Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sick Day...I mean Day"s"

So last week Ruth Ann went to her first  vacation bible school. Our church doesn't have a class for as young an age group as 3 years old, but my friend Sally's church does so when she invited us we jumped at the opportunity. Growing up my mom was VBS director for several years...this meant VBS was a big part of our summers and always something we looked forward to. As a child I looked forward to the classes and as a teenager I looked forward to picking out what age group I wanted to help out with. My hope is that Ruth Ann grows up loving VBS just as much as I did...but I have no plans of ever being VBS director!

But Ruth Ann brought home more than just some fun new memories...she brought home a summer cold. And since Ruth Ann can't remember to cover her mouth when she coughs with out me reminding her once or hundred times she passed this bug onto her this week we ended up with a ear infection diagnosis for Ruth Ann and croup for Tripp. And let me say there is nothing more sad or scary than hearing your 6 month old baby coughing his little blond head off at 2 am.


Thankfully, we're on our way to recovery...but we're still not 100%. I actually question whether Ruth Ann had an ear infection because as an obnoxious audiologist mom I promptly took Ruth Ann back to my office and my testing doesn't suggest she had fluid in her middle ear, much less an infection. But after consulting my audiology mentor and her ENT hubby I have decided to keep with the antibiotics just in case. Tripp-man seems to be coughing less and less but this is one nasty cough that just seems to be lingering. We're headed to the beach soon so hopefully the warm salt air will be just what he needs!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Good Girl Friends

Whether we're big girls or little girls...a girl has to have some good friends!


You know how there are girls out there who say they just can't be friends with girls...I don't trust those girls. I'm a big believer in having a solid group of girlfriends...I always have been. When I got married my wedding party was a collection of my closest friends from different periods of my life...Kate and I had been friends since we were in the 3rd grade & played countless hours of Barbies growing up together, Mandy and I were high school friends and were often told we could be sisters, Amanda and I were in the same orientation group at Camp War Eagle and then found each other in the same math class on our first day of class our freshman year at Auburn, Candi and I lived together at Auburn for 2 years and I kinda felt like an adopted member of her family, Erin and I were roommates after college and I don't know what I would have done without Andrea during grad school...or even now for that matter! My point is, all these girls knew who each other were, but none of them were really very good friends with each other...the only thing they shared was that they were all special friends to me. I love how at each point in my life God has placed some of the most fabulous girls in my life just when I need them!

Now I'm at a point in my life where most everything I do revolves in some way around my children...and once more God has faithfully put some good girlfriends in my life to share these days with...


I'm so lucky to have these girls and their families in my life. We love seeing each other, our hubbies get along and our kids get along...PERFECT! This is the last picture from our Charleston trip and I want these two ladies to know just how much fun I had spending the weekend with them. On Sunday morning Sally and I were eating breakfast when a group of 3 gray haired ladies stopped in the lobby of our hotel to say their goodbyes to each other. They had clearly just finished a girls weekend and I told Sally I hoped that would be our group one day...but lets drive to Charleston by car when we're their age and not by boat...unless this is the boat that's getting us there.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Charleston Wrap Up

So this will be the last of the blog post on our Charleston trip...and these may be the best pictures yet...

So after the dolphin spotting we stopped at the sand bar on the way back to relax and enjoy the last few hours of our child-free weekend. While we were floating Brantley thought it would be fun to inflate the tube and have Graem pull us behind the boat for a while. When Brantley asked her dear husband to do this for us he announced he had planned on inflating it to surprise us...the tube is huge and the pump he used to inflate it was very loud and we're basically out in the wide open so I'm not sure how he planned on implementing this surprise for us...but we sure appreciated the thought!

The guys were the first to ride...well, just Graem and Justin. Arch only rides the tube for one person and that person is Ruth Ann. Since his riding buddy wasn't there he drove the boat so the other two could have some fun...


