This past weekend, we took a quick trip to the coast of NC to introduce Grace to my dads side of the family.  It was so great to hang out with my cousin, her kiddos, my granny, and my uncle.  They loved Gracie, and we can’t wait to see them again!  









After spending the afternoon with the family, we decided to drop by the beach real quick on our way home.  Gracie’s first outing at the ocean!  Obviously she had no idea what was going on, but it was fun for us, and I loved taking her somewhere that I’ve been going my whole life.  :)







A New Addition

This weekend, Chris and I became an aunt and an uncle!  Benjamin Eli weighed in at 10 pounds, 9 ounces, 22 1/2 inches long and he’s just the sweetest.  He has plenty of dark hair and beautiful blue eyes, and his tiny fingers and toes are the cutest.  He’s incredibly laid back and is so loved and adored, already.

My sister in law sent me these pictures of Chris holding him for the first time just a few hours after he was born.  I can almost see Linds smiling on the other side of the camera, so happy to see her big brother holding her son. 



I can’t believe in six months, Chris will be holding our baby.  Seeing Chris hold Benny just melts my heart; I might just die all together when I see him hold Baby Goods.  :)

Some Kind of Wonderful

Growing up as an only child, I never felt like I was really missing out on anything.  While the majority of my friends had siblings, I was never terribly envious or yearned for a brother or sister.  I had a lot of friends growing up.  A lot.  My parents always made sure I was enrolled in activities and sports and doing something, so while I didn’t have a sibling at home, I was constantly surrounded by other kids.  I know it’s different and that I can’t compare it to having a brother or a sister, but honestly, it was a pretty great childhood.

Around the time I became a teenager, I started realizing that by not having a sibling, there was one thing I would eventually miss.  Without a brother or sister, I would never be an aunt.  For that my friends, was a bummer.

I have been lucky enough to have some pretty awesome aunts.  Coming from a military family, we were all scattered across the country, so seeing them was an event that I always looked forward to.  I loved that seeing them was special and I especially loved that they were cool.  In my teens, it hit me that I might not ever get to experience that awesomeness and it scared me.  I wanted to be the cool aunt Natalie.  I wanted to spoil a niece or nephew.  I wanted to have inside jokes that we could keep from their parents.  And I really, really, really wanted to hop the boy or girl up on sugar and then give them back to their mom and dad.  :)

When Chris and I got married, I gained a sister (and brother) in law.  Yes!   My chance to become an aunt!!

So, you can imagine how excited I was when they told us a few months ago that they’re expecting a baby in January!  Squeeeeal!

A baby and possible fellow Capricorn?  So. So. So. Excited.

A few weeks ago, we found out it’s a boy.  A precious baby boy who I can not wait to hug and squeeze and LOVE.  Thanks to the wonders of technology, we watched Linds and Kevin blow up pink and blue balloons until the pink one deflated and the blue one expanded.  Then, we all screamed and threw our arms in the air simultaneously via video chat.  It was such a fantastic and memorable experience.

A nephew.  I am going to have a nephew.  We are going to have a nephew.  When I think of Chris with his nephew….oh, be still my heart.

And the parents to be.  They will be the best.  Their animated conversations about all things baby are the greatest.  They rattle off things that are new to me and I nod in excitement as they talk quickly, full of electricity.  They’re bursting with joy and just talking to them makes me want to jump up and down kind of like Linds did during her entire wedding (literally, she was so happy, she bounced up and down excitedly the entire time).

It’s the most fun, already.  Talking and dreaming of all of the things we’ll do with our nephew.  Imagining of the memories we’ll make and how much we will love and adore this little boy.  It’s the best.

I can’t wait for January.

Unplanned Family Fun

You know that time you get off of work on Friday and expect to have a low key weekend with your husband, but then you talk to your parents on Friday night and they ask what the plan is for the weekend, and you’re like, what, you don’t live here, why do you care, and they’re all like, helloooo, we’re visiting this weekend.  Right.  THAT HAPPENED this weekend.  Bwahahahahaha.  I thought my parents were visiting next weekend, but they were here on Saturday before noon.  Boom – weekend fun, coming right up.

We met my dads brother, his wife, Kat and their son, Jackson for lunch on Saturday.  They live in North Raleigh and it was really good to see them since we actually haven’t seen them since we moved here in March.  Oops.  We talked and laughed and caught up and it was great times.

After lunch, my parents wanted to see the area that we want to buy a home in eventually, so we drove down there and checked out some neighborhoods and model homes.  Also, I stumbled upon my dream kitchen:

I know, right?

