Sunday, May 29, 2011


Last year I found out that my sister-in-law, Megan, was expecting a baby, and that we were due only a few weeks apart.

I was so happy to find out that Maddux was going to have a cousin to grow up with who was the same age. Even though we live a state apart, I'm excited about these little guys being best buddies, and hopefully having many more adorable photo ops like the one above!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Etsy Find: A. Heirloom

A shout out to my adopted home state of Tennessee.

Brooklyn! How cute.

While my husband Nate is a really great cook, one of the things he hates doing most is chopping up veggies, onions in particular. But maybe if I get him a cutting board in the shape of his home state of Indiana, it may make the chore a bit more fun.

This husband and wife duo craft these custom made cutting boards for $40 a pop. A small price to pay for a little whimsy in your kitchen.

P.S. The Alaska and Italy boards are really fun!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Travelogue: On The Road To California. Day 5.

Day 5  saw us up and out of bed bright and early. We knew we would be driving the 500 miles to Los Angeles and wanted to make sure we got through the more secluded, desert areas before it got dark.

Maddux continued to surprise us with his calm, relaxed attitude. What a little road warrior!

We had a gorgeous drive. I particularly loved the area around Indio, CA, with its snow-peaked mountains right off Highway 10. Breathtaking! I'm already making plans to go to the Coachella Music Festival held here every year (hear that, Nate?!).

We ended up pulling into L.A. right around rush hour (oh joy!), so it took a bit of time to get to historic Fort MacArthur, where we'd be staying for the next two nights. I was expecting a cute little villa like the one in Tucson, but they ended up putting us in a pretty large 3 story house with a weird, empty, serial-killer basement. It didn't help that I learned that this base is considered one of the most haunted in the country!

Here are a few more pictures from throughout the day:

Heading up through Phoenix. I'm sure we murdered thousands of innocent bugs along the way.

Still in Arizona, getting close to the California border.

Mom, aka Nana, and Munchie
We made it. California, Baby!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Search Is On: Bathing Suits

Here it comes. That time of year that we girls both love and dread. Bathing suit season is just around the corner and I am on the hunt for the perfect suit.

My search is a bit different this year, as my body is not quite back to it's pre-baby shape. I'd love something with a bit more coverage, and have been looking at some of the higher-waisted, retro style bikinis. The ones I've shown Nate have gotten a big thumbs down and after reading through a few other blogs, I've come to realize that this is one of those fashion statements that women seem to love and the guys just don't get.

So in no particular order, here are a few of the suits that I've got my eye on. See if you can spot the theme.

And here's one of the high waisted ones I was talking about. I'm not completely sold on it. What do you think?

P.S. We need a Bloomingdale's in Nashville.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ooh La La

My sister-in-law Jillian is heading to Paris tomorrow, and it is not without a touch of envy that I wish her a bon voyage.

And if I were in her shoes, this is what I'd be wearing as I strolled down the Champs-Élysées:

Yep. Head to toe Chanel.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

EmersonMade Belt

Could this be the best belt ever made? Naturally, it is out of stock, but I've added my name to an e-mail list that will let me know when it's back.

I love the color, the width and the brass grommets. I've been searching for the perfect, simple belt to pair with my summer dresses and here it is. Hopefully, it will come back in stock before the summer ends!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Travelogue: On The Road To California. Day 4.

Blogger's been a little screwy lately. My Day 3 post from a few days ago has disappeared and is nowhere to be found. Hopefully, it will return, but if not I'll redo and repost. Anyways, on to day 4!

We woke up in Tucson with a minor medical emergency. My mom was having some sort of allergic reaction and her face was getting puffier and more red by the minute (I will not be posting pictures of this as my life has been threatened if I did). After some medical consultations with a couple of family members, we picked up a prescription for her and headed back to our villa.

I guess the medicine kind of knocked her out, because she was down for the count. She told me she was fine and I should go explore, so off I went.

A couple of years ago, I spent a week at the Canyon Ranch Spa here in Tucson and fell in love with Sabino Canyon, which was just a short bike ride away. I really wanted to stretch my legs and do a little hiking around, so that's where I headed.

It is such a beautiful place to relax and reflect. Last time I was there, I saw several artists set up throughout the canyon, painting a giant cactus or a perfect Southwest sunset over the mountain. I can certainly see why they would find inspiration here.

Our long sleeves are a little deceptive, as it had turned pretty warm at this point. The sun was so strong, though, and I didn't want Maddux to get burned. We ended up shedding some layers by the end of our hike.

These cacti have an almost regal quality. Some seem as tall as buildings!

The hike begins.

Into the canyon. I was keeping an eye out for mountain lions!

After our hike, I drove around Tucson for just a little bit and found this amazing church:

Maddux's grin cracks me up.

After swinging by to pick up my mom on the base, we headed out to meet some family for dinner at a cute little diner called Little Anthony's.

But of course Maddux had to stop and play in the little red car out front.

My cousin Jen and her husband, Jamie. This was the first time they had met Maddux!

