Wednesday, July 31, 2013


B and I had so much fun on our trip to Charleston!  It was definitely a whirlwind--we packed a lot into just a few days.

Leaving on Sunday...with no one in the backseat!
 It was so strange to be on our own for a few days!
We decided to stay at a hotel in downtown Charleston.  We knew it would be easier to walk places rather than drive, so we booked our hotel with that in mind.  Our hotel was wonderful;  we couldn't have made a better decision.  It was a historic boutique hotel.  It was built in the 1840s, and had only 37 rooms.  Everyone was so friendly and helpful.  We loved it, and will definitely stay there again. 

On Sunday afternoon, we took a carriage ride.  It was a fun way to see some of the sites and hear about the history of the city.

After dinner that night, we wandered through several gardens.  It was such a pretty night.  We skipped out on the haunted jail tour because we ran out of time (not because I was a chicken).

Monday was our seventh wedding anniversary.  It's hard to believe it's been seven years already, but don't they say time flies when you're having fun? 

After breakfast on the hotel's rooftop terrace, we toured a church.

Then we headed to the City Market. We watched women make sweetgrass baskets, sampled pralines (which I'd never had before), and bought several things (because, you know, we just had to). 

And then our day went downhill for awhile.

We had planned to take a harbor tour at 11:30.  The boat left from a dock that, according to B, was "just a few" blocks from the hotel.  Now, I'm not exactly sure if it was because we left from a different part of the city or because my husband couldn't read a map that day to save his life, but the harbor WAS NOT "just a few" blocks away.  By my best estimate, we walked 15 miles.  (B says you can't walk 15 miles one way on a peninsula that's only a few miles long and fairly narrow, but, for the sake of my story, I'm pretty sure we did.)  It was hot and humid, and I was sweating.  We're not talking a little perspiration here.  Oh no.  I mean, my eyes were burning because I couldn't keep it wiped off my forehead.   (Gross, I know, but true.)  My feet hurt. (B had the nerve to ask who in their right mind would wear Rainbows for walking. Answer: Someone who didn't exactly plan on walking 15 miles to a boat.)  For the last two blocks or so most of the trip, I was a pretty miserable walking partner.  I said some not-so-nice things, and may have threatened to divorce him on our anniversary.  I'm sure B spent most of those blocks thinking about how lucky he is to be married to such a sweet girl. 

Someone told me not to bother ordering tickets online before we left, so I was afraid that after that ridiculous walk, we weren't going to make the tour in time.  By some stroke of fantastic luck (or maybe by a higher power watching out for B), we managed to get tickets and board without a problem.  Crisis averted. 


The sightseeing cruise took an hour and a half.  It went all around the harbor, and we had a good time.  The best part?  The lower deck was climate controlled.  Hello, air conditioning!!

After the boat docked and we got off, it occurred to me that we were going to have to walk back to the hotel.  I was not happy.

This guy stepped in and saved the day. 

Bless bike taxis.  We were back at our hotel in no time, and all was well with the world. 

We had dinner that night at a cute little Italian place.  It was in a building from the 1800s and had several dining areas, so it felt small and intimate.  There was candlelight, the food was delicious, and everything was perfect. 

A blurry picture.

We came home yesterday afternoon.  When we walked into Mamaw and Papaw's to pick up Aniston, she squealed and threw the book she was holding into the air in surprise.  She was so excited and happy to see us.  She gave us the biggest, longest hugs.  Precious!

It was a fabulous trip, and the last seven years have been pretty fabulous too.  I'm a happy, blessed girl.  :)

B--Thank you for seven amazing years.  Our life together is a dream come true, and I couldn't be happier.  I'll love you through anything and follow you the end of the earth...or a boat that's 15 miles away. ;)  You're still the one--you always will be--and I love you so, so much.  -A

Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's 3am

...and I must be lonely. 

Not really--I just got the Matchbox 20 song lyrics stuck in my head as soon as I typed the post title. 

No loneliness here; I just can't sleep.  We're leaving in the morning for Charleston, and I never sleep well before a trip.  I'm excited but nervous at the same time--I'm looking forward to spending time with Bradley, but this is the first time we've been away from home without Aniston.  I know she'll be fine (Who am I kidding?  She won't be fine, she'll be having the time of her life with the great grandparents!), but still. 

I've been mapping out our trip for days now because I'm a planner, and that's what planners do...even when it drives their husbands crazy.  We're supposed to tour a jail tonight that's said to be haunted.  I don't believe stuff like that, but I want to see the jail for the history of it, and this tour is the only way to get inside.  Now, though, I'm wondering--what if it is haunted, and what if my scoffing attracts ghosts? 

And that, friends, is why no one should think (or blog) at 3 in the morning.  Irrational thoughts are all over the place.

