This weekend was a lot of fun. We finally bought a zoo membership (something I’ve been meaning to do for a looooong time) and had a zoo day with friends. The kids loved it and I think it will be fun to take them a lot more often now that we have our annual membership. We also got to go on a date night! We are starting to get a little bit better about having those, and I don’t hate it one bit. It was so much fun. We went to our favorite restaurant and then to Target! How do we always end up there?
I grew up dancing with Laura Jean and her older sister, Becca, since we were very young. In fact, I have a group picture of Becca and me in the same 4 year old class. They are two of the sweetest and most encouraging people I know. Laura married Cody who happens to be my mother’s maid of honor’s son. Such a small world. Our moms are still very close even today.
Laura and Cody not only have a huge heart for those effected by human trafficking, they also have a big heart for our city. Montgomery is the capital of Alabama and is so rich in history. It is full of beautiful homes, young professionals and entrepreneurs, but unfortunately, people have a hard time seeing the city’s full potential because of our growing crime rate. While people are moving further east of Montgomery or to surrounding areas, Laura and Cody decided to move to the heart of our beautiful city.
Not only have they moved to the heart of our city, they have also followed their dream by opening a coffee cart where they sell their own brewed “Bell Blend” coffee. They brew it fresh every night for their customers and let me just say, it is delicious! One thing our city is lacking is a good coffee shop. They hope to open a full coffee shop soon to fill this void. I know I will be one of many many regulars to darken the doors!
As soon as you meet Laura Jean, you fall in love with her sweet and kind personality. Christ shines through her in such a vivid way. She brighten up everyone’s day and is so wonderful to every single one of her customers. I spent an hour down at the Market Town Coffee cart with Laura and caught up with her on all of the latest things going on in our lives. She encouraged me so much just in that one hour. I loved watching how she impacted every person that approached her coffee cart. She put a smile on every face that walked by.
It is encouraging to see someone have a huge impact on people and who are following and excelling in their dreams. If you haven’t gone down to visit The Market Town Coffee cart, you are missing out. If you are not local, they offer to ship their coffee blend and I highly recommend you try some! There is something about freshly brewed coffee that is so pure and delicious! Laura also happens to blog over at The Ivory Bell. She is an excellent writer and has such a natural talent for bringing a beauty to her words that make you never want to quit reading. I’m so thankful for people like Laura Jean and Cody who live so open for Christ and shine his light in the darkest places of a lost city. I have so much faith that as more people and businesses gain courage to move downtown and into Old Cloverdale, that Montgomery will thrive again. It can be turned around.
In addition to their tasty coffee, they sell adorable t-shirts! I actually just ordered one and can’t wait to receive it! Read more about Laura and Cody’s mission and don’t forget to check them out on Facebook and Twitter!
Location: Cafe Louisa’s
Since I’ve become a SAHM and quit my day job, I have really learned the importance of friendship and having a group of friends that are in the SAHM club. Being a stay at home mom can be a very lonely job. For example, when my group of friends get together, usually everyone loves to talk about their jobs. It’s what they do every day all day long, so of course that is their go-to topic of conversation. As a SAHM, it can feel really lonely at times.
My dear friend, Lindsey recently moved back to Montgomery and she is also a SAHM. We have started having (almost) weekly play dates together and with other moms and it has been wonderful. Things don’t feel so lonely anymore. She has a son that is Hampton’s age and is currently pregnant with her second child. We have so much in common. Our moms grew up together, we grew up together, and now our children are being raised together. It is so special and our friendship is such a rare treasure.
Last week we packed a picnic and took it to the park. We then walked down to Luella’s Cafe to enjoy some gelato with the boys. It was such a fun day and our little guys enjoyed the time together. Days like these remind me how special real life friends are and how important it is to get away from social media for a little bit and enjoy God’s beauty – whether it is swooning over Old Cloverdale houses, or strolling through downtown with your littles.
