Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas, Christmas & more Christmas

It is Friday night, December 30 and I just now feel like I've caught up on life since Christmas started.  For us, it started Christmas Eve morning with breakfast at the Bekah and Shane Wallace house.  Then, we ended up in Whiteville at the Edward's annual Christmas party.  It was a nice party and Santa even showed up for the kids!  David took advantage of having a sober driver and I drove us back to Little River that night so we could go to the Martin's house Christmas morning and watch Liza & Margaret play with all their goodies.  We got up at a decent hour Christmas day and exchanged gifts.  Santa got me a Canon 7D, which is amazing and I can't wait to REALLY know how to use it.  I also got a pair of earrings that are a match to the bracelet I got for our anniversary.  They are beautiful.  Both of those presents shut me up because all week I kept asking David if he was expecting something to come in the mail, or if the rest of my presents were in Whiteville or something.  I mean, he had like 12 presents and I had 2.  Of course, once I found out what was in each present, I promptly opened my mouth and inserted my foot.  After saying thank you.  Santa brought David a lot of clothes, a hunting jacket, socks, nice long johns, etc.  Christmas is always a good time to update a closet!

At the Martin's, we enjoyed brunch with the whole David Fort side of the family and the Martin side of the family.  Margaret entertained us in her dress up outfits and Liza danced with the Wii, performed various medical procedures on "patients"and we all ate a delicious breakfast.  We left there and hit the highway to Clinton to see the Raynor side of the family.  As usual, it was a good time and so great to see everyone.....especially Granddaddy!  Another holiday and that man is still here to celebrate with us!  We ate fantastic food and played the Dirty Santa game, which as usual, provided plenty of entertainment.  We came home with a nice fleece and a travel flat iron.  We left Clinton around 8 or 8:30 and David drove us home safely to the beach.

On the 26th, we woke up and went to Steve & Julia's house just down the road for brunch and family Christmas on his side.  Julia's kids were there, along with us, the Martin's and the Tripps.  Not to mention James, Lindsay & Uncle Jim.  We exchanged gifts, had great food (again) and (again) were totally entertained by the kids.  Margaret has an enthusiasm for life that is unmatched by just about anyone.  She is so fun.  Liza is so smart, lovable and just plain cute.  Eli & Ean are both a bundle of fun and I'm always giggling at something Eli said.  After a few hours there, it was back to Whiteville for more Christmas fun.

David and I met Jen, Curry, the girls & Soo Soo at Soo Soo's house in Whiteville to exchange our presents before heading to Granny Sledge's house for dinner with the extended Sledge/Magenbauer family.  The girls got dress up clothes, leotards, books, leap pad cases and games and more.  We all got spoiled with great gifts that we needed (new sheets)!!  We moved on to Granny Sledge's around 6 and enjoyed dinner, laughing, more presents and just generally a good time with family.  Granny was in her room and awake part of the night so we all got a chance to go in and talk to her.  Such a sweetheart! We left there again around 8 to head back to Little River.

I had to coach Tuesday - Thursday mornings and was looking forward to having the afternoons to catch up on EVERYTHING.  Tuesday, we cleaned, took down inside Christmas decorations and fixed soup for dinner because we were having people over to watch the NC State Bowl game.  We had a great time with Kelly & Whitney, Jenna & Cleve.  It was late when the game ended so I'm pretty sure I fell asleep in 2.2 seconds.  Wednesday, I worked and was running errands that afternoon returning some things, picking up some stuff from Jen and looking forward to getting home and kicking back for the night.  I got a text from David that we'd been invited to dinner at the Beach House at 7pm......I shed a small tear for the fact that I wasn't going to be in my PJ's at 7pm, but got over it because that meant we'd get to hang out with the Magenbauer families from VA, the Woodards, Martins, Soo Soo, etc.  I shopped until I wanted to lay down in the middle of Target and take a nap, then went to the beach house early to hang out and simply sit down.  I was worn slam out.  Dinner was good and fun but I had to go around 8:30pm to avoid falling asleep on the 15 minute drive home.  Thursday I worked and after a short couple of errands afterwards, I got home and was around the house the rest of the day!  Woop!  David had a guys night at the farm Thursday night so not only did I have the night at home with no agenda, but I was alone and it was quiet (with the exception of the occasional whining dog).  Friday, again, I had no plans and what a wonderful feeling!  I got so much "catch-up" work done for the gym and even feel somewhat prepared (work wise) to have this baby and not have administrative work hanging over my head.  David came home after a fun night with the boys, Bekah came over and we hung stuff up in the boy's room.  It's coming along nicely and I'll have pictures tomorrow when I have good natural lighting to take pictures in.  Tonight, we ate leftovers, watched a movie and YES, I was in pajamas by 7pm.  Life is good.

Tomorrow (New Year's Eve) is David's 35th birthday.  It's also New Year's Eve and I'm 8.5 months pregnant.  We pondered what to do for his birthday AND NYE and we couldn't come up with much that didn't include being out and me being "that pregnant lady" in a bar after midnight.  Hmph.  So, considering I don't really care about being "that lady" in the bar EVER, we'll probably do dinner somewhere and ring in the new year at home.  OR, we'll go up to Sunset Beach to the Wallace beach house and play with fireworks left over from the wedding.  We'll's David's birthday and he can decide.

