Saturday, July 26, 2014

Giddy Up

Is this post necessary?  Oh yes!!  Charlotte's first time horseback riding happened this morning.  It was too big of an event to combine it with the rest of our travels, so here are the deets.
Josh and I are on our way to Illinois (Nauvoo and Chicago) for a Whitmore family reunion; but our first stop was going to Kentucky to drop Charlotte off.  Yes, I know it's a family reunion, but the thought of dragging her in the heat and humidity of the Midwest, in and out of little pioneer homes, did not sound like a vacation to me.  With that said, Rachel (Josh's older sister) and Eve (my MIL) agreed to watch Charlotte.  She is going to have so much MORE fun hanging out with her cousins and playing for a week straight.  I can't wait to hear about her little vacay :) 
This morning, before taking off, Kevin's mother (Rachel's MIL) set up a fun little private field trip (basically) for the little kids to meet some horses and actually ride them!  Soon as I heard of this, I knew Charlotte would love it.  

We crossed the bridge from Louisville into Indiana and found ourselves out in the country.

Can you tell I was a little skeptical about being that close to a horse?
  First up was Bennett.  The oldest.  The example.  And the most brave.  

The girls watching Bennett
Tess...the proud sister
Then Liam.

Then Charlotte and Bennett.  Thanks Bennett for holding on to Charlotte.  

I tried to zoom in on this picture so you can see the smile on her face.
She was having a ball.  I could hear her talking while riding around.  She was in heaven.  The other horse, not be ridden, started freaking out a bit.  I thought, oh great, while my child is out there something is going to happen.  Nothing happened!  At one point, the saddle started slipping.  Bennett had a good hold on to Charlotte and the guy who owned the horses acted so quickly! 

 I am so glad Charlotte enjoyed her first time on a horse.  Who knows, maybe we have a future jockey on our hands!  
All the kiddos enjoyed watching the horses, a tour of the barn and horse trailer, and playing around.  Thank you Terri for setting all this up.  It was a fun morning!    

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thoughts on North Carolina

I thought I would sit down tonight and write down my thoughts on how this move has been and currently is.  
At first, the sound of moving to Charlotte was so exciting.  I applied Josh for the position he eventually took, I did the research in the housing market...never thinking that it would really happen.  At least so quickly! I thought I would live in southern California forever, or for a while.  But Josh had other plans!
We left Orange County without a tear.  Is that horrible?  I cried a ton when we left Provo, but not where I grew up?  We were ready for a life of financial freedom!!  Woohoo!!
The move took place over the holidays and Josh and I were apart for too long.  He had to start training and I stayed at my parents house in Utah.  I am pretty sure this is what resulted in Charlotte's one-nap-a-day.  The whole time I was so excited to get to my new house that we had already purchased and were to close on the last day of the year, before we even moved in (which we will NEVER do again).  
Once we arrived, it was fun and exciting...for about a week.  Then everything set in and I acted like a teenager whose life was over.  I was super depressed because it was freezing (Polar Vortex sound familiar?) and I didn't know what to do besides stay home.  Luckily, there is a Target and huge shopping center about a mile from my front door.  I went there a lot.  I had a lot of decorating to do.  We had to buy furniture, sell furniture, paint, put blinds up, get our backyard set up, and the list goes on and on.  First of all, we didn't realize how much money a NEW house demands.  And we have a townhouse.  I can't imagine having to set up a single-family house!  I had my moments where I loved living here and starting our new life and then I had more moments where I just wanted to live back in my two-bedroom apartment in the sunshine.  I was all over the place, as you can imagine.  Poor Josh.  I put on a good face out in public, for the most part.  What was the ultimate turning point?  My trip to California in May.
I had been looking forward to this trip literally, since I found out we were moving.  I couldn't wait to come back and see everyone and go to Disneyland and the beach and hang out in all my favorite places.  Well, the trip was so much fun and all the wedding festivities kept me super busy.  Going to Disneyland with Charlotte (for the 98th time) was also a blast!!  But the entire week was overcast and I didn't do anything (besides Disneyland) that I couldn't do in Charlotte.  I was going to lunch with friends, going shopping at the mall, doing Target runs, going back to the house for Charlotte to take a nap, you get the point.  It was such an eye opener.  Since I arrived back home, I have tried to have a better attitude.
NOW, I am loving my life.  I love the life that Josh and I are creating for our family.  There are lots of things to do here in Charlotte.  We go to the waterpark frequently, we are exploring the city and surrounding towns, we enjoy the different libraries, we go shopping, and hang out with our friends...things we would be doing in whatever city we lived in.  Sure the weather isn't Orange County and it rains more than I like, but whatever.  For us, it has turned out to be such a great experience so far.  There are so many things that have happened since we have arrived.  Charlotte is a little spit-fire and keeps us on our toes constantly.  She has done the most memorable things since we have been here.  I have become a true stay-at-home mother, rarely leaving the house, unless I really need too.  I have learned so much about myself as well.  I am trying new things...painting my own nails, using the Dave Ramsey envelope system, stay home more and be productive where it matters, and other things that will bore you.  I love being a mother to Charlotte.   She is teaching me new things daily, especially patience.  She makes me laugh so much everyday.  Charlotte truly has become my BFF and I hope it's that way our whole life!  We have made some great friends, that Charlotte adores!!  What a blessing friends are when you are so far from family!  
As much as I struggled when we first got here, I truly feel like Charlotte is my home and I know that feeling will just increase the longer I'm here.  Of course I miss the family get-togethers and seeing everyone frequently, but for our family, we wanted to be our own, be independent and really challenge ourselves.  Every family is different and you have to do what's right for you!  I have a feeling we will be here in CLT for a long time.  Whether we are or not, or if we move somewhere else, I feel like this move has showed me I can live just about anywhere!  I can't wait to see what Charlotte has in store for us! 
Pics from the weekend:
Friday- Brusters
Saturday- ImaginOn (squished face)
Sunday- Nursery

