Author: Suzanne

Life Lately

These past few weeks have been something else.  Lots of good, good things.  A few that were just really hard.  I blogged about our recent trip to Charleston at the end of February.  Luke and I had the sweetest time.  You can check out that post here.  Since then, we’ve filled our days with park trips, visits to Seaside with friends, and lots of outdoor play!  We also had the opportunity to dedicate Addy Grace at church, celebrating with family and friends.  Luke’s parents came to town to share in that special weekend with us, and we were able to eat out and visit the zoo while they were here.  It was an awesome weekend!

We also struggled through the loss of two family dogs, including my dog of almost fourteen years.  Our sweet Dixie girl is so, so missed!  During all of that, I also had surgery to remove a benign tumor in my right index finger, and Addy Grace got a really nasty double ear infection.  Her ear infection was not responding to her original antibiotic, so we had to go back to the doctor to switch her medicine.  The next day, we visited the after hours pediatric clinic with a potential allergy scare — I was done!  Thankfully, our hearts are healing, and we are finally all on the mend.  All of this happened within the span of ten days, so we were really anxious for a break.

Here’s a glimpse into our life lately…

Park Day with Friends:


Playing Outside:


Learning to Move:

A Day at Seaside:

Dedication Weekend:


Back to the Doctor…







Charleston Weekend 2018

Luke and I ended the month of February with our first big trip, just us, since either of our girls were born.  It was much needed and so, so special.  We were grateful for the opportunity to take a trip like this and are hoping to make it an annual tradition.  We’re not big gift-givers to each other throughout the year, so this trip was pretty much a culmination of celebrations for us, and, in my opinion, SO much better than getting stuff.  I’d rather make a memory any day of the week!

We visited Charleston — a first for Luke and my second trip.  We decided to not “plan” too much and to just let our day dictate our plans.  It was definitely the best decision for us.  We chose THE BEST hotel, Kings Courtyard Inn .  It’s located right on King Street and accessible to basically everything downtown.  Once we parked the van on Thursday, we didn’t move it until check-out on Sunday, which saved us so much time and hassle.  We would not hesitate to stay here again in the future, although we would probably not take our kids there.  It was a little too fancy for kiddos, in my opinion.

We started our trip by visiting Middleton Place and loved getting so much leisure time there.  Most of the time, we just walked around the grounds, which you can totally get lost on.  We also took a house tour, which my history-buff husband really enjoyed!  All in all, it was a wonderful way to begin our trip, even if it is a little pricey.

That evening, we had dinner at Poogan’s Porch, a favorite from my last visit.  We really enjoyed our dinner and totally splurged!  In fact, we had no idea that we were visiting on a special week when the entire menu was 40% off! — so we went overboard in the best way!

The next day we visited the City Market, the Exchange and Provost, the Confederate Museum, and took a carriage ride.  This day was pretty packed but so fun!!  We ate brunch at Toast and had dinner at Fulton Five.  I cannot recommend Fulton Five enough.  It was, by far, the most delicious meal we had on our trip. We stumbled across it our first night in town, since it was practically right across the street from our hotel. I called the next day to make a reservation, and they were packed.  The only dining times available were either really early or really late.  We chose to eat late and were totally blown away.  This fourteen-table restaurant was completely packed and for good reason.  We didn’t go to Charleston to eat Italian, but this was seriously the most delicious place ever.  Best food.  Best service.  Hands down.

Our brunch from Toast

Since we packed so much into our first two days, we decided to make our last day a bit more leisurely.  We did a lot more strolling this day.  Lots of coffee shops.  Lots of meandering.  It was perfect.  We did, however, take one house tour.  We visited the Edmonton-Alston House, which was right along the Battery.  The history of this home is tied with Middleton Place, which we visited the first day, so it was neat to connect all the families.

On our last morning, we headed outside downtown to eat brunch at The Early Bird Diner.  It was our best breakfast of the trip.  So decadent and a great, low-key way to end the trip!

We’re already planning out our next kiddo-free trip for next year!  We missed our girls so, so much and talked about them the whole time we were gone.  Truth is, though, we wouldn’t have been able to do half of what we did if they had tagged along.  Plus, the sweet time we spent chatting and holding hands and just living slowly was so precious.  We are choosing to pour our hearts into our marriage, out of an abundance of love for our girls.  We love them so much that we can’t not invest in our marriage.  If you hadn’t traveled kid-free with your spouse lately, I can’t recommend it enough!!


Lacey Ruth’s 2nd Birthday

Oh, I could just cry.  Our sweet, big girl is TWO!  We say it way too often, but we seriously feel like we just brought her home.  This precious baby has brought so much joy to our home, and we wouldn’t trade an ounce of her.

This year, she learned to walk/run, talk (oh heavens, the talking!), test her parents…  She became a BIG SISTER, a puzzle expert, and declared a total love for Tootsie Rolls.  Lacey Ruth is obsessed with Bob from Veggie Tales, changing her baby dolls’ “poopy” diapers, devouring scrambled eggs, peanut butter, and grapes, and loving on her Papa.

