I'm a little (or a lot) jealous of my hubby who is headed to "the city of brotherly love" today. It is one of my favorite cities because of its character, history, emphasis on the arts, and good food!

The last time I was there (in '06), Jeremy and I ate breakfast at Jones Restaurant. I have eaten at a lot of restaurants in my life, but this was seriously one of the coolest places I've ever been! The restaurant looks like it is straight out of the 1970's (in an awesomely vintage way, of course) and where else can you find Monkey Bread on the menu?

Other favorite spots include the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum.

But then again, I'm a lover of nearly all museums.


Our Life in Pictures (via my phone)

My phone often tells the best story of our life.
The snapshots I take on my phone aren't fancy,
but they are our reality.
So here's a glimpse at the past month or so
in no particular order...

(Please excuse the blurriness of some pictures...
*someone*, who often has dirty hands,
likes to play with mommy's phone and smudge up the camera lens)

Breakfast at Noshville with daddy
(after he got back from St. Louis)

*Take 1*
*Take 2*
At the airport, waiting for daddy

More waiting

I made my first bundt cake!
(my mom gets credit for the awesome icing drizzle)

Auntie Ashley had her wisdom teeth out last week
so we went to visit her...
and Carter got to "play" in Uncle Tay Tay's studio!

We went to Kohl's and found The Grinch

We went to Addison's 2nd birthday party!
Here's the sweet birthday girl...

I made a couple of gift bags & really like how this one turned out

Jeremy and I saw this "car" at Target. Maybe we'll downsize and get one... ha!

My mom and I went to ULTA for the first time.
I tried on hair extensions and fell in love.
Don't judge :)

Carter showing off his new Sesame Street shirt and Reese's ball.
Gifts from when Poppy and Bella went to Chicago.

My little man after church one Sunday.
It doesn't get much cuter than this!

"Carter, where are your nipples?"


I'm not gonna lie...

Some days I miss this city.

A lot.


Happy Fall

Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn!
I think this calls for a celebration!

So here's to the most wonderful season!
I hope it's filled with
lots of baking
beautiful leaves
spice candles
a few football games
and everything pumpkin!


I Remember


I was 19 years old. I was a sophomore at Belmont University and living at home.

I remember waking up that morning to the phone ringing and ringing and ringing. I finally answered and it was my mom who was at a Bible Study at church. She said that someone had heard that the World Trade Center had been bombed and asked me to turn on the tv. She was leaving church and on her way home. I hung up, turned on the tv, and like so many Americans, stared at this image on the screen:

I remember thinking: What in the world? Wait, it wasn't a bomb? A plane? TWO planes? SOMEONE DID THIS ON PURPOSE?!

I remember talking to my aunt and saying that I hoped an American didn't do this to their own people. I remember her saying that if it wasn't an American then we were going to be at war.

I remember thinking about the last time I had seen the WTC in person (March 2001). Jeremy and I had taken a trip to NYC on our spring break and had driven by the WTC late one night. Dido's "Thank You" was playing in my car and I can vividly remember looking up at the towers and thinking how tall and beautiful they were. It's a memory forever etched in my mind.

I remember not being able to talk to my dad for what seemed like a very long time. He was in the Boston area and all cell phone service was completely jammed. He couldn't catch his flight, so he had to drive home.

I remember going to my Abnormal Psychology class that night in an absolute daze. I couldn't process everything that was happening.

I remember staring at the tv during any free time I had over the next few weeks. I couldn't stop watching and listening to the stories. People talking about what they saw. What they experienced. Who was missing.

I can honestly say that over the next few months, I begin to realize the evil that exists in this world. I lost part of my innocence.. specifically the part of me that never knew such evil existed or that there were people out there that really wanted to cause us harm.

The frailty and brevity of life became all too clear... in a way I had never known it before. I was all of a sudden aware that I could actually die. I know it sounds weird that at 19 years old I had never grasped this concept, but teenagers are notorious for thinking they are invincible. My invincibility came to a screeching halt on 9/11/01.

Fast forward 3 years....

Jeremy and I moved to Washington DC. We chose apartments in Arlington, VA ... a mere mile from the Pentagon. I still wasn't "over" the events of September 11th and they all came rushing back to me when we moved there. I remember standing on the roof of one of the apartment buildings looking over the Pentagon and asking the leasing agent which side was hit on 9/11. She said looked at me like I had two heads and said she didn't know.