I'll report later on what we did to ring in the new year but it'll probably be a boring post.  Something that wasn't so boring was the fact that I nearly lost ALL my pictures on my computer (over 30,000) when Iphoto crashed as I was importing Christmas photos.  Eek!  I wanted to cry, but then again, knew that I should have been better at backing up my computer, etc.  Thankfully, I'm an apple care customer and Apple takes great care of folks like us.  Thanks to Rex, in Oregon, I have my pictures.  I don't even know that guy but he's my hero of the week.  In honor of having my pictures back, on Sunday, I'm going to post my favorite pictures from 2011.  I might even sleep with my new external hard drive (that now houses all of my pictures) under my pillow.  Have I mentioned how awesome apple is??  I really like them and their customer service.  And I really like that it's 10pm and I'm ready for bed.....goodnight friends.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bahamas Team Trip

Another team trip in the books and again, it was a safe and successful trip.  Last Thursday, we met at Myrtle Beach Airport at 6:30am to head to Nassau for our annual Team Trip.  Our parent in charge this year was Rachel Sprouse and we were also joined by John & Marlette Watson.  Other than that, it was Louie & myself and 10 of our Level 9 and 10 gymnasts.  We had no problems getting to the Bahamas and by 3:00pm were checking in to our hotel.  We stayed at the Atlantis on Paradise Island and our rooms were in the very-affordable Beach Tower.  It was nice and we had a great time. The girls had fun hanging out around the resort, made full use of the free water park and the available and affordable shopping.  We worked out Friday morning and THANK GOODNESS we did....the lighting was really weird because it was in a ballroom and I'm glad the girls had a chance to feel the equipment and get used to the lighting.  Friday afternoon/night, we hung out in the gorgeous 80 degree weather most of the day and let the girls get what they wanted for dinner since it was the night before their meet.  Saturday we ate a good breakfast just off of Atlantis property and came back to the hotel to get ready for the competition.  The girls did great for their first meet of the season and we were really proud of how focused they were.  After the meet, the girls got all dressed up and we took a cab to downtown Nassau to eat at the Green Parrot and watch the Christmas boat parade.  In typical island fashion, they didn't honor our reservation (although they totally remember talking to me and greeted me with "Hey Rebecca").  So we waited about an hour for a table.  THEN, once we finagled a table, we wanted another hour and a half for our food.  It was ridiculous.  The food was good and the atmosphere was cool (I liked it....some of them didn't).  It was an open-air restaurant/bar on the water and was laid back......too laid back to handle large crowds but definitely a cool place to hang out.  I think what compounded the frustrations was that our girls hadn't eaten a meal since breakfast.  Oh well.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing and this experience just made them appreciate timely service even more.  Sunday was our "funday" and we let the kids pick what they wanted to do.  Louie was taking a group snorkeling on a catamaran and I was taking girls to a dolphin encounter.  Seven of the girls did the snorkeling and five of them did the dolphins.  Both seniors did both activities which was appropriate and so fun.  I've never been one to care about petting/hugging/kissing/dancing with dolphins but it was really cool and I'm so glad I did it! That day wore everyone out pretty well and we had a few people that were in bed by 8:30pm that night!  We were leaving the next morning so it was crunch time for the kids to find last minute gifts/t-shirts/get hair braids.  We got picked up from the hotel at 11:00am, flew out of Nassau at 1:45 and were back in the states by 2:30pm.  We had a 6 hour layover in Ft Lauderdale and although I was dreading it, it turned out to not be so bad.  We took the girls out of the Spirit terminal (which is more than terrible) and we ate decent food and laid around playing cards, talking, etc for a few hours.  It was another short flight to Myrtle and by 10pm we were home!  All in all, a great trip with great people.  My hope is that the kids remember this trip forever and cherish the experiences they get because of gymnastics.  Nothing is better than traveling with your team and getting to know them (& coaches) on a more personal level.  It truly was a great time.

I'm even more excited that I was allowed to go on the trip and came home still pregnant (Louie mentioned one time how cool it would be to have the baby in the Bahamas......totally not cool).  Anyways, it was a different experience being pregnant and not doing all the activities but I still had a good time.  I go to the doctor in the morning and can't wait to find out any new news on Baby Fort.

Christmas is so close and I still have a little shopping to do!  I am looking forward to this year's Christmas as it will be our last calm one for a while!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & safe New Year!

The group at Virgils when we first got to Atlantis

The view from our room

The team before practice on Friday

A beautiful Friday morning

Poor Jaymie & Marci

Level 10's on the beach

Olivia, Sara, Marci, Bug, Emma, Lo, Lyss, Gilly, Courtney and Jaymie

After the HUGE drop slide....they all survived!

Sara & Bug heading to another slide

The girls running around the water park

The not-so-lazy river

Dressed up for a night on the "town"

Bug & Lyss

Rachel & Lyss

The girls with Louie & Becca

Olivia & Jaymie after the braids

Fun times with Andy, the dolphin

Emma & Courtney.... last team trip as an Ocean Flipper

Olivia, Jaymie, Emma, Courtney & Marci 

Dolphin Encounter at the Blue Lagoon Island
Group picture of Andy and the Ocean Flippers