Tag Archives: doug

Annual beach trip

Each year we go to the beach with my parents, Doug’s family and Grandmama.  This year was no exception.  Everyone arrived in Murrells Inlet, SC on Saturday morning (except Tom and I, we drove in late Saturday night after working on the house all day). We rented a large house right on the beach, which is necessary due to the number of small children that we have going back and worth from the beach to the house all day. Because the rates are much less expensive in May than they are for the rest of the summer, we pulled the kids out of school and took off for the beach.  Hands down, we had the most beautiful weather this year.

The cousins were so excited to see each other again.  Now that Doug, Jacqueline and the boys live in Maryland, the kids really appreciate the time that they have together.  I could put thirty pictures in the post to show how much fun we all had, but that would be a bit excessive.  I will show the highlights:

The five cousins having a grew time together.  The ocean was fun, but a big hole and pile of dirt was equally as entertaining….


Doug had his surf board with him and we rented a paddle board for two days.  The kids learned how to surf and ride the waves.  We all briefly tried paddle boarding.  The water was a bit choppy which made it hard to stand up on the paddle board.  Frankly, I was too afraid of what might be swimming under me to fully enjoy the experience.



The best part of vacation was that it actually felt like a vacation.  Many times going to the beach is more of a “relocation” than an actual vacation.  This time I sat in a chair more than I stood up. It was awesome!  The kids were finally old enough to play in the water and not need me hovering over them making sure that they didn’t drown.  The sun shirts that we all have on became the unofficial uniform of our vacation – they were on sale at the beach shop so we all bought one.  By the third day I had on a giant floppy hat and a sun shirt….gone are the days of bikinis and laying out to get a tan.


Tom and I did get our date night out on the boardwalk.  We deemed it as one of our best dates. :)  As for the other nights, we ate well, drank many margaritas, ate ice cream and watched a comedy on TV with Doug.  I hadn’t laughed that much in a very long time.  It was good to hang out with my brother again.

Vacation at the beach was amazing and unforgettable.  It was hard to go home, but I was very glad that the house was immaculate when I got there. (although no buyers for the house yet).  I have to thank Mom and Dad for starting this beach tradition and for carrying it on each year.  Thank you!!

Doug’s 40th

A few months ago, Doug sent me a text saying that his 40th birthday was drawing near and that he was going to have a party. He casually invited me to come up to celebrate with him.  Immediately I checked on the cost of flights from Charlotte to Baltimore.  They were only $187 per ticket – a deal.  So……I bought two of them right then and there.  This is highly uncharacteristic of me, but it sounded like fun and I didn’t want to miss Doug’s 40th birthday celebration.  You only turn forty once.

Tom and I arranged childcare for the weekend (which means that my parents and Sidney did most of it) and off we flew to Baltimore.  Tom had already been gone all week for business so he ended up flying back into Charlotte on Friday morning, waited in the airport all day, and then flew to Baltimore with me that afternoon. 

It was great to see Doug, Jacqueline and the kids again.  I think the most surprising part of the trip was the excitement that Gabriel and Shepherd showed at my arrival.  They poked their heads in my room early each morning to see if I was awake yet and asked me to and play with them.  We spent Saturday morning playing in the backyard and taking silly pictures like this one….. 


  On Sunday we went for a nice leisurely hike along the river.  Gabriel kept coming over and holding my hand while we walked.  It was very sweet.  I love my little nephews and I am very glad that we are building a relationship – especially now that they live further away. 

 The big night out was Saturday night, which was Doug’s actual birthday.  We went out to dinner with another couple from Doug’s work (Andrew and Claire) and my good friend, Todd Johnson, from high school and youth group.  I have only seen Todd once in the last 24 years so I was very excited to get to see him and his new wife.  I kept saying that I wanted to get a picture of all of us, but it never actually happened….we were too busy having fun.  Oh well, maybe next time.  I did get one picture of Doug on his birthday -it was during his birthday serenade by the mariache band, complete with a sombrero.    


Doug and I have been close for so many years (all of our lives) that it just seemed fitting that I would be there to celebrate his 40th birthday.  I am so glad that we went. Happy birthday Doug!!


It has been a crazy week. Sidney is out of town so I offered to watch her two kids each afternoon (Monday – wednesday). I was also supposed to watch another friend’s two kids on Wednesday, along with Sidney’s, but thankfully they ended up not coming over. I love my other friend’s children but I think that seven kids and one adult may have been too many….even for a Super Mom like me.

