Friday, January 29, 2016

30th Birthday Recap

The day I turned 30 was truly one of the best days of my life. It was the kind of day that you want to revisit over and over and not change a single detail. It was spent at one of my favorite places with my favorite people, and was practically perfect.
We awoke bright and early and left our cabin in Lake Lure at 8:00am and headed to Asheville, which was about an hour away. The winding mountain roads mixed with the morning light made for lovely ride. I spoke with sweet friends and family, and we arrived at the Biltmore around 9:00am. After stopping at the Will Call desk to take our season pass holder pictures and pick up our equestrian tickets, we headed to Antler Hill Village to drop off my dad and the kids. Then, Keith and I headed to Deer Park Barn where we had reservations for an hour-long trail ride!

 This was my first time riding a horse and I was a little worried about how this ride would go, but I’m happy to report that we had a fantastic time! Our trail ride leader, Caitlyn, was so friendly and knowledgable, and we really enjoyed riding through the forest and learning about the Biltmore. My horse’s name was Leo and he was a sweet, fast-walking, while Keith rode Diesel, who was a slow and gentle guy.

After our ride, we grabbed my Dad and the kids and headed to the Estate! For only $20 you can valet park your car, and that it what we do every time we visit. (The convenience outweighs the price by far!) We made our way to the Stable Cafe, which is a restaurant located in, you guessed it, an old horse stable. While it might not sound appealing, it is in fact a lovely restaurant with excellent food! I recommend the estate-grown burger and potato soup.

After lunch we walked the grounds in front of the house and enjoyed the view of the beautiful architecture and mountains in the distance.

Next, we stopped to take in the gorgeous mountain view that frames the Estate, then headed inside for an audio tour. 🙂

After our day of exploring, we headed back to our cabin in Lake Lure and relaxed, ate some cake, and thanked God for our blessings!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Take Flight

I am an incredibly passionate person, almost to a fault. I am the person with so many goals, dreams, and interests that sometimes it is overwhelming and exhausting. I blame it on my slightly OCD/ADD, Type-A personality, and for a long time I tried to hide it. Wanting to accomplish so much and often times failing takes a lot of energy and can be embarrassing, but it hasn’t stopped me from going after what I want. Now that I’m 30, I’m embracing it.
I don’t know exactly what happened, but combine my 30th birthday with my recent miscarriage and I believe you get a  quarter life crisis massive wake-up call.
What the hell am I doing with my life? 
It’s like I’ve woken up from putting myself and my desires last (Please don’t misunderstand this. I don’t put everything regarding myself last, but since becoming a mother my world has revolved around my kids, as it should…to an extent…but that’s not entirely healthy. I’ve almost lost myself and who I am separate from them), so I have decided to pursue one of my “I’ve always wanted to do that” goals.
It may surprising, but I’ve always wanted to become a licensed pilot.
In the words of my mother, “I thought only men did that?! Isn’t it dangerous??”
Well, yes, it’s a male-dominated industry with only 6% of women being pilots, but that only encourages me to go for it. I don’t know why more women aren’t working in aviation, but I hope to change that.
And yes, of course it has risks (as do most things) but in my opinion it’s no more dangerous than driving my SUV on the streets of South Carolina with the often reckless, erratic drivers.
I have always been fascinated with aviation, and this isn’t my first time trying to join the industry. From my attempt at joining the Air Force at 18 years old, to my three job offers to be a flight attendant in my early 20s, I’ve always been this.close to being around the beautiful machinery that amazes me so much. On my previous blog, My Dolce Vita, I wrote many times about this love:
March 19, 2010 – One of my favorite things about living in the Charleston area is the opportunity I have to see military planes flying. I usually see about one a day, but if I’m lucky I see more than I can handle. Working near the airport is another plus, as I get to monitor the construction of Boeing’s new site. I have an odd fascination with aviation, the Air Force, WWII, and WASP. (I actually joined the AF after high school. No, seriously I did.) And while I hate the alarming amount of obnoxious drivers here, I adore the sky. I have many crazy goals, and one of them is to learn how to fly and become a licensed pilot. I don’t know if it’ll ever happen, but until then I’m content watching these big, beautiful planes from the ground below.
I also documented my two failed birthday discovery flights (here and here), in which the weather prevented Keith and I from flying, as well as few other mentions of my love of aviation.
So instead of living another year saying “I’ve always wanted to do that”, I’m just going to do it.
On January 18th I took a discovery flight at a local flight school, and confirmed what I’ve always thought: I absolutely adore flying. While I was incredibly nervous, it was breathtaking soaring over the coastline and staring out at the Atlantic Ocean.

Since taking my first flight in a small aircraft it’s all I can think about. My head and heart are ready to start taking lessons, and I’m so thankful that this will happen in only a few weeks! I plan on flying two times a week, and should earn my Private Pilot License by the end of summer.
I am wrapping up my Master’s degree in May, and will continue my wedding videography business as projects occur. My longterm goals?
Get all of my certifications and become a commercial pilot and flight instructor.
Have an office in the sky.
Raise my kids around aviation (they already love it!).
Fly my family around the world.
My plate is full but not boiling over and I am thrilled to begin this endeavor. I know some of you probably think I’m crazy, and that’s okay. To sound ridiculously young…you do you, I’ll do me. 🙂 I am blessed to have a husband that supports my goals and dreams and encourages me to chase them! (Thanks, mais!)
What dreams do you long to accomplish? 
What’s stopping you from chasing them?

I’d LOVE to know what YOUR wildest dreams are!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Good-Bye 20's!

Today is the last day of my 20s. Tomorrow I will begin a new chapter, and I am so thrilled.
Turning 30 is something that I’ve dreaded for as long as I can remember, but now that the time has come I am very content. My twenties were all about firsts and major life moments.
I became a South Carolinian.
I got married.
I became a mom.
I graduated college.
I became a mom again.
I found many passions and dreams.
I went to Disney World and NYC for the first time.
I lost a child.
I learned, grew, cried, fought, laughed, planned, travelled, loved, and dreamed.
My twenties were incredibly fulfilling and I am closing this chapter with a full heart and hopeful mind. While I thought I’d know more by now…more about myself, who I am and who I want to be…I believe that is what my 30s will be for.
These past 29 years and 364 days have been an incredible blessing, and I am thankful for the time I’ve been given. It hasn’t all been peachy, but God has been too good to me.
I leave my 20s with one grey hair, a few eye wrinkles, a precious family, and lots of hope. I’m having a not-so-dirty-30 celebration in Lake Lure/Asheville over the next few days, and I feel like the luckiest girl lady in the world. 

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