Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Vacation July 2012

For the first time in 5 years, we took a vacation.

Yes, that's right. We actually went away for a week! And it was glorious!!!

Of course, it centered around Mike's 1/2 marathon trail run in Columbia, SC, but that gave us an excuse to go even further.

This year, on the advice of some friends, we went to Litchfield Beach, SC. We rented a condo at the Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort, and it was awesome. It was close to the pools and the shuttle to the beach. Even though we weren't on the beach, the little golf cart shuttle made rounds about every 15 minutes and took us to and from it :)

We started our vacay though visiting Renee's cousin in Anderson. Since the family is so spread out, this was nice to visit, even if only for one night. The next day we drove to Greenville to spend the day in the park and having lunch before heading to Columbia. The boys had a great time with their girls at the pool and playing in their rooms. I want my kids to know their family and enjoy life.

Mike's race was on Sunday and he said it was the hardest ever. It was a true trail run.....and I don't think he was truly prepared for that. He came back to the hotel with scrapes and bruises and a little hole in his had where he had fallen (more than once unfortunately). But all in all, he finished and survived.

We drove to Litchfield after lunch and got settled in to the condo. I headed off to the local Piggly Wiggly and Fresh Market for some item for the week. And then we headed off to the glorious pool. Big pool, lazy river, kid's area, hot there anything more for which I could have asked? This place was amazing!!!

Monday morning was beach time!!! The shuttle took us to the beach early so it wouldn't be too hot. We stayed a few hours then came back to get ready for lunch. The beach and beach club is so clean. I couldn't have asked for a better place. The boys loved the waves and although Alexander was a little nervous at first, he eventually found his footing and LOVED it. Ryan preferred to dig in the sand......

Lunch was out (figured it would be cheaper than dinner). The first day was Bistro 217. A little pricey, but Ryan ordered shrimp....and ate every bit of it. And I'm not talking popcorn shrimp. I'm talking the big huge butterfly with tail on it shrimp. He was in absolute heaven!

Pool time later in the afternoon again before bed.

Tuesday was out at the pool. After lunch we drove to Myrtle Beach in a thunderstorm to the outlet mall :) Momma had to get a little shopping done.

We had dinner there and headed back for a little more pool time.

Wednesday was beach and pool again. This time lunch was at Applewood Pancake House. Nothing spectacular, but it was good nonetheless.

Thursday morning was spent taking pictures on the beach with the family, then changing for one last frolic in the ocean. I unfortunately got stung by a jellyfish so we had to cut our ocean time short a little. Oh well, the boys had an adventure of a lifetime anyway.

All in all the trip was fantastic and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. I'm grateful we got to go, and can't wait to return next year!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Here we go

So here we are with summer in full swing :)

Mike had a goal this year of doing a half marathon every month. This month, he decided to go to Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Seeing as how this is part of my history growing up, I wanted to make it a family venture. Granted, it was a whirlwind trip, but we had fun and packed in a lot of memories in a short time.

We left Friday morning when I got home from work. I had endured a little dental work earlier in the week, so I took 1/2 of a pain pill and attempted to nap. I use that word lightly seeing as how I might have slept about an hour.....We stopped for lunch mid day and arrived at Ridgecrest around 3pm. Mike checked in to receive his race packet, while the boys and I walked around and stretched our legs.

Seeing as how it's been about 25 years since I been there, I didn't remember my way around much. And unfortunately, not long after we arrived, the rain came down (the same rain Mike had been driving in the last 6 hours). No biggie though. We all decided to chill in our room on campus for a little while

then head to Asheville for dinner. Mike's favorite place to eat before a race is Carrabba's Italian Restaurant. Granted, it's no where near a Weight Watchers menu, but it was okay nonetheless. After a short walk around the local mall, we headed back to sleep. And welcome, peaceful sleep it was. No TV. Nothing for the kids to fight over. We all slept so wonderfully that night.

The next morning came as a bit of a shocker. I was not prepared for the cold mountain morning. I'm not sure what the temperature was, but I know it was COLD!!! Luckily I had brought a blanket for myself to use in the car, and had packed 2 blankets for the kiddos to have (you know, things from home). We were up early because the race started at 6:01.....I'm glad we had them.

We made some new friends from Charlotte and took pictures along the beginning and finish line. Their names were Heidi and Neil.

It took Mike an hour and 54 minutes to complete the half this time. He said it was a tough course. I don't think I could ever do one again...

After he bathed and changed, we all headed to Asheville to get him some breakfast and some long sleeves for us to wear. I was freezing and I know the kids were cold as well. Luckily we found some shirts on the clearance aisle at Walmart. I never really intended for them to match, but that's what they had....

