Tuesday, June 19, 2018

December 2017

Oh, December. Always such a crazy month and this December was no exception. Mason started winter soccer and in very appropriate winter fashion, we had snow. Now, usually North Carolina does not get snow in December, so we were not prepared for this high drama event. But, it was just a dusting (unlike the 8 inches I got stuck in while in Asheville for yoga training). The soccer game went on as planned but no one was too thrilled about it.

So, I talked about being in Asheville when it snowed. I started my yoga teacher certification process in March of this year and I wrapped up my training in December. If someone would have told me in January I would be a yoga teacher in December I would have laughed. But, in February a training opportunity came through my email to learn some basic yoga for mental health. We had been looking for a yoga teacher for my program at work so I thought it would be fun to go and learn more about. Well, it was love at first asana for me. After I finished that first class, I signed up to do the yoga teacher training program in Asheville and never looked back. The style of yoga I am trained to teach is specifically geared for mental health and substance abuse so I can integrate it with my patients at work. We spent one weekend a month for about 9 months in training, with most of that training being in Asheville. It was an amazing but tough journey to complete this training and all the hard work led up to graduation weekend in December. Which did not include snow in the plan. But, Mother Nature showed us who was in charge by giving us 8 inches of snow in Asheville that weekend. Somehow, we made it through, despite losing power, getting stuck in our AirBnB, and driving the treacherous back roads.

My car underneath all that snow

My lovely yoga teacher training cohort

Mason and Todd participated in their first Denver Christmas parade this year with the Scouts. I wasn't sure how Mason would handle the length of the parade, but he managed to make it through and said he enjoyed it. The theme was the 12 days of Christmas and the Lions den were the lordly lions leaping.

Mason also got to visit the Huntersville Fire Department with the Scouts. Todd arranged a visit for the den so they could learn more about fire safety. But, the highlight for Mason was getting to take a picture with the Huntersville "cone weed." Yes, a cone and weed got decorated along the side of the road and all of Huntersville fell in love. Until it got pulled up by the state transportation department, which caused serious drama. But, luckily, the town got their beloved cone weed back and it was placed at one of the fire stations for everyone to enjoy. 

We were invited to a Christmas party by our realtor and were told that Santa would be visiting, so we had to attend. The kids enjoyed getting to see Santa and decorated some cookies while they were at it. 

After the Christmas party, we took the kids to a Christmas tree farm in Sparta, NC. We have always purchased a real Christmas tree but this year decided we wanted to cut our own at a fair. It was a lot of fun to go to the farm, but we really waited too late in the season so finding one in the size we wanted was a challenge. But, we finally found the perfect tree and were so excited to get it home and decorate. 

No Christmas feels complete without a trip to the McAdenville Christmas lights. We walked the main portion of the town again this year and despite it being super cold, it was such a fun night.

Todd and the kids made the trip to Raleigh to visit Todd's family for Christmas. Once they got home on Christmas Eve, we did our favorite Christmas traditions of decorating a gingerbread house and baking cookies. We also also went to church for Christmas Eve service. It was Mason's first experience in the sanctuary and he seemed to enjoy the service. We ended the night with opening presents from each other and reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Christmas morning and day were just as fun and magical as they could be. We opened Santa presents, went to Todd's parents for breakfast and presents, and then hosted all of the family for Christmas dinner. I love the chance for us all to get together and spend time as a family. 

We ended the month by celebrating New Year's Eve and my mom's birthday. We were those crazy people grilling outside in December but we wanted my mom's birthday dinner to be awesome and nothing is better than grilled steaks. After dinner, we spent the rest of New Year's Eve at our friends' house in the neighborhood. It was Mason's first time being awake for New Year's and I wasn't sure he would make it. But, they enjoyed playing with the other kids at the party and Todd and I got to meet more neighbors, so win win for all. 

Woah, just typing that all out makes me tired. It was such a crazy busy month but fun to experience all the traditions and events that we look forward to all year. 

November 2017

November was a pretty quiet month for us. Most of the month was spent running between work, school, dance, soccer, and scouts. We did host our first Thanksgiving in the new house, but in truly shocking news, I did not take one picture of the event. But, we enjoyed hosting in our new space and were so glad to have the extra room this year.

Mason wrapped up fall soccer this month. We really enjoyed working with his coach this season so we decided Mason would play winter soccer with him as well. Check back for the January post to see how well that went.

The annual Mount Holly Christmas parade was the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. It ended up being 75 degrees outside that day, which was perfect, but very unusual for a Christmas parade.

The night after the parade, Mason announced that he had his first loose tooth. It almost took an act of Congress to get him to let us pull it but he finally caved when we told him either I pulled it or the dentist would pull it the next day at his appointment. He was quite excited to see that the Tooth Fairy visited the next morning and was proud to show off his new gap.

So, those were the highlights of November. It seemed pretty calm but thankfully it was the calm before the storm of the holidays, which in retrospect, was a very good thing.

October 2017

Todd was so excited about Mason starting Kindergarten because it meant he was finally old enough for Scouts. Todd went all the way through Scouts and finished his Eagle rank so it was never a question that Mason would at least start the Scout journey. Kindergartners start as Lions but not all packs have a Lions den. We were excited to find out Todd's friend Joey's son would also be doing Lions and we found a pack that had the Lions that was in the middle of our houses so both kids could be together. In their first meeting, Todd volunteered to be a den leader for the Lions, which meant he was involved in all the den and pack doings. This was fine by me because I could not take one more activity on with all of the other running around I have to do. They jumped right into activities by having a camp out and then the fall popcorn sale.

