Hayley’s Surprise Party

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Some of Hayley’s friends wanted to throw her a surprise party and it was a great success! Love these kids!

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Tubing at Hawksnest

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Took Hayley and Trey up to Hawksnest which had been converted to all tubing runs. I remember skiing there at night back in the day!

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Women Sport Shooting Clinic

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Hayley and I went to a women’s sport shooting clinic where we learned about gun safety and try our hand at skeet, trap, archery and pistols. We both had a lot of fun! Can’t wait to go back for some more clinics.

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Radford Summer Bridge and Myles of Science

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This summer Hayley went on two great trips through colleges. She won a free scholarship to Summer Bridge, a girls in science program, at Radford University. Then she was accepted for a science exploration hike in the NC Mountains through Montreat College where they helped collect data for the Park Services. She had an amazing time at both and hopes to go again next summer too. After the Montreat trip, we stayed in the mountains and explored, visited WCU, Asheville and saw some Hunger Games sites.

Summer Bridge at Radford

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More photos, https://www.flickr.com/photos/hillison/albums/72157659901392802

Myles at Montreat

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A LOT more photos, https://www.flickr.com/photos/hillison/albums/72157659510263329

Hanging out in the Mountains

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More photos, https://www.flickr.com/photos/hillison/sets/72157657602931283

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UNC vs San Diego State

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Had to go to the UNC-SDSU game to see the stripe out! Night games at Kenan are just so gorgeous – there is no place more beautiful for college football. My dad showed up and hung out for most of the game which was a nice gift too.

Early on…

Everyone in their seats…

Heels pull out the win at the last second

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Nana & Poppy visit

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Quinceanera

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A friend of Hayley’s had a Quinceanera. It was a lovely event at a local historical house and the kids had fun getting all dressed up.

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Spring Break

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What a fun spring break we had. Took some of Hayley’s friends out to Winterpast Farm, went on a crazy dessert binge with Grandma Joanne and Grandpa Gordon then to the beach to the beach with our neighbors!

Girls holding two day old bunnies

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STOP FEEDING THEM lol

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UNC women’s game

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With Coach Williams-Johnson


With Eric Ebron



With Jessica Washington



With Diamond DeShields

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Leslie & the Lys, 2014 edition

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The first time I ever posted anything about Leslie Hall was almost six years ago when I found her Gem Sweater website and I could not stop laughing. This lady in Iowa had found all these bizarre gem sweaters and taken a photo in each, with the same hair and makeup. The absurdity killed me. When I found she had a band (Leslie & the Lys) and they had a song about her Gem Sweaters, I thought it was even funnier. Hayley and I got the CD and played it all the time in the car.

Six months later, we saw they were on a national tour and as luck would have it, coming to play a show in Chapel Hill. We had a blast, met a bunch of great people, Hayley ended up on stage and even got to meet the band. We were hooked and have been going to their shows ever since – 2009, 2010, 2012 and then this week. It’s hard to explain how great these shows are – it’s part music, humor and performance art. It’s positive, the crowds are always so happy.

Over the years, we’ve gotten to know the band. We always arrive early because I want to get seats off to the side to keep Hayley out of the chaos. We’ve helped with set-up, brought them vegan goodies and had them ship stuff to us to resupply. But this time, we went a step further. Since they had a day off between their DC show and the Chapel Hill one, the band stayed with us for a couple of nights.

I recognize it’s a bit crazy but we’ve kept in touch for years and we knew they’d be great fun to have stay. Life is about experiences after all, right? Hayley was over the moon that they were all here. It was a little mindblowing, they’d given us a lot of laughs and music over the years – and here they were, their crazy van parked in front of our house. After buying more veggies and vegan stuff than I’d ever known existed for our six guests, we settled in for a lot of laughing, chatting, Netflix, making stuff with the sodastream and doing laundry. They really just wanted to relax and recharge. They were incredibly easy, funny and lovely house guests. Plus I love for Hayley to see creative amazing people following their passion.

So Leslie, Mona, Derek, Beth, Adrien and Kristen, you can come back any ole time. Hopefully we’ll see you in a year or so.

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