Sunday, December 30, 2012


Mark and I will be interviewing day cares on Thursday, any suggestions of questions to ask, things to look for? Here are some I pulled off the internet...

At a Day Care Center

Do caregivers have first-aid/CPR and child development training?
Is each child assigned to a primary caregiver?
How many children do you serve, and what are their ages?
What is the range of activities in which the children participate?
How large is the center? (There should be 35 square feet per child in order for each child to have enough room to play comfortably.)
Is the center licensed?
What happens if I need to bring my child early or pick him up late?
Do you let kids attend if they're not potty-trained or if they have a runny nose or a cough?
How do you discipline kids?
Is there an outside play area? Do kids use it every day?
Do you ever take children on outings off-site?
Will I be charged if I take a vacation or my child is sick?

Family Day Care

How long have you been providing care?
Do you have first-aid/CPR and child development training?
Do you have a current state license or registration?
How many children do you care for? What are their ages?
Do you care for the same group of kids every day?
What is a typical day like for the children? How much time do they spend outside?
What meals and supplies do I need to provide?
Can I drop my child off early or pick him up late sometimes?
What happens if you are ill?
If my child gets sick, would you give him medication?
If my child misses a day, do I still have to pay?
Do you let children watch TV?

Weekend review

Friday: I couldn't get out of work fast enough. I don't know if it was pregnancy hormones or just a bad day but Friday was not my day.

Saturday: I caught up with an old friend for lunch and then I got to meet April's little one, Kellan. I got to hold him and feed him, he was so tiny and cute. I cannot believe in less than 4 months I will be there. April and Adam allowed me to ask them any and all questions I wanted about delivery and I started reading my first baby book!

Sunday: Mark is off today so we have big plans to run errands, give pups bath, take down christmas and clean house....riveting stuff!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

21 week update

Sleep: I toss and turn all night and have to get up to pee at least 4-5 times so I am pretty tired most mornings when my alarm goes off.

Maternity Clothes: I can get away with non maternity shirts/tops but any pants without an elastic waste have to be maternity pants. 

Food cravings: None, I really dont have much of an appetite

Food aversions: Nothing in particular but really I dont want vegetables.

Symptoms: ACID REFLUX! 

Doctor’s Appointment: I had an appointment last week and we will see him again in January
Gender: Its a surprise!

Movement:  Two days ago around 4:45am when I was laying in bed
delaying the inevitable...getting up to pee, I think I felt our first movement but havent felt anything since.

Belly Button: No changes yet...

What I’m looking forward to: Having 4 days off in a row with Mark at the end of the month
What I miss:  A good nights sleep

Blog help

I haven't blogged in about a month and I don't know if it is lack of something interesting to say or laziness, maybe a little of both.

 I need inspiration, motivation or a swift kick in the ass...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Double the pleasure, double the fun

Does anyone else wish there was two of themselves?

If there was two of me, one would be at home playing with the pups, taking them for walks, picking up my house, making dinner, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, etc. while I'm at work and then the gym.

There are not enough hours in the day...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

16 week update

My what to expect app told me that during week 16 my uterus would not be the only thing that would swell my mucous membranes in my nose would also, causing congestion and possible nosebleeds. Wouldn't you know but I woke up last week with a stuffy and bloody nose.

I am going to borrow steal my friend April's pregnancy update format, thanks!

 Baby's size: Turnip
Sleep: Bed by 10:00pm, and I am getting up 3-4 times a night to pee.
Maternity Clothes:  My clothes are too small and maternity clothes are too big so I stick with dresses, boots and sometimes tights when I am feeling adventurous.
Food cravings: Nothing really
Food aversions: When I'm done, I'm done but I am eating anything
Symptoms:  I am itchy all over!
Doctor’s Appointment: I have Metabolic syndrome and have taken Metformin for years, my doctor took me off of it a month ago at my last office visit and I am taking a sugar test on Thursday so we can see how everything is going, wish me luck.
Gender: TBD April 2013
Movement:  None, when will this happen?
Belly Button: Nothing has changed yet but reading April's posts about this scares me, ha!
What I’m looking forward to: Showing, getting to the point where my belly says "baby" and not "fat"
What I miss: Sushi, beer, sleeping through the night

Friday, November 2, 2012

T. Swift

Country music makes my heart happy. It makes me want to roll my windows down, open my sunroof, take my shoes off, put my foot out the window and sing at the top of my lungs. One particular artist I enjoy is Taylor Swift.