We made our annual trip to the Hodge's farm to pick out pumpkins again this year. It has been so fun to compare pictures of the kids over the years that we have been there. Sure, we pay more by buying our pumpkins there versus the grocery store, but its just a fun place to visit and we are glad to support a local farm.

Aubrey's dance team encouraged the little girls and their big sister to dress up together in pairs. While it took some coordinating amongst the parents to make this work, the end result was so cute.

For the kids' school book parade, Aubrey decided to dress up as Hermione from Harry Potter and Mason was Pete the Cat. I thought for sure we'd have to pick another costume for each of them for Halloween, but I got lucky when they decided to wear those same costumes for trick-o-treating. I joined them this year by recycling my old cat costume. Trick-o-treating was so much fun in our new neighborhood because it was so big the kids got a ton on candy. And, quite a few houses gave the parents of the trick-o-treaters adult beverages to enjoy while we walked and that was really awesome.

September 2017

Before the full-on business of the school year got started, the kids and I got to relax and have a little fun over Labor Day weekend. The biggest milestone was Aubrey finally got the hang of riding her bike with no training wheels. We had been working forever on it, but she just wasn't trusting herself to do it. Something finally made it click and she was off.

We also spent an afternoon hiking at Latta Plantation and everyone seemed to enjoy their time.

Mason started his next season of soccer at Strikers. We've discovered he doesn't seem to like soccer as much as t-ball but soccer is still a sport so he's happy to participate.

After 1 particular soccer game, we finally got to experience the Duck Donuts in our area. Well worth every single calorie.

Both kids got to enjoy the fun run at school this year. While it was just another run for Aubrey, Mason was so excited to get to participate this year. He went with me last year to watch and was not thrilled about being on the sidelines. This year seemed even more impressive with all of the fun activities for the kids and they both seemed to have a blast.

The cheerleaders at the kids' school held a football cheer camp for the girls this year and surprisingly, Aubrey decided to participate. She didn't have the best experience cheering for football a few years ago so I wasn't sure she would go for this. But, I guess the fact that her friends were also cheering made a big difference. The girls put on a show at the football team's halftime and it was really fun to watch. It was also the first time we've been to a school football game.

The last big highlight of the month was that Todd and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this month. It is still amazing to me that its been 10 whole years. It seems to have gone so fast but seriously still seems like yesterday. In honor of our anniversary, we took a quick trip to Savannah, GA. It was so much fun exploring the city and of course, eating the good food. We went to an awesome dueling piano bar, walked a good portion of the historic district, ate ice cream at Leopold's, drank some yummy beer, and then wrapped up our night by eating at Lady and Son's restaurant. Another place that was worth every single of the 10000+ calories we consumed. It was too quick of a trip but we have plans to go back and see more.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

August 2017

After finally getting settled into the new house, August started the month of making the house our own. While we love the floorpan of the house, there are many cosmetic things we aren't so fond of but they weren't deal breakers. The easiest thing to tackle first was the paint. We spent 2 solid weekends this month painting the worst of the color offenders.

The first to go was the dining room. It was an awful pea green color that you saw first thing upon coming in the house and it drove me crazy. We had decided on a dark blue color and then my friend convinced me to lighten it up a bit. However, the blue we ended up with is pretty close to Carolina blue and Todd being a NC State fan, was not thrilled once it dried. But, it makes the room look so much brighter and fresher and will be toned down with our furniture and curtains so Todd will live with it for now.

The next offender was the orange sitting room off our bedroom. The color was just too jarring for a bedroom area. It would have been an easy job, except for the fact the prior owners painted the ceiling orange too. We painted it the same light blue color as the dining room and it felt so much better right off the bat.

We painted our bedroom the next weekend in the same color as the sitting room. I know I took pictures of the room after but they seem to have disappeared. It was a goldish yellow before we painted it so the blue was much more soothing and relaxing to be in afterwards.

We celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday at her place on the lake and the kids had a lot of fun. It was an 80's themed party and the kids weren't down with the 80's style of dress. So, we just went with bathing suits and that seemed to work just fine.

Since my sister-in-law likes to celebrate her birthday the whole month, we also went to an afterwork type of party with live music and drinks with her and her friends. The kids were not so thrilled because they were bored but the adults had a great time enjoying the music.

With the impending arrival of Kindergarten and the need to get in and out of a seat quickly, we went ahead and moved Mason to a booster seat before school started. I was not super thrilled with the decision but I knew it was necessary for the car pool line. Mason on the other hand was lovin it. 

Before we knew it, it was time to go back to school. Aubrey was ready to go back to school and see her friends. She hates living so far from most of them and she always looks forward to being with them again.

Mason ended up with a later start date due to staggered entry so I got to enjoy him at home a few more days. I was dreading his first day because I knew it would be another one of those bittersweet signs my baby was growing up. Mason however, had zero reservations and was ready to go to school with his big sister. We did all the preparation the night before and he was ready to go that morning. I was glad to get to walk in with him that first morning and before I knew it, he was shoving me out the door. I only had a few tears as I walked to my car and headed to work so I was proud of myself. Mason loves school and his teacher so I think his transition to elementary school was a success. 

Aubrey wrote Mason a very sweet note before he started school. 

And just for giggles, here are pictures of the kids the day Aubrey started Kindergarten and the day Mason started. I can't believe how much they have both grown since then.

As much as I hate the return to school because it means early mornings and car pool lines, it was nice to get back into a routine and have some structure back in the picture.