Tag: life lately

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!

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!


Blue Ridge Trip 2017

Almost every year since I was a kid, my family has taken a Fall trip to the mountains.  The location has changed since I was younger.  We used to always travel to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge.  Now, we head to north Georgia, specifically the Blue Ridge area.  We found this spot about fifteen years ago, before it was super populated, but it’s no longer a secret and is pretty crowded this time of year.  We’ve talked about trying a different spot for next year, but I love {LOVE} this place.

My parents booked our cabin a while back, and it was perfect for our family of nine.  As more grand babies get added to the family, our need for a large space will only grow.  We talked a lot this time around about how much our agenda and sense of adventure has changed with the addition of these two babies to the family, but no one would have it any other way.  Our slow pace is a welcomed change.  This is one of my favorite places in the world, and getting to share it with my own family is something I don’t take for granted.

We started our trip in south Georgia visiting with Luke’s family.  Staying with them for one night helped to break up our traveling and was a great opportunity to stop by for a quick visit.  They have a beautiful piece of property and lease a portion of their land to a nearby farmer, who planted cotton this season.  I was hoping to get some good pictures of the girls in the cotton patch, but it had already been picked (BOO!), so we compromised and took a few in their pretty yard.

Then, we got on the interstate and headed north.  It’s amazing how much slower we travel with kiddos in tow.  We took a much longer than expected stop at a Chic Fil-a just north of Atlanta, but our trip was uneventful and so much better than we thought it would be.  We arrived in Blue Ridge in the late afternoon and Lacey Ruth took her opportunity to explore our cabin.

We spent the next two days shopping for a few hours in downtown Blue Ridge.  I was really anxious about getting both girls out and about for the majority of the afternoon, but they were amazing!  Addy Grace fell asleep on the way into town both days and took the most EPIC naps of all time — 3 hours each!  We were able to shop and eat without having to take nursing breaks, and, even after she woke, she was just the happiest baby.

We also had the opportunity to stop by Mercier’s Apple Orchard.  We love this place so much.  I’m amazed every year how much this place has grown.  When we first started coming years ago, it was a small, family-owned orchard with a simple (but delicious) on-site bakery.  Now, it’s a massive, sprawling, tourist-filled hot spot that is always incredibly busy.  Regardless, it’s one of our favorite places in town.  It has special significance to Luke and me, since they donated hundreds of apples for us to give away as favors to our wedding guests.

Other than that, we spent most of our time quietly at the cabin.  We played board games, ate way too much food, caught up on “This Is Us,” and roasted marshmallows for s’mores.  The girls napped, played, and ate on repeat.  It was glorious!

Until next year, Blue Ridge!  We can’t wait to visit you again!

Bonus:  Here is Lacey Ruth at Mercier’s from our 2016 trip.  I cannot believe how much she’s grown in a year and can’t wait to see how much the girls have changed when we visit next year!