Thursday, June 25, 2009

I think it's about time to get on the road again. Nathan, Aiden, and I headed to Charlotte for the weekend as I had a baby shower to attend for my friend Christy in Raleigh. We flew in Thursday evening and Aiden did super on the flight. He manages to make friends just about anywhere we travel. He's a great travel buddy and even though the flights often start out with nearly everyone giving us dirty looks for daring to bring a baby on the flight, by the time the flight is over, they've sincerely changed their minds about all children. Lucky for us, Aiden just has a way! :) We arrived safe and sound, got tucked in, and geared up for a long few days.
Friday we were off to Modern Salon & Spa, my little slice of heaven I always visit when in Charlotte, for my cut and color with the infamous Lyndsay, and Aiden's first little haircut! After he did his thing and played will all the toys on the desk, Lyndsay expertly trimmed his little locks. He looked like a little boy, which is what he is...I just mean, not so much a baby anymore. Well, needless to say, the travel and hair cut tuckered him out, so he took a nice little nap on Daddy's chest for the remainder of our visit at Modern. He won over most of the staff, if not all, and we all left feeling like a million bucks!
Next, it was off to visit Marye Pat, my former manager at Wachovia. She had a sweet little gift for Aiden and we got to see her beautiful new home. I miss working with her so much as we were like peanut butter and jelly and were able to pick up right where the other left off on just about everything. She is such a great manager and friend and will at least be a friend for life even if not my manager! We had a great time visiting and Aiden enjoyed seeing all the breakable things in her house and the tissue paper from his gift. Curious George, indeed!

He just looks like he did something wrong already!
Us posing with MPK.
Next it was back to the house for afternoon naps. Don't you miss those? It's one great thing about a mini-vacation. Naps. Then Nathan and I headed to Red Rocks for a late dinner after putting Aiden to bed. I seriously love Red Rocks. They have the best appetizer, the queso-spinach dip served hot in a fresh bread bowl with tons of tri-colored salty chips. It's the perfect beginning to any meal, and most often is my entire meal. In addition, they are one of the few places in Charlotte that carries and organic chicken meal. This meal, we could sing praises over. Organic Bar-B-Que chicken, wild rice, and fresh steamed veggies. And if you're feeling like you'd rather be "bad" than good, you can swap the rice for some killer skinny fries. To top every meal off, their dessert tray is out of this world, and though we planned to save room, we rarely do, so we didn't imbibe, but did find ourselves lusting over the key lime pie and oreo cheesecake. Another day, another diet. Not today.
Saturday we had planned all head to Raleigh so I could attend Christy's baby shower and the boys could hang out with Nathan's grandparents who live in Cary, but work ended up getting in the way of our travel plans and I couldn't find a ride at the last minute, so we found ourselves in Charlotte for that day as well. I was really disappointed in not being able to be a part of her special day, especially since we live far apart, but plan to go and visit shortly after the birth to help her and the baby out. That might even be more fun! The best part about being in Charlotte is the super duper YMCA system they have. I do miss this. There was one in the building I worked in downtown that I frequented daily either for lunch or dinner and it was always a grand experience. Since the Tabler's live right down the street from the Harris YMCA, I got to go to a morning Spin class and get my workout on. There is pretty much one every hour on the hour at this Y on Saturday mornings, so it makes it hard to come up with an excuse NOT to go. And boy, am I glad I went. Before class, we were chatting outside the room and were discussing clips vs. tennis shoes on the bike. I was telling how I'd not yet "thrown down" on a pair of cycle shoes since I haven't joined the Y in TN and was thinking about getting a bike for the house. "When I do that, I'll get shoes," I spouted. So fast forward to the end of class and one of the folks who'd been chatting (a 70+ year old gentleman) came running out of the Y after me as I was getting my purse out of the trunk. As much as I should have been a little frightened, I wasn't. Odd.
But he just said, "I promise I'm not trying to hit on you or anything, I want to buy you a pair of shoes."
I said, "What?! What do you mean?"
"I just want you to have some of those shoes. They are awesome. So, go to ProCycle sometime today and there will be money waiting for you to get a pair. Do you know where that is?"
So I named the street and he confirmed...and I said, "But you don't even know my name."
"I don't need to," he replied, "I'll just tell them a cute girl with brunette hair will come in to pick them up. And if you don't go, the money will just sit there."
Shocked, stunned, and not sure what to do, I got in my car and proceeded home still curious about what had just happened. I told Nathan and his family and they all thought it was crazy as well, but amazed at what someone was willing to do. To make my long story short, I called a few places around town only to find that he had indeed come into the store near our old condo and put a gift card at the front desk for me to buy a pair of shoes. Anna Jane went with me and we picked them out, clips and all. It cost me $10 to get a really nice pair of shoes. Pretty stinking cool. The funny part is the store wasn't called ProCycle, it was called Bike Source, but back in the day they had a sign on their door that read that way, so the person who sole me the shoes said, "Wow, that guy must be old to remember that!"
We spent the rest of the day with Nathan's family and enjoyed a quick trip to the mall and by our favorite Harris Teeter in the world, Morrocroft. It's like the mother ship of all Harris Teeters. Love that place and can't wait till the one is open in Westhaven. I see it every time I leave the neighborhood and get more and more excited to see those florescent lights aglow.
Since his family cannot come to Aiden's birthday party in July, they had a few gifts for him and he really enjoyed tearing the paper off the packages...I am pretty sure more than any gift that was inside! :) Oh the joy of being One.
Sunday it was off to Elevation Church for the early service, then to lunch at Acropolis, another of my Charlotte favorites. After another quick nap, it was tails down to the airport for the longest lines I have ever seen. Literally out the door. All the doors. And the security lines were completely insane and not even possible to navigate in the short time we had to board. Lucky for us, we have a super cute kid and even though our flight didn't have First Class, we got pushed just a little closer to the front, allowing us to make it just in time! Afater another great flight home, and a proposal to join a nice pilot on a trip to Paris, we arrived safe and sound in Nashville and had a super night's rest in our own comfy beds. Great trip, but man, were we tired. I have a feeling a long week awaits us.
Aiden with his Grandma CeCe
And riding on the rocking horse...not so sure about this thing.
So we tried again. Still not too sure.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Today was Nathan's first Father's Day as a Daddy. A Big Daddy. My Big Daddy. Aiden's Awesome Daddy. Basically a Daddy that rocks. It's been really amazing for me to see Nathan being a Daddy to Aiden as he's grown up the past 11 months. Today was the day to celebrate him in all his Daddy glory.

