Current faves: Brady’s first week of school, an awesome concert and workouts

Hi, friend! How are you? Happy Friday!

Well, this week marked the return to normalcy around here after a strange summer — filled with a lot of good times and some bad times too. While we were in it, the summer seemed to drag on, but now that it’s over, it seems like it flew by.

We got back from our super-fun Ohio trip with our besties on Sunday night, and we used Monday to get organized and do all the things, like laundry, grocery shopping and more. Then starting Tuesday, it’s been business as usual, with work, classes, school drop-offs/pick-ups and more. I went to a mid-week tennis clinic and a mid-week wine happy hour too, so it’s not like this week was void of fun. Love that.

This weekend, we’ve got a bunch of stuff on the agenda! But for now, let’s get to the faves …

Current faves


Brady’s first week of school for 2022-2023

Yay! Brady is officially back in school as of this week, and this marks his last year of preschool.

Brady on his first day of preK by A Lady Goes West

Because Brady’s birthday is after August 31, he was not eligible to start kindergarten this year in Charlotte, but that’s fine by us, because I think he would do well with another year of preschool before he heads off to public school.

This year, Brady is in a pre-K program at his same preschool as last year, and he’s so excited to be in class with four of his friends from last year too, including his besties. This year, Brady will go to school five mornings a week, which is the most he’s ever gone — having done two, three and four in the past.

Cute Brady on his first day of preK by A Lady Goes West

Brady first day of preK by A Lady Goes West

Because we’ve been going to the gym in the morning for my classes all summer long, this week wasn’t too much of a shock to the system, but I did have to add back in making his lunches and doing the whole drop-off thing. We were a little behind schedule leaving the house one day and were at the end of the drop-off line, which nearly made me late to the gym. Lesson learned — get there early!

I’m happy to be getting a little extra work time to myself too, which should be nice. I had been back to working a lot at nights and weekends over the summer, and I’d love to limit at least a little bit of that so I can have some free evening time for my mindset.

Brady with Ashley on first day of preK by A Lady Goes West

(Brady’s outfit is from Old Navy, and he has many pairs of these shorts, and we bought these new ones just for his first day of school.)

When Brady started school last year, he had to wear a mask. But this year, not only are masks optional, but the school is also allowing parents to walk kiddos into their classrooms one week a month (at the end of each month), and we look forward to that. Parents weren’t allowed in classrooms last year to minimize exposure, so this will be a new addition to our routine, and it will give us a chance to see more of his school environment. 

Also, let me say this: I can’t believe this is his last year of preschool!

I’m wishing him (and all of the other kiddos out there) a safe, fun and productive year. And to all the preschool mommas and caretakers out there, I hope you’re happy to be back to your sometimes kid-less routines (at least in the mornings), right?


Dispatch and O.A.R. concert at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre in Uptown

I bought Dave tickets for the Dispatch and O.A.R. Summer Tour as part of his 10-year anniversary gift back in May, because he loves live music (as do I). We’ve seen Dispatch together once before back in California, and I knew he’d like seeing them, as well as O.A.R., here in Charlotte.

Well, once the date of the concert was finally approaching, I was sort’ve wishing we didn’t have tickets based on all our current circumstances. Our regular sitter was not available, so I had to find a new one through a friend. I had to get a sub for my evening class, and I had used a few extra subs lately due to the miscarriage and travels (which I don’t like to do unless absolutely necessary). Not to mention, I was just coming off my Nashville trip, with our pending Ohio trip starting the next day. I needed a night at home to regroup, and I was not in the mood for another big outing. But we got dressed, we headed out, and then we got there … 

Ashley at Dispatch concert by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Dave at Dispatch concert by A Lady Goes West

(Here are my shoes, which I’ve been rocking for years. My outfit is super old, but you could probably guess that already.) 

The venue, the weather and the music were all just … spectacular. We had never been to this venue before, which is part of the NC Music Factory near Uptown Charlotte. The venue is entirely outdoors, and it’s a little smaller than the big PNC Pavilion we had been to last fall to see Zac Brown Band. And while the venue wasn’t exactly intimate, the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre had a cool vibe, and it was a very manageable size, which makes the concert scene more enjoyable to me. We had good seats on the lower level, and there were plenty of vendors to get beverages, and there was never a line for the bathroom either.

When we arrived, we walked around a bit, and then we sat in our seats and ate the Publix subs we brought for dinner. You can bring a one-gallon clear bag of food at this outdoor venue, so we did just that, so we weren’t stuck with hot dogs. We also brought one closed water bottle each, because that was also allowed. (I didn’t know any of this until the day of, when I went on the venue’s website and found out we could bring some stuff. Yay!)

And then the music started. Dispatch is a pretty chill indie rock band that began in the Northeast, and none of their songs are super popular, but they are still so good. I enjoyed listening to their jams, and the crowd was totally into it too. (We could tell there were some super-fans in the audience that night.)

