Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Weekend Happenings

We had a family filled Easter weekend around here, and those are just THE best kind!! 

We started off the festivities with my mom's side of the family on Saturday, which has become our long-standing Easter tradition. We usually start to gather around 3pm and eat until we feel like we're going to pop! We forego the traditional Easter ham and fixings' meal and opt for my grandma's chicken and dumplings and a hodge podge of whatever the rest of us bring. It's the best meal! 

After we eat, we all head out side for an egg "hunt". I use the word "hunt" loosely, as it's more of a candy pickup. The weather was BEAUTIFUL Saturday which led to everyone staying outside until dark, playing games, sitting around talking, watching the little ones run wild...it was just an easy afternoon and SO enjoyable! 

I handed my cousin Sarah's husband Robert my phone to snap a photo of us, but not before I noticed he and Stephen taking selfies. I love Stephen's no front teeth look. (#hehasfrontteeth #promise)

Getting ready to "hide" the eggs for the "hunt."

Little Arabelle had a blast on her 2nd Easter! 

Our grandparents have the best back yard. It has been such a landmark place for all of us growing up spending SO many holidays and Summer days in this back yard. 

All of the little cousins ready to hit the ground running!

Guy talk in the middle of an egg hunt. 

Bubbles are always an Easter staple around here! 

Several played baseball and others tossed a frisbee around. 

And then some just sat on the porch chatting the afternoon away. And yes, my grandpa IS holding a badminton racket. He's very adamant at swatting bees, wasps, birds and squirrels away. I have witnessed on many occasions in my 32 years, of Pa jumping up from the table or his chair in the living room, to rush outside and shoo some little animal away from his house or garden. Bless him. 

My cousin Ann Marie. Oh how I love this girl! She lives and works in Chattanooga now, so I don't get to see her as often, but I sure LOVE it when she's home with us all!

We played more baseball, blew more bubbles, and watched the sun go down. It was the best day! 

Fast forward to Sunday, we had a great church service, an egg hunt for the kids after church, and then headed to my in-law's for a big lunch. 

Exhibit A: 

Stephen's mom always hosts a big Easter lunch and Christmas Day lunch with DELICIOUS menus! 

She also snaps picture throughout the year, and at the end of each year she uses them to make a photo book for the year in review. Needless to say, she is sure to snap a formal photo of the couples at each holiday through the year. 

Exhibit B: 

I will admit..this dress...yeah,  I saved it from a bag that about went to Goodwill last weekend. I saw it and thought, I've not worn that in forever, AND I didn't buy an "Easter dress" this year...BAM! Spruce it up with a cardigan and new necklace and it felt like a brand new outfit. 

After we stuffed ourselves again, Stephen, my BIL and their good friend Joey played with my nephews outside for a while before we helped clean up and headed home. 

One last photo to share from the weekend and a little story that goes behind it. (You may have seen this on FB or IG over the weekend, if so, then skip ahead to the bottom.)

Several weeks ago, when the due date for our first baby passed, Riley came up to me and said, "I'm sorry, Erica." I wasn't quite sure what he was talking about, but I assumed he meant the crash he had just taken on his scooter. I asked him what he was sorry for. He simply said, "for your baby." I immediately felt my eyes filling with tears, because I knew in that moment that his tender little heart hurt for us too. Tears were quickly exchanged for laughter when he shrugged his shoulders and said, "At least you still got us!"

I don't know what we would do without these two boys. They bring us SO. MUCH. JOY. They are among our greatest blessings and I am thankful for them every day! We just love being their Aunt and Uncle!! 

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend with your favorite people! 

Just a little blog housekeeping, next Wednesday be sure to link up with myself, Justine and Leigh for our Pinspiration Wednesday series. We'll be sharing all about our favorite Spring Style looks!! Come back and join us! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Home Tour

 Today, I'm sharing my Easter and Spring home decor...you know, just two days before Easter, but that's neither here nor there.

 Spring and Easter are my least favorite seasons to decorate for, and last year being our first Spring in our new home, it rang even truer than before. I just didn't feel like I could pull a unified look off. Earlier this year, I started browsing Pinterest for ideas and kept finding myself pinning "rustic Easter" decorations. While the overall look that I went with is FAR from "rustic", I feel like it's not screaming pastels and bunnies. 

