Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I thought I saw...

I thought I saw her as a little baby today. For a split second,  I thought I saw a sweet 4 pound baby cuddled in a blanket in my bed. Snug as a bug in a rug.

I thought I saw my baby taking her very first steps today.  My heart almost burst with pride.

I thought I saw a little white haired, pig-tailed toddler today... with so much excitement in her eyes that it became infectious to everyone around her.

What I really saw today was my sweet 5 year old little girl starting Kindergarten.

Today I saw my sweet Bug walking hand in hand with her Daddy.  In one hand he held her pink lunch box and in the other he held on tight to our baby.  We both knew that she was steps away from becoming a big girl.

Today I saw my 2 pound 15 ounce angel become a Kindergartner.  How did that happen?  When did she grow up?

Today my heart exploded with pride and joy thinking about the person my baby is growing up to be.

She nervously walked into her Kindergarten classroom today... the classroom where she will learn, meet new friends, and grow even more.  She cried a little.  I cried when I got in the Vol-Hoe.

I felt like my heart breaking into a million pieces.  Only after I had a good cry did I realize my heart was not breaking.  My heart was so happy it was about to burst out of my chest.

I am so lucky.

{shoes} Dansko (linked to similar style)
{backpack} Pottery Barn Kids
{lunch bag} Pottery Barn Kids

Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Ends.

I have been missing for a few days.

We were soaking up the last days of summer.

We went to the pool.

We went to the lake.

We went to the beach.

We went to lunch.

We went school shopping.

We went on family date night.

We all hated to see summer go.

This sounds terrible but this is the first summer I have NOT wanted my kids to go back to school.   In years past, I counted down the days until summer vacation was over.

We have really enjoyed this summer together.  The girls are older which makes things more enjoyable.  Pool trips are longer than 30 minutes.  Trips out to the beach last longer than 30 minutes.  Some days they were just content on laying around watching movies.

We are already ready for next summer :-)


Caroline started 3rd grade today.  Yes, you heard me.  3rd grade!

This is a big year for Caroline.  This is the first year of the dreaded EOGs.

So far she LOVES school.

She loves her teacher.  Her friends are in her class.  She is very excited about the new year and all of the new changes.

I just can't get over the fact that I have a 3rd grader.

She will do wonderful this year and we are already so proud of all of her accomplishments.

{shirt} Old Navy
{skinnies} Gap Kids
{shoes} Jack Rogers
{backpack} LL Bean pattern: Starry Night
{lunch bag} LL Bean

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dates and donuts...

You guys know how special date nights are to me.  Last weekend we got TWO!  That's pretty much a whole weekend of dating my husband.  Yay us!

My wonderful inlaws took the girls on a little trip to visit their Great Grandad.  They left Friday night and were so excited to go.

It was a spur of the moment decision for them to go so Beau and I didn't have any plans.

We caught up on DVRed shows and Beau grilled steaks.

He is the master of grilling a steak.  That man has a talent.  He can grill the most perfect piece of beef.  From his seasonings to his grillwork, the steak ends up amazing.  Like melt-in-your-mouth amazing.  I just threw together salads and fresh potatoes using stuff from our families gardens.

It was a lazy night and it was perfect.

Saturday morning I got to spend a little time with my sister who was home from the Big City.  She moved to the Big City at the beginning of the summer and hasn't been able to come home very much.  It was nice to have her back for a weekend.

I also got to run to my best friend's new house and help her unpack and bounce around decorating ideas.  Best friend time is always fun.

After a day to myself, I started missing the girls but we had planned a fun date night and the girls were off shopping with Grandmom and Poppy.  Emma was in Heaven.  The girls loves to stop.

Mom, Dad, Sister, Sister's boyfriend, Beau and I went to Chef & the Farmer for dinner.

As you know, I love food.  I love the presentation of food.  I love restaurants and their ambiance.  Chef & the Farmer never disappoints.

We had the flash fried collards as an appetizer.  They are strings of beautifully green collard greens that have be flashed fried to crispy perfection topped with just the right amount of coarse sea salt.

I had the Bourbon Braised Pork Shoulder Lasagna complete with a little sweet potato and marshmallow dollop on top and a side of country ham cabbage.  I have had this dish before and it was just as I remembered... delicious!  Beau had a New York Strip Filet on top of stewed tomatoes.  It was served with a delicious little potato bacon cake that was awesome.

Dinner was filled with good food (obviously), wine and mixed drinks, talks and laughter.

Date night number 2 was a success!