I remember back to June of last year and Father's Day in particular and the frequent and sarcastic comments from Nate how he wasn't really looking forward to being a dad as it made him sound old. Yes, exactly what I was thinking. Thirty is so old. For whatever reason, some people just don't think they have what it takes to be a Dad, or a Mom for that matter. And it is true that some people don't, but this is not the case for Nathan. Though he might not have thought so at the time, I have known all along that he would be an amazing Dad. Just one look at the heart he has in him will reassure any doubt you might have about that fact.
That said, what a miracle it has been for me to see his remarkable transformation from this guy who wasn't all that sure about bringing a kiddo into the world to this guy who LOVES the mess out of our little dude. They have this fun and very special relationship; bond, if you will. Aiden loves play time with Nate. So much so that he rarely (and by rare I mean like once a month or something) lets him put him down to sleep - for bed, for naps, whatever. To him Nate = PLAY and play only. On the flip side, I = sleep, comfort, and food. Sometimes play, but not as often as he runs to Nathan for those times. And though sometimes I wish I was the play person, I realize how glad I am that he can associate Nathan with playtime because so many little dudes don't get that kind of time with their dad as often as he does, so they don't really know what Dad is there for! Lucky for us, this is not the case with our Daddy Nate.

Nathan's love for Aiden has been something so special for me to watch develop over time as Aiden has grown up and I anxiously await how much more it will grow in the Father's Days to come. So while we didn't do anything super amazing to celebrate today, we spent the day letting Nate be what he does best, be Aiden's Dad. Though it was a fairly low-key day, it was special because we got to have lunch with Beth, Daniel, Ryder, and the little one on the way as they were visiting from Austin. We celebrated our hubbies and daddies over lunch and catching up on their life in Austin and ours here. Fun times. Miss them lots and it was fun to see the two boys (3 months apart) hanging out and chilln' at the table chowing down on their "people food." Crazy that last year that couldn't have happened.

The group after a great Father's Day lunch.
There he is in all his scary glory.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oh, the ever loving beach. It is something I look forward to with anxious anticipation from the minute I leave every year until the minute I return. Why? So many reasons...too many to list, but there is something wild and wonderful about the ocean, the sand, the waves, the sunrises, sunsets, and the way it all works together in tandem to be the all encompassing reality of a dream that is the beach.

This year marks the first year we had our little dude in tow and while we knew it would be a different kind of vacation (in that it wouldn't really be a true vacation in the sense of complete and utter relaxation), we knew it would be enough to clear our heads, give us some time away, and enable us to enjoy our little family unit in our very favorite spot of ocean. We were interested to see how Aiden would like the ocean and sand as we had all kinds of varying opinions from our friends based on how their kids liked it, so we went into it hopeful, but not terribly optimistic. Regardless, our trip was slightly easier than originally planned as we headed down via plane rather than attempting the 8 hour trek by car. Our little dude doesn't care too much for the car as it inhibits his ability to get around, and he's not at the DVD watching age yet, so we opted to fly, probably for the last time before we start trying to make the trip by car. Flight there was full of eating (for Aiden - to distract him from the desire to walk), but we made it to the beach and were able to breath in the salty smell in less than a half a day. Success.

My parents arrived to spend a couple of nights with us and I took Dad around to show him the lay of the land where we were staying and then headed out onto the beach to secure our chairs for the week. We had a nice time hanging out before bringing Aiden down to discover his sense of smell, taste, and views of the vast expanse of ocean. He didn't quite know what to make of it, the ocean, that is, but he wasn't quite as scared as I thought...and really quite enjoyed his time in the sand. He made multiple attempts to eat it, some successful, which was quite a funny thing.

The hours became days and the days passed too quickly. Nate and I took our annual trip to the Red Bar, a few beaches away from where we stay, which is something we always look forward to. We filled the week with lots of lounging and naps, good meals at great local restaurants, fun shopping trips, biking around the nearby towns, and taking long runs on the beach. I could stay there forever. Someday I think I will.

The thing that is too much to encompass in any amount of writing, was having Aiden at the beach with us. It was surreal to see and have my little dude there with us taking in the ocean and pools, the environment, the people. Last year he was just this little figment of our imagination...we had no idea what the little baby inside my belly would look like or be like, how he would experience things, what his voice would sound like, or that he would take his very first steps all by himself across the room at our beachouse. All of it just fit together perfectly.

How nice it is to forget what day of the week it is every now and then. I wish that happened more often! Even though it wasn't the most relaxing least like those in years past when we could spend 12 hours on the beach without caring what time it was or what we'd was one I won't soon forget and one I wouldn't trade. I look forward to going back...hopefully sooner than a year from now. A few pics from our trip...for more click here.