Saturday, November 29, 2014

O Christmas Tree

Did you know that the state of North Carolina produces the majority of Fraser Fir trees in the US? I just found that out last year!

We both grew up cutting down our trees each year and we even did it when we lived in Ann Arbor. So naturally Nate has been wanting to go up to the mountains for a fresh cut tree since we moved here and we just never made the time for it. Well, we finally got to do it this year! 

We left once BG woke up armed with lots of treats and books for our little guy and coffee treats and my Christmas cd collection. It takes about two hours - easy and quick day trip!

We arrived to a snow covered Blowing Rock and it was simply perfect. There are so many different farms to choose from but we got the inside scoop ahead of time from our friend Allie on where to go. Appalachian Evergreens was quaint and just what we'd hoped it would be! 

(He had fun, I swear!)

We found the tree!

BG loved walking through the snowy fields - minus a few snow-eating face plants! Ha!

The views were spectacular! Can't wait to go back again next year!

Our next stop was another recommendation from Allie. Woodman's BBQ is a staple in the Blowing Rock area but apparently it's also known for long wait times on busy days. We only had to wait about a half an hour thankfully! 

Come to mama!!! Chopped pork, coleslaw, baked beans, fried okra and BGs beloved hush puppies! Everything was delicious!

BG barely spoke to us during lunch. He was either shoveling food in his mouth or flirting with the little girls behind us. I'd call that a success!!!

We hit the road right after lunch and were back home before sunset. Now to adorn our beautiful tree (it's drying off in its stand from the snow right now!) and the rest of the house before we start entertaining for the holidays!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful this year. Although we had an oven malfunction causing an undercooked bird (thankfully we only needed the drippings for gravy and not to actually serve guests for turkey day!) we saved it by finally just grilling it (at 2 in the morning!!! Can you say patient husband??)

We have spent the actual day of Thanksgiving with family friends like we have now for years. They all fawn over BG and we just love the feeling of "home" that instantly happens when we arrive even though it's only a 30 minute drive versus 8 hours!! This year they got out all of the toys that our friends (now in their forties) once played with and BG basically didn't want to leave. Ha!

 I hope that you had a delicious and relaxing day with those you hold dear!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Weekend Away

Friday morning at 4:30 AM we left on the first flight out of town for Ann Arbor. BG is a seasoned traveler so as long as we have plenty of snacks he's usually a happy camper. 
Our layover was in O'Hare and boy do I love that place now. I used to dread flying through there but now that we've found their indoor playground it's probably my favorite place to have a layover! BG had so much fun flying planes, helicopters and running up and down the ramps throughout the place. 

Once we got to A2 (as the locals refer to it since AA would have a different meaning to most) we went straight to the hotel for naptime. We had dinner plans that night at Zingerman's Roadhouse with one of my very favorite people in the world!! BG waited patiently for his beloved, Cora Rose, to arrive. 

Laura and I went to high school together and bonded quickly over theatre and mission trips. We only see each other once or twice a year but we all fall right into place with each other. 

Trying to take a picture with two wild children is always an adventure...

Saturday morning was SO cold and the rental car was covered in ice so BG got to "drive" while the car heated up and Nate could get some of the ice to break up on it's own.  

We took BG to Washtenaw Dairy for donuts and milk. Definitely worth the trek in the icy cold air. 

Next on the list was visiting our old home-away-from-home, the Ross School of Business. BG ran all over the place and had a blast. We stopped by my old office and then he got to use the classroom whiteboards for awhile. We both miss the days of grad was stressful for Nate and I still can't believe the Dean's listened to a word I said, but we have some of the dearest friendships and sweetest memories because of it. 

Nate was putting change in our parking meter and BG was spent. Here he is laying down with a fabulous horse exhibit in the B-school. 

After lunch and a nap BG rallied in his gameday gear for the football game. 

The score wasn't in our favor but we still had a blast at the last home game. BG loved looking out our level at all of the buses and emergency vehicles that surround The Big House on gameday. 

Since we are season ticket holders/donors we were invited (with a million other people - ha!) to come on the field after the game. Just as we were wrapping up a crazy cold rainstorm opened up on all of us...

We were crazy people and decided to join Nate's bff's dad for the hockey game right after the football game. He has amazing rink-side seats and we knew BG would be captivated. The band was right above us so we spent quite a bit of time walking because between his exhaustion and the loud noises (and the hockey players ramming the glass in front of us!!!) he was a bit antsy. 

It was already late so we thought why not get chocolate malts! Crazy! BG sat on a bar stool and chatted away with the college kids while we waited. I'm sure they all thought we were old-weirdo's but they couldn't get enough of mister "less-go-boo!"

This is how he looked the whole way home Sunday. Dizzhausted!!!!

We had such a blast...Ann Arbor is for lovers!!!! 😍

Must Watch Movies

I come from a very film-oriented family. Each weekend my dad would take us to the video store where we would pick out films to watch over the weekend. My mom made popcorn on the stove and we all settled in each night for the show. My dad in particular always had the most eclectic taste in movies and music so we watched everything from black and white films to new releases. The collection of VHS and DVD's that my parents have still rivals most collections, making for amazing entertainment when we visit.

