35 & 36: Hendersonville Shower & Lilly Crazies

Weeks 35 and 36 FLEW by! I swear, every time I turn around, it’s Sunday and we’re another week closer to meeting our miracle.

After starting to research my questions about birth online and via the What to Expect app, I realized it may be best to try and take a pre-birth class with Robert. I tried getting into one with the hospital where I’ll deliver, but they were booked for the full month of April! So, I ended up signing us up for a class on the only Saturday that we had available in April at another local hospital. I knew that I’d learn a lot, but I truly didn’t realize that Robert would appreciate the class as much as he did. We both had our questions answered and thought it was well-worth our time afterward.

We cut out of the class a little early to head to a wedding for one of our next door neighbors. We unfortunately missed the wedding, but made it to the reception at Holly Tree. It was such a beautiful night to celebrate the love of two people- one whom I’ve known since I was 7. Our whole family danced the night away and of course popped into some selfie stick pics…

That Tuesday after I reached 35 weeks, Robert and I took a guided tour of the Greenville Memorial Hospital where I’ll deliver our precious pumpkin. 🙂 They showed us the three separate rooms that I’d occupy during my stay there. We saw the different rooms, figured out where to go when we arrive and learned what we should make sure to bring. Although I grew up in Greenville, I never remember going to the hospital, so I felt way more comfortable after our visit.

Right before I hit 36 weeks, my in-laws threw Robert and me a shower in Hendersonville and invited their family and friends from the area to attend. Robin held it at Never Blue in downtown Hendersonville and everything about the afternoon was perfect. The food, company and location were all wonderful. It was great seeing Robert’s extended family and friends as we haven’t made it up to Hendersonville since the beginning of the year. The overwhelming support that we’ve received from family and friends over my pregnancy is very humbling and makes both of us feel so good.

That next morning, I picked my mom up at her house at 7 a.m. and drove to the Target in Simpsonville to stand in line for the Lilly for Target frenzy. We stood in line (in the rain) for a good 45 minutes before the store opened. We had to have been close to #30 in line. When those doors opened, the ladies in line made a mad dash for all of the Lily stuff! My mom and I stood like deer in headlights while these wild women grabbed everything in sight. The news said that everything was gone in 15 minutes, but at our Target, everything was scarfed up within 30 seconds! I came out of Target with toilet paper that we needed for the house. 🙂 I’m fortunate that I have a crazy enough mom to agree to stand in line and stop with me for silly clothes. Merrick ended up snagging some really cute things in Mount Pleasant because her store was stocked with way more than ours.

Catching Fireflies.

We celebrated Kristin’s last few weeks as a “single woman” in Savannah in late June. Her MOH and cousin, Shannon, booked a cute condo in downtown Savvy and we walked to The Bohemian for dinner and then Savannah Smiles for a night full of dancing, singing (screaming) and celebrating K Cox. It’s very rare that I hang out with all women (as most of the time, I’m with Robert), but it’s really nice to change it up a bit. We talked and laughed into the early hours of Saturday morning, reminiscing about our times at Clemson, recounting old spring break trips and discussing millions of wedding deets.

Girls at Savannah Smiles for KC's Bach!

Girls at Savannah Smiles for KC’s Bach!

I hopped up early Saturday morning and drove to Robert’s in Hendersonville to get ready for Cheen’s wedding.  Cheen lived three doors down from my family’s house on Bramblewood growing up. When I think of Cheen, I remember sleepovers, lemonade stands, her lab George, sledding down her driveway and visiting her Folly Beach house. She looked gorgeous walking down the aisle and it was fun reconnecting with her during the reception. We had a blast dancing at the reception. It’s pretty fun when you’re whole family is out on the dance floor tearing it up. At the end of the night my mom’s feet hurt her so badly that Robert carried her out of the Poinsett Club like a baby.  I’m pretty sure that when your fiancé carries your mom out of the reception at the end of the party, you can call that night a success. We ended up going out in downtown Greenville, met up with some old friends and even made a new, crazy one.

Family.

Family.

Compilation of the fun at Cheen's wedding

Compilation of the fun at Cheen’s wedding

On Sunday, Robert and I headed back to Hendo for some R&R. I was exhausted after more than 700 miles of driving around the southeast. Late that night, we sat on Robert’s front porch in the pitch black and watched (and caught) the millions of lightening bugs as the swarmed his yard. It was a perfect way to wind down a whirlwind weekend.

