28 weeks

Baby Roberson,  You are quite the jet setter!

This weekend we flew to Tampa, Florida to visit your uncle Cameron and aunt Whitney. We left late Thursday night after a long work day (and a long work WEEK for Blake) and arrived in Tampa just after midnight. We were exhausted but so happy to be on vacation with the family. Friday morning we planned to sleep in late and stroll to the beach whenever we finally dragged ourselves out of bed, but seeing that we’ve gotten used to getting up early with the puppy, we were both up by 7am. I spent the morning hours doing my schoolwork while Blake tried to continue sleeping but really just tossed and turned for an hour or so. Even if it wasn’t restful, at least I was being productive!

Cameron and Whitney both had busy schedules on Friday so we didn’t see them until the afternoon, but spent the morning having a leisurely breakfast at the condo we were renting, made a quick trip to the grocery store for weekend snacks, and got down to the beach where Mom and Dad already had chairs and an umbrella waiting for us. Blake is a beachin’ genius and had the foresight to buy a cheap cooler at the grocery store so we stocked it with drinks and snacks then he dug a hole in the sand and buried the cooler in sand to hide it under his chair and keep it cool all day long. It was the best thing especially since the beach bar was so expensive. The cooler paid for itself after just 2 sodas.

Albums 017I spent most of the day reading Babywise and hoping beyond all hope that we can get Baby Brantley to sleep 12 hours a night like our friends have gotten their kids to do on this program. I guess we’ll have to just wait and see about that one. Meanwhile, Mom and Blake really loved my random “Brantley’s kicking!” updates. 🙂

That evening Cameron and Whitney drove over to stay for the night and we ate dinner at the Sunset Lounge on the property. They had a great band playing but the wait to sit outside was 2 hours so we settled at an inside table and had GREAT food.

Dinner was delicious and we went out to the Bay after dinner to take sunset photos before calling it a night and falling asleep early after our late night of traveling and long day in the sun.

The next morning, I woke up early again and got some school work done (womp! womp!) but at least I could get it done while everyone else slept and not have to spend my beach time studying and watching videos. Yuck.

For breakfast, Mom made our family’s famous sausage gravy! Then it was back out to the beach for another day in the sun. That night, we all went back to the condo to shower and go out to dinner. What we thought was going to be a nice dinner out turned out to be an outdoor hut with picnic tables under a tin roof. We may have been a little overdressed but we didn’t care. I tried my first soft shell crab (not my favorite) but everyone else seemed to love their food.

Our last full day in Tampa was Sunday so we started out the morning at Aletheia Tampa to catch up with our Aletheia friends and watch Cameron do his thing on stage. He’s been leading worship at Aletheia since his freshman year of college and continues leading at the church in Tampa now. It was wonderful to watch him lead worship again, as always, and Brantley kicked the WHOLE TIME. Apparently he likes church, too.

Albums 026We got to see Cameron and Whitney’s apartment after church (which was definitely an eye opener – my little brother keeping a MUCH cleaner house than me – and helped usher in my purging program). We still had a few hours left in the day so we hung out at the beach for a little while and went to a beautiful outdoor restaurant on the water for dinner. It was such a nice night to spend with Cameron and Whitney before they had to leave to go back home and prepare for another busy week at work.

Mom and Blake also enjoyed more baby kicking episodes, and our poor waiter probably thought we were crazy when he came over to take our food orders and Blake, Mom, and Dad all had their hands on my stomach waiting to feel kicks. Sorry for the awkward moment, waiter guy.

Our vacation, while short and lacking in sleep (even with hours to sleep in, neither Blake nor I were ever able to sleep past 7am and Blake ended up with renewed back pain after sleeping on the rather soft mattress for 4 nights), we still had a great time with family, relaxing on the beach, and spending time together.

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Happy 28 weeks, Baby Brantley!

 

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25 Weeks

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Our “babymoon” in Punta Cana couldn’t have been more perfect… with the exception of never getting our luggage. Even when we arrived and our luggage was lost, we both kept the best attitudes and didn’t let it ruin our day. Even the next day, when we were told that our luggage was in St. Lucia and there was no way we could get it by the end of our trip we took it in stride and excitedly took an evening shopping trip to the local mall to buy some clothes and toiletries for the week. Unfortunately, the mall with “US outlets” was not actually outlets, but a store called “US Outlets” which featured small booth-like sections of popular stores like Nautica, Polo, Forever 21, and Victoria’s Secret. Luckily, we each found a couple of items that we needed. (Blake couldn’t even go to dinner anywhere other than the buffet because he didn’t have any pants or collared shirts because the other restaurants on the resort have a dress code!) I had a pair of maternity jeans, maternity shorts and 2 tops to get me through the week in our carry-on so I bought two dresses for dinners and two more tops. Blake got a pair of pants – the ONLY pair of pants in the entire mall that were his size – and a couple collared shirts so at least he could get to dinner. He also had a few board shorts, t-shirts, and we both had shoes in our carry-on so we knew we’d be ok with what we had even if we had to re-wear a couple of things throughout the week. I also had to buy prenatal vitamins and of course the entire mall had only one place that sold them, and that one store had only one box, so US Airways will be paying for a $40 bottle of vitamins. Oh well… this wouldn’t be our last issue with US Airways but I’ll get to that later.

