Birthday in Chattanooga

From a busy summer to a busy fall, The Cott house has been on a roll y’all!! We’ve had so many fun visitors and outings I feel like I haven’t even had a chance to get into a real swing of blogging since moving to TN. So, while B naps I have Elf (SANTA!!) in the background and the fire lit so I can sit and get caught up on life here in middle Tennessee.

Geoff jokes and always says I like to celebrate a birthday month…don’t be ridiculous. ** It’s no more than a few weeks – tops. But there’s always next year! #goals This year for my (actual) birthday I channeled my PNW-self and set out on an impromptu visit to Chattanooga with my partner in crime. I used to frequent the adventure lane in Washington…on a random week day I’d pack a few day trip essentials and B and I would be off to visit somewhere we’d never been. I’d heard so much about the charming city of Chattanooga so off we went!

I didn’t have much of a plan, other than getting there and checking off a few touristy spots I’d read about. First stop was the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway…I mean something resembling a train?? #yesforB! It was a cute, cheap thrill up a steep mountain where you could get off at the top and walk around to enjoy the views of Chattanooga. In all honesty, after about 10 minutes the thrill began to fade ** but it was cute to take the railway with Brooks and do something different.

Still going by the seat of my bday pants, I googled ‘trains in Chattanooga’ and the old train station came up. It was just a short drive from the Incline Railway so off we went to explore this historic town. B loved the old train station. I know he would’ve be happy to just walk up and down the corridor for hours, but momma was hungry and our departure was nearing. 😉 Inside the train station was a Frothy Monkey so we headed in and had a sweet little lunch date!

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Alllll aboard!

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With so many things to explore in our new city I was so thankful to have this day with my B. Life can get so busy and distracting with all the adulating going on #overrated, sometimes I have to force myself to stop and do something outside the norm. I hope I never let life get too busy to keep me from making adventurous memories with my fam…it’s the in-between moments that make life that sweet, sweet lemonade. **

Have a great weekend y’all!

Lemons to Love,



Machine Falls Hike

It happened, our first Tennessee hike! YAY! I’ve been dying to go since moving from the Pacific Northwest, and if y’all have been following along my LtL adventures for a while y’all know I found a sweet love affair with hiking out there. You can see some of my favorites here and here. Soon after we moved here I started in on my research of places to go and see. Machine Falls came up in my new criteria of travel and hiking – less than 2 hour drive and less than 4 miles round trip. (Those 2+ hour drives and 4-6 miles hikes are long behind us, for now. 😉 Momma’s not toting that 40 lbs of active toddlering no’mo.)

So G had the day off for Veteran’s Day, which gave us the perfect excuse to make this hike happen! It was less than 2 hours south of us with an easy trail access. There was perfect terrain for fast little feet and sunny Fall weather leading us to the falls. It was strange at first with all the leaves on the ground covering the trail. I quickly realized we’d only hiked through trails of evergreen forests…AKA no leaves! Kind of a weird concept at first, especially being from the South! While the views were different and lacking the panoramic mountain top drama we were used to from Washington, it was still a beautiful day and the falls were totally worth the efforts.

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Tomorrow we are headed to Auburn for the Iron Bowl #wde We would usually head home for Thanksgiving, but this year we’re going to have a Friendsgiving then head down to the prettiest Plains on Earth.

From our family to yours, have a very Happy Thanksgiving! …and War Eagle!

Lemons to Love,




Not too long ago I went on a women’s retreat through my home church at Southside United Methodist in Jacksonville, FL. The retreat was nearby, but just far enough in distance to give you the mental capacity of a vacation in the quaint historical town of Fernandina Beach. The theme for the weekend was Grace, and I was fully equipped to ball my eyes out like a baby as I soaked in the word of Jesus surrounded by other strong women all looking for the same thing: strength in numbers. Maybe I’m ‘broad brushing’ here on what the other women were searching for during this time of spiritual growth, but I would imagine it was in the ball park of gaining strength. Maybe it was physically, from ailments they or loved ones have experienced; mentally from the day-to-day exhaustion of just plain ‘adulting’, or maybe just a spiritual uplifter to refuel their tanks for the year ahead. Regardless of the specific reasons, I think we can all agree we all need strength from somewhere to counterbalance our weaknesses that are hardwired in us from, well, life.

But how do we release these ‘dead weights’ of guilt, exhaustion, self-analyzing criticisms (the list can go on sometimes, can’t it)? The simple answer: Jesus. The how: through His Grace…at least that’s my working equation. 😉

For me, this retreat was a reminder of just that, my constant need of His grace. Lately I have had to check back in almost daily to remind me of God’s grace. The GRACE, not my efforts, is what saves me. I am not judged by how many ‘good acts’ I’ve done for the day; if the dishes are done, laundry is folded, dinner is prepared, planning done for my small business is further along, nurturing my relationships, or teaching Brooks oh I don’t know how to be a functioning person in society?? I could honestly keep going on the mental check list I keep a subconscious running tab on. The truth is, if I always focused on this list (and the even longer one than can creep in), I’d never feel like I met my own expectations, and…wait for it, His TRUTH is truer than my own FEELINGS any day of the week. 🙌🏼

I have a grand idea in my mind, a goal I’m constantly working towards. And while I love this innate drive to be better, do better…I’m constantly reminded that this is not my sole purpose here on Earth. We can do AMAZING things, God is just looking for willing hearts…and I want to give myself the grace He offers me so in those moments He calls on me, my heart is open and ready.

I’ll be taking a small break from blogging these next few weeks as I head out to WA to meet Geoff and we make our road trip back across the country! I’m giving myself a break from writing and posting while I soak in these last few days in Florida, enjoy the HECK outta our travels across this great country, and make our move as a family up to our new home in Tennessee. It’s crazy how life can come full circle sometimes. This trip we’re about to embark on takes me right back to the days we first started dating and drove from Atlanta to Phoenix watch Auburn in the 2010 National Championship. And how can I not mention the literal full circle of driving back across the country; where the West-bound trip was with my willing-and-able mom exactly 4 1/2 years ago!

I can’t wait to share with you our adventures over 2,000+ miles, and then as we get settled into our new home back in the South, in middle Tennessee!

In the meantime, here are a few pics to hold you over from probbbbably my favorite adventure with B in Florida…the photos really captured the joy, adventure and beauty in the day we shared. If you want to see more, click HERE! And if you want to follow along on our travels across the US of A, follow me on my Instagram stories! Just click the icon up in the right corner under Social. 😊☝🏼

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Thanks so much for reading! I hope today’s post offered you the grace you’ve been needing and so deserve.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Proverbs 31:25

Lemons to Love,