Weeks 29 & 30: Charleston Trip

We did a lot to prepare for Baby Girl’s arrival during week 29. Robert and his mom painted her side tables white to match her crib and dresser. They look brand new! My mom found the perfect rug and lamps to go in her room. I picked out the three pieces of artwork that will go above her dresser, and I finally registered for soft sheets for her crib. I fell in love with the Burt’s Bees sheets and found the cutest patterns! Not only are the sheets cute, but they’re also SO soft. She’s going to just snuggle right into them once she’s in her crib. The room is definitely coming together and it’s starting to get more and more full. Because of the soft colors (tan, light pink, white and gold), the room is very calming to me. It’s going to be the perfect room for Baby Girl to call her own.

29 Weeks!

29 Weeks!

Right before I hit my week 30, my mom and I took a trip to Charleston for a girl’s weekend with Merrick. Merr gets married in September and we planned on doing mostly wedding prep (with a little baby shopping on the side) during our visit. We met Merr at the Charleston outlets on Friday evening and walked around until our feet hurt. We snagged a baby-dora that will look so cute on Baby Wilson when we take her outside this Spring/Summer. On Saturday, we helped Merr register for wedding gifts on her registry and look for dresses to wear to her showers and graduation this summer.

Merr took us to a great place at Shem Creek called Tavern and Table for dinner on Saturday night. It was the perfect mix of cute and casual. We ordered and split a bunch of appetizers. Those appetizers must have gone straight to Baby Girl because when we got back to Merr’s place, she had the hiccups for the first time! Merrick loved putting her hands all over my stomach and feeling the baby’s soft, steady pulsing as she hiccuped. I cannot believe how much my sister already loves our baby. She talks about her all of the time, makes future plans about seeing her and “driving her around,” and asked this weekend if she could take her on Spring Break when she’s older… 🙂

My mom and I hated leaving Merr because we had the best time in Charleston with our little blondie. I wish we all lived closer. ❤ I have a feeling that she and Sam will be making a lot of trips to Greenville to see our Little Bit once she makes her appearance into this world.

 

Girl's weekend in Charleston!

Girl’s weekend in Charleston!

Week 30!

Week 30!

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White Coats.

My sister received her white coat at the Medical University of South Carolina for her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at a beautiful ceremony in Charleston in early June.  This coat doesn’t mark the end of her schooling, but marks her transition from straight classes into clinical work. Our family, Sam and Robert were all there to celebrate and show her support. The keynote speaker was a woman from LSU who spoke about the most important part of serving as a doctor of physical therapy: caring. She told stories about her patients from the past and explained how rewarding it is to see patients’ progressions. I’m so excited for my sister to be able to use the skills that she’s learned in the classroom and translate them into actual patient care.

I know she’s excited, too. Hell, she tries to diagnose every family member and friend with any ailment that she possibly can. She’s taught Robert stretches to help his shoulder, performed “manips” on my poor dad, and critiqued the fact that none of our glute muscles are as strong as they should be by watching us jump.

While in Charleston, we also celebrated my dad’s birthday, spent some much-needed time at the beach, dined at a rooftop restaurant, shopped through the market, met up with Margy and hung out with Merr’s PT friends. Which, by the way, her friends are awesome-so down-to-earth and fun! I can see why Merrick chose to go into PT- most of her friends seem pretty on par with Merr.

Merrick's White Coat Ceremony

Merrick’s White Coat Ceremony

The Change Up.

I’m not really good with big changes. I’m a creature of habit and like to get into routines. My pattern tendencies show through in my job, my health, the way I communicate and my friendships. So when something within one of those realms varies, it takes me a minute to accept and adapt to the change.

Most recently, I’ve been dealing with the change of a roommate and close friend moving away and physically (but not emotionally) out of my life. Margo headed to the coast late last week to start a new chapter, at a new job in Charleston. To top it off, she’s moving about 5 hours closer to her boyfriend! I’m super excited for her opportunity, and I know she’ll love being so close to the beautiful Charleston beaches.

Margs told us about her wish to move to Charleston a few months back. It’s been fun watching the progression of her interest move from consideration, to job searching, to interviewing and securing the new gig.  She quickly found a roommate and a brand-spankin-new apartment in Mt. Pleasant. She’s ready to rock.

The reason it’s difficult for me to embrace this change and say good-bye to Margo (not that I actually need a reason, though :-)) is that I associate Atlanta with Margo and Lauren. We all moved down here at the same time, knowing very few people, and have fought our way to kick-ass in our jobs and have fun while exploring a new city. “The Trifecta,” as some of our ATL friends lovingly refer to us, acclimated to life after college by prancing around the bars in Buckhead, dominating co-ed kickball, taking part in every festival imaginable and growing in ways that were unimaginable.

So, after a few weeks of farewell dinners and happy hours, last Thursday was go-time. I got upset before work while telling Margs good-bye. And it was super weird seeing our empty apartment after her mom helped Margo move her furniture out.  But, the good thing is that Margs and I have created a friendship that will last over the miles, and I’ll be in Charleston quite a bit this summer. I’m excited to see hear about her adventures in Chucktown!

At Margo's farewell happy hour!

At Margo’s farewell happy hour!

