Sunday, March 17, 2013

neil pops the questions

I love love! I also love being a part of my friend's love story, so when Neil came to us with a plan I was so thrilled to be included.

Our friend Neil had decided it was time to pop the question to his girlfriend Megan. He had purchased the ring and decided the when and where. He wanted the hubs and I there, hiding in the bushes, to capture the moment.

It might have been a little weird creeping in the brush trying to find the best angle, but it sure makes for some great pictures and a fun story! Neil took Megan on a tour of Clemson's campus with the end goal being to end up walking down the President's walk. He would tell her the legend of how couples who strolled down the path holding hands were destined to become married and stay together forever.

At the end of the path, and the end of the story, he knelt down and asked her the famous question, "Will you marry me?"

Unfortunately I was positioned where a gazebo was in my way, but the hubs was on the other side. He was able to get some great shots of the actual down-on-one-knee-proposal.

So excited for these two! I can't wait to celebrate and take more pictures on their wedding day.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

five friday confessions

  • I'm still wearing my Christmas pjs in March. Not sure I'll ever stop because they are *that* comfortable.

  • Every time I have a super weird dream I get scared that I might be prego {for the record, I'm not}.
  • Last weekend reinforced the fact that I am a huge homebody now. We went out Saturday night to celebrate a friend's 30th. I made the hubs stop to get me coffee at 5 o'clock and I was still ready for bed at 11 ha! I did make it until midnight but then I had to be the party pooper and say it was time to go home. 
  • I've never had a macaroon but I keep seeing all these pictures of them on twitter and instagram and they look so pretty and delicious.
  • For the longest time I was not ok with my baby boy walking, but now I'm just so proud of him!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

build 'em up: bringing faith to life

I'm really excited about this new link up series I stumbled across. It's being hosted by Erin, Kelly, Jennifer, and Courtney. The premise for this link up is to create a community of encouragement. I know we hear a lot about cyber bullying and the struggles our children now go through. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop once you graduate high school. The internet can be a scary place for adults alike, so it's nice to have a place for the positive.

click on the button to go to the link up

This week's topic is bringing faith to life. All of these woman have given great examples of how they bring their faith into their daily lives. They all admit they aren't perfect, but they try and that's all the matters. My personal journey with God has been a bit all over the place. Up until I was 13 we went to a Catholic church. I went to catechism class, memorized prayers, received my first communion, and started my confirmation classes. 

When my mother found out that I would have to pass a 400 question long (or something like that) test to become officially confirmed in the church, she pulled me out. To her that seemed ridiculous. You could have a relationship with God without having to pass a test. The following year we moved from Massachusetts to South Carolina. 

We never joined another church after we moved. I had plenty of friends that kept inviting me to go to Sunday school with them. They kept calling it youth group and I was thoroughly confused. Why on earth would you be excited to go to class and have a nun yell at you for messing up a prayer? I finally caved and went with my friend Lindsay to her Presbyterian youth group. Well no wonder she was excited. It was completely different from Catholic Sunday school. It was actually fun! 

I spent the next three years going to the Presbyterian church. My high school boyfriend and his family went there so it just felt right at the time. We broke up senior year and I stopped. College had a few sporadic visits to various churches here and there but never anything consistent. After college the hubs and I didn't go to church until our 3rd year of marriage when a good friend of ours started preaching at a Lutheran church right down the street. Our 4th year of marriage we moved. 

Just recently (as in, we've been twice), we started going to a Methodist church. If you couldn't tell, I have no idea what denomination I am. Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist...seems I'm trying a little bit of everything. I can't rattle off bible verses or recite all the prayers from memory. I don't belong to a bible study or go to a specific Sunday school class. So how do I bring faith to my life?

At my old job, I would often have to cover for a coworker (or five) while she was out of the office. She would have these daily emails in her inbox from the Christian Working Woman. For a long time I would just delete them and move on. That job became increasingly stressful and one day before I even realized what I was doing, I had read the email instead of deleting it. It was so encouraging, like He knew exactly what I needed to hear that day. It gave me hope to get through the day. I decided to sign up for the daily email myself. I don't always read them everyday, but I try to. It helps keep everything in perspective right when I want to fuss about a customer or coworker.

She Reads Truth is another daily reading. With the ease of technology, I just downloaded the YouVersion bible app on my phone, search for the current She Reads Truth plan, and follow along. I can go back to their blog and discuss with others, or even talk about it on twitter with the hashtag #shereadstruth. Again, I have fallen off the bandwagon with this one plenty of times, but I know I can keep trying and that's all that matters. 

