Memorial Day Weekend Fun

Three-day weekends are oh so refreshing! Memorial Day weekend was made even better for us as two of my best friends came to visit and meet Rylie Kay! We didn’t have any grand plans, but it was so nice to just be together for a few days! Jessica arrived on Thursday evening and I loved having some company on my drive home from work! I worked on Friday, but Jess entertained Rylie, which was super helpful.

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The weather was just perfect so we went for a fabulously long walk after work (from our house to the end of North Union Street). When we got back, we were shocked to see that it was already 7:30! Our original plans were to get dinner before putting Rylie to bed, but we decided to shower instead and grab dinner on the way to the airport to pick Caitlyn up. Rylie’s bedtime is 8pm and because of that, I haven’t been out and about after 8 in nearly 6 months! I felt like such a rebel! We enjoyed some delicious burgers and fries from Five Guys and made it to the airport with perfect timing. The only problem was that the airport was an absolute madhouse, maybe because of Memorial Day weekend and the race. We finally got Caitlyn and then stopped at Cookout for a milkshake before coming home. Tasted just like college!

Saturday morning was nice and relaxing. We had plans to go strawberry picking at Cody Strawberry Farm and I’m so glad we did. Rylie Kay had on a little strawberry outfit and was just too sweet. She generally doesn’t care what we do, as long as she’s outside!

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036It didn’t take long for us to pick a full basket, so we decided maybe we needed a few extra! So delicious!

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Rylie had her first little temper tantrum when we took the strawberry basket away from her. She had grabbed one and wanted to put it in her mouth, but she didn’t get her way. Such a mean mommy! Lunch and relaxing followed and later we had dinner at Afton Tavern. We had to take them there for the Cookie Skillet (for Elon people, Killer Cookie, but better)! And then I realized that Caitlyn doesn’t like chocolate, but she was still able to enjoy the ice cream and whipped cream since we ordered half without chocolate sauce. I think there are 3 cookies there. Mmmmm!

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On Sunday after church we met up with Brittanie for lunch at PDQ! She drove all the way from Elon to see us and we had a great time catching up. Also, if you live in the area, I highly recommend PDQ (next to Concord Mills). Delicious chicken tenders and fries!

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We made personal pizzas for dinner that night and of course enjoyed strawberry shortcake! Such a fun day. Caitlyn had to leave early the next morning so we were up and ready for the day much earlier than normal. Jess and I went for a 4 mile walk on the Greenway, which felt amazing considering all that we had eaten the day before! I’m going to have to do that more often! Rylie got tired of riding though and the only ways we could find to keep her happy were to hold her, run or sit her in the seat backward so she could see better. The running option didn’t last long and she eventually fell asleep. So sweet!

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Jess planned it perfectly to have her flight leave shortly after I had to be at work on Tuesday. After a quick tour of my office, we headed to the airport and said our goodbyes. We had such a great weekend and I’m so thankful that they came all the way to NC to visit! We loved it!

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My First Mother’s Day

Sunday was my first Mother’s Day and I really don’t think it could have been any better! We had my parents over for a yummy breakfast of eggs, sausage, fruit salad and cinnamon roll bites (yum! recipe coming soon). It was nice being able to be with them again, if even just for a few hours. They kept Rylie occupied while we got ready for church. Love this picture of her and my dad!

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Then it was time for some family pictures!

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Shortly after my parents left, Van parents arrived and we took some more pictures before heading to church.

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Rylie also got dedicated after church. She was in need of a nap and fell asleep while we were listening to the service, but woke up when it was time for us to go up in front of everyone. We are so blessed to have her in our lives and it was so special to dedicate her to our God.

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We went to lunch with Van’s parents before going home and resting for a little while. I thought it’d be fun to take Rylie to the park for a bit. Of course she fell asleep on our walk there and stayed asleep as we walked around hoping she might wake up. We even watched some guys play tennis for a bit, but she was still happily asleep. Next time!

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Van had the great idea to go get some ice cream from a place we’ve been wanting to go to for awhile – Papa Robb’s Paradise Ice. Van had Vanilla Ice Cream in a cone (from Deluxe in Mooresville!) while I had Pina Colada Paradise Ice. Rylie was so funny trying to get the cone out of Van’s hands. We will definitely be going back – so yummy in a fun, clean and colorful atmosphere.

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A relaxing evening with my family to end a great day was just what I needed. I hope your Mother’s Day was perfectly special in its own way, whether you’re a mom or you were celebrating your mom or a mom you love!

Happy 2nd Anniversary, My Love!

