Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekend Recap: Flea Markets and Sunny Sundays

 Hey friends, we had a GREAT weekend over here and eventful enough to share complete with some pics! Let's get to it. 

Friday I got in late from work and then a grocery store run. Thankfully, Stephen made us dinner, we caught up on Thursday's Gray's Anatomy and Scandal (only shhh....I slept through most of Scandal...sooo tired!) Stephen had to work early on Saturday so he went to bed and I got my second wind, binged watched the first 6 episodes of Fuller House. I have to say, the first episode was a big pile of cheesy, but it got better after that. Another wild and crazy Friday night, ha. 

Saturday morning, I had a fun day planned with my mother in law and Stephen's grandma. First up, we headed to the Nashville Flea Market which we LOVE going to! It was a GORGEOUS day!


I often get asked about certain clothes I wear and where I get them. I have to laugh when I answer with the, "oh at the Flea Market". LOL But seriously, there are several boutique clothing vendors there each month, and I find the cutest pieces. I was quite proud of myself for only buying this pink floral kimono top. I tried on a few other things, but played nice with my Discover card and just got this.




Stephen's mom makes jewelry and stops by a certain booth each time she goes to buy certain stones or beads that she's looking for. The owner told us that they had been coming to the Flea Market every month for 44 years! They hadn't missed a single weekend!! 



After we left the Flea Market, we headed over to Green Hills for lunch and a few quick stops in the mall. 

THEN, we hit the mother load of traffic jams. What normally would've been a 25 minute drive turned into an hour and half drive! Whaaaat?!


We filled a cart at Target, bought fabric for new kitchen curtains at Joann's and picked up flowers at Kroger...

We love Granny Jan!

We picked up a gallon of chicken rice soup from Demo's (raise your hand if you've had this goodness) and headed home. We unloaded the car, did a couple of things to get ready for Sunday's family lunch, ate soup, and called it a day.

One of my favorite moments of the day, is the first few moments of the day. I love the quiet and stillness of our house. Sunday morning, the sun was pouring in our windows and I just knew it was going to be a wonderful day!




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(I'm skipping over a HUGE part of Sunday - come back tomorrow for that!)

After lunch, our nephews came home with us for a few hours. We made them scoot their way home in front of our car....


We hadn't been home 5 minutes when the neighbor kids were at our door asking if the boys could come out and play. I love our little neighborhood so much!

I think they jumped on their trampoline for at least an hour.  Oh to be young again!


Since the sun was streaming in our windows, it was the perfect afternoon to clean the kitchen. Wanna see how dirty your white kitchen is, catch it between 2pm and 4pm and you'll start asking yourself, "where did that stain come from and HOW LONG has it been there?!" I wiped spots here and there that I just never see in regular light or normal daylight. Throw in a SUNNY day, you'll see all the imperfections. 

I also shook out all of our rugs and let them air out all afternoon. I just LOVE the smell of freshly aired rugs! 

Colin opted to play a video game with Stephen. These two are peas in a pod and best buds. 


After Riley came back inside, he took ousted Stephen from the game, haha.


 They ended their afternoon with us with a little goofing off in a St. Pat's hat - gosh I love these two.


We ended our Sunday watching the Oscars and catching up a week and half's worth of laundry. Why did I wait that long to do laundry?! Never let me do that again!

Just a quick reminder, join us on Wednesday for our series Pinspiration Wednesdays! Link up and share your favorite Spring / Easter Pinterest finds! I can't wait to see what fun Spring pins everyone has! Spring is JUST around the corner, and after the beautiful weekend we just had....I am READY for more of that!! 

 Happy Leap Day! I really think there's grounds here for some random themed dinner party!! YES?!? Just me?? 

Linking up with Biana today!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Linkups

Time to wrap up the week and get ready for a plan-filled weekend!!

Before I get started with the more light-hearted topics, let me just take a minute to thank everyone for the love, prayers and encouragement shown to us yesterday. The outpouring of messages we received, the texts, the comments on social media, the flowers...it all means SO much to us. A day that I had been dreading for quite a while was made easier because of you. 


We sure would love to have our baby here with us, but we know our child is living a beautiful and perfect life in God's heavenly presence. 

|one|

Did you see my blogging friend, Leigh, guest posting on Erika's blog yesterday for her Owning It series?! 

 

You much check it out! Girlfriend claimed her crazy and was brave enough to share it!

 

|two|

I mentioned earlier this week, I'm not too big of a fan of Easter decorations, but I think this year, I've found "my vision". HA. I can't wait to see how it all comes together in a few weeks. Hobby Lobby has some SUPER cute Easter and Spring decorations out right now.


