July in Photos

I've always had a love/hate relationship with the Charleston summer. Usually by July I get a little contrary. Between the unbearable heat, influx of tourists and Bert's 24/7 work schedule, I always find myself counting down the days until fall begins. But this year has been different. After looking over the pictures from the past four weeks and thinking about how much fun Loulie has had with all the friends and family visiting, fun outings and finding creative ways to cool off. In addition to my change in attitude, I was talking to a lady this week visiting here from PA. Her family paid $7,000 to come to Charleston for a week! $7,000 just so they could be at the beach. And all I could think was, "Lauren, get your head straight. It is a blessing to live where people save to visit." 
Guess I'm now leaning towards a love/love!
Hope everyone is having a relaxing and happy summer, that in the midst of some yucky headlines in the news that you are enjoying family and finding thankfulness in the little things. I am!




Party Naked

All the cousins (plus their parents and our kids) got together to celebrate my aunt's 60th birthday. Because it was my mother's side of the family, it only makes sense that by the end of the night someone was naked and dancing on a piece of furniture.

Oh, am I in TROUBLE?

Don't judge--I know you you use your children for entertainment purposes all the time. It's why we had them--right?


For those days where you just need a laugh

Bert and I went to see Bridesmaids last week.  I must admit--I love a good dirty comedy. Although we both agreed that writers are REALLY starting to push the envelope--I mean there are just somethings you don't need to see. Or as Bert put it, some things you just don't want to know about the opposite sex. For instance, he wants to keep on believing that girls don't need to use the bathroom. Some of these movies keep trying to convince him otherwise. Anyhow, as I was trying to catch my breath, the guy next to me says, "Where do they find these people?"
Where do you find these people?
For some us, it might be at an extended family gathering. As Bert always says, "If you don't have "THAT" family member, then you are "THAT" family member."
For these people, they are just "THAT" side of the family.Everything about these pictures makes me happy. They really bring me to side splitting laughter. I cannot help myself. Go here for a chuckle.

5 kids? You can't really blame them for acting this stupid.
HIs Piggly Wiggly shirt leads me to believe they are local. Nice!
Christmas Card 2011?


Party Animal...

This is one of he reasons you haven't heard from me in a while...
I finally have learned to work my iphone and my sister in law turned me on to Words with Friends. Do I ever wish I had not downloaded that app. I am giving myself a two week addiction and then I'm going to quit cold turkey. I find it somewhat irritating to sit next to my husband at night playing a game together through our phones without speaking. So after this week, we are going back to good old fashioned Rumikub!
My other excuse is that Loulie and I have been in Knoxville visiting my parents which was a little like being in the wilderness since they have no cable, internet or a kitchen sink in their new house yet. Which was fine by me--we were too busy to really even notice but it did put me a little behind with work and off the blogging map for a week.
How do I feel about my parents' new city?--I LOVE IT!
Between the overly gracious neighbors, the cooler weather, and the beautiful mountains; Loulie and I were planning our next trip before we even left. It's a longer drive but Loulie didn't cry once--too fascinated with the beautiful scenery. We just hope Bert can come next time.
It's a little bit hilarious how different going from state to state can be, especially for a little one who has never heard of or seen much out of Charleston. Loulie was completely entertained with the hills in Knoxville. Keep in mind we have only one in Charleston and it is a bridge.  Apparently she has her mother's love of hiking and spent a good part of each day just walking up and down the driveway trying to get used to balancing on a hill.
My parents' neighborhood has an all day Fourth celebration beginning with a flag raising ceremony and ending with fireworks. It really looks like something out of a movie. As we were walking down to the field for the beginning ceremony, I asked my dad what park we were in. The giant rolling field covered in lush flowers, row after row of gorgeous gardens and a picturesque barn led me to believe this was a common area for the neighborhood. "No, this is Mr. So and Sos backyard." Seriously?! 
Being newbies, we decided to overcome our fear of not knowing anyone and participated in the parade and party afterwards. Besides meeting some of the nicest people and really enjoying the surroundings; Loulie I think made a lasting impression.
Here's a little before and after for you.
A little tip: When you make your child an outfit for July 4th, try not to do it in all white. They might end up half naked, streaked in red snow cone juice getting down in front of the band. I honestly don't know where she gets this from?! ;)

Hope you all had a fun and relaxing holiday! Now it's back to work and catching up.


