Sunday, December 20, 2015

THANKSGIVING AT GRAN'S

It's almost Christmas, but I couldn't not share these precious pictures Michael captured on Thanksgiving at Gran's.








It was rather warm and the kids had the best time playing outside in the leaves!  Anne climbed the Magnolia tree and Liam rode the little car (the one that Michael rode as a child!!)
Now that it's Christmas, we're looking forward to making lots more fun memories!
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DRESSEMBER

Today is December first which means the first day of Dressember.  Late last night Anne decided she would join me in wearing a dress every day this month.  I remember last year when my friend Hope did Dressember, I had never heard of it or knew what it was all about.  After doing a lot of research and hearing Blythe's story, I decided to join this year along with 18 other people on our MS team.  
"In 2013, Dressember took on new meaning: opposing the worldwide trafficking and exploitation of women. In its first year as a fundraising campaign, Dressember aligned with International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that works to rescue victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. Those who participate in Dressember are supporting the abolition of modern day slavery. Beginning in 2015, the Dressember campaign will expand to partner with other anti-trafficking organizations."
Today we exceeded our goal and are excited to say the least!!
If you'd like to make a donation, click here to contribute!  Or you can join us--just sign up to be a part of our team! 

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Monday, November 30, 2015

DEEP CREEK

On our first day in Bryson City, we hiked at Deep Creek.  This is a little campground and trail a few miles from the inn and right inside The Smoky Mountain National Park.  It was a pretty short trail, a little less than two miles out and back, but there were two beautiful waterfalls and lots of great scenery to take in along the way!  The kids had a great time throwing rocks into the river and climbing on the large boulders.




Thanks to the hiker that stopped and snapped this photo of all of us!









It's a great trail for small kids--not too many cliff drop offs!  We had a great time and hope to do this trail again one day!
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Monday, November 23, 2015

TRAVELING WITH TODDLERS

We got up really early Thursday morning to get a head start on our trip to the mountains.  Traveling with kids is no easy task and I think that there are certain things that make it a lot easier.  We always try to pack plenty of books and toys that are car friendly, and this time we even brought a dvd player. 
One of our biggest struggles right now is trying to eat in a restaurant.  Liam is almost three and asking him to sit and wait for food or sit and eat his food is not his (or my) idea of a good time.  We've all been there or at least witnessed a cranky toddler that doesn't want to cooperate during meal time.  Not pretty.  Michael's grandparents used to travel all over the country and they always packed a picnic lunch.  We decided we'd give it a try on the trip up, since we wanted to 1. save money 2. not have to struggle with Liam.  
I packed our picnic basket and cooler with things that we already had at home...bread, ham, cheese, apples, oranges, chips, hummus.  We pulled over at a little spot next to the Ocoee River, spread out our lunch and had the most wonderful time.  It allowed some freedom to roam about while eating lunch which was really nice after sitting for six hours.  The kids ran around, drew with sticks in the dirt, and threw rocks in the river while Michael and I ate in mostly peace. 
I can definitely see us doing this more often.  Not only was it more enjoyable, but we also felt really good about being frugal and eating things we already had.  
It seemed like no time before we were arriving at The Hemlock Inn.  


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Sunday, September 27, 2015

BALANCE


One thing I am constantly struggling with is balance.  I told a friend the other day how I have been exercising consistently for the past year... until the past month.  When school got started I guess I had to let one of my spinning plates drop...and that was the one.  Starting a new job, being in charge of the parent's club at Anne's school, normal mom and wife duties, church duties, all took place  over working out.  I know, like many of you, we struggle daily to keep balance in our life.  I long for the feeling of getting everything done and ending the day feeling accomplished and like I've please everyone.
But alas, there's no hope in doing all those things, right?  I mean, there's always more that I could have done, or someone that is left hanging.  I think we put too much pressure on ourselves.  We have unrealistic expectations of what we can accomplish in a day.  And not only on ourselves, but on our spouses and children.  We set unattainable goals for them as well.
I'm still working on this and I'm sure I always will be.  But as I grow and mature it does get easier.  The Lord is teaching me about resting in him and only boasting in him.  About all things being done for him.  And that really takes the pressure off me.  Anything good I do is because of him.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

