Monday, December 31, 2012

December Favorite Things

Here are a few of my favorite things from December.

My giraffe necklace.  I've been in love with my elephant necklace for quite some time, and can't get enough of this style of necklace!

Charlie's first "performance".  He sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" with his preschool class for a Christmas program, but he might as well have been making his debut at Lincoln Center.  It was awesome, and Noel and I gave him the award for Most Enthusiastic Clapper.

I'm about to give myself the fatty award, but Phish Food just might have moved it's way to the top of my food pyramid.  I'm going to start cutting out all other food and replacing every meal with this stuff.  Nommm.

Christmas with my boys.  

The comments, emails, and messages I received in response to this post.  Totally overwhelmed by your love, encouragement, and support.

Alright!  Now it's your turn to link up.

1.  Link to your actual Favorite Things post.

2.  If you have an old post you want to use, that's totally fine!!  Just make sure you link back to my blog in some way.  (You can grab a Favorite Things button on the sidebar if you'd like)

3.  Go visit a few other bloggers and say hey!  (I've met some pretty amazing people through link ups!)


Linking up here and with these three ladies.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Life Lesson

This has been a wonderful and an interesting year.

For many months, I felt somewhat jaded and let down by a lot of situations and by a lot of people.  I hate having those feelings and hate that those feelings ate away at my spirit for a while.

I had a miscarriage back in October.  I was almost done with my first trimester.  I know people have been through far worse, but this almost tore me up.

While miscarrying, I drove myself and my 2 little ones to the doctor's office...and waited for 3 hours on the table, sobbing.  One of the other doctors in the practice came into my room and took the ultrasound machine away, saying that there was a worried mother in the other room and that they needed to use the machine right away.  I sobbed some more but tried to keep myself together, because I didn't know how to explain to my worried Charlie what was going on.  My doctor finally came in and actually got teary eyed herself.

I felt every emotion possible.  Emotional and physical pain, bitterness, resentment.  You name it, I felt it.

I had the announcements ready to go for Halloween.  I painted the boys' hands and put them on a spider web as spiders with an extra set announcing that there would be another little one coming soon. 

 I about threw the computer across the room when I saw someone blog that they "despised" dressing their baby bump...on the same day that I was packing my maternity clothes up to put back in the attic. 

I couldn't understand how some people don't even enjoy being around their children, yet they are the ones having the children.

I hated that I had to go to the doctor's office for weeks and weeks afterwards because my levels were still too high...and despised the nurse who told me that I couldn't get my flu shot there because I wasn't an "OB" patient...just a "GYN" patient.  (She got an earful, and I got my shot.)

I nearly fell on the floor when I was going in for final miscarriage "stuff" (TMI for the internet) and a lady was coming out complaining that she "wanted a boy, NOT a girl" after her gender ultrasound.

Another big part of this whole thing was I thought that I had already experienced this.  I had already gone through a was devastating...and I learned from it.  What could I possibly learn from a second one?

A few weeks ago, I actually learned what I think I was supposed to get out of this.  (An experience I'm only sharing with certain family members.)  It was strange, and kind of amazing, and in that moment of realization, I was grateful.

I've also learned that I can't plan everything.  I didn't plan those 2 years of infertility before Charlie, I didn't plan that 1st miscarriage, and I didn't plan this one...but somehow everything has worked out just great.

I'm at peace with everything now, and am beyond grateful for the two sweet, adorable boys that I have to love on everyday.

The other day, as soon as we got home, I turned around to get the boys out of their seats, and saw them doing this ^.  Melted my heart a hundred times over.  

I am so blessed, and have learned to count those blessings every single day.

PS.  This coming up Monday is the last day in 2012 (ahhh!?!?)  I hope you're getting your Favorite Things posts ready to link up with me!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Time

Christmas card photo by Amber Adamson

With my Grandma's biscuit(s) in one hand, and a baby in the other, it was really hard taking pictures this year at Christmas.  But I did manage to snap a few cute ones!  The boys had a blast opening up lots of packages of trucks, and we all had a great time with family.  (Walker was so exhausted from the Christmas fun that he decided to take a quick rest on one of the presents.)  We are very blessed to have family pretty close by and loved celebrating this beautiful holiday with them.

