My Favorite Days 2013

2013 was a rough year for reasons far more personal than could ever be shared via a blog or social media. And quite honestly, it's not one that I'm sad to see go. However, there were so many special memories that I don't ever want to forget... and here are a few:

1. Our trip to DC was technically at the end of 2012, but I never really documented it so I'm going to include it in this list. Most everyone would agree that DC is an amazing city, but for us it is a very emotionally charged city as well. Jeremy and I got engaged, married, pregnant, and miscarried for the first time in this city. (Though we were actually engaged in NYC and married in Nashville- we still lived there during this time)

Jeremy had a work event that we tagged along for and really only had one full day in the city, but we packed it full from morning to night! We started off with breakfast at one of our favorite spots, then did some site seeing.

We ate hot dogs from street vendors...

Enjoyed some Christmas shopping...

Visited the Smithsonian...

Observed ice skaters...

I hiked up to the top of the Arlington Cemetery while the boys napped in the car...

And of course after reading a bazillion Kennedy books, visiting his grave was a must...

We ate dinner at another favorite spot, then headed to Georgetown and finished the night with Georgetown Cupcakes!

2. January 3, 2013 
On Jeremy's 33rd birthday we found out that we were having a daughter! 

3. January 4, 2013
Favorite Things Party!

4. May 8, 2013
We took Carter to a nice dinner and then to see The Lion King at TPAC. It was a complete surprise and such a magical night for both him and us! 

5. May 22, 2013

We met our daughter, Alexandra Jane. She made my dreams of having a little girl come true and is by far our biggest blessing this year!

6.  July 2013
A last minute Disney trip provided this unforgettable experience- Carter got to participate in The Lion King show at Animal Kingdom! So fun!

7. August 2013
Carter started Pre-K! We are SO SO thankful for this experience!

8. We were on the hunt for something fun to do as a family during one of the few Saturdays we were all together this fall and tried Lucky Ladd Farm for the first time. It was a huge hit! Sometimes the best days are the unexpected ones :)

9. November 15, 2013
This sweet girl and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. I'm talking 20+ years and more vacations than I can count! We finally got to see each other and catch up for a few hours over dinner at BrickTop's. She's like family to me and I seriously hope it isn't so long until the next time I see her.
{Nashville is a great town and JT may or may not be moving here.... just sayin'!}

As this year closes, I am so grateful for the fresh start that 2014 will bring. I CRAVE the new year and the new beginning it offers. Happy New Year to you all!



 Do yourself a favor and listen to this song. 

The older I get the more I realize the power in these words. 

Be encouraged, friends.



It's that time of year! While our days are still pretty warm here in the south, I know cooler weather is on the horizon. The leaves are turning, the wind is picking up, and pumpkin mania is in full effect! I mean today alone I came home from the grocery store with pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cider, and pumpkin granola to go alongside my pumpkin cream cheese and pumpkin coffee creamer that I already had at home. I passed on the pumpkin flavored coffee though- telling myself "we already have plenty of coffee at home" and "it will be there next time". It better be!

It hasn't been cool enough to make my favorite fall soups like Apple Cider Stew, Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup, and Potato Chowder, but I do have Chili on the menu for this week! We have already enjoyed several batches of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (my mom's recipe is my absolute favorite) and found a few new favorites like these two:

Hooray for autumn cooking! 

I've started on my fall decorations too, though I'm finding out that decorating is more of a process now than ever. This is partially because a) I have three small children at home and b) I like to change things up every year which requires playing around with arrangements over and over before deciding on something I like. Here's a little peek of some of my new favorites this year:

I've kind of moved away from all the really orange, "pumpkiny" decor and tried to choose items that fit more nicely with the color scheme I already have in my house. We still have our bright orange pumpkins outside though, so no worries.

I hope you, too, are enjoying this wonderful season!



I posted this on Facebook, so it is only fair that I document it here as well. It is quickly becoming my mantra these days:

"This is what I've come to believe about change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it's incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand, which is where you wanted to be all along, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. So this is the work I'm doing now, and the work I invite you into: when life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow."

-Shauna Niequist

I love love love this book so far.
 And would love to write like her. 
Someday. Maybe. One day.



This boy. 

He is sweet, active, adventurous, helpful, strong, a snuggle bug, and the best little eater I know.

He is also mischievous, sneaky, loud, and a total, complete MESS. He can destroy an entire house in no time ... But (unlike his big brother) takes great pride in helping to clean it up too. 

He loves fruit (would eat it all day, every day if given the choice), balls, trucks (the louder the better), cars, tractors, dirt, and stealing his brother's toys.

He's still a mama's boy at heart and I love him oh so much.


A Few of My Favorites

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you have probably already seen most of these.. 
But here are some of my favorite pictures of our sweet baby girl: 

Party of Five

In the eight months since I last blogged, we became a family of five! Our precious Alexandra Jane arrived on May 22 (her due date) and she is absolutely perfect. We call her our little lady or just "lady" because she is exactly that.. Poised, delicate, and by far the best baby I've had! People constantly comment on how alert she is, her long "lady fingers", and her big, beautiful bows. Her eyes are piercing and give off the sense that, although is she is only 2 months old, she knows exactly what you are saying.

When we named her Alexandra we weren't sure if we'd called her Alexandra or Allie or Allie Jane. So far it seems that she is totally an Alexandra. Something about that name is just sophisticated, regal (I mean it WAS the #1 prediction for the royal baby had he been a girl!), and oh so lovely. 

She is a total mommy's girl, although she gives daddy big smiles every morning and has an especially close bond with Carter. Cooper's interest in his sister is increasing, but I think most of his lovingness toward her is just mimicking Carter's behavior. Better than nothing though, right? She also love, love, loves her Auntie Ash- another true lady at heart.

We are so thankful for our unexpected gift from God, Alexandra Jane!

Photo by Amelia Hambrook Photography