Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY Shelving

All of the best original ideas have been taken, so I choose to mimic ideas I find on Pinterest or on Young House Love. There's no shame in my decorating game. This is one of the latest pins that inspired me.



It was pretty simple (looking). Some black piping and boards to make a shelving unit in the industrial style that I am pretty obsessed with right now. I mentioned it to John a few months ago and we kept delaying the project due to a) funds b) time and c) planning. We finally got it together though and made a plan. Over the next few weeks John went to the home improvement stores to compare prices, decide on materials, purchase materials and get some of the piping cut to length. My dad bought a tool to thread the pipe because he's awesome so we were finally all set to go.

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I sort of step back after the idea and planning phase and let John do the handiwork and I mistakenly assumed we'd have it done after just a few days. Ha. Not quite. (Although, the date of that first picture in Lowe's is November 9th and the next one of him assembling it was only November 17, but I swear it felt like it took forever!)

Every evening for a week or so, John sanded pipes, painted pipes, and stained and polyed pieces of wood in our garage. I could see the project slowly coming together in the garage, but it wasn't until assembly was finally started in the living room that I was giddy with excitement. We were soon about to have one less giant blank wall in our home and I was soon about to get to decorate shelving - one of my favorite things to do! I had a room full of decor just waiting on a home.

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When all was complete, I was given the go ahead to decorate. It's not complete (a few frames are empty, a couple of things need repainted) but it's pretty close to it. I'm in love:

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Isn't she a beauty? I'm so thankful that John can do stuff like this. If it were just up to me, well, I guess I'd have my dad here doing it. And then if that wasn't an option either it'd be Ikea shelving. Which isn't bad either, but, it isn't this.

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From the inspiration picture, we had to alter it just a tiny bit. John added extra support pieces on the bottom and top shelves. I don't LOVE that addition, but it's really not so noticeable. The bottom shelf needed it because it held the heavy stereo receiver and I forget why the top shelf needed it. I think he said eventual warping or something.

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I can't focus on TV anymore. All I do is stare at the shelving unit and make slight adjustments to the decor or just stare it at longingly. In fact, last night in my gazing, I realized just how much decor I get from yard sales. I don't know why it still surprises me, but when it's all laid out like this and I realize I picked up each of these things from a different place it sort of amazes me how well it all fits together. I decided to make a little graphic so you can see too how much of it came from yard sales.


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I think there are seven total things that I bought in a place that wasn't someone's driveway. There are a few things that were just given to me also, and then a few other things that I picked up at Goodwill. I wish I remembered the price of each thing so I could give you a total. I do know the most expensive thing up there was the circular tray in the top left corner which was $16-$18 or so at a Cracker Barrel store.

In summary: I'm cheap, I like pretty things, my husband is handy and this is the result. I like, do you?

Tuna

New around here? This is Tuna, our cat of almost 9 years.

Tuna suffers a bad haircut.


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Tuna is a guinea pig pre-Charley.

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Tuna has a bath.

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Tuna is fluffy and pretty.
 
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Tuna gets one last hug before he says goodbye/meow.

I feel really bad about it but we found Tuna a new home last weekend. He just wasn't getting the attention he (SO DESPERATELY) needed from us and a coworker of John's offered to take him when she heard that we were considering rehoming him. We pondered it for about a week before we decided it was the best option for him and for us.

Tuna had been driving. us. crazy. to put it lightly. We were constantly annoyed with him which on top of having a toddler in the house taking a lot of attention, made us even more apt to not give him the attention he needed. The things he was doing that annoyed us ranged from constantly getting on the counter tops (litter box feet do not belong where I prepare food!), to trying to eat off of Charley's plate WHILE SHE WAS ALSO EATING OFF OF IT, to no longer using the litter box properly. He'd go right beside it on a mat, so he knew where he was supposed to go but refused to do so. Typing the main reasons out seem so petty as you read them I'm sure, but ultimately it was our decision and we feel like we made the best one for him and for us.

So far we've heard it's been going pretty good! I hope it continues to go good, and am glad that it's someone we know so we can occasionally check up on him. Although these details are coming from John and we all know how minimalist men can be when relaying a story, we've heard that the kids in the family love him, that they've been giving him tuna which he's super excited about and that he meows a lot. Ha. Yeah, maybe forgot to warn them about that last one.

