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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's in my bag? (Week 19)

I'm afraid that this post won't be all that exciting unless you're nosey naturally curious about the mundane details of other people's lives (which, let's be honest, you probably are if you read blogs). Allow me to introduce you to the contents of my purse - but first, a disclaimer: I don't consider myself a brand person, but I went ahead and included the brands of some of the items in case they're of interest...

First of all, here's my purse- it's black and pretty basic but I love it and have used it for longer than any other purse I've owned. 2013 Christmas gift from Mom for the win!

And here's a peek at the inside - details to follow...

Owl sunglasses case from Francesca's
Key ring (also a Christmas gift from my mom)
Leopard print pouch (from I don't remember when/where)
Coach "Mini skinny" wallet (another Christmas gift from my mom... do you sense a theme here?)
Wallet from Harrods (souvenir from my parents' trip to London a couple of years ago)
Work iPhone (with super exciting plain black case)
Not pictured: my non-work iPhone, because I was using it to take these pics, duh

Pouch contents:
Burt's Bees Milk & Honey lotion (I actually do not like this scent - it smells like elderly people - but I would feel wasteful throwing it away...)
Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer + holder (past stocking stuffers from my MIL)
Floss (because I'm a fan of good dental hygiene)
MAC blot powder (I know you're shocked that the shade is called "light")

My preferred gum: Orbit - Sweetmint
My preferred lip-wear: Chapstick - Vanilla Mint (complete with emergency hair tie)

Contents of the inside zipper pocket:
2 pens + 1 sharpie (which comes in handy more often than you'd think)
Rubberband
Flash drive + universal USB adapter (both giveaways from an HR conference)
Owl notepad
4 lip glosses + 1 lipstick that I seriously never, ever use, so I'm not even going to bother looking up the deets (no joke - I think the Laura Mercier one is from my wedding day...)
Earphones
And last, but not least: dice
(This is so random, but back in my youth ministry internship days, I was introduced to a game called "100" that simply required a dice, pen, and a piece of paper. It was so easy and entertaining that I started keeping one in my purse just in case an occasion arose to play it. Ten years later, I'm apparently still prepared!)

And there you have it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Five on Monday (the "spooky" edition)

The twins have deemed all things related to Halloween as "spooky" (thanks to this amazing video), so I figured I'd keep with that theme for today's list of 5:

1. Pumpkin foods

Last week, we made this Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili (a Fall favorite at our house), and to continue the trend, we also made Pumpkin Spice Pancakes on Saturday morning..

(complete with spooky cookie cutter shapes, because we are really trying hard to win Parents of the Year)

... and we baked Pumpkin and Spinach Macaroni and Cheese to eat for dinner this week!
(fingers crossed that Colby doesn't notice the spinach)

2. Scary movie night


Brian and I watched "The Others" on Netflix this weekend (without the children, because of above-mentioned efforts to win that POTY award). I give it two thumbs up because (a) there was an unexpected twist at the end, and (b) I was scared to go upstairs alone after it was over, which is obviously the mark of a good scary movie.

3. Pumpkin painting

The twins decorated pumpkins for their pumpkin patch at daycare, and thanks to the lovely downpour of rain this weekend, we very bravely allowed them to do so indoors:


4. Festive attire

Clara's cute ensemble from her Auntie Shannon (complete with TWO hair clips, because everyone knows just one won't do)

Mommy likes to be festive, too (especially under her rain boots)

I have been waiting all year for her to wear this cute smocked hand-me-down Halloween dress and it makes me sad that she probably won't get to wear it more than once... but good thing she rocked it when she did!

Meanwhile, Batman has taken over our house. And because he wore this mask at the same time as this shirt, he now refers to this [generic striped shirt] as his "Batman shirt"- ha!

5. Relatedly, Halloween COSTUMES!

There were two events scheduled yesterday to which the twins were going to get to wear their costumes, but one turned out to be a flop and one got rained out, so Superman and Supergirl just chilled on the couch instead.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Someone I miss... take 2 (Week 18)

I'm cheating a little bit this week and more or less re-posting a post I wrote back in 2008, but in my defense, (a) this is a repeat topic from the Writing Challenge, and (b) at least I included pictures this time, so forgive me.