Today on my way home from work, I heard You Belong With Me (see below) and all I could think was that Taylor channeled my sixteen year old self and wrote a song. I enjoy her music because its catchy but relatable.  When I say relatable I am generally referring to my high school self.

 Its funny how hard I wished for somethings in high school that now I am so thankful did not come true.

You Belong With Me lyricsSongwriters: Rose, Liz; Swift, Taylor Alison;You're on the phone with your girlfriend, she's upset
She's going off about something that you said
'Cause she doesn't get your humor like I do

I'm in the room, it's a typical Tuesday night
I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn't like
And she'll never know your story like I do

But she wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts
She's Cheer Captain and I'm on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along, so why can't you see?
You, you belong with me, you belong with me

Walking the streets with you and your worn-out jeans
I can't help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughing on a park bench, thinking to myself
Hey, isn't this easy?

And you've got a smile that could light up this whole town
I haven't seen it in a while since she brought you down
You say you're fine, I know you better than that
Hey, what ya doing with a girl like that?

She wears high heels, I wear sneakers
[ From:]
She's Cheer Captain and I'm on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along, so why can't you see?
You belong with me

Standing by and waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know?
Baby, you belong with me, you belong with me

Oh, I remember you driving to my house in the middle of the night
I'm the one who makes you laugh when you know you're 'bout to cry
And I know your favorite songs and you tell me 'bout your dreams
Think I know where you belong, think I know it's with me

Can't you see that I'm the one who understands you?
Been here all along, so why can't you see?
You belong with me

Standing by and waiting at your back door
All this time, how could you not know?
Baby, you belong with me, you belong with me

You belong with me
Have you ever thought just maybe
You belong with me?
You belong with me

Thanks T. Swift for making me feel young again!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday! I love to dress up and I plan my costumes months in advance. I do not subscribe to the thought that Halloween is the one day a year a girl can dress as a slut and get "away" with it, I go more for the laughs. We usually host an annual Halloween party but last weekend i was out of town and this weekend Mark is working, hopefully next year we can get back on track.

Another reason Halloween is my favorite holiday is because of all the kids dressed up, so needless to say I was pretty disappointed when we only had 20 or so kids and some were not even dressed up. I don't understands parents allowing their children to go trick or treating and not making them dress up, its Halloween people not giveaway candy day. also, all these kids in our neighborhood were driving from house to house, really, how lazy are you?

Enough complaining.

Thank you to my friends who sent me pictures of their adorable kids in their costumes. I was also excited yesterday to get to see Lucas on his first birthday! Check him out in his new car.

Mark and I went to trivia last night, I went as Meg from Family Guy and Mark and Walter from The Big Lebowski. We are looking forward to a Halloween party this weekend. I  have a different costume for the party and will post pictures later.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Just a few minutes ago, I checked out an old friends blog to see if there was an update, there was. She had to have a c-section today, at 19 weeks pregnant because her baby boy was not developing properly and he would not survive.

October 15th was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day.  

I just finished uploading all the blog posts that I have written since finding out I was pregnant. I am very excited to start this journey and share it with all my friends and family but I also want to show my love and support to all who have lost a baby or infant.

I want everyone to take a moment and say a prayer for all the families who have lost a little one!

Shameless Publicity 10.16.2012

Shouting from the roof tops 10.11.2012

I’M PREGNANT….there I said it, ha. Mark and I have told a few people along the way but mostly kept it to ourselves/family. As of today we are officially “spreading the good news.”
Only “problem” is I am a little uncomfortable actually telling people. I am not a big fan of being the center of attention and so it seems strange to tell people, when during the conversation do you bring it up? How do you bring it up? Do I call all of my friends? What do I do.

