Labor Day Beach Trip

We just had a great long weekend in Cherry Grove, a little beach just north of Myrtle Beach, S.C. that stole our hearts a few years ago. It was Harper’s first beach trip and my mother and father in law’s first time going to the beach with their grandkids!

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We ate at some yummy restaurants (Hoskins for seafood, River City Cafe for burgers, and Gray and I took Landon on a little date to Nakatos – his first time going to a Japanese steakhouse where they cook in front of you!). My father in law, Grayson, and I went off shore fishing one morning (my first time ever fishing on a boat in the ocean!) and it was so much fun! I was a little nervous thinking that I might get sea sick, but it didn’t bother me at all! We didn’t catch much that we could keep to eat, but it was still a great experience. I reeled in a pretty good size shark, Grayson caught an octopus, and several lizard fish and sea bass were among the non-keepers. We did, however, grill the spanish mackerel and flounder we caught for dinner on our last night… and it was DELICIOUS!

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We listened to live music at Barefoot Landing and let Landon ride the beautiful carousel and little boats, I got up and watched the sunrise at the inlet with my friend Meredith, who was also at the beach with her family, and we just laid on the beach for the majority of the time (which is just how I like it). Landon loves the beach and had so much fun playing at the edge of the water with his sand buckets and shovels. Harper didn’t mind the beach one bit, either! We have already gotten so much use out of this tent that my friend Lee gave us when Landon was born, and it was a lifesaver once again on this trip.

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We were blessed with perfect weather every day and every sunset was just breathtaking. We took a few family pictures on the beach one night, which is no easy task with two babies two and under (a big thanks to my sweet mother in law!).

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Trips like this with two little ones aren’t always easy, but they are so worth it. Some of the best advice I can give new parents is to never stop going and doing just because you have littles in tow. You’re making memories that will last a lifetime and giving them the greatest gift!

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I hope ya’ll had a great Labor Day weekend! Now, bring on pumpkin spice, football, and sweater weather!

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Anxiety Smells Like Boiled Eggs

It was 2am the morning of Grayson’s staff picnic and I was wide awake.

Everyone else had drifted off to sleep hours before, but my mind was wandering and I was tossing and turning.

Suddenly, I began to question my decision to make deviled eggs for the picnic, worried about what I would wear, and thought of every worst case scenario of two year old temper tantrums that could possibly happen in front of everyone.

But it wasn’t that simple. I had crossed the line from little worries to completely letting my mind and heart go on a bunny trail lit should have never followed. My mind was racing. Let me just give you a little glimpse of the chaos:

I bet all the women there are the kind of women that don’t even look like they’ve ever been pregnant right after they have babies.

I shouldn’t make deviled eggs… I don’t want to smell like boiled eggs.

It’s supposed to be so hot tomorrow… I’m going to be a sweaty, frizzy mess. I bet all the women there are the kind of women that don’t sweat and have perfect, naturally silky hair.

I bet all the other kids there will be so well behaved. Landon will probably pitch a fit when we try and get him to come sit down to eat, or say “ew” when he tries someone’s food and they’ll hear him, or yell “NO” in front of everyone and make me look like I’ve never taught him anything.

I don’t like the way any of my clothes fit. Am I ever going to lose this baby weight? Is this even baby weight? 

What in the world am I going to talk to these people about? I bet they all spent their entire summer in Bora Bora and have never tasted fried liver mush.

What if I get a hair in my deviled eggs? 

Will these people even like deviled eggs? What if no one eats any?

What if I spill my drink? Then I’ll be the clumsy, frizzy, awkward girl who smelled like boiled eggs and should have had a lid on her cup.

It seems so ridiculous now, in retrospect and after typing it all out, but let me just tell you the honest truth – at 2am, it didn’t seem ridiculous at all. I was gripped by anxiety, and it didn’t matter that I knew in the back of my mind that I was letting the Devil run away with my imagination, all that mattered was silly fears of a mischievous toddler and smelling like boiled eggs. All my insecurities came to the surface and the Enemy magnified every fear.

I was so worried about timing the babies’ naps just right so Landon would be well rested and in a good mood and timing Harper’s nursing schedule just right so I could pump and have a bottle to take with me in case she got hungry. I wanted to take a shower and look my best and give both babies a bath so they smelled good and dress them in cute outfits. I wanted the deviled eggs to be the prettiest deviled eggs anyone had ever seen and be the best deviled eggs anyone had ever tasted and put them on my prettiest platter. I wanted Grayson to be proud of me and for conversation to come easy and to just hit it off with a few of the other women there so I would know I had a place there and not have to worry about feeling like I don’t fit.