Let me tell you about a little friend of mine named Phyllis. You see, I have known Phyllis for my entire life. She was literally there the day that my parents brought Allison and me home from the hospital. Phyllis has been an integral part of many phases in my family’s life, and for that, I think she deserves a post:

When my older sister, Elizabeth, was a wee little toddler, my parents decided that they needed someone to help out around the house—a housekeeper/nanny of sorts. So one of my parents somehow got Phyllis’s name passed along from a friend, and decided to give her a try. So Phyllis started coming (I’m not sure how often) to help out. She remained a fixture in our household—sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, and sometimes only when my parents were out of town and needed someone to stay with us—until we moved to Austin in August of 1996… almost 20 years after she had first started.

Phyllis back in the 80s

Like many children who grow up with a regular babysitter, we grew quite find of and quite attached to Phyllis and her many memorable habits and sayings. If you knew any of the Nelson children in our younger years, you probably knew Phyllis, too. And if you weren’t fortunate enough to meet her, you have likely heard stories about her—often told in a mythic fashion, as if she is some made-up character in a book—in our elder years. So for those of you who fit into either of those categories, this might make you nostalgic for that bright orange-haired, pink make-up wearing, fair-skinned, slightly overweight Scandinavian babysitter. And for those of you who don’t know a thing about her, consider this a crash course… Phyllis 101, if you will. But brace yourselves, there is a lot to say!

A few fun facts about our beloved Phyllis:
- She never showed up to our house empty-handed. Every visit, without fail, she came with a bag of peanuts, a bag of M&Ms, and at least a pack or 2 of Doublemint gum for each of us. I blame Phyllis for the dentist visit at age 6 at which I was informed I had 8 cavities at one time.

- She gave us unusual nicknames. She referred to my brother, Andrew, as “Orville,” and called Allison and me “Momalee.” Elizabeth didn’t get a nickname… oops.

- Every time she made us brownies, she let us lick the bowl. I still ask Brian for permission to do so when we bake, and it still makes my day.

- She had a fake pink tooth. Not sure why it was pink, but it was. A nice pearly shade of pink. One morning while Allison and I were waiting for carpool, she was telling us a story and the tooth went flying. Allison panicked- as she usually does in uncomfortable situations- and still acts very alarmed when she tells the story today.

- Due to the trouble she had with her legs, Phyllis wasn’t able to go up and down the stairs. We used to joke about how we were going to tie a jump rope around her and drag her up there on a skate board so she could hang out with us. The best part is that Elizabeth somehow convinced herself that this actually happened, and still to this day swears that all 4 Nelson kids got together and dragger her up the stairs.

- She loved to collect postcards, and insisted that we send her one from any vacations we took… even if they were the same vacations we had taken every year prior.

- She also loved to collect dried leaves, and because Allison was a huge suck-up, I think she continued to go out and collect some fall foliage to press and send to Phyllis in the mail well into our adult years.

- Phyllis mumbled to herself incoherently as she would shuffle from room to room in her famous slippers. Andrew used to rig the intercom in the house so that we could hear her, although we could never decipher what she was saying.

- Phyllis did, and still continues to tell the same stories over, and over, and over, and over again. Ask any Nelson child, and they can repeat- word for word- the story about when my dad called home to say my mom delivered twins, the story about when my grandfather used an offensive racial slur, etc. She also makes sure to remind us (rather angrily) that Elizabeth never sent her pictures from her and Ford’s wedding in Mexico. It doesn’t matter if these topics are related to the conversation or not… they will come up anyway.

- A Nelson child will never, EVER have a phone call with Phyllis without hearing about (a) how she was the only one that took pictures of us growing up and (b) how one of these days, she swears she is going to put all of the pictures together and send us copies. We aren’t holding our breath :)

- She put our friends to work. Elizabeth’s taller friends always ended up watering the plants, and she tried to make Andrew’s best friend do all kinds of slave labor around the house… although they would usually run up the stairs out of her reach and hide to avoid doing it.

- Her house was/is filled with a collection of random figurines, and glitter-covered ceilings. We very rarely went to her house- she was just always at ours- but I used to beg my dad to let me go with him when he’d drive her home at night after babysitting. I normally fell asleep in the car, but for whatever reason, I really loved going.