Back to the resort… AMAZING! Everyone told me that the 5-6 month mark would be the best time to take a vacation and they were all right. I was so well taken care of by my husband and also by the resort staff. They were all so excited to hear that we had gotten pregnant on our honeymoon and came back to celebrate with them again. As second-timers we were also greeted with a bottle of wine and a plate of chocolates from the Preferred Club staff. Yummy. It was so great to have a week to relax, get away from the stresses of school and work, and to lounge on the beach with virgin pina coladas!

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Like our honeymoon, we enjoyed the perks of the “Honeymoon Package” as this was their second attempt at getting it right for us and wanted to make sure we experienced everything we had the opportunity to do on our honeymoon that didn’t work out just right. This time, the evening of our dinner on the beach was really windy and it had been raining all day so they set up our dinner under the massage cabana, which also happens to be just steps from our room.

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It was a little windy during our dinner but we didn’t mind. The setting was gorgeous and the food? Caprese salad, shrimp cocktail, asparagus soup, and a main course of beef tenderloin and lobster tail. Blake ordered an ice cream filled cream puff for dessert and I ordered honey-glazed tropical fruits which arrived in a heart shaped box made of chocolate. Woah. It was delicious.

We were also treated to another breakfast via room service in our room complete with champagne mimosas!  I had packed two bottles of sparkling grape juice in our suitcase for this occasion, knowing we would get a bottle of champagne at this breakfast and also upon arrival, but then our suitcase ended up in St. Lucia. So Blake enjoyed some mimosas while I “suffered” through fresh tropical fruit, a delicious cheese plate, cereal, nd yogurt. Not so bad!

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After breakfast, Blake was barely halfway through his bottle of champagne so what else are we supposed to do except take it with us to the beach for beachfront mimosas???

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And who can forget the luscious food display offered at the Preferred Club?  Only God knows how many times I visited this food table during the week and how many coconut macaroons I may have consumed. The foods change every couple of hours so it was always a nice surprise to see what they had out on display.

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Also in our suitcase was our tripod, which we had packed in order to take some good photos during the trip. Being that our suitcase was hundreds of miles away on another island, we booked a photo session through the hotel which turned out to be pretty awesome! The photo session was free and we only had to pay for the photos we liked. Each photo was $12, high-resolution on a CD, and with a simple question about the price, we actually got them for $10 a piece without even hardly asking.

The turquoise-yellow filter they used for our pictures will also go beautifully in the new nursery!

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Even without our suitcase and wearing the same clothes more times than I’d like to admit, we had a truly amazing vacation and we were in great spirits arriving to the airport in Punta Cana. Then we had to wait, and wait, and wait. Our plane was over an hour late leaving Punta Cana, so as we were arriving to Philadelphia Blake and I were already making plans about how we would get through customs. The plan was, he would go with everyone else to baggage claim and get our one suitcase that we had left, go through customs with the suitcase and probably miss our connecting flight home. In the meantime, I would haul butt through customs and immigration with just my purse and run to the gate to catch the flight. I was the first one through customs, first one through immigration, and caught the shuttle to the terminal in record time, only to watch our plane pull away from the gate as soon as I arrived.

I don’t know if it was the hormones or just the exhaustion of our current US Airways experiences but I immediately broke down crying to the gate agents and also to the nice ladies working at the US Airways guest information desk. I guess I got on their good side cause they were doing everything they could to get us home and booked us on a flight to Richmond that would arrive at 10:30pm and from there we would have to rent a car to drive home. We were not too excited about the fact that we would have to pay for a rental car as they do not reimburse for that but we just wanted to get home and had already been told that they do not pay for hotel rooms. Ugh…

So again, we tried to keep our spirits up. We grabbed some dinner from Chipotle, sat at the gate for the Richmond flight and accepted that after getting our suitcase from baggage claim in Richmond, booking the rental car, driving to the Norfolk airport to return the car, and somehow begging a family member to pick us up in the middle of the night, we would not likely be home until after 1am. Just minutes before the Richmond flight gates closed, the desk agent came up to us in a hurry and said, “They’re about to release more hotel rooms and we can put you on the first flight out in the morning.”  We confirmed that we would indeed get a hotel room for free and watched as the Richmond gates closed and the plane pulled away.

