What a year a difference makes…about this time last year we were galavanting around the pumpkin patches of the Pacific Northwest. Now, just one (short) year later how so many things have changed. On a… More
Today you turn 3 my dear Brooks, this is no news to me or you
You’ve brought more joy to my life than I even know what to do
Your spirit is like no other, uniquely created by our Heavenly Father
Some days seem long, but the years are short –
But even on the long days you could never be a bother
You see my sweet, each night I pray –
For all your hopes and dreams to come true
Because your daddy and I prayed for a child just like you
I don’t always get things right, but this much I know
To me, my little nugget, I will always love you so
*ALL rescue vehicles (emphatically!)
*Singing/dancing (favorites: Chainsmokers, Paris & Something Just Like This and Ed Sheeran, Shape of You) – don’t judge us
*Going on adventures
*Did I mention trains?
*When mommy sings (why can’t I just live my life?!)😫
*Eating anything other than pasta, Nutrigrain bars, apple sauce, and pizza
*When something spills😐
. . . .
Happy 3rd birthday to my Brooks!🎈🎈🎈
Momma loves you!
Lemons to Love,
Some of y’all may have seen my new business venture, GameDay Sitters, on Facebook or Instagram. 😄 Some of y’all may also know our love of Auburn and how deep the orange and blue runs in my family. A few weekends ago we took an overnight family trip to Auburn for a perfect mix of business and pleasure. But before I share with y’all my new ‘baby’ let me back in up to where it all began.
About this time last year as Geoff and I were driving home from our usual weekend hike in the PNW and we started talking about our soon-to-be days back in the South — which meant soon-to-be days back on The Plains! …And that got me thinking ‘if my family (aka babysitters) are going to be at the game, who’s gonna be our babysitter??’ 🤷🏼♀️😅 Ha! And then I thought ‘well wouldn’t it be nice if there was a service who connected families with sitters for game days?’ After some unsuccessful (or was it) 😉 research I came up empty on such service…and so I thought ‘well why can’t I be that service for the Auburn community??!’ And GameDay Sitters was born.
Since being back in the South I’ve felt a more tangible reality of this dream coming to life. With the help and support of Geoff, my family and friends to help spread the word through social media we’ve had some success leading into the 2017 football season! War Eagle #amiright Going to Auburn a few weeks ago made me feel at home, at peace, alive and beyond excited to continue pounding the pavement (both metaphorically and physically) to spread the word around Auburn and combine both my professional and educational experiences with my genuine love for Auburn. I love meeting new people and making connections, so why not do that as part of my business (bonus!).
It’s been a dream of mine to one day take Brooks to Auburn and show him a place that his daddy and I love so much. That combined with my dream of one day owning my own business (if you’ve been following me since the beginning you’ve seen a number of my small business ideas flop and stay as a fun personal hobby😉), working from home, and making Brooks proud of his momma are slowly coming to light. This is just the beginning of something special, even if that just means sharing a place I love with those I love most.
Our trip to Auburn was just the momentum I needed to get the ball rolling for the 2017 Auburn football season. I loved being able to share new memories with my family and add another (working) dynamic into my marriage. From the people that I met and the new connections I get to make, I’m so thankful I get to stretch myself more out of my comfort zone and take a chance on the unknown. I’ve placed this all in God’s hands and am excited to see what is in store for the future!
Thank ya’ll for reading and War Eagle, y’all! 🐯🐾💙
Lemons to Love,
Mom and Dad finally made it! 🙌🏼 But first, let me back it up a bit. Back in April when Geoff and I had just moved to middle Tennessee, mom and dad had a flight out of Jax to come see us. Ya see, they’re the type of parents that will always be parents – there for you – and I’m so grateful for that part of their hearts. They’ve always done what they could, when they could, and they’ve always tried to help each of us in (all) our moves…this time was no different. Well, in theory, but Mother Nature had a different plan. Long story short, there was a terrible wave of storms that came through the South, and Atlanta being the hub of Delta all.flights.were…screwed. 😅 So, after HOURS of sitting in the Jax airport, they finally decided to call it and make a trip out another weekend.
