Tag Archives: Family

Christmas Recap

Christmas 2014 was one for the books. We stayed around the Upstate, but we were able to see and spend time with both of our families over the holiday.

On Christmas Eve, we ate an early dinner with my dad’s side of the family. After dinner, Andrew and I came home and watched Christmas Vacation, a must-watch for me during the holiday season. I’m pretty sure my brother can quote the entire movie.

On Christmas morning, Andrew and I woke up and opened up our gifts from each other. Big gifts for Andrew were a new golf club and a USA soccer jersey. My big gift was a Kate Spade watch.

We headed over to my parents house mid-morning to eat brunch and open gifts with them.
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On Christmas afternoon, we drove to Clemson to spend time with Andrew’s parents.We actually celebrated Christmas with his family a few weeks ago while his brother and his wife were in town, but we enjoyed breakfast for dinner with his parents on Christmas.We also finished up one of our projects, a second bench for our farmhouse table, while we were there.

We missed seeing the rest of his family for Christmas, but we’re heading down to his brother’s new home in Myrtle Beach next weekend to spend time with them and work on some house projects.

The day after Christmas, we celebrated with my mom’s side of the family. All of the cousins were able to be there, which is always fun. As everyone gets older and starts getting married and having kids, I realize that it’s harder for everyone to juggle schedules and get together like this. I’m so thankful we were able to be together and don’t want to take these times for granted.

The annual cousin picture is always entertaining. I’m honestly not sure if we’ve ever gotten a picture with everyone looking at the camera with their eyes open. I think we did pretty well this year, but the first picture gives you an idea of what it takes to get everyone in place for the picture.

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I’m ready to do it all over again! Here’s to the 2015 Christmas countdown!

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Life in the Lowcountry

Andrew and I just got back from spending a few days in the lowcountry of South Carolina. We started our trip by heading to Charleston around lunchtime on Friday for a wedding I was in this past weekend for one of my college friends.

I met Lindsay, the bride, my freshman year of college when I auditioned for one of Clemson’s a cappella choirs. I had to audition in front of the current choir (talk about intimidating), and Lindsay was one of those members. Thankfully, I made the choir and also made dear friends along the way through the a cappella choir and a larger choir we were part of. I refer to them as my “singing friends,” and it’s like a real life episode of Glee when we hangout! They’re so fun!

Lindsay and her husband met while getting their master’s degrees at the College of Charleston. They have multiple degrees in music and are extremely talented. I always tell her that their kids are going to be so talented – they can just have a little family band! Since Kyle and Lindsay are both music people, I knew music was going to be a major part of the wedding. Let me tell you – they did not disappoint. During the ceremony, a 20 person choir sang two songs, both of which were songs we sang in choir at Clemson. I’ve never heard more beautiful music at a wedding ceremony. It gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes.

The reception was at the Francis Marion hotel in downtown Charleston. Momentum Party Band played at the reception, and they had people dancing from their very first note until the end. I had never been to a reception with a live band before, but I’m a major fan now. Lindsay and Kyle even got up on stage and performed!  I’m not talking about some drunken, karaoke performance – they sounded incredible! I mean, who does that?

I hardly took any pictures all weekend – guess that means I was having a lot of run, right? I posted a few below. The music cake and the guitar pictured were from the rehearsal dinner. Isn’t that the coolest cake? They also had all their guests sign the guitar, which I thought was really unique.

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All the bridesmaids on the way to the ceremony at St. Andrew’s Church in Mount Pleasant.

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After the reception, Andrew and I drove to Fripp Island where my family was vacationing for the week. Since we were already in that part of the state, we decided to add a few days to our trip to enjoy the beach. We had never been to Fripp Island before, but we loved it. It’s very private and we had the most perfect weather – breezy and sunny, without being too hot. Fripp Island also has deers everywhere – they walk right up to the yard and remain completely unfazed when cars drive by.

I love the beach and it was great to spend time with family and have a few days of down time at the end of a busy month. Definitely wishing we were still there!

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BEach 3

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Beach 2

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Wedding Weekend in Banner Elk, NC: Part 2

We woke up to the sound of rain on Katie and Mitchell’s wedding day. They had a backup plan in case of rain, but they were really hoping to be able to get married in the gazebo. Apparently the Lord just wanted to send a few “showers of blessings” as Katie’s Nana would say, because everything cleared up by late morning.

The girls headed over to Nana’s house to get ready while the boys went out for breakfast. Katie put together a little breakfast for us to enjoy while we got ready. And yes, you read that right, the bride made breakfast for us. We’ve all embraced the fact that Katie can’t stay out of the kitchen, and we just go with it at this point. The girl loves to cook and serve people.

Part of our breakfast consisted of pastries from Stick Boy Bread Company in Boone, NC. Let me tell you, they were to die for. I’m not usually a big chocolate fan, especially for breakfast, but I could eat one of those chocolate croissants (pictured below) every morning.

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Everything was so relaxed as we ate and got ready together. We joked that if we did end up running a little bit late, it didn’t really matter since there were just 11 of us.

Katie wore her mom’s wedding dress.  Here’s a few pictures my mom snapped of the original dress when Katie went to get it altered.  They’re a little fuzzy, but you can see that the dress went through a huge transformation. Katie decided to cut off the dress,  get rid of the sleeves, and add spaghetti straps.