This past weekend was so busy, but a fun kind of busy. Friday afternoon, I bought Hamp a little pool for our backyard for $5 on clearance at Walmart! I just couldn’t pass up that price or the chance at making my son’s day! Sure enough, I spent the rest pf the afternoon and Saturday morning in the pool with him! We even got fancy and put his little slide in the pool! I’m a cool mom! haha
Saturday afternoon we enjoyed time at Target…and when I say “we” I mean me. Ryan always dreads going to Target because he claims we can never leave without buying things we don’t really need. I have no idea what he is talking about! I needed those 2 new books that I bought!
After our Target run, we headed to my nephew’s 3rd birthday party! It was so much fun! Everything was decorated so cute. He is very into Paw Patrols right now. I am new to this because it is apparently a little over Hampton’s head right now, but he loved playing with the Paw Patrol toys, so it may not belong before we are in that phase, too. I wouldn’t mind a break from Thomas the Train.
Sunday, after church, I went to one of my childhood friend’s baby shower! She is having a little girl this October and I couldn’t be happier for her! She is going to be a wonderful mommy! It seems like so many friends are getting pregnant again! I can’t wait to meet all of these precious babies!
My best friend is finding out the gender of her baby this morning and I am going to lunch with her today after her appointment! I Can Not Wait. She has a little boy that is a few months older than Hampton and they are kind of adorable together! Now I just can’t wait to find out if SR will have a BFF or a boyfriend!
So many exciting things are happening right now. I’m so excited for all of my friends and I love celebrating and rejoicing in their happy news!
What did you do last weekend? Have you noticed a lot of preggers lately?
This post is sponsored by Bravo. Opinions are my own.
I am beyond excited to share one of my new favorite TV shows with you – Odd Mom Out on Bravo! It is hilarious and so relatable. I was fortunate to be able to host a private screening party to view the show before it’s premiere on June 8th! It was a hit for both me and my best friend!
Jill (the main character and odd mom), reminded me so much of Lorelei Gilmore. She is quick, spunky and hilarious. I love the relationship between her and her best friend. Their honesty and humor remind me so much of me and my best friend’s relationship. After watching the first two episodes, I am so ready to see more. My DVR is officially set to record this new series and I can’t wait to watch episode 3!
I love how this show highlights the crazy competitiveness between moms in Jill’s world and how she is able to use her humor to lighten the mood in all situations, even when they are incredibly awkward. It reminds me so much of real life and I think most moms can relate.
For me, it was very relatable because I have definitely felt like the Odd Mom Out in several group situations lately. I am the only one in my group of friends that has two children (although I do have some that are currently pregnant with second children) and they just don’t quite get how difficult it can be and have definitely poked fun at me a little. I can’t wait for them to experience the craziness of having two babies close together. Through all situations – good and bad, Jill has a great support system in her husband and her best friend and that reminds me so much of my life. I can always go to my husband or BF for anything and they are always there for me…or brutally honest. haha
Odd Mom Out Drink Recipes:
V.I.M.s Perks Program
Bravo is now offering a V.I.M.s (Very Important Moms) Perks Program when you download their app – The Daily Dish. You can catch up on all your favorite Bravo-lebs and be eligible for exclusive VIM discounts!
Tune-In To Win Sweepstakes
During the Premiere and first four weeks of Odd Mom Out, viewers will have a chance to win $20,000 through the Tune-in to Win Sweepstakes! Tune in at 10/9c on Mondays June 8th – June 29th for the secret hashtag and tweet it out to @BravoTV each week or your chance to win!
Ready to laugh with me? watch the trailer now!!
I will be 29 weeks pregnant tomorrow! Nuts! Where is the time going? I finally started organizing this week and we are getting ready to have a huge garage sale in 2 weeks to help us get rid of some of our clutter before baby girl arrives. I have finally started ordering decor for her nursery and Hampton’s big boy room, so I am getting really excited to start decorating and pulling everything together. As far as me? I’m feeling okay. I’m definitely starting to feel larger and have been more uncomfortable, but that is just all part of it! I’m mostly just really excited to meet this sweet baby.
Did you check out my Valentine’s Day inspired outfit? You must! Pink Blush sells this in maternity but it can easily be worn as non-maternity. It will definitely be a staple piece for me this spring and summer.
