Summertime… Livin’ it Up and Lovin’ it! {{PART 2}}

This is a continuation of my last post of Summer activities, and what we’ve been up to this summer.  A lot of our planned get togethers were a lot of fun, but we also really treasured our unplanned days being at home, going to the gym, taking walks in our neighborhood and down our little road, dance parties in the playroom to new VBS music, endlessly building lego ships, houses, and make believe creations, dress-up, and Sienna’s favorite thing- having tea parties!

How was your Summer? Sad it’s almost over or ready for cool weather and pumpkins?

{Swimming)

{Girls Night}

{Bowling Playdate}

 

 

{dress-up, walks down the little road by our home}

 

 

{INK Children’s Museum Playdate}

 

{Last Pool Playdate of the season}

 

 

{StandUp Paddleboarding Couples Date}

Girls Trip to NC

Jess and I didn’t go on a girls trip last year, so we wanted to try to get together this year to hang out and get some time away. We decided it would be fun to go to Wilmington (Jess lives in Charleston) since we haven’t been there since our high school reunion back in 2010. We thought it would be fun to hit up some of our old stomping grounds that we used to frequent as well as relax at Jess’ beach house in the nearby Oak Island. Jess couldn’t get off work as early as she had originally planned to so I ended up meeting up with Rennie, Dad and Christopher for a visit. It worked out perfectly since it had been some time since we saw each other last. Dad made his amazing Louisiana style cajun jumbalaya and it was delicious!

I planned to meet up with Jess later that morning, so I decided it would be fun to catch up with an old friend I have known since elementary school that I went to church with!  My friend Sara go way back and it has been at least 13 years since we’ve seen each other last.  We’ve reconnected on Facebook of course, but due to my tight schedule while I was in town, I was never able to pay her a visit.  Until now!  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and it was so nice laughing and catching up just like old times again!  Our lives have changed dramatically, however in some ways, we are the still same girls we were from the same ‘ol beach town. IMG_4952Jess and I met up later that morning and we enjoyed catching up downtown walking through stores an grabbing a bite to eat for lunch. One fun fact… We wanted to go to our favorite pizza joint “Slice of Life” and we were so bummed when we arrived to it’s usual spot and saw that it was no longer there and had turned into something different.  How could that be? We asked each other.  It was a favorite throughout the town and certainly our favorite place.  We begrudgingly ate there anyway.  I got a salmon sandwich and Jess got a salad. Not the same as the yummy pizza we had set our minds to, but it would have to do. We left the restaurant with full bellies only to realize that directly across the street from where we were standing was in fact… you guessed it. “Slice of Life”. Ugh. Really? Of course they didn’t close! They just expanded to a bigger building! So… we must partake in the delicious pizza another time but at least we know now that our beloved pizza place hadn’t gone under. We met up with Jess’ Mom and her boyfriend for a delicious dinner that evening.  They suggested Oceanic and I wasn’t going to complain since it was arguably one of the best restaurant in Wrightsville Beach.  We had a tasty dinner with beautiful views and great conversation.  It has been many years since I had seen Jess’ Mom and I really enjoyed talking with her. After Dinner we picked up my brother Chris for a night out.  We had so much fun taking shots, playing pool, bar hopping, dancing, doing some Karaoke.  So much fun! Chris recently turned 21 in February (so crazy how time flies) and it was our first time out on the town together!  He was so fun to have along with us and I’m not sure we’d have as fun of a time without him!

After a late night out, we decided to take it easy the next day, and then drive up to Jess’ beach house in Oak Island.  We were pretty beat so we did a lot of lounging around. I rented a movie from red box, the Nicole Kidman flick “Before I Go To Sleep”.  It was really good. It is very suspenseful and keeps your interest.  After that, we enjoyed a walk on the beach with her sweet dog Ruby and then met up with Jess’ Mom again for dinner in South Port which is pretty close to Oak Island. The next day we decided to go paddle boarding in Davis Creek, a nearby inlet that funnels to the waterway. There were rumors of alligators there, so I was a bit nervous but everything ended up just fine and it was a nice relaxing time in nature.  Just what the doctor ordered! We ended with some shopping in South port in some of their cute shops that had clothing stores, antiques, a lunch by the water and ice cream! Even though sometimes people change and they end up not being who you think they are, it was still a fun trip and can’t wait until I can make it back up to Wilmington again.