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I snapped a few photos on my iPhone that I’ve included below, but I didn’t take the nice camera since Katie worked with  Katie Langley Photography to capture her day. Katie (photographer) was so laid back and easy to work with. We were all using our iPhones to snap a few photos to send to friends and family who weren’t there, and she was so sweet about letting us take our non-professional iPhone photos while she snapped away. She kept saying “your photos are just as important as mine,” even though that’s not necessarily true and hers are going to be so much better than ours. We’re all so excited to see them!

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Her dress came out beautifully, and she looked stunning in it. These pictures don’t do justice to how great she looked in it – it couldn’t have fit her any better.

The ceremony was sweet and simple. We cut cake, toasted them, took pictures, and then they were on their way! They honeymooned in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and based on the few pictures they’ve posted, everything looks beautiful!

We spent the rest of the weekend exploring Banner Elk, Boone, and Blowing Rock with Katie’s family. Katie’s parents actually met in Banner Elk, so they showed us all these cute little places to eat and shop. Driving around up there was so pretty. I took a few photos, but they don’t come close to showing how breathtaking the views were.

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We were sad to come down the mountain and get back to reality, but I guess that has to happen at some point, doesn’t it? Everything went by too fast, but it was such a sweet time spent with family.

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Wedding Weekend in Banner Elk, NC: Part 1

We had such a great Memorial Day weekend. My brother got married on Friday, and it was a beautiful, simple, laid back wedding. Katie and Mitchell both wanted a small wedding, so they decided to do a intimate ceremony with immediate family in Banner Elk, NC. We’re celebrating with extended family back in Greenville in a few weeks once they get back from their honeymoon and have a few days to get settled.

Katie’s mom grew up in Banner Elk, and her grandparents still live there today. I’ve been to the area in the wintertime since there are a few ski resorts nearby, but I’ve never been during their off-season. It’s the cutest little mountain town. It was about 10 degrees cooler than Greenville without the stifling humidity. I don’t know if I could get used to all the windy roads up there, but I sure loved that mountain air.

Katie and Mitchell chose to get married at the gazebo where Katie’s parents had their wedding reception. We all met up Thursday for their “rehearsal.” The rehearsal didn’t take too long since there were only a few people involved, so we had plenty of time to scope out the area and take lots of pictures. Everything was so green and beautiful!

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After we finished all our rehearsing and picture taking, we had dinner at Jackalope’s View at Archer’s Mountain Inn. Dinner was delicious and the restaurant overlooked an amazing view of the mountains. I’m kicking myself for not taking any pictures.

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I  just love this picture of our new family!

Stay tuned for part 2…

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Cinco de Mayo Wedding Shower

The second shower I helped host this weekend was a combined lingerie shower for Katie and one of her close friends, Reagan.  Katie had one request for the shower – she thought it would be fun to do a Mexican-themed shower since it was right before Cinco de Mayo. “Mexican” may not be the first theme that comes to mind when you think of a lingerie shower, but it turned out really pretty and everyone had a great time. There were no tacky hot pink and black feather boas to be found, and it was fun to throw such a unique shower.

We had the food catered from Two Chefs on Pelham Road (where Katie works). Everything was delicious. I was in charge of decorating. I borrowed some colored vases and the huge flowers from a family friend who does a lot of decorating. We filled the other vases with fresh flowers from Whole Foods. The galvanized silver pieces we used for the drink station were items from Katie’s registry that my mom picked up for her at the Pottery Barn outlet a few weeks ago. We thought it would be fun to use them for the shower and then tell her they were actually for her to keep.

The “tablecloth” is actually a hammock that I bought on a mission trip to Ecuador in 2007. My mom and Katie were both on the trip with me, and this is where we first got to know Katie. My brother was 16 at the time, and while he wasn’t really interested in having a girlfriend back then, my mom and I just loved Katie and thought he would really enjoy hanging out with her. We don’t necessarily take credit for them getting together, but they started hanging out as friends after that trip. It wasn’t too long until they started dating, and now they are getting married in less than three weeks! We just love Katie and can’t wait for her to officially be part of our family.

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The beautiful brides-to-be!

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Lake Days

We spent this weekend relaxing, reading, and playing on the lake with my family. And yes, I enjoy reading while I lay out at the lake. My siblings  make fun of me – it’s not that weird, is it?

Here’s a few shots to sum up our weekend…

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Kinley played a lot of fetch.

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She also got to practice diving into the lake a lot. She can swim just fine, but we put the life jacket on her because she hasn’t exactly mastered getting up the ladder, so we use it to pull her out of the water.

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Cute husband.

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Spiderman husband.

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Autumn got to spend the weekend with us, which we always love.  Autumn was my family’s foster child for a year and a half, but  she got adopted by a wonderful family that lives less than five minutes away from my parents, so thankfully we still get to see her a good bit. She was also the flower girl in our wedding. Isn’t she cute?

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My brother throwing my sister into the water. This seemed to happen a lot.

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I put together a sequence of Kinley jumping in. Don’t look too close because you’ll see my mistakes.

I took all these photos with my brother’s Canon t3i that he let me play around with, which turned out to be a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I really, really liked it. Bad because now I want one, and they aren’t exactly cheap. Maybe I’ll ask for that for the next five birthdays and Christmases. Ok, it’s not that expensive, but still.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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