After dinner we finally picked up our babies.  It was so good to see them.  Date weekend was amazing and I enjoyed every second of it.  The best part?  The girls brought home half of a donut from Anne's Donuts.  It was almost as amazing as date weekend!  Seriously.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014


People have asked me before about where I am from.  For a long time, I didn't share much about the place I grew up.

There was a time that I wanted out of here.  I thought I would leave and never come back.  At the young age of 15, I also said I would never have children... you see how that worked out, right?

With time and age I have learned that growing up in a small town is a beautiful thing.

There are no words for the feeling you have when watching your children grow up in the same town you were raised in.  Surrounded my family and friends, you learn that it truly does take a village to raise a child.

My children are growing up and learning so many things that seem so insignificant to them now but will one day mean the world.

They will grow up waving at complete strangers that pass on the street because... well... it is the nice thing to do.  We wave at everybody.

They will grow up knowing a good majority of the people in our town.  We will grocery shop and have to stop 4 times to talk to someone we know.

They will grow up saying mam and sir, please and thank you, and know that tea should only be sweet.

They will grow up watching crops grow and be harvested.  They will know farmers and the amount of work it takes to put food on the table.

They will be raised as Godly children and hopefully be thankful for the little things.

They will grow up knowing that you buy the best meat at the Piggly Wiggly and the Food Lion deli biscuits are pieces of heaven sent here to earth.

They will grow up learning to drive a tractor or lawn mower before a car and know what stop signs they can avoid by using a dirt path.

They will know that Wednesday and Saturday are barbecue days and that Mr. Sam's gas station has the best hot dogs around.

They will grow up eating fresh tomatoes out of Jay and Poppy's gardens every summer and collard greens from the roadside stand every winter.

They will probably grow up and hate this place.  They will have big dreams to move away and never return.  And that might happen.  But my hope is that they see how lucky they are one day.  How lucky they are to grow up in such a beautiful, amazing place.

The town we grew up in may just be a map dot to some, but to us it is a lifetime of beautiful memories.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wine for trade

I came upon an idea a few weeks ago.

We had a sleepover.

Normally this goes very well. Not so much this time.

Big decided to break rules that she knew shouldn't be broken (e.g. throwing a metal bracelet against the ceiling over and over again, kicking the wall, screaming over and over, throwing a pillow at her chandelier).

They're just children. I know they are going to be rambunctious but come on.  Causing harm to my house, Big?

Also, there was an UNO fight.  There were tears.  It was a nightmare.

Don't forget the bickering and screams of "I'M NEVER COMING TO YOUR HOUSE AGAIN!"  It was a nightmare.

This whole situation got me thinking.

What if when your child has a sleep over, you give the sleepover mom a bottle of wine?

Fair trade?  I think so.

Let's think about this.  If you go to dinner at someone's house, you bring a bottle of wine as a token of your appreciation.

If you visit a friend for a Real Housewives party, you throw together a tray of hors d'oeuvres to share and bring a bottle of wine.  It is a "thank you for inviting me over to watch trashy TV with you".

Why can't the same be done with sleepovers?

It is an easy way of saying, "Thanks for having my child over last night.  She was probably a nutjob.  Here is a bottle of wine for your troubles."

Nothing says thank you like a bottle of wine.

Now, who wants to send their kid over for a sleepover?  I'm running low on wine.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Relaxing today.

So last week was pretty much hell.

Business was crazy, children were crazy, I was crazy.

I am also in desperate need of a date night with Beau.

It has been weeks since we have gone to dinner... alone.

So blogging was put in hold last week.

I am currently sitting under the umbrella watching my children and a friend splash around the pool.  I remembered to blog so I pushed aside my US Weekly and whipped out my phone.

I will play catch up for the rest of the week.  I already have the next two days written and scheduled.

For now, I am going to return to my magazine while Dave Matthews sings sweet words in my ears.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mr. Grey will see you now.

Today the Fifty Shades trailer was released.

I have watched it 10 times already.  Each time I watch a little closer.  I don't know what I am looking for exactly.

I can't say that I was super excited about Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey.  My heart was totally set on Charlie Hunnam.  However, after watching this trailer, my mind is changed.  I think Jamie is perfect.

Can we talk about the music?  The remake of Crazy in Love by Beyonce... amazing.

That scene in the elevator... wow.

The way Christian Grey taps his pointer finger on the desk.

February 14, 2015 can not come fast enough.

I wonder how many wives will make their husbands go to this movie as a Valentine's Day gift?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

9 things you’d rather be doing today

Today is a busy day.  I need to sweep, vacuum, mop, dust, wash sheets, clean bathrooms.

