this past Saturday was packed... full of good things.
in fact, it all could very easily have become a blur if not for the goodness.

the run down ::

Chuck E. Cheese's
my nephews Zachary {turning 6} and Logan {turning one} had there birthday parties there that morning at 9:30.
i was there long enough to say happy birthdays and hellos, and play a couple games with Ace before i passed Miss Bellamy off to the hubs and headed out on my own.

next up...

Jesse's baby shower
Jesse and her family are long time friends of Justin's and i've grown to know and love them just the same over the years.
she's expecting a baby girl {Claire} in the next 9 weeks!!
the shower was held at her gorgeous historic home off of Selwyn Avenue in Charlotte.
some of her closest friends hosted it and couldn't have done a more beautiful job.
i caught up with old friends and met new ones, got the nursery tour, munched on some of the yummiest hors d'oeuvres, crafted a sweet little onesie for baby Claire, handed Jesse her coffee stained card {oops}, and i was off again!

about 3 miles down the road...

NC Blogger Meet-up!
Jess {Boho Baby Bump} and Rebekah {My Little Loves} planned a fabulous get-together for momma bloggers near and far.  Jess hosted it at her lovely home and such a sweet time it was.
i'd be lying to say i wasn't nervous.  i fought over whether or not to go for days.  but, i found comfort in knowing that there would at least be a couple familiar faces and i probably wasn't the only one whose stomach was in knots.
seriously though, within the first couple minutes of being there my guard was dropped and a peace swept over me.  these were such special ladies.  i believe we all brought something so different to the table, but still found kindred spirits in one another.
i could kick myself for not having a camera with me {for any of the day's festivities really}, but many of the other girls did and captured some of the sweetest moments.
something else i didn't have... my babies.  the little ones were welcome to come along, and i found myself missing mine, but it was nice to get out and have some 'me' time.
each of the conversations i had were simple, but inspiring, and far too short!  still, it was so refreshing to get REAL with these ladies.
i'm fairly new in the blogging world and feel sure this is just the beginning.
so looking forward to next time!  hopefully SOON.
make sure to drop in on these girls... you won't be sorry you did...

Rebekah :: My Little Loves
Kristina :: Our Little Lentil
Dusti :: Where Am I?

the day could have ended on that note and been counted such a sweet succes, but it got better still...
{after i ran a couple boring errands}
my little fam was waiting for me at my parents house.  we try to get over there at least once a week and this time we were invited for dinner.
not just any dinner... my dad's homemade veal parmesan! uh, YUM.
and {almost} all my siblings were there to share in the joy too.
i wouldn't have had this evening any other way, and
i'm so beyond thankful to have a family that i can't get enough of. 

so, packed and a wee bit stressful?? yes.
but, oh what blessings were in store.



like everyone else, i'm sure, we CANNOT get enough of this fantastic weather!
i might actually be a bit worried about what to expect this summer, if temps are so warm in March!
anyway, we've been taking FULL advantage of this springtime sunshine...
complete with plenty of park days.
I've been taking mid-morning walks with the kids and J's been getting home as early as he can so we can all scarf down some dinner and fit in some swingin' and slidin' before the babes' bedtime :)
and, since the weather man's been calling for rain that never actually comes...
pretty much every day's been a park day!  no one's complainin!

here's what i mean...

day one

day two

day three

day four
{taken by our fabulous sitter, Gina, on date night}

day five

more of this = perfection!
bring it on, Spring... we're lovin' it!

{all of these photos were taken with my iPhone... as are most of my photos.  so convenient.  however, i seriously need to get A LOT better about using my actual camera.}


recipes i've found on Pinterest and actually tried...

I have 77 pins on my "mmm delish" Pinterest board.
I've tried about 7 of them.
all that i've tried have been quite delicious and i'm anxious to dive into some of the more springy/summery recipes in the next few weeks!

{LOVE this weather!}

okay, so here's a few of my faves ::

spinach pesto grilled cheese sandwich
recipe here.
i mean, you can never really go wrong with grilled cheese and i'm realizing there are SO many ways to make them...
i want to try this one too!

next up...

beer battered fried avocado tacos!
recipe here.
ummm.  yes please!
okay, everything about this was divine. 
i just felt a little somethin' was missing.  i'm a fish taco kinda girl, so we grilled up some tilapia with a little S&P to throw into the mix.
seriously, SO good! 

cream and garlic pasta
recipe here.
this has become my go to meal when the hubs is working late and there's no one but me and the babes to feed.  Asa's in love with it!  
you can never go wrong with noodles... and cream... and garlic!

so there's a few quick meals.
and now for a couple snacks...

sour patch grapes
recipe here.
my girlfriend, Kristy, and i made these while our kiddos slept one day... {i think we knew sharing might not be an option}.
loved them!  
found ourselves wishing they were a bit more on the sour side, but that might be helped by using a different flavor of jello.

baked zucchini chips
recipe here.
nothing beats yummy and healthy.
let me suggest at least 3 or 4 zucchini though... they shrink quite a bit while baking.
and you'll wish you made more.

no cookin' tonight!
J's taking me out on the town... who knows where we'll end up.
probably dinner and home.  who am i kidding?!
a little alone time, get dessert to go, couch time and Netflix...



my brother, Grant, is one among the five fantastic artists that make up the band, Flagship.
they've evolved so dramatically over the years to get to this place... such a good place.
you can't put them in a box. don't try... strong, poetic lyrics mixed with a sound that's unlike any other.  each member of the band is unique and so essential to making it "work".
you'll want to be a part of this.

Flagship ::
Drake Margolnick - lead vocals
Matthew Padgett - lead guitar
Grant Harding -keys
Michael Finster - drums
Preston Hayden - bass

American Songwriter features the video for their debut single "Backseat" here.

and read a bit about there upcoming perfomance at SXSW tonight here,
on the music media blog Circuit Sweet.

Happy Weekend!


Asa's 2...

this post has been a long time coming...
and i'm doing it while a very energetic Bellamy sits beside me.  she may have a little something to add in a bit.

for Asa's 1st birthday, we went with a Seussical theme and invited all kinds of sweet family, close friends, and little baby buddies.
this year, we decided to keep it fairly small.
on his actual birthday, Justin and i were up early filling balloons with helium...
we did our best to sneak in his room and leave them before he woke, but were unsuccessful and it actual worked out better because we got to see his initial reaction.
his eyes were filled with wonder as he mumbled through his paci, excitedly pointing out all the different "b-yoons".  Justin lifted him up and they danced through them before we tied a big bunch together and took them downstairs for the morning.
{we've decided this will be a birthday tradition for all the kids.. how fun!}
for breakfast, his favorite, cinnamon rolls and bacon.
pretty soon, we were headed to church, but not before we grabbed 10 balloons to hand out to his Sunday school classmates.
it was so sweet to see how special he felt as he walked into the church building holding all his colored balloons. 
as we ran in to different friends, we'd ask him "how old are you, Asa?" and he'd answer "twooo" while holding up 4 fingers {we haven't quite gotten that part down pat yet}.
the rest of the day was perfect... just the 4 of us. 

the following weekend, we celebrated with family and a couple treasured friends... including Asa's best little buddy, Colt. {we didn't get a picture of those two.  i could kick myself.}
we cooked out, enjoyed some sweet fellowship, let Asa dig in to some cupcakes and presents and called it a day.  i feel sure he loved every second. and so did we.

the end of the 2nd and on to the 3rd!  i can hardly believe it!

oh, one more thing....

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she loves him.