Two minutes later we were standing in front of the agent listening to her tell us that she was wrong, they were not releasing any other rooms tonight and we would have to pay for our hotel room out of pocket. For real. Oh, and our one suitcase that we had left was on the flight to Richmond so not only would we not have it for our overnight stay but we would also have to drive to Richmond to get it ourselves. There are no words to explain our frustration at this point.

She told us that we would be reimbursed for a room up to $100 and there were lots of nearby hotels that were much cheaper than that. Unfortunately for us, it was nearly 10:00 at night and every hotel we called was booked until we called Best Western, who had a suite available and it was well over $100. Whatever. Just book it.

Throughout it all, my husband kept his cool, spoke to every person respectfully and calmly, not once showing his frustration or anger over the situation and we didn’t have a single argument or negative tone spoken to one another. We arrived at our hotel and used the toothbrushes from the front desk, slept in whatever we had and woke up to put the same clothes right back on to do it all over again and finally make it home.

And what do you know… BOTH of our suitcases were in Norfolk when we arrived.

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24 weeks

Hello, Punta Cana!

Some of you reading this post may already know about the unfortunate string of bad luck we had on the traveling portion of this trip, but the vacation itself was amazing and actually started out quite well! For starters, the whole vacation (minus flights) was free!  Here’s the quick story…
We chose Dreams Palm Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for our honeymoon back in October and booked the honeymoon suite. When you book the honeymoon suite for your actual honeymoon they also throw in a whole “Honeymoon Package” which includes a welcome gift of fresh fruit and champagne, two facials and two massages at the spa with full access to their hydrotherapy pools (amazing!), a romantic dinner on the beach, and breakfast in bed.
The resort was absolutely amazing and our “Preferred Club” status gave us access to the most beautiful parts of the resort including a private pool and beach area, full bar, personal butler service, and beachside restaurant. We were treated with pool-side drinks, 5 different restaurants to choose from, and beach-side service which sometimes included fruit skewers brought around on a tray by the staff… we felt so spoiled!  Unfortunately, we also had a few hiccups along the way which included a “lost” massage that my parents had purchased for us off of the hotel’s wedding registry website, a not-so-romantic dinner accompanied by screaming babies, follow-up required on a number of package items that were were supposed to receive automatically, and an infamous bubble bath overflow incident.
On our last night there, we casually asked the General Manager for his card when we saw him walking around the resort, letting him know we just wanted to send him a quick email when we got home about a couple of comments we had and he insisted that we talk to him about our concerns then and there. Twenty minutes later, we had made a new friend and also scored a free week in the honeymoon suite!  The general manager insisted that we give them a chance to make it right and “give them another chance” and we were thrilled!!!
So… we figured we would make plans for a “Babymoon” and have one last big vacation before Baby Boy Roberson arrives. When we arrived at the airport in Norfolk we were told that our plane to Philly was delayed.  This maybe foreshadowed the future travel issues we would have but at the time it meant we were rerouted through Charlotte and also bumped to first class! Blake enjoyed a few drinks on the plane and then the flight attendant came around with warm towels for us to wipe our hands and faces with before being served a delicious meal! What a nice surprise!

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So after being pampered on the plane for our 3-hour flight, we arrived at the airport in Punta Cana and my baby bump got us moved up to the front of every line through the long process of immigration and customs! Unfortunately, our suitcase didn’t have as much luck and never showed up at the baggage carousel. (It wouldn’t be until the next day, after a 2-hour phone call with Charlotte baggage services, that we would discover that at first they had no idea where our bag was and then they discovered it had been sent from Charlotte to Miami and then finally to St. Lucia… and there was no way we would get it within the week.)
Check in at the resort went smoothly, especially since we knew exactly where to go and what to do. While we were walking to the Preferred Club check in area, our butler from our honeymoon saw us and immediately recognized us saying “Mr. Blake! 4113!” He not only remembered our names from 5 months ago but also our room number. We were so impressed. He wouldn’t be the only one to remember our names this week and we quickly realized that either the resort staff had really upped their game as each of them greeted us by name all week or they got a memo before we arrived that everything had to go smoothly this time around. Either way, we felt super spoiled and so well taken care of. They also put us in the same room, which was fantastic! We were greeted with a “Repeaters” sign on the door, a door mat that said “You again?” and a bottle of champagne as our welcome gift. (None for Momma.) And so began our beach-lounging, pina colada-drinking Babymoon.
I’ll make sure to give more updates in our 25 week post!

 

22 weeks

Brrrrr!!! We spent the weekend in snowy cold Snowshoe, West Virginia! Blake was so excited to get a weekend of snowboarding and when people asked me what I was going to do, I wondered how on earth they didn’t get it. 3 days. In a cabin. With my dog. In front of the fireplace. Sipping hot cocoa. Reading a book. What’s not to love???  Not only that but Snowshoe has an adorable little town area with shopping, restaurants, and a Starbucks. What more do you need?