We're staying with my parents, and last night, after I put the boys down to bed, I went to the gym with my mom and sisters, while my dad stayed home with the boys.  We got home from the gym, and were just sitting around talking (thinking my dad had already gone to sleep) when out of my parents' room walks a little teeny person...Charlie!!!  (2 hours after his bedtime.)  He ran back in to Grandpa's room and got under the covers, so he could continue to watch Duck Dynasty(?!?!) with my dad.  On the way back up to bed, Charlie also informed me that Grandpa had given him ice cream while we were gone.  Of course he did.

How was your Christmas?  I hope it was wonderful!!
Linking up with Katie and Jena today.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Les Miserables Review

I said I wasn't going to be back until tomorrow, but I couldn't not post about Les Mis, because I saw it last night and have to talk about it.

While most girls were listening to N'Sync, I was listening to the Original Broadway Cast Les Miserables Soundtrack.  I've had every single word memorized since I was about 12 years old.  I've seen the stage version more times than I can count, and I even saw it twice in one week.  I bring tissues to the theatre so I can wipe away tears during Bring Him Home and A Little Fall of Rain.  I wear (one of my Les Mis) shirts to bed almost every single night.  I could go on, but I've probably already freaked you out.  Needless to say, I love my Les Miserables, and have extremely high expectations of this show.

I didn't like the movie.  There.  I said it.  

Here are some of my thoughts.

  • I feel like they should have brought in the baddest of the fiercest Broadway stars.  People who have seen or will see Les Mis are going to see it regardless of who's in it.  Did anyone go see this movie because Russell Crowe was Javert?  Didn't think so.  
  • Hugh Jackman was surprisingly very good as Jean Valjean.  The song, Bring Him Home, typically gets either a standing ovation or a 5 minute-long applause in a theatre.  His version wasn't that amazing, but overall he did a great job.
  • I don't need to say anything about Russell Crowe.  You'll have to endure that performance yourself.
  • Anne Hathaway.  Oh....Anne.  I have honestly never liked a performance from you.  Princess Diaries, maybe.  I cringed every time you sang as Fantine.  I'm so sad about this.  And even if your character is dying, I expect you to hit your notes.  No exceptions.
  • I feel like some things just don't need to be shown.  We, as the audience, aren't as dumb as you think.  Leave it to Hollywood to take an off-stage scene from a show and put it right there in our faces.  
  • GOOD THING!!  I don't know where they found the guy who played Marius, but I'm glad they did.  His jaw might have been quivering something fierce, but he was the cutest thing I've seen on screen in a long time.
  • Same thing goes for the cutie who played Enjolras, who, in my opinion, had the best voice in the movie.
  • Amanda Seyfriend.  No.  Oh, no.  Bless your heart.
So here's the thing.  I am always going to love the beautiful story of love and forgiveness that Les Miserables brings.  But, when I walk away from this show, I want to be blown away from hearing the very best voices sing the most beautiful music that has ever been created.  The movie version didn't deliver this because they chose to bring in big names over big voices.

  Maybe my expectations were too high?  I'm not sure. 

Have you seen it?  What did you think?


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top 3

I was interested to find out what my top 3 posts of 2012 were.


I'm not going to lie.  This was a surprise to me.  Yes, the jean jacket is way cool :-) but I'm not exactly sure why this post got as many page views as it did.  I'm thinking it hit social media just right that day.


I received a lot of great feedback from this post, and think I'll run with this idea more often.  We're all trying to maximize our current closets, right?  Do you have any item in particular that you'd like to see remixed?


I love that this was my most viewed blog post of the year.  A post about my babies (!) and something I spent a lot of time on...(writing out and with experience)

And there you have it!  Top 3 of 2012.  

Also...a few things...

*I'll be taking a break from blogging for a week.  I'll be soaking up all the Christmas I can get, AND I'll be working on a new blog design with the fab, Colleen.  So I'll see you next Thursday, the 27th.

*My Favorite Things link up will be the last day of December (Monday the 31st).  I can't wait to read your posts about December!

