Friday, March 24, 2017

Five on Friday!

Surprise -- a post! Things continue to be wild around here but should hopefully settle soon and regular posting will resume. In the meantime, a few (or five) things...

one. Last week McKinsey hosted Supper Club! She made the most incredible Jamaican Pork Tenderloin in the slow cooker and served it alongside roasted cauliflower, green beans and rolls! Two thumbs up!
two. My friend Mel had her baby -- Madison Marie!!!! I've been over a couple times in the past few weeks to sneak in some itty bitty baby snuggles. She sleeps in this little basket all day! JK -- newborn pictures in progress here. But my goodness, I blacked out through both of my kids' newborn days and forgot how sweet and sleepy new babies are!
three. Last week we had another huge eye appointment and y'all (I'm already crying just writing this)...Thomas NAILED IT. Most of the time these appointments, which take around three hours to complete, are pure torture for us all. But Thomas was the biggest champ. He even had to get his eyes dilated twice (the first time wasn't enough) and let Dr. D give the most thorough eye exam while he SAT STILL in the chair BY HIMSELF (sorry I'm screaming with all caps, I'm just so excited and proud). In the past it would take three of us to hold him down and pry his eye lids open for an exam. Because we were able to get such good measurements we are tweaking his contacts with a new prescription. Previously we were working on his long distance vision and now we are going to switch to his reading vision -- and hopefully this will help us with things like STAIRS (our nightmare)!!! Without lenses in his eyes we can only pick one vision -- near-sighted or far-sighted vision to work on at a time, so Thomas will always struggle a bit with whichever vision he isn't working on over the next few years, until he gets a permanent lens implanted in his eye. Anyway, this little dude is SO DAMN AWESOME. I couldn't be more proud of how he's handled this journey with so much strength! Oh, and if you know us in real life, don't be offended if Thomas gives you his confused stink-eye look if you're interacting with him from too far away -- you're blurry!
four. In other exciting Thomas news -- we finally got his summer shoes in! Poor guy had been wearing his sissy's pink natives and pink tennis shoes for a bit while we waited on his new kicks to arrive. He and Caroline now wear the SAME size shoe. I've written about my love for Natives before but these shoes are absolutely our favorite summer shoes -- they are durable, breathable and perfect for errands and trips to the splash pad.
five. Yep, still using HelloFresh, thank goodness. If I didn't have these meals waiting on my doorstep there's a good chance we'd be surviving off of cereal 7 days a week right now. But instead we're only eating cereal 4 days a week and amazing things like pork chops with crispy chorizo Brussels sprouts smothered in balsamic glaze. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Asheville Glamping Weekend

I cashed in my Christmas present from Matt over the weekend -- an Asheville getaway with some of our best friends, Brynn and Palmer! This city is a very special place where Brynn and I have spent SO much time together camping, celebrating marriage, day trips and so much more. So you can imagine how excited we were when our husbands surprised us both on Christmas morning with a fully planned getaway to Asheville! Matt and Palmer nailed every detail from securing babysitting for the kids to selecting the most gorgeous rooms.
Saturday morning we sprinted out the door the moment Ms. Jamie arrived to watch the kids for the weekend, scooped up Brynn and Palmer and set off for Asheville. When we arrived in town we dropped our bags off at The Inn at Biltmore Estate which is one of the prettiest places we've ever stayed.
Most of our Asheville trips together have been spent in a tent, cabin or inexpensive hotels, so this was definitely our version of glamping. After dropping off our bags we ubered to lunch at White Duck Taco Shop.
The evening before our trip Brynn stopped by the house with her little man for a play date while our husbands were out watching basketball together. The kiddos had the best time running around and playing, but it was SUPER nice to finally catch up with her without interruptions every .32 seconds.
After filling our bellies with tacos we walked across the bridge to New Belgium Brewery to continue our day-drinking. This place was seriously the coolest Asheville brewery we've been to -- and we've been to a LOT. The brewery sits on the river and the day couldn't have been more beautiful for sitting on the patio. We accidentally stayed the entire day here and had way too much fun.
After many flights of beers and rounds of uno we decided to head back to the Inn.
Back at the Inn we enjoyed cocktails, french fries and magic tricks by Palmer on the gorgeous wrap around porch overlooking the mountains before checking out our rooms!
I was so excited to get away with Matt that I would have totally been cool with a parking lot room view. But nope, the surprises kept flowing when we entered our fifth floor room to find Matt had sprung for the mountainside view. 
Can I also say how dang nice it was to get ready for dinner without tiny people asking me for things or running away with my makeup brushes?! We took alllll the time we needed getting ready for dinner -- that alone was worth the trip! So relaxing! Meanwhile, back at home...
We love these little people so much but we also really, really, really loved missing a night of poop scooping.
The only thing the guys left to us to plan was our dinner reservations -- they know us so well! Brynn and I love so many Asheville restaurants but wanted to try a new place. And since we had several months notice to secure our reservations we were thrilled to get in to Rhubarb, which has literally been on our list forever
Rhubarb did not disappoint one bit. We started off with cocktails and appetizers and took our time before ordering our entrees. The menu changes daily, but if you ever get the chance to dine at Rhubarb you absolutely need to check to see if the goat cheese burrata is available. The only moment our table was absolutely silent was when we were devouring this incredible appetizer. So so so good.
Also, Matt didn't stop making fun of me the entire night for ordering the cauliflower steak over kale. But it was seriously SO good, surprisingly filling, and I was too curious not to try it! 