- One time when Phyllis was staying with us while our parents were away, the phone rang while she was just getting in or out of the shower. Although Allison and I were too young to remember, Elizabeth and Andrew swear they saw her bounding down the hall in the nude in an effort to catch the phone. After seeing how it scarred them both, let’s just say that I hope that was an important phone call.

As you can see, Phyllis was not your ordinary babysitter. She always made life interesting, to say the least. She is and was a part of our family, and will always hold a special place in the Nelsons’ hearts… and holiday dinner-table conversations :)

We haven't been able to get in touch with Phyllis in recent years, but as far as we know, she is living in an assisted living/rehabilitation home. Wherever she is, I hope she is well loved and cared for because she certainly provided that for us.

So here’s to you, Phyllis- thanks for all the memories!

Phyllis with me back in 2000 - I've only seen her one other time (in 2004) since this was taken :(

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Clara's bedtime hoarding

I have often said that one of my favorite things about toddlers is how they hoard things. It amuses me greatly that they insist on collecting random, inanimate objects and then taking them everywhere they go. Colby and Clara both have this tendency, but I would venture to say that Clara gets more emotionally attached to certain items than Colby does.

Nowhere is this habit more evident than at bedtime, when whatever object or set of objects she has grown attached to that day MUST join Clara in her crib, lest we risk having the neighbors call CPS due to the volume of her protests. Allow me to share with you some of the items Clara has successfully convinced us to let her take with her to bed:

- soccer ball (slightly smaller than regulation size, but still too large to be a rational choice)

- plastic spoon she used to eat gelato earlier in the evening

- unopened bottle of bubble bath

- wet bath towel

- more bows and rubberbands than I can count, sometimes in her hair and sometimes not

- miniature troll doll from my childhood collection (no more than an inch long, which made finding it when she lost it a real treat)

- issue of the WildLife magazine that we get for being members of the Houston Zoo (this might be my favorite one)

- LED bracelet I got at the Taylor Swift concert

- her Magnadoodle (not to color on, mind you, but simply to hold)

- pair of Mickey Mouse gloves Brian had as a child (Colby started this trend but she has since confiscated them)

Last night I asked Brian to take a picture of her sleeping to see if we could capture any of the hoarding in action, and while you can only barely see one of the above-mentioned gloves (red object to the left), I think the picture is still pretty indicative of her unusual sleeping habitat:

Also, please note one of her decapitated "fwenz" in the bottom right... still a favorite companion!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pumpkin patching

The weather was perfect on Saturday and not unlike every other American family with small children, we decided to take advantage by visiting one of the local pumpkin patches. I'm going to go ahead and be honest and confess that my primary purpose in going was to get a cute picture of the twins with some pumpkins. I'm also going to go ahead and be honest and confess that when that did not happen, I flipped my lid. Thankfully, (a) I have a patient husband and (b) caramel popcorn covers a multitude of sins, so we all ended up enjoying ourselves despite my failed-pumpkin-picture-attempt rage.

There were activities (most notably bean bag tossing, duck racing, and face painting)...

there was caramel popcorn consumption (Clara ate approximately 90% of this giant bag, for the record)...

there was lots and lots of sass from this one (and her mama)...

there was plenty of exploring (and very minimal sitting still) for this little fella...

there were matching outfits (complete with fashionable Fall boots) for Clara and cousin, Avery...

as I mentioned, there were many, many unsuccessful attempts at a picture of the twins...

Top left is my favorite: was Clara channeling her inner rodent?

And last, but certainly not least, there were 3 pictures that reminded this perfectionist Mama that the most important thing is that these little munchkins had a good time...






Happy Fall, Y'all!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Colby-isms

As I mentioned in their 2.5-year update, Colby in particular is talking up a storm these days. And it is safe to say that there is nothing more amusing than hearing the inner workings of a toddler's head verbalized, so I'm here to share some of that entertainment with all of you. Behold, some of Colby's latest and greatest quotes:

When we were eating breakfast recently, Colby was naming off what color each person's shirt was. Brian was actually not wearing a shirt, so when I said, "Colby, what color is Daddy's shirt?" He paused, thought about it, and excitedly said, "White!" (In Brian's defense, we didn't spend much time in the sun this summer.)

