Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sweet 13

So I have been postponing blogging because... well... isn't it obvious?

We need to change the name of this blog. Zach and I have landed on a new theme for this special little place in cyberspace, but... with moving and the holidays and CRAZINESS... we haven't gotten around to actually doing the rebrand. So... forgive me. Sigh... I am learning to live with a less than perfect life. HAHA Seriously. God is challenging my perfectionist OCDness these days. Anyway, secretly I am happy to hold on to Citizens for a little longer, but I am excited about the next chapter too. So stay tuned. :) For now, I HAVE to post about...

Allie's 13th birthday. Gasp! Isn't it crazy we have a 13 yr old? I can barely believe it every time I say it or tell someone about our dear Al. But I must say, we are so blessed to have the fabulous, beautiful, spunky teenager we do. Allie's 13th birthday weekend was our first weekend in Atlanta as a family. Because of this transition in our life, we wanted to be sure to make Allie's birthday super special.

We kicked off the festivities with dinner at one of our favorites, Flying Biscuit.
And marveled at a super lovely wedding dress shop window next door.
Zach and I surprised Allie with tickets to see Gungor live at Variety Playhouse. This was her very first concert! (How perfectly amazing was it that Gungor (a band she loves) was playing ON her birthday IN Atlanta? Thank you Jesus!)

Crossing the street with Daddy.

The show was AMAZING. Like... beyond our wildest dreams cray-cray amazing. Gungor is genius. Pictures and words cannot capture the magic and beauty that is their show.

 Captivated. Allie said this concert was life changing. :)

I am Mountain cd!
Me and the bday girl! Such a special memory!
As if the night couldn't get any better, Allie got a birthday shout out FROM Gungor on Twitter! Say what?!! She's the coolest 13 yr old EVER. :)
After the show we swung by Cafe Intermezzo and picked up decadent chocolate cake because what's a birthday without cake and candles? I love Intermezzo and look forward to bringing Allie back to this European cafe when it's not so crowded and we can truly enjoy the ambiance.

Savory food and drink

 Scrumptious cakes

The birthday weekend continued on Saturday with more surprises! Look at our dazzling teenager! So lovely!
And the Daddy is so crazy!
Zach and I took Allie by our new house that we were a week away from moving into so she could see our new home. 
 She loved exploring the backyard or rather... back-wilderness.
 I am anxious to see what this nature girl has planned for her piece of land in Georgia. :)
Even though we weren't in our house yet, there was a significant upside - Nox. Nox is the most amazing dog ever. He is freakishly obedient and so fun to play with.

Al giving Nox commands (in German no less!)
 Our family loves this dog and his family!
In addition to Gungor, we also surprised Allie with tickets to the Titanic Artifact Exhibition. Allie loves the movie Titanic so we thought it would be cool to see some of the real stuff for ourselves.

Upon arrival everyone gets a boarding pass.
On the back is information on a passenger who was aboard the Titanic- everything from name, age, their family, what they did, their reasons for being on Titanic, etc. Everyone gets a different one and the big question you find out at the end of the exhibit is - did you survive the sinking?
Photography isn't allowed in the exhibit, but here are a few snip-its of some things we saw...

 Grand staircase handrail

So crazy this stuff has been at the bottom of the ocean! At the end, we saw the list of survivors and alas, Daddy's character was not one of them. Sad day.
Afterwards we took a trip to Anthro for a little birthday shopping and to admire all the loveliness (one of our favorite pastimes).

I have no idea how these books are staying up... but I love it.
 Oh the housewares...
We also spent the weekend playing our favorite game - Clue! thanks to mom and dad who got it for Allie for her birthday. We love this game!

She even got to play with some old family friends she reconnected with over the weekend.
All in all it was a great weekend with our girl, but I guess I could say that about EVERY weekend with Allie. We are so blessed to have this girl in our life and can't wait to see what the next 13 years hold! Happy Birthday Allie! We love you to Pluto and back!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Break

Ya'll... do you remember me?! Ha! I know my blog has been collecting dust for the last few weeks. My apologies. This year has just been... a lot to take in. We are in the midst of moving, but before we officially have a Georgia address I wanted to wrap up the last of our adventures in Charlotte. I will certainly do a legit update on what our new life entails, but for now... here's some of our fall break from last month!