I drove past the site of the Pentagon crash every day ... multiple times a day. Though the building was repaired, images like this kept coming to my mind:
Shortly after we moved to Arlington, I began having nightmares.
I would dream I was on one of the planes crashing...
or I was watching the planes crashing...
or someone I knew was on the planes crashing...
they happened over and over and over. Eventually, the dreams began to subside and happened less frequently. That is, until I read something about 9/11 or watch something on tv about it. (Seriously, even to this day... if I watch a tv special on September 11th, I do so with the expectation that I will have a dream about a plane crash. Jeremy can verify this!)

In January 2005, Jeremy and I went back to NYC. He proposed to me on this trip and the next day we ventured to Ground Zero. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.

We found this little church near Ground Zero (I can't remember the name now), but it was a place of refuge for the policemen/firefighters helping during the weeks after 9/11. It is filled with pictures and artifacts from those days... and is an absolute must-see if you ever go to New York.

This cross emerged from the rubble of Ground Zero.
Jesus was there.
In their darkest hour, He was there.

So that is my September 11th story. {Well, the short version anyways...} I think it is important that we hang on to these memories and share them- so we don't lose sight of what's important. Our nation will pay the price if we choose to forget.

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."
Deuteronomy 4:9


Things I Love About...

My Husband
His patience with me
His unwavering love and support
He know how to make me laugh and how to cheer me up
His fierce loyalty for those he loves
The fact that he would put our lives (Carter's/mine) before his own
He challenges me
He takes his marriage vows seriously
How he is opposite from me in SO many ways,
But not in the things that count
He desires to be a Godly man/husband
He thinks I'm pretty much the most amazing girl ever ;)
(Hey, who doesn't want their husband to think this?!)

My Son

His zest for life
His curiosity
His sweet, tender side that he saves for his Mama
That he still gets the hiccups when he laughs really hard
(He had the hiccups nearly everyday during my 3rd trimester!)
His love for music and books
His desire to help with anything I'm doing
His love for animals
He's fearless when it comes to try new things or new food


New Adventures

Tonight was the beginning of a new adventure. I am co-leading a 7th and 8th grade small group through our church and tonight was our first meeting. It went really well, though somehow I forgot how much life and energy they have!! And the talking ... ohhhh the talking... :) That aside, I'm so thankful for this opportunity and can't wait to see what God does in the lives of these girls (and me!) through this journey.

On a completely separate note, please tell me that you love The Pioneer Woman as much as I do! If you don't know who she is, then it is quite possible that you've been living under a rock for the past year ;) Kidding. Sort of. Anyways, I'm ALWAYS on the hunt for new recipes {side note about myself: i like having "the good ol' tried and true recipes" but i really don't enjoy making the same recipes over and over}. I digress. So I made her Tequila-Lime Chicken with nearly every side dish she mentions. Homemade tortillas. Homemade mexican rice. Homemade refried beans. Homemade pico de gallo. Oh yes, it was worth every single ounce of effort. Please try it soon!


Heavy on My Heart

Two things have been heavy on my heart this week:


If you live in Nashville and you never got a chance to experience Reiko Skincare, you really missed out. The owner, sweet Reiko Zealear, passed away last Saturday in a tragic car accident. She was a friend of my mom's and I knew her as well. She was at our wedding and did my pre-wedding facials :) She was a wonderful, Godly woman who was adored by all who knew her.


The beautiful girl on the right is my sister, Amy Joy. The equally beautiful girl on the left is Amy's dear friend, Catherine. (Catherine might as well have been considered my parents' 4th daughter during their middle/high school years and has been liked a sister to me, Ashley, & Amy!) She was in a very bad car accident this week and is currently recovering in ICU in a Knoxville hospital. I don't know all the details of her situation, but if you are reading this- I'd ask that you say a prayer for her. She is one of the sweetest, most wonderful girls I've ever known and my heart is heavy for her tonight.

Let's not take any days for granted, ok? Life is so precious and so short.

With that said, I'm gonna go love on this little guy...
Now tell me that's not the cutest face you've ever seen!