January.

January was packed with two trips to Boise for work, an unplanned single ski trip while out West, two trips to Hendersonville to see Robert, watching the Super Bowl playoffs at Martha’s, an NYC visitor, a day off for the remembrance of Martin Luther King, a fun night out in Buckhead and finally measuring myself for bridesmaid dresses.

The pictures below briefly explain most of my January:

Downtown Asheville with Brit

Downtown Asheville with Brit

Bench outside of a cute restaurant in Hendo.

Bench outside of a cute restaurant in Hendo.

Buckhead night out

Buckhead night out

The girls out in Buckhead

The girls out in Buckhead

The temperature in Minneapolis on my way home from Boise... lovely.

The temperature in Minneapolis on my way home from Boise… lovely.

Solo skiing at Bogus Basin while out in Boise.

Solo skiing at Bogus Basin while out in Boise.

Boise Stampede game for work

Boise Stampede game for work

Mountain Weekend in Asheville

A few weeks ago, my roommates, sister, Brandon, Parks and Sam joined Robert and me for a mountain weekend in North Carolina.  It was a great way to kick-start the Fall season and spend a little bit of time OTP (outside the perimeter).

On Friday, Robert grilled out ribs and Merr and Sam made shish kabobs for the group at Robert’s house in Hendersonville. It was such a crisp, cool night and my pyro-man, Robert, built a big bonfire for us. I love seeing him drag limbs/wood to feed the fire- he always seems totally in his element. We blared music, danced and screamed lyrics to 90’s songs all night while dressed in sweatshirts, jeans and boots. (I love Fall.)  Good thing Robert doesn’t have close neighbors because the singing (screaming) voices of Margo, Merr, Lauren and myself would probably drive them nutso.

Bonfire + Dancing

We woke up at a fairly decent hour on Saturday and everyone quickly (and surprisingly) got ready to head into Asheville for the day/night.  I rocked my side braid, new little brown booties, side purse and hippie printed skirt to walk around the city. I fit right in. We stopped at Biltmore Park to grab lunch (and blue moons, obvi) at Hickory Tavern and then continued into the downtown area.

While the guys shot pool and watched football at an Asheville bar, Merr and I took Lauren and Margo to the cute boutique dress shops around town.  There is a major difference between boutiques in A-ville and boutiques in the ATL. While most boutiques in ATL show dresses appropriate for cocktail parties and college football gamedays, most Asheville boutiques show dresses appropriate for attending outdoor concerts and festivals.

Girls in Asheville!

Mountain Man and Madison

We met up with the guys and then all headed to the hotel to check in and get ready for the night. By 8:30, we were ready to go again. We headed to a Cuban restaurant for a little fiesta and then to Scully’s for drinks. After we chilled on the back porch for a while, everyone got the itch to dance, so we headed to Mags for the live band and watched a bachelorette dance a pretty planned out routine to “Billy Jean”.  One of my favorite things to do when we go out is dance with Robert. He constantly twirls me, we make up random moves and rarely leave the dance floor. 🙂

On Sunday morning, we all woke up, packed up our stuff and headed to Cracker Barrel. After breakfast, I’m pretty sure two thoughts were running through everyone’s  heads: “Why don’t we go to Cracker Barrel more often?” and “I’m tired.” I’m so thankful that Branny drove the ATL girls back to the big city.  But I’m even more thankful that Branny and Lauren kept the “Jackson 5” Pandora station on a low volume so that the two princesses could sleep in the backseat.

Amazing August

Summer seriously flew right by me. I feel like the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day was gone before I even had the chance to get a solid summer tan.  My roommates and I talk about the issue of time flying by all the time, but our overall feeling is that we have so many things going on that it’s hard to not focus on “what’s next.” This summer, and especially August, I tried to slow it down and focus on the present as opposed to looking towards the next week or weekend. Below is a quick recap of my August.

Asheville: During the second weekend of August, I visited Hendersonville and coincidentally, my sister was on her med-school summer break, so she and Sam joined.  On Friday night, we ventured into downtown Hendersonville to play pool and somehow wound up in the middle of an after-party of a rehearsal dinner.  This was a new experience for me because the soon-to-be newlyweds were two men. We mingled with the guests, well-wished the grooms and headed back home.

Merr and me in Hendo.

