Sunday, July 20, 2014

you say it's your birthday...'s my birthday too, yeah! Yep, that's right- another birthday has come and gone. Don't worry, this one did not go by without the proper celebratory activities. When Tison asked me what I wanted  to do for my birthday, I told him I wanted to browse local shops and then possibly look for a grill for our backyard. With Miss E around, it is hard to go in and out of places and so I have just been avoiding it all together to spend time with her. BUT... since he asked ;) he was in charge of baby girl while I got to look around while also enjoying their company. I wrote out a lengthy list of places and we hit the road.
{Here are a few snapshots from the days adventures.}
{At about 6pm I told Tison I really wanted to get the grill we saw at Lowe's and cook on it. He was like, "tonight??" So, we bought the grill, put it together, put baby girl down, and had a romantic meal on the back porch. It was perfect. And I love that our table setting includes a baby monitor.}
On Sunday, my in-laws invited us to Sevendipity Cafe for brunch. This was our second time there and we just love it!
{The huevos rancheros could be my breakfast everyday. And I am sure you have heard of the cronut? Well, the chef, Dominique Ansel, asked that Sevendipity stop using the name creauxnut. After a facebook poll, the new name for the amazing croissant/donut pastry is the juggernut. I'm not crazy about the name, but it's not going to keep me from ordering this dessert.}

On Tuesday, my birthday day, my mom made a home cooked dinner at their house. We arrived excited to see family, but I had no idea what was in store. The doorbell rang and Mom asked me to get it (she was busy in the kitchen.) I just thought it was Lauren and the boys arriving for dinner. I opened the front door and when I first looked out no one was there- and then- bam- Leslie jumps in front of me. I just stood there, literally for a full minute, trying to figure out why she is standing at the front door of Mom's house in the United States of America in July when I wasn't expecting her to fly in from Africa again until December!?!? She got me. She kept it a surprise from me and Lauren that she was coming in and we were both stunned, shocked, and thrilled. Everyone in the house knew but us! What a great secret :) She is in town for the next 3 weeks- whoohoo!!
{Tison was snapping photos of us when Lauren points out that she is sitting in a rocking chair with a blanket covering her legs while we all gather around her for a photo- she felt like a great grandma- we died laughing. Sure do love having everyone together.}

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

this heart melting smile...

Sometimes I think I could just pass out from pure overwhelming love that I feel for this child of mine!

Last night I woke up to E's grunting on the baby monitor (which I LOVE by the way). I clicked the video button to see what she was up to. You would never guess - she's doing push ups in her crib! I lay her down on her back at night - "back is best" they say. She loves to roll over, but she hasn't quite gotten the hang of flipping back over from her stomach to her back and was getting a little frustrated. I went into her nursery to comfort her at 3:30 am - and when I picked her up- y'all - she arose out of the crib with the biggest smile on her face. It was so unexpected that I immediately teared up with joy. Sitting here- hours later- I can still see that face in front of me beaming. She loves me, she really really loves me! It was the best.birthday.present.ever.

{look who's 5 months old! and look at all of those arm muscles :) }

I am yours and you are mine, baby girl.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

summer spectacular...

Our weekend in New Roads was like a sun drenched dream. We spent more time on the water and dock than on land. Just the way I like it. :)

Thursday night pleasure cruise:
{Evangeline hated the life jacket her dad bought her- doesn't she look scared?! Bless her little heart}
{It was fun waking up with all the kiddos in one house! You gotta love a slumber party.}

Friday: Red, White, and Blue Day!
{Our gracious host, Captain Coco!}
{the three cousins with life vests on = adorable!}
{Every time we got on the boat, E would fall asleep instantly and stay knocked out until the boat stopped! So funny.}
{The sand pit idea was kind of a bust- they were either throwing it in the water or throwing it in each others faces, but don't they know how to turn it on for the camera?}
{Lots of special Daddy-Daughter time was had.}

On the 4th of July evening, Fr./Brother-in-Law Andrew cooked burgers and we watched from the dock fireworks all up and down False River. Hudson was having a ball- he kept jumping and screaming, "SPECTACULAR!!!" We have no idea where he got that from, but I was cracking up.