*If you are interested in sponsoring Dancing with Ashley in January, I'd love to have you!  Click here for more information.  

*Have a very Merry Christmas, my friends!! 

Make sure you enter to win a beautiful necklace and a Sephora gift card here.
Linking up with Katie and Jena today.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Maxi Skirt in Winter

You know I love me a maxi skirt.  It has all the cozy and cute requirements for a perfect outfit AND you can wear this bad boy year round.  Sometimes North Carolina gets confused and will spike an afternoon at 65...but as of last night, it's officially winter, my friends.

What item of clothing are you loving this winter?
Make sure you enter to win a beautiful necklace and a Sephora gift card here.
Linking up with Shanna, HeleneThe Pleated Poppy, and Savannah today!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Traditions

The best part about Christmas, to me, is getting together with family.  How blessed am I to have a great one, and to be able to spend time with them this year.  This weekend was spent loving on cousins and eating yummy food.

Today, two amazing ladies are telling you what their favorite Christmas traditions are, and they're both giving away some pretty great things!

Kayla blogs over at My Kind of Yellow, and she just happens to be one of my best bloggy friends.  She and her hubby-to-be go on the best dates, she has the cutest style, and she's giving away this beautiful necklace..  (which also doubles as just a pearl necklace!)

"My favorite Christmas tradition would have to be when all of the women, young and old, in my family get together and have an entire Saturday full of baking together. It's always so fun to catch up on life, and make some amazing snickerdoodles and cheesecakes at the same time!"

Hailey blogs over at Love, Laughter, and Lipstick.  She is the mother of 2 adorable little ones, wrote a post that I absolutely adore about what to wear at home, and is giving a $10 gift card to Sephora!!

"My favorite Christmas tradition was cutting down our Christmas Tree when I was younger, and it's now our new tradition as well!"

What is your favorite Christmas Tradition?

Go visit my ladies and make sure you enter the giveaway with the Rafflecopter below.  1 winner will receive both prizes!

You must be a Dancing with Ashley follower through Google Friend Connect to enter.
(Just click the Blue button on the side bar that says "Join this Site" and you're all set.)

Giveaway will be open until this Sunday.
Click here to see if you won the Carrie Diaries book series.
Linking up here and with with these three ladies


Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday's Letters

I can't get over these pictures Amber took of my boys.  

Dear Walker, I am terrified that the minute you start walking is the minute I gain 25 pounds.  I need to take a picture of us with me holding you and pin it under "Workouts".   

Dear Kelle Hampton, I stayed awake last night for way longer than I should have reading this post.  I cried, and cried some more, and then thought, "now THAT'S why you have over 20,000 followers".  

Dear Boys, Sorry/not sorry for having Les Mis on repeat in the car and in the house.  Just think of it as me preparing you for your future role as Jean Valjean.  And speaking of musicals...  

Dear Noel, Occasionally I am reminded of why I married you :-)  Yesterday, I sent you a text freakingggg out because one of my favorite shows, Jekyll and Hyde is coming to the DPAC in January. You not only bought me tickets in the orchestra section, you sent me this text when you found out Deborah Cox is in it.   

Dear Friends, Can you believe Christmas is in less than 2 weeks?!  Are you ready?  

Have a GREAT weekend!
Linking up with Ashley and Lauren.
PS.  Make sure you enter the giveaway to win this book series!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

DIY Sequined Collar

A plain sweater plus a bit of fancy ribbon equals a whole bunch of sparkly fabulous(ness).  Those of you who know me, KNOW that I hate JoAnn's Fabric Store with everything in me.  Yes, I had to ask a lady where I could find some thread, and yes, I left with a stress rash all over my body.  (Ok, the stress rash part isn't true, but that's how JoAnn's makes me feel).  Too many sewing supplies and not enough sewing talent to navigate through it all.

Anyways, I would give you a step by step on this, but all I did was sew some fabric on to my sweater, ironed it flat at the end, and that's that.  A new sweater for Ashley!

Have you tackled any DIY projects lately?

Linking up with AVSharon, Katie, and Jena 
PS.  Make sure you enter the giveaway to win this book series!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blast from the Past...