After hours and hours of tooling around town in the 90 degree heat, we were starving and ready for dinner.  My dad has been talking about the Angus Barn ever since we moved here, so we headed over there for some good eats.  We’ve heard about the restaurant for a long time and the food didn’t disappoint.  However, I will say overall, I wasn’t that impressed.

We didn’t have a reservation, so we ended up in the more casual lounge (same food, just more of a bar feeling) at a high top cocktail table.   It took a while to get service, they only had two menus and the service was just kinda meh.  We all had the filet and it was really, really good, but honestly, I don’t think I would go back.  It got incredibly crowded, loud and really, I think it’s overpriced (thanks for footing the bill, mom & dad!!!) .  In the future, I’d go to Firebirds if we were craving a good steak.  I’m glad we went for the experience, but that was probably our first and last trip.

By the time we got home, we were exhausted, so we laid out on the couch and watched The Dream Team on ESPN.  Have you guys seen that documentary about the 1992 Mens Olympic Basketball team?  SO GOOD!  After that, I jumped into bed reading to read a book that’s currently making me laugh out loud:

This is one of those books that I never want to end.  It’s so, so, so funny.

This morning, we went to Brigs (obv) for breakfast, did a little grocery shopping and then hung out at the house until we were ready for lunch.  We headed to Chapel Hill to try out Southern Rail, and I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere.  It’s a bunch of old train cars with some decks in between and it was awesome.  Chris was disappointed in his lackluster burger, but my BLT on Texas Toast with a Fullsteam Carver was basically the perfect meal.

After lunch, we had to go back to Maple View Farm for some homemade ice cream since it was so close, and again, it didn’t’ disappoint.

While my dad, Chris and I were enjoying our ice cream, my mom was busy making a friend:

God, she makes me laugh.  Who makes friends with the balloon-man clown?  Only my mother.

The rest of our afternoon was spent strolling down Franklin Street, where I’m pretty sure someone is transforming into a Tarheel fan.  :)

Such a fun weekend with the fam – love it when that happens.  :)

Summer Weekend Rewind

I love weekends like this.  A few plans mixed in with a lot of relaxation.  I swear, it’s the best. :)

Friday night, we had a little date night which was interrupted with some heavy storms, but we made the best of it and had a nice dinner and then holed up at home watching one of favorite guilty pleasures, “Whale Wars.”  Do you guys watch that show?  The idea behind it is good, but the show is filmed in a way that makes the people look like the biggest morons on the planet.  Chris and I narrate the show as it happens and can’t believe how ridiculous it get every year.  Speaking of ridiculous shows, do you guys watch “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding?!”  Talk about amazing television!

Saturday morning, I spent the morning sprucing up my summer wardrobe!

Later that afternoon, we headed to my bosses house for a BBQ Cook Out.  One of the things I’ve learned living in NC is that a BBQ means you’ll be having traditional BBQ (pulled pork, the real stuff).  Where we’re from, a BBQ is burgers and dogs, but down here, that’s known as a “cook out,” so….we went to a cook out.  My boss smoked some seriously good ribs and it was nice to hang out with everyone outside of the office.

After the cook out, we stopped at one of the nearby town centers for some fro yo, only to find out they were doing the grand opening of the shopping center.  There were a ton of giveaways and even a scavenger hunt to win gift cards, iphone and more.  We grabbed some fro yo and wandered around the area completing the scavenger hunt in hopes that we’d win something.  Once we completed the hunt, we dropped off our cards and hoped for the best.  We’ll find out on Monday if we won anything.  Fingers crossed!

This morning, we had a little impromptu breakfast with my uncle, cousin Regan, and Regan’s husband, J.  It was nice to catch up with everyone and see my uncle while he was in town.   Twas fun times.

The rest of our day today has been spent with these two:

Our little animal planet just makes me laugh.  If they aren’t together, Delilah is either laying on one of us (more likely Chris than me) or is curled up in the laundry.  Not to be outdone,  Hunter is always laying right up against one of us.  It’s nice to feel so much love.  ;)

And really, Hunter is such a ham.  Moments after I snapped the two pictures above, he wandered over to Delilah and woke her up by shoving his snout under her and jostling her around until she acknowledged him.  She’s so tolerant of his puppy like behavior, and they are so fun to watch together.  Too bad I didn’t have my camera on high speed mode – these pictures are crappy.  Oh well, still cute.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!