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Chesapeake Beach

Earlier this year, Eric and I didn’t think we were going to have any summer plans so we booked a long weekend trip from Airbnb. It was a small mobile home in a town we hadn’t heard much about on the Chesapeake, but we were excited to get away for a few days! Our summer has been turning out much busier than we expected.

We left on a Wednesday after work and drove down that night.

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By the time we got there it was already almost 10 PM and pretty dark so we couldn’t see much outside. The owner was there to greet us though and was so sweet to show us around and welcome us to her home. The inside of the place was so cute and way nicer than we expected. As soon as she left, we were exhausted and just ready to shower and lay on the couch.

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The next morning we got a much better view of the place.

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The owner had left us eggs laid by her own hens 🙂

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When she found out we recently got engaged, she also let us borrow her golf cart the whole weekend free of charge (typically this is another rental fee). It definitely came in handy because we were about two blocks from the water and the roads were all gravel.

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We’re pretty simple – all we need is a little sand and water and our vacation is set!

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Below is the front of the mobile home we were staying in.

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We had to go get crabs the first day we were there.

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View looking from the front door to the back door. She did a lot of work and made the place so nice.

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View from the back door to the front door.

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Looking from the living room into one of the ‘bedrooms’ (most of the rooms didn’t have doors; it was a very interesting layout).

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The pier on the beach.

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We did lots of this over the weekend.

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Wherever there is a grill, you will find him.

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He had to take advantage of the fishing pier.

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Didn’t catch anything this time.

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We also pretty much started each morning and ended each evening with a golf cart ride.

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One of the days ended up being overcast and rainy all day. We decided to head into the town of Reedville and see what we could find. We happened upon the Fisherman’s Museum which was pretty cool! It’s definitely a fishing town.

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That night we rummaged through her games and found Monopoly – National Parks edition. Definitely had to take advantage of that.

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On Sunday before we packed up to leave, we had to get in just a couple more beach hours in the morning.

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And we had to feed the turtles we found along the way one more time.

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As we were packing up the car Eric got stung by a wasp or hornet (we’re not sure). It swelled up and looked awfully painful so we knew it was our time to go.

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We had a great time in Reedville. This is our second time using Airbnb and love exploring small beach towns we never would have known about. It was quiet, relaxing, and slow paced – just what we needed during such a busy time of year for us!

Chesapeake Beach

Weekend with family

The weekend after we got back from Florida was actually the first time our family has all been together at the same time since Christmas – it was so nice to have everyone in the same place!

Friday night my mom and sister pulled out a bunch of their wedding stuff and it was literally the most fun I’ve had wedding planning thus far. We got to reminisce about their weddings days and take a trip down memory lane. Moments like that make me even more excited to create my own memories and share them with family down the road.

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And then another awesome game compliments of my brother from Christmas.

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Enjoying breakfast together and a slow Saturday morning – the best.

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This girl is so happy and energetic in the mornings; best part of the day.

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Eleanor was trying on Shug’s shoes. Later that morning we headed to the community pool because that’s always a fun time.

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After the pool my sister and mom took me to try on dresses for the first time…! Then we headed back home to get dinner started.

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This beautiful couple recently celebrated 8 years! Where has the time gone? A great example for us 🙂

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Benny helped grill up some burgers and dogs for dinner.

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Yum – almost like a second July 4th celebration!

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After dinner the guys headed out to a local brewery and the girls walked up to the park. We chatted a lot about potential wedding ideas. It was really nice to have both my mom and sister around to bounce ideas off of.

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My mom made a delicious ice cream cake to celebrate Katie and Chris’s anniversary, our engagement, and Eric’s upcoming move back to Northern VA. We waited eagerly for the guys to get back from the brewery so we could dig in 🙂

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Sunday morning we had breakfast together and then headed up to the park to play some frisbee golf and get some energy out before everyone had to get in the car to head home.

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It was such a great weekend having everyone together at the same time! I don’t know what I would do without all these people 🙂

Weekend with family

Engagement!

As you all already know, Eric and I are engaged!! It happened July 1st when we were in Florida. The past two weeks have been a complete whirlwind; I’m just now finally getting a chance to document it. We’re already almost halfway through the month and I have no idea where the time went. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get caught up on documenting everything but I’ll start with the engagement 🙂

Eric had been in Orlando all week for work and my plan was to fly down Thursday night to meet him so we could do Disney on Friday and maybe get some beach time for a couple days.

It was late Thursday night by the time I got there and we had an early morning planned – we wanted to get to the park right when it opened.

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He later told me he was basically sitting on the ring box the entire 30-40 minute drive to Disney so that I wouldn’t see it in his pocket.

We decided to take the ferry over to the park instead of the monorail.

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Little did I know what was in store for us at that castle.