So, here I am, thinking about ghosts and wondering if I should cancel the tour when I should really be sleeping.  I need to get up early to pack because even though I swore my bags would be ready before I went to bed, they weren't. 

I'm assuming B already knows I won't be ready to leave at the time we're supposed to.  After 6 years and 364 days of marriage, surely he's learned that much.  Ha!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Yesterday was a disaster. 


The morning was great.  We played some, got ready, and then headed out to grab lunch and do a little shopping. 

Lunch was great, too.  She sat in her chair, she ate well, and there were no major spills or catastrophes.  She smiled and was pleasant to everyone around us and several people commented on how cute and sweet she was.  I was having a very proud mama moment, let me tell you.  I mean, I could feel myself holding my head higher.  Motherhood?  I've got this.

Then we went to Belk.  (Why oh why didn't I just go home?)  Right away, Aniston didn't want in her stroller.  No problem, I thought.  I wasn't planning to be there long, so if she wanted to walk, fine.  And that, friends, was the beginning of the end.  I insisted she hold my hand and she narrowed her eyes at me.  She wanted to play in the racks of clothing (what is the fascination with that?!) and I wouldn't let her.  She searched my bag for nummies (gummies) and I didn't have any. 

At that point, Aniston morphed from a sweet, darling little girl into a twenty-nine pound ball of fury.  She threw herself to the ground, pulling her bow out of hair and slamming it down as she went because that is the ultimate way to let your mama know how upset you are when you are a Southern girl.  I attempted to talk to her and reason with her, but she couldn't hear me over her screaming and crying.  No surprise there--I could barely hear myself.  I tried to pick her up, but she did a fabulous job of making herself boneless, flopping around while I stared in shock and desperately tried to come up with something to do. 

Then time stood still as she looked straight at me and licked the floor.  So help me, I nearly lost my mind.  If you know me at all, you know I nearly d-i-e-d on the spot.  Now, I am not completely 100% positive her tongue touched the floor.  I may have gotten to her in time, or shocked her enough by screeching, "Nooooooooo!"  but it was close enough for my OCD to kick in and give me the superhuman strength to lift the floppy little thing off the floor and frantically try to wipe her mouth. 

The little old ladies who frequent Belk were staring at the spectacle we were making...whether it was in understanding or judgment, I don't know.  Maybe it was pity?  Commiseration?  Maybe they were remembering their own children as two year olds?

As I hauled Aniston out of the store (still crying and flailing, mind you), I silently swore we were never going in public again.  Forget it!  We would be hermits and order everything we needed online!  We would use Facetime and Skype to keep in touch with people!  We'd have virtual play dates instead of real ones! 

(I'm realizing now that Aniston may get some of her drama from me.)

As soon as we walked out, she saw a little bird on the sidewalk and the tears and thrashing immediately stopped.  And just like that, it was over and she was smiling and giggling again.  I stood there in this drained, crazy state and just watched while she talked to the bird in the high-pitched voice she uses only for animals and Clara.

We finally made it home, she took a nap, and I tried not to cry while I drank a milkshake that I'd picked up on the way home (that's a lie; I had to go out of my way to get it) and didn't care anything about the calories because, bless it, I deserved it. 

Two is a hard very hard brutal age.  There are tantrums and tears, shrieking and gnashing of teeth.  And that's just me.  Lord only knows what's going on with Aniston.  (Ha!  I'm kidding...kind of.) 

The world is still so new for her.  Everything is a fun adventure, and she doesn't understand why she can't do some things.  She doesn't yet understand safety and why it's important to stay with an adult and hold hands.  She doesn't understand why she can't wander away when we're in a store.  She's becoming more independent by the day, and she wants to assert that independence.  She's learning to communicate and deal with her emotions, but she hasn't quite figured it all out yet.  I get it.  As hard as two is for me some days, I know it's so much harder for her.  So I'm praying a lot, reading articles, books, and blogs about parenting, and trying to be the best, most patient mommy I can be.  I'm teaching, guiding, and--most of all--loving her through it. 

When Aniston woke up from her nap, she came to find me in the living room.  She gave me the biggest hug, patted my head, and said, "We alright, Mommy?"

Yes, sweet girl.  We alright.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Midweek Randoms

-Aniston missed dance yesterday because we've reached the point in the summer where I no longer know what day it is.  Want to know when I realized she missed dance?  THIS MORNING when I went to put an appointment in my iPhone calendar.  What's really awful is I sat there for a minute convinced something screwy had happened to my phone because the day of the week was wrong. 

-Bradley booked a trip for our anniversary and I am SO excited.  We haven't been anywhere just the two of us since Aniston was born.  It's only for two nights (we couldn't stand the thought of leaving Aniston more than that), but still. 

-We started painting our interior doors before Aniston and I left for the beach.  It's time consuming and I've lost interest...which is kind of bad because several doors are off their hinges, and we really need those doors.  Turns out, you use doors more than you think you do.

