Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ellie Goes to Summerville

Ellie had her special weekend with GiGi and PaPa this weekend. She has been SO excited about it! She planned all week for all her meals...Moe's, Chick-fil-A, etc. She also loves having her special time with the grandparents. Ellie is my child who is generally pretty content to play second fiddle to her siblings and just go along with whatever everyone else wants to do and so occasions like this where she gets to make all the decisions and where she gets all the attention are extra special for her. Plus Ellie is my kid who most values time spent with her people over material things.
Gin-g picked Ellie up from our house after school on Friday and they headed straight to Moe's and then TCBY...two of Ellie's very favorite places!

Saturday they went to the Children's Museum and the park...and had Wendy's and CFA (did I mention the food was important to Ellie!).

Today they went to Target and Ellie picked out a small toy for each of her siblings and something for herself. Apparently she spent a lot of time making sure she got the perfect gift for everyone! And of course her siblings were thrilled with what she picked out!

We all missed our Ellie Belly and were so happy to see her...and hear about all her adventures!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Girl's Weekend!

This past weekend my friends Abby and Dana and I headed to Amelia Island for a girl's weekend. We had SO much fun! None of us had ever been to Amelia Island but we'd heard good things and we received lots of great tips and recommendations from people that had been!
We arrived on Friday around lunchtime. Dana and I drove and Abby flew down. We stayed at the Residence Inn. It was very nice and everyone was quite helpful. One of the best things was that they had a free shuttle that would take you to various places around the area so when we would go to dinner we would take the shuttle and then we would Uber back. (The shuttle only ran until 9pm)
When we arrived on Friday we walked down to the beach and had lunch at Sliders. It is right on the beach and so we sat outside. They even had live music! We had really good food as well! I had a yummy salad and pineapple casserole on the side. I had never heard of pineapple casserole but it was delish! It is a yummy combo of baked pineapple and cream cheese with crumbled crackers on top.

After lunch we walked out on the beach. It was pretty windy so we decided we would lay out at the pool for a bit. We headed back to the hotel, made a quick grocery store run, and then headed to the pool. We had a great time relaxing and coming up with a plan for the evening.

Once the sun started to go behind the building we decided to head to New York Nails to get pedicures. New York Nails had been recommended by someone at the hotel and it was great!

After pedicures we headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. Then we took the hotel shuttle to Peppers, a delightful Mexican restaurant. We were seated by the kitchen and I smelled the fajitas as soon as we sat down and had to have them. They food definitely tasted as good as it smelled. They also make their own guacamole and it was SO good.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and hung out for the rest of the evening! The hotel had a firepit going and we really enjoyed that.

Saturday morning we got up, ate breakfast, and made a beeline for the beach. We had reserved chairs and an umbrella the day before. We had PERFECT beach weather! We also had great entertainment. People were allowed to park on the beach and we realized after we'd been there about an hour that there was a constant stream of cars having to be towed out of the sand. We enjoyed watching and taking bets on who would make it out without having to be towed!
We used beach rentals and more for our chairs and umbrella and were very pleased!
These were really great kites...a dragon and a boat. 

We had lunch again at Sliders (because it was SO good the first it's right on the beach!). This time I had the crabcakes...not as good as the ones in Boston but better than average. We had fun music this electric ukulele and an upright bass.

After lunch we headed back to the beach for a bit. Around 4:30 we headed back to the room for showers and to get ready for dinner. When we were planning our trip every single person we talked to recommended eating at The Salty Pelican so we planned to head there for dinner. We ended up having an hour and a half wait so we took advantage of the time to go walk around the Fernandina Beach shopping district. There were so many cute little shops and while we were out we scouted out an ice cream shop for dessert! We arrived back at Salty Pelican in time to catch the sunset over the river...gorgeous...and then our seats were ready.

We were all still pretty full so we decided to order some appetizers and share them. We got the calamari, crab dip, and at the last minute added on the pretzel. Y'all. That pretzel was huge. And so good.  We really enjoyed Salty had a very laid back atmosphere and the live music was great.

