I was being a smidgen dramatic). When our realtor sent us the house we almost didn't go; David was hesitant because of the distance from work. We were heading to Fuquay Varina that evening to visit with some good friends so we decided to go on our way to Fuquay, and boy am I glad that we did!

From the moment we walked in, the house felt right. Everything from the updated kitchen to semi-open floorpan caught our attention so by the time we went upstairs we knew we would be putting in an offer. We talked with our realtor and asked if we could get moving quickly given how hot the market was. We got the offer together that evening and by the next afternoon we were under contract-whoooo!

Now, it's not perfect (hellooooooo, 15-year old AC unit) but it is perfect for us. The floor plan works perfectly for our family and allows us to grow in the coming years. The yard is huge and meets up to the neighborhood greenway trail. The lot next to us is owned by the neighborhood and can never be built on. And while we may never have the wonderful cow neighbors again, we do back up to trees which offer a lot of privacy.

We are so excited to continue to tailor this home and make it our own!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Little Things

Have you ever watched a little one explore? I mean really watched? One of the amazing joys of being able to stay home with Amelia Grace full time is I have plenty of chances to watch this little love explore the world around her and I love every second of it. From watching her feed herself for the first time to picking up piles of mulch and moving it around the playground (her current favorite activity), I have been so fortunate to experience these new things with her. The best part is her over the moon joy and excitement! 

We take for granted so much of what we see and do every day. Littles don't. Give us a pile of pine straw and we just sit and stare at it. Give it to a toddler and they can find all sorts of things to be excited about. Have you ever given a baby the sample cups Trader Joe's gives out with their coffee? Did you know they can be used as hats, music makers, and chew toys? When we went to Florida earlier this summer we didn't bring any toys with us; she entertained herself with coasters and old magazines. 

If only we could take the simple things in life and truly appreciate them too. The ability to feed ourselves a blueberry and not miss our mouths. Or moving a handful of crayons from one hand to the other. Or even the fact that we can comb our own hair! All of these tasks seem so menial, but are so exciting when first experienced and truly appreciated.

I am so thankful for all that I am able to do, but I'm even more thankful for being able to experience it all over again with her! 

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
-Matthew 19:14

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Turning the Finger

One of the big pulls for coming to Raleigh was our old church, Vintage. A super hard part about moving is trying to find a new church so when we realized that was already taken care of, we knew we had no excuse not to move forward with God's plan for us. 

The teaching pastor at Vintage has a true gift for words and it shows each Sunday morning as he steps up to the front. This past Sunday was no exception. The series we just wrapped up was entitled "The Awakening" and challenged the church to come alive for God. It has been a great series and the final sermon came from Isaiah 57:14-16. While Pastor Tyler hit a lot of fantastic points what stuck with me was his emphasis on our tendency to find fault in everyone and everything around us without ever looking inward. 

I am so guilty.

I am quick to blame others for their faults, but am slow to call out my own. I mean, who wants to focus on their own issues? That would be no one. Our pastor pointed out that no one is perfect but Jesus. Ouch. You mean I'm not the perfect mom because I manage to have supper on the table each night and keep my kid alive during the day? You mean my kid isn't the perfect toddler because they didn't scream all the way through Target like that other kid did? (Side note-my kid was totally the screamer last week. I feel you, momma in the grocery section). The answer is no. None of us are perfect so before we start to point out the flaws in others we should remember that we are just as flawed.

Shifting my focus to this mindset has already been helpful. Instead of immediately calling people out (always in my head-this chica hates confrontation!) I immediately ask myself, "why are you so upset right now? What if you were in their shoes? Are you the one who should be called out right now?". And the list goes on. Instead of pointing the finger at every one around, I should instead turn the finger to myself. 

If you made it this far, thanks for letting me ramble about my sinful heart;-)

Monday, August 3, 2015

12 Month Update

Happy ONE YEAR, little love!

So much happiness! 

Legs for daysssssss 

Big smiles! 

Oh lookee here. . . 

Now that I've taken the sticker off, I'm going to try to put it back on;-)

Height/Weight: She was 31 inches tall and 22.5 lbs at her one-year check up. So this all means that her height in in the 90-95th percentile (is anyone surprised by this?) and her weight is in the 60th percentile. Whooooo healthy baby!

Clothes: She is rocking out the 18 month clothes and a few 24 month. I've heard the rapid growth slows down because if not all those great clothes I bought at consignment last season aren't going to fit!

Likes: This happy girl likes just about everything. She loves anything musical and crawling around on her daddy. She is also a big fan of going up the stairs and having us race to catch her before she can go flying back down. 

Dislikes: Not a huge fan of us trying to make her walk by holding onto her hands. She just hoists her legs up and plops down on her behind!

Milestones: She can stand on her own but hasn't been brave enough to take a step yet. She also has another tooth popping thru, but this one is one of her vampire teeth! She's going to look so funny with two on the bottom and a vampire tooth on the top:-P She has also figured out that putting stuff away can be just as fun as taking it all out. Thankful she learned that little trick!

And a little side-by-side comparison for a year. . .