Instead of sticking around Hendo on Saturday, Robert and I decided to spend the day/night in Asheville. We headed up in the Jeep and checked-in to the Crown Plaza (za za za za) before exploring Asheville in the daylight.  We went into all of the cute shops, listened to the street singers and admired the street performers.  Merrick and Sam met us for lunch/drinks at LAB and then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.  After a drink at the downstairs bar, Robert and I got all dressed up and headed back to downtown Asheville for a nice Italian dinner.  I love our quiet dinners because it gives us both a chance to relax and talk about random things.  After dinner, we went to a few bars and walked around the lit city. It was a beautiful night and I don’t think that we could have asked for better one-on-one time. 🙂

Date night in Asheville!

Big 10 Pub Crawl- My roommate, Lauren, went to Penn State.  When she moved to Atlanta, she became part of the Big Ten Alumni Association and recruited us to celebrate the Fall football season kick-off with a The Big Ten Pub Crawl in Buckhead.  Now, it’s become a tradition for us. The Big Ten Pub Crawl always benefits a charity and is filled with football spirit, excited fans and wonderful beer/food specials.

This year, Lauren chose to co-chair the Big Ten Pub Crawl and started working on it in February.  When she was searching for a charity to serve as the recipient of the funds raised at the pub crawl, Lauren asked me if YES!Atlanta would be interested.  I immediately said YES! 🙂 I serve on as the public relations chair on YES!Atlanta’s board.  YES!Atlanta is a non-profit organization that seeks to enhance the lives of at-risk teenagers through mentorships.  One of its main goals is to lower the drop-out rate of inner-city high school teens.

So, this year’s Big Ten Pub Crawl benefitted YES!Atlanta.  It was held in midtown and raised more than $17,000. Lauren did a great job and I’m so proud of the amount of money that she and her co-chair were able to raise!

Group of girlfriends at the Big Ten Pub Crawl

YES!Atlanta + Big Ten

Company offsite– On Friday, Aug. 24, my company held our off-site retreat at Dad’s Garage where we attended “Spy School.”  At the offsite, I was able to get to know my colleagues better and use my creativity.  Afterwards, we went to Barcelona Wine Bar for drinks and appies and I got the chance to talk to my colleagues in a different, more relaxed type of setting.  Robbie and I will definitely be going back to BWB in the Fall to sit by the outdoor fire and drink wine. Oh la laaaaa.  The offsite was such a nice and fun way to spend my Friday.

What’s been going on?

In the past few weeks, my journey as an almost 24-year-old has taken me to NYC, Hendersonville, Asheville, Atlanta,  Hiawassee, San Diego and finally back to Atlanta.

I went to NYC the weekend before Father’s Day for work and had some time to walk around the city after work. I saw some cool sites, did a little bit of shopping and came to the realization that I’m not sure that I could live in the Big Apple. I like to have my car, an affordable living space and my family close by. That’s not saying that I’ll never live there. Who knows? 🙂  On my flight back, I traded my seat with a man so that he could sit with his family, and, in turn, he gave me his business class ticket. I was treated like a queen, feed shrimp and chicken, sat in a reclined chair that massaged my back and had a great conversation with my seatmate.  I felt like a pampered brat, and I loved every second of it.  I really need to work on my Delta Medallion status so that I can fly business class for all of my trips.

Times Square in NYC

For Father’s Day, my parents spent the weekend in a condo on a beautiful golf course in Hendersonville. It was perfect because I was able to travel to one place to see my family and Robert at the same time.  We met for drinks on Friday in Hendersonville, I played golf with Robert on Saturday and we met my family for dinner and drinks on Saturday night in Asheville. It was such a nice weekend in the mountains and I hated leaving my family and Robert.

Two weekends ago, Robert invited me up to the lake that his family frequents throughout the summer, Lake Chatuge.  It’s a gorgeous lake surrounded by North Georgia/North Carolina mountains in Hiawassee, Georgia.  I took a flex day on Friday and met Robert at the lake since it was a ½ way meeting point for us both.  Robbie pulled up in his new sleek new Jeep and I immediately asked if I could have his car… then I remembered that it’s a manual. At some point, I’ll learn how to drive a stick shift and feel comfortable enough to drive it down Peachtree. 🙂

On Lake Chatuge

We went to the marina on Friday night and ate/drank at the Tiki bar (not to be confused with the Lake Keowee Tiki Hut), listened to a country music from an “up-and-coming star” and met a couple of the locals. One local brought his dog, Kona, to the bar and showed Robert and me all of the dog’s tricks.  Kona was our friend for the whole night and the rest of the weekend. I accidentally fed him a whole chicken wing when his owner wasn’t looking, but I think he was alright. Whoops.  On Saturday, we took the boat out, Robert showed me around the lake, and we lounged in the cool, mountain water under the blazing sun. We got ready and took the boat back to the Tiki for dinner where we listened to the country music star and played with Kona again.  On Sunday, Robert took me for a boat ride and then I packed up my stuff and headed back to ATL to catch a flight to San Diego.

