Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 Christmas Card

I thought I had my act together by getting all my shopping done before December.... nope I need the gift of time. If anyone has some of that or a personal assistant with some open dates, you can gladly send both my way.

However, I did get our Christmas cards out earlier this week so wanted to share. I was a little disappointed in my paper choice but loving the pictures we used :) You can forget the first two kids.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Reflect

I feel like the holidays make you do a little reflection and it seems that has been abundant this year (could be due to completing my shopping before December). Yes, I know I need to lose some weight and relax a little bit. I also need to savor the small moments but what about a look back. What would I change? What would I tell my younger self?

Friends are worth it | Those great, true lasting friends are worth the fight. I hate talking on the phone something real bad (to anyone), but love texting with my girls. A fun, casual girls weekend is also good for the soul.

Family | Family is the bedrock to making life complete. Who do you lean on in times of need or concern? Who is there even when you mess up or not being too nice? Having a baby taught me the sacrifices made and the importance of those you call "family" in your life.

Some battles aren't worth fighting | In hindsight, are the petty arguments really worth it? Did you really accomplish anything other than harsh words and bruised hearts? This is one I struggle with but learning with age that you can let go a little.

But some battles are | The hubs would say I am strong-willed but I am severely loyal to my beliefs. Do I appreciate being undermined or subdued? Heck no and my Southern girl willpower will prove that (Luckily, or unfortunately, MT seems to have gotten this trait). I think fighting for what you believe in shows passion and I hope MT continues that...I may eat my words in ten years.

Enjoy going out while you are young because eventually your body won't hang anymore
| If I am up past 10:30, I am not fun to hang with. I like my sleep.

Sometimes you just need a "me" day | Not a spa day but a wake-up at 10, visit Target, eat a yummy lunch and watch trashy TV day. A day with just you and your thoughts is good for the soul to recharge.

The best wine isn't always expensive | While this is true, any price tag can give you a nasty hangover. And truthfully after two glasses, wine starts to taste the same. Trader Joe's has provided "two-buck chuck" as proof on this belief.

Stay true to yourself and never comprise what you believe | People will always try to change you or sway your decisions. At the end of the day, you have to be happy with you and your decisions. Be you, do you and in the end you will be happy.

Loss hurts | While I have seen little loss in my life, it breaks your heart. A heart hurt so bad you feel like you can't breathe. Loss can be death or the loss of trust, which can easily be the death of a relationship.

You aren't better than anyone else | I didn't learn this until I was out of college and in the "real world". I always compared myself to the prettier girl or the one with the $500 shoes. Underneath people are all the same with the same struggles just experienced in different ways. The same goes for those less fortunate. That person you look down upon may have an incredible story worth listening to. I still find myself comparing my life to the skinnier moms, the moms with an innate amount of spare time or the ones buying $400 dresses right and left. While their life seems pretty in pictures, is it really all that it seems?

Life should always come before work | Being real honest, I thought less of those moms that left early or seemed to always have a sick child. I thought they didn't care about work or success. While being an integral employee is still key to me, my baby comes first. I can work my booty off and still be there for the school parties. I know I missed the first crawl or first word by being a working mom but I also know who and what is first in my life. Those who live the other way around may look back and have regrets.

Marriage is hard and it takes two people to make it work | When you are dating you think the "marriage is tough" talk is a joke. How can being roommates with pretty rings be hard? But boy it is hard. As much as the going gets tough, I forget how lucky I am to have a great partner in life. We bicker, laugh, cry and sigh but we do it together as partners.

When you travel, try to travel outside of cell service | It makes disconnecting much easier. On our honeymoon, we didn't have internet or television for 6 days and it was perfection!

Trust your gut | It is 99.8% right.

Take the time to laugh every once in a while | And make sure those memories have someone to cherish it with.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Garden Lights

Living in a large city with some much to do has its perks, but after being an Atlanta resident for over five years, we have yet to make it to all the attractions. Could be the result of living life on the road for the first three :)

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens are a little haven in the city. Nestled in Piedmont Park, they are right smack dab in Midtown and all the hustle.  Last Friday night, we took Mary Tilman to the Garden Lights. It. Was. Amazing! I am like a kid with Christmas lights and the gardens did not disappoint. MT danced, ran and squealed and every second was perfection. The experience is tailored to both kids and adults alike (the multiple bars appeal to the latter).

Tips:
- Go early if you have a little one. The gardens got packed fast and it was crowded for her to run around.
- Book online and avoid the lines
- Avoid a stroller if possible. Makes navigating steps and the walkways much easier!

I foresee this adventure to be an annual holiday affair.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Highlands, NC

We visited Highlands again this Thanksgiving and it is becoming one of my favorite havens. This sleepy mountain town has the quiet you need to get away from it all but enough restaurants and stores to keep you in civilization.

Our days consisted of daily walks, lots of good eating and memories with sweet, busy MT. We learned we owe her teachers a big hug because this chica is nonstop.

If you live in the Atlanta area, Highlands is only two hours away. The drive into North Carolina is gorgeous too. Here are some tips if you want to make the visit:

Grocery Store - If time allows, make the drive over to Cashiers. They have an Ingles and the prices are much better than the local Bryson's. Although we had to make a few Bryson's run for essentials (you know... milk and beer).

Hikes - Glen Falls, Dry Falls, Sunset Rock, Whiteside Mountain - these are all gorgeous

Rental - We booked the same house as we did four years ago. I highly recommend using VRBO to scope your options out.

Restaurants - We ate in most meals but did venture out to the Carolina Barbecue restaurant in Cashiers (on the aforementioned grocery run) and Mountain Fresh Grocery.

Shopping - Downtown Highlands has tons of great little shops... although not ideal for a 15 month old hands.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pinteresting

Do you still "pin"? As much as I love what a great inspiration Pinterest can be, it can get quite overwhelming. I often find myself comparing my house, clothes or cooking to some of these amazing people with what seems a truckload of time on their hands.

While Pinterest and I have a love/hate relationship, it has been great for home projects and life hacks. Here are a few favorites:

Top: This bathroom is my dream: marble, wood and white | If someone could come decorate my mantle like this that would be great. Also make sure you give me a baby that won't pull down everything in sight.

Middle: This moss table was an inspiration for Mary Tilman's baptism brunch | Ranch salmon may sound gross but it is delicious.

Bottom: Another inspiration pin for our outside patio renovation earlier this year | Best tip ever! Add a splash of alcohol to your paperwhites to prevent them from growing too tall.


- Images via my Pinterest page-