Thursday, September 10, 2015


Well the last few weeks have been full of celebrations!

First up, a birthday celebration for my fabulous SIL, Amy.  Rob and I were in Portsmouth for a conference with my Dad, and the timing landed perfectly for Amy's birthday. On the way to meet everyone for the weekend, Rob and I stopped off at Busch Gardens to hit up some coasters. It was perfect weather and the park was practically empty. Note to self...always hit up the amusement parks on a random Thursday.

I loved getting back on the Loch Ness Monster. This was the first "real" coaster I rode when I was little, and it was so fun to get back on. There was a little girl behind us on this ride, and she kept telling her Dad "my heart is beating so fast", as we climbed to the top of the first hill. It was so cute, and she ended the ride smiling!

After some coasters and ending the day hitting up a water ride, we headed on to Portsmouth, but not before snapping a photo of our nasty sweaty selves. Hey, the photo screams fun day! :)

Our first night in Portsmouth, and it was time to celebrate with this fabulous girl! We actually celebrated all weekend, and it was so fun!
And we can start off my acknowledging how crazy cute she looks in this photo?! Amy cringes when she sees anyone in a Fedora, so just to mess with her, Rob tossed his on for the night and we of course forced her to wear it for a photo. Now how can she hate a Fedora when she looks this good?

It was a gorgeous night on the water, and we enjoyed a few drinks and dinner in celebration of her.
After dinner, we continued the celebration back at the hotel with presents and dessert...and goodness what good desserts we had. Rob ordered a few of everything from the menu, and let Amy dive right in.

Amy with her favorite BIL!
Happy Birthday, you!

Of course I snapped one final photo with this cutie before closing out the night. He's such a good sport when I make him take such stupid cheesy photos.
As mentioned, Rob and I were there for a conference with my Dad.  He was being sworn in as the new Governor of the Capital-Virginia District Optimist, which is something we are so proud of. He's been in the Optimist Club since I was little, so he has certainly earned this position and I know his first year will be a huge success! Sadly my Mom couldn't make it, but thankfully we were there and I was able to pin him during the ceremony.

Congratulations, Mr. Governor! 

Our last celebration was my sweet nephew, Trevor. Although I guess when you are getting as old as he is, I shouldn't speak as if he's a little 5 year old. This photo looks like he's about to give me the bird, but he's not. :) Trevor just moved back from Cali, and since we missed his last few birthdays, this one was extra special to celebrate with him. Love this guy!
We hit up a restaurant he's been anxious to try, and of course his crazy Auntie T had to go that extra cheesy step and decorate the table.

 And yes, he has a slight obsession with Hot Fries. 
Happy Birthday, Trevor!

Now the rest of the month is pretty quiet, until October. Next up, Rob's birthday and our anniversary...6 years! Can't wait to celebrate, and I'm trying to convince him that 6 years is a big year, and I think it's the year of diamonds...right girls? We'll see how that goes. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Summer weekends

There are days when I'm craving fall, but then we have a fabulous weekend like we did, and I want summer to keep going. Rob has been getting me out for a few hikes, and surprisingly enough, I'm loving them. My favorite thing is that it's something that we can do together. With no other distractions…just us and nature. If it's not a weekend where we have millions of things going on, we like to get out early on a Saturday morning for about 5 miles or so. I curse the steep hills, but it's a great workout and you feel wonderful after. Seriously, who am I? I never thought I'd be chatting about the love of getting out with nature and exercising. Oh how we change…and wow, how rough and nasty do I look first thing in the morning. Let's just focus on the gorgeous trees instead.
It helps that we get out early before it gets too hot, and it's also nice that we hardly ever see anyone along the way, except for the last mile or so.

Rob had heard there was a "pool" along a side path, and this past hike we did in fact find it. The water was unbelievably cold, but still refreshing, and so clear! We just get right in, clothes and all. The type of material we wear dries very quickly, so we are pretty dry by the time we get to the car.
Look at my fabulous form…I just scream Olympic swimmer! 