SUP Yoga Birthday

I’ve been meaning to write about my SUP yoga birthday for a while now, and I finally have some time while the kiddos are napping to update the blog! The first time I did Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) was in Charleston with my bestie a few years ago. Her boyfriend is an avid surfer, and they own their own SUP boards. So, we took them out to the inlet, but not being too excited about what was in the water (we passed a few jellyfish), I was too nervous to get up on my feet, in fear of falling. So yeah… I paddled while on my knees, and that was basically it. It still peaked my interest because it is a lot like kayaking but with the option of getting wet and working your core, plus it offered options for doing fun yoga positions.
So, fast forward to this summer, my favorite Yoga studio in town Breathe Yoga, decided to host a summer series of SUP yoga classes out on Lake Lanier. The dates they had listed for June, the first month didn’t jive with my schedule, so I looked into the company they were using, and that’s when I found Atlanta SUP Yoga.  I snooped around their site a bit, and got to their calendar of events and noticed that on my birthday, August 10th, they were hosting a Super Moon Sunset paddle that evening!  I called immediately to see how many spots were open and then sent out a few emails to friends who I thought would be interested in joining me on, and Wallah! A fun evening on the books!

Four of the six of us carpooled and met for dinner beforehand at a really cute fun place called Pelican Pete’s right on Lake Lanier.  It really made me feel like I was on vacation being there.  Straw tiki hut style roofs, live music, cool breeze by the water. It was perfect! They didn’t have a lot of food choices (mainly bar type food) but we were just looking for a small bite before we hit the water.

After dinner, we met up with the rest of the crew, and our instructor at Vanns Tavern Park at Lake Lanier to get our SUP on!  The instructor Christy was awesome, and we started with cracking glow sticks to make necklaces and bracelets for when it gets dark.  The session was from 6:30-9pm, so even though it wasn’t dark when we started, we knew it would be getting dark when we were returning and they require by law for you to have a light on when it’s dark out.  So, why not bedazzle with glow stick jewelry?

It. Was. Amazing. I fell in love! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to get up on my feet. Once you’re on your knees, you go to table top position, and gradually push back with your hands and your feet push back into a squat, and then stand up with your paddle! I had the best company too.  A few girlfriends from my neighborhood, a longtime friend of mine from church, and a few playgroup Mom friends came, and it was the best group of girls! Lots of laughs and fun and simply the best way to spend my birthday!  We decided since all of us practice yoga, that we would do some yoga moves on the paddle board as well.  It wasn’t nearly as difficult as you would think and Christy was a certified yoga teacher, and was able to show us simple but effective positions.  Once you get the balance down, adding yoga is just a fun way to make it more interesting and to give you a new perspective and awareness.  It was so incredibly serene.  We thought the yoga would be the highlight of the night but God had something else to surprise us.  Just as we were paddling back, we looked behind us to see the most amazing sunset intermixed with overcast clouds.  Pink and purple hues with rays of light bursting from behind the trees.  Truly incredible!   Right when we though we had seen the perfect sky, we see the super moon peek over the horizon during our paddle back.  Large orange super moon!  The instructor had her iPhone, and took pictures, but it didn’t do it justice!  I wanted to bring my phone since it had a waterproof case, but the instructor said she didn’t advise it because it could very easily get dropped into the water and gone forever. So, I took her advice and just left it behind. But man… that was one incredible moon!