There are a million things I would rather be doing.  For example, I would love to be...

...Sitting on the beach with my beau.
I could think of nothing better on this day.  I woke up this morning to iron Beau's uniform for work.  We snuggled for a minute and I wanted to beg him to stay home, drink coffee in bed and go to the beach.  However, real life is he has to work.

...Getting my hair did.
I have uncontrollable hair.  Think... Roseanne Roseannadanna.  Seriously.  What can I say?  I was blessed with big hair.  I love to get my hair trimmed and thinned.  I feel like a different woman when it's are done.

I wish I could sit around a read a whole book today.  I am between books right now.  I am not sure what I am going to read next.  I go to this site on a daily basis looking for free great reads.  Some days you will luck up and get a book you have been wanting for FREE!  Very cool.

This is weird, I know.  I love to cook for my family.  I haven't cooked all week because we have had VBS.  We eat dinner at the church and poor Beau has to eat takeout.  (After typing this, I threw together Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot chicken for tonight.)

...Dancing my little heart out at Dave Matthews.
He is close by.  He has been in my state since yesterday.  That makes my heart skip a beat.  I love him.  Ryan does not love him.  I begged to go to the Charlotte show.  Tonight is the Raleigh show.  No one was down to go with me.  My heart aches.  I can't talk about it anymore.

...Binge watching Netflix.
So, we started watching Prison Break a LONG time ago.  It was so addictive.  It was so great!  Then life got in the way of things.  I didn't want to watch without Beau.  He didn't want to watch without me.  We haven't picked it back up.  It is hard watching a series with your husband.  Sometimes your schedules just don't work out.  Therefore, today... I would rather be watching the rest of Prison Break.  I need to finish it... seriously.  We only have a few episodes left.  I guess I should just watch it without him.  Next time, I am watching my own series.  (PS- He has been watching Breaking Bad and he loves it.)

...Getting a massage.
I have only ever had one professional massage in my life.  I don't count making my children rub my back as a "massage".  Every now and again I will go get a pedicure.  We always do the green tea pedi with hot stone massage.  It is amazing.  I would love to do a hot stone body massage.  How wonderful would that be?!

I have been sleep deprived from the beginning of my marriage.  I go to bed super late and wake up early.  Can I just lay in the bed all day and not move?  I could watch all of my shows and it would be amazing.

...Doing nothing.
Because sometimes, doing nothing is a good thing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Super powers.

Someone recently asked the question, "If you could have any super mom power, what would it be?"

Easily my mind answered, "With just a whisper, I would have the super power to quiet my children whenever I wanted."

They get along for most of the day.

There are certain hours that they decide to fight, scream and kick each other.

In those moments, I wish I could whisper a word and they would hug and get along.

There are so many great things about having children only 26 months apart.

They are close.

They are friends.

They can even wear the same shoes and clothes.

I think the closeness also leads to competitiveness which is a drawback.

And let's be honest, Bug is not fond of sharing her clothes and shoes.  She can't deal with it.

Sisters fight.  Well, most sisters fight no matter how close or far apart in age they are.  The fighting is just too much for me sometimes.

Another part of me wanted to answer the super power question like this, "All moms have super powers whether we know it or not."

Most of the time I can resolve a crisis (I might yell a lot in the process), catch vomit in my hands, stop blood, cook a fabulous dinner, shower in less than 2 minutes, put makeup on in the car, get crafty, remove permanent marker from just about anything, make a meal for myself off of cut sandwich crusts, and multitask like a boss.

I have a million super powers.

I'm not patting myself on the back.  All moms have certain things they never knew they could do before they had children.

But, lets be honest... catching vomit in your hands in pretty damn impressive.

Am I right or am I right??  That has GOT to be a super power.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Caroline- Month 96

Today you turn 96 months old.  You have been in our arms for 8 whole years.

You will start 3rd grade soon which gives me chest pains.  3rd grade!  We have a 3rd grader.  Wow!

You can pogo stick like a champion.

You learned to play the piano this year.

You have conquered fears and tried many new things.

We are so proud of you each and everyday. 

A few years ago, I made you a video for your birthday.  Periodically, you will ask to watch it.  You also like to call Van Morrison's "Queen of the Slipstream" your song.

I made you another one this year.  Since these are so special to you, I hope that you will always enjoy them... even when you are older with a family of your own.

I changed your song to a new one.  No worries.  It is still Van Morrison.

