The new blog is still easier than this one!!! I updated it today with the weekend's festivities. Check it out by clicking the title....be sure to save the new blog in your favorites. ALSO, for those who love to see pictures......all of my recent pictures will be on on the following website (it is only available to those that have access to the site):
You can download/upload these pictures to your computer. Enjoy!!
Since I have a Mac, I've decided to use it as it was meant to be used. It can do all this stuff for me and synch right up with my photos, music, documents, etc. So i'm trying out a new blog for a couple of months before deciding which one I'll stick with. Check it out and let me know if its as easy to follow as it is to use.....
This past weekend, David and I went down to Granny's beach house in Myrtle Beach and invited some friends to join us. With the short notice and the busy times of summer, only a few couples stayed but we filled the weekend with laughter, relaxation, playing like kids, cooking and soaking up some rays. Friday night, David and myself, along with Brian Shelburne, Liz, and Lance Lomax grilled out steaks, vegetables, baked potatoes, etc. Everyone stayed up late talking and coming up with ways to save the world. Saturday, Lance fixed an unbelievably good breakfast of eggs, sausage and biscuits and the rest of the day was full of pool time and subsequently pool games, laying out, the beach, reading, etc. My folks, along with Alex, Becky, Karina & Kileigh came by and hung out at the beach with us for a while. It was fun watching Kileigh take in all the sand, water, etc. She is not the biggest fan of the water just yet....but knowing her family, she will have no choice but to learn how to enjoy it. :) Saturday the party expanded to Katie Lomax, Stephanie & Sid Miller and Mary & Brent Wheatley. We had planned on going to Aspen Grill (Curry & Jen's restaurant) but after laying out all day, no one really wanted to go in and "get ready". So the guys went to the store and picked up some burgers and dogs and we grilled out once again. We had the best time hanging out with everyone. Some of the guys (and Liz) stayed up late talking but most of the girls (and Lance) shut it down by midnight. On Sunday, we did more of the same....hung out at the pool, watched tv, talked, read, etc. Around 6pm that night, we had cleaned everything up, packed up and drove down to PF Chang's to eat dinner with Sid & Stephanie. It was a great weekend and we are so blessed to have great friends to spend time with. I wish that everyone could have been there the whole weekend but there will be more opportunities to do that! All the pictures are on my facebook page, but i'll post a few of the good ones.....next weekend, Louie, Janice, David and I head to Atlantic City to see Jimmy Buffett and hang out back stage....David and I don't know how we are getting there yet (i'm a slacker) but we'll be there for sure! I'll blog about that when we get back.....
As for everything else in the Fort household- Jackson & Maddie still run the house and are doing fine. The other 5 dogs are chillin' at the farm and enjoying their time outside of the kennels. I should go visit them soon b/c I haven't seen them in a while.
I am having a hard time keeping up with this blog and for all the faithful readers, I apologize. Hopefully all 2 of you will forgive me. My last post was about New Orleans, moving Matt & Carly and meeting Grey. After I left NOLA, I drove up to Birmingham, AL for Andy Penuel's wedding. He married Lauren Holdefer of Tuscaloosa and it was quite a fun wedding! They got married at The Sonnet House and it was a beautiful place. It stormed like crazy so the original plan of having an outside wedding was nixed. In record time, they had a chapel-type building (maybe the old stables that have been completely renovated?) set up and ready for the guests. Lauren's dress was BEAUTIFUL and Andy looked awesome in his tux. Louie was a groomsman and he, too, looked nice all gussied up. The reception was fun and decorating the car was quite entertaining. The happy couple spent the following week in Gulf Shores, AL and plan on going on a cruise around December.
