Sunday, August 30, 2009

One last bash before they go...

We've known that moving day was eventually going to come. It has loomed overhead for the past 6 months or so. But since the date was so up in the air, it really felt like it would never happen.

Last Thursday, my friend Brittany got the phone call she's been anxiously awaiting for months now. The moving company scheduled the furniture pick up for tomorrow. Yeah, its that soon.

It definitely hasn't hit the kids full force yet. I think at first it will just seem like they are on vacation for a few weeks, like they did back in the summer. Its inconceivable to imagine that Brittany and Matt won't be here to celebrate Brian's 35th birthday with us later this month, or that Ashlan and Kyler won't be trick-or-treating with us.

I keep telling myself we'll visit. Its only 6 hours. They'll still have a house here that they'll have to come back to every once in a while. But I know its not the same.

Tomorrow, moving day, is actually Ashlan's 7th birthday. We were fortunate enough to celebrate with them before they left. Its a very fitting ending to this chapter in our lives. We first became friends almost exactly one year ago because Ashlan invited us to her 6th Birthday party.

And since Kyler turned 4 earlier in August, it was a double celebration:

Happy Birthday guys!

The kids had so much fun for hours! Okay, so maybe they weren't actually supposed to be in Jeremy's truck bed, but I did make them get out after I snapped the picture :)

Everyone was all smiles the entire time they played:

I've never seen a swing set so well loved before! All the kids just gravitate towards it as soon as they come.

I could just take pictures of this cutie all day long. Of course, its taken her over 9 months to finally smile at me!

Not only are we thankful for the friendships we've made with Ashlan's family, but also all the people we've met through them!

I honestly don't know what we are going to do afterschool from now on without our favorite friends! Thank goodness for email and cell phones, right? And its only a 6 hour drive!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School Firsts

A week ago, on Tuesday, marked the official "Back to School" season for my kids. Here, however, the schools actually let 3K and 4K start a week later due to home visits. So, last week Jaina started school and today was Jayce's first day.

Jaina was "stylie" in her Hello Kitty backpack. "Stylie" is a word Jaina invented when she was 3.

Jaina and her new teacher:

After the kids arrive at school, they are told to sit in the hallway and look at Hundred Book Challenge books:

Little brother needed his picture taken, too!

Finally, finally, it was Jayce's turn to start school.

In the car, ready to go! (excuse the blurry picture please!)

Jayce was all smiles when we got out of the car in the parking lot. He gave me lots of "cheeses" as he calls it!

The kids don't really have any desks, so to say. But they do have a writing center. Jayce's first task on his picture schedule was writing and he sat right down without missing a beat!

On the bus, he got to sit next to his old friend Jonathan, who used to be in his class last year but is now in another class.

In fact, he loved riding the bus so much, he didn't stop talking about it all afternoon :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are you done with beach pictures already?

'Cause boy, am I feeling done with beach pictures!

As soon as I get home from a trip or an activity, I can't WAIT to blog about it. Life usually gets in the way, however, and it might be days or weeks before I can upload pictures, edit, resize, and pick the ones to make it on the blog. By then, I'm over it. The excitement has faded. All the words I had in my head all ready to type out to go along with the pictures have long since faded from my brain.

Our beach trip feels a million light years ago. Since we've returned, our family has done back-to-school shopping, revamped therapy schedules, registered for school, had soccer evaluations, hung out with our friends that are moving (in two weeks!), and taken a trip to ATL to see my parents one last time. Oh, and Jaina started her very first day of Second Grade already.

So why am I still blogging about the beach?

I only have one post left before I can transfer all the beach pictures onto our server to be viewed on our website. I thought about skipping it, but our little side trip to Charleston was just as important as any of the days at Pawley's.

After this, I'm done... I promise!

Charleston has always been labeled "The Holy City" in my mind ever since my first visit in the Fall of 1997. I was a college Freshman without a car. When my new best friends Farrell and Shelley asked me to go with them to a concert festival in Charleston, I quickly said YES! That was where I saw Jump Little Children for the very first time and fell in love with both the band and the city.

When Brian said he wanted to visit Charleston on the way back from Pawley's, I immediately imagined touring the historic Dock Street Theatre, stopping by 27 Cumming Street for a picture, eating at Jestine's Kitchen, listening to street musicians busk on the corner.

Brian had a completely different Charleston experience in his mind.

Our first stop was the Battery. There you could see actual cannons used in the revolutionary war.

I've never been to the beach in Charleston, mainly because the majority of the JLC shows I went to were in the Fall or in the dead of winter. I was sad to realize that the water seemed very dirty and smelly next to the battery. I have been told that the beaches near Edisto and Isle of Palms are not like that.

Brian and the kids pose for a picture sitting on one of the historic statues that serves as a marker for the battles that were fought there:

Jaina loved climbing the century-old trees near the gazebo:

Jayce didn't like it so much:

After the battery, we decided to try to walk to our next location. It didn't seem very far at all on Brian's blackberry GPS. HA! That's what we get for trusting technology! After walking for almost a mile and not being anywhere near our destination, we trekked back to the car to drive there instead. But our walk was beautiful:

We passed historic homes painted all colors of the rainbow. We passed ornate iron gates and fences.

We passed walls of english ivy and kudzu:

While we were walking, we passed the famous (to me and all other Opiates) restaurant, Jestine's Kitchen. I'm willing to bet that each member of Jump, Little Children and each of their many followers has partaken in the traditional southern food of Jestine's time and time again. I have no idea why there was a line at almost 3:00 PM in the afternoon though.

But the city is not considered holy just for me.

Did you know that the original portrait of Stephen Colbert rests on the walls at the Sticky Fingers restaurant in down town Charleston? Either you already knew that or you really just don't care, but to Brian, this was one must see attraction.

While we were waiting, Jayce entertained us by parroting an iCarly episode where Spencer drinks ketchup because a Magic 8 Ball told him to:

Jaina worked diligently on the word find from the kids menu:

So we decided to order dessert:

Jayce had an ABSOLUTE fit when he found out that we weren't getting chicken and fries, which to him, is the only thing you can get at a restaurant. No matter how many times we reminded him that he had chicken and fries just two hours earlier at Chick-fil-a, he would not calm down. We had to take him from the restaurant in tears where he cried all the way back to the car.

Of course, we ALL had to get our picture taken with the famous portrait:

I've never felt like more of a dork for some reason. Or maybe, just like a tourist!

Friday, August 21, 2009


I'm sure you can spot the "Nemo" fish from the movie. Jayce was just thrilled!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Broadway on the Beach

Whenever we go to Pawley's, we always take one day to drive North to Myrtle Beach to see the sights. This year we planned just to walk around the boardwalk and find a place to eat and maybe do some shopping. All that changed as soon as Jaina found out there was a Build-a-Bear workshop there.

We got to the shop to find a line outside the door. What? Dude, its a stuffed animal store, Not that exciting. There is one in every major city. Even Greenville has one!

Supposedly the Myrtle Beach location has the highest sales in the South East. Patrons wait for up to 2 hours to even get in the store! So I told Brian that we were lucky to be in and out in 40 minutes :)

Jayce really got a kick out of building a bear this time, even though he's been before. His bear's name is Sweetart (coincidently, it was the name of the candy I was feeding him in line to keep him happy and distracted) and he dressed him in a Batman costume. Jaina's dog (yes, her 3rd from Build a Bear) is named..... Alli. If I had a dime for every stuffed animal dog she owns named Alli, I'd have a whole lotta dimes!