There are definitely a group of people that I would love to share the news with and I think I have figured out a way, mass email. Even when I write it, it sounds bad. But if I come up with a cute email, I think it won’t be too tacky. I am just not a huge fan of making an announcement via FB because I have friends, acquaintances and then FB friends. I want my friends to hear it from me directly (or directly via email).

I didn’t have to worry about telling my family, my parents covered that and I am thankful!

12 Week update 10.10.2012

I was 12 weeks on Saturday and we had a visit yesterday and got to hear the HEART BEAT! It was really neat. My next appointment is on November 8, 2012 to have my first gestational diabetes sugar test, I hope I pass!

Baby Blues 10.7.2012

Mark and I had tickets to the Panthers game but decided around 10am that we were going to stay home and watch. Since its cold and wet here today we decided that it was better off for me to watch in the comfort of the indoors then outside and risk getting sick, BOO! I am sure there are meds that you can take when pregnant and not feeling better but from my “research” they really don’t recommend it and I really don’t want to get sick.

On a much brighter note, my house is clean, laundry done, groceries bought, chili in the crock pot. Even though we did not get to go to the game we (Mark, Opie, Jax and myself) have had a great day together and I am enjoying writing this while watching the Seahawks turn over the ball- GO PANTHERS!

Thanks for listening!

Race for the Cure 10.6.2012

Each year, the Lake Norman ZTA Alumnae sponsor a team in the Charlotte Race for the Cure.  Through the years, our small chapter has raised thousands of dollars to help educate women about their risks, and to hopefully find a cure for breast cancer.

This year, breast cancer hit a little too close to home, one of our member's best friends, Meg, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 38 - while she was also pregnant with her 3rd child.  She had to have multiple procedures, ending in a single mastectomy & chemotherapy - all while she was still pregnant.  Although she is still a new survivor, she has already done so much for the cause - including serving as the Honorary Survivor in the Valdosta, GA "Relay for Life"!  Cancer patients looked to Meg as a symbol of hope - waiting for her AND her child to survive.  I'm happy to say that mommy AND 6 week old baby Isabella "Hope" Booth are both surviving and doing well!
Sadly I could not kick my nausea and vomiting this morning until about 1130ish and was unable to walking in the Race for the Cure with the rest of the LKN ZTA Alum, Meg and Hope. I enjoy the race because it is thousands of people getting together for the same cause: men, woman, children, dogs, etc. My favorite part of the day is watching survivors cross the finish line.

Thank you to everyone who donated: Uncle Louis and Aunt Carolyn, Mom and Dad, Kel and Mike, Kate, Rosie, Jenna, Meredith and Zach, Chris and Charlie, and one anonymous donation.

I just read that 17,000 people participated in yesterday’s race, that is amazing!

Does pregnancy make my butt look fat? 9.27.2012

My ass is growing at an alarming rate. I have not gained any weight but I can tell because I have a constant wedgie. I wear boy shorts and bought about 8 new pairs 6 months ago.  They now roll down from the top, because my stomach is so big they can’t stay up and then they don’t fit in the butt anymore, help!

Woe is me 9.25.2012

I have had really bad heartburn for the last 6+ years, I have taken a daily pill every morning, some days I still got heartburn but most was contained if I took the pill first thing. Heaven for bid, I forgot to take the meds I would be trying to rip my esophagus out by 9:00am.

I also had a hard time getting to sleep due to an overactive bladder, especially at night (I’m 90, I know). Some people say they “can’t turn their minds off”; I wasn’t able to “turn my bladder off”. I took a daily Trazadone each night before bed, this helped my bladder rest and I would be able to sleep through the night.

Since I have been pregnant, my heartburn is out of control. Morning/all day nausea if magnetized because I constantly have a burning throat and uneasy feeling in my stomach.
I am still taking my daily Omeprazole and have actually started taking two, I am also eating Tums like they are going out of business.