Happy Maddy

I woke up with a huge smile on my face today. Why? Because I’m completely happy. Plain and simple. I’m excited and over the moon about everything that’s going on in my life right now. A few things I’ve been focused on over the past few weeks:

Family– Over the past month, I’ve seen my family quite a bit. My mom and sister came to Atlanta in late March to wedding dress shop and… dun dun dun… we found the dress! It’s absolutely gorgeous and I love, love, love it.

A couple of weeks ago, my family met up in Charleston for a long weekend of celebrating my Aunt Marg’s 60th birthday, running the Charleston Cooper River Bridge Run, watching Venus and Serena face-off at the Family Circle Cup and shopping on King Street. The laughs, stories and love that we shared made it a perfect weekend.

Last weekend, I went home to Greenville, SC to meet our day-of wedding planner and celebrate Kim’s 50th birthday with a surprise party.  First: the wedding planner. Love her. We met with her at a Starbucks in DT Greenville and chatted about everything wedding-wise for about 2 hours. She gave us opinions on bands, rehearsal dinner spots, caterers and day-of ideas. My mom, sister and I have similar opinions and it was nice to have a third party affirm most of our thoughts.

Later that night, we headed over to Nancy’s house for Kim’s surprise party. My mom and her friends had planned the big she-bang for about 4 months and it paid off. The party, people and personalized pillows were perfect. 🙂  My mom read a beautiful poem honoring Kim and she had the whole party laughing and smiling throughout the entire reading. Robert leaned over to me while my mom was presenting the poem and said, “Now I know where you got your writing skills.”

Work: I’m loving it. I’ve been conducting intern interviews over the past few weeks and explaining what it means to be a Porter  Novelli employee. Throughout each meeting with potential candidates, I’m realizing more and more how much I love PN. This agency compares to none. It truly is awesome. I come into work every day looking forward to working with my team. I’m given the chance to be creative, learn, grow, and have fun in a collaborative environment with positive, smart people. I have a wonderful coach on my team who wants and encourages me to grow. I can’t say enough nice things about this place.  Ok. Enough of drinking the PN Kool-Aid… moving on….

Robert– [Gush warning] In the beginning of my post, I said that I wake up with a smile on my face. A lot of that has to do with the fact that in less than 10 short months, I’m going to marry the most amazing man thatI’ve ever met (besides my dad). And the sparkly diamond on my finger reminds me of that every day.  Even though we’re technically in a long distance relationship still, Robert and I talk about 15 times a day via phone calls, texts and even sometimes emails.  Each conversation and visit makes me fall more in love with him. He is sincerely interested in my day, my feelings, my to-do list, my work stories, my workout progress, my family, and the list goes on and on. And I’m really interested in everything in his life. Robert is a rare gem, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us.  🙂 

All in all, I’m very fortunate and thankful for everything that’s been going in my life. I try not to take things for granted because, as we unfortunately saw earlier this week in Boston, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.   

The Next Stop on the Fab 4 Tour: Charleston

I fell in love with Charleston this past weekend when I visited my sister. First of all, if I haven’t said it before, my sister attends physical therapy school in Charleston, has lived there since May and is kicking butt in her classes. She lives in an adorable apartment with one of her best friends in a perfect location.  Her apartment is smaller, and older, but my mom and I both agree that it has a lot of character.  The bright colors and fun artwork give it life and the hardwood floors are just crooked and uneven enough to make you stumble when you get up in the morning to brush your teeth.

Merrick was a perfect host. She explained the best path that took me straight to the Battery on my morning run. She introduced me to her PT friends and took me out to a couple of her favorite bars.  And she took me to the beach on Sullivan’s on Friday where we speculated about Reese Witherspoon’s house (how often she visited, who took care of the house when she was away, whose car was parked in the driveway, etc.).

Early Morning Battery Run

Reese Witherspoon’s House on Sullivan’s Island

When Sam and Robert arrived on Friday afternoon, we all went to one of Merr’s favorite downtown restaurants, King Street Grille, and then headed to her college friend’s apartment.  The rest of the night consisted of Mynt, Trio, taking in the beautiful weather at an outside bar, dancing to a live band,  running into old friends, Merr playing the tambourine with the band, Bubba Styles and a long walk home. 🙂

Bramblewood Girls from Greenville

Madison, Robert and Sammy

At Mynt on the VIP Green Couch

On Saturday, Merr took us to the Charleston market and to breakfast/lunch at Toast with awesome bottomless mimosas. After scooting around DT Charleston, we headed back to Merr’s apartment to watch our Tigers beat down (kind of) BC and to watch USA beat down on Europe in the Ryder Cup (before the let down on Sunday). Since Merr usually doesn’t let Sam eat seafood when he goes to Charleston because she despises it, and since Robert and I both like it, Merr sucked it up and we went to a crab house for a late dinner. It was easy to tell that Sam hadn’t had seafood in while because homeboy hammered down on some crab legs.

After our double date, Merrick took us to a church that had been turned into a bar.  This, of course, sparked multiple questions from all four of us: “Are the booths made of old pews? Where did the priest used to stand? What is the shining light behind the stained glass windows? Is it sacrilegious to be cheering for a football game and drinking Bud Lights while a guitarist plays Pearl Jam in a former house of God?”

The drive home on Sunday wasn’t too bad, but I was sad to leave my sister, Robert, Sam and Charleston. I think the next time that the Fab 4 will reunite will be around Thanksgiving and, “I don’t like it.”