With that being said, it's extremely difficult to decorate for this time of year WITHOUT a pastel or a bunny here and there. It's just a matter of figuring out which ones I can live with for a few weeks. 

For our entry table, I changed out the printables in our frames again, added a small dessert glass with sparkly eggs and a hobnail vase. (which I had every intention of filling with flowers, or something...but it's just never happened.)

Ready for the first bunny.....here's a cute door hanger that screams Easter, huh?

For our coffee table, I tossed some fake speckled eggs in a lantern, poured Jellybeans (Starburst Jellybeans to be exact) in a glass bowl, left the green table runner from St. Pat's and called it a day.  

I kept my interchangeable wreath to just a turquoise, gray and white theme. I almost added some pink...but stopped myself just in the nick of time. That was a close one. HA. 

Inside the china cabinet are a few old pieces I've had since I was little. I thought this was the best place for them. 

I love putting out this hand made runner each Spring. It was made by one of my great aunts many years ago and somehow I ended up with it along with several other handmade things of hers. Her handwork was so delicate, and yet the part I love the most, is small spot where she made a mistake. As beautiful as her work was, it wasn't perfect, but was it was perfect enough to still use for years and years to come!

Much like the china cabinet, I added small trinkets I've had since I was a little girl to our kitchen shelves and antique hutch. 

ON. TO. THE. MAAAAAANNNNTLLLLLE. Yes I just said that like Oprah in my head as I typed it. 

The yellow wooden spring sign and light blue ceramic fruit basket came from TJ Maxx. 

The mint green hobnail vases are from a local store, The Painted House. 

 The speckled eggs, boxwood balls and carrots came from Hobby Lobby. 

There's still room to add more to bring the whole look together, but overall I'm over the moon happy with out it all turned out this year! 

I hope you all have a wonderful Spring weekend celebrating Easter with your favorite people!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

10 on Tuesday: Pet Peeves

Today, I'm linking up with Karli to share some 10 on Tuesday thoughts. I caught myself one day last week saying "Oh I can't STAND THAT!" on more than one occasion...and I started thinking about other pet peeves of mine. This dandy little list was born. 

Please help me feel normal and that I'm not the only one with some of these annoyances!

Other drivers who don’t use their signal lights

People walking side by side but won’t file into single line when you approach them walking toward them, henceforth making you have to come to a complete stop so they can keep on walking side by side.

People cutting through parking lot lanes

Chewing with your mouth open

Leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms

Cell Phones at the dinner table

Chelsea Handler

People who stop RIGHT in the middle of the aisles at the grocery store – totally oblivious to the three other people trying to get around them. MOVE OVER!

If you’ve been looking at a menu for 20 minutes, everyone else at the table orders and then it’s your turn, and you STILL don’t know what you want.

Loud Phone Talkers

Ok, now fess up ladies....what are your pet peeves? We're all a tad crazy most days!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Cleaning Weekend

*Disclaimer: This is about as real as it gets...no pretty home tour pics from the weekend. More like what's stuffed behind the closets in all the pretty home pics.*

Stephen and I had very little set plans for this weekend, so we decided earlier in the week to make this weekend the start of our house re-organization overhaul. We’ve lived in our house for almost 2 years now (HOW did that happen??), and some of our closets look like we’ve lived there for 20. Needless to say, it’s been itching at me to attack our closets and PURGE, PURGE, PURGE and reorganize better what we have left.
Fortunately, Stephen got a head start one afternoon earlier last week. We have a small room attached to our carport, and when I pulled in our driveway, nearly everything in that room was sitting out in our carport. I will admit, I had a brief moment of panic. As in a “I’m not ready to deal with this today, we were supposed to do this Saturday” kind of panic. I quickly realized he had gone to a A LOT of trouble that afternoon on his own, so I jumped on board and we went through that room’s worth of stuff Wednesday afternoon. THEN….he said, “Let me show you what else I’ve done.”

Let me introduce the mess that is our “back bedroom”….

More importantly to note, MOST of this mess came from the closet in that room!
Fast forward to the weekend…Friday night I cooked dinner, we ate, watched Grey’s Anatomy and a little March Madness before calling it a night. Thrilling, yes, yes we are.
Saturday we…..

Loaded up Stephen’s grandpa’s truck with a bed full of ferns we picked up for ourselves, Stephen’s mom, and both of his grandmas. 11 HUGE ferns later, we looked like a mobile jungle cruising through town.