On a walk the other day, a leaf was falling off a tree nearby. I said, "Look, you know it's getting close to Fall because the leaves are falling off the tree!" Colby responded with, "Leaf fall off the tree? You gonna fix it?"

On more than one occasion lately, he has yelled, "Gig 'em, Texans!" And Brian beams with pride every time.

The day before a play date, I asked, "Are you excited to play with Mateo tomorrow?" He frustratedly responded with, "I don't want a potato! I want ice cream!"

Similarly, I asked him, "Do you want to see Greyson at church?," and he matter-of-factly responded by saying, "No. I want to see Batman."

On the way to school last week, he was singing "Happy birthday," as he often does, and after going through various family members and inanimate objects, he enthusiastically sang, "Happy birthday to HULK SMASH!" Such. a. boy.

He calls popsicles "pee-pops" and still often refers to the mail as "me-mail."

Brian was singing the theme to "Ghostbusters," and after he said, "Who you gonna call?," Colby said, "Umm... tractors." Yes, tractors, they'll definitely take care of those ghosts.

Brian was across the house the other day while the twins were eating dinner and to get his attention, I yelled, "Brian!" Colby said, "Don't say that, Mommy. That's Daddy." Noted.

Colby Wayne, we love you so!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Someone who broke my heart (Week 17)

While I'm sure the drama involved in my high school and college relationships would provide far more entertaining reading material, I've decided to instead give you the scoop on when I was first introduced to heartbreak: elementary school.

It might surprise some of you to know that I was a little bit boy crazy in my early youth. Apparently in first grade, my best friend and I spent most of our time at recess chasing boys around and then kissing the ones we caught. I got my first "boyfriend" that year- his name was Brady and I continued to have a crush on him until 4th grade, when he officially asked one of the most popular girls to "go with him." I remember finding out about it at a high school football game and being fairly certain that my life was over.

1st grade Amanda says, "Mom, I don't have time to take pictures- I have boys to chase around!"

Fast forward to 5th grade, which was apparently when I peaked in beauty and appeal to the opposite sex because I had, count them, THREE love interests that year. The first was a boy named Baxter (which is probably too unique of a name for me to be sharing with the internet... oops). He was cute and good at sports and because of that, I looked past the fact that he was kind of a box of rocks.

I don't think I ever told any of my friends about the crush I had on him because in all honesty, I didn't think I had a chance with him. So imagine my surprise when he one day asked if I wanted to come watch his football practice after school. I can still remember the shade of red my face must have turned at the time, but I casually responded by letting him know that I would think about it.

However, I didn't work up the nerve to ask my mom to take me, so I never showed up. I hoped he wouldn't hold it against me, but one of his friends told me the next day that if I had gone to his practice, he was going to ask me to, yes, you guessed it, "go with him." I had blown my chance.

And so I shouldn't have been surprised a week later at a slumber party when one of the girls ran into the house squealing about the fact that she just got asked out by Baxter. I can replay the moment when I found out in my head just like it was yesterday, which is both impressive and sad. It's also impressive and sad to admit that I continued to hold a grudge against her for several years to follow, but that's the way it goes when someone steals your man... whether he was ever really your man (or boy, in this case) or not.

5th grade Amanda; Clearly the appeal was that I started smiling with my mouth closed that year... so mysterious.

5th grade love interest #2 was John, who walked over to my house on an ice day to ask me out. I had a hunch it was coming because it was the week of Valentine's Day and he had put candy heart stickers on my desk that said things like, "Hot Stuff" and "True Love" (which it clearly was).

I agreed to "go with him," but a month or so later while we were riding in someone's mom's car on a field trip to the planetarium, I decided he wasn't cute anymore and had my friend tell his friend that I was breaking up with him. So my heart wasn't the one broken in that scenario, but I thought I'd share it anyway so you could marvel at my maturity.

The final source of elementary-aged heartbreak for me was from a boy named Thad. Yes, I had a boyfriend named Thad. He asked me out while we were watching a documentary about butterflies in class, and even though I hardly knew him, enough people were prodding me to say 'yes,' that I decided to go for it. Plus, his dad and my dad practiced law together, so clearly we had a ton in common already.