A little while back I posted 30 things before 30. While some are frivolous (like get my second holes pierced), there are three important ones that I'm working on as well.

#7. Read the bible
#15. Find a church we love
#21. Start a prayer journal

How do you bring faith to life?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

allergic reaction

Quinn had another allergic reaction yesterday. I don't think I ever posted about the first one though.

It was back in early December and I had taken the day off of work to get my Christmas shopping done. Around 3 in the afternoon I received a call from the daycare saying Quinn had thrown up and was completely broken out in hives. She told me not to panic but that I needed to come get him right away and take him to the doctor. Of course I did panic because I was in Greenville, 45 minutes away! The hubs was on a plane at the time and the one friend who was in Spartanburg (and authorized to sign him out) wasn't answering his phone.

I'm pretty sure I cried the entire drive there. When I got to the daycare Quinn was happy and the hives were nearly gone. Even though the allergic reaction never restricted his breathing, I'm sure me obsessively hugging and kissing him did ha! We concluded that he's allergic to raisins and have made sure to stay away from them. I haven't tried grapes yet though.

Yesterday I received another call from the daycare. I had just pulled into the parking lot on my way back from lunch so I made a loop around and headed home to get the benadryl. This time there was no throwing up and there were no hives. Instead, my poor guy was bright red with a swollen puffy face. His eyes were almost swollen shut and he was tugging at his ears because of the itch. He looked so sad and pitiful as I gave him the medicine.

At first, the daycare thought he might have a peanut allergy because he was given a pb&j for lunch, but we've given him some peanut butter crackers at home without a reaction. The next thought was that it might be a laundry detergent allergy. He was just moved from nap time in a crib to nap time on a mat. The mats for the toddlers are washed in a different detergent than the crib sheets for the babies. Based on his reaction and how different it was from the first time, my gut says it was the laundry detergent.

Either way this guessing game is terrifying. Neither I nor the hubs have any allergies that cause severe reactions (just seasonal stuff like pollen). I feel so helpless when something like this happens. All I want to do is protect my baby, but I can't because I have no idea what might set him off.

Luckily the benadryl did the trick. I called the daycare a couple of hours later and they said he was almost 100% again. When I picked him up his eye lids were still a bit puffy but by bedtime it was all completely gone. I pray that we won't encounter any more scares and that he is able to grow out of his current allergies.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quinn is fifteen months

Dear Quinn,

While I've stopped doing monthly updates, I still want to remember your milestones. You had a check up with the pediatrician at fifteen months, so I figured this was a good time to do one. I can't believe how quickly time is passing. I still call you "the baby" and I'm not sure if I'll ever call you "the toddler."

You are growing right before my eyes. I can't believe this big boy I perch on my hip was once a tiny baby in my belly. The doctor told us you now weigh 20.8 lbs (5th percentile), are 30.5" tall (25-50th percentile), and have a head circumference of 19" (75-90th percentile). You still fit into some 12 month clothes but for the most part have moved into the 18 month bracket. We have to roll up your pants so you don't trip yourself up when trying to walk. You wear a size 3 shoe now!

You have pretty great sleeping habits still. Our nighttime routine starts at 6:30 with your bath, 6:50 you're out and in jammies, 7:00 you nurse, and normally by 7:30 at the very latest I'm laying you down in your crib. You aren't always asleep when I lay you down, but you do just fine. I give you your passy and lovey, turn on a lullaby, and you normally don't make a peep. During the week you are up at 7 to get ready for daycare. On the weekends sometimes you let mama and daddy sleep in. Last weekend you didn't make a sound until 9 o'clock!

We are still using your cloth diapers. You have one set of snaps still for the length and 3 rows open around your waist. At night I add a second insert and that seems to prevent leaks unless it's the weekend where you sleep until 9. A really nice friend of mama's sent you some wool inserts to try but unfortunately they got lost in the mail.

Food seems to be an up and down battle with you baby boy. I blame teething for most of your fussing though. You have your bottom two teeth and are currently working on the top four all at once. I can't blame you for being cranky some nights. You mostly eat whatever we do (except for raisins since we found our you're allergic!), but we still grind up most of it. Two bottom teeth aren't enough for some foods. You love anything sweet like fruits and yogurt, oatmeal, crackers, tootie fruitie cereal, nutri-grain bars, and baby cheese puffs. You eat your veggies and meats too though. The transition to whole milk was very easy and you guzzle it down. You still nurse once a day, right before bedtime.

