Tuesday, April 24, 2012

celebrating Hannah

Hannah, one of my best friends, is getting married in less than three months! Hannah and I lived together in Columbia, and she put up with me as her doubles partner on the tennis court. We went to Clemson together, and cheering for the Tigers doesn't feel quite right unless Hannah is a few feet away cheering too. This past weekend, I flew into South Carolina for a quick 48 hours so that I could attend her Bachelorette party and bridal shower. 

We started Saturday night at the Hyatt in Downtown Greenville with a lingerie shower, then went to dinner at the fabulous Soby's. We went out after Soby's, and I quickly learned that I am way too old for staying out past midnight. We ended our night dancing at the Blue Martini, an establishment full of bright lights, loud music and some questionable behavior on the dance floor. But our Bachelorette had a good time, and that's all that really mattered!

whole group at Soby's- Hannah and all of her bridesmaids but one

love, love these girls- I miss Jess, Jen, Hannah and Bec so much!

taking a quick break from dancing at the Blue Martini

On Sunday, my mom and I traveled to Anderson for a bridal shower for Hannah thrown by her childhood best friend, Joy, and Melissa and Kate, two other sweet Pendleton friends. We had such a nice time, and it was clear that everyone in attendance loves some Hannah and is looking forward to her marrying Jason in July! I have been to a ton of baby showers as of late, so it was fun to be back at a few wedding-related functions.

me and the bride-to-be

Joy toasting Hannah before present-opening- how adorable is the banner Joy made?

shower guests

Hannah's sister Emily, Jason's sister Sarah, Hannah, me and Joy

I was a bit sad to get on the plane Sunday night after such a good time with the girls. My time in South Carolina always goes by too fast, but I love that more wedding events will take me back soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

caesar and the space ship

There was a historic event in DC today. And I completely missed it. The space shuttle Discovery, attached to a 747, flew over the Capitol complex and the National Mall on it's way to the Dulles Airport, just a few miles from the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center where it will be permanently displayed. I was in a meeting at the time of the fly-over but stepped out to the Capitol a few minutes after it happened, and there was a definite buzz of excitement in the air. 

My dear friend April is in town for a conference out at the National Harbor, and we got to meet up for dinner last night. On the way to dinner, she introduced me to Caesar, the mascot for her company, the Institute for Defense and Business. They take pictures of Caesar on all of their travels, so when I heard that Discovery was flying over the National Harbor, I told her to make sure Caesar got in on the action! She texted me the picture below: 

The Washington Post has a great article and gallery of Discovery pictures that you can see here. Just another reason to love living in DC!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hallelujah, He is Risen!

Easter was special for Richard and me this year because we were able to be back in Spartanburg with our whole families. We didn't get to see Richard's family for Christmas since we were on the cruise, so it was a huge blessing to celebrate the resurrection of Christ with both families. Definitely a perk of both being from the same hometown.

On Easter Eve, before Richard flew in, I joined my family, and Jeff's girlfriend Leah, at a very fine dining establishment- Zaxby's. Like DC, there are no Zaxby's in New Jersey, so Will has to get it while he can. Not much beats a Kickin' Chickin' Sandwich Basket.

Richard flew in Sunday morning but didn't quite make it in time for church. I joined my family at our home church, where the service is pretty casual. And where Clemson is well-represented! We are so proud of Adam, who started for Clemson this year as a wide receiver. We screamed the loudest when he was on the field!

brothers Will and Adam with Jeff, all sporting Clemson orange

love my brothers

We went over to Richard's Aunt Debbie's house for lunch after church. It was so good to have all of the "cousins" together again. 

McAbee, Clark, Noe and Webb cousins and spouses

sister-in-law Suzanne, Richard and me- will have to borrow her pretty dress soon!

Richard had no sleep the night before and an early flight, so I was impressed he was able to stay awake through all the holiday visiting

After lunch with Richard's family, we had another meal with my family and watched Bubba Watson win the Masters together. I was sad to see the weekend end, but I did get to spend a few days in Columbia for work. Thankfully that time coincided with Rebecca's birthday! She is a special friend, so it was great to celebrate with her. 

birthday dinner at Mr. Friendly's

dessert with the birthday girl at Nonnah's- some of the best dessert in Columbia

Thursday, April 12, 2012

birdie baby shower

Over Easter weekend, my mom and I hosted a baby shower for Meghanne with Meghanne's good friend Carrie. Meghanne picked out adorable pink bedding with birds for her little girl, so we used a little birdie theme for the shower, which we held at Richard's mom's house.