Reese is still here and is seemingly much happier. They weren't the best of buds, and Reese really likes Charley where Tuna was ehh about her so he doesn't lose out on attention there. Charley asked about him a couple of times after he left and we just told her he went to live somewhere else and she seems okay with that. I think it would be a totally different story with her had we rehomed Reese instead.

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So, if you notice he isn't in my sidebar anymore or mentioned very often any longer this is the reason. I couldn't let a main character at Life of Lacey go away unnoticed so I figured I needed to tell you. You'll stick around without Tuna here, won't you?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Settle A Debate - Space

It's highly likely that the solution we collectively come to in this situation won't change a thing. But it will give me some insight into whether I'm in the minority or majority in my way of thinking about this very pressing issue.

Space. It's always at a premium. Whether in your car, at your desk, in your house or in your bed. It seems we can never get enough space. Let's take the bed as an example. Many of us have two adults, a pet or two, and even a child in the bed with you and space becomes a major factor.

We have a queen bed. Occasionally our cat will sleep at the foot of the bed but not often. Charley sleeps in her own bed. Which leaves just myself and John and some empty space. Let's talk about this space though.

In Person A's mind, the bed is divided in half down the center. One half is person A's, the other half is person B's and the line is not to be crossed. This space is mine and that space is yours sort of mentality. This person also has sat up in the bed to mark the spot that Person B's extremity was currently located to prove to Person B the magnitude of the line crossing offense. "Look how far over the line you are!"

Person B has a more relaxed approach to space. They think that if a space becomes available and it suits our current configuration then that space is for the taking. Not for the entire night but maybe just while it's available. If the space in question happens to be on the other person's side, then they may have the space back whenever they please. It is their side after all.

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Person B can also be quoted to say that it's like a child's toy. If you aren't currently playing with it then it's not very nice to keep it from any of your friends to play with. It's called sharing. And we should share any available bed space in this same way.

Person A responds that it's not like a toy, but more like a car. Just because you have parked your car in the garage all night and it's not currently being used doesn't make it available for those without cars. There's no guarantee that the car will be back in the garage next morning when I need it. So this person wants to keep all available bed space that is rightfully theirs to themselves in case they decide they need it at some point in the night.

So. What's the consensus, internet? Does Person A need to relax a little? Or does Person B need to abide by the laws of the bed as we should all know?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pampered Chef Saga: The Conclusion

**I'd like to go ahead and apologize for all of my yelling in this post. It 100% correlates with the amount of yelling I had to do in real life to get this concluded.**

**I'd like to go ahead and apologize also for the length of this thing and how wordy and worked up I get. It still makes me mad to think about and I think that comes through in my writing a teensy bit. Sorry!**

I've been wanting to tell you all the ending of the story for a couple of weeks now, but I wanted to wait until it was all over so I could finish the story. Yesterday I came home and saw this...

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...which signaled the END of the stupid story and knew I could finally move on. But let's not mistake me moving on with me being happy with the outcome.

Last time I left you was October 11 and I claimed I was giving Pampered Chef one more week before purchasing the two items for my guest myself. (If you missed the beginning of the saga, it started here.) Per usual, I was extra generous with them and finally came to a resolution with them on November 6, and two weeks after that (yesterday) I received that final package. Amazon can get stuff to me in two days. I don't know what their problem is.

I'm sure you'd like to know what is in the box, but we'll get to that in a minute.

The lady I was dealing with worked in the corporate office for Pampered Chef. She was in a department called Consultant Career Solutions. I don't know why I was transferred to this department and I think that was issue #1. This department typically dealt with issues with the consultants. Of course, I did have a major issue with the consultant originally, but at this point the consultant (Robin) was out of the picture. Apparently, I was not the only one who could no longer contact her. Her director (who I came to like actually) had not had any contact with Robin since all of this went down, nor had Pampered Chef corporate. She obviously no longer wanted to make her living selling measuring spoons and the like.

But, the lady at corporate told me the same thing nearly every time. We have GOT to talk to the consultant to see what happened. And every single flipping time I'd tell her the same thing. "THAT IS YOUR PROBLEM NOW. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU TALKING TO HER. MAKE IT RIGHT WITH ME FIRST AND DEAL WITH HER LATER." And yes, I was yelling. My coworkers began to look forward to my phone calls with Pampered Chef for their afternoon entertainment. And really, is it that big of a mystery what happened? The lady took our money with promises of Pampered Chef items to arrive at my doorstep. The stuff never arrived. That's where YOU, as a COMPANY, should step in and fix it.

