Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Grandpa's love letters

Since my grandpa passed away my family has been doing a lot of reminiscing. We've laughed and cried over so many of our favorite memories, which I feel is an important part of the grieving and healing process. One of my favorite discoveries over the past few days is the stack of love letters that my grandparents exchanged while my grandpa was in the Navy during World War II. These letters are treasures!
Every single letter that my grandpa wrote to my grandma starts off My Dearest Darling. How romantic is that? I can't imagine having to wait weeks for a letter from the person I loved most.

My grandparents were high school sweethearts. My grandpa was drafted by the Navy and left a week after their high school graduation for the war. His ship was the U.S.S. Caswell and he traveled around the world 3 times. His ship was the first ship to land after the atomic bomb Hiroshima went off in Japan. I also learned that this picture was the picture my grandpa carried in his wallet of my grandma during the war. There was no Skype, no telephone calls only letters and a small picture to remind you of home. He brought this picture home with him safe and sound a few years later.
My grandpa with my grandma on one of his leaves from the Navy
I have loved learning new things about my grandpa these last few days. Things about his time during the war, things about his life as a young boy and his accomplishments as a young man. What a wonderful man he was!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Date Night at the Drive-In!

The other night Drew and I decided to pack ourselves a picnic and head to the drive-in! We got there early and spread out our picnic dinner then hung out on our picnic blanket until the sun went down. We had the best time and laughed until we cried during Madagascar 3. If you haven't watched Madagascar you need to! You can thank me later. We snacked on Sour patch kids and visited the old school snack shack for ice cream before the next show, Snow White and the Huntsman, which definitely kept my attention. I think I only dozed off  shut my eyes for a second. We had a perfect evening and stayed out later than we have in years.
Picnics always lead to photo shoots

And since I was actually proud of my date night outfit you get to see a few more pictures...
Skirt: Forever 21, Shirt: Forever 21, Belt: Gifted, Sandals: GAP, Necklace: Across the Pond
If you have a drive-in anywhere near you I would highly recommend going!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Never Better"

"I will see you again, this is not where it ends. I will carry you with me." -Carrie Underwood 

My grandpa went to be with Jesus last night. I'm happy and relieved that his suffering is over, but I will miss having him here with me. My grandpa was a wonderful man, one of the best I have ever known. He taught me so many things in his 86 years that I will always carry with me.
My grandpa always made time for his family. I remember him sitting at a table at their farm and playing checkers with me for hours. He came to every sporting event, performance, graduation and birthday party that he could no matter what else he had going on.
My grandpa made me feel beautiful. Every time he saw me he would tell me that I was even prettier than the last time he saw me and I knew he meant it. That man knew how to make people feel special!
My grandpa taught me to love chocolate. Whenever I went to visit my grandpa I could be sure the cupboard would be stocked with snickers bars and he would always share them.
My grandpa showed me how to genuinely love others and make them feel special. Everywhere we went my grandpa could make anyone smile. When we went out to eat he would tease and joke with our waiters who knew him by name. My grandpa could light up a room.
My grandpa gave me my pale skin and freckles. I secretly like both of these qualities.
My grandpa showed me what true love is. My grandparent's love story is better than any Hollywood movie. Their love for one another is real and true. My grandpa kept a picture of my grandma is his wallet during the war, he loved my grandma through cancer, a car crash and three children. My grandparents worked together to run a farm where they constantly gave back to others. They both loved each other and the Lord and everyone could see that.

My grandpa taught me how to drive. Since my grandparents lived on a farm they had a golf cart that we were allowed to drive around even before we had a real license. My grandpa took us on many golf cart trips and actually taught all of us how to drive it.
My grandpa instilled in me a love for animals. My grandpa loved all creature great and small and took care of them. Because of my grandpa I too developed a love for all animals and I'm thankful for my years growing up on their farm!

Whenever anyone would ask my grandpa how he was, despite the circumstance he would always, always say that he was "Never Better." Because of my grandpa's love and devotion to the Lord I know that he is in heaven and that now more than ever before he can say he is "Never Better" and truly mean it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A delicious summer drink

Since it is now officially summer I have a tasty drink recipe to share with you. It is sweet yet refreshing and is going to be my summer go to drink for parties. I'm calling it Pink me up Punch
Here's what you will need:
2 bottles Moscato (or other sweet white whine) I used the Barefoot brand
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
3 cups Sprite

Mix liquid ingredients together and chill. Add raspberries right before serving. Enjoy!
Original recipe found here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Birthday pancakes!

I finished this order yesterday and decided to have a little photo shoot with it.
Today is my 27th birthday and even though it's not even 10am here in Ohio I already feel so spoiled. My husband had to attend some professional development this morning so he left me sweet notes and presents all over the house! And yes he wrapped them himself.
I also used the excuse that it was my birthday to finally try these amazing pancakes. Even if it's not your birthday you need to try these! Just click here for the recipe!!!
It is also the first official day of summer! I hope you get to enjoy something summer-ish today like a picnic, the pool or relaxing on your back porch with a good book and an ice cold drink!