 (P.S. Next week, I'll be sharing a few St. Patrick's Day home decorations. Yes, I decorate for St. Pat's...does this surprise you at this point? Come back to check it out!) 

|three|

I had lunch yesterday with one of my best friends, Amy and her son, Daniel. I can't believe this little nugget will be 1 in April!! He is the most content child I have ever met.


 He's starting to talk and crawling everywhere and pulling up things...I just love being his "Aunt E"!

|four|

I'm planning a special family get-together on Sunday! Yesterday I started pulling things together that I already had on hand, and started loving the Spring feel it created, so I went with it. I'll be sharing more about this special day on Tuesday. 


|five|

Join  myself, Leigh and Justine on Wednesday for Pinspiration Wednesday! This time we're sharing our favorite Spring / Easter Pinterest finds! Get all of your favorite bunny craft and cake pins ready to share!! This is such a fun linkup to get ideas from others for the upcoming season! Join us and link up!


Hope you all have a great weekend (binge watching Fuller House, don't act like you won't be) with your favorite people!!

Linking up with...








Thursday, February 25, 2016

To Our First Child...

Dear little one,

Today was the day we so anxiously looked forward to just seven short months ago, but today is far different than what we had planned. We know that if things had turned out differently, you may have already made your debut or you might hold out a few more days for your arrival. We will never know the exact date of when you would’ve been born; all we have is today, February 25th, 2016.

We longed for you for so, so long. The day we first learned about you, we couldn’t even believe it. You brought me to my knees in thanksgiving for the first time in my life that morning. Your time with us was short, but we are fulfilled in knowing you were loved and that you were covered in prayer your entire time with us.

Even though we never physically held you in our arms, you made us parents. The titles we had been praying for for so long.

It’s amazing how someone we never met taught us so much…

You taught us patience. We live in a world of instant gratification. We want something, we get it, it’s done. You, precious baby, oh how we wanted you…and wanted you. God’s plan unfolded to us to wait on His timing.

You taught us true thankfulness. We are thankful for our families, our friends, our homes, our jobs, our health, the modern conveniences that we overlook every day. But you, precious baby, you taught us how to be truly thankful…fall to our knees weeping thankful. Thankful to God for this most perfect gift.

You taught us teamwork. Your daddy and I aren’t always on the same page about chores, housework, planning ahead, etc. But when you, precious baby, came on the scene we immediately took on an “us against the world” attitude. We were easily agreeing on any plans that needed to be made and preparations that needed to take place before your arrival. We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to raise you together.

You taught us about priorities. You were instantly the reason behind any and every decision we made from the moment we knew you were with us. God was entrusting us with you, precious baby, and we were committed to do our very best for you in all situations and circumstances.

You taught us about prayer. We prayed before you and we prayed often. But you, precious baby, taught us what answered prayers felt like. Our prayer life has been fervent, specific and continual since you.

You taught us about faith. The night that we knew we were losing you, was the darkest night we’ve ever faced. While the sadness and heartbreak we felt was unbearable, you precious baby, we knew you were safe. Above our fears, we knew you were ok. We knew God was caring for you far better than we could have. We couldn’t understand the “why” of it all, but we had faith that you were being perfectly loved.

You taught us about love. Unconditional love. How could our hearts be instantly smitten and completely given to this tiny person we had never even met? How did our love for each other as husband and wife just change? You, precious baby, the gift of you opened our hearts to a new kind of love we never saw coming. A kind of love we will never lose hold of.

We’ve often said in the past seven months, God’s plans for you were even greater than the plans we had ourselves. We’ve often said, one day we’ll understand. One day, we’ll know His plan. One day, we’ll know your purpose.

Your purpose, precious baby, was to teach us these invaluable lessons that we are reminded of every single day since last Summer. Your purpose was patience, thankfulness, teamwork, priorities, prayer, faith and love.

We miss you every single day. We pray about you every single day. We are thankful for you every single day, and we cannot wait to meet you one day, precious baby.

Love you forever,

Mommy
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:5
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Ps. 8:3&4

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, Deut. 7:9

For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. Ps. 48:14
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5&6
 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. Isa. 40:28



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What's Up Wednesday - the Almost Springtime Edition




Today I'm linking up with Shay to share What's Up!!

What we're eating this week...
So far this week, we've had dinner out with long time friends and it was AMAZING. We may have not have all been together in years, but we pick up right where we left off! Aren't those the best friendships?! We also had breakfast for dinner last night, it's quick easy and a favorite around here!

What I'm reminiscing about...
I've had Disney on my mind lately....ALOT. I've had so many fun trips with my family through the years, and our last trip in 2012 was Stephen's first time with us. I would love to sneak in a trip just the two of us sometime this year, we'll see how that goes.