I had to stop the Trazadone, bummer. I have no problems getting to sleep but I cannot stay asleep, I am up at least 4 times every night to pee and then it takes me a while to fall asleep after. Last night I went to bed at 10:00pm and saw the clock at 1212am, 132am 334am and 520am.

I’m miserable. Any suggestions of what I can and should take?

I am not clever today 9.22.2012

Over the last few weeks I have had multiple conversations with a lot of different friends about baby/pregnancy related “getting ready” for those next steps and probably just think I am being curious. Little do they know…

Sweet relief 9.20.2012

Mark and I searched the internet to find suggestions of fun ways to tell our family and friends. We decided on a picture frame to put the ultrasound in with the caption “Coming Soon” we bought one for my parents and one for his parents.

My parents headed to Utah on the 13th and got back on the 18th. We wanted to tell them (and my siblings) once they got back so I suggested dinner at one of our favorite spots for Tuesday night. My mom told me she thought they would be too tired after traveling all day to do dinner, so then I suggested we pick up pizza and meet at their house for dinner once they get it, she agreed to that. Tuesday night, Mark and I picked up 3 large pizzas and headed to my parents, Mike, his roommate Chris (honorary family member) and Kate met us there. We gave my dad the wrapped picture frame when we came in and told him it was part of his birthday present, just wasn’t ready last week. Everyone was hungry so dug right in. While we were cleaning up from dinner, Kate said “Dad, why don’t you open your gift?” he agreed and went to the island to pick it up. Mark and I both watched as he opened it and since he did not have his glasses on my mom was able to figure it out before he did. My mom admitted before we got there she told Kate she thought maybe we had something to tell them since I was strangely persistent about dinner, especially since we had all gotten together one week earlier. We called Kelly and Mike and filled them in too! My family was ecstatic. Anyone remember my dad mentioning he couldn’t wait to be a grandfather 4 years ago during his speech at my wedding?

When Mark invited his parents over for dinner, they agreed but his mom asked, “What’s the occasion?” Either way they agreed and Wednesday night we had them over for dinner. While everything was cooking, Mark presented his mom with the wrapped picture frame, he told her it was for all the help they had given us in the last few weeks with the car (we have had major car issues). She opened it and I thought Erin, Brad and Ashley could hear her excitement all the way from SC. Mark’s mom has been even more talkative about us starting a family than even my dad! Judy also said on her way over she told Dick she thought something was up. I guess Mark and I really need to make dinner plans with our parents more often. We called the Jacksons and told them the news and Ashley is very excited about having a cousin.

It was so great to share the news with our families. We have decided to keep the news within the family until after our ultrasound scheduled for October 10th. I think Judy and my dad are sad that couldn’t take out a 30 second commercial during tonight’s game to spread the news but they will live.

Blue Moon 9.16.2012

Dear the Blue Moon Brewmaster-

Please make a non-alcoholic version of Blue Moon.

Andrea (currently 9 weeks and 1 day pregnant)

It just got REAL 9.14.2012

We saw the doctor, had an ultrasound, confirmed what the internet told us would be our due date and got a TON of prenatal vitamin samples and information. I have read through all most of the information received yesterday from the doctor and for some reason still feel like I should be asking more questions, learning more, etc. I think I have determined pregnancy doesn’t scare me. I think too much reading/research into pregnancy will just scare me because there are so many things that could happen, I don’t think I want to know about those things until I need to and that is if they happen to me. As long as I know the, “don’ts” I think, I’m good.

What scares me is what happens once I have the baby, maybe I should focus my research on what to do once the baby comes. But if I read it now will I remember in April?

I can’t decide if the “symptoms” they tell me I may be experiences are to make me feel better or if they are scientifically proven to me pregnancy related? Current symptoms: feeling so fat I can barely stand it, not able to suck in, so uncomfortable in any clothing except elastic waist lounge pants, HEARTBURN, nausea, vomiting, itchy, no energy, forgetful, tire easily, peeing all the time, and I wake up at least 3-5 times a night and have trouble falling back asleep, I am able to fall asleep but I cannot stay asleep.