We decided to keep her birthday celebration low-key this year, after going all-out for her first birthday.  She woke up to a visit from Nonna and Papa, who came with a Bob the Tomato balloon and massive cupcake.  She’d just finished her breakfast, but we decided to go ahead and let her enjoy a sweet treat since it was a special day!  That afternoon, my sister came over to watch Addy Grace, while Luke and I took the birthday girl out for Chic Fil-A and a visit to the zoo.  She was over-the-moon with all of the one-on-one attention.  It was the sweetest day for all of us!

The following Saturday, we had a small party with super close family members.  I made a pink sprinkle cake and a few finger foods.  We ordered pink and purple balloons and called it a party!  It was far from Pinterest-perfect, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.  It was such a sweet time of celebration.  We were heartbroken that Luke’s parents couldn’t make the party because they weren’t feeling well.  They’re planning to come for a visit in a few weeks, and we can’t wait to visit with them!

Happy birthday, darling girl!  You have brought more joy than we ever knew was possible!

Christmas 2017

This post is embarrassingly late!  This year, we celebrated the sweetest Christmas with family.  We talked a lot about how much has changed now that babies have been added to the mix, but, of course, we wouldn’t change a thing!  When Luke and I got married, we decided we wanted to be very intentional about establishing our traditions.  We decided that Christmas Eve was “ours,” and we would always spend that evening attending the Christmas Eve service at our church, followed by a home-cooked steak dinner.  Well, last year, we threw that out the window — it was just too hard to pull off with a baby in-tow.  Instead, we’ve started a few new ones, and, no surprise, making memories with your babies is so fun!

On Friday, the 22nd, we traveled to Georgia to spend the weekend with Luke’s family.  The weather was chilly, and we had the best time eating (and eating and eating), playing with the girls, and opening gifts.  We traveled back home on Sunday (Christmas Eve).  As soon as we got home, we had to hit the ground running to prep side dishes and a breakfast casserole for the next day.  It was a super late night but totally worth the time put in because the next day was so sweet and special.

Blurry, but cute!  Christmas Eve in their jammies!

On Christmas morning, my parents, siblings, and brother-in-law came to our house for Christmas breakfast and to watch the girls get their gifts from Santa.  The morning was low-key and so sweet, and I can’t wait to continue this tradition as the girls grow.

Cheers to all the daddies who go out of their way to make things extra special — thanks for the jazzed up Ikea kitchen, honey!

We laid Addy Grace down for a morning nap and headed to my parents’ house to continue the festivities.  We spent the rest of the day opening gifts, enjoying a massive meal with other extended family, and resting.  Full disclosure — the girls were so tired and out of their element, which meant they were both very cranky.  We kept putting off having them open their presents, hoping they would perk up and be more into it.  Nope.  Luke and I ended up opening most of their gifts ourselves, which was a bit of a bummer.  It’s a phase, we know.  Next year, it will probably be so much easier with an 18 month old and an almost 3 year old.  It was still special and memorable, and we wouldn’t change the day for anything!

My mom and I talked about the “let-down” that can come once Christmas is over.  There’s this huge build up, filled with prep and anticipation, and, then, it’s over.  So, this year we decided to pack everyone up on the 26th and head to DeFuniak Springs to see their annual light display on the lake.  It was a great way to extend the fun, and we are hoping to continue this tradition.

It’s so easy to lose sight of the significance of Christmas and what we are celebrating.  I find myself so often getting caught up in picking out the perfect gift, coordinating decorations, buying all the Peppermint Mochas.  I want to choose every year to be intentional about focusing my girls’ (and my own) hearts.  God becoming flesh was a sacrifice, and that sacrifice deserves pause, revelry, and humility.  I’m writing this out for myself, as a reminder to really focus on the Advent season, not just Christmas Day.



Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

This is a super delayed post but too cute not to share!  Back on October 21st, we visited Aplin Farms, right outside of Dothan, Alabama.  We visited with friends, which was so fun.  Luke and I had visited a few years ago, before kids, and weren’t crazy impressed.  We went on a random weekday, there was no one there, we never rode out into the fields, so we basically drove an hour and a half to pick out a pumpkin.

This year, we went on a Saturday morning/afternoon, and it was slammed with visitors.  Busy, but not so busy that it wasn’t enjoyable.  There were farm animals, cute set-ups for pictures, a hay ride out to the fields to pick sunflowers and pumpkins, and a bake sale.  It was great!

Addy Grace was a little fussy, and we got lost on the way (do NOT trust GPS with this one), so we anticipate a much smoother trip next year.  But, it was still pretty great!  We are hoping to make it an annual tradition with these sweet friends of ours.  One of the families is expecting a new babe this summer, so our group is growing, which is just so sweet.  Thank you, Aplin Farms!  We can’t wait to see you next year!