Christmas Photos 2013

Last weekend we were lucky enough to get to spend an hour with Charlotte at the Chancellorsville Battlefield to take our 2013 Christmas photos. Charlotte is the owner of Charlotte Jean Photography and she takes beautiful photos so we were thrilled that we were going to be able to get our photos done by her. Another plus is that Charlotte and I have known each other since we were in Elementary school so it was GREAT to get to catch up.  You can check out her blog post about our session here.

You know how you pray and pray that your one year old will cooperate long enough to get a few good shots? Well, Brooke did great. I just love this little girl.

Here are a few of my favorites.

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I forgot to mention how handsome her daddy looked. Boy am I a lucky lady.

Thank you Charlotte for the great photos!

Speaking of Christmas. I have so much to get done! All happy things, but things regardless!


Weekend Round Up

This weekend seemed to fly by. I think it is because we got a 4 day weekend last weekend because of Thanksgiving! We are pretty slammed from now until Christmas but we are loving every minute.

On Friday Brooke got to spend the evening with Daddy while I had to chaperone my cheerleaders at their first basketball games of the season. The girls were so nervous and it was adorable. I LOVE coaching these girls. It really makes my heart happy!

Saturday morning Brooke and I headed to the craft fair at the Fredericksburg Expo Center. I am obsessed with a good craft fair. I was lucky enough to have my mom, sister-in-law and precious baby Ryland along for the show. I got a couple of great gifts! Yay for shopping local and supporting the handmade community. I am all about that.


Our family made the decision to move back to Fredericksburg from Richmond in March to be closer to family and raise Brooke where Billy and I grew up. I dreamed and prayed that this move would come to fruition everyday and nights like Saturday confirmed my strong feelings for moving back. We attended the Fredericksburg Parade! It was AMAZING! So many great floats, bands and dancers! It is important to me that we build these traditions with Brooke. It seriously gave me goosebumps! After the parade Brooke had a sleepover with Grandma and Granddad while Billy and I attending a going away party for a long-time friend who is joining the Coast Guard. It was great to have an evening out with friends and to wish him well!


Sunday was an awesome day. We, like much of Virginia, woke up to snow – followed by a lot of ice. We stayed put in our jammies all day long! (Although I got my workout in – yay me!). My heart is still broken that my beloved Crimson Tide will not play in the National Championship in January but I am excited to watch them take on Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl .Roll Tide!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

New Years Resolutions

I know it is a little early to start thinking about what I would like to focus on in the new year, but my husband and I had a heart to heart tonight and I feel inspired. So here goes nothing.

1. I want to read more. I am trying to find a local book club but that is proving to be a little more difficult than I thought. I am thinking of visiting the local library and asking about their book club. I think this would also be a great time for ME time. I need to try and do more stuff for myself outside of being a wife and momma! So step 1: Join or start a book club!

2. I have signed up to run the Monument 10k with my brother in Richmond in March. Brooke is now a year old and it is really time for me to get off my ass and start getting back in shape. My goal is to finish the 10k in under 1 hr and 15 minutes. I know this doesn’t seem very hard, but this would be a BIG improvement on my time last year. Step 2: Finish the 10k in under 1 hr and 15 minutes.

3. I have a very strong desire to use more fresh herbs and spices in my cooking. I keep telling myself “if I had a yard then I could start a garden and then I would have more fresh ingredients”. I am now doing research on how to grow fresh herbs inside an apartment. Step 3: Grow fresh herbs, in my apartment!

I think I have a few more things to add, but this is enough for now. Its snow and ice outside for us right now. Billy and I are snuggled up watching Home Alone. I hope you have a GREAT Monday.


Brooke Turns 1!

This past week has been crazy and I feel like I can finally breathe! On Saturday we celebrated our baby girl turning 1! We had about 50 of our closest friends and family over to my parents to celebrate! We are truly blessed to have so many people that love Brooke and were willing to travel 2 days after Thanksgiving to see her. 

We started off her birthday just the three of us and presented her with our gift. A kitchen! She loves to get into my cabinets so I thought maybe if I put this near my kitchen then she will play in her own (Hey, a mom can dream right?). After my husband finally got it together – whoever started the term “easy assembly” needs to reconsider – She LOVED it. 




I have been working all week with help from my little brothers amazing girlfriend to make decorations for her party. Here is one of my favorites: the chalkboard telling guests about Brooke. Image


We made the tu-tu as well! 

She got to open her presents!



Check out this great rocking elephant that Uncle Ben & Aunt Courtney made for her! Ah-mazing! Image


We then had cake – she was loving the icing but didn’t really get into the cake! 



This was the scene when we got back to our apartment! She is one lucky girl! Image


The only bummer was that my beloved Crimson Tide lost to our rivals Auburn. It was heartbreaking to say the least – but for some reason the losses don’t hurt as bad when I get to look down at her smiling face! 

A HUGE thank you to my parents for hosting Brooke’s birthday party just 3 short weeks after moving into their new house! It looked beautiful and it is nice to start traditions in a new home! 

As my husband and I tucked Brooke into bed after her party – we looked and each other and I said “Wait a minute—we only get 17 more of these?” Slow down baby girl! 

Full speed ahead!

Life is so crazy right now. Crazy good – but crazy busy! The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has ALWAYS been my favorite. I love having family around (especially having my little brother and his amazing girlfriend home from college), cooking yummy meals and just the overall good mood that most people are in during this time of year. This year I have a new favorite reason to love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas…..

OUR BABY GIRL IS TURNING ONE! I really can’t believe that she is turning 1! I am so excited to celebrate with all of our friends and family this weekend! Her birthday is November 30th! This time last year I was SUPER pregnant since my due date was the 23rd of November. We were all sitting around the table anxiously waiting for Brooke to arrive. This year we will celebrate with her sitting at the table with us!


She makes my heart melt and I am so THANKFUL for her.

I have SO much to do before Saturday. The first thing is Thanksgiving. My parents recently moved into a new house and we are excited to start new traditions at their new house. I am planning to bring a side dish and a dessert. I think I have settled on this loaded mashed potato casserole (YUM!) from A Night Owl Blog and these yummy looking Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Cooking Classy.

I am super excited to cook yummy food for by family. I know this is my husbands favorite holiday because he l.o.v.e.s to eat.

I am also working on a few fun DIY things for Brooke’s 1st birthday party! Bring on the late night and nap time tasks!