Biltmore

As part of our 4th anniversary, David had gifted me tickets to the Biltmore Estates. Let me just say that I was very glad we went because the day was wonderful, but when we were headed there it didn’t exactly feel like a gift. It felt more like I was being punished for something. (I don’t know what I was being punished for, I was just being punished because I’m Amy and that’s how things seem to go sometimes). I do not, nor will I ever claim to, win the “cool and collected mom” award. In fact, Harrison likely already thinks of me as “crazy lady” and is surprised I have any hair left.

To start things off on the right foot (insert sarcasm), David thought it would only take 3, maybe 3 1/2 hours to get to Asheville. We left close to 5, after intending to leave a little after 4, thinking it would be perfect since Harrison sometimes does/sometimes doesn’t take a late afternoon nap. He would either be content watching cars go by and talking to us or fall asleep. So….. it actually took more around 4 hours and Harrison kind of sort of fell asleep, but way later than he usually does, and then we woke him up when we arrived (after 9). Do NOT askĀ  me why I took him out of the car while David was getting things set up in our hotel room (that was next to the pool), but I did. Needless to say, that was not my smartest move. So, I’m standing there in the parking lot not knowing where David headed off to, fending off mosquitoes. I can’t sit in the car because it was warm and David had the keys. Harrison is fussing because he’s tired and didn’t know what was going on. We eventually get into the room, and Harrison thinks it’s party time. I mean, we’re someplace new, Truman is there (yes, we brought the dog for some reason), and Harrison is awake. I put him on the bed and he starts bouncing and crawling everywhere and laughing (it’s now 9:30/9:40). We finally get everything situated and get Harrison ready for bed. This is so not the same as when he was only 6 weeks old and immediately fell asleep no matter where we were or what time it was. No, this time Harrison can stand and crawl and he’s aware of his surroundings. Very aware! In not my prettiest moment ever (although likely not my ugliest), I sort of, well – lost it. Harrison didn’t go to sleep until 10:30 or so. A whopping 3 hours later than usual. The air conditioner was loud and kicked on every 45 minutes. I know this because I was awake every 45 minutes. No one else was, thank goodness, but I was. Harrison decided to grace us with his chipper self at 6:30, but fell back to sleep for another 45 minutes, thankfully. Mommy was running on empty.

Saturday was great, though. And I’m being truthful. I mean, my husband and son and dog were all still there. Somehow they had not packed up their things and left crazy lady by herself. They love me, they really do :)! It was ideal weather, Biltmore was beautiful, and Harrison was awesome. He charmed everyone and let Mommy take 100 pictures. He lasted through his first nap and then fell asleep at 12:30 for 2 1/2 hours. David acted like I hadn’t gone temporarily insane the night before and all was restored. First family mini-vacation was a semi-success. Actually, considering, I think it was a major success. But, maybe we should hold off a bit before the next one. What’s that, we’re headed to Charleston in two weeks?

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Fruit and Flowers

That’s the traditional gift for the fourth wedding anniversary, which David and I just celebrated on June 3. It’s hard to believe it’s already been four years. While I can’t say it’s all been wedded bliss (at least with a straight face), it’s been more than I could have ever imagined and hoped for. I’m going to get sappy and say I am so blessed to share every day with the wonderful man who David is and even more blessed now that we have a son to share our lives with. We have lived in our house for 3 years now, and I could not be more thankful of that every time June rolls around and we’re not moving to a different apartment because the rent is cheaper. It’s also nice to know your neighbors and not always wonder who the people walking by you every day are. But I digress…

This year was a bit tough for me. I am all about being creative, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do for David given that “fruit and flowers” was the gift. I love coming up with gift ideas and giving people gifts so it was particularly depressing that my creative juices were not kicking in. I am also more than a bit ashamed that when David mentioned his mom was coming a few months back and said she would be here on June 3 so we could go out, I didn’t immediately think of our anniversary :(. It’s not that I wasn’t cognizant of our anniversary being on June 3, it was just that other things people have been on my mind. Who could that be? David gave me a hard time about that one since I pride myself on knowing important datesĀ  not just for us but almost everyone else (David’s side of the family included). I mean, I even know the anniversary of my parents’ first date. My younger brother knows my birthday is in July sometime :).