(Scanned pictures for the win.  And yes, that is SJP's front door)

Let me tell you the most stalkerish story of all time.  I was in NYC with some friends (about 8 years ago), and we got word that Matthew Broderick was in Ralph Lauren.  I'm already a nut when it comes to celebrities, but especially when that celebrity is married to my most favorite person that I've never met before, Sarah Jessica Parker.  My friends and I ran to the store, pretended like we were going to buy a $300 tie, and then followed him out.  We got nervous about following him all the way home, so we kinda shied back...but I am almost positive that we found her house.  :-)  We sat on her doorsteps for about an hour, dreaming of how we would start the conversation when she opened the door and told us to come in to visit.  That never happened, and I'm pretty sure we were about 10 seconds away from being handcuffed for creepiness, but it was so awesome just to be there.  The point of this story?  Poppie is over here today, and she's telling you a few things about herself, and giving away something that any SJP fan needs on their bookshelf.

Hi everyone!  I'm Poppie from The Poppie

And here are 5 things that you may not know about me.

1.)  I hate reading book series that are not completely over when I begin. I do not enjoy the waiting and waiting for my next fix. I prefer to purchase them all and sit down for a few days and read read read! A great example of my bookworm tendencies can be seen here

2.) I could live in flannel all year around! I'm not exactly sure why but I have always enjoyed a great flannel and a cool breeze. Which is probably why my Jason wants to move us to Canada! This obsession can be witnessed here and here

3.) I love Indy! I am a Hoosier through and through! I love just walking around my city and taking it all in: the people, the noise, the buildings and more. It is very refreshing for my soul! I take my readers on tours of Indy which can be seen here, here, here, here, and oh yeah here

4.) I believe (thanks to my Grandmother) that honesty is the best policy. Especially with yourself! With that in mind I started my blog that policy in place. Here is a post on how I need to tame my closet!

5.) My family is really tight knit and we do not simply eat dinner on holidays. We party all day long. Proof can be found here, here and here!

Isn't Poppie fantastic?!  And, she's giving one lucky reader the Carrie Diaries Series!

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter. 
The first 2 entries are required, and the rest are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end this Sunday and the winner will be announced Monday morning.

Comments turned off so you can go show Poppie some love!
Linking up with Shanna and Savannah today!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mustard Tights

Similar Dress, Similar boots, Scarf, Tights

I fell in love with these mustard tights one day at Target and had to get them......and then they sat in my drawer for about a month.  I had no idea how to style them.  I went to Pinterest and other blogs, but none of the outfits seemed to match my style...(or I didn't have some of the items they were wearing).  I took a good, long look around my closet, and finally went back to my go-to jean dress.  I do love this dress because it goes with everything!

Do you have a pair of funky colored tights?  How do you style them?

Linking up with Helene and The Pleated Poppy
Go here to enter to win some gorgeous earrings from Francesca's!


Monday, December 10, 2012

A House Divided

Somehow, Noel has brainwashed our children into becoming Wolfpack fans.  (This is especially frustrating since I was born and raised in Pirate nation.)  I've decided that I'm semi-ok with this only because NCState is closer to where we live, and they're going to live with me forever.  They are.  Charlie has been asking to go to the "Wolfpack school" for some time, so we met up with our friend, Mary Beth (a Wolfpack girl herself), and finally took a trip over to campus.  Now it's go-time with preparations for the Park Scholarship.  :-)

Did you have a great weekend?!

Click here to see if you won the monogrammed iPhone case.
Linking up here and with with these three ladies


Friday, December 7, 2012


Can you believe I lost my high school senior year book?  My sister (who is a senior at the same school) took these hilarious pictures on her phone of the school's copy.  Some things I learned about my 18 year old self....  I was weirdly obsessed with thick hoop earrings, I wasn't aware that hair straighteners existed, and my life revolved around dance.  10 years later, I've waxed those brows, straightened out the hair, and am now loving life with 2 sweet baby boys (who seem to take after that chunky baby in the first picture).  And yes, I'm still a little in love with dance.   :-)

Have you looked through your old yearbooks lately?

PS.  Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a monogrammed iPhone case!
Linking up here.
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