After dinner we headed to the Fantastic Fudge Shop. They have homemade ice cream, fudge, and other yummy goodies. I chose an ice cream that had their homemade fudge mixed in. And ate it in a homemade waffle cone. It was deeeeelicious.

After our ice cream we headed back to the hotel and sat around and talked for awhile before bed.
Sunday morning we got up and checked out and headed to brunch at 29 South Eats. The atmosphere was lovely and it was perfect weather to sit outside. Overall the food was just ok. We had some things that were really good and some things that were not impressive at all. This was definitely our least favorite meal of the trip but numerous people had told us how good it was so maybe we just ordered the wrong things or ate the wrong meal there?

After eating we headed to Publix so Abby could get a Publix sub to take to the airport (she has an addiction and they don't have Publix in DC) and then we dropped her off at the airport in Jacksonville and headed back to Columbia!

We were worried about the weather because there were some really bad storms coming through but we managed to get out of Florida before they hit there and they hit Columbia (including a few tornados!) before we got back there...all we had was a little rain thank goodness!

We had such a fun trip and I would definitely recommend the Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach area to anyone looking for a laid back beach trip! There were lots of things to do but it didn't feel commercialized at all...exactly the atmosphere I love at the beach! If you're comparing to other cities Amelia Island reminded me of Isle of Palms and Fernandina Beach shopping/eating area reminded me Asheville.

Monday, April 16, 2018

PTO meeting

Tonight Ellie and the other 1st graders sang at the PTO meeting. She was SO excited and we all went to see them perform.
Ellie is in the second row with the pink shirt and purple necklace.

After the meeting the 2nd graders had their animal projects set up to share with everyone.  Emmie did a great job on her (**shudder**) water moccasin project. We enjoyed looking at everyone's projects...the kids did a great job!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Break

We had a busy but fun spring break!
Easter Sunday we woke up early to see what the Easter Bunny had brought. The kids were all thrilled with their goodies!
My funny bunnies! They made these at Roo's preschool Easter party.

The girl's dresses and bows and JP's bowtie were from Eleanor Rose. It was the first time I had ordered from them and I was so pleased!

After breakfast we went to church and then headed to NC to do Easter with Paul's extended family. We always love holidays with them and this year did not disappoint! We had a yummy dinner, the kids did a scavenger hunt and an egg hunt and then we had the egg toss. Lots of fun!
Uncle Clyde giving scavenger hunt instructions.

JP got to find the first egg. Here he is listening to his clue. He was so serious about it!

Ellie listening to her clue.

Laura Ann and JP

Sometimes you just need a lift! Abby, Emma, and Ruthie.

Emmie reading her clue.

JP put Paul to work!
Cuteness overload!

Ready to hunt Easter eggs!! Riley, Uncle Clyde, Emmie, Ellie, Laura Ann, Mary Jane, Abby, Gin-g, JP, Emma, Uncle Sonny, and Ruthie

Emma helped JP hunt his eggs.

JP loves Uncle Sonny (one of Gin-g's brothers).

Paul headed back to Columbia before dinnertime and the kids and I and Gin-g and Fred stayed to spend a few days with the second cousins! We stayed with Paul's Uncle Clyde and Aunt Suzy.
Monday morning we woke up and Suzy and Clyde made us a delicious breakfast. Paul's cousin Karla and her daughter Laura Ann came over and we took the kids to the Greenway. They had lots of fun playing on the playground and throwing rocks and sticks into the river! We fed them a snack and then headed back to the house.
Paul's cousin Danny and his wife Jennifer have a small farm and they had us all over for lunch to meet their newest additions and celebrate their children Emma and Mary Jane's birthdays. We had so much fun spending time with them! They currently have chickens, llamas (Harry Potter and Jimmy Buffet!), 2 female goats AND (the best part) baby goats! One set of twins was 2 months old and the other sent was 1 week old. They were SO cute and so fun! The kids loved it. Emmie was a little hesitant but towards the end it was just Jennifer, Emmie, and me down with the goats and Emmie really enjoyed it when it wasn't so crowded.