On Saturday morning, I woke up early to watch the sunrise. The morning was filled with a million different shades of pastels. I just love what God does with his paintbrush in the sky.
{Some more morning cousin play time before we got ready for some coasting on False River...}
{This is our attempt at a group photo - Hudson wasn't having it. Poor guy just got sunscreen in his eyes.}
{See! I told you- falls asleep every time!}
{Hudson had fun driving for a second, but Andrew - our little dare devil- took this job seriously! Trouble ;)}
A quick jump in the river-lake and we were back on the road to Shreveport. The thing I liked best about our little road trip was the lack of clocks and structure. Since Evangeline was born I have been on such a schedule that when I realized I could just go with the flow this weekend- I took full advantage. (Y'all- I even took a nap!!) It felt like a real vacation!

On Sunday we had lunch with Russell and the Raleys at Oyster Bar. Yum. Also- I love my friends.
Then we had dinner with DeeDee and Pops.
What a wonderful 4th of July holiday!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

and I'm Proud to be an American...

It appears I skipped a 4th of July post last year, so I scrounged up some photos we took in the backyard of the Dudley at this time last year on Instagram. We grilled and had friends over for gin and tonics. I was pretend drinking them in front of friends because we were secretly pregnant with baby E :)

This year we are heading down to New Roads, La. with Aunt Laur and cousins to spend some time on the water and maybe sneak in a snow cone or two. I hope you all have a relaxing weekend and have some time to put your feet up and remember how lucky we are to live in this country. xoxo

Happy Red, White, and Blue!

{previous Independence Day posts here}

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Celebrating at Fairfield Place Bed and Breakfast...

It seems unreal, but as of May 18th Tison and I have been married one year; and what a year it has been. Not everyone can say they became a wife and mother at the same time... We found out we were 5 weeks pregnant a mere 5 weeks after we were married. Talk about a short honeymoon- haha!

Newly married and pregnant had it's challenges and now with our sweet four and a half month old - Evangeline, marriage has brought on even more learning experiences. I would say we are handling our new marriage, house, and baby pretty well - but who doesn't deserve a night away from it all?

For my first night ever away from baby girl, Tison reserved a room for us to celebrate our first year anniversary at Fairfield Place Bed and Breakfast. It was like we had traveled to a new city with only a 10 minute drive from home. This house was built in 1870s and decorated in an elaborate and eclectic way. It is oozing with character and every room brings a new aspect but cohesive feeling to the B and B. I was in love with the whole thing.

Our room had a jacuzzi in the room and when we walked in- a bottle of bubbly was on ice for us! How thoughtful :)
We went to dinner at The Cub and of course had their steak and au gratin potatoes. I treated myself to a lemon drop :)

While we were at dinner at our favorite 'hidden gem' in town, my husband and I overheard another couple talking about RelayRides and how incredibly easy it was for them to use. I made a mental note to research this at a later time; maybe use it for a night to find another hidden gem in one of the surrounding areas. I find the quickly growing concept of the sharing economy so interesting and it is certainly making it easier for people to travel. Have you ever tried anything like RelayRides or couch surfing before?

After the Cub, we went to the local jaunt Bears to listen to some live music. It was about 11:15 when we both looked at each other and said- lets go back to Fairfield. I was dying to crawl into that comfy bed! Sleeping through the night without an interruption (or baby crying) was worth it's weight in gold. I woke up with a smile on my face.
The owner of the B and B runs The Cotton Boll Grill and catered our engagement party (people still talk to me about the food that night) so we knew the breakfast was going to be fantastic! I was blown away at the service and quality of the food. My mouth still waters thinking about those delicious grits. After having some coffee on the patio swing overlooking Fairfield Avenue and stuffing my pockets with the exotic chocolates that are on every table throughout the house, we headed back to reality recharged, refreshed, and ready to hug and kiss on that baby!

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