Instead, because I was HONEST and told them that thankfully our banks and credit cards were able to refund our money, Pampered Chef then considered the problem solved. Since the banks made up for their shortcomings they didn't feel like they needed to do anything at all. "So, you aren't out any money any longer, right? So what is the problem?"

THE PROBLEM is, that I bought groceries. CLEANED my house like a madwoman. Asked my friends and family to take time out of their lives to join me in my home to listen to one of their consultants give the absolute worst presentation I've ever seen. We then spent our money with their company. Which turned into a gigantic fraud, so we then spent more TIME on the phones with our banks getting things corrected. And then we got absolutely nothing out of it.

It would have been REALLY AWESOME for Pampered Chef to send us the things we ordered even though the consultant was the only one that received our money. (And my total party was only about $300...not a huge amount at all.) I would have been HAPPY with an offer to at least let me get my free items I would have gotten for hosting the party and the chance to purchase what I wanted with my hostess discount, along with my guests able to purchase their items with the monthly special as well. (I will say, the director who agreed with me all along and was not happy with the way Pampered Chef was handling all of this offered to let me order my things through her with my same discounts and free items. I'm pretty sure she would have had to make up the difference out of her own pocket, so that was really generous of her to offer to do that.) I would have been SATISFIED with an apology gift of some sort for me and my guests. I didn't get any of that.

Here's what I did get. Remember my one guest that paid with check? Well, Robin cashed that check and we never saw either of the two items that my guest ordered. She was not able to dispute the check with her bank as it had already been cashed, so she was just out of luck. These two items had a $40 retail value together if that gives you any idea of the ridiculousness of what I'm about to tell you. So, after I realized that Pampered Chef was not going to do anything for me (they kept asking for PROOF OF PAYMENT from me and my guests. Umm, you mean the one whackadoo Paypal charge we all got? What in the world is that going to tell you? It's not like we had receipts to go along with it.) I made it my goal to just get Pampered Chef to send the two items that she ordered. The guest had very sweetly told me to just forget about them as she had just written it off, and she didn't want me to have to deal with it all any longer. But I'm hard-headed and didn't listen to her. Not only did I want to get those things for her, but I wanted Pampered Chef to make it right. So, over my MANY phone calls with Pampered Chef, I continuously brought up this guest and how she was ripped off. Pampered Chef had spoken with Robin's director many times as well and her director also backs up my story that we were all ripped off. YET, every single time it got brought up, Pampered Chef would tell me that they could not do anything for her unless they got a front and back copy of her check. Like they didn't BELIEVE us and thought I was going through this great effort to get $40 worth of free stuff. Repeatedly told me without that proof, they couldn't do anything for me. Having my word, the director's word, and the fact that they could NOT contact Robin was not enough proof apparently.

Sure, I could have asked my guest for the copy of her check. Easy. But like I said, she had written it off and I didn't want to have to ask her to do that. Pampered Chef should not be making US prove to THEM that THEY ripped us off. They should be scrambling over their own feet to make it right and they just refused to do that.

Finally, Pampered Chef agreed to send me and my guests that got ripped off an apology gift for our troubles. When they told me this, I immediately told them to keep their stupid measuring spoons or whatever cheap gift they were planning on sending me, and to use the VALUE of those gifts to send my guest's two items instead. Let's break it down:

6 apology gifts of crap we'll likely never use < 2 items worth $40 that my guest not only WANTED but PAID FOR. 

They didn't come right back and agree to that.  It took them a good two weeks after that for the phone call to say they'd agreed to send me those two things. And in that phone call, the lady REITERATED fifteen times that it is NOT their policy to send things out without a copy of that check. That she would not be able to do this again in the future. This is a one time thing. I replied to her that I'm sure it's NOT the policy of their consultants to use Paypal to steal money from guests as well, and that she wouldn't have to worry about me doing it again in the future because I for sure would never be buying anything from them again. Can you believe that? After all of that, STILL thinking I'm out to rip them off and get things for free.

Finally, when she's putting the order through for those two items, she asked me to what address she should send them. I was driving during this phone call, didn't have my guest's address handy and will soon see her anyways at her baby shower so I just told her to send them to me. Again, she made me feel like I was just trying to get these two things for myself. "To you, huh?" was her reply. RAGE. RAGE RAGE RAGE.

Anyways. So yesterday I see the box sitting in my driveway and am shocked that it finally came. My naivety took over once more and I was so sure that they'd thrown in something extra for me and my guests on top of those two things and I ripped open the box. Just those two things. I don't know why I expected anything extra. Why would they want me to feel pampered at all? They aren't in the business of pampering.