After getting back from B'ham, which included a pedal to the metal drive from B'ham to Charlotte....grabbing a quick dinner with Matt, Carly & Grey and making my way on back to the beach, I was GLAD to be home. The next week was the daily grind at work but this past weekend was something special indeed. Shane Wallace called us Friday to see if we would be interested in taking a boat ride from Little River to Murrells Inlet on Saturday...spending the night and making our way back on the ICW on Sunday. After coming up with NO reasons to NOT do it, we were in. We met Shane and Bekah on Saturday at Poo's, boarded our "ship" and headed south. There is something so primitive and undeniably cool about traveling by boat. Anywhoo....we made it to MI and Lindsay picked us up to go get ready for Britt's cook out. We grilled burgers and dogs and hung out at Britt's house before making our way to Pawleys Island Tavern and later to the Hot Fish Club. Good times had by all and a nice, relaxing boat ride back to Little River on Sunday. Weekends like that truly make me love living at the beach!
I'm sitting in a hotel in Birmingham, AL for Andy Penuel's wedding tomorrow night and am reflecting (and uploading pictures) of the past couple days. I drove to Charlotte Tuesday night and stayed with Joy for the night. She was gracious enough to drive me to the airport EARLY Wednesday morning to catch a flight to New Orleans. I was heading to New Orleans (along with mom, dad and Denise & Tom Akulis) to help Matt & Carly move to NC. When everyone finally got there Wednesday night, we spent the next couple of days moving furniture and boxes into a huge Penske truck. We were easily distracted by Grey, who is tiny and precious. He had a tough couple of days because his tummy hurt, but all of us thoroughly enjoyed being around him. Carly & Matt were excited to get packed up and moved out of their townhouse in New Orleans and we successfully finished everything up this morning. Matt & Carly went to closing (yay!) and the rest of us stayed back to finalize everything. I will miss our tie to NOLA but will love having Matt, Carly & Grey only a few hours away in Chapel Hill. I didn't get many pictures OTHER than Grey so enjoy.....I'll post on Andy's wedding when I get back to NC/SC.
David and I have started a little Sunday tradition (okay, so maybe its not a tradition just yet, but give us time).....We've been heading down to the beach house in Myrtle to hang by the pool, soak up the summer sun, walk on the beach, etc. Jen, Curry, Liza, & Margaret joined us today....as did Soo Soo, Lee & Janet. Its nice to have a place we can all meet and hang out.....Liza continues to entertain us and Margaret is cute as can be. My favorite line of the whole day was when I was lying in the pool on a float and Liza asked me (in 2-year old form), "Is that your bra and panties?" We all got a big kick out of that and love the lack of inhibitions of a toddler. We tried to teach her how to say "bikini" and it came out "Beccakini". She is also really good at pointing out when you happen to have a beer.....she makes a point to say that Beer is for Big People and then points out who all the big people are that can have beer. Really a cute kid! As for Margaret....she just laid on Jen's legs and made faces, ate, slept, and just got cuter and cuter. Anyways, its kind of laid back - do your own thing - Sunday but that is why we love it! Its so nice having family close by!
Margaret Alexandra Martin was born at 12:21pm on 7/23/09. She weighed in at 8lbs 8oz. and was 20 inches long. She has a THICK head of black hair and is precious. Jennifer is doing great and they are coming home today! We went to the hospital (now that they live in MB) to visit and see Margaret and I was amazed at how great Jen looked! Liza was thrilled to have a "real baby" and wanted to see her in the nursery. She'll have plenty of time to play with Baby Margaret now! Here are a couple pics!
Matt & Carly welcomed their baby boy into the world on Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 4:39 cst. Harrison Grey Raynor was 5lb 7oz and 19.75 inches long. He is a little thing but is so precious in pictures. I cannot wait to meet him in person and will get to do that in a couple weeks! "Grey" as he will be known, is going to be a loved little nugget! The Matt Raynor clan is moving to Chapel Hill in August and their new home is close to being completely built. It is so exciting to know that they will be SO close (comparitively speaking) and I can watch Grey grow up and watch Matt & Carly be wonderful parents. These are my new favorite pictures......
In this picture, he's already taking after Shelton...trying to bend his ears forward to hear better. Hopefully he'll have better hearing than his Grandfather currently does.