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I Scream, You Scream

This morning, we started the day off at Target helping our friends pick out outfits for thir family pictures. I am very flattered when people ask me clothes advice. I don't think I'm the best dresser, but I do love shopping and have fun putting outfits together!! 

After we had much success at the (second) happiest place on earth, we headed to SC to our favorite ice cream place, Brusters. Charlotte did an amazing job not getting ice cream all over! I was so impressed. Practice makes perfect ;) The kids loved running all over the patio area (luckily, we were the only ones there) and thought they were so big sitting on the kids bench. Charlotte loves seeing Kira and Isak...BFF's :)

Thanks Becky for treating us to ice cream! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Home of the Free and the Brave

There hasn't been too much going on since we've been back from D.C.  We were supposed to go to the beach, Charleston, SC, this weekend, but when we heard that Hurricane Arthur was hitting the east coast, we cancelled our hotel and decided on a stay-cation, instead.  We have had great weather...some of you have been texting me and asking.  It's so crazy to know that hurricanes and tornadoes are so close to us.  I've never had to worry about natural disasters...except earthquakes, I guess.  So what have we done during our stay-cation?  Well, not that much.  And nothing out of the ordinary.  
Josh had taken off Thursday (yesterday), so we headed to IKEA, Hobby Lobby and World Market to get a few things for the house.  We are trying to finish decorating the loft, put the remaining curtains up and a few loose ends here and there.  We figured we use our hotel refund towards the house.  It was a long day, but got some fun stuff to spruce up the house.  I seriously have decorating ADD...always moving things around and rearranging (I'm my mother's child for sure)!  
Yesterday was the 4th of July and we had a relaxing, long day.  It started with relaxing around the house in the morning and then our BBQ plans fell through so we went to Qdoba Mexican Grill for lunch with our friends, the Nyborgs.   

Don't know why I look so crazy in this picture...
Afterward, we went and got our swimsuits on and went over to Carowinds.  Our favorite place here in the Carolinas ;)  Apparently everyone in the southeast had the same idea we did.  There were a gazillion people.  Kind of like if you went to Disneyland on July 4th.  But Josh said it was very appropriate for the in "Sandlot." It was fun finally having Josh with us while we played in the kiddie pool.  Charlotte had the time of her life.  It was really hot too, so it was a nice way cool off. 
The rest of the day, we stayed in. The sun totally wiped us out. And Charlotte didn't take a nap, so there was no way I was keeping her up to watch fireworks! It took us a while to get her to bed.  Luckily, the local fireworks didn't wake her up.  We watched a few from the upstairs windows (we couldn't see them if we walked outside) and just laid around and were lazy.  I love holidays for that reason!  
I am so grateful to be an American and live in a country where I have the ability to choose what I want to do.  What religion I want to practice, what schools I want to go too, where I want to live, who I want to marry....all those decisions have been my own.  I think we take for granted the amazing country we really do live in.  I know I do.  I try my hardest to appreciate everything I have and all the freedoms I get to enjoy and the men and woman to fight for our country everyday; who leave their families and serve for ME!  THANK YOU!  I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!!

Life According to My iPhone

I have been a little MIA from the blog lately, so I thought I would just post a run down of photos I have been taking (mainly of Charlotte) and get you all up to date on what's been going on with the Whitmores :)
First Ponytail
Another day at Carowinds...she was having fun. I promise!
I'm trying...she just laughs when I put her on.
Sold her crib.
We bought her a set of golf clubs.  Hello LPGA (thanks "Once Upon A Child")!
First playland.  Yes, Josh went all the way up with her.  The things he does for her.
Play date at the Nyborgs ended up with Charlotte taking over the pool...
...and the teddy bears.
She played dress up.  All on her own.  Well she went and got the dresses and gave them to me to put them on her.  We went through three outfits.