May was a great month of traveling and fun, and I didn’t want to return to real life!!
In early May, Matt and I spent a few nights in Orlando for a work conference put on by a tax software company that he uses. We stayed a the Ritz-Carlton! It was so fancy and nice, and we did not fit in, but we enjoyed it immensely.
I don’t have any of the pictures I took during our stay because I accidently deleted a ton of pics from my camera, but let’s just say it was nice and relaxing. We went a day early so we could celebrate our 1st anniversary early since I was going to be out of town for the real day. We had a nice dinner, then spent the whole next day lounging by the pool. It was fabulous! The next two dinners were part of the conference, and I was invited along. The food was good, and the company was great. I really enjoyed getting to know a couple of Matt’s coworkers and family. The last day of the conference was a half day, then everyone went to Disney! I tagged along, and we had so much fun. I wish I had a pic (or even better, a video!) of Matt riding Thunder Mountain! He was hilarious – arms in the air, big goofy smile. I love him. :) I also got to spend time with three friends from nursing school that I never get to see – Christi, Rebekah, and Kim all came to visit me. Great mini-vacay!
Two weeks later I was on a plane to Portland, Oregon!! My sister Shelly was the matron-of-honor in a friend’s wedding out there, and I went along to help out with the new baby. Shelly met the bride, Caroline, when they were 10 or so, and they grew up together in a tight-knit group of friends. It was fun and interesting to see Caroline and her family and the other friends for the first time in so long – as a grown-up and not the much younger sister. I loved spending so much quality time with Shelly, and I loved helping with the baby! Grace was so sweet and cuddly the whole time. Loved it! (Shelly: I apologize again for deleting the pictures!!!)
I returned late at night on our anniversary, so I only got to see Matt while he was sleeping. :( We still had a great anniversary celebration, though!
I worked a couple nights, then we were off again! This time we headed to Brevard, North Carolina for a family reunion with Matt’s mom’s side of the family. We drove to Atlanta first and spent a night with Josh, Mandy, and Luke. Then, we all headed to Brevard the following morning. I love driving those beautiful mountain roads.
Most of the reunion planning was done by Matt’s great aunt, Greta. Her “excuse” for the occasion was to celebrate her 75th birthday. Happy 75th birthday, Greta! So glad we got to celebrate your 3/4 century with you!
Our time in NC was very relaxing! We stayed at a nice Holiday Inn Express that had yummy breakfast (everyone’s favorite amenity), and spent our days with family. We enjoyed getting to know some more distant family members during catered meals and game nights. I think I played more cards/games there than I have in the past five years. It was a ton of fun.
We happened to be in town during the annual White Squirrel Festival, so we also ventured out to enjoy some of the festivities. First, Josh and I ran in the White Squirrel 10K!! (No pics, but I am hoping to get my “finish” pics from my mother-in-law, Robin.) The race went pretty well. It was very HILLY!! The last 1.5 miles was almost all uphill!! Josh and I both missed our ideal “goal” times by about 5 minutes due to the hills, but it was still a great run. My official time was 1:04:50, which is a 10:26 pace. The last 0.2 was sprinted in – with Matt by my side!!! He met me at the top of the last hill and pushed me on to the finish like the wonderful husband he is! I am positive I could have broken 1 hour on flatter ground. Just another goal to reach!
We went downtown for part of the festival and enjoyed watching some of the boxcar races and some live music.
Note Josh’s race tee
I got to see a white squirrel!
During one free afternoon, Matt and I drove up the mountain a little ways to see a waterfall. It was gorgeous!
We kept driving up and went to Sliding Rock! We met up with Ed and Robin plus Josh, Mandy, and Luke there. Sliding Rock is a natural waterslide. It was very crowded and the water very cold, so we just watched the many many people going down.
Luke really enjoyed watching the other people slide down, but he wouldn’t go near the water.
Overall, the reunion was a blast. We really enjoyed spending so much time with family and just being away for a while. Looking forward to the next reunion!!
My sister Marissa and her family live in Virginia, about 4 hours from where we were in NC. We had plans to meet up with them in the middle on Memorial Day. We were planning to do a day of hiking and playing in nature off the Blue Ridge Parkway, which I was so excited about. Unfortunately, it was pouring that day, so we had to change plans. We met the Smiths in Charlotte at a kids’ science museum. We spent all afternoon together and ate dinner before saying goodbye. Such a fun day!! I love seeing my sister and fam!!
Abi looks cute as ever with a new hair-do due to a little incident with the scissors:
Matt had fun exploring with the kiddos.
Elijah was just plain adorable!
Hannah the little fashion designer made a shoe out of duct tape at one exhibit.
Sweet big brother:
Jacob and Hannah are so cute together.
Hannah and me in our giant sunglasses. She says, “We look like bugs!”
Our NC trip was wonderful! So much fun with family!
I did the math and figured out that I spent 14 nights at hotels in the month of May. I also spent 11 nights at work, which totals 25. That leaves 6 nights that I actually spent in my own bed (+the days between working). I guess there are some benefits of returning to reality, namely a more normal schedule.
I’ve now been back at work for a week and feel exhausted. Every night was busy this week. My feet ache more than usual, but I think that just tells me I really need to invest in some new work shoes. So looking forward to 2 nights off.
I think this is my longest post ever. The longer I wait, the more there is to say!