Tag Archives: Cartecay River

Taking another graceful step into my 30s

26 Jul

When I have little or no expectations, I generally find that my experiences are usually that much better overall. In terms of my birthday, I always love it and feel like it should be a special day, but I still don’t try to put too much emphasis on it or I can easily let myself down. This birthday was one of the best.

We had a relaxing but productive weekend where Dave and his dad worked on a large home project of mine (moving the washer/dryer out of our unfinished basement), and I did work too while Walter designed with “modeling play” and drew pictures. He’s getting ever more creative and inventive with art and building toys like magnatiles.

Sunday we did a few more chores and met my parents for a quiet but lovely birthday dinner at Hearth, which happens to make the best pizza in Atlanta. Yum.

IMG_20160724_185827494He loves his Nini and Grandpa!

On the way home David pulled off into the Sope Creek parking lot, and we took an impromptu dusk-time hike to the creek. Even in flip-flops it was a nice walk to a pretty creek, and being able to be closer to nature is one of the reasons I love living a bit more out of the city. I definitely want to take Walter back there as soon as I can.

IMG_20160724_201925916Perfect way to end 31.

Monday, my actual birthday, was tubing day! I’ve been tubing down the Cartecay River with friends every year on or around my birthday for 12 years in a row now. It’s amazing to have seen the changes over the past decade, when the river drop in was barely attended by a tubing guy, to last year, when it was so crowded we had to park in an additional field and were constantly surrounded by other tubing enthusiasts. So I decided that from now on, due to the popularity that I suppose will be ever increasing, we will tube on weekdays. In college it wasn’t difficult to get friends up to Ellijay on whatever day I chose, but we might have to plan more in advance from now on, since as adults we usually do the adult thing of 9-5. There were still a few people on the river, but it wasn’t crowded, and it really is the perfect way to recharge for the upcoming year. Nothing but water and trees and sky.

IMG_20160725_181640A picture taken in the same spot every year. We had a blast just the three of us, but the Cartecay is so wonderful, we love bringing as many friends to experience it as we can. And soon Walter can join us too!

This morning I woke up to easily find a long gray hair among my locks… beautiful sight! Thanks for the birthday present, universe. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Advertisements

31 is the new 24

29 Jul

This was the best birthday I’ve had in years, maybe since I turned 24.

Last weekend we went down the Cartecay River in Ellijay for the 11th year in a row. It was beautiful but crowded. I couldn’t believe how crowded! We had to park in the second lot, and we were always surrounded by other tubers and kayakers.

IMG_20150718_122334607
But it was still my beautiful river with my beautiful friends! We had two newbies this year. I love introducing people to the Cartecay.

This Saturday we got the house “finished” about 5 minutes before the first guest showed up for dinner and darts. Dave made me a beautiful dart cabinet as my birthday present, which is so very exciting because we haven’t played darts since our wedding. The older we get, the more unpleasant it is to spend an evening at a smokey bar (imagine that), and since Walter arrived, forget about it. We don’t use date nights for late nights in bars anymore.

IMG_20150726_012646
Dave and I literally met at a dartboard, and it feels so good to get back in to the game again with him. He did such an amazing job on the cabinet and cooked coq au vin for me and several friends. What a night we had!

IMG_20150726_221737
I’ve been so nervous playing in the house. We made sure to get vinyl tile for the new flooring to remove the horror of ruining freshly done hardwoods. But about 24 hours after the dart board went up, I got my first wall shot. It left a pretty big hole, but afterward I rearranged the bricks so that they’d cover more height. Who knew toddler toys could be so useful!

My actual birthday — pre-party — was spent in a mad rush to get chores done. It wasn’t an unpleasant day, although it certainly was different than your normal rowdy 20s’ birthdays.

IMG_20150725_111413548
My son happily emptied the dryer for me for the first time!

All day Walt talked about birthdays and would counter my “Honey, it’s actually my birthday” with “No, it’s my birthday,” which was fun. But he was his sweet self as usual and eventually wished me a Happy Birthday. We used the day to talk about lineage and what birthdays really mean and that we get to celebrate his in only a few short weeks.

IMG_20150726_012519
This kid makes my heart soar. I had to go in there to remove the book after he fell asleep. Of course I snapped a quick picture first.

Sunday we had dinner with all the grandparents, but only after celebrating sweet Fin’s baptism. Walter helped me pick up the boxes of coffee on our way to the party. We splurged and got a cookie to eat while we waited.

IMG_20150726_123410454

People gave me lots of wonderful presents this year, and many of them were books! My friends and family must know me really well. One was an activity book to use with Walter: 20 artistic renditions of the paper airplane.

IMG_20150729_163713140

We made the easiest one first: a paper ball.

IMG_20150729_163924936
Walter crumpled it up then immediately wanted to open it again.

I think that because I had no real expectations for this birthday, it blew me away. Thanks again, Life, for throwing all these good experiences my way. Now, back to the dart board for more practice.

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving

28 Jul

I’ve enjoyed the movie 13 Going on 30 for the past ten years, and now here I am: 30 years old. So far it doesn’t feel much different than when I was 29. To be honest, I don’t feel that much different than how I remember feeling when I was 6. Except I’m a bit more knowledgeable and possibly a lot more emotional.