We packed up our suitcases and the dog and headed for the mountains with a friend of mine and her son. Conveniently, her son is learning to snowboard and Danielle isn’t much of a skier so I knew I would have a friend to hang with back at the cabin. Shadow was so cute on the drive up, he doesn’t mind riding in the car with us when we’re in Blake’s truck because he can lay down between us with his head in one of our laps but when he’s in my SUV he’s constantly back and forth between the back seat and the front center console.

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It’s like he just wants to be as close to us as possible, even if that means sitting in my lap in the passenger seat or trying to crawl on Daddy (which I prohibit because let’s be honest, that’s just slightly a distraction to him while he’s driving).

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Blake did his research and found us a great cabin that we rented through VRBO so we got it for a great deal and it was within walking distance to everything. We packed most of our groceries for the weekend but Preggers needed some ice cream and Blake made a special request for Chips Ahoy so we did end up making a few trips to the grocery store which was just a short walk down the street. Danielle and I also took puppy on a walk each afternoon in between lounging on the couch and taking a late afternoon nap. It was the best.

We also took daily walks to the little town area where all the restaurants and shops are. We had Shadow with us so we tested out his puppy-ness and tied up his leash to a post just outside of Starbucks. I wasn’t so sure how he’d do out there by himself but  when Baby wants a decaf hazelnut machiatto, mommy’s gotta get him one so I tied up Shadow’s leash, told him to stay and slowly walked into the store while checking back to look at him every 5 or 6 seconds to make sure he wasn’t biting, jumping, or getting stolen. Not surprisingly, he immediately made friends with every person that walked by and when they walked away he just laid there and waited for me.

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He also loved our cabin just as much as we did. He had his own little play area on the deck where Blake shoveled out an area of snow so he could play with his ball without it falling through the cracks of the deck and down to the first floor. He was also thrilled to have snow to play in again as it is apparently his favorite thing to roll in, play in, and eat.

The rest of our cabin was just perfect. Of course, why should I be surprised. Blake does his research. The cabin had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a great big living room with a large kitchen where Blake cooked our meals. It was the perfect place for morning coffee by the fire, afternoon naps, and long movies.

Danielle and I are also working on a project for the Strawberry Festival this year. She always works at the festival as a food vendor selling fresh-dipped chocolate covered strawberries and I had offered to help her with it. But we wanted to add another food item to her tent so we spent one afternoon researching and brainstorming  different ideas for the festival. Which just made me hungry, so we went back to the store.

On our last night there, we did some shopping and ate at a delicious restaurant. We also took our 22 week photo!

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Unfortunately, just a millisecond after Blake took this photo, a huge gust of wind came through and knocked our beloved frame right to the ground, smashing the glass into a million pieces and breaking the frame in two.

Fix-It Man Blake to the rescue.

In the meantime, happy 22 weeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Weeks

We spent my birthday weekend at our family’s beach house in Corolla, NC. Blake planned the whole weekend with our friends and it was such a perfect weekend at the house. When we arrived, everything was completely covered in snow and we had to dig around the front yard to find the water shut-off access panel so we could turn it back on. Ugh. But then it was smooth sailing after that!

Shadow loved running up and down the deserted beach, chasing his ball, and running away from the waves.

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He looks so small on the walkway to the beach but we know we’ll get another shot like this sometime in the future with full-grown Shadow.

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In addition to the party planning that Blake did, he also had Mocktail recipes for the preggers girls!  We enjoyed non-alcoholic mojitos called “nojitos” and a delicious orange-lime concoction called the “Orange Lime Relaxer”. Some of the non-pregnant girls even asked for Blake to make one for them! One of my friends Sarah also brought sparkling Chardonnay grape juice so we had our own “wine”. We felt so well taken care of.

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The birthday party portion of the night was a “Revenge of the Nerds” theme party and everyone got into their costumes!  We saw oversized black-rimmed classes, suspenders, pigtails, pocket-protectors, and Ashley even wore her retainer!  It was a blast and of course, Blake also made dinner for the whole gang.  Yum!

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10 weeks

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This week our baby made its TV debut on the Today Show! Well, at least baby’s parents did.

Blake and I headed up to NYC for the weekend and did just about everything we possibly could have in a few days time. Our first day there, we checked into our hotel at Times Square… The Paramount. It was a gorgeous hotel less than half a block from Times Square and the rooms were great, even if a little small.