Your vocabulary is starting to grow and I just love hearing you talk to me. Let's see if I can name all of your words: uh-oh, dada, mama, ball, pup-pups (dogs), go-go (yogurt), go! (as in let's go!), hey and hi, bye-bye, and some weird form of all done when you are all done with eating haha.

You are walking on your own for about 10-15 steps at a time now! I can't believe it. You cruise right along if you can hold onto something or someone but get a little wobbly on your own. You walk around with what mama calls T-Rex arms hehe. Right now you still think crawling is the faster method of travel so if you need to get somewhere in a hurry, you drop down and take off.

Toys, toys, toys! Boy do you have some toys! You love playing with your duplo legos, stacking cups, wooden blocks, board books, stacking rings, and anything that seems to light up/make noise. If the toy sings a song you start to dance to the music and clap your hands. It's the sweetest sight! You giggle with delight when mama makes a tower of blocks you can knock down. The same goes for the lego towers daddy builds you that you quickly destroy with a smile.

You love making boy noises, sticking out your tongue, splashing in the bathtub, jumping on the couch, and being tickled. You have a wonderful personality and are becoming more and more independent. You are the sweetest baby ever Quinn and your daddy and I couldn't love you more!

To the moon and back boo boo.


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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

fried chicken

I am a cook book girl. I love flipping through the pages {or even hunting online} for a new recipe that fits within my criteria {not a gazillion ingredients, no ingredients where I'll use a tablespoon of something and then have a whole bottle left over, can't take 2 hours to prep/cook, doesn't use cooking utensils I don't own}. In college, a friend of mine would come over once a week and we would make a new recipe together.

All that being said, I'm not a make-something-up kinda girl. The first time I tried it involved chili powder, brown sugar, cubed steak, and a disaster. I was inspired by Paula Dean so I'm just gonna blame her for that one.

BUT after five years of marriage {therefore five years of cooking for the hubs} I've started to "make-up" my own recipes, within reason. Last night, after putting the baby to bed, I had chicken defrosted and leftover mashed potatoes. I normally bake my chicken but it was already 7:45 and I needed something faster. I decided to make fried chicken by myself without a recipe!

Ingredients I used:
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
egg beaters
plain bread crumbs
garlic powder

I cut my chicken breasts into smaller manageable strips and then set up my dunking stations.

{station 1} flour with some good shakes of all the spices
{station 2} egg beaters
{station 3} bread crumbs with more shakes of all the spices for good measure

After a dip in each, they went into a frying pan full of hot crisco. The first round I had the crisco too hot so I ended up with really crunchy chicken and a kitchen full of smoke. Oops!

The next round I lowered the temp to medium-low {about a 4 on my dial} and they looked much prettier.

I really have no idea how long to cook things so they are done so I constantly cut into meat to check it. Not the proper way I know, but I just can't handle accidental raw meat. After they pass the cut test, onto the paper towels they went!

I steamed some sweet corn, spooned out our leftover mashed potatoes and broccoli, and added the fried chicken to the plate. Viola!

Not exactly food blog beautiful, but it was delicious.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Remember how I confessed that I've gone on a pinning spree lately? I've been trying to find new {and stylish} ways to wear clothes I already have. Well here's my first attempt.


My version:

top {old navy}// jeans {walmart}// scarf {world market}// boots {bakers}

Side by side:

Note: I really need to work on my mirror picture taking skills.

I'm linking up with the Dog Days of Winter Pin It & Wear It link party. Go check it out for more pinspiration!

Friday, March 1, 2013

five friday confessions

  • The lady bugs are out of control. I don't know about where y'all live, but they have infiltrated my work and my home. I *might* enjoy sucking them up with the vacuum cleaner just a bit too much.
  • I don't care how funny you tell me it is, I have no desire to watch Duck Dynasty. 
  • I don't understand women that only own 3 pieces of jewelry. Jewelry is my favorite! It always fits, you can always find something within your budget, and it's like icing on the cake of your outfit.
  • I've been searching Pinterest for outfit inspiration using items I already own. Sorry if I've blown up your feed with too many chambray and leggings pins!
  • I always cut my own nails before I get a manicure at the salon. They never cut them short enough even when I ask! I know they must think I'm crazy, but I've never been able to keep them long since joining colorguard in high school. Once a flag pole catches and bends your nail back, you learn to keep them super short.