Picked up the last remaining things I had in storage in Stephen’s parents’ basement and brought it to our house to include in our big clean up. When I moved from my perfect little apartment that I enjoyed as a single gal, I lost SO MUCH STORAGE space. When I moved into the apartment we would live in once we got married, we had to quickly do something with all my junk so we started moving stuff to a storage unit and his parents’ basement until we had time to deal with it. That was three years ago, but finally…everything is out of there!

Next, I started bagging up items for Goodwill.

THEN, I emptied our front entryway closet. This is where I JUUUUUSST about lost it and decided I had bit off more than I could chew for the day.

I finished that closet and then we moved to the back bedroom where we went through everything in record time quickly making piles to keep, give or dump. We made one trip to the dump, and have a carport full of another load to take this week.

We both got cleaned up, and headed to town to drop off our Goodwill bags and see this pretty new little girl…

 Our good friends John and Brittany welcomed their daughter on Friday and she is just the prettiest little girl! Our little group of friends is starting to go through a baby boom phase. We all had our weddings within two years of each other, and now it looks like the first babies are starting to come!! SO fun!

We finished the night enjoying beef stew that had been cooking all day in the crockpot (one of my all-time favorite comfort food meals!) and watching the movie, “Legend”. Awful. Stephen had been dying to see it, the preview looked decent….the outcome….he hated it and I slept through half of it. So…take that for what’s it worth, haha.

We had an extra-long Sunday afternoon because of a special service at church. I wish I could say we were super productive and finished the back room, but we didn’t. Stephen watched basketball and napped in our bedroom, I watched old reruns and napped on the couch. Some Sundays are just made for naps.

Yay for productivity, new babies and naps!! What the best weekends are made of!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Linkups

 Friday, Friday, FRIIIIIIIDAAAAAY!!! 

A busy week combined with the time change, and life has kicked this girl in the rear this week. We only have housework type plans this weekend, and I cannot wait! 

Today, I'm joining some of my favorite weekly link ups to share a few of the best parts of my week! 


This week started out with a very, very dear friend of mine and her husband finalizing the adoption of the little girl they have raised since she was 7 weeks old. She is now 2 and is now officially their's. Forever. We have watched her grow and watch their instant love for her deepen these past two years, but this week everyone else finally got to see her sweet face and their complete family on social media. It's truly been the best news all week! I just love this family so much! SO many prayers have been answered!


Easter decorations are slowly starting to creep their way into our home this week! I'll be sharing the finished product next week!


Last night, our normal Thursday Night Family Night plans at my parents' house took a quick turn of course when my mom got really sick and ended up spending most of day having various tests done. Fortunately, everything has come back of good report, which is a blessing and huge relief. She'll be undergoing a few more tests soon, but for now, it seems that all the worst case scenarios have been ruled out. 

Since all the meat in our house was rock solid in the freezer, Stephen picked up a pizza for our dinner from Papa Murphy's, the take and bake place. They run some great sales and always have coupons out there. AND, we love their pizza! An impromptu pizza night was a nice unexpected surprise! (and yes, that's zucchini on our pizza...we love zucchini served just about any way possible!) 


We finished the newest season of House of Cards this week. Stephen started watching this show last year and I jumped on board during Season 2. Now, I'm hooked! All I can say is, I SURE hope Washington isn't exactly run like the Underwood administration runs it. The one awful part about Netflix original shows, you have to wait an entire year for the next season. WHY? WHY???

(p.s. Shout out to my Alma Mater, TN Tech for getting a mention in Episode 12. My jaw dropped, literally. Too cool. Little 'ol Cookeville, making an House of Cards appearance!)


Earlier this week, I shared this dessert recipe. It gets better the more days that pass. It's like cookie dough goodness in a pan! 


My good friend Skye has recently started a blog to document her precious family's journey after the loss of their daughter, Emery Hope. You may remember me mentioning this family several weeks ago when Emery was in the hospital. Skye's blog, Butterflies and Pink Sunsets, is so beautifully written with each post. Her writing is such a testament to her faith and love for Christ. They are traveling a very long, and difficult road right now, but the examples they are setting for others is remarkable. I was just talking with Skye last night about the amazingly, wonderful impact little Emery made and is still making on so many lives. Click here to follow this family on their new journey. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend with their favorite people! 

Joining these linkups today...