We love you to infinity, Big!  Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

Love you always,

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Sorry for the blog delay.  We have been busy.  Doing what, you ask?

We've been busy looking at this...

...and building drip castle towns with Jay...

...and building frog houses with Jay...

 ...and doing headstands...

...and wearing new life jackets... 

...and eating fish tacos... 

...and watching Wizard of Oz on the beach... 

We've been busy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July Favorites

Ashley over at Dancing With Ashley has done a favorite things post in the past.  During my bloggy breaks, I would still go over and read her favorite things.  As I am in a bloggy topic rut, I will share my July favorites so far.

1.  XtraFulls Nabs

Nabs are our all time favorite snack.  When we first tasted these jewels, we were amazed.  The thick layer of peanut butter sandwiched between two cheese crackers has the perfect peanut butter/cracker ratio.  Amaze!

2.  Sargento Bruschetta Jack Cheese
My Dad introduced me to this cheese.  He paired it perfectly with crackers, olives, and hard salami.  It makes for a wonderful antipasta or snack.  It adds a kick to whatever you pair it with.  Delicious.

3.  Banana Republic Elephant Shorts


Great pattern and color.  I absolutely love them.  They were a great find.

- Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

- Instant Boost Skin Tonic

- Skin Repair Moisturizer

Y'all, this stuff is amazing.  I love washing my face every morning and every night with this stuff. It comes with a super soft muslin cloth to "polish" your face.  The best part is, if you order the July skincare essentials regime, you get to try two of their haircare products.  I cannot recommend this product enough.  Love it.

5.  OPI Cajun Shrimp

This is one of my Mom's favorite colors.  I rarely use it.  Emma recently did a pedicure for me (she is pretty good) and decided to go with Cajun Shrimp as my color.  As you can see, the right toes are not the best.  I fell down the front steps the other day, scrapping my toes on the way down.  I normally use Russian NavyMy Private Jet, or anything black.  This pop of color was a little out of my comfort zone but I ended up loving it.

6.  I want this print in the girls bathroom.  This is one of our favorite movies and this quote is just great!

7.  This is our favorite song right now.  Love it.

What are your favorite things so far in July?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The staring game.

Big has always been a curious child.

She listens to everything and everyone around her.  She takes it all in.  Sometimes she will even go back and repeat what I have said.  Fun times.

While Big is very observant, she is a starer.  I am talking the girl will stare at you until there is an uncomfortable feeling in the air.

When she was younger, I loaded the girls up for a Target trip.  As I was standing in line to pay, Big and this lady had a staring contest.  Just as I could feel the awkwardness in the air, the lady said, "Well hello!  You are a beautiful little girl!"  Do you know what Big did?  Kept staring for an awkward amount of time and then stomped at the lady.  STOMPED!

Thank goodness the lady just laughed.  I was mortified.  I wanted to leave my cart in the checkout line and leave the store.  I did my normal apologies to the lady.  She smiled and laughed.  She said it was fine and she totally understood.

Just the other day, we took a late afternoon trip to the pool.  We were the only family there.  The lifeguard was in the water scrubbing the tiles.  As she floated around, Big followed her... staring.  She never said anything to the lifeguard.  The lifeguard never said anything to her.

Straight up stalker status.

In the meantime, we are talking to her about staring.  "It is rude," we say.  "At least speak to the person once they catch you staring," we beg.

Do you know what she does?

Just stares.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Car trouble.

My children have this issue when I'm driving.

"I NEED that yellow piece of paper."

"What yellow piece of paper?"

My car could be on the most extreme episode of Hoarders- Buried Alive.


One yellow piece of paper in the midst of a million other pieces of paper, coats, clothes, pocket books, books, old food.

"That yellow piece of paper RIGHT THERE!"

"I'm driving.  I can't get anything for you right now."

Tears start.

Screams begin.

They kick the back of my seat.

All over a piece of paper or something equally non-important.

So, lately I have been trying to figure out the best way to handle this car situation.

How can I explain to my children that when I am driving... driving has to be my main focus?


"Mommy can't look.  I am driving."


Most of the time I spend driving is spent in absolute anguish.

I know other moms have this issue too.

A friend of mine was taking Big to school one morning.  Her daughter and Big are in the same class and are great friends.  Big's friend started to pretend to choke.  The mother turned around really fast (forgetting about driving because she thinks her child is choking) and rear-ended the car in front of her.

See, it happens.  Our children preoccupy every thought or task we have a mothers.

So, how can I keep my children entertained in the car so that they do not try to preoccupy me?