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Posts Tagged ‘family’

happy thanksgiving!

today i am thankful for (among about a million other things)…

my husby…

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my puppies…

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my family…

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my friends…

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and for a heavenly Father, who not only loves us, but cares enough to write love stories to us every night and every morning…

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1 Chronicles 16:8 give THANKS to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. let the whole world know what He has done!

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Virgin Gorda! Day 4

we woke up to another beautiful morning. it was the perfect day to spend some time in the water!Β 20111122-195818.jpg

all the “kids” (except me) went scuba-diving, so mom and i spent some time at the private beaches by our house.

i have been waiting for this all week…paddleboarding! it was the MOST beautiful scenery i have ever seen. being on the water, looking back at the beaches and the house was just so breathtaking…

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caitlyn was kind enough to get some pictures at their scuba class…

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this might be one of my most favorite pictures of matt, ever!…

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on their lunch break mom, caitlyn, matt and i went to mad dog cafe at the baths for sandwiches…

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love this candid shot…

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the view was not too shabby…

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after lunch, they headed back to their class and mom and i headed to the grocery store. we had just made it out of our neighborhood when we saw these guys just chillin in the road…

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for dinner we grilled steaks out on the veranda, with this as the backdrop…

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you really can’t beat that view…priceless!

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Virgin Gorda! Day 3

this morning we woke up bright and early for our annual family photo shoot. its always half tedious and half hilarious πŸ™‚ we all complain but inside we love the tradition πŸ™‚

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after everyone had multiple pictures taken we drove over to the other side of the island…but first we stopped at some of the lookouts along the way…

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we drove by the CUTEST little post office. so tiny!…

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we got on a little ferry that took us to the bitter end yacht club. they call it the bitter end because it is the “bitter end” of the virgin island chain (aka the southernmost point) and let me tell you…its the opposite of bitter. its the most gorgeous blue water i have ever seen….

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after walking around a bit, we took another little boat over to saba rock, a little bitty island with a hotel and restaurant on it. its so cute and so tiny and the food was delicious, but the view was even better…

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the view from our table at lunch…

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virgin lava flows and pina coladas. my favorite tropical drink ever and it totally reminds me of all the trips i took to hawaii growing up…

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they have the best cheeseburgers here. i think they taste better because of the view…

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can’t forget key lime pie! some of the best i’ve ever had…

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after a quick stop by the dive shop we got back to the house just in time to see this…

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mom, matt and i decided to explore the baths a little bit before the sun went down, so we walked down the beach to get to them. i couldnt believe how beautiful the sunset was…

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we got to the baths (which are basically giant rocks that make a natural playground, complete with caves, swings, slides and pools) and mom gave us a quick overview of how to climb through them. more pics to come when we go with everyone tomorrow! but heres a little smidge of what we were walking through…

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sunset…

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we got back to our room to find this little guy in our sink! he was a tree frog and very sticky… all the critters here just hang around the houses (chickens, goats, geckos, frogs) like they own the place. so funny!…

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this has been a great day, and we are all going to bed very tired and happy πŸ™‚

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Virgin Gorda! Day 2

This morning we woke up to a beautiful day…

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Dad, Matt, Stephen, Kim and I went on an excursion to the grocery store, and decided to take a little detour to explore the island.

We drove up this ridiculously steep hill where we could see the whole island…

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After buying a whole lot of groceries we headed back to the house where the rest of the gang had found the most beautiful beach right next door to our house.

This is what you think of when you think of tropical beaches. Soft white sand and turquoise blue water…

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We had a great time snorkeling and climbing the giant boulders…

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After wearing ourselves out we headed back to the pool at the house to watch the sun set…

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We ordered dinner in and then the gang played tennis on our private tennis courts (I watched)…

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Virgin Gorda! Day 1

We arrived in virgin gorda this afternoon and let me tell you, we are already in love!

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We took little private planes from St Thomas over to Virgin Gorda and that was pretty cool being so low to the ground!

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We got to our villa and our mouths dropped open. It’s the most beautiful accommodations we have ever stayed in! We want to move in!

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our front yard is a beach with lots of huge boulders, it’s so much fun to climb on all the rocks and so beautiful!

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After a dip in the infinity pool, the night ended with a private chef making a delicious steak and mahi dinner on the veranda

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Weve only been here a few hours but we want to stay forever! πŸ™‚

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this past weekend i planned a surprise camping trip for husbys 31st birthday! he has been asking me to go camping for months now so i knew he would be so excited for a big weekend trip! i invited a bunch of our closest friends, and while the surprise aspect went horribly wrong the trip itself was a complete and total success!

some good friends of ours let us use their property in uwharrie national park, named shadowlands. it was BEAUTIFUL and we were so thankful they let us stay there.

we got there a little later than we planned, so it was dark when we pulled up and started setting up camp. that just made it more exciting and wild feeling πŸ™‚

adam and matt lee were in charge of starting the fire…

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ricky and matt started setting up the tents…

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success!

