Run, This Ain't No Place for Walken :)


I promise that I know how to spell "walking," but I had to give a little shout-out to one of the creative signs ("Run, this Ain't No Place for Walken"with a huge pic of Christopher Walken) someone made to cheer on the runners in the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Half Marathon this past weekend. You gotta love the creativity people put into their signs at races!

Even though I didn't have any fancy signs, I had so much fun cheering on Kyle and my cousin-in-law, Eric, who both ran the half marathon. Kyle trained so hard for the race, and I could not have been more proud of him. And just imagine, this was the guy who literally told me a few years ago that he didn't see the point nor feel the need to exercise! Now, he loves running and is kicking my booty for not exercising ;)

Also, precious side note-- Kyle and Eric would snapchat each other on Saturday mornings before their "long runs," and I love that they were such a good support to each other throughout! Fact--I happen to know that there was nothing "sweet" about their snapchats to each other and instead, I would be embarrassed to even share some of the content of them, but I know guys definitely bond differently than girls, so I'll take it...hah!

I mentioned in this post what troupers Kyle and Eric were for helping out so much as we prepped for the engagement party the day before their race. They seriously get extra gold stars because they had to be up at the crack of dawn on Sunday for the race-- 6:45am start time is no joke!

Kathleen (Eric's wife and my cousin), Addison (Kat & Eric's daughter), and I weren't far behind them, but we did have to make a pit stop at Port City Java for a little early mornin' pick-me-up (aka a Mocha Shake). We met Kyle's mom down there and set up our chairs just in time to see Kyle passing at the 5 mile mark. We were sad to have missed Eric (I blame it on the PCJ), but the good news is that the boys  passed our spot again on their 12th mile, so we got to see him the 2nd time around!

We had so much fun watching all of the runners and cheering them on. Addison was so cute and kept saying that the girls running in tutus were "going to get them sweaty!" Adorable.

It was so exciting each time one of our boys ran by, and we could see the extra pep in their steps after running by (or at least we enjoyed letting ourselves think that!). We also were joined by Kyle's brother, Ryan, and my brother and future sister-in-law, Bryan and Hanna, who got to see Kyle on the 12th mile!

After the 12th mile, we hurried to the finish line spot. When I saw Kyle rounding the corner I was about to burst! It's just really cool to see people you love accomplish something they've worked hard for, and I can vouch for Kyle's dedication to his training!

Run, Kyle, Run! Almost to the finish-line! And, see that silver car back there? That's Kat & Eric's car! Kat and I would be the girls who parked the car right where the runners would finish! I promise there was no one near that spot when we parked there that morning, so they must have set up after we got there! Luckily, Eric was able to sneak it out when there was a lull!
Kyle, his mom, and his brother!
Eric and Addison!
So proud of my guy!

There was, of course, lots of celebrating for both boys, and it was a perfect cap to an already awesome weekend!

Way to go, Boo! I'm so proud of you!

Big Bro's Engagement-- Part Two


You can thank this miserable winter weather that we're having here in NC for my back-to-back blogging this week! I think we're out of school for like the 8th or 9th day since mid-January! Last winter we missed 0 school days for inclement weather, so this is crazy! I'm not making any promises that this "2 days-in-a-row" of blogging will keep happening, but I don't hate it! It feels good to be
back :)

Ready for the Part Two of my brother's engagement story from this past weekend? Catch up on Part One here!

So, where were we?

Well, we were all super nervous on the Friday night before the proposal because miss Hanna was staying the night at our house, and no one wanted to be the one to ruin the surprise!

We had a couple of close calls---

1) Hanna had spotted all of the fruit in the fridge, which I told you about yesterday!

2) Apparently a week or so earlier Hanna had gone up to look for something in B's room, and he remembered that he'd left the receipt or some of the paperwork for the ring out!

3) Kyle and I had not gotten our story straight about our "plans" for Saturday...I told Hanna we had afternoon plans with them while Kyle had said it was "dinner"

4) We were all acting super awkward on Saturday morning because we were trying to get Hanna out of the house without tipping her off!

Luckily, Hanna thought nothing of it! She and I decided to walk the "Loop" at Wrightsville Beach, which was perfect because her apartment is right on the way home, so I knew I could have an excuse to drop her off on the way home so that the party preparation could begin!

Hanna and I had a great walk, and I was SO nervous but trying to play it super cool! She even asked me what shoes she thought she should wear to the dance lesson and made some joke about wanting to go in yoga pants and sneakers! I was like, "You should totally wear heels so you can practice in the shoes you might actually wear!" I think she said her mother had given her the same advice!

Once I got home for the walk the real work began! It was an "all-hands-on-deck" kind of day, and we were so thankful for Kyle and Eric, who did a lot of work despite the fact that they needed to rest up for their half marathon the next day! But, the biggest "helper awards" go to my pregnant cousin Kathleen, who is due in April, and my dad, who is still recovering from surgery and confined to crutches or a wheel chair!  Both worked like champs to help us get ready, and it was a total team effort!
Seriously, could not have pulled off the party without Kat and Eric...and Addison, who kept us smiling and laughing all day!
We were working up to the last second, and I literally had to force my dad out of the kitchen to change into his party clothes since he was still rocking his sweat pants when the first guest arrived!