Now… I want my own paddlboard. Seriously!  I joke with Dan all the time about it.  If they weren’t so expensive, I probably would already have one right now! We just had such a great time that night, and it made me realized how close we are to Lake Lanier (only 22mins away from where we live) and how much we could really make the lake a fun part of our summers as the kids get older. I remember some fun times on the boat on LL as a kid as well, and would love for my kids to have those same memories.  So, I told Dan that we must go out on the lake soon, and we made plans for Labor Day to do just that.  More details in a future post on our boat rental and ride.

Turning 33 went off without a hitch, and it was by far the most adventurous and serene birthday thus far!

 

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Kid Free Vaca!

I had a wonderful time with my bestie Jess in Charleston for my first kid free vaca of the year, and the first one since Mason was born. It’s become a bit of a tradition, it seems because I went for my first kid free vaca when Parker turned one. Of course, it was wonderful to see Jess. We’ve been friends since middle school, so when I see her, I have no inhibitions, and I can completely let loose and relax with her. I love that. Although we had lots of fun activities planned for us to do, you know what activity I was MOST looking forward to? Sleeping in! I couldn’t remember the last time I slept in, it was probably when we had our little mini-babymoon before Mason was born. So, sleeping in was nice. Especially since Parker has the tendency to wake up between 6:45 and 7am and go potty, and then sleep a mere 15-30mins more after that. It can be so tiring every single day. Of course, I could just go to bed early, but that would dig into our personal time of doing chores, updating the blog, catching up on our favorite shows, so we typically don’t get into bed until closer to 11:30 or 12. What a treat it was to roll out of bed after 9am, without two kiddos pleading for my attention? Very very nice.

I got there around 6pm on Thursday, and since it was the first night, we just took it easy and grabbed some sushi to go. We stayed up and caught up and chatted, and then hit the sack. The next day we decided since the weather was perfect, that we would do some paddle boarding. One awesome thing about staying with Jess, is that her fiance Chad has every outdoor sport gear imaginable, so they had two paddle boards ready to go, they just needed to be loaded on the rack of the car. Since Chad was out of town, that left Jess and I to figure out how to secure them, thinking it wouldn’t be too hard. Well, we got a reality check when we took our first turn gassing it out of the neighborhood. The boards went-a-sliding! Jess pulled over in time to avert a real traffic disaster, and we re-secured the boards, but Jess wasn’t impressed. We went back to the house to see if we could reach Chad on his cell, but he was out surfing. We decided to do some youtube searches, and finally we were confident enough after watching a few “how to” clips, to try our hand at securing the boards the correct way, and make our way to the beach. It was SO worth it! Paddle boarding is so fun, relaxing, yet takes core muscles and focus. It was perfect!

It was amazing how much we could see and do without kiddos! We later did some shopping, mani/pedi and enjoyed a nice dinner on Sullivan’s Island. It was weird not having to worry about a nap schedule, or cooking, or anything kid related! It was nice to get updates on my phone from the hubby of cute little things the boys were doing. Dan took them out to the Aquarium one day while I was gone, and also took the boys out for frozen yogurt. This was a real treat. It was Mason’s first cone, and Parker’s second, so I guess it was pretty well deserved. I know both Daddy and the boys loved having some extra attention paid just between the three of them, as much I loved some time with Jess.

On Saturday, We walked the bridge to Mt. Pleasant where we enjoyed some beautiful views and that evening we celebrated Jess’ birthday by going out to a swanky restaurant. Honestly, I don’t even remember the name, but it had some amazingly delicious salmon served with a “corn pudding” that was very delightful. We got all glammed up to go to the Charleston Fashion Show. We didn’t really know what to expect, but we had a wonderful time! We had great seats, and there were very upscale and stylish fashion lines. There were a few emerging designers that had interesting lines, but it all made for great entertainment!

On our last day, we just took it easy, played some tennis… okay, well we just smacked some balls around and ran after them, it was still fun! We enjoyed a leisure lunch and then walked the pier at Shem Creek Park. We were able to spot some dolphins and see kayakers during the walk, as well as quite a few fiddler crabs in the marsh. It was so peaceful and beautiful. The perfect way to end the vaca!