Our fall break started off with a bang (or maybe it was a crackle) as we enjoyed a bonfire with our friends Justin and Jenny. Allie was the smores maker extraordinaire, diligently roasting marshmallows to their perfect toastedness. Ha!
On Thursday Allie and I went to school. That's right - SCHOOL! We went and visited her two friends Emma and Annie at their AMAZING school Providence Day.
 Ok seriously... I have never seen a cooler school. Check it out! Allie bought lunch in the cafeteria and ate with Emma and her friends. (This place has amazing food (and locally grown too)!)
We visited some of the classrooms such as Emma's art class, science class (where they were studying hydroponics)
and the most incredible science room I have ever seen in my life. Like.. for realz.
It had an aquarium in the back! With a shark in it! (a small shark)
and a chocolate chip starfish (never heard of that...)
They also had specimens, skins, hides, skeletons of every kind!

We also visited the greenhouse (so adorable)

And Allie even got to play on the playground with Annie and some of her friends.
We finished off our "day at school" with a trip to their incredible library
reading tub,
and topped it off with leaving Emma a special note in her locker. We love PDS!
Over fall break we also took our annual trip to SkyTop Orchard, our favorite apple orchard in western NC. I am sooooo thankful we can still come here with ease from our new GA residence!

We stopped in downtown Hendersonville for lunch. Such a cute little town.

Time for apple pickin'!

And up they go. Like father, like daughter.

Tree top
Oodles and oodles of apples

World's tiniest apple
I got out from behind the camera and picked some too!

So pretty. And in her element.
On the move

Our basket!
If you are a little less adventurous and don't want to hike all over the orchard, you can just buy apples from the store,
as well as amazing jams

and all sorts of pumpkins and weird gourds. 
Like this one.

But the best thing you can buy here is apple cider donuts! And they are worth waiting in line!
The secret ingredient.
 Getting powdered.
Yum yum.
Allie and Emma. Haha 
Oh hey! It's us!
And now for the fun farm animals.
I love sheep.

Silly goats.

Pretty peacocks and some chickens. Ha!

Idyllic duck pond. 
and of course... the bamboo forest, where every "island girl's" dreams come true. :)

 Playing :)
My loves!
And fall break would not be fall break without a spontaneous sleepover. :) Since this was our last time in Charlotte with Allie, we wanted to make the most of it and let her get as much time with her friends as possible. So naturally, a sleepover was a necessity! 
 I loved Mouse Trap as a kid.
 Actually sleeping! That's a first! Haha
And me and Ms. Christy whipped up a mean sleepover breakfast spur of the moment! Another successful sleepover complete!
Allie and I also took our annual trip to Simpson's Pumpkin patch, our favorite roadside patch in all of Charlotte. 
This place has a ridiculous amount of pumpkins. 

Loads of regular ones
and weird gourds
 and dark orange pumpkins
 tomato shaped pumpkins
 white pumpkins?
 MORE assorted pumpkins
Small pumpkins

(our picks)
And a teeny, tiny pumpkin! This was the smallest we could find and had to buy!
A sea of pumpkins
 Digging to find the perfect pumpkin (this took us FOREVER)
But finally we found it AND a $1 bill sitting underneath it. Score! haha 
Look I'm a mum. Get it? :)
Here's our adopted pumpkins for this fall. So cute! 
And, I can't finish this post without a few "lasts". I would be lying if I said fall break was easy this year as all of us were processing the upcoming transition to Georgia. But.. we trust God completely with the course of our life and know that this road is the one he wants us on. So here are some pics of Allie playing with her dear friends at FHC for the last time. As usual, they kept it lighthearted. :)

Her last time ringing her special bell at this house (and a moping Daddy in the background LOL). 
And her last time flying out of Charlotte. Gulp. 
Even when it's hard, the Kales are always up for a new adventure so here we come Georgia - ready or not!