So I'm done with it all. I've spent way too much time on this crap. It was a YEAR ago I started talking to the consultant about having a party. This is at least the 4th blog I've written that mentioned it. I've posted to their Facebook page and mentioned them in tweets. (I don't even tweet...only have an account for stuff like this.) I've debated reporting them to the Better Business Bureau and even started filling out a complaint form. Other people said they would have filed a police report and blah blah blah. But, I am sick of telling this story. I'm sick of hoping for some sort of happy resolution. It's been ongoing since August and it's not going to happen. Even naive little me can see that. I got it to the point where none of my friends and family are out any money and that's as much as I can do. Seriously, THE. END.

Crate and Barrel forever. Pampered Chef and I are done. Unless of course I see something at a yard sale for $1 because that's about what their stuff is worth to me after this mess. I do think I should petition for them to change their name though. How do we feel about these company names instead?

Abused Chef

Ripped Off Chef

Payforoverpricedcrapthatyou'llneverevenget Chef

Ourconsultantsarecontractemployeesandweletthemdowhattheywantwithnorepercussions Chef

Wesuck Chef

Customerservice?Whatiscustomerservice? Chef



(One last note. I went out to dinner with an old friend the other day and she also went to high school with Robin and I. She wasn't able to make it to the Pampered Chef party and was shocked at everything that had happened. She then wanted to verify that the consultant was who she thought it was and she then told me that in high school I used to call Robin "Liar Robin". WHAT!? I am so a) forgetful and b) naive that I don't remember stuff like that and look how it's gotten me in trouble again! Also, man, I have a knack for coming up with creative nicknames for people don't I?)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Eggs Please?

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I'm going to talk about a topic as controversial as abortion or gay marriage or gun laws. I'm going to talk about TODDLERS WATCHING TV/iPADS/PHONES. Dun dun dun. [Obviously, I am well aware that it's no where near as controversial as those things, but if you did not know better and got all of your information from blogs, forums and social media you may seem to think it was. I don't get all of my information from those sources, only about 98%.]

Let's start with me. I never remember any TV restrictions on us as children. Of course, we weren't interested in watching TV all hours of the day because there wasn't children's programming on at all hours of the day like there is now. So there's that big difference. Also, I never really liked much TV growing up. Never really liked cartoons and even as a pre-teen or teenager I used to always dread it when I was at a friend's house and all they wanted to do was watch TV. I am still like that pretty much today. (Although I did just start watching Season 1 of Dexter since Netflix now has it and I could easily waste away a few days just watching that.) Anyways, since that is my personal history of TV, I sort of wish the same for Charley.

At no point have I been anti-TV with Charley. Like, I never set a minimum age for her to watch TV or a set number of minutes of screen time she couldn't exceed or anything. But just by nature, we don't have the TV on a lot at our house so she didn't get exposed to it very often. When we moved in with my parents last year, she got a lot more exposure because they, by nature, have the TV on all day long. It's just what they do and I am okay with that too.

Where in the world am I going with this? I can't even remember. I've titled this 'Eggs Please?' so somehow I need to wind up talking about eggs and it's quite a leap from where we are right at this very second. Moving on...

Basically, Charley watches TV and asks daily to watch TV and it pains me a little bit. I am pretty sure she watches less TV than many other toddlers, but 1) I'm not home all day and therefore don't often need to use the TV as downtime and 2) I don't really care how much other toddlers watch TV in comparison. But I have read the blogs that are like ew, we don't watch TV here, we play outside and blah blah blah. You know what? Watching TV does not exclude playing outside. In fact, if you take a weekend day where we are home all day, Charley not only plays outside for the majority of the day but she also watches TV too! They are not mutually exclusive. You can do both! It's amazing! Assuming that children that watch TV don't play outside OR inside for that matter, is kind of a jerk statement to make. Or, maybe I'm being a jerk by assuming that your toddler can do two different activities in one day as my toddler can. Is your kid unable to do that? How rude of me to assume that.

I am seriously lacking focus today. I get all ranty and type up a storm and forget where in the world I was going with it. My whole point with that last paragraph was to poke fun at the statements I've read on forums, blogs, and on Facebook that TV watching children don't play outside. That's dumb.