We "went" together for almost a year, which is basically an eternity at that age. We talked on the phone and saw each other at school but never once hung out outside of school. In fact, I remember going with my mom to buy him a birthday present- a shirt that said, "Basketball is life... the rest is just details," because hello, it was 1994. We then drove to his house to drop it off, and because, again, I was the model of maturity, I made my mom walk it up to the front door while I HID ON THE FLOOR OF THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR so he couldn't see me. So amazing.

Things got a little rocky when we went into 6th grade. Several elementary schools fed into the new middle school we attended and I guess there were just too many other fish in the sea, because on Halloween, Thad told me he was breaking up with me because he had a crush on a girl whose first name was the same as the last name of his favorite basketball player (Michael Jordan).

I truthfully didn't like him that much at that point, but it definitely hurt my feelings and put a damper on my Halloween... and my pride. And once again, I continued to harbor resentment towards that girl for the remainder of middle school.

6th grade Amanda- I grew out my bangs that year and transitioned from glasses to contacts... guess I was just getting too sophisticated for him.

Fast forward 9 years and a handful of considerably more intense heartbreaks later when I met Brian, and thankfully, finally found the one who would never break my heart. And here's the part where I cue the playing of "Bless the Broken Road," because...

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern stars,
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you...

So now it's your turn: any adolescent heartbreak stories you care to share?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2.5 years

We took the twins to the pediatrician for their well visit on Friday, and I use the term "well" pretty loosely considering they each left with at least one prescription to their names. Colby has a sinus infection and alarmingly swollen tonsils, but hey, his ears were 100% clear thanks to those tubes! #silverlining Clara's ears, however, were not looking so clear, which earned her 10 days of "the pink stuff" along with Colby. 

They also got their flu shots, during which they hardly even flinched. Meanwhile, they both completely lost it when the nurse had the audacity to weigh them and measure their height. The horrors. They settled down quickly but I didn't stop sweating for at least half an hour after that ordeal.

Clara being ladylike while waiting for the doctor

Colby taking a snack break from doing some accounting on his abacus

I've included their stats below, but developmentally, they're up to pretty much the same things these days as any other 2.5-year-olds. They're moving and talking pretty much constantly, which has proven both entertaining and exhausting. Since getting his ear tubes, Colby's language has really taken off, so he is currently the easier to understand of the two, but there is no shortage of chattering coming from either one of them.

I am relieved to report that the tantrums have lessened, both in frequency and severity. Don't get me wrong- there is still plenty of whining and a lot of irrational overreacting going on- but it's easier to reason with them than it used to be. 

They are both currently really into singing, watching their favorite shows, playing outside with their bikes and cozy coupes, running around the house and screaming like wild banshees, begging for "treats," stickers, harassing the dogs, and hanging out with Mommy and Daddy.

Colby Wayne
Nicknames: Buddy Guy Man or some variation thereof, "Bubby" (per Clara)
Weight: 28.1 pounds (30th percentile)
Height: 35 inches (28th percentile)


Words to describe him: determined, observant, busy, assertive, adventurous, clever, thoughtful


Current favorites: singing loudly ("Happy Birthday," "Old MacDonald," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and "Let it Go" are his favorites), Star Wars, Aggie football, cars/trucks/tractors/emergency vehicles, super heroes (very into Avengers right now), airplanes, dinosaurs, naming colors, blocks, robots, Daddy... so basically he's a boy


Clara Lane
Nicknames: Littlest (and she calls herself "Bara")
Weight: 28.1 pounds (44th percentile)
Height: 34.5 inches (26th percentile)


Words to describe her: tender-hearted, compassionate, eager, busy, loyal, helpful, particular


Current favorites: bows/accessories of any kind, babies, stickers, hoarding items in her crib (separate post to come on this), her fwenz (WubbaNubs without the pacifiers), doing things herself, helping clean up, swinging, cousin Avery ("Avey"), especially when combined with aunt Peekie ("Petey"), and last but certainly not least in her book, Mommy


Happy (belated) half birthday, my sweet little ones... we love you so very much!