To my surprise Sally had never been pulled behind a boat in any way, shape or form. Since she had seen all our kids riding behind boats this summer she felt confident we weren't going to let anything happen to her!



Then we entered a no wake zone and had planned to just let the guys pull us slowly to the other side...but we ended up falling off so we all decided to get on the boat...thank goodness...Sally refers to this a "God Moment" we got close to the end of the no wake zone we spotted this guy crossing the river in front of our boat...


YIKES!! I like my toes so I'm glad we didn't give him a chance to nipple them off!  That ended my desire to do any more water activities...but it didn't stop these three...Brantley was actually the first to get back behind the boat...




As we got closer the lock we were starving...we did pass a small business on a boat half the size of the Clark's selling sandwiches and snacks out of a cooler...but I questioned his DHEC rating so we didn't stop. Then we passed what is clearly the best example of redneck fun at it's finest...


Hangin' out under a bridge by the river on a hot summer's day...I love living in SC!

Okay, I lied, I do have one more picture from Charleston I plan on posting but for the most is finished...and now I'm ready to go again next summer!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

This may be my favorite

2 years ago this summer I started taking sewing classes. I started already knowing how to smock but wanted to be able to put a bishop dress together all by myself. After many, many months of trying I finally can successfully complete a smocked bishop and I've made a few other cute things along the way...but yesterday, I put together what I believe may be the cutest outfit yet...and it's a boy outfit...


I saw some jon-jons on Zulily a few weeks ago with square smocked inserts and I thought they were precious. I had wanted to learn how to put smocked insert into a t-shirt because I think it's another cute way for both boys and girls to wear smocking for a few extra years & this was the perfect way for me to start practicing. I copied this sail boat off a dress Ruth Ann has because I think matching siblings can be compared to making sure your shoes match the rest the just has to be done!

I put this on Tripp this morning and I LOVE IT! I'll be honest and say I was little bummed when I found out I was having a boy because I would have never believed sewing for boys could be fun...but it so is! I'm finding that I think I like sewing for him better because his outfits are not as time consuming or complicated. I love being able to sit down for a few hours and come out with a finished product like these jon-jons. And putting these clothes on the cutest little boy on the planet helps too!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Graem Clark, Dolphin Cruise, Inc.

On our way down to Charleston we were on the look out for dolphins. We saw the occasional flipper surface but when we would get close to them they would scatter. On the way home Sunday morning Sally thought it would be a good idea to cut our music when we got close...perhaps they didn't share our love for the Jack Brown Band/David Allen Coe/Hank Williams Jr Party Mix brought to us by our Music Mix Master, Justin Brown. And you know what...she was right! Thanks to our captain, Graem Clark, and his watchful eyes along with his master navigation of the deck boat we got an up close look at this family of least I like to think of them as a family...maybe they were just a group of good friends coming home from a weekend river trip too! Here's a video with the most action from our dolphin's kinda hard to see here, but they were everywhere and because my video battery died and I don't want to bore you with hours of grown adults saying "Oh my goodness", "Look at that"& "Wow"...I leave you with these 3 minutes of dolphin excitement...

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Thursday, July 21, 2011


Ruth Ann took to her pacie like a natural...but Tripp resisted. I'm a momma who wants her babies to keep a pacie...pacies just make everything all better for a fussy/sleepy/cranky/or for what ever is bothering your baby.

Finally...Tripp has taken to his pacie...


And he loves it...


And I couldn't be more happy!


PS: Is it just me or is he just about the cutest little 6mth old baby boy on the planet??

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Monday, July 18, 2011

We've arrived

After some sight seeing of the Charleston coast line we finally got into the marina...and realized we were way out of our league in regards to our boat size...


Notice the boat on the back of the massive yacht??? There were 2 boats on the back of this yacht with a crane to lift them into the water...I can't even begin to imagine just how much this boat cost.

There were also some ships with names we all liked...


Finally we found our boat slip. Since we had still managed to avoid any rain we decided to venture up the Ashley River to finally start enjoying our relaxing boat trip...