Mom, Meghanne, me and Carrie

the entry way with DIY poms

Caleb's baby picture (Meghanne's husband), the invitation and Meghanne's baby picture

Our menu consisted of chicken salad mini croissants, fruit skewers, pimento cheese and bread rounds, tomato and lima bean relish on cornbread tartlets (from this month's Southern Living) and little bird's nests from Pinterest made with chow mein noodles, butterscotch and chocolate chips, and Cadbury mini eggs. My super talented friend Amanda made the little stand-up birds, which were so cute with the beautiful bird cake. 

the spread

a close-up of the flowers and sweet little birdies

loved this bird cake

Carrie is a creative former teacher, and she came up with the idea of creating Baby McDaniels' first ABC book. I was a little nervous because each guest was encourage to pick a letter page and draw a picture that corresponded to the letter, but the book turned out so cute! Everyone did such a good job!

some of Meghanne's family and friends working on their pages

Meghanne received so many lovely gifts, and we had a wonderful time showering her baby girl, who we can't wait to meet!

 Ms. Polly and my mom

 baby Ava, Olivia, Meghanne and Jillian

the basket Mom and I gave Meghanne, complete with her first baby Lilly outfit! 

most of the gifts- Meghanne also got her high chair and car seat and stroller

Congrats Meghanne!

And Meghanne's not the only one who has a little one on the way! Among my many pregnant friends is Amanda, the talented Amanda who made the stand-up birds and precious birdie burp cloths, who is expecting a little boy. She is due the day after Meghanne, so it was only fitting that she had a shower brunch the same day as Meghanne's shower. It was so much fun to catch up with Caroline, Liza, Amanda and Jacqueline and see her sweet baby boy gifts.

brunch at Mimi's Cafe in Greenville

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

cherry blossoms

I absolutely love Spring in DC, mostly because of the cherry blossoms that bloom. My drive into work takes me by the Tidal Basin each morning, and several of these shots were snapped as I was commuting in. The blossoms turn from a bright white flower to a darker pink in the span of a week. This year was the 100th celebration of the gift of the cherry blossoms from the Japanese, but the blossoms actually peaked right as the festival was starting, about a week and a half early. 

cherry blossoms at sunset

Jefferson Memorial peeking through the blossoms

Through Richard's rotation at the Washington Hospital Center, he has met several British military medical students who are just charming with their accents and stories of world travel. One of them even played rugby against Prince Harry! We took them on a Capitol tour recently and then onto the Speaker's Balcony so they could take some quintessential American pictures. We would love to go visit them in Great Britain one day!

Ian, Graeme, Richard and Grant

Even though it rained most of last Saturday, Richard and I ventured down to the Tidal Basin to see the blossoms as they were waning. The rain had sadly knocked off a good portion of the flowers, but the misty twilight made for some pretty pictures. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I didn't do so well with posting in March, so these pictures are actually from the Wizards- Trailblazers game before I went to South Carolina. I was SO excited about watching my favorite former Clemson player, Trevor Booker, in a Washington Wizards uniform. The Wizards are not very good, but they did beat the Lakers the game before they played the Trail Blazers. Trevor Booker had a double-double that game, and he's been pretty consistent this year.

We went to the game with the Clemson Club from Washington and Baltimore and were probably more entertained by these guys than the basketball players.

Sadly, the Wizards lost, but we did get to go on the court after the game. My free throw shot hit the rim and bounced out, but Trevor finally came out and was very engaging during a Q and A session with the group. And I was thrilled to meet #35, one of my favorite basketball players!

definitely not NBA-worthy

so close!

it was a little awkward that Trevor had to stay behind the table, but it was fun to chat with him nonetheless

We got the news recently that our friends Leslie and Phillip had been assigned temporarily through the National Guard to the DC area! So before the game, we had dinner with Leslie, Phillip and their sweet little girl Allie. Leslie's family tailgates right next to mine at Clemson games, and she worked with one of my best friends at Palmetto Richland while we lived in Columbia. Leslie went to Clemson, and Phillip went to Wofford so they had similar experiences to Richard and me. So thankful they are close by!

with Leslie and Allie- especially love red-headed babies!