spring in charlotte, nc

My husband and I spent the weekend in Charlotte, NC for a charity flag football tournament he plays in every year (for several years). It was a beautiful, hot weekend – a nice little getaway.

We traveled with my husband’s friend and his girlfriend. While the boys played golf, we girls shopped a bit. I got a clock for our new house (finally) and plan to hang it today. That night, I got to sneak away and watch “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at this small theater all by myself. I love going to the movies and used to do it a lot before our son came along. The movie was good – I won’t say great, but I’m glad I saw it. Adrian Brodey’s performance surprised me – he was the villain and I’m not used to that.

Saturday, all 4 of us got pedicures, even the boys! I honestly about got sick when the pedicurists had to break out the cheese grater things for the boys’ heels…it was disgusting. But, it felt great and my toes are a pretty teal color now. We had sushi Uptown and then headed over to watch the games. Our guys played their first of three games in Panther stadium, then the last two games were on the practice fields. It was sunny and hot, so I bummed some shade off the medic tent. I don’t mind the heat, but being 6 months preggo in the blazing sun was a little risky. They ended up winning 1 of 3, which was good but not good enough to let them move onto the finals on Sunday.

My husband's flag football team - The Highlanders

My husband’s flag football team – The Highlanders

That night, we had dinner at McCormick and Schmicks Uptown and it was very good. They were having this cool road bike race which was right up my alley…made me miss being on my bike, but hopefully I’ll get to ride this fall after baby #2 arrives and I’m recuperated.

After a short trip to Trader Joe’s yesterday morning, we headed back home and were so glad to see our son whom we’d left with the grandparents for the weekend. It’s crazy how much you miss your kids when you’re away from them. I mean, I had the one with me (and he/she’s really moving so I was reminded that I was never alone), but I missed our 2 year old. It’s nice to have a little break from chasing a toddler non-stop, but it was really nice to see his little blond head and have him chattering all afternoon. We just love him so much.

I was tickled to see the Bradford pear trees have really blossomed and the grass is starting to grow in our dirt yard. AND, my tomato seeds have all popped up now, too! I’m waiting on the eggplant seeds to sprout and I’ve asked my husband to till our garden space beside the house sometime soon. I plan to plan around May 10 after the annual cold snap.

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If you’ve never visited Charlotte, NC I do recommend it. I love the Uptown part which is what I’m most familiar with. We normally stay at the Double Tree on West Trade Street and it’s my favorite hotel there. We stayed at the Omni last year and it was just too loud. The Double Tree is a little removed and they give you cookies…yummy cookies!

Well, let’s get ready for a busy, full week at work…and cooler temps this week. Spring is here, thankfully, but this weekend was spoilingly beautiful!

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exploring abingdon, va

Back in November, I read the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. I was very inspired and found that her husband was an advocate of a restaurant within driving distance of my home. So, I made my plans for my mom and I to take a trip this month since both of our birthdays are in March. We ended up waiting until the very last weekend of the month since life has been so busy, but it was a good day trip. It was nice to spend quality time with my mom – it seems like we haven’t gone anywhere alone together in ages!

We ate lunch at the Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, which was splendid. Mom and I each had a cup of spinach & sweet potato soup, then we split the veggie pizza. After that, we spent a bit of time in the General Store where I finally bought some heirloom vegetable seeds! I want to have a small salad patch this summer, so I got squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, and lettuce. Plus, a pack of sunflower seeds just for show. Now, I have to get some of those seeds planted so I can get them in the ground once the last frost has passed. This will be my first attempt at growing a garden (while being in my third trimester of pregnancy, too) so I’m keeping it manageable.

After that, we went on to the Heartwood in Abingdon. While the arts and crafts were admirable and beautiful, there just didn’t seem to be as much as I was expecting. I just thought it would be larger. It’s a good place to stop if you are passing through.

On the way home, we stopped at the Burkes Outlet and I got a few neat decorative items for the new house. Then, Japanese sushi for an early dinner, followed by a Starbucks after dinner coffee. I picked up the groceries I needed for my upcoming recipes this week. Here’s what’s on my agenda: Roasted Veggie PastaBlack Bean Burritos, and Back Burner Ratatouille.  I ended up buying lots of veggies, which made me feel good! This week, I ended up making a few new things which included: Shrimp Scampi Bake and Easy Tuna Casserole.  The shrimp dish was really good, but the tuna one not anything to write home to mom about. I also repeated making Chicken Casserole that I made back in February and my husband raved about it. This time, I used cream of mushroom soup and canned chicken, plus a little more sour cream and it was yummy. As you can see, I don’t cook with much meat most of the time. Looks like this week is going to be mostly vegetarian, which is fine by me!

My son was sick with a stomach bug on Wednesday and I thought we were in the clear…then my husband started getting sick about 9 pm tonight. That’s why I’m blogging at almost midnight. Needless to say, I’m going to try to get some rest and pray that this stomach bug doesn’t get me. I’m not trying to be greedy, but no one wants to be sick, especially when they are 24 weeks pregnant! I was looking forward to church tomorrow, but I think it’s going to be a day at home so we don’t contaminate folks in our congregation. Yuck!

My son in his new favorite toy - our new ottoman. He was watching "A River Runs Through It" and was intrigued.

My son in his new favorite toy – our new ottoman. He was watching “A River Runs Through It” and was intrigued.

cross country trip

I was poking around on my computer and I found a journal I kept from a trip I took with my dad back in September of 2010. He works for the Boy Scouts of America (controversial, I know, but he’s a good man, I promise) and we went to New Mexico to get some tents for the camp he works for.

We had a really good time on that trip – just father and daughter. I missed my husband and we drove about 12 hours each day, but I’m glad I took the week off from work to go and experience that. Not only did I get to spend quality time with dad, but I got to see a lot of the nation that I probably won’t get to again.

Here are some pictures from that trip from almost 3 years ago!