I finally fell asleep, and spent the entire day running around like a chicken with my head cut off. It was a miracle, but I got us there on time and we were all looking our best and I have to admit, my deviled eggs were pretty. Grayson introduced me to a lot of people, Landon said his funny little, “HAAAY” to everyone, and my deviled eggs were gone in about five seconds flat. I wished I had made more.

I sat at a picnic table and found plenty to talk about with several sweet ladies, one who nursed her baby discreetly right there at the staff picnic (I was so excited, like yes! these are my people!). There were a few with toddler age children who played with Landon, and several babies close to Harper’s age, so we all had so much in common. I was a hot, sweaty, frizzy mess, but so was most everybody else ( I told them I think they should have their next staff picnic in December instead of August).

As I drove home with two exhausted sleeping babies in the backseat, I realized how anxiety had almost stolen a sweet memory from us. I literally almost backed out.

Sorry, Landon isn’t feeling good, I don’t think we can make it this time. 

It’s really just too hot for the baby, I think we’ll just stay home.

I had already thought of every possible excuse, and if I didn’t want to support Grayson so much and try and find our place in the community there, I may have very well used one of them.

Anxiety is a thief. It wants to steal your memories, your confidence, your sleep. It comes straight from the Enemy, and we know that he comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). I wonder how differently this whole thing would have gone if I had nipped the thoughts that kept me up all night in the bud? What if I had preached the Gospel to myself and prayed through my anxious thoughts instead of wringing my hands and stressing myself out? What if I had a mindset of grace, not perfection?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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I share this very vulnerable story with ya’ll with hopes that you will be encouraged and that if you struggle with this kind of anxiety, you’ll know you aren’t alone. When our mind is at war, we have to lean into the One who we already know is Victorious! We have to permeate our minds and hearts with His Word  and then, just like it says in Philippians, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.”


I will say that I am truly grateful that anxiety is not something I battle on a regular basis. I’ve noticed that since having babies, I’ve struggled with it more and it’s made me so much more understanding of people who deal with it on a day to day basis. I realize that this story may seem like “nothing” to those who do struggle with severe anxiety and I am in no way trying to pretend that I understand what that’s like, belittle the issue, or insinuate that I have any kind of remedy. I’m only sharing my experience with hopes that Jesus somehow uses these words He’s impressed on my heart in a way that blesses even just one reader.

 

Weekend Recap

We had such a fun weekend! On Friday night, my Mama and Grayson’s Mom, Dad, and sister came down for his first football game of the season. They played the number one team in the state (Charlotte Catholic) and won! Grayson and I were at Waffle House celebrating at midnight – such a fun new after game tradition!

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On Saturday, we went to Boone for Fan Fest and signed Landon up for the Junior Mountaineers Club. Harper slept through the entire thing, but Landon had the time of his life running around the football field, getting the players autographs, and jumping in a bouncy house for the first time. He walked right up to Coach Satterfield and said, “put me in, Coach” and it truly was the cutest thing ever!

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I will never get over the concept of time. It was so crazy walking around my college campus with two babies. I hope they grow up loving App State like we always have. Showing them where our story began just completely wrecks my heart and makes me feel so, so thankful! Jesus writes the best stories.

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We also got to spend some time with our friends, Emily and Brett, and their sweet baby girl who is only four days younger than Harper! We can hardly wait for football season to start so we can see them more often and we’re just so excited to get to raise our babies together. It’s just real sweet, getting to share this season with our friends!

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Sunday was a slow, restful day and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We slept late, went to a little local spot for breakfast, and when the babies went down for naps, I took a long bubble bath and then we just sat on the porch and read and drank coffee and listened to it rain. It was glorious, and the slowness and simplicity was a much welcomed change from the busyness we’ve been trudging through at home.

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Hope ya’ll have a great week!

Peek-a-Bow

I have a serious problem when it comes to my obsession with bows for Harper, and my favorite kind are the headband bows made on the soft, stretchy nylon. When I stumbled across Peek-a-Bow, a small shop that makes bows and bowties, on instagram, I fell in love with all the different styles and patterns they offer.

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The shop is just getting started by two Mamas who love to create and want to offer cute accessories for both the little lady and the little gentleman in your life. The floral bows are some of my favorites offered in their shop, but I know I’ll also love their top knot headbands when Harper’s a little older. The bow ties are satin and come in a few different colors and would be super cute for a special occasion!