I finally came up with an idea. I will say it still was not my best ever. Originally, I thought to get the fruit element in that I would make blueberry waffles or pancakes for breakfast, but since our anniversary occurred on a Thursday, this wasn’t possible. (Sorry honey, but not waking up earlier than 6 am no matter how much I love you.) I then thought about making a strawberry cake, but then had no idea when this would take place and where it would go so David wouldn’t find it before our anniversary. Huh-rumph! I wasn’t satisfied with saying dessert at dinner would count. Plus, who’s to say David would want a fruit dessert anyway. Beside that, he had made reservations somewhere, so that would be infringing on part of his gift. I mostly just went the flower route. I made us reservations at Iris, the restaurant at the North Carolina Museum of Art and got us tickets to go see The New Pornographers. I figured this was a great gift because it would be another night out for us in addition to our anniversary.

David, on the other hand, was able to include fruit and flowers. Side note: my husband is one of the best gift-givers I know. He’s a very good listener and picks up on things I might just mention in passing. I sometimes drop hints but not usually. Mother’s Day was a prime example. I never said I wanted a new camera. I had talked about how great this camera was that one of my favorite blogs had purchased and how good the pictures were that my co-worker took, but didn’t say I wanted one. And this past Christmas, I had to be forced to come up with gift ideas. Basically, I rarely say, “I want this.” Okay, back to David’s gift(s) to me. He gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and some chocolate covered strawberries and cherries. Yummy! He also got us tickets to Biltmore Estates in August when they have their annual flower extravaganza. I don’t think that’s what it’s really called, but basically the flowers will be beautiful. Finally, he had arranged an evening for us at the Fearington House Inn for our actual anniversary. Just another example of how wonderful my husband is. Back when I graduated from UNC, I had wanted to go to Fearington House for dinner since my mom and aunt were in town, and several people had talked about what a wonderful restaurant it was for special occasions. Well, I didn’t mention anything to David until two weeks prior, and apparently the restaurant is booked way in advance for graduation. David had remembered this and decided it was time we actually go there.

So this is where my psychic abilities kicked in. Yep, I’m psychic. I had been thinking just that day that David planned something overnight. I was thinking this because he was talking to his mom on the phone about our anniversary and I couldn’t think why he would need to do that. I knew she would be here and watch Harrison, but she knows what his schedule is so he wouldn’t need to fill her in on that. When he told me the plans, I sort of freaked out. Not because I hadn’t been away from Harrison or didn’t want to spend an evening with David, but because I had never spent a night away from Harrison. I will admit that tears ensued and a bit of panic. This had nothing to do with Nana’s capabilities or fear that Harrison would miss me. Although, two days earlier he had started crying when I was out of sight. I just love being near my little man. I knew he would pretty much be asleep the entire time we were gone since he goes down around 7:45 and doesn’t wake up until 7:30, but I was still crying.

I eventually got over it, and I was so glad I did. The meal was superb and just relaxing for an evening and waking up just the two of us was wonderful. The bed definitely was a bonus. I woke up and told David I wanted to take it home with us. I had not slept the night before because my right arm was giving me trouble, and I slept without interruption Thursday night. (Little did I know how great this was. Harrison would decide to wake up at 4 the next morning ready to play and 6:30 the following day). Oh, and I love my baby boy, but there are times when parents miss being just two people. You feel a little guilty, but then you understand things like this are vital to a healthy relationship, which only fosters a better relationship with baby. I was refreshed and ready to see my baby the next morning. As an extra bonus, we were headed to the beach later that day to spend the weekend with Nana B., Aunt Katie, and Suzette. What a wonderful anniversary weekend!