June: Fast & Furious

{you can see ALL the pictures from ALL of these events by clicking on this link and visiting the album on Picasa Web Albums.}
The month of June is coming to an end and here I sit again wondering where did it go? We have had SUCH a great first month to summer. Seriously. Brent and I were just saying last night that we "thrive" in the summer months. We have had a lot going on with every single event being just as fun as the previous.

We started off the month with being in Lexington, KY with the best travel friends anyone could ask for. We decided to spend Memorial Day doing something fun but of course had to limit it to a quick drive - Lexington was a perfect fit!
We stayed with Brittany's sister and had SUCH a great time doing a variety of fun things including a tour of the Woodford Reserve - the premier bourbon distillery in the U.S. It was interesting, just probably not the most family-friendly setting with 2 toddlers and a newborn while going through a walking, talking tour. Let's just say the tour guide stopped what she was saying on multiple occasions to get onto our girls: both of which are really well-behaved children. We just laughed about it and realized it was way more fun to make light of the situation than to get frustrated. The rest of the weekend was spent with our BFF's having fun adult time (we hired sitters that Brittany's sister knew really well) and then having a HUGE get together with a friend of Britt's sister - he has a HUGE Italian family and I think we all became envious of their camaraderie. It was so fun!

Two weeks after Lexington we attended the Annual CMA Fest at LP Field. It's hard to believe this is our third year attending - our first time was right after we had moved to Nashville and we lucked up on tickets. {and I thought I had blogged about it back then, but I guess not} Now it's become a tradition with each year growing with the number of friends attending with us and making more memories! This year our friends the Parsons and Moncriefs were not able to attend, which was really strange - they were "original" members of our CMA crew. This one's from last year where we snuck in some cupcakes to celebrate Brent's 29th' birthday and Gabbie was sound asleep in the bathroom the whole time. HA
But this year, we had the biggest group yet - Brent and I relished the various friendships represented in the room. Not to mention, the incredible performances on stage!
CMA Fest was an even bigger deal this year because it was in integral part of a HUGE surprise party I threw for Brent the following weekend. I had planned the party for over a month, with a lot of different moving parts. I had told Brent that I had a big surprise but really didn't want to tell him. Finally, he convinced me to tell him so I did: I had set up a golf game for him and a few of his friends (really true) and then we were all going to go to Margaritaville in downtown Nashville (not real) once they got home. He was PUMPED. Of course, then I started getting nervous that he was going to be disappointed that we didn't actually go to Margaritaville - ha.
Anyway, while he is out playing golf on Saturday, pretty much 45 of our closest friends showed up at our house, parked in the back of our neighborhood and were shuttled to our house.

They were THE biggest troopers as most of them had arrived over 1 hour before Brent finally arrived (because of the rain that day, it took longer for them to wrap up their golf game). Before Brent left, I asked that he give me a call so that I could have some snacks and food ready for us to munch on before we headed downtown {wink wink}. I had so much fun getting this party together. The overall theme was all about Brent - keeping it simple from the entertainment {I got him an iPod Touch as his gift and had it loaded up ready to go with party attendees adding their favorite songs to the play lists}, to the food {hot dogs and chips}, dessert {red velvet cupcakes & snow cones} and games {a 2 man team tournament of ladder golf, corn hole and home run derby}. We really had such a great time and the weather was nothing less than perfect. Because of the storms earlier in the day (threatening to sabotage the entire day), the evening was unseasonably cool - with temps in the high 80s and zero humidity. {score!}
By far, though, the best part of the entire event was the look on Brent's face when he walked through the patio door, and all 40 of our friends yelled "SURPRISE!" He looked at me and mouthed, "I had no idea." It was sooo cool and such a feeling of accomplishment that I had managed to pull of such a big surprise. So. Much. Fun.
Needless to say he had a great time, with so many friends making the trek up from Chattanooga as well as all our friends locally - we are so thankful for each and every one of them that came.

Next up was a beach trip with my parents. A few months ago my mom called and was so excited she had booked a condo for her and my dad in St Augustine. After explaining that she had asked everyone if they could come, she said she had given up and they were just going to enjoy it to themselves - possibly taking my niece. Well, being the good daughter I am, I invited ourselves to go along! We had so much fun doing all those fun things you do on a beach vacation: sleep in, pack up everything you own for a morning on the beach, picnic lunches on the beach, afternoon naps during afternoon storms, afternoons spent by the pool and then of course yummy seafood dinners. Brent and I went to St Augustine years ago before we were married and my entire extended family went for a week. This time around was way different, but I have decided the secret to a trip with a toddler is to take along grandparents: one of them will always be on the same nap schedule as your toddler. {ha} While Gabbie had been to the ocean at the first of the year in San Francisco, you might remember we looked a lot more like we worked for the Weather Channel than we looked like beach-goers. So actually this was her first true beach trip. I was anxious to see how she handled the whole sand on my hands, dirty, thing, but she loved it. I mean LOVED it. She couldn't get enough of running back and forth between the sand and the water especially playing with my niece.

She also really loved chasing all the seagulls and other birds. She even loved walking into the water, waves splashing and everything. She does not however like going under the water (she's that way even in the pool) but as long as she was attached to Brent or me, she was good. Crazy story: one day we were sitting out on this sand bar literally 40 feet from the shore line. Brent and I had closed our eyes and were relaxing then out of no where I hear, "HOLY COW!" from Brent. A small shark had swam up beside us while we were in our chairs. It was so crazy!
Overall we had a great time in St. Augustine. We had to get back on Wednesday because I had a wedding order for the 4th of July weekend, but we had a good, solid 5 days with my parents and niece. There's not much better in life than a fabulous beach vacation that involves relaxation and good memories.
Once we got back to Nashville, it was 4th of July weekend and I had a big wedding cake order. I had to miss out on the annual Whitaker family gathering at the lakehouse, but Brent and Gabbie hit the road and represented the Little Whitakers. There are several pictures from that weekend as well.
Oh and here are some pictures from the wedding order I had as well: 350 chocolate chip cookies, 6 strawberry cakes, 3 pecan pies and 3 blueberry pies. They were all a huge hit and I was extremely flattered at the numerous compliments from all the desserts. I also thought this was such a neat idea on an alternative to the traditional wedding cake especially when the Bride and or groom don't care for cake!

Wow ok that was a LOT. I started writing this blog post on July 1st - 11 days ago. Seriously? WoW. We've already experienced even more to blog about, but that will come later or maybe not at all.
Let's just say we've experienced a U2 concert, an incredible trip to an incredible Lakehouse and even more. I'm even crazy and thinking of embarking on a potty training adventure in the next 24 hours: YIKES.
Stay tuned opp knockers and thanks for your patience while I try to get back in to a better blogging schedule!