You must enter to win this giveaway on my blog! There are only 5 days left to enter, so what are you waiting for?
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! My mom offered to watch Hamp for us so we can go on a much needed date! I’m so excited I don’t even mind fighting crowds! We have plans to eat an early hibachi dinner! My favorite! What are your plans tomorrow? Are you doing anything romantic?
One of my best friends just moved back to our hometown after being away for several years. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I have missed her so much and am so thankful for her friendship and the fact that I can see her more often! In honor of her arrival I’m sharing a Flashback Friday picture of us our freshman year of college. Yes, I had terribly dyed hair. You’re welcome. I feel very blessed this week. 🙂
P.S. Check out My Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas!
I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day and weekend!
Linking up here!
Over the weekend, we spent lots of time with friends that we haven’t seen in a while. We have all been good friends since my Freshman year of college and try to get together as often as possible. One of our friend’s daughter was turning 6 and had a big Frozen party. Elsa and Anna were there and we sang Frozen songs and ate Frozen snacks. Of course, Hampton spent most of the time outside throwing his ball around. We really enjoyed our time with them.
Can you tell Hamp was a little excited?
What did you do over the weekend?
I’ve been in a huge…. funk lately. I guess that is a good word for it. Since the passing of my close friend, I’ve gone through so many emotions. I’ve been so angry at times, relieved he is no longer in pain, so so sad, and praising God that he took him home to sing and play the piano again. I know that I have a permanent angel who is looking over all of us now, but I can’t help missing him. I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach all the time. I know that it will get better with time. I know the sick feeling will go away, but it hasn’t yet. I can’t believe I won’t get to hear him sing again. My heart is hurting so much for his wife.
I don’t know if this sadness has come through my blog. I hope it hasn’t, but if it has, I’m sorry. I want to be able to write happy encouraging posts again. I want this to be a place that my readers look forward to coming and reading, but I am just having a really hard time getting that out right now.
The pain will ease and we will always have these incredible memories. I will always have his CD so that I can hear him sing when I need to. I know that God had a bigger plan for his life that was bigger than my sadness or his family’s sadness. Maybe it will be revealed to us and maybe it never will. God is always here with us (and with you). He is holding our hands. He will get us all through this difficult time as we grieve the loss of this incredible life.
With all of that being said, I’m ready to get out of this funk. I wear my emotions on my face. I’m tired of looking and feeling so sad. I want to have joy again. I want to feel happy and healthy and present. Very present. It isn’t fair to my husband or my son. I need and want to get out of this for them.
I’m giving God the glory for healing, whether it be in life or in death. I’m giving God the glory for healing our broken hearts, because I know he is doing that a little more every day.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
I had planned to write a weekend update today to tell you all about my birthday weekend, what all we did, etc. The truth is, my birthday was very insignificant compared to what was going on. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would be honest with my readers. I’m not going to put on a face for you. When I’m happy and celebrating, I want you to all take part in that celebration with me. And when things aren’t so great, I want to tell my friends – all of you – about that, too.
One of my best friends from college has been battling stage 4 cancer for the last 2 and a half years. The year before he was diagnosed, he had a car wreck that nearly killed him. He spent that whole year having surgeries, physical therapy, all kinds of stuff. He was married to his wife in December 2013, one year after his wreck and was diagnosed with cancer the following month. It has been a really rough few years. That’s putting it nicely. You know what though? He has been the most positive person through it all. His entire family has fought with him and had the most positive attitude. He has impacted so many lives through this and I don’t think he realizes the amount of people he has reached through the way he has handled these last couple of years. He and his wife started a Facebook group to keep family and friends updated through his journey and every post he has written has been so powerful. He has completely changed the way I look at life. I’ve watched my friends and seen them change through this as well. He has brought some to Christ. One friend in particular started coming to church after not going for a long time and was baptized and is now on fire for God. It’s been amazing to see his journey and faith grow through all of this as well.