What I'm Loving...
Spring is JUST around the corner and I am more excited for the new season probably than I ever have been before.



What we've been up to...
February has been filled with birthdays, downtime, busy work schedules, and Mardi Gras fun! I recapped a little about our February on Monday.

What I'm dreading...
If you've been reading my blog for any time at all, you know that tomorrow is a day that we were anxiously and thankfully awaiting for 9 months ago. Our plans weren't the same as what God had in store for us for February 25th, but we know His plans are always the best for us.

What I'm working on...
Two big events are planned for April that have my Pinterest account buzzing lately. First up, I'm planning the first birthday party for my best friend's little boy. When Daniel was about 3-4 months old, I had a light bulb moment for his party theme. Amy's husband is an AVID fisherman, so it goes without saying this pasttime will be passed down to Daniel in the very near future. Our theme is Daniel Caught the BIG ONE and I can't wait to see how our planning turns out!!
Follow Erica's board Daniel Caught the Big ONE on Pinterest.

Also in April, we're planning a Ladies Day event at church. I'm getting decorating ideas and menu plans ready!
Follow Erica's board Ladies Day Planning on Pinterest.

What I'm excited about...
Next weekend, we're going on a weekend retreat with some of our greatest friends and our Wednesday night church group. We had such a great weekend together last year, we're all looking forward to it again! I am so thankful we have such strong friendships with our brothers and sisters in Christ. These are the people that will be close to us for the rest of our lives. These are the people we will raise our children with. Friends like these are some of our greatest blessings!


What I'm watching / reading...
I'm reading Me Before You and LOVING it I might add. Our newest Netflix pick is Breaking Bad. We're into Season 2 so far and it's safe to say that some episodes are just CRAZY.


What I'm listening to...
Lately, I've been listening to different Broadway channels on Pandora while in my office. I just love a good show tune!!


What I'm Wearing...
I picked up a couple of great clearance items at Old Navy last week. I love the dark chambray shirt and the open flowy cardigan I snagged. Both are great transitional items from Winter into Spring. These are going to be added to the regular rotation for the foreseeable future!


What I'm doing this weekend...
Saturday I'm going with my MIL and Stephen's grandma to the Flea Market at the State Fairgrounds in Nashville! I LOOOOVE, big puffy heart LOOOOOOVE going to the state flea market. There are SO many great finds there!!

Oh, and like the rest of the blogging world, I'm sure, I'm going to be binge watching this...


Amen.

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Leigh Justine and I are hosting our series Pinspiration Wednesday on the first Wednesday of the month! Link up with us on Wednesday, March 2 and share your favorite Spring and Easter Pinterest finds!!


What else is new...
I've picked up a few new Spring decorations in the past couple of weeks. Which is a BIG deal for me. Spring and Easter are probably my least favorite season / holiday to decorate for. I'm not a huge fan of the traditional pastels, bunnies, etc, so it's a challenge to find things that I love instead of things that make me say, "eh....it'll work." The few things I've picked up around town this year, I'm secretly loving and really looking forward to putting it all together!

Favorite Easter tradition...
Growing up, Easter was my least favorite holiday. It seemed like such a rushed and busy day, but the older I've gotten the more I've realized how special my parents really made the season for us. From our annual trips to Nashville to find the perfect Easter dresses, to our Easter baskets waiting on us when we woke up on Easter Sunday morning..my parents really went above and beyond for me and my sister. 

And then, there's the annual lunch and egg hunt at my grandparents house. We may all be grown up now, but my cousins and I still make a mad dash for our favorite candies. We may or may not push the littles out of the way for the Reeses eggs! With a goofy group like this, how can we not have fun times together?!!


They will probably kill  me for this one. Oh well. Good thing we love each other!

Happy Almost Springtime!

Monday, February 22, 2016

February Life Lately

Time to clear out my phone for some storage space! You know what that means...time for an iPhone Photo Dump post!! Sometimes these posts are my favorites, because it's simply every day life and stories behind those moments. Doesn't that make you all warm and fuzzy for a Monday!?!

Years ago, Stephen's grandmother saw an abstract flower painting I did for myself and has said since then that one day, she wanted me to make her one. For Christmas, that's what she got. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the canvas size is HUGE. 30" by something. Definitely the largest I've ever painted. Recently, she hung it in their living room above the fireplace. It looks lonely in the pic, but now, she has her mantel decorated with it's normal pieces, so just imagine a full pretty mantel when you look at it. 


