Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I have found little in this life as overwhelming yet simultaneously rewarding as parenting. It would take a gajillion adjectives for me to even begin to try to express what being a Mom is/has been for me up until this point. Although it may sound cliché, I just consider it an enormous joy and blessing to be a Mommy. I was so thrilled to be able to spend Mothers Day with some of my most favorite Moms - my sisters!

Of course since Mothers Day was on a Sunday, we went with my sister to her church. I always love worshipping with friends and or family -it's just awesome to experience other bodies that, you know - are special to your loved ones. After church we attempted a mini photo shoot ~ you know me!?

Here is Catina with her girls - It's so hard for me to believe how big these girls are and I know we're going to be there before I know it!
Me and my crazy crew: 
I love pictures like this one where they are all looking ahead and it's completely and totally obvious that they are siblings - so funny! 
My eldest sister was there with her daughter too. The weekend was a total cousin fest. Trust me when I tell you that the pics of she and her daughter were so precious, but they'd rather not be posted on the blogosphere so you'll have to take my word for it.
When we got home from Winston, and after we ate supper the girls picked one of their Easter goodies as their treat. Thank you Courtney for this entertainment:
Bunny ring pops are so funny!

My sister got a baby swing to go with our play set from a friend of hers and I was anxious to try it out, knowing he would LOVE it and he does:

I find this picture so funny - Lord only knows what he's thinking but it tickles me nonetheless.
Look at all those pearly whites, would you?
My husband delivered on Mothers Day and gave me something I really wanted. The girls and I have been enjoying all sorts of smoothies but our blender wasn't so super awesome so now I have this:
My most precious gifts are the hand made ones from my babies:
OSM MOME = Awesome Mommy =)

Good to know that both Kennedy and our dog Molly love me 100.
In case y'all don't know, I'm clearly pretty Awesome! Ha!
Avery Art: 
It was a wonderful Mothers Day spent with people I love most in life - what more could a girl ask for?!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Home Sweet Home

It's true what Dorothy said: "There's no place like home".
Before my eldest child enters the world of school next month, I decided we needed to get in some traveling. Our first stop: home sweet home - Charleston!
My first visit was with my high school buddy Kelly - we met up at a Mexican restaurant the first night I arrived and it was so good to visit with her and catch up but unfortunately I took ZERO pictures :(.

Next up I was able to visit with my Mom's best friend Erma - she and my Momma have been friends as far back as my childhood memories will carry me and I love her dearly. Because our Momma's have been friends for ages, Erma's daughter Lee and I have been too. Lee has two boys and her eldest, Ethan and my girls had a fun little play date.
Oh this girl - she was in serious Avery form while we were there visiting. In the 3'ish hours that we were there, she dumped their trash can over, broke a hanging pottery garden decoration that's been there since I was in high school (gasp!), got soaked in their garden fountain and for some reason which I still can't seem to figure out stripped down naked (honestly - I turned around and she was NAKED)!  
she had fun though 
lots and lots of fun 
 I was able to visit my two best Charleston buddies while I was there and again failed to photograph it - ugh! Casey and Jennifer, two of my dearest of friends are in the throws of Mommyhood with me and I treasure our conversations and any time spent together. I'm super thankful that we Mommy's were able to get out on our own while I was home to have supper at Virginias on King and man, was it delicious!

Mostly I spent time with my Momma and Jim. It was bittersweet time spent at their home in Pimlico because shortly before my visit they'd sold it and I knew it'd be my last visit until who knows when. The silver lining to them leaving Charleston is that they'll be moving here as soon as they find the perfect home, Despite not being able to hop down to Charleston and knowing I'll have a place to stay, I'd give up a place to stay in Charleston any day of the week in exchange for having them near long term. I'm really so very excited that they'll be here to stay soon - such a blessing.

One of my most favorite things about their neighborhood in Pimlico is the gorgeous view of the Cooper River at the boat dock they have access to. I decided to get the girls down at the boat dock to capture them in that setting one more time - it really is so pretty!
Luckily I live in a city not too far from Charleston and this city happens to possess lots of good shopping, so my friends have promised a future visit and I'm going to hold them to it. One word girls: IKEA. Enough said - y'all let me know when to expect you. :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pickin' Strawberries

I was so excited for opening weekend of strawberry picking. There is a little town close to us that had a Strawberry Festival early in May and one of the "host farms" opened the fields the day before the festival so we wanted to be there to get the best pick. Here are my little pickers:
 Melissa and Declan joined us on our adventure and at this point he was more excited about the airplanes overhead than he was about the strawberries.

 While the girls and I picked, Greyson hung out on a picnic blanket nearby. It was a bit chillier than I anticipated so I had to put him in his big sisters shirt because it's all I had (poor boy ;).
Proud little pickers:
 I've been strawberry picking before but these were the prettiest plants and most beautiful berries I've EVER seen: can you say YUMMO!

 After we picked berries we headed back to the PeachStand to have our picnic lunches and enjoy some of their home made strawberry ice cream.
 Declan took his ice cream "to the face" as my sister says. He loved it.

 We picked about 24 lbs of berries for our family and I know that probably sounds crazy, but they were $2/lb which is way cheaper than you can purchase them at the grocery AND they were in season, fresh and delicious. After getting home the "putting up" process was in full swing. Here's a pic of my little man patiently playing nearby. I call this his Kermit face I think his lower lip massages his bottom gums - so cute.
 I froze whole berries and diced berries in quart freezer bags, but I also attempted (for the first time) canning Jam. I'm happy to report on this side that although it made a huge mess, it was way easier than I anticipated. Exhibit A - MESSY!

 To help in this new endeavor, I used a combination of this ancient cookbook that I picked up at an antique store years ago and The Pioneer Woman's cookbook. .
Here is the actual recipe I used - I was trying to do one that used little to no sugar. 
 Mid-process: doesn't that look delish?!
 I decided (after reading lots of "how to's" on canning jam) that this type of canning pot (Wilton pot purchased at Walmart) was necessary because I needed this rack to make the processing/sealing easier and more efficient. *So glad I bought it.
 You live and learn and do better next time - this happened and taught me a little how to not do this lesson. Oops.
 I purchased some fabric an some tags and I thought these turned out so super sweet.
I saw this recipe without pectin or sugar a few days after I completed the Jam making process - I'd love to try it next time.

~Fresh, Fun & Yum~