Tag: two under two

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!


Labor Day Weekend

We spent our Labor Day weekend with Luke’s family in south Georgia.  There was a family reunion at his parents’ house, so we were able to spend some sweet time with his extended family that we only get to see once a year.  This was not only Addy Grace’s first trip to her Gram and Pa’s house, but it was her first road trip ever!  It’s about a four hour trip from our house to theirs, so we made one stop halfway so that I could feed her and Lacey Ruth could get a break.  Overall, the driving portion of the trip went about as well as we could have expected.  Addy Grace was actually a travel champ!  Lacey Ruth, not so much.  Nineteen months is a fun but very moody age!

Once there, we had a blast!  The girls were totally off their schedules and neither of them napped well during the day, but they both slept well at night, thank goodness.  We got in on Friday and headed back on Sunday afternoon, so it was a quick trip.  We needed Monday to get caught up on groceries and laundry and mowing (Luke).  We hated to leave so soon but are thankfully heading back next month for a quick drop in on our way to vacation in the mountains!

I snapped this picture during our pit stop on our way to Georgia.  I love this girl so much!

On Saturday, everyone headed to my in-laws for the family reunion.  There was lots (and lots and lots) of food and fellowship and family.  Lacey Ruth got to play with her cousins who fawned over her the whole time.  She ate up all that attention, and we loved watching her interact with family that she doesn’t get to see very often.  That evening, we watched our team pull off a successful win over Florida State (my alma mater – HA!), so the girls wore their best Bama gear to show off our colors on opening Game Day!

Gram and Addy Grace


Headed home!  Lacey Ruth just wasn’t loving all this time in the van, so when we stopped to feed Addy Grace, Luke ran in Publix to grab her a banana.  It worked for about five minutes.  Thankfully, she fell asleep on our last leg of the trip.  Clearly, Addy Grace enjoyed her break!






Life Lately Vol.2

Last week was pretty relaxing.  I was able to get out with the girls to run a couple of very quick errands for the first time, which I’m calling a huge WIN!  Our quiet week led up to a busy, busy Labor Day weekend.  We went on our very first road trip as a family of four, and the girls did much better than we expected them to.  We have a big trip coming up next month, so if this past weekend was any indication as to how that trip will go, we are going to have a great time!

I have been having too much fun lately dressing the girls alike.  When we first found out that baby number two was another girl, my immediate reaction was BUY ALL THE MATCHING CLOTHES.  Thankfully, their grandmothers both felt the same way, so these girls have quite the closets of matching clothes.  These MudPie outfits are two of my favorites!


Lacey Ruth clearly thinks that Addy Grace is just a big baby doll because she’s constantly laying her own baby dolls down beside her to take “naps.”  There are always baby dolls lying randomly around our house because that’s Lacey Ruth’s favorite toy ever, at the moment.

We are working on tummy muscles with Addy Grace.  She is not a big fan of tummy time, though.  We do tummy time several times throughout the day, but we also try to get in some good practice on other skills.

My parents live about ten minutes down the road from our house, so we usually spend a lot of time with them during the week.  Right now, they are on a big vacation out West, and we are missing them so much!  Thankfully, we got some sweet time in visiting with them before they left last week, and I caught this moment between Lacey Ruth and my dad.  These two are inseparable, and I love it!

The girls spent a couple of hours with my parents the afternoon before they left so that I could a pedicure by myself (HALLELUJAH!).  This was Lacey Ruth’s reaction to me telling her that she was headed to Nonna’s and Papa’s.  Right now, EVERY gift bag is her “purse.”

On Wednesday, I took the girls on a quick walk through the neighborhood.  It was way too hot to stay out for long.  Full discretion, it took a good 45 minutes to get out the door for a 15 minute walk.  Nothing happens quickly around here.  I thought I finally had everything together and had even gotten one girl buckled into the stroller.  Then, someone pooped.  We all headed back inside to get cleaned up and start over.  I am learning that slow is our new normal, and that’s okay.

On a totally different note, we are so very ready for fall weather around here!  Hands down, my favorite day of the year is the first cool, crisp day in September.  Our weatherman is reporting cooler temps here by the end of the week, and we plan to take full advantage!




Friday Favorites No. 1

Happy Friday, friends!  As a blog reader, Friday Favorites posts are always on the top of my list for must-reads.  I’ve come across some great product recommendations in the past.  So, I’m happy to jump in and share a few of my own, while also sharing general “favorites”/recent activities.