And then I remember coming across some craziness with putting a blanket over the TV during commercials to protect the tiny developing brains from too much flashing or something. I've done exactly NO research on the topic because my fingers keep laughing at me as I go to type in the sentence in my search bar and I can't take the humiliation. So I don't research it and I don't keep a blanket handy to throw over the TV in case of a flashy commercial emergency. Is this really a thing? It's a good thing we mainly Netflix and have no commercials over here. We have absolutely no control or regard for the flashing in our home.



Charley likes Barney best of all. Remember how she had an Elmo party two months ago because Elmo was her favorite? Well that was a lie. About 3 weeks prior to her party she changed her mind and liked Barney better and I had to keep up an Elmo front about the furry red puppet being her favorite or else I would have had to exchange approximately 12 rolls of Elmo colored crepe paper. But truly Barney is for sure her favorite.

She also likes Mickey Mouse on occasion. It's definitely her favorite actual cartoon. She doesn't seem to like actual cartoons much which delights me so. She likes REAL people, such as giant purple dinosaurs and also previously liked small furry red puppets.

But if she is watching Barney or whatever on the iPad on YouTube, do you want to know what she inevitably ALWAYS finds? Egg videos. She's obsessed with egg videos. Let me give you an example.



They drive me crazy. It's always a low talker, monotone person narrating and the crinkly sound while opening the eggs is equally maddening. There's TWENTY FIVE eggs opened in that video, which means there are crinkling noises TWENTY FIVE times in six minutes and thirty three seconds and that's just not okay.

It's crazy really. We give her the iPad, she asks for Barney and we find a Barney episode for her. Then, she gets really impatient because it takes Barney so long to get to her favorite song...


...and she starts clicking on the suggested videos off to the right.


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I swear, every single time, somehow, someway Barney video suggestions give way to EGG VIDEOS and I have no idea how. Then sometimes she'll want to skip the whole process she goes through to find egg videos and will straight up ask, "Eggs please?" What's a girl to do? It's not a cartoon, so that's a win in my book. It's also not a flashy video so no need to smother the iPad with a blanket, so another win. It also keeps her quiet and happy for about six minutes and thirty three seconds so a third win. But then crinkly noises are a definite loss. Do I continue to let this egg nonsense go on? Have you ever even seen such an egg in a store? Should I maybe buy her some egg surprises of her very own so she won't be forced to watch these videos on YouTube? Please, this is eggstremely important.

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Summer 2013

I read a blog recently about how when her blog was new, she just wrote. She wrote about her weekend and her vacations and whatever thought came to mind and if she had a picture to add, great. If not, so be it. She just wrote because she liked to write. But more recently, preparing a blog post often involved photo editing and re-reading and revising and second-guessing everything, among other things.

This really struck a chord with me too. I aim to please, and often times I deter myself from writing about certain topics because I've already shared the photos on Facebook and Instagram (hello over sharer!) or don't think others would be very interested in what I wanted to say or don't want to offend a possible reader. (this happens a lot- I need to start an anonymous blog!)

So I'm just going to write. I don't care if I don't have a good intro or ending or if the post tells a story. I don't care if no one comments. That will be a whole 2 or 3 less comments than normal, and who really cares, right? I started this blog for me, and I need to go back to that a little bit.

I'm going to start with everyone's LEAST favorite topic: my summer vacations. With pictures! Absolutely no one likes to look at someone else's vacation photos but I'm doing it anyways. I might as well invite you all over to look at old family photo albums.

(Confession: I know when other bloggers post about their vacations and spread it out like Paris: Day 1, Rome: Day 2, etc. etc. - I don't even open those up. I'm a bad blog reader! They are most likely documenting it for themselves, but I need a cliff's notes version. I can't handle the drawn-out-ti-ness. Says the girl who just drew out an intro for 5 paragraphs.)

Anyways, our 2013 summer vacations.

Charleston, SC: May 4-6
Garden City Beach, SC: June 14-15
Kings Mountain, NC: July 5-7 (mentioned here)
Daytona Beach, FL: July 20 - August 4
NYC: August 23 - 26
Myrtle Beach, SC: August 29 - September 2

Charleston, SC: May 4-6

Charley and I took a quick trip to Charleston to meet two of my friends and their babies for a long weekend. The company was perfect. Love both of those ladies and their babes are adorable too and Charley got along great with them both. The weather was - not perfect. Mainly cold and rainy for the whole weekend. We mainly chatted and let the babes play at the house the whole weekend because, well, we had three toddlers. But we did venture out for a visit to the Charleston Children's Museum one afternoon. Regardless of the weather, the weekend was fun fun fun and it was a great start to the summer vacation season.