For several years now, we've been celebrating Mardi Gras with our friends the Wilsons. Emilee and I have a love for all things festive and any reason to celebrate...especially the random holidays, so Mardi Gras is right up our alley! In the past we would have dinner at a local Cajun restaurant and then have King Cake back at their house. The past couple of years, Emilee has made delicious jambalaya at their house, so we don't have to fight the Crawdaddy's crowd. She makes the main course, I make the King cake. 

It starts out civil with everyone carefully picking their piece hoping to the find the baby in the cake, by the end of it, we're just a bunch of savages eating it right off the platter. haha


Ben changed up his Mardi Gras attire this year...party in the front AND back!



I found the baby in my piece of cake this year! Traditionally, the person who finds the cake is supposed to make the king cake the following year and host the party. But let's be honest, Emilee will still host again next year (only in their new house) and I'll still bring the cake!


Somewhat disturbing mixed with yumminess. 


I snapped this photo one night after church. (and it may have been on the blog before, I can't remember) I love watching the sweet relationship my dad has with my nephews. I mean, you want to talk about people changing...my dad CHANGED when those boys came into the world. He's a WONDERFUL dad, but man, he's an amazing grandfather! I can't wait to see our own children get to enjoy this bond like Riley and Colin have with him


I picked up a random bottle of nail polish because I thought the color was pretty, and it was dirt cheap. So here's the thing, is it just me, or does anyone else have really great luck with the cheapest nail polishes? If I paint my nails with Essie or OPI, maaaybe a full day or two before they start to chip. Slap on a color that cost a buck or two....I can wear it for days. 


Stephen's grandma makes the best meatloaf, and I'm pretty sure he could live on a deserted island for the rest of his life if he had his iPhone, wifi and meatloaf. He's a simple man at heart. 

Back to the meatloaf, I'm proud to say I've perfected Meme's recipe! I've taken it to church dinners a couple of times and there's a few people that ask me for it all the time now. I whipped up one for dinner a few weeks ago and we snapped a photo to send to a man at church who loves it as much as Stephen. Yes, it's a HUGE pan, but Stephen is a bottomless pit and this thing was gone....all gone....in just a couple of days. 


I've shared before how I like to make quick breakfasts on Sunday morning. Sometimes quick means, pop open a can of cinnamon rolls and call it a day. I stopped dead in my tracks one Sunday morning and briefly panicked because I thought I had just sprayed the pan with Pledge instead of cooking spray. Here's the thing...the Pledge wasn't even out, but it was just the similarities of colors that caught my eye. See what I mean...


Work has been REALLY busy lately (when is it not anymore). Post it notes are taking over my desk so that I don't forget anything during the day. Really, what did we do before these little sticky lifesavers?!


My Dad's birthday was on February 3, but with everyone's busy schedules we didn't get to celebrate until a couple weeks later. 


DQ ice cream cakes for the win...and two boys who always find their way into the pictures!



Dinner was eaten, Happy Birthday (cha, cha cha) was sung, candles were blow, cake was sliced, presents were opened...

Everything that makes a birthday perfect!


We celebrated our friends Chase and Taylor's upcoming arrival of their little boy Isaac on Saturday. She asked for something to go on his door, so I painted a smaller canvas than I normally do for my gifts. I have to give credit to Stephen for this one. The design was ALL his idea, I just painted it. I think it turned out SO cute!


I typically get asked to bring drinks to showers, dinners, parties, etc with that group of friends. (Mainly because they love my homemade lemonade...it is pretty great.) I was up early Saturday morning squeezing the life out of several defenseless lemons all in the name of great lemonade. The things I do for our friends...haha. 


Two more quick photos from last week since I've been documenting our baby journey...

Friday morning, I had an ultrasound to check on some things. (And can I just say how thankful I am to work in a hospital where I can literally walk out of my office, down the hall to a back door, and across the street to the OBGYN...it is SO convenient for scheduling. Thankful, thankful, thankful!)


At one of my appointments last summer after the miscarriage, I opened up the Bible app on my phone while I was waiting and the particular verses that I randomly opened up to just fit SO PERFECTLY for that time. God needed me to hear those exact words that day. (You can read more about that here.)

Ever since then, that's become my thing to do while I wait at the OBGYN office. It's been a very emotional time..this journey we've been on and especially recently since our due date is / would have been later this week. Sitting in a waiting room full of expectant mothers, it just hard. There's not a more eloquent way to put it. It's hard. Friday morning while waiting, when I opened my Bible app, I came upon these verses and immediately marked it as a favorites passage. I think God needed me to hear these words like He has before. 


Sometimes God's word just sucker punches you right in the gut when you need it the most. As difficult as the past year and half have been, I KNOW that God's love is covering and protecting us. His plan is being fulfilled every day!