JP was looking for one of the barn "tats" (cats). 

Found it!

Gin-g feeding Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the baby goats

the baby goats were so soft!

JP LOVED the baby "doats"! On Tuesday morning the first thing he said when he woke up was "see baby doats?"

(If you listen closely he says his new favorite phrase.."I don't know! No told me!"...makes us laugh every time!)

Harry Potter was peeking in the barn window.

Emma is a huge Harry Potter fan and Ellie and Emmie loved looking at all her paraphernalia. She even had a sorting hat!

Happy Birthday Emma and Mary Jane!

Love these sweet kiddos. Ellie, Mary Jane, Emmie, Ruthie, Emma, Laura Ann, JP. (We were sad Abby and Riley couldn't be there but they had a fun spring break trip planned to NYC!)

While the older kids played Gin-g and Fred took JP to the Gardner Webb campus so JP could see where PaPa and GiGi went to school. They had to check out the football field of course!

We met back at Clyde and Suzy's house where they fixed us hamburgers for dinner and the cousins spent the night.
Tuesday morning we got up and had another delicious breakfast and then we packed up and headed to Greenville for the second part of our spring break.
On Tuesday when we got to Greenville we had a lovely relaxing day of just hanging around the house. The kids enjoyed lots of outdoor play time!
Franklin in his happy place.

The kids thought it was really funny to put each other on the leash and play dog.

Wednesday my mom pulled out a big box and some paint and the kids enjoyed painting!

My parents were having their gutters replaced and JP had a great time "supervising". The workers were SO nice to the kids. They let JP "help" and showed the kids the machine in their truck that the gutters come out was pretty neat. Emmie painted a picture of them on her box and they ooh'd and ahh'd and totally made her day!

Wednesday afternoon after naps we took the kids to TCBY and my dad met us there and then we went up to his office. The kids always love going to Grandaddy's office...he has snacks and toys! JP loved randomly popping into office doorways and waving to people...he's definitely not shy!

Ruthie had started coughing from allergies when we got to NC and she was still coughing while we were in Greenville. By Wednesday night she was wheezing a lot and working pretty hard. My mom's neighbor across the street has 4 kids the same age as mine and so I was texting her Wednesday evening in hopes she had a nebulizer machine...thank goodness she did! Fallon to the rescue! Ruthie was pretty worn out and feeling bad on Thursday but so much better than if we hadn't been able to do breathing treatments!

Thursday morning it was a little chilly (or freezing according to my mom!) but we bundled up and headed to Runway Park at the downtown airport. This was JP's first trip and he (and the girls) LOVED it! We got to see LOTS of planes land and take off. There were a few pilots who pulled right up to the gate of the park so they thought that was really neat as well. We ate at Runway Café for lunch and Grandaddy came to join us. While we were there we ran into a few of my favorite high school fun! After lunch the kids played for a little bit longer and then headed out.

Ellie ate her lunch standing up so she could watch the planes.

As we were walking out Ruthie ran up to me talking about how Mary Ruth was there. I told her of course she wasn't...she lives in Columbia. Surprise! Mary Ruth (and Clara and Ezekiel) were at the park! So fun! Of course we had to stay a little bit longer to play/catch up with some of our favorite people!
We finally headed back to my parent's house for naps and everyone except Ellie and my mom took a really good nap!
In the afternoon we ran to get quick haircuts for the kids. We normally go to Jelly Beans but this time we just took the kids to April, who cuts my parent's hair. She was great with the kids and Ellie and Emmie loved sitting under the dryers to get dry their hair!

Thursday evening after dinner we headed back to Columbia. We were tired and some of us were worse for the wear but we had lots of fun adventures and loved our time with so many special people! (And we felt extra special because even though it is the middle of tax season Grandaddy made it home for lunch and dinner every day!)