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Head on over to my instagram to enter a little giveaway if you’d like to win this darling mint bowtie for the little fella in your life! Giveaway will be open until Friday (8/17/18). Good luck!

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Thank you to Peek-a-Bow for providing the bows and bowtie for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Omelet Cups

These easy omelet cups are so versatile and perfect for rushed mornings. You can literally fill them with whatever your heart desires! I have been making them on Sunday for Grayson to eat on all week, and he doesn’t get tired of them because it’s so easy to change them up every time. Just pop a few in the microwave and enjoy all week… if they last that long! They’re delicious topped with salsa, too.

Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cheese of your choice
  • Fillers (ideas: crumbled bacon, sausage, cubed ham, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions…)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray a 12 count muffin tin with cooking spray or better yet, use cupcake liners (I hate cleaning muffin tins with every fiber of my being!)
  • Brown your sausage or fry bacon, saute peppers and onions, chop mushrooms or tomatoes or spinach if using as a filler
  • Crack 9 eggs in a medium sized bowl, scramble well, and add salt and pepper

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  • Fill muffin tins about halfway full with eggs, then evenly distribute fillers into each cup. Adding your fillers after the eggs have already been poured into each tin helps ensure that your fillers are evenly distributed (nobody wants to have one omelet cup packed full of goodness and another sad and empty!)

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  • Bake for 20 minutes, allow to cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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New Every Morning

Ya’ll know when I stumble across a small shop and fall in love, I have to share! There’s something so unique and dainty about New Every Morning necklaces. With 14 options available, it is hard to choose a favorite! Austin, the owner, makes her mission clear, “as we go about our day to day life, may these items within the Etsy shop serve as a tangible reminder to pray over our stories of what Jesus has done and is doing in our lives.” I just love that! Jewelry is so much more special when it’s rich in meaning!

You can also find beautiful scripture prints and bracelets available in the New Every Morning Etsy shop. Out of all of them, this is my favorite bracelet and this is my favorite print. But like the necklaces, it’s really hard to choose just one! My favorite thing about this shop is that each necklace has a specific meaning and scripture associated with it. It would be so fun to give them as gifts – the pretty turquoise “world” necklace (Matthew 28:19-20) for a missionary friend – the “waves” necklace (Mark 4:39) for a friend undergoing a trial as a reminder that our Savior can calm the storm – or the lovely “arrow” necklace (Psalm 127:4-5) for any Mama friend. The possibilities are endless!

Austin, the owner of New Every Morning, is super sweet and a Mama of five through birth, adoption, and foster care. She’s passionate about sharing the love of Jesus and encouraging women to walk with intentionality in their prayer lives. If you’re wondering how her shop got it’s name, she explains in one of her posts, “If you were to come over for coffee and ask me about my IG, here’s what I would tell you. Every morning that we wake up to a new day we have a Savior beckoning us to come to Him. He is our God of hope, our continuous love, the mercy of Him never ceases to exist. Every morning we are made new by His mercies and are made new by the sanctification our life demands. In seasons of good and in seasons of hard, He makes us new. In day to day minutes that seem like hours, He makes us new. Each morning He is the same Father and each morning His faithfulness remains. We are made new because of what he did on the cross. We are made in His image and are new creatures because of Jesus himself. We are new every morning.”

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I chose the pearl necklace because the pearl is my birthstone and Pearl also happens to be my great-grandmother’s name. I also love the scripture associated with it, Proverbs 31:30, which says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

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This necklace was graciously gifted to me by New Every Morning but as always, all opinions are my own.

Monday Musings – A little life update

Happy Monday, friends! Just thought I’d share a little about life lately! Summer is in full swing and we’ve been so busy.

Harper is growing like a weed and is seriously the most smiley baby I’ve ever known. I know it could change at any moment, so I don’t want to jinx myself, but for now she rarely ever cries and smiles all the time. It’s just the best thing ever!

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Gray and I have been watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix and we both love it! It’s right up there with Parenthood (which is hands down the best series ever) and This Is Us. And, Gray likes that it’s about football, so it’s a win-win!

In the summer, we make a weekly trip down to a little produce and ice cream stand in Filbert, S.C. and the freestone peaches just came in. We came home with a big basket yesterday and I can hardly wait to slice them up and make smoothies, peach turnovers (you might remember this easy recipe from last year), and peaches and cream with butter toast and coffee for breakfast. All the praise hands!