I've been out of touch for a while and it seems like I can't catch up with life! I guess I'll start by announcing the birth of BABY BOY RAYNOR today at 4:39pm Central Time. Matt & Carly have a new son and I could not be more excited! I don't think they have 100% decided on a name but there are a couple in the works. He weighed in at a whopping 5 lbs 7 oz and 19.75 inches long. Carly delivered a week early because the baby wasn't growing like the docs wanted it to. As far as I know, baby and mom are doing well. I can't wait to meet the lil man!
I'm currently sitting in a really nice townhouse in Orlando, FL. I just got here today with 3 of the girls from the gym and will be here until Tuesday. They are working out at a college recruiting camp and I brought them here so I, too, could learn what the ropes are for getting a scholarship or competing college gymnastics these days. So far, everyone is having fun but the first workout is tomorrow, so we'll see!
The link below is pictures from July 4th.....Mom & Dad came to town and we (me & david, mom & dad) went down to the Dunes Club to hang with the Magenbauers, Martins, Woodards and Soo Soo. We decorated golf carts for the neighborhood golf cart parade and went to an amazing cook out hosted by The Dunes Club. We saw some of the greatest fireworks I've ever seen and I was so upset that my camera battery died right at sunset. : ( We had a great time nonetheless and we are grateful to have family so close to us now.
This week (prior to Orlando) and the remainder of next week, I'm busy with gymnastics camp at our gym. Its so much fun to have so many kids in town for it and especially to have so many of my coaching friends in town. We all really get along great and are able to learn so much from each other in the gym. I'll be glad to rest after it is over with and I'm sure david will be glad to see me for more than 20 minutes a night.
David is heading to Oklahoma on Saturday to meet with a consultant. He and his dad are flying out there and going to soak up all the information they can.
Summer is flying by and I will do my best to keep the blog updated on more activities going on with The Fort's. Life's a Beach!
I haven't blogged in a while and have done a lot since then! After our week off from the gym, I had to get back into the swing of things with our new summer schedule. Its nice because we work Monday night and Tuesday - Friday mornings. Typically I'm done a little after lunch but sometimes I stick around and do administrative/team work until mid-afternoon. Either way, its a nice change for me to get home before 5pm 4 days a week. Last Wednesday, David and I drove to Raleigh and spent the night with Billy & Meredith so we could catch an early flight to New Orleans on Thursday. We got to Nola early on Thursday and walked around the French Quarter waiting on our hotel room to be ready. We had a great time in New Orleans and came home Monday night. We went to watch my brother graduate from his residency at Tulane University. My parents rode in Winford Williams' RV and got to NO Thursday night. We stayed at the same hotel we took the gymnasts to last year. Its one block from Jackson Square and two blocks from Bourbon Street. Its a cool place and the prices are VERY reasonable. The majority of the long weekend revolved around food which was awesome.....eating is a hobby of mine. Thursday lunch, we went to the Gumbo Shop and had red beans and rice, shrimp creole, jambalaya and crawfish ettouffe. So good! For dinner we went to a great mexican restaurant on Magazine St. that Matt & Carly go to. Friday, Matt & Carly both had to work, so the rest of us walked around (again!) and went to the WWII museum, ate lunch at Margaritaville, relaxed and Mom, Dad and I went to see Harry & Nell Leveque who live in the French Quarter and have done so for YEARS. They are Linda Gralton's parents and I coached Linda's 2 girls, Katie & Sarah. They are such nice people and their house is really neat. Later, we met