It’s hard to believe that we have already been married for two whole years! We have accomplished so much in the past two years – buying a house and having a baby are definitely two main highlights! I wouldn’t want to go on this journey of life with anyone else and am so unbelievably thankful that God brought us together. I love you Van Lambert!!

Here are just a few of my favorite photos from our special day, April 16, 2011.

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Love and Marriage: In the Beginning…

I saw from a blog I read that a group of bloggers is hosting a link series this month about love and marriage. It looked fun, so I thought I’d join in too! Click here and here for two other participants.

Today’s post is all about how we got started.
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I graduated from college in May 2009 and moved back home with my parents while I searched endlessly for a job. While job hunting, I worked at the beloved Scrap Shack (a scrapbook store that I started working at while in high school) and really loved it. While I obviously wanted a “real” job, it was also nice to do something fun that I enjoyed in the meantime. As soon as I moved home I wanted to find a new church to attend. I previously went to a Methodist church, but while in college, I developed an interest in the more contemporary, non-denominational style of church. I knew it would be a great opportunity to meet new people, especially since I didn’t keep in touch with too many people from high school and most of my friends no longer lived there. I went to a church in Huntersville a few times, but never attended anything other than the weekend service. I had planned to join a Bible study group, but that didn’t happen because God had other plans! One Sunday, I was running late and knew that I wouldn’t make it in time. I had seen signs for awhile for The Cove Church, but had never been. I saw a sign on the interstate that said the service started at 11:15, which was perfect for my late self! Before I knew it, I was getting off the exit and heading to what would be my church home to this day.

After attending for about six months, I had made a few friends and joined a girl’s Bible study group. There was also a guy’s group and the leader, Josh, invited everyone to his house for a New Year’s Eve party. My friend Jess was visiting that weekend so we went together. I knew a lot of the people there, but after a little while this guy arrived that everyone knew, except me. Who was this guy? Van of course! Jess and I talked to him and another guy for most of the evening and when we left that night I was definitely nervous and couldn’t stop thinking about Van. Later that night, Van friended me on Facebook and sent me a message about joining him and his friend at the Sunday night service at church that weekend. I was so excited that I accepted his friend request and wrote back pretty quickly, much to Jess’ dismay! I didn’t even think about it, but I’m not one to play games so it really didn’t matter to me. We ended up seeing each other twice in the next week at church and another church event with friends. We exchanged phone numbers and I think we’ve texted/talked every day since!

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From the very beginning, Van was incredibly respectful of me and even of my time. We even went out on our first date on a Thursday night because he didn’t want to tie up my weekend! Our first date was really just a first hang out because it came just six days after we met and we had never hung out just the two of us before. We went to see Sherlock Holmes at Birkdale and then got a drink and Fox and Hound. It was slightly awkward because we didn’t really know each other. I was so nervous and not exactly sure about where this was headed so at the end of our date Van reached out to hug me goodbye and I turned it into a side hug! Even more awkward! Thankfully he didn’t think I was super weird and we continued to talk and get to know each other. He even came over and met my parents the next night!

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Van lived 45 minutes away on the far side of Concord. That was probably the most challenging and frustrating part of our relationship! A friend invited him and he started attending The Cove several months before I did and had gotten plugged in with a great group of people who we are still friends with today. I’m so thankful that a long drive didn’t deter him from going and that our groups of friends were so interconnected!

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We spent the next two months keeping things quiet between us so that we could get to know each other without the pressure from our friends. We officially started dating on March 5 and then got engaged just five months later on August 3. We had gone to San Diego to visit a family that I used to babysit for and then flew to Portland for my family’s annual trip to Oregon. I wrote about the whole thing here. It was truly wonderful! To top off the week, I was offered my first “real” job just a few days later!

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Even though I was only 23 when we met, I was already concerned with whether or not I’d ever meet someone. Getting married and having a family has always been such a strong desire of mine and I was worried that it wouldn’t happen! However, during the time after I graduated and into the next several months, that concern had gone away and I was just enjoying life day by day. Isn’t that how it always goes? It happens when you’re not expecting it?!

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We got married on April 16, 2011 in Concord, NC and the day was so reflective of us. We loved it! Family and friends came from all over the country to be there and it really was one of the best days of my life. We made a commitment to love, honor, respect and serve each other before God and our loved ones.

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We had a wonderful honeymoon in Riviera Maya and are looking forward to our next all inclusive vacation someday!