Friday, October 9, 2015

Things and stuff

Alternately titled: One short of "five on Friday"

1. I feel a little lazy for referring to this spaghetti bake recipe as "like spaghetti, only easier!," because let's be honest, spaghetti is not the world's most complicated dish to prepare. But seriously, you don't even have to cook the noodles... why waste your time doing that when you can just let the oven do it? 

Source (my picture would be way less artsy)

Clara liked it so much that she requested seconds. Colby tolerated it enough as a means to an end (grapes), so we'll call it a win.

2. I posted about this on facebook, but failed to mention in my vacation recap that we had a celebrity sighting during our travels! When we landed in Nashville for our layover en route to Charleston, Brian jokingly asked, "Do you think we'll see Rayna James or Luke Wheeler [both characters from "Nashville"] at the airport?" I responded with, "Probably not, considering they're both imaginary."

Fast forward 30 minutes or so and we're waiting at the gate while the people from the arriving flight deplane. All of a sudden, in walks Sam Palladio, aka: Gunnar Scott from the show! He was maybe 3 feet away from us, and we thought briefly about stopping him or taking a picture, but decided to leave him be. If it happens again, though, I'm going to ask him if he can please have a chat with Scarlett (Clare Bowen) about cutting her hair and changing her accent.


3. I came down with a very brief (thankfully) but very intense stomach bug earlier this week, so that was neat. I thought the twins might have brought home the germs from daycare, but considering 3 of my co-workers have had it this week as well, it's really anyone's guess as to where I picked it up. 

All I know is that I was completely useless for approximately 24 hours. I went home early from work and had this text message exchange with Brian:


I'm glad his response to "I might be dead," was "Ok no worries." Ha! But seriously, he was a total champ as always and handled pick-up, dinner, bedtime, and the morning routine + drop-off the next morning. I felt like a totally waste of space but I could not pull myself out of bed. It's safe to say he was just as happy as I was that it was so short-lived!

4. The twins celebrated their half birthday on Monday (2.5-year post to come!). Thanks to our rained out trip, we had time to make them an early birthday cake. I'm sure they were confused as to why we were singing them "happy birthday," but you better believe they didn't complain.

Also, I put this comparison together of .5 years versus 2.5 years. Why do I torture myself like this?!


Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Something I regret not doing in the last year (Week 16)

Oh, you mean besides picking a different vacation spot last weekend? Hmm, let's see... you may remember my list of non-resolutions that I made back in January (which, PS, how was that 9 months ago already?!). I have done fairly well with most of them, but the one that has been a major flop was my commitment to start lifting weights.

I do make it a priority to exercise every day, but that pretty much only consists of aerobic activities, and thanks to my obsession with pleasing my Fitbit, I only consider a workout to be successful if I get a lot of steps out of it.

In hopes of motivating myself, I looked up some of the benefits of lifting weights and am sharing three of them with you in case it motivates you, too:

1. It helps prevent osteoporosis (weak/brittle bones). Women are especially susceptible to this as we age since our bones are smaller to begin with. When you lift weights, it puts stress on your bones, and in response, the bones adapt and become stronger, too.

2. It lowers your risk of diabetes. I have this strange fear that I'm going to develop adult-onset diabetes because (a) it runs in my family, (b) I have PCOS, and (c) I really like sugar... a lot. Apparently when you lift weights, the increased muscle mass improves your insulin sensitivity, but don't ask me to explain that because in case you've forgotten, my degree was in Spanish.

3. It improves your balance. And how else are you supposed to run away from your screaming children and join the circus if you can't appropriately walk on a tight rope?!

Any others you want to add? Also, I feel like this might have been the most boring post I've ever written, so please forgive me for that.

Monday, October 5, 2015

One rainy day in Charleston

It almost pains me to go back and read my post from last Wednesday. Our original plan was to spend Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon in Charleston. Our original plan also included temperatures in the 70s, sunshine, and almost zero chance of rain.

An insensitive, destructive jerk named Joaquin came along, however, and thwarted those plans. Torrential downpours and historic flooding were not exactly part of the itinerary I painstakingly organized for our getaway.