We headed in to Gatlinburg after that, ready for the day :)

There was so much to do and see and it was so busy!!!! It's been a really long time since I've been to Gatlinburg, 21 years to be exact, and it really hasn't changed that much. Still lots of candy shops, and places to buy just about whatever your heart desires. And restaurants that make you want to hurl after you eat because they're so full of fat. But you can't enjoy Gatlinburg unless you eat a little junk, right?

We checked in to the hotel about 3 hours after we arrived. I had made reservations at The Park Vista...the big one on the hill. And let me tell you, it was worth every penny.

The next morning was spent walking around town again. Alex and I stayed at the hotel to pack up, while Mike and Ryan walked in to town from a trail the led from the hotel to downtown. We road the sky lift where I was able to take some amazing pictures and enjoy the mountain air.

After that, we decided to go to the aquarium. Although I was a bit disappointed (Atlanta is still my favorite by far with Chattanooga a close second), the boys enjoyed it and we all had a good time.

By this time, we were all exhausted. A short lunch at Subway and we were on our way home. Like I said, it was a whirlwind, but we packed in some amazing times. Hope your summer is going well, too!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

so close....

It's the middle of March and Spring Break is becoming ever so close. As excited as I am for the kids to have a break, I am very nervous as well. Last year just before and the 3 weeks following were the toughest weeks we had ever had with Ryan. I'm prayerful that his maturity level will change this year for the best. His teacher is awesome and I'm sure she'll do her best to keep things going in the right direction.

He's been working on papers at school. Some were informative, some narrative, and so on. His informative paper was about what you call a family of goats. I thought that was cute. But then he wrote an opinion paper on why he liked sheep so much. I was amazed at the things he said and how he worded his paper. I thought, "wow and this is only 2nd grade". His brain is amazing and I'm sure if he allows himself, he will go far :)

Alexander is a tough little bugger these days. Some nights just absolutely refusing to go to bed, regardless of how late it is or how many times I swat his bottom. I'm not sure why he's going through this phase. Ryan did it, but I had a newborn at home. Maybe it's just a developmental phase he needs to get through. I'm hoping, because I am tired of putting him back to bed all the time!!!

Work is work for me....still teaching a lot of Zumba Fitness almost every day and recently completed the Turbo Kick certification. I hope I passed, seeing as how I won't know for a few more weeks. I'll be super psyched if I did!!! But more things are in the works, and my life is blessed.

Monday, February 27, 2012

growing up

Today is Monday, so that means the spelling words have come home for the week. Generally I don't get too concerned, or make Ryan work hard on them until Wednesday. He works on them all week at school so I don't see too much of a need. That was until today. When he gave me his school list I was a little overwhelmed......2nd grade mind you...petroglyphs. Really? When did spelling in 2nd grade become something I would have spelled in 6th grade (at the earliest)? It amazes me at how much the children learn these days at such a young age. And they wonder why our kids talk and act the way they do. It's not just hormones in food.......They are being groomed at such an early age to learn so much. Geez louise!!!!

Alexander on the other hand is screaming his alphabet from the rooftops and writing his name. Yes writing at age 4. Pretty soon he'll be reading before he even hits pre-k in the fall. He loves to come up with words that begin with every letter. It's become a game of sorts some times on the way home from daycare with the three of us. Some days it's anything that begins with a letter. Other days it's only animals, or foods. Those are a little bit of a challenge on occasion.

All in all, things are well. We haven't had ANY snow days this school year. Hopefully we'll be out of school by the end of May which would be totally awesome (except for the fact I would have to pay extra daycare and pools don't open until Memorial Day weekend....)

Mike is still running a 1/2 marathon every month. He's been to Georgia for 2 of them thus far. Luckily the next few are within an hour's drive or so. In June he's headed to North Carolina. I really want to get off for this one since it's in Ridgecrest.....home of Centrifuge when I was a youth. How fun would it be to go back there? Oh the memories......

Well, enough gabbing. I've got lots of work to do this evening on my muscle madness class (yes, let's add another group fitness class to my plate).

Hope everyone is doing well.

Love to you all,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

picture updates

Seeing as how I haven't taken a lot of time to blog, I'm just going to add pictures from the last few months.

Thanksgiving was spent at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. We've been there before and absolutely love it. It's virtually tech free since wi-fi is sporadic and only in the lobby. It was a wonderful change and we had a great time.

I worked all of Christmas this year, so I instructed Mike to take pics. He took 4.......

Anyway, all in all we're doing great and life is going on day by day. Spring break is almost here and since we've had NO snow days this year, we might actually be out before the end of May!!!! So exciting :)

so here's a day in the life, picture style: