Thursday, September 21, 2017

Saying Goodbye

Its been 9 years since the last time I said goodbye and that was to my grandfather. It never gets easier. It doesn't matter how much older or wiser you are the heart is still tender. On August 26th we said goodbye to my father in law. Though he was ill for awhile, the timing was unexpected yet serendipitous in a way. We had just come off of a beach week with Mr. B's family where a lot of quality time was spent with him. In a way it seems God knew his plan. To have everyone together. For him to meet his grandsons. To spend time with them. See their smiling faces and learn a little bit about them. It will be an amazing memory for years to come watching him with George, laughing and smiling ear to ear. I feel blessed to have even known him and to experience the outpouring of love and hear his stories from friends and family. He was a kind, loyal and hardworking man just like his son.

Every night since the funeral we make sure to say our prayers with George and thank our angels above who watch over us and who have left a lasting mark on our hearts. Even though George will never remember his Granddaddy, we will make sure his spirit continues to live on in our family forever.

Life's Afterglow

When I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears,
Be thankful for our many beautiful years.

I gave to you my love. You can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But now it's time I traveled on alone.

So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must,
Then let your grief be comforted by trust,
It's only for a time that we must part
So bless the memories within your heart.

I won't be far away, for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear.

And, then when you must come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and say "Welcome Home!"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Well, hello!

It's been a crazy 8 months (to the day) since I last posted. For one, we have the sweetest, most handsome 9 month old that has stolen our hearts more and more with each passing day. That's an obvious update, but let's get down to the real things that matter (wink, wink)! Let's see if I can get everyone (really myself) up to speed on what we've been up to!

What we've been eating... everyone knows I love to cook and if I could really spend my days doing something fulfilling part of that would be with cooking. But, the dinner hour has proven to be a challenge the last 9 months. I think we're finally getting into a good grove though. You know I love my homemade pizzas and the one below did not disappoint! This was sort of a chopped version as I was trying to use what we had on hand and it turned out delicious. Basically it's fresh mozzarella, ricotta, sauteed broccoli, and diced chicken - yum! 

I feel I would be doing everyone a disservice if I didn't pass on the two recipes below as well. I can't remember if we've talked about these carrots before, but I've never been a fan of plain ol' carrots for dinner. The glazed carrots from Cooks Illustrated are anything but and will make you an instant lover.  I've made them so many times my cookbook basically just opens to that page! Last, everyone needs something sweet right?? Do not pass up these chocolate chip cookies from the Pinch of Yum blog. They look basic, but who doesn't like an oldie but a goodie?

Glazed Carrots - Cooks Illustrated
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch *I use the bagged baby carrots and it works perfectly!
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Bring carrots, broth, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt to boil, covered, over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until carrots are almost tender when poked, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 1-2 minutes. Add butter and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to skillet, toss carrots to coat, and cook until carrots are completely tender and glaze is light gold, about 3 minutes. Off heat, add lemon juice and toss to coat.

What we've been reminiscing about... pretty simple - the last 9 months! All of a sudden it's really hit us that we have a 9 month old, and looking back on that time I feel like I had amnesia for most of it! Just thinking back on those long days and nights it feels like years ago. It's crazy how different developmentally babies can be from day to day! The only way I know how to slow the time is by letting G fall asleep on me sometimes. It's just the sweetest and I know that is also quickly coming to an end as well. How do I bottle up the last 9 months so we never forget each step we've taken together?

What I've been loving... tea! You heard it right from the previously self proclaimed Starbucks addict. My current fave is the Blueberry and Aloe Herbal Tea from Bigelow. So yummy and perfect for cooler weather!

What we've been up to... we have been everywhere! Let's see, first we were at the beach with Mr. B's family then we were off to another beach with my family which were both much needed time away. We took family pictures, we went to a wedding and we recently had a weekend away with my college friends and all of their husbands and sweet babies. We basically packed a summer's worth of activities into the last 2 months! 

Atlantic Beach, NC

Holden Beach, NC

my forever date
Leesburg, VA

all the kiddies from our girls weekend! ages 4 months - 5 years
Cherry Grove, SC
What I'm dreading... is it too early to say cold weather?? Ice. Snow. Blah!!

What I'm working on... G's birthday isn't until December, but I've already started thinking about decorations and presents and cake, oh my! First time mother, first born baby problems. Oh well, I guess there could be worse things right??

What I'm excited about... Fall is really a fun time in our family! September is Mr. B's birthday, our anniversary is in October, my birthday is in November and now G's birthday in December. It's crazy, but I'm really excited to celebrate all of those things plus the holidays and all the festivities that come all with that. Is it too early to start listening to Christmas music??

What I'm watching/reading... I've been obsessed with Younger on TV Land this summer! It's such a good show that's reminiscent of Sex and the City. It just ended, but you can catch it on demand. They are already renewed for another season!

I thought with all of our beach time recently that I would have time to read a few books. Um... no one told me I was loco for thinking that. I maybe read 10 pages of Crazy Rich Asians. I've heard such great things about this book, but who knows how long it will take me to read it... ya know between baby duty and all! For real though, of the few pages I did read it's been good so far plus they are making the 3 book series into a movie!

What I'm listening to... 2 things - Radio Andy on XM and Saltwater Gospel by Eli Young Band! All.summer.long!

What we're doing this weekend... considering we've been gone almost 2 months we will be home getting it back in order and enjoying some quiet quality time together!

What we're looking forward to next month... our 2nd anniversary! Maybe we'll get a date night out of it - wink, wink!

If you've made it this far, thank you for sticking around! We all know this is purely for my benefit to type this out, but I've enjoyed revisiting this space of mine and I hope to continue again on a somewhat regular basis. Hopefully, you'll keep coming back!

Happy Wednesday, ya'll!

Friday, January 20, 2017

New Year, New Baby!

Let's see... It seems I always start posts with "Well..." or "It's been awhile..." or on Friday's. Friday's always seem like the day I feel introspective enough to write and collect my thoughts. And for today - January 20th - Inauguration Day - it seems fitting to start a new. A new year, new thoughts, new feelings. And for Mr. B and I, a new baby. A lot obviously has happened since I last wrote (to you? the Internet? the air?). It's been an emotional few months ending my pregnancy and the life that once was just Mr. B and I, and welcoming a brand new life into this world. See, we prayed about our future baby boy for 9 long months. Every night Mr. B led us in prayer about the health of our baby. We never asked too much just to make sure he arrived beautiful and healthy. And on December 19th at 2:47pm he did. Healthy. Beautiful. Strong. Just what we prayed for. At that exact moment, we were finally able to set aside all of the anxious feelings we had lined up for 9 months. And as I'm sitting here typing this watching my new buddy and listening to him explore what will be his voice, it brings a tear to my eye. 

As with every new mother, there are so many things I want for our sweet boy. I want him to always know the feeling of being loved. Learn to give and receive it. Always see the good in people. Learn to love life's quiet moments. Love the beach. Love the mountains. Find what makes his heart tick. Never miss a sunset. Catch a few sunrises. See beauty in the simple. Explore. Learn. Develop. Never give up on his innocence. And as the quote says: "Respond to every call that excites your spirit".

It was late in the evening on Dec 19th and our family had finally left for the day after meeting their new grandson and nephew. Mr. B and I looked at each other - new parents and in a way already new people - and both said in unison "I can't believe our prayers were answered". 


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Recipe Roundup!

In my absence from the blog, Mr. B and I have been doing lots of cooking lately. Check out the recipes below that ended up being 5 stars!

[ one ]
made this for the 4th and highly recommend it for anytime of year! 
super simple and very yummy!!

[ two ]
used the recipe below and modified slightly by adding goat cheese and basil - delish! please disregard the quality of this picture :)

[ three ]
so good and refreshing!! modified this a little and used lemon lime seltzer instead of ginger beer and added jalapenos to the muddle - there's been a jalapeno theme around here lately!

[ four ]
had a craving for comfort mac and cheese and came across this NY Times recipe - will never use another mac and cheese recipe again!! that good and easy!

[ five ]
again with the comfort meals! this recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated and is quick and delicious. a great addition to a weekly menu!

[ six ]
you just can't get any more summery than tomato pie. i've also changed this up and made it with pimento cheese - yum!

[ seven ]
Linguine with Spicy Roasted & Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
this was a made up recipe that ended up being so, so good!

Spicy Roasted & Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
Roast grape tomatoes at 400 with olive oil, salt & pepper until they burst and juices are running. Saute garlic and 1 chopped onion until pretty cooked down. Add roasted grape tomatoes including juices to saute pan and continue to cook over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes to your liking and about a cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes. Keep cooking! Once the mixture is at your liking, add in about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plenty of chopped fresh basil and about 1/2 cup half and half. Continue to stir and cook a few more minutes. Serve over linguine and enjoy!

[ eight ]
perfect summer salad and makes great leftovers

Hopefully you've found something new and yummy to make for dinner tonight! What have you been making lately? I'm always looking for new recipes!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Five on Friday!

Welcome to this week's edition of Five on Friday. 
As always, I'm linking up with Five on Friday and Oh Hey Friday!

one | BABY!
Obviously, I have to revisit my  post from earlier this week about our amazing news that Mr. B and I are expecting a sweet little boy in December! We are over the moon!!

two | UnREAL
Has anyone out there seen  UnREAL on Lifetime? It is based on the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. The scoop is that an old producer from the Bachelor is behind the show, and most past contestants are saying the antics behind the scenes are real. Check out this  New Yorker article for more details. It is the craziest show and seriously carrying me through the slump that is summer TV. If you need something to hold you over between now and the fall lineup, check it out! Also, speaking of fall shows did you know SJP is coming out with a new HBO show called  Divorce? I can't wait for that!

three | Nursery Vibes

four | Newest Addiction
I have recently become obsessed with  Origins Shower Off Exfoliating Body Wash. It is amazing. I have never had softer skin! A must try!

five | Currently Missing
Now that I'm halfway until meeting our little boy there are already things I'm missing about BP... before pregnancy. Let's see... sushi! wine! italian subs! iced green tea from starbucks! local cheeses! fresh tuna sandwiches! oysters! I have my sights set on a delicious glass of red wine sitting by my Christmas tree with my baby boy come December, and nothing is standing in my way!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Baby Makes 3!

It feels so good to openly tell the world [blog or otherwise] that Mr. B and are I expecting our first sweet little addition! Which just so happens to be a boy! Coming December - just in time for a magical Christmas season!

I'm officially halfway and so far I've been feeling great. No real symptoms to write home about expect that lately I can cry at the drop of a hat. If you're into country music the song "Holy" by Florida Georgia Line seriously gives me all the feels!! We've recently started calling our sweet thing by his name, and it has brought me so much closer to feeling connected and protective over our little boy. Like it's me and you buddy from now until December and it really does make me high on loving him just like the song says.

You're holy, holy, holy, holy
I'm high on loving you, high on loving you

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the other baby news in our family recently! My newest nephew made his way into the world on July 20th, and he couldn't be sweeter or more perfect. So many babies... so many boys! I can't wait to see my SON and nephew grow up together and make lots of memories!

Cheers and much love!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hello! I'm Between the Oaks!

Happy Friday everyone! I'm back with a new edition of Five on FridayI thought it would be nice to revisit a quick introduction this week since I see we may have a couple new visitors! 

Join in on the fun and link up each Friday! 

If you're new to the blog, I'm Anna and I live in the City of Oaks (aka - Raleigh, NC) with my husband, Mr. B, and sweet 7 year old golden retriever, Callie. I started this blog at a time when I was trying to define and find intention and purpose through a creative outlet. It's been a lot of fun watching it grow! During this time Mr. B and I said "I DO!" last October on one of the most beautiful fall days.

Photo credit: Amanda & Grady Photography

The Stats...

I like my coffee just shy of dark brown and always iced. Always.

Most days you can find me working from home. My office doesn't look like anything from architecture digest, but it beats the cube I used to sit in!

I don't have a green thumb, but I'd say I'm pretty good at not killing herbs. Currently, my basil looks award winning.

I'll always be a part of the Pack... as in Wolfpack! Go NC State!

Everyone spends most of their life looking for their doppelganger, but I don't have to look too far. 30 minutes gave me full rights to be the older sister, right?


Lightening Round...

Favorite Food... huge, honking burger. Any day of the week!

Current Favorite Song... Can't Stop This Feeling - Justin Timberlake

Fries or Onion Rings... onion rings. all. day. long.

Red or White Wine... seasonal! crisp, ice cold white in the summer. cozy red when it's cold.

Mac or Windows... as progressive as I think I am, I'm a die hard Windows user to the end.

Beach or Mountains... beach, please!

Current Favorite Trend... does yoga pants count? how about athleisure?

I think that pretty much covers it! If you're stopping by for the first time, stay awhile and introduce yourself in the comments!

Happy Friday, ya'll!