Are you wondering what the inside joke is??? Well, as we were riding up the Ashley River we discovered an extra long dock without a boat we decided this was the perfect place to tie up the Clark's boat...


A big thanks to the family living here...


We enjoyed our time while tied up to your dock.

I didn't carry my camera for much of my time in Charleston...the next picture is from Saturday night when we went out to eat at Amen Street. I wish I had grabbed my camera for our carriage year I won't forget to leave it behind!


PS-this picture makes me wish I was still coloring my hair blonde...I miss my blonde days.

After dinner we went to an Irish pub and Sally & Brantley were invited on stage by these not so kind men...


I say "not so kind" because the big one on the right...which we referred to as Milton (a reference to Office Space)...called me an ugly name because I wouldn't join them on stage...going on stage with the band has NEVER been my thing...even during my college years.

We got here around 10:30...which felt so late me...and it was kinda slow but the later it got the more the place started to fill up & I realized this would have been when we would have arrived 10 years ago when I was closer to 21 than 35 years old. I felt like my age was definitely starting to show!

We got up bright and early the next morning to start our long trip home...from door to door it took close to 12 hours...but lots of fun and memories were made during those 12 hours!

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Smiling Faces & Beautiful Places

If you're from SC, this title sounds familiar...or if you've ever driven behind someone from SC & you've read our license plates...never were there words more true. Riding down the river I kept thinking how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful state.


Even though we knew there were cities and towns miles beyond the grass along the river, it was still neat to think that this view hasn't changed in hundreds of years. It was so peaceful and I think we were all starting to relax even though those dark clouds were still chasing us to Charleston.

As we got closer to Charleston we entered the Charleston Naval yard...part of which is top secret and photography is strictly prohibited...a lesson Brantley learned the hard way last year. I wish I could have taken a picture of the boat that followed us through this area with a machine gun pointed in our direction, but you'll just have to imagine it for yourself!

Then we got an up close look at the Port of Charleston...


Those tiny blocks on the bottom are what we see pulled by 18 wheelers on the interstate...that gives you little perspective as to how large these two pieces of equipment are...and these weren't the only two we saw...they were everywhere!


On this massive ship they look like legos...


And we got a close up look at a tug boat.


And the Ravenel Bridge.

And this is for anyone who was in my Brownie may remember our weekend on the York Town...this hottest weekend of my entire life!


We were lucky enough to have some very generous friends let us use their boat slip at a marina on the Ashley river, so this meant we got to cruise around Charleston and get a boat side view of the city. If you look past all the new buildings on the shore I think it's neat to think those church steeples & homes along the battery are what welcomed sailors before the war between the states...that's for you Brantley :). But I do love a Palmetto tree so they're a nice touch!



The girls went on a carriage ride on Saturday and learned that this house...


Is the Roper house...which is Brantley's maiden name. Her family is an old SC family and we had hopes perhaps she was a direct descendant and we could stay here on all future trips to Charleston...but sadly, the original owners had no children...but maybe is was Great Uncle Roper's house and we could still try to sneak in! After our carriage ride this year I think we're all ready to tour some house museums to see the inside of these beautiful homes!

I've been to Charleston countless times, but going there by boat made me very thankful to live in such a beautiful place...I'm already looking forward to our boat trip next year!

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rollin' down the river

Last summer the Clarks and the Browns invited us to join them on a weekend river trip. Their plan was to go down the river to Charleston and back in two days...sounded fun, but I was 5 months pregnant and the thought of being in the hot sun on a boat with others who were not going to as sober as I didn't sound like my idea of a fun weekend at the hindsight we should have gone because it's a really great trip.

This year when plans started to be made for the 2nd annual river trip the McCarty's were in...but we added a day this year so we could relax one day in Charleston.

