Happy 4th of July! Brian, Tony and I spent the extended holiday weekend visiting Mom and Dad in Indiana. We grilled out every evening, got some yard work done, and then had some fun! And what is more patriotic than exercising our 2nd amendment right on Independence Day? Mom and Dad are active members at their local gun club and they took the three of us to the outdoor range twice during our visit. Besides, Brian and I wanted to break in our G19. :)
This is just a quick shout-out to our good friends Christine and Edgar. They invited us and some other really sweet friends to their house for a BBQ. Everybody had a great time. Edgar made us some world-class ribs, sausage, and pulled pork on the Big Green Egg, and Christine worked equally hard prepping the house. ;) After lunch we thought about playing a board game, but the kids convinced us to spend the afternoon outside while they shrieked and giggled on the slip-n-slide. It was a good call. Those kids played hard, and it was adorable. I especially liked Esteban's excitement at getting rocket launched down the slide, even though it usually meant careening off the edge. Haha. Boys will be boys. As a side note, Ali and Scarlett are almost the same age – Ali just turned 7 and Scarlett is 6.5… how crazy is their height difference?!
Happy birthday, Maura! We had so much fun spending the day with you.
I'm not sure when exactly it started, but Brian and I have created a loose tradition of going out to eat for date night once a week. The warm weather probably has something to do with it. We try to go to places with outdoor seating to take full advantage of our summer nights. It's been a great way to reconnect at the end of a long day or week. It provides a great excuse to slow down, set down our electronics, and interact with the people in our community. Or just each other, if that's what we want. :) This particular night we grabbed quesadillas from California Tortilla. As we sat outside enjoying our food, fireworks started going off. They were coming from the nearby town center. Dusk had settled by the time we finished eating, so Brian put the top down on the convertible and we went on an impulsive drive toward the source. It was so fun to see the fireworks from inside the car. A bunch of people were pulled over on the side of the road to watch, and the town center parking lot was nearly maxed out. We squeezed in and enjoyed being part of fun – even though we had no idea what we were celebrating! Haha.
Don't blink! Our trip to Florida was 53 hours long – including flights. Our goal for this trip was to decide (once and for all) if West Coast FL was a viable long-term plan for us or not. The two of us kept going back and forth about the pros and cons; we took FL off the table and put it back on several times without having any weighted deciding factor. By visiting, we would be able to see industry opportunities, look at neighborhoods in our budget range, and see what traffic and locals were really like.
Too much happened over the weekend for just one post! Even if it was simply various forms of vacationing. :) Here's part 2.
The Smith family continued celebrating Christina's graduation by traveling down to Panama City Beach for a weekend of sun, sand, and water. And artisan coffee. And really good Mexican food. Most of us made it down to celebrate with Christina: Conor drove down from Greenville; Sarah, Elena, Bill and Maura flew in from Maryland; and Brian and I flew over from Virginia. We were only missing Samuel, Matthew, and Kristen. I love spending time with family. With siblings growing up and graduating college and moving away, I realize more and more how precious these short days are together. Time doesn't stand still for anyone. And yet we have this unchanging promise: God is good.
In what seems like the blink of an eye, Christina graduated from Samford University. I'm sure to her it did not seem like the blink of an eye. She worked incredibly hard all four years in order to to walk across the stage last Friday and receive her diploma. This summer will be one of further studying – she's going to prepare for the CPA exam, just like Conor is doing right now. Christina, we love you and wish all God's best for you. Your accomplishments makes us proud, but even so, we are blessed to call you ours simply because of who you are.
I took sailing lessons with my hubby! And I didn't fall overboard! Keeping those standards high. :) While this was my first time sailing, Brian was already quite comfortable on sailboats. I'm glad there was an instructional class before we climbed aboard, but even so, I only memorized a little bit of the crazy lingo. I was able to keep track of "Starboard" and "Port" because at the class Brian and our instructor chatted about the origins of the words. Back in the day, the Vikings put the steering oar on the right side of the boat because they were right-handed. That was called "steoboard". Since the steering oar was on the right side of the boat, they would tie up at the wharf on the opposite side. So the "port" side faced the port. Tricky huh?
Sunday dawned with beautiful weather, and Brian and I took full advantage. We met up with Brian's cousin Cathleen and her husband Mike for the annual Annapolis boat show. There were so many beautiful sailboats, and we got to go on board and tour whichever ones we wanted. Brian told me all about the different boats as we walked by them. I know significantly less than him, but at least now I can say I've been on a luxury catamaran! :) I now understand why those are Brian's favorite. They are laid out so perfectly for a weekend getaway to the islands. As Brian, Mike, Cathleen and I sat on a swinging recliner, the sales rep told us we could go in together and rent that catamaran for an evening event or party. How fun! And impractical. ;) But I do like the idea of it. I hope somebody kept her card…