The days may have been busier than usual, but they were fun. Believe it or not, but sometimes it is easier to have five kids instead of the usual three. They entertain each other. At one point I actually sat down and read my Time magazine while the five kids played downstairs. I decided to brave it and take all of the kids to the pool by myself. The first pool day was a bit harried because it was just me and five kids, but the second day my parents were there to help.  They met us there with Gabriel and Shepherd, whom they hadn’t seen in six weeks since the move. It took a while for them to get used to each other again, but then it was all back to normal.
The pool trip was especially exciting because Gabriel and Robin each decided to take the swim test. Gabriel warned a yellow necklace and Robin got the green. Robin had been asking me for two days if he could take the test. I worked with him a bit, he practiced a few times and then took the test. I felt bad doing it without his parents there but it had to be done. :).

Now that Robin and Faith both have a green necklace they could go on the slides together.  It took Faith a while to work up the nerve to go down the slides, but she finally did it.  This is Faith splashing into the water…



Robin and his green necklace…



Gabriel and his yellow necklace…



My kids are very excited to have their cousins back in Charlotte with them this week.  They will be together off and on for the rest of the week.  They are even having a sleep over at my mom’s house on Friday night.  :)  We will all be sad to see the boys leave again, but they are enjoying their new home and we will be in Maryland to visit them in August.

Here are Shepherd, Wilson and Miller….


Doug moves

We had Doug’s family over for dinner Wednesday night for their “last supper” in Charlotte. They moved to Ellicott City, Maryland yesterday morning. I was sad to see them go. Doug and I have always been very close. Of course things have changed a bit since we’ve both gotten married, but I still find comfort in having him right around the corner. I have also really enjoy the pleasure of getting to know his boys, Gabriel and Shepherd. They are sweet, smart and funny nephews and I am glad that I got to see them every Monday and Wednesday at my moms house. My kids have gotten to know Doug and Jacqueline as well.

Our families didn’t get together too often, but the kids saw each other all day, twice a week at Grandma’s house on”Grandma Day”. Over the years the kids have grown quite close and enjoy seeing each other. Faith, Wilson and Gabriel play very well together. I think over the last year or so Gabriel and faith played together often. As for miller and shepherd they were sweet little buddies. I would come over to the house and ask “Where are the little guys?”. I would look for them and find them together under a tree or in my moms bathroom shower playing without the water on. They would go find an adventure somewhere together. I am so glad that they had these years together. I hope that their bond is sealed because of the time spent together and that the relationships pick back up easily when they see each other again. My dad is already planning dates to pick up the boys and bring them here this summer. I think the move will be hardest on my parents, specifically my Dad. I am thankful that they are only moving seven hours away. Dad plans to meet them half way to pick up the boys and bring them to Charlotte for a long weekend.

So far the family has arrived safely in Maryland but it is looking like their furniture won’t be there until next week. I am sure they aren’t too happy about that! Doug starts his new job Monday at T.Rowe Price. God has truly blessed their move from the beginning. Jacqueline got into three great schools and chose Maryland. They sold their house in three days and Doug was offered three different jobs. It has been relatively “easy”. I am sure that moving a family is never easy but it seems that God has paved the way for them. I am sure that they will make friends easily and settle into their new home with excitement.

I have been blessed to have Doug and his family in Charlotte for so many years. I am excited for them and their new adventure.


Charlotte Beer Festival

Last month Sidney alerted us that there was a Groupon for the Charlotte Beer Festival. Sidney’s idea was that we would go with her and Bobby and Doug and Jacqueline. It was a great idea! For $10 a person we could go on a triple date and drink many types of micro brew beer. My parents offered to watch our children and let then spend them night. Perfect!

The six of us rode uptown together to the EpiCenter, which is a three story outdoor mall with bars and restaurants. The beer festival was held outdoors on two of the floors. It was much more crowded than any of us anticipated. I guess now that we are all older and out of the “scene”, we forgot that young people flock to places that allow you to drink as much as you can in four hours. :).

There were over seventy different beers represented at the festival, one DJ and a band. We did try many of the beers but I doubt we got to them all. It was a beautiful day to be outside with friends.

Here are the six of us ( we don’t know the guy in red behind us…photo bomb)