Matt, Carly, Carly's sister Jackie and their parents at Dante's Kitchen. Dante's is on River Rd. on the levee and is SOOOO good....most likely the #1 place Matt & Carly will miss when they leave Nola. Saturday, Winford, Mom, Dad, David and I took the Natchez River boat tour and enjoyed our time on the water. This was after eating breakfast at Johnny's Po Boys and walking around shopping (again). After the tour everyone went to their respective sleeping places and got ready for the big night (graduation). Graduation was held at the rooftop of the Windsor Court hotel and it was a nice dinner and cocktail hour ALL for Matt! It was really neat to listen to a couple hours of speakers all talk about Matt and his accomplishments as resident and chief resident of the Tulane Urology Dept. One of his fellow residents made the comment that Matt has probably done more surgeries than any other urology resident in the country this past year. He will be missed by all he worked with and that is no surprise to me however, we will be glad to get he, Carly & Lil' Raynor closer to us. It was also special to recognize him as the last graduate of the Katrina residents. Matt was in his first year of residency when Hurricane Katrina hit and since he was on call, he spent the better part of 4 days trying to get the patients out of both Tulane and Charity hospitals. When the helicopter picked up the doctors on that particular Thursday, he had none of his belongings and was dropped off in Lafayette, LA. Another resident that WASN'T on call and had evacuated to Houston actually drove to Lafayette and picked them up. They drove to St. Louis and matt caught a plane to NC. He truly had NOTHING from his house and was displaced for 19 months. He worked at UNC, still as a Tulane resident and when Tulane got back up and running, his boss in New Orleans asked him to return. After hearing the speeches Saturday night and the opportunities being at Tulane has given him in terms of experience, I'm glad he went back for his final two years. Saturday night David and I went to Bourbon Street and stood on the balcony of Bourbon St. Blues (The Gralton's uncle own that). It was packed but certainly not Mardi Gras packed and we saw some characters as always! We ended our night with some jazz at Maison Bourbon. Sunday was spent hanging out with everyone....David and I had some beignets and we eventually met up with Carly & Matt at Chartres House Cafe for lunch (see, lots of eating)! Everyone decided to go back to Matt & Carly's house and relax after that but David and I were quite antsy to do an activity. We decided that an airboat ride through the bayou would suit us just fine. After haggling with the owner, she gave us a deal and we spent and hour and a half on the muddy waters of Louisiana. I got to ride on the top seat of the boat and only scared myself twice on the whole trip. We got to hold a baby gator (well, 9 months old) and a Gator egg. The guys that were with us were funny....I swear they haven't seen a woman in years. The captain would get off the boat to take pictures and one of the guys said "Make sure you get the hot girl in the picture." Like I wasn't there. Dude. But he was funny nonetheless. The captain of the boat (interestingly enough) was on ABC's Wife Swap. He swapped wives with a family in California who are ballerinas (?) or something like that. He's mighty funny as well. After getting off the airboat, we picked up Winford from his RV (he needed a rest day) and we went to dinner at Zea Brewery near Matt's house. We got up early to catch our flight Monday morning and made our way back to the beach Monday night. It was really nice to be with everyone for Matt's graduation and it was certainly a special ceremony. Their plans are to move to Chapel Hill and work for UNC Hospitals....Matt in the Urology Dept and Carly as a CRNA. She will be on maternity leave until November as she is due to have that baby 7/17!!! Click on the title of the blog to see ALL my pictures......