Robert and Kona

My flight to San Diego was easy-breezy, and I arrived at my hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter around 7 p.m. PST. Since it was beautiful out, I decided to go for a run along the bay. It was one of the most peaceful, relaxing runs that I think I’ve ever experienced.  The weather was a cool 75 degrees and it didn’t take me long to get in the zone. I was in meetings all day Monday and went to dinner on Monday night with my co-workers. We grabbed sushi, and I stepped out of my box and tried a few new dishes…which I loved! I fell in love with everything about San Diego (weather, shopping, dining, people,etc.) in my short 36-hour trip.  I hope that I’ll get to visit again soon.

View from my run in San Diego

Last weekend was a total ATL weekend. A bunch of us met up at my friend Maggie’s gorgeous 14th story apartment in midtown and then headed to Ri Ra.  I’d never been to Ri Ra, and it was so much fun! On Saturday, Robert and I went to the pool with our friends Danielle and Jessica and then went on a date night in Decatur. We weren’t too thrilled with Decatur.  It’s not that it was bad, but I was comparing it to Virginia Highlands (my obsession) and it just didn’t have the same feel, the same cute shops or the same kind of hipster-esque people.  We ate at a cute, cute, cute restaurant called No. 246 and I felt as though I was Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere (partly because I was wearing flowy maxi dress and partly because the restaurant was so quaint and simple).  We loved our waiter and went home with smiles on our faces.

For the Fourth of July holiday, we tried our best (kind of) to go to the Braves game, but it started DOWNPOURING 15 minutes into our tailgate sesh. So, instead, we skirted on back to Buckhead and ended up at Pool Hall.  Is this scenario surprising anyone? Yeah, I didn’t think so. At Pool Hall, we danced, pretended to be DJ’s and did the wobble.  On the 4th, I spent the day with Laurs, Branny and Josh. We swam all day, ate Fat Matt’s BBQ for dinner and watched the Lenox fireworks while shouting out the shapes that each explosion made: “STAR!”, “SHAMROCK!”, “SMILEYFACE!”.

Out the night before the 4th

These past few weeks have been a blur with travel and activities, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I was going to apologize for rambling on about my past few weeks in such a long blog post, but I realized… this is my platform, right?

So sorry, I’m not sorry.

Travel Tales: Hendo and San Diego

Hendo…

Two weeks ago, Robert’s family went to Water Island, so he had to stay home in Hendersonville to take care of his family’s dogs. I trucked on up to Hendo after work on Friday and we ate Japanese take-out and lounged since we both had long weeks at work. On Saturday, Robert planned a hike for us in the Pisgah National Forest called the Daniel Ridge Loop Trail.   It was a loop, but we started on the side of the trail that took us directly up hill for most of the hike (by chose, I mean we blindly took the trail to the right).  We saw a gorgeous waterfall and met some mountain bikers on our walk.  The weather was perfect, but my favorite parts of the hike were our conversations.  While Robert and I were walking in the woods, there were no distractions and nothing in particular to steer our conversations, so the communication flew very freely about a million different topics.

Daniel Ridge Falls

On Sunday, I helped Robert pick out colors for the exterior of his house (which was surprisingly fun).  We picked out a dark grey for his front porch poles, light grey for the siding, a dark cream for the lining and RED for the front door!  I helped him paint the poles on his front porch while we blared country music and laughed at our lack of perfection. I headed out around 4 to catch my flight from Asheville to San Diego…

Robert painting away…

San Diego…

I left Asheville on Sunday afternoon, had a connecting flight in ATL and then took off to Cali on Sunday evening. I spent a total of 30 hours in the city of San Diego, but it was definitely worth it. I staffed a couple of media briefings, worked from my hotel room for most of the day, and then explored the city that night. I found the city to be very clean and I enjoyed walking around the shops in the Gaslamp Quarter.  I returned back into Asheville on Tuesday, grabbed dinner with Robbie and headed back to the A.

Cool art in San Diego