THEY MADE IT! We hung out, stay low key, tour the Cheekwood Gardens, ate at Prince’s Hot Chicken (mmm, yes please!), showed them our new church home, and played games. It was the perfect blend of touring and quality time together. Although Cheekwood was a bit…underwhelming (sorry locals, I know I may be the minority in that one), I’m willing to give it another try when the beauty of the season changes arrive. 😄🌻🍁 Until then, I still enjoyed my time with my parents and my lil fam of three. 💜
Thank you mom and dad for always going out of your way to be there, do the thing, go the extra mile. We love you and enjoyed our time!
Until next time! ❤️
Lemons to Love,
For as long as I lived in Florida (hint: it’s long enough) I never even knew there were caverns to explore! And to paint more of a picture, I’ve passed them every summer since I was a little girl (no need to do the math😉) and never blinked an eye — here’s where having little ones makes life a little sweeter. 💜 Exploring has been something I’ve always loved, my mom calls it ‘plundering’, I like to call it ‘intentional exploring’. 😉 It’s like letting my ADD roam free without a care in the world…*something shiny✨
Living out in the PNW, Brooks allowed for my exploration bug to be set free! We loved all our family hikes, waterfall visits, and panoramic mountain views! Being back in the South we’ve found new places to visit and BONUS – with family and friends! The Florida Caverns were no different. 😊
Disclaimer: These aren’t my best quality pics I’ve ever posted…wouldn’t you know it, the lighting isn’t great in caverns?! 🤷🏼♀️
That’s all for now! Just a small travel tip if you ever plan to visit the caverns: get there as early as you can, and expect to wait. The tickets for a guided tour are first come first serve, so bring some snacks and water while you wait for the tour to start. Their gift shop is cute with a fun little museum and trails to walk in the meantime!
Thanks for reading, y’all! Have a great week!❤️
Lemons to Love,
Remember how I said here that I wouldn’t be making any apologies for over blogging about our trips to the lake this summer? Well, saddle up y’all here’s another post (and not the last for summer 2017. 😉 For as long as I can remember the lake has been a place of solitude, fun, escape, and memories. I’m beyond thankful that we are back in a place where we can drive there and make new memories as a family with Brooks. It’s really something special and gets me right in the feels.
This long holiday weekend also extended to about a week 😬 and we got to explore the Florida Caverns! More on that later, but for now…y’all know the deal. Here come those #lakelife feels, from my lens to your home. 💙
Can’t wait to share the Florida Cavern pics! Have y’all ever been to a cavern before? I didn’t even know they existed in Florida #themoreyouknow! 💫
Lemons to Love,
My sister and her family came to visit us not too long ago and it felt sooo nice to host them in our new home. Y’all know I’m #emo on so many things and having extra time with my sis and her fam was nothing short of it. It was heart-warming to see the cousins playing with each other, laughing, and even a little squabbling – or the equivalent to that between a 3 and 4 year old. 😉
One day we all met up with my bro-in-laws family (who also live here) and chowed down at Hattie B’s. #yesplease 🔥🍽 After lunch the rest of the gang went to explore the zoo, while we chose to go the more ‘non committal before nap time’ route and drove to the John S Pedestrian bridge to walk a bit before we needed to head home.
I love some of these moments captured so much The connection B has with each of us feels so special and unique, and I love freezing time to remember these snapshots forever.❤️
I hope y’all have enjoyed our adventures so far (and me finally playing catch up on my blogging!) There’s still more to come, so stay tuned! Have a great week, y’all!
Lemons to Love,
As if y’all didn’t already know, yessss, we are back in the SOUTH! Which means…more trips to the lake, Auburn, home, friends, family (to name a few). And speaking of Auburn, we just got back from a little trip down there this weekend! Aaah!! I love that place more than I can express and I can’t wait to share with y’all what we were up to. 🙊 A classic mix of business and pleasure, just what the doctor ordered.