So I've been in Southern Pines since Monday and have LOVED it. I have wanted to spend more than one night here for quite some time and with the gym being closed this week, I finally got to!! I have had the best week filled with good food, good shopping, good (long) walks downtown, a good dentist appointment and above all else, GREAT friends and family. I got home on Monday and we just sat around the house and watched TV, ate dinner, etc. Later that night (like at 10ish) we took the dogs on a long walk through town. Tuesday, mom and I both had dentist appointments in Robbins, so that took up part of the morning. We met Julie for lunch at Sweet Basil in downtown SP and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around to the precious shops that I love dearly in SP. We met a big group at Vito's for dinner (YUM)......It was Julie (again!), Alison (& Lil'Man), Becky, Alex, Karina, Kileigh, Herb, Patti and Chris for a short while. We left there and went to see Alison's house and nursery which was SO cute. All of it. I love her colors, what she did in the nursery and her taste in decorating. I also think Ilir has done a great job with her yard, etc. Wednesday, after our daily morning walk of 2 miles, I left for Chapel Hill/Durham to meet Jake, Page & Ford Fehling, along with Jeff Beaudin for lunch at Mellow Mushroom. Jake works for USA Baseball and his office is in the Durham Bulls Park area, so we went to eat at the American Tobacco district.....cool place. Lunch with those guys was awesome.....we had a good time catching up, laughing, watching Ford and grubbin. I poked around Chapel Hill for a while before heading on back to the Pines. Did some shopping, walking up and down Franklin Street and of course, stopped by The Loop for a sweet tea. On the way to AND from Chapel Hill, I stopped by Matt & Carly's house to check out the progress. On my way UP, they were beginning to put on siding on one side of the house. On the way home, they were done with one side and working on another. I also snuck in the house to get pictures. It's coming along nicely and hopefully the progress will continue smoothly. Tonight (Wednesday), my parents always go to El Vaquero and meet some friends for dinner and tonight was nothing different! We walked downtown to EV and met up with Becky, Alex, Karina, Kileigh, Anne & Bob Ryder, Anne & Wiley Fields, Jane & Scott Newton. After that, we took the dogs on (another) 2 mile walk through town. I'll be heading out sometime tomorrow although I think I could stay longer......there is something very special about this town to me and everytime I'm here, its never for as long as I want. But, the beach is a pretty cool place to live as well and I need to head back there and get ready for company this weekend and a Dixie Lane Reunion on Sunday. I'm sooooo excited about that! A few pictures for your soul.....
The waitress who took the above picture said, "It's perfect!" after taking it.....really???? We aren't crouched over a stroller for nothing!!!
Last weekend I went to Southern Pines for sweet little Kileigh's first birthday party. Karina and company did a great job planning a fun afternoon for all the kids, including Kileigh. There was lots of food, drinks, toys, presents, desserts, etc and I think everyone was worn out after it was over. Kileigh got lots of cute presents from all of her friends and I got lots of cute pictures of her. A couple of my favorites below but click the title to see the whole album on snapfish.
So I bought 6 ferns a while ago (4 to hang) and I'm seeing how long I can make them last.....I'm kind of into plants and flowers these days and we have a great front porch to have hanging plants. I walked out of the front door one day and a bird popped out of one of the ferns (and scared me to pieces). Several days later I noticed a nest.....and today I got some pictures......its a dove's nest.....I hope taking pictures didn't scare it away for too long!
Kali, the newest puppy, is doing great and I thought I'd share some funny stories and pictures from the last two weeks. First of all, the crate training (which I fully believe in) is working. She is understanding that the bathroom is outside for her. It's still a lot of work for us because she doesn't have the bladder capacity that Jax & Maddie have but she is able to stay in the crate without being let out for a good while (4-5 hours). According to articles I've read, that is outstanding for a dog her age (9 weeks). She is starting to understand commands (or so I think...maybe its a coincidence) but "hurry up" and "here" seem to grab her attention. Occasionally she will run in circles around the house (when we let her play out of the crate) and then stop suddenly and bark at us. Just one, high pitch bark, as if to say.....PLAY WITH ME NOW. She is a good retriever but doesn't always bring the sock/toy/ball right back to you. Again, who would expect that from a 9-week old? She had her first bath on Tuesday and did great. She is so adorable and sweet but now that she is more comfortable in our house, she doesn't really like to be held and cuddled....she is more into exploring and finding trouble. Speaking of exploring.....she got out of the fence yesterday! Her skinny butt can fit through the pickets in the fence and she made her way out. When I figured it out and got myself out of the fence, that Einstein of a dog was waiting for me at the FRONT DOOR. I love smart pups. Anyways, she's great and she loves visitors so if you are in the area, come meet her. I promise you will fall in love with her little face!
With Mother's Day almost a week in the past, I wanted to reflect on the fact that most mom's are awesome. First of all, my mom is wonderful. That's a given! But I wanted to use this blog to point out the new mom's in the world and how great i think they are.......These smiles show how great they are!
Lauren & Hadley....this was right after we got back from KS