B’s birthday 9.11.2012

Tonight was my dad’s birthday, I would have loved to surprise him with the news on his birthday, but, we have decided to see the doctor first. Only two more days!

Am I a hermit? 9.7.2012

Since becoming pregnant I feel like I have become a hermit. Don’t get me wrong, I leave the house everyday and go to work, but I have bailed on some of the extra curricular activities. I don’t know if it’s because I am too tired or because I don’t feel like coming up with an excuse as to why I’m not drinking or both. Wow that makes me sound like an alcoholic, hmmm.

Curiosity killed the ? 9.3.2012

I cracked. I know nothing about being pregnant or having children, that became apparent after my internet exploring. I went to a website that allowed me to enter the first day of my last period (which I will tell you took a lot of thinking and looking back at my phone calendar trying to figure it out) and came up with my due date (April 20, 2013), how far along I am (7 weeks and 2 days).

The only thing I can say with complete confidence after all the "research" is: people who post on baby websites are CRAZY.

To anyone reading who has kids or is pregnant: should I be reading and learning? Are you? Or should I just stay away from the internet/books and ask people who have actually had kids my questions.

I think my biggest dilemma is...I don’t really know what I need to know.  I just assume since I am pregnant and starting a whole new phase of life, I should be learning. Where do I start? What do I "need" to know? What do I want to know?

Secrets, secrets are no fun 9.1.2012

Since finding out we were pregnant we got to hang out with my best friend who doesn’t live here, we had friends over for dinner and last night we went out to a friend’s cookout. It has been so hard to keep this to ourselves.  What’s been even harder…staying up past 10pm, ha

An apple a day 8.23.2012

I called the doctor today and made the appointment…it’s about to get real! We will see the doctor on Thursday September 13th. That seems so far away, 20 days to be exact. 20 days of not knowing, I am really not sure what I don’t know but I think I will feel better once I see the doctor. I have been staying away from google since finding out but I think I will crack before September 13th. Isn’t there something I should be doing? Should I do anything before I see the doctor? Ah…..

Shock and Awe 8.20.2012

Yesterday Mark and I found out we are pregnant! Wow. I stopped taking birth control in March and we have been using other forms of protection since. July was the first month we have thrown caution to the wind and said “let’s chance it!”

I wanted to give my body a break before “trying”, after being on the pill for 12 years, I didn’t know what to expect. Since being off the pill my period has surprised me each month (probably right on time) but since I did not have a little blue pill to take in the morning it was hard for me to remember when it should come. I got a little nauseous on Saturday morning while standing in line at security before my flight home. On Sunday I got up and went to the grocery store and while perusing the store I had to run to the rest room because I was sick. After that I tried to remember when my period was supposed to come, had I missed it? I thought I was supposed to get it the following Thursday the 23rd so when I walked through the aisle of pregnancy tests I picked one that reported “can tell you 5 days before your missed period”. I came home, unloaded the groceries, dusted and vacuumed by room, cleaned our bathroom and organized our bathroom drawers. When I was done I decided to take a test…it was positive, I took another one…it was positive.

I sat on the floor of my bathroom and thought of all the “un-pregnant” things I had done in the last month...then I cried a little. In the last month I had drank more days that not, holy shit! I am pretty sure I had eaten sushi, taken a bite of swordfish, and definitely eaten caesar salad. Ah on Saturday on the way home from the airport, I stopped at and got a sub from Subway and my meat was not steamed, am I the worst person ever?

I pulled myself together, relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon and waited for mark to get home from work; it was the longest 5 hours in a long time! When he came home I wasted no time in telling him, needless to saw it was “shock and awe!” I think we were both surprised that it happened so fast and scared that it was finally here. We have been talking about having a baby and were getting used to the idea of “trying” in the next few months but here we were just one month into it and we are pregnant.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Plate before kiln

Plate after kiln

What the F is up with my face?