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Since we have gotten married, we have purchased our first house, had a precious baby girl and are constantly reminded of how God has blessed us. We are so thankful that the Lord brought us together and that our marriage is built on His foundation.

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Our two year anniversary is coming up this month and it’s so hard to believe! But when I look back on the past two years and see all that we’ve done, I’m so thankful to have had Van by my side. We have learned a great deal about marriage in this short time and continue to discover how we can love each other better. Van is my very best friend and I think it’s so important to not only love your spouse, but to LIKE them too! We enjoy spending time with each other, whether that means working on a project, traveling or simply just “being”. We’re now learning how to be parents together and I have a feeling that the fun has just begun!

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Let me know if you link up too! I’d love to read your love story!

2013 Book List

Here’s the thing. I love reading and what I get out of reading books, but when I have a few free minutes, I rarely think to pick up a book and read! Of course I could read blogs for hours and that’s usually where I turn to relax or spend some free time. But I really want to be better at using that time to read books and to finally read a few of the ones that have been on my list for quite some time! My goal is to read six books in 2013 and if I get to more than that, I will be pleasantly surprised! These are all books that we already own that I have been meaning to read:

1. Bringing up Girls by Dr. James Dobson

Bringing Up Girls - Dr. James Dobson

I am about halfway through this book right now and am really enjoying it. I think it would be helpful for parents of both boys and girls.

2. Chazown by Craig Groeschel

Chazown - Craig Groeschel

3. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

Heaven is for Real - Todd Burpo

4. Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

Made to Crave - Lysa Terkeurst

5. Follow Me to Freedom by Shane Claiborne

Follow Me to Freedom - Shane Claiborne

6. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson

Wish me luck! I hope to return with at least a little progress before too long!

Random Update

Well hello there! Good to see you! Now that I’m emerging from a lovely little thing called morning sickness, I feel more like myself and am interested in more than wanting to just do nothing! I haven’t been sick in a whole week as of today. Little victories, people, little victories! Aside from that, there are so many wonderful things going on right now, I just have to share!

1. Can you just take a look at my super handsome husband?! He has worked so hard at getting healthy and I am so stinkin proud of him. And it’s paying off too. This picture was taken on Saturday at his cousin’s wedding. Wowza!

2. For a couple of months or so, we had really long green stalks growing along our driveway. They were dead in the fall when we moved in, so we had no idea what they would turn into. I’m SO glad we didn’t kill them thinking they were weeds because they turned out to be pretty pink hibiscus! All along our driveway and tons of buds still left. LOVE!

3. My boss and I took a new friend at work to one of our favorite places for lunch last week: The Billy Graham Library! It’s so pretty and relaxing there and they have yummy food too! We always get the chicken salad sandwich and on special occasions have even enjoyed their delicious soft serve ice cream. Yum!

4. We leave for Oregon SO soon and I seriously couldn’t be more excited. I have a feeling that I say this every year, but it is seriously so true. This is by far my favorite time of year and I have been looking forward to our trip since the minute we left last summer. So much goodness awaits. And everyone will be there this time. Plus my brother’s girlfriend! So, so excited!

6. My work phone was upgraded to an iPhone! Oh sweetness! I love it already!

5. Baby bump photos coming tomorrow! Stay tuned!

It’s About Time…

Goodness gracious! It has been too disgustingly long since I last posted.ย  I guess I just ran out of stuff to say for a bit and life has just been busy! But I’m back!

I don’t really have much for tonight, but just wanted to pop in and say hi! Here are some things that have been going on around here…

  • We (and by we, I mostly mean Van) have been working on another project in our kitchen and it’s almost complete! I am so ready to move out of the kitchen and onto other projects! I will post before and after photos as soon as its done…the goal is Thursday evening!
  • Our next house projects are the hallway and my craft room! We are going to paint and get them ready so we can have the hardwood floors re-finished. Oh how I can’t wait for that to happen! Then we’ll be ready to tackle the rest of the carpet. Oh hallelujah!
  • I am SO ready to whip up a real project with my sewing machine. So far I’ve made a pillow, but have been a little nervous to try anything else. But I was just given some fabric to play around with and it has gotten me super excited to finally make something.
  • I wish I could craft all day. That would just be fab. Oh and bake too.
  • Sooo it seems like forever ago, but two of our dear friends got married in January! Congratulations to Josh and Kristin!! I love when weddings are really representative of the couple…and their’s definitely way. So cool to see God working to bring those two together!

  • And they are followed by three more weddings within the same friend group! So exciting! Congrats to Travis & Tonya, Justin & Rachael and Justin & Kate!!