1.  The Collection by Chesapeake Bay Candle

These candles are such a favorite right now.  I’m a sucker for a good candle, but I feel like there are so many “not good” candles out there.  When you find a few that work well, you should stick with them.  I used to be an avid Bath and Body Works candle fan, but I’ve transitioned away from those in the past couple of years.  Because our entryway/living room/kitchen is all one large open area, it’s really hard to find something that works well and is fragrant enough to cover such a large space.  Thankfully, I’ve finally found a company I LOVE that is also affordable.  My absolute favorite scent for every day is Tamarind Spice, but it looks like it must have been discontinued.  I’ve been stalking Target for months, and they are nowhere to be found.  Brown Sugar Chestnut is a close second — perfect for fall.  It’s what I have currently burning every day as I’m eagerly awaiting the end of summer.  Anyone else??

2.  LipSense

Date night with Luke, wearing LipSense Roseberry.

I’d been hearing the hype on this product for a while now and had no desire to try it out for myself.  That is, until my mom raved about how much she loved this product.  So, last week, my mom invited a local consultant to come to her house to pitch the product to my mom, my sister, and me.  We all loved it and purchased started kits.  Here’s a very short, basic description:  it’s a lip product that does not come off.  You  basically put three layers of an alcohol-based color on your naked lip and follow it up with a shiny gloss that enhances the look.  The gloss can be removed, but the color is stuck.  I wore it for a date night with Luke over the weekend, and it was so nice to know that I didn’t need to reapply any color throughout the night.

Don’t worry — her applicator didn’t have any product!

3. The Happy Hour Podcasts

This isn’t a new favorite for me.  I first started listening around the beginning of the year and have been a faithful follower ever since.  There are several podcasts that I listen to regularly, but this is definitely my #1.  I know so many people are already super familiar with Jamie Ivey and The Happy Hour, but, for those who aren’t, Jamie’s a 30-something mom whose husband is involved in music ministry in Austin, TX.  Each week, sometimes twice a week, she interviews women who are doing big things in the name of Jesus.  Many of these women run businesses, write books, speak publicly, or have some sort of ministry-minded platform.  Jamie is fun and asks the same questions you would ask if you were sitting across the coffee table from these ladies.  I look forward to each Wednesday when a new interview is posted.  Trust me, you’ll love it!

4.  Birthday celebrations with family

Pea Pickin’ Cake — so, so good

I blogged about my birthday celebrations with Luke and the girls here.  We also had a little family gathering with my parents, siblings, and grandparents on Saturday night.  My mom cooked a huge meal, and we all ate and talked for a few hours.  It was great to be together, but it’s also hard right now with a teeny tiny one.  Addy Grace still nurses around the clock, especially in the evenings, so, even at my party, I had to leave several times to feed her.  It’s a little isolating, but I know it’s a season.  All in all, it was a really great night!


Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci




Birthday Weekend

I celebrated 31.  31!  When and how did that happen?  I can’t wrap my head around it yet.  I’m so grateful, though.  So, so grateful for 31 years.  When I was 25, I remember desperately wanting all the things that I have right now.  Being married and having babies is better than I imagined it would be.  And, given the fact that I had to wait a lot longer than most of my friends, I feel like I am all the more grateful.  I enjoyed my singleness but was more than ready to find that person God had set aside especially for me.  I’ll say it every day, a thousand times over — he was so worth the wait!

On Sunday night, we handed both babies over (for the first time) to my parents to keep overnight.  I love my babies, but it was glorious!  I am a BIG believer in taking time to date my spouse and giving our babies over to their grandparents for safekeeping for a while.  Luke and I went to dinner at one of my favorite local beach places, and we ate.  Tuna dip, “boom boom shrimp” (same as Bang Bang Shrimp), caesar salad, steak, and bacon wrapped shrimp.  We could barely move walking out of there, but we decided to enjoy ourselves since getting out is so rare these days.

We woke up to a very quiet house on Monday morning, my birthday.  Luke had taken off work for the day, and we headed back to the beach for breakfast.  We tried out The Pancakery and ate the biggest pancakes I’d ever seen in my life.  Mine was bacon-infused and super yummy!  I highly recommend this place but bring your appetite!  After our dinner the night before, we didn’t get very far with our breakfasts.

After breakfast, we went to pick up the girls.  We had talked about getting out and going somewhere for the day but decided instead to have a quiet day at home.  The girls were clearly worn out from being at their grandparents’ house and took amazing naps.  We actually got a lot of tidying up done around the house — things that we had put off for too long.  A messy house stresses me out, so it was actually a really enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

That night, Luke went out and picked up dinner from Marco’s Pizza, a first for us.  It was delicious!  After the girls went to bed, we watched Going in Style and really enjoyed it.

Birthdays these days look very different from a few years ago.  They are celebrated at a much slower pace and with fewer people.  But, I wouldn’t trade these birthdays for the world.  I get to celebrate with my favorite people of all time!  I’m already looking forward to next year when the girls are a little more mobile. They just get more fun as they grow!