This summer has been so busy with fun visitors and relaxing trips to the lake. We kicked off the summer right by heading straight to the lake for Memorial Day weekend, when in reality turned into a week for me. 😎
I promise I won’t be sharing EVERY visit to the lake, because that might become redundant for most of you. But I will make the exception this summer since it’s a first in a while, and more importantly B’s first ever! 😉
Now, let the boating, eating, (boozing), swimming, relaxing, sunning commence…happy summer y’all!
Thanks so much for reading! What are some of y’alls favorite summer trips or traditions? Share below in the comments.
Lemons to Love,
What’s better than tractors, excavators, dump trucks, and a whole lot of dirt? Well, to B I can tell ya not much! Right after we moved to middle Tennessee my boys and I went to this (kinda huge) farm not too far from us. It’s just taken me a while to share it with y’all!
Getting caught up on all we’ve done this summer has been quite the photo editing and writing challenge! Moving back to the South and closer to our friends and family comes with more weekend trips and visits, but that also means I’M TOTALLY BEHIND ON BLOGGING! Not to mention, I’ve been working on a few side projects for a while now and those have taken mental priority. (Sorry LtL)🙈 I’ll soon be sharing my exciting business ventures here with y’all, but until then let’s have fun exploring our new home in TN!
This place Lucky Ladd Farm, was adorable and basically mecca for Brooks. The kids were able to explore a number of different farm and construction vehicles temporarily donated to this farm just for this event. And when there’s not a special event going on, there’s a whole other part with animals to pet, a vegetable garden to pick through, and rides to ride! I think I might’ve had just about as much fun as B…🤷🏼♀️
Just look at these pics…can you just feel his excitement (and concentration) surrounded by so many things he loves! Oh and these were all taken with my iPhone 🔋 My camera battery died basically as soon as we got there – rookie move on my part not checking the battery before we left!
Anyway, enjoy! 😄
I can’t wait to explore more with B and capture new memories here in Tennessee. Thanks for reading y’all!
Lemons to Love,
*Any readers from Nashville? We’d love any recs y’all have, family friendly or date night friendly! Thanks in advance! 😊
This was the pinnacle of our road trip, ya’ll – The Grand Canyon. One of the 7 natural natural wonders of the world , the name lives up to the hype. If you caught the previous post of days 1&2, you’re up to speed on our drive from Washington to Salt Lake which now brings us to our stop in Flagstaff, AZ! Less than a few hours from the Grand Canyon, Geoff and I got up early to catch the late morning light over this incredible piece of creation.
As we were nearing the park we saw a few helicopters flying over us. I casually commented on how insane it would be to take a tour of the canyon from above! Geoff smirked, quickly glanced in my direction and excitedly said “don’t play around because I will turn this car around right now!” Now, for those of y’all who know me know that I’m a bit of a budget ‘enthusiast’, if you will. (y’all like what I did there) So the mere thought of spending more money than we already were on gas and hotel stays alone gives me heart palpitations. However, *said intently* I also have a spontaneous ‘treat yo self’ bone in my body that can sometimes take over. Halla atcha girl! And wouldn’t you know it, ‘treat yo self’ won! *Geoff cheers loudly in the background.
Next thing I knew, we were taking off to what is now one of the most memorable moments of my life, just short of meeting Geoff and giving birth (seriously). I mean, at one point I even got emotional over the fact that we were physically flying over such a breath-taking piece of God’s creation – there were no words. I’ve never done something so spontaneous in my life, I couldn’t believe we were there, together…and I was beyond grateful for that memory we were given.
After the tour, we took a drive into the park to see things from yet another perspective. And to be honest, it was just as special in it’s own right. I could’ve stayed there all day, just sitting and looking out to what seemed to be a never-ending panoramic view of some of the most beautiful landscape I’d ever laid eyes on. It was like an out of body experience where I felt even closer to Geoff for just witnessing it together.