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Eric later told me he made me go through security first so that he could whisper to one of the security ladies that he had a ring so that hopefully he wouldn’t have to take it out.

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The whole place was magical as soon as we walked in. It was like stepping into a fairytale world. There were people singing and dancing in the streets, everyone was so friendly whether it was an employee or a visitor. The sun was shining and Cinderella’s castle was right in front of us.

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As we started walking up to the castle, we saw a photographer in the middle of the street taking pictures for people. I gave him my camera so I could get a picture. Eric asked him if they had photographers stationed all the way up to the castle. He wanted to get a picture closer.

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Once we got all the way up to the castle, there were two very small lines for photographers taking pictures. Eric told me to get in one line and he went over to the other to see if it would go quicker. I saw him lean over and say something to the photographer and then handed him his GoPro (video camera). He motioned me over, I saw him get down on one knee, and with ring in hand he belted out “L-A-U-R-E-N Will you marry me?” (It was to the tune of “M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E”  Super cute and clever but I think I was in too much shock to even realize until after the fact.

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We took the camera back so that the photographer could continue taking pictures of the people waiting in line. He came back over and as he was hugging me, I started shaking and tearing up so we just kind of took a minute to ourselves. I calmed down and finally got the ring out of the box and on my finger.  Everyone cheered and congratulated us and were all so sweet and willing to take pictures for us.

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I couldn’t imagine a more magical place to get engaged and I still am baffled how he was able to sneak a ring in without me knowing – I literally was shocked when I realized he was actually proposing.

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It was so perfect that it happened first thing in the morning because it made the rest of the day so much more special. After a lot of taking pictures, messaging family, calming down, and regrouping, we headed over to our first ride of the day – Space mountain.

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Just looking back on these pictures is so fun for me because I don’t know if I’ve ever had so much fun. We were on such a high from getting engaged that we were already having the best day – getting to ride rides at Disney World after was just the icing on the cake 🙂

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It’s a small world after all.

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Someone was handing out buttons in the street – Eric got one saying “I’m celebrating” and I got “Happily Ever After”.

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Stopping for lunch.

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We decided we had to get Mickey/Minnie shirts.

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In line for Splash Mountain – probably one of my favorites of the day.

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Thunder Mountain Railroad

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Since Eric’s family knew he was going to propose, they graciously got us a reservation at Crystal Palace (delicious buffet style food, beautiful place, and you get to take pictures with various characters).

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The reservation was around 4 PM and it was perfect timing because it started pouring rain as we were inside eating. It stopped as we were leaving but the whole afternoon was off and on storming the rest of the day. We were so glad we got in almost everything we had wanted to do early.

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Relaxing on the people mover as we waited out some of the storm.

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Once we got rained on and our clothes were wet, our new shirts came in handy!

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A lot of the rides were closed temporarily due to weather. The only ride we really really wanted to do that we didn’t get a chance to yet was Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (which typically has a pretty long wait). We got in line even though it was closed because we knew if they opened it soon, we would be some of the first on. After a needed reprieve from the heat, the rain cooled us off and then the skies parted and the ride opened back up! It worked! We were on one of the first trains.

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By later that afternoon, the weather was not showing any sign of letting up. If it kept raining, they were going to cancel the fireworks which were still not for another 3 hours. We got to do everything we wanted and so much more, we decided we would forgo the potential fireworks and head out since we knew it would be a late night already.

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Back to the car. Thank you Disney for the best day 🙂

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We literally had the time of our lives at Disney. I know it’s only been two weeks but we’ve probably talked about it every day and love reminiscing about it. I couldn’t imagine a more magical day having a blast, laughing, and running around like kids with my best friend and the man I’m going to marry. I’m a lucky lady and could not be more grateful.

 

Engagement!

Six Flags and Father’s Day

Last weekend my company held their annual picnic at Six Flags. It’s actually no more than 30 minutes from where we live but I had never been. Eric grew up going to Six Flags so we were excited – we got there about 30 minutes before the park even opened.

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The whole day was paid for through my work so we were very appreciative of that. We were some of the first people in line.

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As soon as the park opened we headed straight to the best roller coaster in the park, Superman. The park was pretty much deserted at this point.

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As we got to the Superman, we realized they just rolled out a new virtual reality headset that you have the option to wear while you’re on the coaster. It was a brand new experience for both of us and while we were a little apprehensive, we knew we had to try it at least once.

It was absolutely crazy and definitely worth it! We both decided we liked it better without the virtual reality (we rode it a second time without the headsets), but were glad we got to experience it.

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Yep – those are Galaxy S6s strapped to everyone’s heads.

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We rode about 6 roller coasters with no lines before noon. By then it was time to head to the pavilion that my company reserved for lunch.

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We grubbed out on all the free food and couldn’t pass up some ice cream for dessert! Definitely a needed break to refuel. Then it was back to the park.