Now what I think of when you say Myrtle Beach

For the past year and a half I have had a go phone from Walmart--it doesn't take pictures or video and barely receives text. Let's just lay it out there--I'm not big on technology. So I was pretty ambivalent when I got home last Friday afternoon to find a 4G iphone--apparently this is a big deal. As my sister put it-"you so don't deserve this. you don't even know what it is." And I almost convinced myself the same thing when I went to set my alarm that night and couldn't even figure out the most basic operation on what was supposed to function as my line to the outside world. 
By Sunday night however, I was hooked. I CANNOT believe what this thing can do. Between playing any band I want to hear, recording my sweet baby's breakfast conversation and capturing candid shots and turning them into this...
I'm not sure how I have ever lived without this thing. Which scared me to death at first. I don't want to be dependent on another piece of technology. I am holding on fast to the dog eared library book, the dvd that you blow on to make work, etc. Because what scares me the most is how fast the world moves now, how many great ideas are created, marketed and released by the minute and how we are all scrambling to keep up. This is the type A, neurotic in me but I worry "Aren't we going to run out of ideas one day?" If such beautiful things can be created at the push of a button, where does that leave the craftsmanship of an artist that has worked their entire life to do something by hand? Will a new era of art be established by the click of a button? And if so, will future generations still be shocked and surprised by new images, better ideas, nature, simple brush strokes, plain ole photos and acrylic on canvas or will everything have to be pushing the envelope to get a reaction?
(see how strange I am--I really need to fill my time with world peace and politics or something. I mean who worries about these things?!)
And then on Tuesday we went here. And in the midst of poetry carved into 100 year old walls and 900 acres of old plantation and enormous marble statues, I felt at peace. Because looking at the works of artist from 150 years ago, so detailed and magnificent, I couldn't help but be in complete awe that the artist's work was timeless. That I'm sure I was as taken back in 2011 as people were back in 1900. It made me relax to think that even though creation and the sharing of art has come so far and is so available that even future generations will still be impressed by the works of those who blazed the trail. 
I had no idea that this spot was just and hour and a half up the road and outside Myrtle Beach of all places, but it really was quite a treat. If you ever get the chance to go to Brookgreen Gardens, it is absolutely worth the entry fee. I seriously turned every corner saying "this is my favorite. Oh no, Bert look at this one." Kid in a candy store! It was way to much to take in in one day especially with a 21 month old so we are hoping to go up again this fall for one of the harvest programs. I'm a little disappointed because I thought I had taken more pictures but I guess I got side tracked between the almost July heat, the maze of flowers and keeping Loulie off the the Do Not Touch signs. But I hope you get the idea.
One of four statues representing the four seasons and stages of life. She is "Spring."

My other "favorite," Mother and Child

Children's Garden

Bronze Statue Hall

"Pegasus"--largest statue on the land
Getting tired

As a friend told Bert the other day, "There's no denying she's yours." They look like two peas in a pod.

I seriously LOVE how the statue just blends in with the landscape. There were tons of figures lining this waterway but they just looked so much like part of the natural habitat.

We came back from Pawley's Wednesday, just long enough to get a hair cut, do some laundry, fit in a little work, repack and tomorrow we leave for our first trip to TN. Please say a little prayer--this is the longest Loulie has ever ridden in a car. My childless sister and brother in law are driving Loulie and me up--I hope we are all still speaking when we pull up to my parents's. Which reminds me, I am going to go pack some ear plugs.
(If you are in Charleston, go buy some lowcountry ice! :))