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We spent the afternoon walking around Times Square and did some shopping at the M&M’s store, Hershey’s store, and all other chocolate-related store (preggers). We took the subway downtown to a new place called Bubby’s where one of Blake’s fraternity brothers bartends. They were officially closed for a private party but we stayed for over an hour at the bar hanging out while I drank homemade root beer and Blake enjoyed a homemade Jim and Sprite made with lemons, limes, syrup, and a real soda fountain. Oh, and they serve all their drinks in mason jars… it’s awesome.

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We had to vacate when the party started so we ate burgers (with a gluten-free bun! woohoo!) at a nearby place before heading back uptown to enjoy the lights of Times Square before heading back to the hotel for the night.

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Saturday morning I was really hoping Blake would sleep through the alarm but to my dismay he hit snooze a few times and yanked me out of bed. We put some warm clothes on and walked over to Rockafeller Center where they were getting ready to shoot the Today Show. Most people had grouped up where the hosts shoot at the end of the show so we went over to a relatively empty space which turned out to be the spot where they pan out/in at commercial breaks they shot our group probably 5 or 6 times! It was totally worth getting up so early… thanks Blake. 🙂 After our television debut, we walked through Rockafeller Center then went on a tour of Ground Zero. We chose to go through the Tribute Center, which gives tours led by survivors of Ground Zero. Our tour guide was a former firefighter who was off-duty on 9-11 but did get to the towers that morning and was involved in the recovery efforts for months afterward. It was a pretty amazing experience to hear that perspective.

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We also visited St. Paul’s Church which was the original place of refuge for construction workers, firefighters, police officers, and volunteers involved in the recovery efforts after 9-11. They recently replaced the church pews with chairs but have on display a few of the old pews which were scratched and dented from police officers and other workers gear while they were sleeping in the pews. Blake also left a Chesapeake Fire Dept. patch on the exhibit dedicated to firefighters and police officers, as the church encourages others to add patches whenever they visit.

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That afternoon we spent hours walking through the city from Ground Zero through Little Italy and Chinatown, searching for that perfect knock-off purse for my mom and constantly being sketched out by all the fresh meats sitting out in the open and the strange foods for sale in the markets. Super weird.

Come to find out, our cousins were in town from West Virginia the same weekend so Leslie and Blake had been working on making dinner plans to surprise me! Little did they know I would get on facebook that afternoon and see that they were coming and totally ruin the surprise. What Blake and Leslie didn’t know was that she was getting engaged that evening!!! When we walked into the Hard Rock gift shop to meet theme we were shocked to see a ring on her finger!… apparently Jarrod had just proposed minutes before. Since we didn’t get to eat dinner at Bubby’s the night before, we took them there for dinner and we were all thrilled with the food and again with the drinks. So delicious, although I’m not sure if Leslie will remember it because she was glued to facebook the entire night. 😉

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The next morning we walk through Central Park, FAO Schwartz, Toys R Us, Trump Tower, Macy’s, and the Empire State Building.

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We also toured the Fire Museum, which was really cool and showcased all kinds of vintage fire engines, helmets, and gear from centuries ago.

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We strolled through Bryant Park to see the ice skating and holiday markets but it was entirely too cold and we were way too tired to hang in for the long haul to actually skate or even stick around long enough to buy anything. But that wasn’t the end of our night… we also had to eat dinner which meant we were back to Bubby’s. I know, with 200 million restaurants in a 4 block radius you’d think we would’ve at least tried something new but when you know you like something, just go again!

The end of our night was spent on Broadway!!! Yes, all my little girl dreams came true: I got to sing in a Broadway theater! Well, maybe I was just singing along with the hundreds of other people in the room but in my opinion that still counts. We saw Motown, which is now one of my top 3 favorite musicals of all time. It can’t beat out Wicked or Ragtime but it comes pretty darn close.

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I hope you enjoyed this abundance of photos because my weekly blogs will be no where NEAR this long in the future. Writing this post made me realize why I stopped blogging in the first place… it takes forever!

Happy Saturday!

I’m back!!!

It has been almost a full year since I last wrote and I think I had reached a point where my life was just so full and so wonderful that I didn’t even care about spending an extra five minutes to write on my blog. I have spent the last year transitioning from girlfriend, to fiance, to wife, and now to expecting mother. There are no words to describe the year I’ve had… the year WE’ve had as a family of two and now three. And I realize there are still a number of people in this world who still want to hear what I have to say and see pictures of what’s going on in the lives of our little family so I’m bringing it back.

Here is the quick review of the highlights of our year…

In January, Blake and I took a trip to Vegas with his dad and ran into Marianne… what are the chances?!?!?! We spent the evening teaching Marianne and Cory how to play craps while they tried to teach us roulette. And we won over $500! So crazy we see each other maybe once a year or every other year and we end up in the same place on the same weekend.