If y’all have a running bucket list, I strongly encourage you to check at least one of those items off in 2017. I’m a strong believer in the “you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do” mindset.
Thanks for reading, y’all! Winding down our trip on days 3-6 on the next post here on LtL where we visit the sweetest grandparents around.
Lemons to Love,
It seems as though our adventures are slowing down for the time being, so hindsight would tell me that driving across the country with G may have been the best way to go out with a BANG! That’s not to say our adventures won’t continue here in middle Tennessee, but they may just have a little less altitude.
Back in March Geoff and I drove our way through the good ol’ US of A. With every ending comes a beginning and sadly that meant our time in Washington was over but a new chapter just within reach; subchapter #1, driving from Washington to Florida, with our final destination ending in middle Tennessee! I still can’t believe we did it, and don’t think I’ll even be able to get it all in one post! I mean, how am I supposed to condense a life changing time in our lives into one post? Maybe the answer is I don’t and let the rest fall into place.
Weeks leading up to our final departure Geoff was busy mapping out our drive, which was a nice change from when I planned the road trip out there from Florida back in 2012…more on that here(insert cliche “where has the time gone?!”). Once I got to Washington, we had a few days with dear friends then packed up for our 13 hour drive to Salt Lake City, Utah! I always knew how beautiful of a state WA was but really found a new appreciation for Oregon. We’d only ever gone as far south as Portland so being able to see more of it’s rolling hills and seemingly endless mountain peaks began the appreciation of our road trip on the right foot.
After 173 games of ‘Would you Rather’ and ’20 Questions’ we finally made it to our hotel in Salt Lake. The mountains there are so.huge. we could see the outline of them even in the dark! It was as if they fell from the sky and landed smack dab next to you. I’d seen so many amazing pictures of the breathtaking views Utah can offer, so we decided to take the next morning and do a little exploring downtown. I’d love to go back one day and visit their National Parks. I mean whoa, could you imagine the photo opps there! *heart beats quickly* I’d probably be nerding out behind a lens the whole time while Geoff ‘patiently’ waited with a clenched jaw line. *Love you, G.
Salt Lake City’s downtown was so clean and manicured! I just remember walking around thinking it felt like a movie set. We walked their streets and visited the main campus for LDS. It was something you’d have to see in person to believe, but it was nothing short of spectacular. The money, time and care they put into their grounds, welcoming visitors, and creating a peaceful ambiance was kind of surreal.
So that completes days 1-3! Y’all know I made a video too of the whole trip but I recently realized I have over 45 minutes of footage so…yeah, it’ll be a minute before I edit and post that on my YouTube channel. Until our next outing, hope you enjoyed our first few days across the country!
Thanks for reading, ya’ll! Stay tuned for our trip to the Grand Canyon and a surprise view from the air…coming next on LtL!
Lemons to Love,
Welp. Y’all. It happened. It appears as though when I opened up about my infertility struggles in my last post, I also opened up Pandoras box – also known as a small window into my heart. I honestly didn’t realize that I had been trying so hard to keep it shut for all this time that even opening it a few inches pushed forth the flood gates that were quietly stirring, waiting for their chance to be set free. After all, even the sad, angry, and fearful feelings need their time to air out too, (apparently). But sometimes it just feels good, and maybe a tad easier, to put a bandaid over them and walk away until a new bandaid is needed. Sometimes it plain sucks to feel all those feelings I’ve pushed inside that window and covered with happy bandaids to deal with at another point in time. You know the ol’ “I’ll deal with that when I’m ready” adage?
So one day last week, a small window in my heart burst open unexpectedly and all those feelings I’d tucked away for a ‘day when I was ready’ came flooding out. It definitely wasn’t my timing, I could’ve kept pushing on, but God knew it was time I deal with what was hurting and start the process of letting go the control. Those few days were some of the saddest I’d felt in a while, honestly. It hurt to feel them. I wanted so badly to shove them deep down back in their place, but God had a different plan.