I’ll be back later this week! Hope you have a good one!

Friday Favorites – Sewing Edition

So for Christmas the ever-so-generous, kind and wise Santa brought me a sewing machine!! Two of my friends have the same one, which they call the twins, so I am so excited to be able to add a triplet to the bunch! Aside from taking a month-long quilting class in college, I know next to nothing about sewing. Thanks to Jessica, one of my roommates in college and fellow quilting class participant, I know a few words like “seam allowance,” but my knowledge is pretty bleak. And I SO can’t wait to play and learn and make beautiful things!!

So I figured it’s only fitting to do a Friday Favorites with all things sewing! Here are some projects I just adore and perhaps aspire to create some day. Clearly, some are more advanced than others, but I WILL learn!

Favorite Must Make Item: Mason Jar Pin Cushion similar to the one by Crazy for Collars. Pin Cushions are essential to sewing and this is just cute and practical! Based on what you want to put in the jar, you could make them as large or as small as you want.

Favorite Useful Project Idea: Money Envelopes like the ones from Saving Money In Style. We use the envelope system, but our envelopes are just plain boring compared to these!

Favorite Little Gift Idea: Heart Book Mark like the one from Happiness is Handmade. That’s just cute!

Favorite Quilt Idea: Puffy Quilts like this one by Honeybear Lane. Maybe they’re meant for babies, but I just want to snuggle up with one of these NOW!

Favorite Accessory: Vintage Style Belts like the ones from ands. Seriously cute.

Favorite Clutch: This one by Grand Revival. I don’t know if it’s the fabric she used or what, but I’m just loving this!

It looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me! But the final result just looks SO worth it. Now, I just need to learn how to turn the sewing machine on! ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday Favorites

And now for another installment of Friday Favorites!

Favorite Amazing Product Idea: The Crock Pot Lunch Crock that warms leftovers, heats up soup and slowly warms anything by lunchtime. According to the maker, it “heats conveniently while you work for a flavorful lunch that is ready when and where you are.” So cool!

Favorite Office Must Have: The Turquoise Ziggy Chair. This would be the perfect addition to my new craft room/office. You have to agree!

Favorite Gorgeous Kitchen Addition: Blue and White Quatrefoil Tiles. I can’t find who makes them for the life of me. But my goodness they are beautiful!

It’s also been decided (by me of course) that Quatrefoil is the best home design element. We found this mirror at Lowe’s on clearance earlier this month. It was beautiful, but felt kind of cheap. So we passed it up. Now I’m kicking myself because I just love it!

Favorite Curl Up in Me All Day Chair: The Nest Chair from Urban Barn. It’s a good thing that our living room can’t handle any more seating (since our super comfy couch takes up about 1/2 of it) because I wouldn’t be able to get this off of my mind! A friend of mine actually has this (or something very similar) in her living room. I may need to visit more often!

Favorite “Get in My Belly” Dinner: Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna. It really is a shame that Van hasn’t embraced artichokes yet. I can only imagine that this ultra cheesy dish would be delish!

Favorite Fall Soup: Broccoli and Cheddar Soup in a Bread Bowl. I know creamy soups aren’t the least bit healthy, but it has broccoli in it! And the bread bowl part is totally optional!

Favorite “You’ve Got to be Kidding Me” Dessert: This Peanut Butter “Cheese Ball” just blows my mind! Cheese balls are always delicious so a dessert form is clearly a great idea. I wouldn’t want to be left alone with this thing. Holy cow!

Well that’s all I have for this week. I found so many great things this past week and have a feeling that with some time off next week, I may have more to share throughout the week! Have a great weekend!

Pizza Party!

I just realized that I never shared the pictures from the Pizza Party we went to this fall – oops! This wasn’t just any pizza party though. When we went to the Becoming Conference in August, we discovered that my friend Casey’s sister Crystal is a Bread Machine pro. She uses hers all of the time and we wanted to learn how! So we all met up at Crystal’s for a lesson and dinner!

Crystal even has a flour mill and grinds all of her own flour fresh each time she makes bread – too cool! The bread machine was super easy to use. We just put in all of the ingredients and it did the rest! After the dough was done, everyone made their own personal pizzas in pie pans, adding whatever toppings they wanted.

Jamie is a great pizza maker!

Rolling and filling the pans.

Casey and her nephew Samuel. Too cute!

The guys were involved in the assembly part too, but they weren’t so into the pictures.

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The Kimberlin’s were the only ones that got the photo memo.They’re cute! And look at all of those yummy pizzas!