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We celebrated my 30th birthday in the Outer Banks with a surprise 80’s dance party! Blake planned the whole weekend, sent invites, made meals, and decorated the house for my birthday bash. When everyone else was sleepy and retired to the hot tub, our dance party continued all night long even with just the two of us. We always seem to have so much fun together!

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Our family took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Israel and saw just about everything we could possibly see. We rode across the Sea of Galilee, climbed the mountain to see where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, floated in the Dead Sea, walked through ruins of cities that existed during the time of Jesus, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and walked along the Wailing Wall of the temple in Jerusalem.

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Blake proposed! We were at the beach house for a relaxing weekend with a group of firefighters and their wives and on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Blake poured us both a glass of my favorite wine and walked me down to the beach. His lieutenant’s wife also happens to be a professional photographer so she snapped photos of the whole thing.
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The newly engaged couple took a trip to Disney World in May, BEFORE adding kids to the mix. We figured we could do Disney one time the way we wanted without spending hours in line to get characters autographs and photos.IMG_8329
In true Meghan and Blake fashion, we celebrated Christmas in July again this summer complete with wrapped presents under a tree decorated with our personalized ornaments and Christmas lights. We also watched a never-ending number of Christmas movies and ate junk food for hours on end. Always a favorite!IMG_8548
Another year, another reunion, and this time I brought back everyone’s favorite non-family member as my soon-to-be husband! I can’t tell you how many people told me last year that I should marry Blake… so they were all so happy to see us again and this time with a ring and a wedding date. Blake took his first ride on a grapevine, too!IMG_8647
Shannon and Ashley planned a couple’s shower for us before the big day and everyone loved the Stock the Bar theme. Our favorite moments were playing their pre-wedding version of “Crimes Against Humanity”… everyone’s answers were so fabulous and so hilarious.IMG_8855
On October 18, 2013 I married my best friend, my whole world, and the most amazing man I’ve ever known. He is a hero to the world and the foundation of our home. I have never been so head over heels in love.portraits-1427
After a whirlwind wedding and after-party, we slept for only 2 hours and hopped on a first class flight to Dominican Republic! Our honeymoon suite overlooking the beach was just perfect. We walked out to the beach every day, took catamaran rides, went snorkeling, rode dune buggies through the wilderness, and slept in every day. It was the perfect vacation, perfect honeymoon, and perfect break away from the craziness of the last few months of wedding planning!IMG_9696
Thanksgiving weekend was spent in North Carolina with Blake’s family… and I was worried about taking him to West Virginia??? We spent the whole day skeet shooting! I had a chance to get to know his family better and we all shared a huge meal with hundreds of family members and friends, then braved the outlets for some Black Friday shopping.IMG_0109
In December, we co-hosted the 3rd Annual Terrrace Avenue Christmas Party with our neighbors and friends. The bottle exchange was high class this year so as soon as the guys each opened their bottle, they immediately went missing as they hid them away!IMG_0392
Oh and did I mention…. We’re PREGNANT!!!!! We didn’t waste any time and had a very “productive” honeymoon. HeheIMG_0263
Stay tuned for belly bump updates as I will probably redeem my title as the Queen of TMI. 🙂

Weekend Away in Charlottesville

Ok, I say Charlottesville but our weekend away was actually in White Hall, which is only 12 miles outside of Charlottesville but it felt like it could’ve been 80 miles because the long fence-lined roads seem like they go on forever. But anyway, back to my post…

If you know anything about me you’ll know that I love surprises. I love planning surprises and getting surprised by things. I don’t mind knowing that something is going to happen and not knowing all the details. I actually LOVE those moments and events because it means that I didn’t have to plan them. Amen to that. I also love to celebrate things – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, anything really that I can use as an excuse to plan a fun event.

So I planned a surprise weekend away for Blake and I just a few days after his 28th birthday. I wanted the whole thing to be a surprise and for the most part I was able to keep everything a secret. Success! You shouldn’t be shocked to find out that I had a list of all the things I wanted to do while we were there – the best hole in the wall resturants to visit, famous Dave Matthews hot spots, winery tastings, etc. I had some help from my cousing Hayley, who lives in Charlottesville during the school year and gave me some very helpful pointers on resturaunts and places to visit. I posted this photo about a week before the trip with all of our final plans, but blurred it out so Blake still had no idea what we had on the agenda.

The night before we were supposed to leave I had an endless list of things that needed to be done before our departure on Saturday morning. Among the list was cleaning out my car, packing, laundry, and straightening up the living room, front hall, kitchen, and my bedroom, in addition to a long list of errands and other around-the-house chores AFTER I help with a VBS camp until 8:00 that night.

So get this: I call Blake at the end of my lunch hour explaining how stressed I am about all the stuff I have to do and at that very moment, he is driving to my house to start attacking my long list of Things To Do. By the time I got home he had finished my entire list plus about 15 other things including yard work, sweeping the deck, and cleaning the kitchen. He even tackled cleaning my bathroom and straightened up all the shoes in the front hall.