FAMILY TIME

For the past several years, Michael and I have always thrown around the idea of moving once he finished his degree.  We always dreamed of moving our family somewhere near Asheville, NC.  Mostly because we both love the mountains and we wanted our children to love the outdoors and have opportunities that we didn't have growing up.  Lately my heart has been slowly changing though.  I guess as that time draws near and the reality of a move settles in, I'm rethinking things.  It's becoming more important that we are near family than any thing else.  I have loved getting to see our kids know their aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Even our friends that are like our family.  What we have here in little Laurel, MS is quite special and not something that will be easily gained somewhere else.  No, it's not perfect.  But our people are here, and that means a whole bunch in my book. 
I still feel very strongly about getting them outdoors...it just may have to be the Mississippi outdoors instead.
  
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

LIFE LATELY

We're trying our best to settle into our new routine around here.  Now that I'm not teaching anymore, it seems like everything is different.  Not a bad different, just different.
Anne is now a 3rd grader...that's completely crazy to me.  Liam is always adding lots of excitement around here.  He is so much fun at this age.

Michael is still working hard to finish up this degree.  We can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, which is a wonderful feeling!  I'm so proud of how hard he's worked/working.  Until the end though, we're all making things flow the best we can!
I'm making plans to update the blog soon, and getting excited about making this space a priority again.  Thanks for all of you readers that always encourage me to keep this space up...you guys are the best!


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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

13 YEARS

I can't believe it's been 13 years since our wedding day.  Time really is such a strange thing.  To celebrate Michael planned for us to spend a night in Jackson at the historical, King Edward Hotel.  It was a quick trip, but definitely much needed.  Getting to ride in the car and talk was a treat.  Life can get so busy at times that a simple conversation with your spouse can be a challenge.  I know all you folks with children understand what I mean!
 
Then Michael hung a bunch of pictures for me and our living room feels so cozy now.  
I sure love that guy!
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

SUMMER FUN

I realized this week that summer is winding down and I haven't shared much about what we've been up to. We've really had such a wonderful time. I've gotten to spend a good bit of time with the kids and we've had as much fun as we can in our days together. Liam has grown so much. It's blowing my mind that he isn't a baby anymore... For real. 
Anne has been such a helper and always quick to share her fun ideas. 
To sum this summer up, we spent a week CAMPING at Grayton Beach in June. That's something I can check off my list of things to do. I definitely would love to do it again, just not during the heat of summer! 
We've also been selling lots of blueberry lemonade at the farmers market with the Edward's!
And this month I've been teaching a sewing class...and it's been so fun to see people getting excited about making things! We're having the best time!
And we are gonna pack a few more things in these last couple of weeks before school starts!! Next week we're planning a trip to the watermark and a shopping day with Anne! 
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Monday, July 6, 2015

HAPPY FOURTH

We spent our weekend mostly relaxing, which was obviously much needed.  We cooked out and watched the fireworks from Pinehurst Park Friday night with friends.  The kids had such a great time!  Firework night in the park will forever remind me of the July 4th scene in The Sandlot.  It's kind of magical.
Thanks for this photo Brooke!

A storm rolled in on Saturday and it felt impossible to get out of the house.  So I finished up watching the last season of Hart of Dixie and then moved right along to Gilmore Girls.  It was divine.
I'm thankful for a rainy weekend watching too much TV and getting in lots of snuggles with my sweet family! 

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Friday, July 3, 2015

LONG TIME NO BLOG

I didn't mean to not blog for so long...it's funny how the more time that passed the harder it was to make this post happen.  So many things have been changing around here and to be honest there has been very little down time.  I have officially changed careers and am now working at Southern Antiques.  One of the perks is that it's only a block from our loft and full of beautiful things!  

It's such a fun environment and I get to see lots of faces everyday!
Hopefully I will be better at blogging as I get settled into our new routine.  I definitely miss sharing our life in this space.

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