I have never had an issue with allergies to products or acne, but right now my face it JACKED up! Last week I bought Target brand make up wipes, I used them daily before showering and washing my face with face wash because I never feel like face wash gets all the mascara off. Starting on Wednesday I noticed my face was a little bumpier that usual and I had a weird numbness around my eyes, Thursday I had bumps across my forehead and around both eyes, Friday the same but worse and by Saturday I had bright red, dry, itchy patches all across my forehead and around both eyes and covering my eyelids. I also had three brand new huge pimples on my chin. I stopped using the wipes on Wednesday and as of yesterday I was using prescription strength lotion I got from my doctor when I had a dry spot on my wedding ring finger a few years ago on my eyes and forehead, today I bought some acne stuff to put on my face also.

I have never felt so ugly and uncomfortable. Mark says I am being ridiculous and I’m sure he is right but right now I cannot see beyond the grossness that is my face!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Friendship is a two way street."

As we get older, friendships evolve/change. I am ok with my friendships changing, I get it. We are all busy with work, signifcant others, hobbies, kids, etc. I like to use my ride to and from work as my phone a friend time, I have 30 minutes each way to talk and catch up, I am not asking for all 30 minutes but a quick hello and catch up every now and again is nice and keeps me in the loop. When I get home from work, the last think I want to do is chat on the phone, I have been on it all day and now I am home, I need to be working out, cooking dinner, hanging with the pups, or just watching uninterrupted dvr.

I have seen what happens when I don't make the effort and make the calls: nothing. Or I make the calls, leave the message and get no response. I cannot keep putting in 100% and getting 10% in return.

Thanks for listening.

Tasty Tuesday

Hamburger Steaks


·                         Ground Beef (can use lean, ground chuck, etc)

·                         1 Cup Beef Broth

·                         All Purpose Flour

·                         Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced


    Heat one or two tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet. Press ground beef into doughnut shaped patties (the hole in the center will allow it to cook more evenly and will fill in as they shrink during cooking). Dip each patty into flour on both sides and place in hot skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until browned. Scoot patties to one side and add onions to skillet. Stir and cook for a few minutes until lightly browned. Pour in 1 cup beef broth and cover. Allow to cook until meat is no longer pink in the center, about ten minutes.

Step one

Step two
Step three

Step four
Step five

Monday Funday

I started an alternate work schedule (AWS) 6 months ago, what this means....I work 4 days a week from 7am-5pm. Most  Some couples get to spend their weekends together, I only get one Saturday and two Sundays a month with Mark, so this AWS allowed 3 additional days each month to spend together. We have really enjoyed the extra time!

Starting October 1st, I will go back to a normal schedule working Monday through Friday 8am-415pm, so yesterday was my last weekday off. Mark and I had a GREAT day! I woke up late (8am) and sat outside drinking my coffee watching the dogs run around. Mark got up a little later and together we made breakfast (pancaskes and turkey bacon (its just not the same)). We ran errands and then headed to Clay Escape.

I bought a Living Social deal, pay $10 and get $25 worth of products. Mark and I both picked plates. We had the place to ourselves and took our time creating our masterpieces. I am not creative, artistis or patient so I was not sure this was going to be my thing but I loved it and will definitely go back. We get to pick up our final products next Monday and I will post an updated picture.

Here is the picture of my plate, before the kiln

After pottery we used our receipt to go next door to Maggie Moos and get ice cream. Then we came home and hung with the pups. I pooper scooped the back yard while Mark mowed and then we gave the pups a bath.

We had such a great day, I will miss my days off with Mark but I am ready to sleep in a little and get off before the crazy people leave at 5:00pm.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Steele Creek

We have been in our new house since March. I cant believe its been 6 months! Since moving, we have not really "experienced" Steele Creek.  We have been so focused on paying off some debt/saving money, we have not gone out and seen what the area has to offer.

Today I had to run a few errands:
1. go to the post office
2. drop off at the dry cleaners
3. return to RedBox
4. pick up new print cartridges

I have not been the post office or dry cleaner in this area, I usually go to the ones by work during the week, so I had to do a google search before heading out.