One of the movies that they introduced me to years ago was Finding Neverland. The movie stars Johnny Depp as the writer of Peter Pan following his innocent yet unusual lifestyle as he created the play itself. I recently read that it was going to be a Broadway show. I was so excited as it is such a sweet story and I can just imagine how lovely it will be on a stage. I told my husband about it and we realized that he had never seen it!  Needless to say, we remedied that!  After we finished watching I started thinking about all of the other movies that I love that others may not be aware of soooo...

I'm going to start featuring movies that we've enjoyed over the years in hopes that you'll enjoy them in your home as well! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

73 Questions

I was texting with a girlfriend the other day and she mentioned a series that I might like that her friend from college had created. I had never heard of it, but it's a series of videos featuring a famous person and he interviews them with 73 consecutive questions. My girlfriend and I share a common adoration for Reese Witherspoon so she mentioned this particular episode at first. It was fascinating to watch and get a glimpse of the less dramatic side of celebrity life. Just a girl jumping on her trampoline. I thought it was so interesting that her college friend had created this idea and actually got celebs to participate! SJP! Anna Wintour!!! Amazing...

You can watch Reese's interview here as well as several other celebrities.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

BG's Dream Ride

Sometimes I forget just how lucky we are and then nights like tonight happen. 
Blogging brought our families together. 
It just amazes me.
Faith and her husband Chad has us over for quite the action packed evening, especially for BG.  Chad's parents have the most spectacular backyard (which of course I completely forgot to get a picture of) but after you walk through their "secret garden" you get to his dad's work equipment.  
Chad has been saying for awhile now that he wanted to take BG for a ride in this skid steer and tonight was finally THE night.  BG was so excited to ride in the "front loader" and took it all so very seriously.  He had the best time even though he looks so stoic.  Chad is so sweet with him.
After everyone took turns riding and playing outside we got the little's inside for a little pre-dinner playtime.  I just love this shot of them playing in Lolly and Pops playroom. They are always so busy!
Tonight we all brought different pieces to make a tasty meal...brats (that Chad grilled over an outdoor chimney!), the best potato salad (Faith got us hooked on this over the summer), baked beans and sauerkraut.  We actually managed to have entertaining conversations because the little's ate and entertained each other!  What a treat for everyone!
After dinner we had a toasty fire and made smore's.  We've never had anything other than traditional smore's before but I assure you there is no turning back now.  Faith and I coordinated the fixing's for ritz marshmallow reese's smore's.  SO.  GOOD!!! 
BG and sweet E sharing a marshmallow moment.  She preferred the ritz crackers so he just ate all of the marshmallows she'd already taken little bites out of. Ha! Perfect pair. 
I'm so thankful for the blessing that this family is in our lives.  They invite us into their home.  They let us (and expect us to) be ourselves.  They too cherish these fleeting days with our sweet babies loving on each other.  But most importantly, they help us to remember that family comes first.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Balloon Palooza

Two of our favorite little girls celebrated turning two this past weekend. My friend Faith planned a tasteful balloon party and I was thrilled to provide a special cookie or two for the tasty buffet that she set up.  

BG had a lovely time running around playing with some of his favorites. The party was held in a church fellowship hall and was just perfect for mobile toddlers!! This little sweetie, Miss B, kept ramming her car into BG sending him into giggles.  Love how simple games can entertain them so hysterically!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fall-oween Decor

At lunch today my friends and I were discussing how quickly people are decorating for Christmas now that Halloween has passed. I can't say that I mind seeing the sparkly lights and garlands popping up around the city...but in our home, we try to celebrate one holiday at a time. I don't get crazy with Halloween decor, I just put out a lot of pumpkins and such that can transition from the first day of fall through Thanksgiving.

I found the big guy at Target and just loved the texture and POP that it brought to the dining room. The burlap guy was a surprising find from "at home" which is the new name for Garden Ridge (who knew? I hadn't been there in years!!!). The little guy is from last year at Target.

This little display is in our kitchen area. The painting is BG's sweet little hand print on a canvas. I got the idea from Fancy Farmer Wife! (Thanks for sharing, girl!)

I found these little pumpkins at Pier1 last year and love putting them in different spots around the house. They are a simple but festive touch!

I found this sweet little banner at a local boutique this year. I like the way it looks plus the added benefit of supporting such a great cause! After Halloween I just take the banner and witch down. And leave the "punk-in-knees" as BG says. 

Here's a close up of the tag from the banner. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

We went to a farm that is down the street from our neighborhood. We took a hayride to a petting farm full of cows, goats, sheep and chickens.  Loving the beautiful weather with my boys. 

His hair just cracks me up some days!

I asked someone to take our family picture and he focused a bit more on his little girl in the background than I was hoping for.  Ha!