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.”
The last two days have been a complete whirlwind. My dear friend, Shane, went to his eternal home to be with our heavenly father and savior. I am still trying to process everything. It doesn’t seem real. I feel like he is still here, just at the hospital or at his house, but he isn’t. Why can’t my mind comprehend that? Some moments I’m completely numb. Others I can’t quit crying. A couple of times I’ve been angry. More than once I have asked, “Why God?”
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
This was God’s plan.
I am trusting God. I’ve seen some pretty incredible things that He has done. I’ll never understand why He didn’t choose to heal Shane, other than he must have been missing an incredible piano player, drummer, and singer up in Heaven and wanted our Shane there to take over. And I’m sure he has had no trouble doing just that.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
My heart is broken. Shane has been one of my best friends since I was 18 years old. He was there for me during a time in my life when I felt like I had no one. He encouraged me. He was always so positive and was an incredible friend.
Shane was an incredible pianist and singer. He would silence a room with his talent. He is probably the only person in the world that could get away with playing and singing “Easy Like Sunday Morning” at a wedding (my wedding to be exact). Every time we were together he would always start playing his keyboard and sing to us for hours. We would join in and those are some of the best memories I have. He would always let me sing “Follow Through” by Gavin DeGraw with him. I would try to harmonize and he would pretend to not be horrified by my voice and he was so kind to always let me sing it with him. He was going to be famous, you know.
“Oh, this is the start of something new. Don’t you agree? “
Shane gave the best hugs in the world. I will miss those hugs so much. His brother, Kurt hugs the same way, and they have made me smile over the last week.
I am so thankful that Shane is no longer in pain. I’ve seen so many people writing in his Facebook group where he kept friends and family updated, and although I haven’t been able to read them yet, I know they reflect the incredible legacy he left behind.
Shane was in the Air Force and served our country in Kuwait during the Iraq war. He was married to his wife, Paige for almost 3 years. He was 30 years old.
Paige is an incredible woman. She is 23 years old. She is the strongest person I’ve ever met (other than Shane). She is selfless, and taught me how to be a wife. She has been by my friend’s side through it all. She has taken such wonderful care of him. We are all so grateful for her. I’ve never seen him as happy as he was the day he married her. He has smiled ever since.
I can’t tell you how much I already miss him. My human brain can’t wrap my mind around this yet, it doesn’t understand God’s plan, it’s angry, it’s sad, it’s hurting, but it’s also relieved that he is no longer hurting. While I am missing him terribly and always will, I know that I will see him again one day.
You were an incredible friend to me. You were the most kind and gentle-hearted person I have ever met. You always saw the good in everyone. You were so forgiving and you loved so much. You had a big heart. You taught me so much – about love, faith, marriage, kindness, and of course, music. You were brave and strong and such a fighter. You have kept us all so positive and encouraged through your trials and pain. Which is kind of backwards, but that’s just you. You saved your friends. You gave me some of the best friends I could ever hope for – Mike, Amira, Dozier, Anna, and your beautiful Paige. I don’t know what I would do without them. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you. You introduced me to my husband – the love of my life. I will be eternally grateful to you for that gift. Without you, I wouldn’t have him. I wouldn’t have Hampton. You were there for every milestone in my life and I was there for yours. We had so many laughs, and hugs. You had the most incredible voice and you will be heard by many. I can’t believe you are really gone. I don’t want to believe it. I love you. Ryan loves you. We will miss you until we see you again.
You’re in His hands.
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.