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Garden City Beach, SC: June 14-15

Basically the same trip as the Charleston one minus a couple personnel changes. Met two friends and their babes for a quick one night trip. The weather for this trip was PERFECT. We spent the first afternoon in the pool. Charley had very little pool experience before this so she was really loving it. After we were all pruney we went back up to the condo and let the babes play and had dinner. 

The next morning both of my friends left to travel back home but I wasn't ready to leave just yet, so Charley and I had a beach morning to ourselves. This morning was one of my favorite times I've had with Charley. She was THRILLED to play on the beach. She entertained everyone out there and just wore herself out. We had already checked out prior to coming to the beach so we had to drive/ride home with salty skin and sand stuck in places it shoudn't be but I was aware of that prior to planning our beach morning and determined I was okay with that. This is when I knew that our beach vacations for the rest of summer were going to be SO. MUCH. FUN. with Charley.


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Kings Mountain, NC: July 5-7
 
John and I bought a camper from my sister earlier this year, and tried it out for the first time on the long July 4th weekend. Charley, John and I went to the Kings Mountain State Park which was only 45 minutes from home. It did end up being a little rainy over the weekend, but we honestly had so much fun anyways.  
 
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The rain would come and go so quickly all weekend. We rented a paddleboat at one point and luckily the docks had a roof over them because it went from perfectly sunny and beautiful at 5:39 p.m....
 
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...to a monsoon at 5:48 p.m. out of nowhere. We got back in the docks without a second to spare.

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Obviously the people behind us didn't have our same luck.
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Daytona Beach, FL: July 20 - August 4
 
Most years I am only able to come to one week of the typical 2 week family vacation, but this year I somehow convinced work to let me off for two whole weeks. John was only able to join us for the second week but we definitely made the most of all of his time with us.

The first week consisted of lots of beach time since Charley absolutely loves the beach and just lots of time "relaxing" at the house. I use ""'s because you don't get a ton of time to relax when you have a toddler, but I had several other adults to back me up so on occasion I would get a chance to divert my eyes elsewhere on the beach besides following this crazy girl's every move.

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When John arrived for week two, we had several things planned. First, Charley had to show Dada how much she loved the ocean.
 
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And we had several other things planned:
  1. Go to Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
  2. Use our Groupon we purchased for Hydrobikes in New Smyrna Beach.
  3. Go tubing at Blue Spring State Park.
  4.  
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Check, check & check.
 
NYC: August 23 - 26
 
So this wasn't supposed to be a vacation at all because it was actually a work trip. But we got there and finished all we were supposed to do in half of the day Saturday when it was supposed to take us all of Saturday, Sunday and maybe even some of Monday. So, once we were finished working Saturday, myself and a coworker of mine (who was also a NYC first-timer like me) spent the rest of the time being tourists and fitting in as much sightseeing as possible.
 
While I was in NYC, John was in Bristol, TN (and Charley was at home being babysat by various family members). At one point I sent him a picture of where I was at that moment, and he replied with his view of the moment. I laughed at the extreme differences of it all.
 
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We managed to fit in all of this in our short, impromptu sightseeing adventures: a bus tour, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, a visit and tour at the World Trade Center Monument, several visits to Time Square, Grand Central station & a slice of Junior's cheesecake, and a pedicab tour around Central Park.
 
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Myrtle Beach, SC: August 29 - September 2
 
For our last vacation of the summer, my parents, my BFF, John, Charley and I went to one of our favorites, Pirateland Campground in Myrtle Beach, SC. I've told you about a few of these trips before.
 
Sometimes we vacation here and never even leave the campground because there is so much to do within the campground. We did venture out a couple of times this trip though because I knew there were a couple of things Charley would love. First, we went to Ripley's Aquarium since our last aquarium visit was so successful in Atlanta earlier this year.
 
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We also went to downtown Myrtle Beach one afternoon/evening to ride the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and take Charley to an amusement park to ride some rides. I don't think Charley stopped smiling this whole day.

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And the rest of the weekend we spent at the campground watching Grandaddy fish, spending time on the beach or at the pool and just enjoying each other's company. It was a really great long weekend.
 
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So, there's that. I'd ask you to also share your summer vacation pictures and stories with me but you likely did that months ago. It's currently 40 something degrees outside and looking at these pictures makes me long for warmer weather already.