I planned a full weekend to celebrate myself. It kicked off Thursday night with a perfect-weather Braves game and an H&F burger. Friday (my actual birthday) I met my Mom, Grandma, Aunt Joanne, and Cousin Robin for lunch in Dunwoody. It was nice to sit around the table with the ladies from my family. I always enjoy that. And I think Grandma liked leaving her assisted living home to join us and eat some less salty food. I was good and ordered a salmon salad but silently wished I had followed my grandmother’s lead and gotten the yummy margherita flatbread.

IMG_20140725_132656857~2
My cousin made me delicious cupcakes with sparkles. I didn’t even make it home before eating one.

IMG_20140725_132637015~2
Walter always gets more attention than I do, even on my birthday.

Friday night my mom threw a small dinner party for me, with just a couple friends, my dad, and Dave’s parents too. Walt spent the night with Nini so Dave and I could go tubing the next day. It was a glorious day on the Cartecay River, my 10th year in a row going birthday tubing. I’m a traditional type of gal, and this is definitely my favorite tradition all year.

2014 Bday Tubing 2
Dave has been 6 times, Jen$ 5 times, Sophia 5 times, and Kate 4 times.

We were supposed to go next door to a cookout when we got home, but we got home much later than we thought we would, had to wash the river off of us, and I fell asleep on the car ride home, so I wasn’t in the mood to be social with a lot of people I didn’t know. So I watched Nashville in bed til I fell asleep. I am now completely addicted to that show, and country music has entered my life once again. I had country music playing today when David came home for lunch, and the look on his face when he heard it was so priceless I was crying with laughter.

Sunday morning we got the house ready for another open house (we were going to go look at a dog but it got canceled), and then Jason took us to see Gone with the Wind on the big screen at The Fox. It was amazing. They had Margaret Mitchell introduce the movie with a little posthumous skit, and the crowd was delighted to be there. I’ve never enjoyed watching the movie more. Everyone laughed with Mammy, gasped at Vivien’s looks, and clapped when Clark Gable came on screen. It was awesome. We only stayed for the first half because I was desperate to see Walter at that point and didn’t want to wait another 3 hours after intermission.

IMG_20140727_161116258~2
We’ve already decided that the next time they do this we’ll go for the second (more depressing) half of the show.

Last but not least, after we had a glass of wine and some snacks at my mom’s while picking up Walt, we went to Jen and Anton’s for a quite yummy birthday dinner. They couldn’t go tubing with us, so Jen wanted us to come over to their townhouse, which Dave had never seen before. We don’t get to see them often because they have a large extended family and several busy jobs, so it was really great to get that time with them.

It was a great weekend spending lots of time with friends and family. So great, in fact, that I couldn’t bring myself to get me or Walt out of pajamas today until 2pm. Walt didn’t mind though.

IMG_20140728_114913134~3

Another decade bites the dust! It was a good one, but I’m expecting this one to be even better!

Another successful tubing adventure

21 Jul

Yesterday marked the 9th year that I have gone tubing down the Cartecay River in Ellijay, Georgia for my birthday. There are many things I love about Atlanta, but one of my favorite things is how close we are to everything. City life, diversity, minutes from rural country and mountains, hours from the beach, and an airport that will take you anywhere else you could possibly want to go. There is a bountiful mix of beauty and life within our fingertips, if we choose to embrace it!

The year I turned 21 my good friend Ben, who grew up in North Georgia doing all the outdoorsy stuff, asked me if I wanted to go tubing Monday. I said, yes, actually it’s my birthday, and I’d love to!

pre-drunk-tubing
2005.
I jumped off a cliff into the river this year. It was awesome. Also, I look too skinny.

25_22A
2006.
I convinced some friends to come with me. I ended up drinking too much Jager + river water. I’ve never had Jager again (or river water).

tubing 2007!
2007.
I love how in the background you can see the grass filling in more and more and the trees getting thicker.

DSCN1382
2008.

DSCN4744
2009.
Dave experiences the river for the first time.

best of both pictures
2010.
As you can see, the picture has become part of the tradition as well!

better group shot year 7
2011.
The same friends love experiencing the river with me every year!

this one
2012.
7 1/2 months pregnant with Walt. It was a more difficult journey than usual, especially with the water so low.

Birthday tubing 2013
2013!
It’s been 9 years, but do I look any older?? This might have been the best river trip yet. The water was so high from all the rain that it only took us 2 hours (including stops) to finish, but the rapids were fantastic and we didn’t become intimately acquainted with quite so many rocks. Also, we bought our own tubes this year that were large, comfortable, had cup holders, mesh bottoms, ropes, and didn’t get hot in the sun. And when we got back, I overheard the lady saying it was the only Saturday in months that didn’t have a single drop of rain! Walt was at home playing with his Nana all day. I kept thinking about how much I was looking forward to when he gets older and is able to enjoy this with us.

Perfection. It is my favorite day of the year, spent on this beautiful river, enjoying life, friends, and looking forward to another fantastic year!