Dinner ended pretty late and we had a very long, fun day so we decided to uber back to the Inn. Brynn and I called it a night and both went to bed (yes, my dream getaway includes crawling into bed at 10:30 pm) while the boys closed down the lobby bar. And I only woke up twice throughout the night to phantom crying.
The next morning I slept in...until 7:30 am! Even though I was up with the sun I thoroughly enjoyed not changing any diapers or taking breakfast orders which would later be dumped on the floor. And I got to drink my coffee in a robe while looking at the most beautiful view!
And of course, we stopped for brunch at Early Girl Eatery before heading back home! It was a perfect weekend getaway! A huge shout out to Matt for being an all-star husband and for the most thoughtful and well-planned trip!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017


We had a great long weekend at home in Orlando! It was so nice to escape the snow and spend time with my family in 80 degree weather. I am SO thankful I got to see my dad and it meant so much to him to have the whole family together under one loud and crazy roof. It was definitely the boost of happiness he needed after receiving confirmation that the cancer has in fact spread to both kidneys and his back. He began radiation on his back on our last day there and has a difficult road ahead. So extra snuggles with his grandbabies was just what the doctor ordered.

I feel like the road trip always needs it's own recap since it's a two day event in itself! I would grade both segments there and back a C+ since the kids treated me like a stewardess for 9 very long hours. About every 6 minutes I was being instructed to pick up a dropped toy or sippy cup, crawl into the back seat to change the DVD out or provide a new snack. Oh, and then there was that minor snafu on the way down when I finally had an opportunity to do my makeup and got sloppy with my navigation responsibilities. It wasn't until we started seeing signs for Charleston that I realized we missed our turn 40 minutes ago. Buuuuuut we MADE IT!
Shortly after we arrived home on Friday my best friend May and her hubby Justin stopped by with dinner for my family so my mom wouldn't have to spend any time cooking or cleaning dishes. Is that not the most thoughtful thing of all time? Bonus points that the meal was extremely delicious.
For dinner Justin made one of his specialties -- a delicious pan of chicken and rice. They also brought fresh bread, salad, beer and wine...and it fed 11 of us!
Since we arrived home later in the afternoon we let the kids stay up a little later than usual to get some snuggles in with Grandpa and Grandma.
The next morning Caroline was up bright and early helping Grandma with breakfast. And by "help" I mean she spread half a stick of butter on each biscuit, dipped every slice of bacon into the jam and ate the inside of all the sausage biscuits before everyone woke up.
For the record, I was informed that the camera was zoomed in from the waist up for this picture and I had just wrangled two sopping wet kiddos out of the pool. I attempted to crop out my legs but the photo became too awkward. Regardless, I love this ONE family photo (minus Ian) we got while in Florida so I had to include it. Pretend I'm wearing pants.
We spent most of Saturday by the pool. Actually, we spent most of the day by the pool in an inflatable pool, which we will absolutely be purchasing for our own backyard this summer. It was so much easier to keep an eye on three kids in 8" of water instead of floating around the deep pool in floaties.
I know I'm biased, but he is seriously one handsome little dude.
Thomas' swim trunks + long sleeve swim shirt // Jackson's swim trunks
Also, shout out to Target for having the cutest swim trunks for the boys this season. And they are under $10!
May came over to hang out just as the kiddos were going down for naps, which made for perfecting timing to break out the champagne for mimosas.
A little later Shanny came over too! Caroline wasn't excited at all. Nope. Look at her.
Dad's back is causing him a tremendous amount of pain but he still managed to pull off Sandroni Saturday Steak Night! Caroline made sure to supervise the steak temperature for a perfect medium-rare finish.
The boys stayed up late into the night watching basketball.
On Sunday we joined my parents for church. We hadn't planned for church when packing our bags so I wore my best pool cover-up to the service and Thomas wore Caroline's natives. My mom was super excited for us to attend church because she is the Sunday School teacher for the toddler class so Thomas and Caroline spent the morning destroying her room.
After church we went to our favorite old diner near our house for brunch. We each devoured unhealthy amounts of food, the kids threw every sugar packet they could find on the floor and Matt accepted a dare to eat a 3 decade old 25 cent gum ball from the dusty machine. No matter the adult to toddler ratio, eating out is always a bit chaotic but also always entertaining!
It was a long morning for dad so Caroline volunteered to watch a Mickey Mouse marathon on the couch with him while he rested.
 Not sure what you're laughing at Thomas, those shoes are your future hand-me-downs!
 The three best friends that anyone could ever have!
In an attempt to get solid naps out of the kids Uncle Ryan blew up the bounce house. We were not successful in the nap department (quite the opposite!) but the kids had a blast.
This is the quality photo you get when you suggest taking a picture mid bounce house fun.
And because I'm a huge dork, I spent the road trip home writing this post AND making this video...
And that's a wrap on our trip to Florida!

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