Then, a little later, O.A.R. (which stands for “Of A Revolution”) came on. O.A.R. started in Maryland and has been around a long time, and some of their songs were even popular when I was back in college. O.A.R. has an incredibly positive message about community and finding joy, and that’s so refreshing. You may have heard “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” before, right?

I mean, O.A.R. was absolutely incredible in a live concert setting. I’ve seen so many bands over the years, and I may put O.A.R. up there as one of the BEST live bands I’ve ever seen. The lead singer has an incredible voice and you could understand every word he sang, with a mix of rock and even some reggae too. The band was huge, and they had so many different instruments going at the same time. They moved around. They had stage presence. They put on an awesome show. Hands down. Even if you didn’t know the music, you could truly feel the energy.

While rock is not my favorite genre of music, I certainly appreciate music in general, and I love powerful lyrics, good performance and a really well-done show. This show delivered!

OAR concert by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Dave at OAR concert by A Lady Goes West

Because it was a Wednesday night, because we were using a new sitter, and because we had the pending road-trip the next day, Dave and I decided we probably shouldn’t stay the whole show.

We left during O.A.R.’s set (which pained me a bit, because they were so awesome), so we could beat the crowds and get home at a reasonable hour. We at least listened to some O.A.R. on the ride home though.

I truly enjoyed this outing, and it made me want to get tickets to a bunch more concerts, all at this fun outdoor venue. Live music is good for the soul. Would you agree?


My workouts from last week

Here’s where I share a recap of my previous week of workouts. I share this to show you how I try to get diversity in my week, and how I always take a rest day (almost always). But remember, I do a little bit more than the average person, because I’m a group fitness instructor. 

New weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

Workouts from the week of 8/29

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., took 75-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Took 1-hour treadmill/balance class, 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class with weights, 9:45 a.m.
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: Took 1-hour high-intensity cardio/weights class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day 

This past week was a little bit different, because we took our trip to Ohio, and I had two full rest days. I got in a very hard and fun workout while I was there, because my friend, Bre, is an instructor at Life Time, and I went to her full-hour Xtreme class. We have Xtreme classes at Life Time Charlotte where I work, but I don’t take them, because they are so intense, and I feel like I get enough of that in my own classes. But Bre teaches a great class. My weeks have been a bit off with my two trips, but I’ll be back on a regular schedule starting soon. This past week was missing some yoga for sure, but at least I did cryotherapy in Ohio for some recovery.

Best listen of the week …

Here’s a resource that I wanted to share with you:

The resistance training revolution. I hadn’t listened to “The Model Health Show” podcast in far too long. This was the first podcast I ever listened to years ago, and the host, Shawn Stevenson, is also the author of two of my favorite health books. This latest episode I caught this past week (while getting my nails done) is an interview with a fitness expert all about how lifting weights is better than cardio to lose fat, change your body composition and improve your overall health. So many great insights in this one. It’s a bit long, but worth a listen for all the tidbits. Find the episode and recap here.

Quote of the week …

Here’s a thought I shared on Instagram that I wanted to share here too:

Never stop dreaming quote by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week …

Let’s look back at two blog posts worth revisiting, including a recent one:

Ohio fun. In case you missed my trip recap, here’s how it all went down, including what we did and how we liked driving there versus flying, which we’ve always done in the past … “One super-fun Labor Day weekend in Columbus, Ohio with friends.”

Ohio State tailgate by A Lady Goes West

Fall focus. I just went back to read this post, and I think it’s a timely one for you/us … “Four things to focus on this fall.”

Four things to focus on this fall by A Lady Goes West

That’s all for today, my friend. Thanks for stopping by A Lady Goes West.

And remember, if you ever have a question or post request, you can submit those here anonymously. Be well out there! 🙂 

Questions of the day for YOU …

How was your week?

Does it feel like fall where you live?

What’s the last concert you went to?

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this month?



  1. Good luck to Brady for his last year in pre-K! My little one will soon be in the same boat, can’t believe it! If you guys are looking for something to do this weekend come by the “Yiasou Greek Fest”! It’s in uptown, it’s back open after a few years of being a drive thru because of COVID. Lots of food, desserts, kid things, dancing (my oldest is dancing for the first time!), gift shop and more! 😉

    1. Hi Joanna! That sounds like a blast! I’ve been to many Greek festivals back in my hometown, because one of my dear friends danced at her church too! Thanks for the tip on that. Hope you have a wonderful time!! 🙂 Opa!

  2. How was your week? good!

    Does it feel like fall where you live? i’m in NY and still a bit warm, not looking forward to winter lol

    What’s the last concert you went to? flew from NY to San diego, end of aug for the def leppard stadium tour, i love rock n roll. grew up w/ their music!!

    What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this month? what i’m doing now, in FL visiting my fam (dad, bro), wishing brady a great school yr!

    1. Hi Stacy! That’s so great you have another Florida visit on the agenda this month — I hope it’s a wonderful time with your family. Thanks for saying hi and for sharing with me. 🙂

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