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once they got a good fire going matt lee started cooking the hobo packets i had brought…

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anxiously awaiting dinner…

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after a good nights sleep, we woke up bright and early to a gorgeous day!…

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stephen started the fire back up, while hexie watched over the campsite…

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it was nice seeing what the camp actually looked like once the sun came up…

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the property was beautiful and i had a mini photo shoot with hexie waiting for everyone to wake up…

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for breakfast we had toad-in-the-holes, eggs-in-a-basket, bullseye toast, whatever you want to call it, it was delicious!…

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after breakfast we went on a walk by the river…

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as usual, hexie jumped right in and had a blast…

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this is what she looked like for most of the walk, just a big, wet, blur!…

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some of us drove further into the forest to go rappelling. the scenery was STUNNING. it couldn’t have been a more gorgeous view from the cliff…

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matt lee, stephen, ricky, husby and i all rappelled off a 60-100 ft. cliff (i heard different heights so i dont know exactly how tall it was but it was REALLY tall)! it was so much fun! i haven’t rappelled in a really long time but i was so glad i did it! husby had never rappelled at all and he conquered the mountain like a champ! so proud of him!

mountain men…

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getting the ropes ready…

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matt lee…

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ricky…

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stephen…

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husby…

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i was so proud of amanda! she had never rappelled before so the big cliff was a bit much for her but she did a smaller one and she rocked it!…

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when we got back to camp, more of the group showed up for the party!

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we had hot dogs and smores for dinner- perfect camping food!

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girl photo!…

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fire dance!…

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love these two photos!…

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stacie was our entertainment for the evening, reciting poems, doing her ostrich impression…

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the guys did a great job chopping firewood and keeping the fire blazing…

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slightly creepy campfire photo…

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after stuffing ourselves silly with s’mores we all cozied up in our tents and got a good nights sleep.

the next morning we cooked pancakes and bacon over the fire for breakfast…

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they weren’t all pretty but they were very tasty!!!…

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after breakfast we took another walk down by the river, where we had an impromptu photo shoot…

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big difference between the girls…
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and the boys…
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when it was time to pack up and head home, i dont think hexie wanted us to pack up the tents, she loved being the camp watchdog!…

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another beach trip! part 2

after selah left, it was just the 4 of us (mom, dad, matt and me) and i loved how relaxing the rest of the trip was…

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friday at dusk, the 4 of us went to the point (the tip of the island) to ride the jetski and play…

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the guys playing ball…

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so, there was a random fox living on the beach. i have no idea where he came from, but he was not scared of us, and he was very curious. he even sniffed my backpack!

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dad taking his photo…

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mom started throwing him hush puppies, and then roxie was jealous that the fox got hush puppies so we had to give her some too…

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the sun setting on the water when we left was just gorgeous. i couldnt stop taking pictures of the colors reflecting in the water…

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matt and i spent saturday morning back at the point with roxie and my paddleboard…

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roxie has a thing about rolling in dead stuff (guh-ross) and it always cracks me up when she covers herself in sand…

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later that afternoon we all took naps before packing up to head home the next day.

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im so thankful for the quality time with my parents, and my husby. i wouldnt trade it for the world! you just cant put a price on seeing this every night before you go to bed listening to the waves crash outside your window…

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Another beach trip! part 1

mom decided that two weeks at the beach this summer wasn’t enough, so she rented a cottage for the week after labor day. we invited our Β friend selah to come with us. she had never been to a NC beach, and we decided she just had to see how lovely they are!

we spent the first few days just us girls, and then dad and matt joined us for the rest of the week. we had so much fun, the weather was pretty much perfect, and the sunsets were fabulous…a winning combination for a week at the beach πŸ™‚

we had a wonderful time riding bikes…

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hunting for shells…

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and eating lots of delicious food…

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we stayed right on the beach, so we got to walk out on the sand anytime we wanted, and we had fabulous access to the sunrise and the waves…

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this photo completely cracks me up! what on earth is happening…

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roxie watching all the fun, being glad shes not in the water…

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one morning the waves seemed small, so selah and i decided to try paddleboarding in the ocean. looking back at these photos, its obvious that we were crazy, because those waves were HUGE!

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we decided to take the jetski over to our favorite island, but not before stopping to observe some tsunami safety instructions…

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selah loved our little island…just like we knew she would!

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we loved having you selah, can’t wait for our next trip!

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*stay tuned for part 2, coming up!

**thanks dad, for all of the pictures! (if they were amazing, he probably took them)

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mccleskey visit!

last weekend matt’s parents came to visit us in raleigh! they hadn’t seen our new house yet, so we were so excited to have them! they were only here a couple of days so we tried to pack as much fun as possible into the weekend.

we grilled out on the back deck, took lots of walks in the neighborhood with the dogs, went out to the farm to let the dogs play and pet the horses, ate at the pit(one of raleighs favorite restaurants), shopped at my favorite vintage store, and just generally enjoyed ourselves πŸ™‚

we also took a tour of raleigh…ON SEGWAYS! it was so awesome! (i think) we all had a great time. nicole actually gave matt and me gift certificates for christmas so he could see more of downtown raleigh. so we were excited to be able to do it with his parents!

for whatever reason i don’t have any pictures from most of the weekend, but of course i got some of the segway tour!

before the tour…very excited and a little nervous…

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practicing in a little room to make sure we were ready for the great outdoors…

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and we’re off!…

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our friend jenna went with us, and im so glad. we had a great time!…

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we happened to go on the weekend of the classic car show downtown, so we got to ride the segways through all of the awesome old cars! it was pretty cool!

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my favorite part was stopping by the capitol building and then riding through all of the historic buildings…

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the governor’s mansion…

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beautiful old church…

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it really was a blast, and we left with some great memories! (thanks, nicole!)

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ps- thanks to mr. day for taking the pictures of us coming out of the store, so glad he was there to capture the fun! πŸ™‚

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we are off on our annual family beach trip, which means i will be in my favorite place on earth for the next two weeks. posting may or may not be light but i will be around. happy summer, everyone!

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