He was rushed to the ICU last week. I don’t want to get into all of the details because they aren’t mine to share, and because I would be typing forever. So much has happened in the last week. There have been many ups and downs, progress and set backs. Lots and lots of tears as we found out that the cancer has spread to his brain. Lots and lots of prayers, hugs, friends, family, encouragement, support. It has been a rough weekend. I was so thankful for my 6 closest friends surrounding his bed in the ICU on Friday night. His wife let us have that moment. It was so kind because if it were Ryan, I don’t know that I could be so selfless to give up even a minute with him, but she did.
His wife is such a wonderful, beautiful woman. She has been so strong throughout all of this. She is a nurse and she has taken so much care of him. She is incredible. Her spirit and her faith is amazing.
He is awake and doing okay, now. We were blessed to see him again yesterday and talked with him. He was cracking jokes and making us all laugh. He even gave me one of his famous bear hugs before we left. I am so thankful for that time that God blessed us with. It is not easy watching a loved one suffer so tremendously and for so long. We are being very prayerful in the days to come.
This has been a very tough week for his family and his friends. I wish I had happy news to share with you about my weekend, but this is reality. This is life. This is God’s plan, and I’m learning to have faith through good times and bad. I’m learning to praise God in this storm and every storm of my life. It’s not easy and downright painful at times, but God, I will praise you in this storm.
Organization is the key to having a successful picnic. Be sure to lay everything out, check and double check that you have something to sit on, the perfect location, family and friends to enjoy it with you and please, don’t forget the delicious food and drinks. That is, after all what makes up a picnic.
Pick the perfect location. Consider the people you have invited along with you. For me, I would be considering my husband and 7 month old, so somewhere with a lot of shade would be ideal for us. If you have small children, perhaps a park with a playground nearby would be the perfect location. If you live near a lake or beach, that would also be a great choice. If you are wanting to host a romantic picnic with a loved one, pick an appropriate atmosphere.
Consider the time of day and pack your food accordingly. Are you going in the morning? Pack breakfast foods and don’t forget that thermos full of coffee, sugar and cream. Are you going for lunch? Sandwiches and carrot sticks are perfect for this time of day. If you’re going around dinner time or my favorite time of day – sunset – pack hotdogs or hamburgers fresh off the grill with chips, pasta salad, etc. It is summertime after all. It’s important to plan the perfect picnic menu for the people you are inviting. Consider their preferences, food allergies, etc.
I know I stated this in my first point, but don’t forget something to sit on. Consider the people who will be joining you. You may need to include a lawn chair for older people, or maybe bring along a bumbo or bouncer for baby to play in. My favorite thing to bring is an old quilt. I have a bit of a quilt obsession. I carry the quilt my grandma made me in my car most of the time because we always find ourselves needing it.
Pack your food well. Try to keep them at proper temperature and to bring foods that do well at room temperature for a little while. Pack everything in zip-lock bags, jars, tupperware, saran wrap, whatever will keep it fresh. I recommend bringing drinks in bottles. Bottled water, root beer, coke, etc. are all great options. Anything with a screw on lid will help with spills. No one wants to clean up a mess. If you have a small cooler or thermal bag, feel free to throw some bottles in there with an ice pack to keep the drinks cold.
Pack napkins, paper plates and plastic utensils. Depending on the number of guests you have attending your picnic, you may consider packing a roll of paper towels. They will be easy to dispose of when you start to clean up. Also, be sure to bring any condiments, salad dressing, salt, pepper, syrup, etc. depending on what you’re eating. These things can literally make or break a meal so be sure to remember to pack these in your basket.
You may want to bring bug spray, especially if you live in Alabama where the mosquito is our state bird. Sun screen is also a necessity, especially if you’re like me and bringing along a baby. Protect your skin, folks!
Think about entertainment. If you want to bring an Ipod for background music, a good book or magazine, or toys for the kids, be sure to pack those things.
Prepare for clean-up. Bring a trash bag, or two depending on the number of guests. Pack wipes for everyone to clean their hands with and maybe even some hand-sanitizer.
Have fun. Make good conversation, laugh, relax and enjoy the company and delicious food that you worked so hard to prepare and pack. Everyone loves a picnic. They are the perfect summer day activity for adults and children alike. Enjoy your time with the people you love.
Where do you like to go for your perfect picnic? Have you been on a picnic this year?