Most of the gang! L-R: My cousin Julianne, who is so adorable. She's a mascot at the University of Arizona and was even on the Ellen show! My cousin Jen, who lives most of the time in L.A., where she is an actress. You can see her in the movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, as well as several TV shows like "How I Met Your Mother." Jen's awesome husband, Jamie. They got married at the Santa Barbara Zoo. How cool is that?! He has worked on several TV shows, but is currently a Producer and Writer for "How I Met Your Mother." My cousin Jason, who is a great guy married to a sweet girl. He has served our country in the military for several years, and is hopefully home for good! My cool cousin Robert, who works in Parks and Recreation and coaches kids. His girlfriend Sarah, who I got to meet for the first time. She is so cute and super sweet. On the bottom is Chubby Maddux, Sore-from-hiking Me, Still-A-Little-Puffy-Faced mom, and my awesome and hilarious aunt, Diane. Love them!

And of course, what dinner is complete without a little Hula-Hoopin' in the parking lot?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Early this afternoon I opened my e-mail to find the following letter from my mom. I've been having a bit of a trying week, with Maddux going through an out-of-character fussy phase. He's been cutting some teeth and the poor little guy has just been beside himself and I've been left feeling like I am doing something wrong because I can't seem to soothe him like usual.

So when I read these words from my own mother, I burst into tears, I think because it really helped me put this week into perspective. This time in my life is such a tiny sliver and will be gone in the blink of an eye. I want to savor every second, even the fussy ones and hold tight to these still forming memories. One day my little man will be a grown up with his own life and his own family, and these sleepless nights will be far in the distance. 

So thanks Mom for helping me remember that there is a season for all things. And now, here is her letter, shared with her permission.

before you were a mom

before you were a mom, you were my little girl.

you were a princess that i dressed in frilly dresses

until you became old enough to object

because you wanted to climb trees and play in the dirt with your brothers.

we would have tea parties and eat pretend food

and you would take care of your baby dolls 

the way you take care of munchie today.

well, hopefully, you take better care of munchie

because you did leave tooth prints on the cheek of one baby.

before you were a mom, you were my little ballerina.

you would dress in homemade costumes and

you would twirl and twirl

with your hands over your head

and pretend that your were on stage.

then you took lessons and practiced

and finally you were wearing a real costume 

and dancing on a real stage.

i began to see the graceful and poised woman 

that you would become.

before you were a mom, you were my little wonder woman.

you would insist on wearing your red, white, and blue costume for days at a time

and declare, "i'm wonder woman" to anyone and everyone 

and i guess you knew what you were talking about

because everyone who knows you today would agree

that you really are a wonder woman.

before you were a mom, you were a teenager.

when i hear stories of moms and their teenage daughters

who hate each other, or act like it anyway, i'm amazed

because you were an almost perfect teenage daughter.

i guess that's because you had gotten everything out of your system

in kindergarten.

before you were a mom, you were a country rock star

who turned me into a stage mom

who made complete strangers listen to your karaoke tapes 

and caused me to stalk and accost unsuspecting celebrities

and entertainment execs in the hopes that they would discover

the great talent that i had discovered when you were twelve years old.

i always believed that you would see your dreams come true

and i still do.

before you were a mom, you were a businesswoman.

when you finally embraced my thrift shop obsession,

you used that knowledge to create a lovely boutique.

and i was so proud.

you even trusted me to take care of the money

knowing that i might end up giving a customer

twenty dollars in change for a ten dollar purchase. 

before you were a mom, you were my daughter,

and my friend.

i like to think that i've taught you some things about life,

but i also know that you've taught me some things, as well.

i've watched you grow into a beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate woman who can handle adversity and heartache

with strength and courage, far beyond your years.

I’ve admired your independence and your ability to drive in new york 

and l.a. traffic.

you've borne witness of your faith in Christ with the way you've

lived your life and the way you've treated 

your family, your friends, and everyone you meet,

except for those terrible nashville drivers.

but nobody's perfect.

and now you are a mom yourself

with a precious baby boy.

you will watch him be superman

and pray that he won't break something

when he tries to fly off the top of his dresser.

you’ll cheer him on when he plays baseball,

or football. or basketball. or soccer.

you'll give him cookies and milk when he comes home from school

and help him with his homework.

and believe that he is the smartest kid in the world

and make plans for him to go to harvard.

you'll take him camping and on hikes

and maybe even climb a mountain with him one day.

you'll go for walks on the beach and collect shells

and tell him how much his nana loves the beach, and him.

you’ll sing him the same lullaby that i sang to you,

except you’ll be in tune and he’ll actually go to sleep

instead of crying.

you’ll laugh and cry and and pray and worry about him

even when he’s thirty years old and has a child of his own.

you’ll teach him about God and what it means to have Christ as his Savior,

the most important lesson of all.

and someday you might have another little boy or girl

and start the whole thing over again.

and if you follow in my footsteps, it’ll be again, and again,

and again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

or maybe not.

i thank God every day that I am your mom

and someday munchie will thank God that you are his mom.

I love you

happy 1st mother’s day