And then, Sunday happened. You see, Geoff and I have been praying for a church home for almost 6 years now. We searched for nearly a year during our time in WA, but found our spiritual refuge in our hikes and family adventures on the weekends. All the while having faith that God would give us what we needed, when we needed it. We’ve found a church home here in middle TN at Brentwood United Methodist and even became members this past Sunday! It was a very special moment for our family, to stand in front of our new church and profess our love and commitment, but the even sweeter moment came with Brooks.
For the last 5 weeks we’ve been attending BUMC we always take Brooks to the nursery before service. And every morning he cries his little eyes out as we hand him over to trusting arms. But with each new Sunday came less crying and more confidence from our B. Each Sunday he would make it just a little further down the hall, closer to the room before his fear kicked in and he remembered we’d be dropping him off. This last Sunday, however, was different. He made it all the way down the hall, to the room, turned and said ‘kiss Daddy’ and went in with no tears. When Geoff told me that I about burst.
At that moment, it hit me. B’s transformation from screaming crying to gentle kisses and a wave good-bye was a direct reflection of this walk I’m on with God. His ability to recognize that he was taken care of and could trust what lie ahead reminded me so much of our walk with Jesus. Getting there was not without tears. Getting there was not without a struggle to control his own fate of staying with his Mommy and Daddy, but getting there taught him he could trust in knowing we’d always be there when the time was right. How sweet and confident of our little B to know what trust feels like – almost as if it were ingrained in us from birth.
Much like Brooks, I held on tightly to my feelings in fear of letting go that I might fall apart somehow. That somehow opening that window into my heart might leave me vulnerable to the unknown. But, dear friends, I’ve realized…that is exactly where God wants me; right in the thick of vulnerable. Left wide open so He can work wonders with my life and my heart.
I pray you find this same place with me and allow God to work wonders in your life, too. Thank you so much for reading and sharing in this journey with me.
Lemons to Love,
I’ve been sitting on this post for quite some time now, for no particular reason other than it just didn’t feel like the right time. And to be completely honest, I’m still not motivated by ‘my timing’, but something bigger than myself at this point. Maybe it’s the timing of it being National Infertility Awareness week, or maybe it’s the peace I feel when I intently stare at my son and thank God for the opportunity to be raise him with Geoff. Or maybe it’s a combination of those mixed with a number of different reasons that I still don’t feel I have the true capability of articulating at the moment.
In a recent post I came across on FB, I think Sarah Braden says it perfectly. It really gave me the understanding I was searching for without knowing. You see, my story’s no different than many others — I’ve had heartache, loss, rejection after rejection, and I’ve heard ‘No’ to countless passions and goals I’ve worked towards. But, after some time and reflection and trusting God’s plans; His bigger picture beyond the sting of a ‘No’, I’ve seen what and where His ‘Nos’ have led me.
I’m not going to give y’all some cliche answer that they’ve led me to Nirvana or some higher calling, but they have led me closer to Him…some not immediately and some soon after, but I finally got it. I got Sarah’s message of the hashtag blessed life. It’s not the beautiful pics or happy moments posted on social media or shared between loved ones. Those I am beyond thankful for…it’s the moments I need Jesus the most, lean on Him, call out for Him in times of despair that I am #blessed.
This all might sound completely crazy to some of you, and maybe it is, but for me I know it to be true…
For me, the blessing of a ‘No’ was the comfort I felt in my pain from rejection of an internship I worked so hard for. It is the grace and promise I heard after miscarriages, negative pregnancy tests, failed hormone injections, visit after visit to the infertility specialist and eventually being diagnosed with Secondary Infertility. It is the peace I feel knowing Jesus always promised to take us in His arms, move after move, and find our right community to settle into. In each heart ache, the hashtag blessed life is what I’ve known and keep near to my heart. Because in each of these moments I have felt the overwhelming rush of promise that His work is not yet done. ❤
Happy Friday, friends! I hope today’s post brings you promise to the days to come and confidence in knowing His work his not yet complete in each of you.
Lemons to Love,
Matthew 5: 1-12
“Blessed are those…”