We headed out EARLY Friday morning...Arch woke me up at 6:30am asking why I wasn't already out of bed. I sent a text message to Sally and Brantley warning them that the smoke they may see as we approached our meeting point would be coming from Arch since his pants were clearly on fire! This was the first hint that the trip down to Charleston would not be the relaxing cruise I had been expecting. Anyway, we got to the Clark's house, loaded up and headed to Monks Corner, SC...aka, The Middle of Nowhere...and put the boat in at a landing I hope to never visit again for the rest of my life...Adkins Landing...

Although frightening, we did discover some lake side property Arch & I might be able to afford...


This house had this view...


This is Lake Moultrie and this landing is just around the corner from the Pinopolis Dam where you enter the Pinopolis Lock...


Please also note the dark clouds filling the sky...the reason that now all 3 husband's pants were ablaze to get us to Charleston...

If you've never been in a lock it's really is a neat experience...and factor in a lock full of SC rednecks and it becomes a unique experience!

This is the view from the highest point in the lock looking down at the canal below...



We were pretty close to the bottom of the lock when we took this picture...those door in the background are what hold the water back as we were lowered to the level of the river.

Then the doors opened


and we were's a look back at the lock...


Lots of fun was had and I have several more posts to fill you in our weekend of boating fun!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

How we celebrated the 4th

I know this post is a little late, but I had a few cute, funny & very honest pictures from how we celebrated the 4th of July that I wanted to share.

We started off by heading out to the lake with the Brown's to watch the fireworks over Lake Murray on July 2nd...


These two sweet girls snack in the captain and co-captain chairs while their daddy's guided up to our swimming hole.

Then we all swam and relaxed for a little while. Betsy got tired of swimming and mostly wanted to hang out with Tripp in the boat. Ruth Ann and Jay stayed in the water together and these two had quite the conversation...we overheard Jay telling Ruth Ann to hang on to his bathing suit...Dad's monitored the situation from there on out, but let me say that I would over the moon excited if Ruth Ann and Jay Brown were ever to end up CAN NOT find a sweeter little boy!


Then on the 3rd we got up and headed to my in-laws lake house for some more fun on the water...


That's my nephew and my brother-law and then my niece and her friend took the tube for a spin...all the while Ruth Ann cried and begged for a turn. Until this point she didn't even know what tubing was and had never been pulled by the boat...but that didn't stop her from begging like a crazy child...but we waited for the girls to get back before we loaded up...


Then Ruth Ann was off tubing with her Daddy...


She waved to her fans...


And even managed to boss her daddy around with that little sassy finger even while being pulled around the cove...


Then we headed home for naps and showers to head over to the Brown's house. the Brown's have an annual 4th of July party...but Jay's birthday is also on the this year the 4th of July party was on the 3rd and then they had a family b-day party on the 4th...confused, don't's some pictures of how we partied with friends on the 3rd of July...


Ruth Ann did a little snacking and chatting with Betsy wasn't until I sat down to write this post that I realized Ruth Ann and Bets did a lot of eating together over the weekend!

After eating and chatting it was time for games. Sally had several fun games...all of which I didn't really get to see much of since Tripp was with us and it was dinner time for him too. But I did manage to get one picture just before they all raced to get their own flag for the backyard parade...


Ruth Ann got a little confused because 2 days prior to the party we had attended the parade for the she had some high expectations, one being that Grammy was going to be there...this was a more low key affair for the kids to march around the yard to patriotic music while waving their flags!


I love how Jay Brown has his hand on his heart just over Ruth Ann's sweet!

Now for the honest pictures...for those who believe Ruth Ann always cooperates and smiles for pictures, please don't let me fool you...


And for those who don't believe me when I say Ruth Ann has ATTITUDE...please trust me...


Then on the 4th Tripp-man and I stayed home, I cleaned house/he rested, while the rest of my family went back to the lake for Round 3 of lake side fun. I still can't beleive the 4th of July has come and gone...that means one season is right around the corner & I don't know aobut you, but I'm ready to see the defending National Champs take the field! WAR EAGLE!!!

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