A-MA-ZING.

On our way out of Virginia Beach, we ran by Chick-fil-A (of course) to get some breakfast for the road and also grabbed a whole bag of buffalo sauce for our deployed friend in Afghanistan. (Just an FYI to all you Chick-fil-A fans: get buffalo sauce when you go and give it to me. I’ll send it overseas and make some jet fighter pilots VERY happy!)

When we arrived in Charlottesville, we bypassed all the popular hot spots and found a tiny but infamous deli called The White Spot, which has been a part of Charlottesville life for over 50 years and has remained mostly unchanged since its humble beginnings on The Corner at UVA. The food was very typical diner food but my Gus Burger – a loaded cheeseburger topped with a fried egg – was about as good as they come. I knew we would have plenty of time to visit all of Charlottesville’s most popular spots but I usually like to find the small little places that most people might pass right by.

After lunch, we drove out to White Hall to find out cabin. We stayed in THE MOST ADORABLE cottage. It’s run like a Bed & Breakfast since it lies on the host’s property, but we had the cabin all to ourselves for the duration of the weekend. It was so cute we hardly ever wanted to leave!

We spent a few hours relaxing at the cabin (I’m telling you, we could’ve stayed there all weekend and we would’ve been perfectly happy), but I still had that long list of things I wanted to do while in c’ville so we were headed back into town.

We stopped by a local Wine Warehouse and got some great wine recommendations from local wineries. We also hit the World Market for some quick shopping (1) because I love that place and (2) because my roomate said they had great snacks but we were unimpressed. It turns out she meant to say Whole Foods, which is right across the street. Oh well.

Once we had a car stocked with local wines and a pillow I purchased at World Market (I just knew it would look perfect on my bed, which it does) we drove to Downtown Mall and walked along the streets reading menus until we finally decided on Miller’s for dinner. Miller’s is where Dave Matthews got his start – first as a bartender and then as a singer once one of his coworkers persuaded him to get up to the mic. The drinks were cold and the food was good. If you go there, I would definitely recommend the jalapeno hush puppies – they’re phenomenal. ‘Nuff said.

We wandered around Downtown Mall for a while longer looking through some of the shops until we remembered that we had wine in the car and an adorable little cottage to go back to – so our “activities” were done for the night.

Blake and I spent the rest of the evening (hours and hours we did this) sitting out on the porch of our cozy little cabin drinking wine and talking about life. It was definitely one of those moments you’ll remember forever, not for the high excitement level, but just because we were able to enjoy the simple parts of life that make a relationship worthwhile day after day.

Day Two was spent sleeping in. AMEN! And when we were finally able to drag ourselves out of the cabin, we headed back “into town” (we love saying that) and found Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. Bluegrass is a MUST for anyone visiting Charlottesville overnight. The wait for a table was a little long – about 30 minutes) but once we were seated the service was quick and the food was absolutely delicious. I ordered Bananas Foster Pancakes. I think they came down from heaven. I might consider driving back to Charlottesville one day just to eat here again soon. It was THAT good.

Oh, and they serve chocolate-covered bacon. Yes, please.

Blake and I both wanted to hit the Farmer’s Market in downtown after breakfast but because we slept in so late and then were very happy to wait 30 minutes for a table in order to eat pancakes from heaven, we missed the farmer’s market and by 12:30 they were packing up all the tents. Bummer.

So it was off to the next stop: the Monticello Trail. We really had no intention of visiting Monticello, especially when we found out it was going to cost us $24 each and do you know how many cheap bottles of wine we can buy and drink out on the porch for $24? Yeah, that was our thought process and there was no way we were about to spend that much money to look at a house. Been there, done that. It was called Newport, Rhode Island and it was worse than you could ever know.

Anyway, the Monticello Trail was beautiful and there were so many bridges that spanned across the side of the mountain, it made for a really gorgeous afternoon walk. And after our heart attack on a plate (see photo above) we were ready to work off some of those calories.

Next on our agenda was Blenheim Vineyards and Winery, which is owned by Dave Matthews. I wish I could say his wine was as good as his music but both the winery itself and the wine were quite disappointing. Womp womp…

Instead of wasting our money on a $17 bottle of so-so wine, we drove down the street to the Trump Winery, thoroughly enjoyed our tasting of 10 different wines and sparkling wines, and bought a $35 bottle of delicious white sparkling wine instead. Yum!

We drove back to The Corner for dinner at Mellow Mushroom. I know, I know… there are so many amazing little hole in the wall places to eat in Charlottesville and I went to Mellow Mushroom? Heck yeah I did. You know why? Cause they have good food. Like calzones. And pizza. And I was hungry. And so was Blake. So no, we didn’t see that most amazing restaurant right around the corner and instead we settled for a delicious plate of franchised goodness.