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Once we hit all the big roller coasters it was getting pretty hot out so we had to get in a couple water rides.

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Picture with Bugs and his girlfriend Lola. My work also got us each those water bottles that we could refill as many times as we’d like for free – and anytime we go back! It was great because we went through a lot of water that day.

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And the best part was that my work paid for us both to also get thrill passes – season passes for the rest of the summer! We will definitely be going back. Thank you NSC 🙂

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Later than night I made stuffed peppers for dinner. My first time making them and they turned out pretty good!

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We’ve been doing a lot of eating outside lately.

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The next day I met my brother and dad out in Reston so we could take him out to lunch for Father’s day. It was so great to spend time with both of them; we had some great Mexican food for lunch.

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In the afternoon we headed over to Eric’s parents’ house to have dinner with his dad for Father’s Day as well.

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I know it’s a little late but I definitely want to thank and give a shout out to all the amazing dads out there, especially my dad, Eric’s dad, my Opa, and brother-in-law Chris! You all are wonderful people and I appreciate all you do!

It was a very busy and full weekend that went by so quickly. As tired as I may be at the end of them, those are the weekends I love the most.

Six Flags and Father’s Day

One Hot Weekend

This past weekend was a hot and humid one. Summer weather is here. I have mentioned wanting a table a couple times to be able to eat outside when the weather is nice. Last week Eric found someone giving away a free picnic table on Craigslist. He went and picked it up after work and it’s perfect 🙂 We’ve already used it pretty much every day since we’ve had it.

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Saturday we had a lot of random things to do. We were up early to wait for the cable guy to come set us up with Cox (goodbye Verizon!). Since we were up early, we had finished getting a lot done and the day was still just beginning. It was so hot we decided to take a break from working around the house, pack a lunch and go check out the local water park!

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It wasn’t huge but it did have a wave pool and a few really fun slides. It was relatively inexpensive and definitely worth it on such a hot day. We spent a lot of time lounging on tubes in the wave pool and going down the slides.

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They also had a lot of stuff for little kids – a splash pad and a pretty large kiddie pool with small slides.

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These were fun to race each other down.

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There was a large beach (turf?) area with more than enough beach chairs for everyone, as crowded as it was.

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Luckily we went earlier enough that it wasn’t too crowded, we got to spend a couple hours there, leave when it started getting really crowded and still have our whole afternoon ahead of us. It was a lot of fun!

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The next day we headed to Harpers Ferry to meet up with my mom and her brother’s family from California. We don’t get to see them very often so it was great to get together with them on the east coast.

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Skipping rocks on the river.

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This little guy (Carter) slowly became Eric’s shadow throughout the day. It was really sweet.

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The guys could have thrown the football around all day, and they kind of did! Their energy never slowed down, as hot as it was out. Since it was such a hot and humid day, we were ready to head back to the house after a couple hours.

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Of course the football games continued in the backyard.

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We grilled out all kinds of food and had a wonderful, much needed dinner. My mom had also prepared two delicious ice cream pies and a chocolate/strawberry cake… so good! I was bummed I didn’t have room for all of it. I was able to sit and visit with family for a little bit and unfortunately forgot to get any pictures.

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It was a great to spend some time with family we don’t get to see very often! It’s been a busy time of year full of lots of family and I’m not complaining 🙂

One Hot Weekend

Marine Corps Parade

A little over a week ago my mom got tickets through work to see the Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks. She invited Eric and I to tag along and we were definitely looking forward to it. We’ve been talking about going ever since my Opa came to visit and told us about it.

It started pouring rain as soon as we left the house. We were crossing our fingers that the rain would stop before the parade. We stopped to grab dinner first at a Caribbean place downtown. It ended up being delicious and a great place to wait out the rain.

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As soon as we finished up the rain had just passed by – thankfully! We walked over to the barracks and were escorted to our seats. It was very cool to see the Marines interact with everyone. They were all so nice and accommodating, making sure we all had cloths to wipe down our seats and water in case we got thirsty.

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The commandant’s house overlooking the barracks.

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The Marines came around to talk to us, answer all kinds of questions, and keep us occupied while we waited for the parade to begin.

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It turned out to be a beautiful clear night. However, since a number of people didn’t show for fear of being stuck out in the rain, we ended up getting to go down on the lawn for better seats.

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The band came out and started it off!

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The silent drill team was my favorite part, but the band was great as well. Unfortunately I’m not able to upload videos on the blog, but I’ve linked a couple for you here. Definitely worth taking a look!

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I was amazed at the discipline and synchronization of the Marines. The whole thing was so impressive to see. And especially to learn about the deep-seeded history and meaning behind what they do and how they do it. It was a great night and I highly recommend going if you’re in the area!

Marine Corps Parade