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 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.”

Baby Girl Is Graduating!

As I sit in Tampa wide-awake when I should be getting rest for my early media briefing tomorrow morning, I can’t help but think about how excited I am to see my baby sister, Merrick, graduate from Clemson University on Friday.

My sister is my best friend. We understand each other on a level that no one else possibly can. Our phone and text conversations would seem as if they’re in code for anyone else listening or reading them. It was a big adjustment for both of us to part ways when I moved to Atlanta after spending almost every waking moment together for our overlapping two years at Clemson. But, we’ve made the best of it with in-person visits, Facetime sessions, 5+ phone calls a day and 15+ texts a day. As Merr embarks upon this next chapter in her life, it will again be a big adjustment, but I’m confident that our relationship will grow even stronger (and the text message correspondence will most likely increase).

On Friday, our family will be attending Merrick’s graduation ceremony at the beautiful Littlejohn Coliseum and Robert and Sam will join us for dinner afterwards at a nice restaurant in Clemson.  Then… it’s celebration time at a Clemson staple, The Esso.

Merrick’s worked so hard over the past four years to make good grades, learn through internships and apply to top medical universities to reach her final goal of getting into the Medical University of South Carolina.  MUSC is in Charleston, S.C. and Merr will be heading down there for good on Sunday.  She’ll be living with her best friend/next-door neighbor/fellow Bramblewood Monkey, Ansley in a cute apartment within walking distance of MUSC.

At MUSC, Merr will be studying physical therapy and will ultimately end up with a doctorate degree after three years of schooling and rotations combined. It’s going to be weird to hear people refer to her as Doc, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it quickly.

Words can’t express how happy and proud I am of my sister. She is the smartest, most put-together, beautiful young woman thatI know and I know she’ll rock it at MUSC. I can’t wait to visit her. Watch out Chucktown, Little Blondie is going to take over!

Madison and Merrick