Monday, November 30, 2015

November 2015 Pictures

I started a new job! After three years at my old job, it was time to start something new. I'm going to be working at a bank and spent the entire month of November in training. I'm really excited about this newest chapter! 

We babysat for some friends from Carson's department,  and had so much fun hanging out with these sweet kids! 

Tried a new restaurant. We skipped lunch and had a very early dinner at 4:30pm. The restaurant was empty except for one other table. 

I got to FaceTime with a dear friend from Cleveland who's now living in New York! It was so good to see Carrie, "meet" her sweet baby, and see her amazing view of the city. Technology is wonderful.

My phone shattered and we went to several different places trying to get a quote to fix it. I asked one person at the mall (who had run out of screens) how often he replaced them and he said it was over 75% of their business. So THAT must be why phones are made of glass - job security. 

Carson took my phone the next day when he went to a meeting and got it fixed. Here it is good as new! 

This fellow was hanging out on my driver's side window on my commute home. I took a video of him looking like he was surfing as he hung on for dear life. He did not make it all the way home, and that was caught on video too, sadly.

The mall is all ready for Christmas!

Carson went to a conference in Atlanta and I did all kinds of things, including hem pants. 

And rearrange my gallery wall and mantel.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we went to see the Nutcracker. Carson found cheap (cheaper than seen in this picture) tickets on Groupon so he got to see the ballet for the first time every and actually enjoyed it. Little mishap with this: Groupon had tickets for the Saturday night showing (when we would not be in town) and the Sunday afternoon showing (when we would be in town) and he selected Sunday afternoon. Somehow that registered on Groupon as Sunday evening, so we walked up to the building with a little fear, as we thought maybe they wouldn't let us in and we'd have wasted money. They didn't ask for the Groupon app, just our last name, and right away we were handed two tickets! I guess we were worried for nothing, but word to the wise: read everything six times before you click and then check the emails a million times too, just in case. 

Thank-full Weekend

We spent Thanksgiving weekend in Beaufort again this year. After I got off work on Wednesday evening, we hit the road and got in at around 10ish, I think. Becca and Thomas were there when we got there and we got to say hi before they took off. They left Thanksgiving Day for Austin, Texas, so we were glad to have that small time with them the day before. 

As has been custom since my parents built the house in 2007, the family gathered at Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving dinner, which we always have closer to lunch than dinnertime. I'm not sure if that's how everyone does it, but that's what I've always been used to. 

Mom has Jenga and Scrabble tiles on her coffee table as a fun form of entertainment 

And of course, baby Grayson was certainly a star of the show, held here by his grandma, my aunt Pam.

It was a warm day, so everyone was swatting bugs as we took family pictures outside. I didn't really feel them but they must have been pretty bad because everyone else was miserable. 

My aunt Bonnie wasn't there this year, so the Norman brothers weren't cooperating for sibling pictures for their mama. They were swinging off trees and saying goofy things.

We definitely had less of a crowd than last year for the family picture by the climbing tree. No one needed to get into the branches!

And we were missing a few for the "granddaughters with grandmama" picture. 

After everyone left, Dad and I walked over to the shooting range (which is comprised of a metal target in the woods next to the goat pen, in case you were picturing something really fancy) and shot the target a few times with an assault rifle. Redneck Thanksgiving, indeed.

We settled in to sleep off the turkey and watch... tv? A movie? I can't really remember, and certainly the puppies were relaxed.

Carson, Mom and I went to Bluffton the next day for Black Friday shopping. We found some deals and headed back in time for me to meet my cousins to see the final installment of the Hunger Games in Beaufort. On Friday night, we went to Grandmama's for the traditional family oyster roast. It was once again pretty warm, so no one spent much time in front of the fire and it wasn't a great year for the oysters so we mostly sat inside with the baby. 

Last year on Black Friday, I'd cornered Morgan in the Columbia outlet and said "You're pregnant aren't you?" She confirmed it and here we are a year later with her sweet chubby little boy. 

Grandmama pulled boxes of old things out of the attic so we enjoyed going through pictures of Uncle Mark as a teenager and random things his family had left at Grandmama's when they moved to Florida in 1998 when Stuart was a baby. 

On Saturday morning, we went to a wedding! I've known the couple for a long time because I used to babysit for the groom's family and the bride was the next-door neighbor! The wedding
 was held at Old Sheldon Church, where we got engaged and where at the time I'd considered getting married. It was booked for a couple of years which is one reason we didn't have it there, so it was nice to attend a wedding in the spot where we did get engaged and might have gotten married. It was a huge wedding, and we sat next to the Kipe ladies during the ceremony. Graceanna enjoyed playing with my bracelets and Wren tried her best to wriggle to the ground and wander off. 

In pictures of weddings I've seen there, the ceremonies are held inside the shell of the burned down church. There was no way this one would fit inside, and I liked that it was a backdrop instead of surrounding us. This place holds so much history. 

The ceremony was at 10:30 in the morning, and they had cupcakes and a receiving line afterward. It wasn't long but it was really lovely and perfect and everyone got to chat while waiting to congratulate the newlyweds. Graceanna was in love with the bride, because of course every bride is a princess to a little girl, and who can blame her? It was a beautiful dress!

"Graceanna, smile pretty!"

Us in front of the place we got engaged over six years ago. 

Following the wedding, we changed at home and then rushed out to meet Nana at Fat Patties (burger place) in Beaufort for Mom's birthday lunch. I had people write cards and notes and letters for Mom's 50th birthday and gave them to her while we waited to eat. 
The Carolina-Clemson game was playing as we ate and everyone inside was reacting to the score. As expected, Carolina lost. 

Three generations!

And the three musketeers for the weekend!

Once back at the house, we packed up our things and Oscar enjoyed the sunshine on my balcony.

We'd decided to leave Saturday night so that we could make it in time for church on Sunday, so before we hit the road, we met up with Jillian and her girls at their adorable little rental in downtown Beaufort. I played with Graceanna's hair and made it look like Elsa from Frozen.

Jillian's girls went to spend time with her mom and Carson decided to check out a local coffee shop downtown, so Jillian and I had dinner at Fuji. I used to love this place in high school and it was every bit as wonderful as it was then. I all but licked my plate.

It's hard to find good lighting for a picture together in the dark with an iPhone but we tried. 

Despite planning to leave on Saturday night, we were filling up with gas right before we got on I-95 and the people inside warned us that traffic was stalled in both directions. I called my parents and we decided to go back and stay with them instead. It gave us the opportunity to actually sleep (even though we did get up early) and to watch the Florida-Florida State game. I expected Florida to really beat Florida State but the opposite happened and the only two points Florida scored were because of a safety so technically they were so bad that Florida State had to score for them.

We hit the road at 5am on Sunday morning and were early for church, so we got hot chocolates at Panera and had a relaxing time there before church. Our weekend in Beaufort was a little shorter than I think it has been in the past, but it was completely full and very fun. 

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