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A few weeks ago, we took a little day trip to Lake Lure and it was so much fun! Landon loved playing in the water and of course, we ended the day at Moe’s BBQ in Hendersonville (our fave). Going on little road trips in the summer is one of our favorite things to do. Last year, we went to Lake Norman State Park, Greenville, S.C., Hendersonville and Asheville, N.C. and a few other easy-to-go-enjoy-in-one-day places. All the memories! And the kiddos make it even more fun!

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The fourth of July was a little different for us this year because Gray is usually off work all week and we usually spend the week in the mountains, go to the parade in Boone, and spend some time on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This year, Gray only had the 4th off work and it fell on Wednesday, so we stayed home. We found local fireworks several nights that week (which Landon loved), went to a fun little neighborhood parade that our church has a float in, and grilled out.

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I’m starting a new Bible Study with some girlfriends tonight and I am so excited about it. We’re reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. Her book, Uninvited changed my life, so I am really looking forward to digging into this one as well. It’s so important to intentionally set aside to do things with your friends, especially after having a baby!

Speaking of intentionally setting aside time, Gray and I are trying to have more date nights and last night we went to the drive in! We saw the new Jurassic World movie (hey, Chris Pratt) and ate corn dogs and fried pickles in the bed of his truck. So fun!

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Gray is in full swing of summer football practices and I’m looking so forward to cheering on his team this fall. He has such a passion for the game, but even more so for the kids, and I love seeing him get to do something he loves. I can hardly wait for pumpkin spice lattes, boots and scarves, pretty leaves, and Appalachian football (and tailgating with our friends!). Until then, we have pool parties, more road trips, a beach trip, and lots of backyard grilling to look forward to. Can you tell it’s always been hard for me to choose a favorite season?!

Hope ya’ll have a great week!

Landon’s 2nd Birthday Party

This Sunday, we finally celebrated Landon’s 2nd Birthday (a month late)! He turned two on May 24th, just two weeks after his sister’s birthday (she was born May 10th), so I knew we’d be celebrating his birthday late this year. We had a much smaller party this year than last and kept it simple with just hot dogs, fruit, chips, a few little snacks, and of course, my Mama made his circus-themed cake. The topper spun around while we sang “Happy Birthday” and it was just so cute!

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We reserved a shelter at one of his favorite parks that has a train and splash pad, so all the kids were kept very busy and had a great time but it was so hot (upper 90’s), so the adults who suffered through his party must really, really love him. I had been praying for pretty weather since I paid the deposit to reserve the shelter a few weeks before, and we were thankful that Jesus answered my prayers. In fact, ironically enough, the only brief shower happened during the five minute train ride, so we all got off the train soaking wet (hence my sopping wet top knot in every picture). Oh well, it’s definitely a memory we’ll remember forever!

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Landon got so many fun presents and loved playing with all his cousins and friends. Grayson and I are so thankful to everyone who came and loved on our boy and helped make his party so special. It’s hard to believe he’s already two – I don’t know what we ever did without him!

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Frozen Yogurt Bites

If you’re looking for a super easy summer treat for your kiddos, look no further! These easy fro yo bites are sure to be a hit and can be made in so many different variations.

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To make these, I just spooned some strawberry yogurt into a ziploc bag, snipped the corner, and squeezed bite-sized drops onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I sprinkled granola over some of them, and then popped the cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours. You could add tiny bits of chopped, fresh fruit, mini chocolate chips, or even sprinkles.

Landon and I have been spending a lot of time in the backyard in his little blow up pool and these are the perfect treat on a hot day (but ya gotta eat them quickly because they melt fast!).

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Harper’s Newborn Photos // 4 Weeks Old

I can’t believe our little girl is four weeks old today. She has already brought our little family so much joy and every day we fall a little more and more in love with her. Watching Landon with her has been the sweetest – he’s so gentle and loves to hold her and kiss her head! It has taken some time to adjust to our “new normal,” and we are still finding a routine. I’m still trying to get to a place where I’m more confident driving with two babies in the car, don’t get frazzled when they’re both crying at the same time (why do they seem to always have dirty diapers or realize they’re hungry at the exact same time?!), and figuring out how to get myself ready between nap times, a newborn nursing schedule, and getting more comfortable going out and about with both of them (I feel like I need a little suitcase now instead of a diaper bag).

These are a few favorites from Harper’s newborn session, taken by the precious and very talented Bailey Smith Photography.

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