-My child may never ride a tricycle correctly.  It's beginning to be a concern. 


Monday, July 22, 2013

Beach Trip

Last Tuesday afternoon, I got a text from Kesha asking what my plans were for the week...and by 11:30 Wednesday night, Aniston and I were at the beach. :) 

The A's have been my second family for years now, and it's always nice to spend time with them and catch up.  Our catch up time always seems to revolve around the beach or Clemson football games, and it's always so fun.

We spent all day Thursday on the beach.  She splashed her feet in the ocean (barely; she wasn't really a fan) and played in the sand some, but mostly just wanted to sit in her chair and eat snacks while she watched all the people.  The girl ate constantly while we were there.  I think we heard her say, "Aniston so hungry!" a thousand times last week!  (I'm loving the talking-in-third-person stage, by the way.  It's so stinkin' cute!)

I just can't get over how big she looks in this picture.  Our baby isn't a baby anymore!

Brandon, Emily, and Clara came to spend the day with us on Friday.  Aniston and Clara had fun playing in the sand, Emily and I sat and talked with Kesha and Amanda...and Brandon spent his time getting buckets of water for the girls (that were knocked over almost immediately every time) and feeding them snacks.  We ate dinner together that night and watched the girls play.  Our beach time has definitely changed, but it's still so much fun when we're all together.  Sometimes when I sit back and watch all of us and our babies, I'm just amazed.  I'm so thankful for this group of friends.

We spent the day on the beach again on Saturday, despite some rain in the morning.  Sheila used that time under the tent to work with Aniston and--after three summers and countless football games--Aniston finally said, "Go Tigers!" :)  We had a picnic lunch and the weather improved.  It was so nice for awhile...and then the wind started blowing.  Aniston was napping on a lounge chair, so Kesha and I fashioned a screen out of towels, another chair, and the rolling cooler handle to keep sand from blowing on her.  Everything was fine until the tent started to blow away.  Sheila, Kesha, and I jumped up to grab it, and while we were taking it down, Aniston's chair tipped over.  Bless her, she woke up and looked around for a second, then went right back to sleep--tipped chair and all!  (Of course, before I could fix the problem I had to get a picture.)

We came home yesterday, and Aniston woke up today talking about going to the beach again.  She's definitely her mama's child!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Blogger's Block

Yesterday, in an attempt to start blogging again, I wrote tried to write a post about our weekend.  Then I read it, and it was just....blah.  That's how I feel about everything I write right now.  I'm struggling with creativity and direction and everything in between. 

It's easy for me to get caught up in what this blog 'should' be.  I feel like I'm being pulled in a million directions and I can't find one that suits me. 

It takes forever for me to finish and publish a post, simply because I need it to be perfect...or as close as it can possibly be.  I feel like every post should be medium-length; not too long, but definitely not too short.   It should have pictures, but not too many.  Why do I feel that way?  Why can't I write just a few sentences and consider that enough?  I've struggled with this for as long as I've blogged, and I'm just over it.  There are huge gaps of time when I haven't blogged, and it's because I haven't had the time to write the kind of post I feel like I should write.  I can spare a few minutes a day to write something, but I just don't have the time to pour over it, edit, reread, and edit again. 

So forget that.  I'm over it.  I like blogging, and, as much as I love looking at the blog stats for readers, I'm really doing it for myself.  I'm going to stop putting myself in a box, and just blog.  Short or long, bullets or paragraphs, pictures or no pictures--I'm just going to blog.  And it will be okay.


(End rant to self.)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

4th of July

I've always been thankful for the country we live in, but I'm even more thankful now that we have Aniston.  Being able to fall asleep every night knowing that we're safe and free is such a blessing. 

Independence Day is a fun holiday for us.  Our first date was on July 4....twelve years ago.  (Eeek!  Totally had to count--twice--to make sure twelve was right.  Surely it hasn't been that long!)  We spent the day swimming with friends and then had a cookout.  We had a great time--even if the adults did get a little too much sun!  (The swimsuit I wore had straps that crossed in the back, so I'm sporting a super nice "X".  Pretty sure that's not going to fade even when the redness does.  Sigh.) 

 Sweet girls!
Floating fun!
They went upstairs to play...and came back down as fairies!
Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


So, clearly, I've been on a blogging hiatus.  It wasn't exactly intentional.  The beginning of June was busy, and then summer break started.  While you might think that would mean I have more time to blog, it actually doesn't, because I have a two year old.  And she is a full-time job of a different sort.  ;)

We spent lots of time playing and having fun last month.  We watched a movie together for the first time with Aniston (Tangled), celebrated several family birthdays and Father's Day, visited an animal park, and spent time with family and friends.  Aniston was the flower girl in a friend's wedding, and Bradley and I had fun watching our sweet girl. 


It's hard to believe it's July already!  My summer break is going by way too fast!