Nonetheless, we set out on Thursday and hoped for the best. (Note to last week's self: next time, don't be so optimistic and go ahead and pack a rain jacket and rain boots.) It was raining when we landed that afternoon and continued to rain as we trekked to/from dinner. When we got back to our apartment (AirBNB for the win!), we were soaked. Nonetheless, we hoped that a new day would bring less rain and a fresh perspective, so we settled in, reorganized the itinerary to account for rain, and hit the hay.

Taking off for our flight on Thursday- Brian hearts taking selfies with me

Trail Mix: Hers & His edition (A big shout-out to my pal, Heather, for hooking me up with this amazing candy corn mix! It did not disappoint!)

Friday was gray and gloomy, drizzling on and off throughout the day. In anticipation of flooding and hurricane weather (Charleston sits right on the water), a lot of the local attractions were closed (the city market, the aquarium, Fort Sumter, etc.), but we were perfectly happy to walk around and see the sights. We also enjoyed a few tasty meals, did some shopping, and were even able to take a carriage ride around the city. 

A morning view of the front of the mansion where our apartment was- our room was in the bottom left corner

Cute stairway/porch we came across on the way to breakfast

Brian's french toast (that looks more like a hunk of beef) from Toast

I don't feel bad re-posting this Instagram pic I took since it was one of the few meal outings we were able to have!

One of the 500 churches in town

Rainy and awkward selfie at the waterfront

Another couple asked us to take their pic so we got them to do the same

Rainbow Row!

Surprise: another selfie!

Two cute houses- this set-up would be perfect for mine and Allison's future plans to live nextdoor to each other

Our carriage ride "driver," Dakota

Hey, look, another church!

One of the more colorful mansions we saw on our tour

The Calhoun Mansion where a scene from "The Notebook" was filmed; we had planned to go tour it on Saturday but no such luck

I loved these cute window planters!

Brian, me (apparently sporting an 80s slouched shoulder), and Dakota after the tour

After the carriage ride, Brian convinced me to buy rain boots and even though I only got a half day of use out of them, I'd say it was a wise purchase!

We had a tasty lunch at Eli's Table, where we had the Fried Green Tomato Napoleon as an appetizer, which was basically fried green tomatoes covered in a pimento cheese spread. Since I never got the chance to have a legit pimento cheese sandwich as I had hoped, this was as close as I got and was delicious... and I don't even like tomatoes!

Philadelphia Alley, which was apparently a very popular spot for dueling back in the day

Brian was expressing excitement over the history of the alley, whereas I was expressing excitement over the cobblestone :)



And then came the heavy rain, which pretty much didn't stop until, well, ever.

Rainy view near the market

We enjoyed a light dinner at Virginia's on King and headed back to the apartment to retire for the evening.

One of the same churches pictured above lit up at night

It poured all night on Friday, and on Saturday morning, it didn't let up. We tuned in to the news to hear reports of major flooding, access to downtown (where we were staying) being shut off, and a whole host of closures throughout the city. We decided to head to breakfast at a cafe nearby, and were disappointed when we got there to learn that the kitchen staff had left due to the weather.

We came back to the apartment, where I ate my bagel in bed and cried. I had just had such high hopes for our weekend and had put so much time and effort into planning the perfect trip, and it just seemed like we couldn't catch a break.

Upon seeing this lovely forecast...
... and hearing about how difficult it was (and would continue to be) for people to get in and out of downtown, we decided to go ahead and book a flight out for that afternoon instead. And knowing that transportation options would be limited, we figured it was better to get a ride to the airport sooner rather than later.

So after paying 3 times the normal fare to an Uber driver, we arrived at the Charleston airport at 11:30 am and spent the next 5 hours there waiting for our flight. Thank you, baby Jesus, for free WiFi and seats with electrical outlets (especially in an otherwise dumpy and under-construction airport).

We made it back to our house around 10:30 on Saturday evening, and even though we were tired and disappointed about the way our trip had turned out, we were thankful to sleep in our own beds and wake up to our nutty little toddlers the next morning. And speaking of those toddlers, we can't thank Mimi and Granddaddy (and Aunt Shannon, too!) enough for taking such good care of them (and the house and dogs!) while we were gone! Clearly they didn't have any fun at all while we were away...

Please note Brian's old Mickey Mouse gloves that Colby apparently insisted on wearing to bed :)

Charleston, don't you worry, we'll be back one day... and that day will not be during hurricane season.