The night was topped off with an evening in front of the fire at our cabin, complete with wine, chocolate covered cherries and cheesecake from the VB Farmer’s Market, and all the pillows and blankets pulled into a big pile on the floor in front of the fireplace. Great end to the night and weekend.

1000 Gifts

Confidence.

The Beach Boys.

Fireworks.

Toddler giggles.

Corolla, North Carolina.

A job that I love.

Late-night laughs during a game of Pit with the cousins.

A boyfriend who does the yard work and cooks dinner while I’m at work late.

A night around the pool with girlfriends and wine.

Oh, and Whitney… my future sister-in-law!!!

 

See original post here and full list here.

Life moves at such a fast pace…

Life moves at such a fast pace sometimes I can hardly keep up with my day-to-day responsibilities much less make sure I’m writing regularly and keeping everyone up to date.  So here is a quick recap of my last couple of months:

In June, I was the MOH (maid-of-honor for those of us in the wedding industry) at my friend Blair’s wedding.  Friday morning started with mani/pedi appointments with the bridesmaids and bride, a delicious luncheon with all the girls, and later that evening was the rehearsal dinner, where I got to sit beside the guy who created the “like” button.  For real. The wedding on Saturday was an absolute blast, with my favorite DJ and packed out dance floor all night long. It was fun to be able to actually attend a wedding as a guest rather than as the planner because I got to enjoy the evening of fun rather than watching from the sidelines, but I also got to hang out with alot of my Emily Weddings girls since many of them were working the event, 2 of us bridesmaids are on the team, and also the bride herself.

Shortly after Blair’s wedding, I was invited to a weekend away in the Outer Banks.  Yep, this was the weekend I met Blake. And ladies, let me just tell you. When you’re greeted at the beach by a guy laying in the water, shirt off, lookin all fly, with a drink in his hand, you’d fall for him too.

The weekend I met Blake, I had just finished a double header wedding weekend – two weddings in one weekend, one Friday and one Saturday.  To someone attending two weddings in a weekend this is exhausting, but when you’re the coordinator of a wedding, you’re putting in 12 hour days and it’s just so gosh darn HOT outside this time of year that you literally think you might just pass out the very second you walk in your front door at the end of the night.  The last wedding we had was outside (again) and the weather forecast was estimating temperatures to push past 100 degrees. No worries. We’ll send the wedding party out of the house where the wedding was taking place on the front lawn, then watch the ceremony from inside the house where it was nice and cool. Nope, Carrie (the lead coordinator) would get to watch from the comfort of the air conditioned house while I am literally stuck behind a tree manning the iPod ceremony music.

Summer is the season for concerts and after buying the MegaTicket this year for the first time, I’ve attended every single country concert since the beginning of the summer.  So far I’ve seen Sugarland, Eli Young Band, Little Big Town, Rascall Flatts, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Thompson Square, and Lady Antebellum.  Before the end of the summer I’ll also see Toby Keith, Brantley Gilbert, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, The Band Perry and my all-time favorite Zac Brown Band! It’s been a summer of music and whenever we get the chance, we’re out and about dancing our heads off at any place with live music.

A couple of weeks ago, my cousins Melanie and Nathan came into town from Nashville and we got a chance to bring their kids (Joshua, 6 and Matthew, 4) out to Blake’s station for a tour of the station.  The boys got to try on a fireman’s hat and sit in the front seat of the truck, and I got to see my man in all his gear as he left on a fire call.  My 93 year-old grandmother was with us that evening and she wouldn’t stop nagging Blake to get some of those good looking firefighters out there to talk to her.  (She’s still fiesty and SUCH a flirt!)  Nathan ran over to the 7-11 to grab some drinks for the kids and came back with a particularly “stimulating” beverage for his wife called NeuroGasm that is apparently now available in your local 7-11 store.  Granny thought it was hilarious and insisted we take a photo:

My little brother Cameron made it back home for a couple of days to play a show at a new music venue at the oceanfront.  He has been touring with his band for the last month performing at various camps and retreat weekends leading up to their 4-month tour this fall.  He rocks.  And we were super excited to watch him and the band perform!

So you already know I got a SUP board right?  Yeah, I thought I told you about that.  Well, while Cam was home with the band for the weekend, we had a pool day at my grandparents house and we brought our boards over to paddle out in the river.  It was MEGA hot and by the time we got over there we didn’t want anything to do with that murky water, so Cameron put them in the pool instead. “Try paddle boarding: Check. Now we’re one step closer to dying.”

That’s a busy month huh?  Well, I still haven’t even mentioned the week-long vacation we took last week in the Outer Banks.  I’ll have to fill you in on that one later!

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