I was able to complete all 4 errands and under 4 miles and 35 minutes. I think I am going to like it here!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rivalry at its best

 google image

google image

LET'S                           GO                        G-MEN!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer in review

Oak Island: June 8-10
My girlfriend Rachel invited me to celebrate her bachelorette in Oak Island. We had a great time and met some local celebrities. I have never been to Oak Island but I look forward to going back.

Andrea, Rachel, Lori, Krista, Amy

Charlotte: June 15
Mark and I also hosted a wedding shower for Alan and Nicole.

Ireland: June 20-July 1
See previous blog post

We were home all month but it was been busy. I went to the lake on the 4th  (Mark had to work), we celebrated P’s birthday on the 9th, I took a day trip to Durham 21st to see some old friends, and on the 28th, I went to a baby shower and a 1 year olds birthday party.

East Jordan, Michigan: August 2-5
Alan and Nicole’s wedding weekend in picturesque Lake Charlevoix. We ate, drank, danced, swam, rode Jet Ski’s, and watched two amazing people join their lives together forever!


New London, New Hampshire (TLV): August 10-18
I rode up with my parents; we left Friday around 6:00am and arrived in NJ at 5:00pm. Had dinner and drinks with a few relatives and then made the rest of the trip Saturday morning at 7:00am, arriving at TLV around 1:30pm. I stayed the whole week and flew home Saturday. It was a great time but I really missed Mark, who was home working and taking care of the pups.

Rocking chairs on the front porch of the Villa
Sunset at the picnic
My favorite view

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life as I know it...

One husband, two dogs, house, job, and a hundred things on my to do list…


We came. We saw. We conquered.

My parents took all 4 Dries kids and two husbands to Ireland for 12 days.  We left Charlotte on June 20, 2012, around 6:00pm and arrived in Dublin around 6:00am on the 21st.  Upon arrival, we met our fearless leader for the week, Sean and he took us around Dublin before heading to the Guinness Factory around 10am; we then did a walking tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College.

Kel and Mike arrived from NYC on the 22nd and went to Powerscourt gardens and waterfall and stayed over in Kilkenny. We found this sign outside the waterfall.

We toured the Old Middleton Distillery (Jameson) and the town of Cobh, the last stop before the ill fated Titanic started her journey across the Atlantic on Saturday.

On Sunday, we spent the day driving around the Dingle Peninsula. This was the best weather we had the whole trip and this was my favorite this to see. It’s a shame the weather in Ireland is unpredictable (precipitation and temperature wise) because they have so much coastline.

The ladies toured the Ring of Kerry, while the guys golfed at Waterville on Monday, Honestly, don’t get my wrong, the Ring was beautiful but I did not think that it lived up to all its hype, definitely not my favorite part of Ireland.

On Tuesday, we left Killarney, toured the Burren, Cliffs of Moher and stayed the night in Galway. In Galway we saw a great show full of Irish music and dancing. It was too foggy to actually see anything at the Cliffs, these pictures are from a previous trip.

Our plans for Wednesday were derailed due to weather and we spent most of the day in the bus riding around touring the countryside.

We traveled to Crough Patrick which overlooks Clew Bay in County Mayo, it is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland.  Slieve League Cliffs, the highest sea cliffs in Europe, the ride up was amazing but before we could get off the bus it was pouring. We spent that night in Donegal on Thursday.

This at at bottom of cliff                                                                        This is at the top
On Friday, we headed to Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge and spent the night in Templepatrick. Giants Causeway was beautiful but very slippery. The bridge was quite a feat for me since I am terrified of heights. We had rainy weather most of the day but it cleared up for about 20 minutes while we were at the bridge and we were able to get some great shots.


We spent our last day in Ireland visiting Virginia, my mom was able to see the remains of the home where her grandmother, my great grandmother was raised and then we headed back to Dublin.  My dad had a good friend, he knows through business who lives in Dublin that Kelly and I spent time with when we were in Dublin in 2001, we were able to go to their house for dinner the first night we were there and they joined us for the Merry Ploughboys show on Saturday night.

It was the trip of a lifetime and I hope you guys enjoy the pictures, check out our Christmas card picture.