After our hike, we headed over to Sunset Cove for lunch. If you live in the area and haven't been, you must. It's the perfect location for lunch or drinks on a gorgeous summer day.
Right along the water, toes in the sand, boats and amazing food. I believe they have bands playing during the evenings, but it was just a chilled afternoon on this particular day. Exactly what we needed after our long hike. That beer tasted amazing! :)

Hope you're enjoying these last few weeks of summer, and getting out for some adventure where you live!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lake Gaston, NC

Wow, Lake Gaston you made our family vacation absolutely perfect! 
Rob and I were with my family for a week of nothing but floating, swimming, tubing, boating, drinking, eating and relaxing! It was our first visit to the area, and we already have our summer planned for next year. That's a good sign of a great vacay!

This was home sweet home for the week. 
And this was our view for the week! 

We definitely couldn't complain! The area was so calming. Not commercialized at all, and had everything you needed. We truly enjoyed every moment of the week, and I love the time I get to spend with my family away from the every day chaos. Definitely trips you treasure! As soon as we got to the house on Sunday, we were unpacked and making it our own.  Including getting the essentials on ice. Come on people, this is a week with family! 
With shark week splattered all over the tv just the week before our arrival (yes, it's my husband's favorite week of the year), and with all the shark sightings in the NC area, we were definitely pleased that we took the lake route this year. No jelly fish or Jaws music all week! It was the first time going to the lake for a vacation, and I loved it! 

Let the preparation of the water floats begin….we had over a dozen, and each one was used. 
My gorgeous Momma about to take the first dip! 
 Lake front, cornhole game, and the grill going…take me back!
We had a pontoon boat with the house, and we were out every day at some point. How is it that I don't have a boat of my own, or a home on the lake? Rob, can we fix this immediately?
 Capatain Dad! 
Through all our many trips out, we sadly never did make it around the entire lake. It's a huge lake, so hopefully next year we'll explore even further.

 My brother, our chef for the week! 
My Uncle doing some fishing. Sadly didn't catch much, but it was still enjoyable for him.

I made up wine glasses for us girls. Cheers!

Now this is the life!

 Our view from dinner. 
 When it's vacation time, you go big! Mom enjoying some dessert.  

 Every great vacation needs fun cups. 
We all had a blast tubing. I won't show you photos of me, because my mouth is wide open the entire time. I was laughing so hard! And I won't expose you to me in a bathing suit…it's for your own safety!

Here is my nephew hitting the tube first. 

Rob took the photos of all us tubing, and of course including all the great wipeout shots! I love this shot he got of my SIL, but sadly he cut off half her head. However, you can still see the air she was getting.

Throughout the week, we had my SIL's brother and his daughters for a day visit, and then Rob's niece and nephew got to spend the day with us since they happened to be in the area visiting their great-grandfather. It was so fun having them join in on the vacation!

 Leah and Parker watching their Uncle Rob about to take off. All the kids did amazing on the tube.
We headed out one night to Wilson, NC for some Parker's BBQ. It's about an hour drive from Lake Gaston, but it's worth it. This is where Rob's Mom and Dad grew up, and where Rob and I travel every few months to visit his Grandfather.

 Roxy herself enjoying the rafts…hey, it's her vacation too!

 I told my Dad he looked like the town Mayor floating down the river.  

If we weren't out on the boat for a ride or tubing, this is the position we were in all week, and it was perfection!

This post is nothing but photos. I'm sure I lost you at some point after the 50th pic of one of us on the water. Don't you just hate vacation posts…they are forever long! :) 

On our last night, we went to a restaurant right on the water just about five minutes from the house. It was the perfect setting for our last night. Right before we left, the band along the beach was getting ready to play. We could have sat and listened to the music all night. Sadly it was time to get back and pack up. 

 Seriously, look at this setting. Gorgeous night to end on. 
 The family kicked back and enjoying the evening. 
Now that was a great week! See you in 2016, Lake Gaston! 

And if you made it through this entire post, I owe you big time. If we all lived closer, I'd take you out for a glass of wine to say thanks!