But, I think it turned out so well! Here's how we set it up...

And, we were all waiting anxiously for the happy, hopefully-engaged couple to arrive! At one point, I finally had to text my brother with the simple question of, "Thumbs up?" just so that we could rest easy that all had gone well with the proposal! Luckily, the answer was "YES!"

B and Hanna arrived, and some of us couldn't even wait for them to get inside! Lots of happy tears in the driveway!
Hanna and my momma hugging!
Addison, our cousin's daughter, loves B and Hanna!
The proposal had gone off without a hitch! They even got it all on video! We celebrated with lots of friends and family, and there was just so much happiness and love surrounding this sweet couple!
B, Hanna, and us!
B, Hanna, and my parents! Dad shed the crutches for the photo and hid his cast well!
Hanna showing the video to my mom and grandparents! FYI my grandparents ADORE Hanna, too! Especially since she convinced B to dress up with her and go visit them on Halloween, which is also my grandmother's bday!
Some of my favorite stories from the weekend/engagement include...

*The fact that Hanna was totally not expecting a proposal and therefore didn't shower after our walk before the dance class! She may kill me for posting this BUT she shouldn't because there was not a more beautiful girl in the room because she just naturally lights up a room with her joy, and add that to the natural beauty of a girl in love, and no make-up/showers are needed!

*I guess B was trying to hide the ring box in his pocket, so he kept his blazer on the whole lesson! Hanna said he was sweating up a storm!

*I still can't get over the fact the my brother took a dance lesson and was coordinated enough to pull of getting down on one knee in the middle of a dance!

*My brother is a HUGE NC State fan, and they ended up playing in the ACC tournament on Saturday at 3:30pm, which was right in the middle of the lesson! Hanna was so sweet and even offered for them to reschedule their lesson....little did she know!

*Not all of our cousins could make it down, but we face-timed with them later in the evening! The funniest face-time moment was with our cousin Daniel, who just happened to be getting a massage at the time! We died laughing!

Needless to say, I could NOT be happier for my brother and Hanna! 

And, Kyle and I are so happy to have some partners in crime for life!

Congrats, Bryan and Hanna!

Secret's Out-- My Big Bro is Engaged, Part 1


It's high time that I end my blogging hiatus, and I couldn't think of a better way to bounce back than with a post about something that makes my heart so incredibly happy--the story of my brother's engagement from this past weekend!

First, let me take a second to introduce the stars of this engagement story--

Meet my big brother, Bryan, and my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Hanna!

They started officially dating on April 1st of last year (2013), and my family knew the second we met her that we did not want B to let her go! Both of them had just come out of serious relationships, so we were all so nervous for him, but they just clicked right away, and I could see such a huge difference in my brother! Hanna brings such joy and fun to any situation, so it's easy to see why B was smitten with her!

Hanna joined our family on vacation this past summer to Disney World, and she handled our quirky family like a pro! She got my dad's stamp of approval right away (which is near impossible!), so we knew she was something special!

Fast forward to this past February-- B told us that he had gone shopping with Hanna's best friend for an engagement ring and had found the perfect bling! He knew he wanted to do something really special for the proposal, and I was so proud of what he came up with! Hanna had told him that she'd always wanted to take a shag dance lesson, so B booked them a private lesson! He talked with the instructor and shared his plan, which was that on their last dance, he'd like to spin Hanna and when she turned around he'd be down on one knee. He asked Hanna's dad, who is really into music, to help him pick out the perfect song--"With This Ring"! He even arranged for the instructor to tape the whole thing. He also knew that he wanted to have a little gathering of all of the special people in their life to celebrate their engagement with!

It worked out perfectly that a lot of our family was already planning to gather in Wilmington for Kyle and my cousin-in-law, Eric, to run a half-marathon, so he decided that it was the "right" weekend to pop the question!

He asked Hanna's parents' for their blessing, and I thought it was so cute that he had typed out everything he wanted to say to them and had looked at it all day long leading up to their "talk" so he wouldn't forget anything---how presh!? They were thrilled, and Hanna's dad even played "Going to the Chapel" as B walked out of their house!

So, the plan was in place, and all systems were go--

3:00 pm- Shag Lesson
3:50ish pm- Proposal
4:30ish pm- Off to Hanna's parents' house to show them the ring
5:30 pm- Off to our house for surprise post-engagement party!

B, my parents, and I were on the phone so much this past week leading up to the big proposal! I know that B was also coordinating things with her parents and her friends! It was SO much fun (and so hard at the same time!) keeping this big secret and planning the post-engagement gathering!

The only potential hiccup was that since our cousin's sweet little family and Kyle/me were all coming into town for the "race" and we always love to get together to play games, Hanna and B planned to spend Friday night (night before the engagement) at my parents' house--which meant that we had to HIDE lots and lots of stuff, like all of the decorations and mass amounts of food bought! And, we had to keep our lips ZIPPED and not spill the beans!

I knew that when Kyle pulled me aside to say that Hanna had seen all of the fruit in the fridge and asked if my parents were hosting a party that it was going to be no easy task to pull this off!

Stay tuned for Part Two!

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