Happy First Day of Summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I'm Loving!

I'm linking up with Jamie and Michelle today to share a few things I'm loving today.

I'm loving my 3 day work weeks making Wednesday my new Friday for the summer. Doesn't that just make more sense anyway? Yes please!

I'm loving that my birthday is TOMORROW and that we have a fun weekend planned including a trip with friends to Valley Vineyards.
I'm loving my library card. I live within walking distance to a library and the number of cds, dvds and books I've checked out just the past 2 weeks alone could fill a shopping cart.

I'm loving free summer concerts!
I'm loving my new Tom's wedges! Yes my husband got the hint and he even let me have them early.
I'm loving my pins this week. I was looking for inspiration on how to wear my new maxi skirt and I think I found some!
                                                                           Source: via Allison on Pinterest
                                                                             Source: via Allison on Pinterest
                                                                                   Source: via Allison on Pinterest
                                                                                  Source: via Allison on Pinterest

And last, but not least I'm loving my amazing husband. The fact that he is an animal lover is only one of the many reasons I love him!
What are you loving today?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Recap and the best burgers ever!

My weekend can be summed up in three words: family.bonding.time. Saturday night we spent the evening at my wonderful in-laws house to celebrate my birthday, my sister in law's birthday and father's day. This father's day was very meaningful to all of us because we found out my father in law is in remission from Multiple Myeloma, which is a form of bone cancer. I'm so thankful to have this man as my father in law. He truly is like a second dad to me and his perseverance through this hard time has been inspiring.

Sunday we went to visit my grandpa who has been in the hospital for a few months. It was very emotional because he is now receiving hospice care and is not himself at all. I went with my mom, dad and Drew and we all got emotional talking about what an amazing father and grandfather my grandpa has been. He is a special man and I'm thankful to have had 27 wonderful years with him.

After that we went to my parents house and Drew and I fixed the best burgers ever (as told to me by Pinterest). We hung out on the back porch, took a trip to our favorite local ice cream spot and then decided to have a Star Wars marathon. It was so nice just to relax with my parents and my brother and spend the day at my home sweet home.
And here's the recipe for the Best Burgers ever and the secret sauce. They seriously were awesome and everyone was asking me what was in them.
Here's what you need for the burgers: (Anything without a specific measurement is to add to taste)
Ground beef (I used about 3 pounds of ground beef)
2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese
1/4 C. BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
Onion Powder
Black Pepper

Mix all together in a large bowl then form into inch thick patties. Cook on grill.

Here's what you need for the sauce:
3/4 Cup mayo
1/4 Cup ketchup
1/4 Cup Relish
Lawry's Seasoned salt
2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Try spreading this on your bun making these the best burgers ever!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday's Letters!

Dear Gray Hairs,
Adios suckers! I am loving my new hair color without you. Please stay away so I don't have to shell out so much cash to get rid of you again!
Dear Birthday,
You are less than a week away! I hope I always look forward to you no matter how old I get. Birthdays are just too fun not to love!
Dear Tom's,
I don't own a pair of you yet and I'm hoping that will change next week. *Hint Hint hubby.
Dear Summer Vacation,
I am absolutely 100% in love with you. Please sloooowwww down! 
 Dear Hot Stone Massage, 
Hands down out of my 3 massages I've ever received in my life you are my favorite.
#massageconnoisseur If I was rich I would get you once a week.
Dear Etsy Shop,
I am sorry I have neglected you lately, but somehow you are still making sales! New items will be in the shop soon that I'm really excited about!!
Dear Sweet Husband, 
I love our weekly Chipotle dates and I love that you are teaching a survival camp to 5th and 6th graders. I know that I will always be safe with you! P.S. You could be a model. How did I end up with you...oh yeah I remember I took you off the market when you were a young age of 17. Haha.
 Happy Friday Friends!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

From Blog to Real Life...

When I saw the idea of this Blog to Real life link up I was torn. I'm such a people pleaser so I had a hard time not including every blogger on here, but Emily did it and I had nothing planned for the blog today so I did it too. Here we go...
Lovely Little Things
1. Do you have any real life blog friends? Yes, but not enough. I try to get all my friends to blog, but they just don't get it. Their loss right? Here are a few that do though...
Courtney and I went to the same church, but had never really hung out or talked for more than a quick hello. Since finding out we both had blogs we became real friends and have been on several double dates with our husbands! She works at Anthro so she is always stylish, she is as sweet as they come and has a beautiful heart for the Lord. Check out her blog Dress up and Twirl. 

Carrie Jo was my college roomie so I know lots and lots about her and you will love her! She always has a fun craft or recipe to share and I love her style. Check out her blog Life of the Liles.
Ellie is one of the sweetest girls I know. She is currently living in Colorado and always has something inspirational to share on her blog. Check out her blog here.

2. Which blogger are you just dying to meet?
Honestly I'd be excited to meet any of my blog friends. I'm so jealous of all the amazing blog meet ups in California. Come on Ohio bloggers let's find someone to pay for sweet prizes and amazing food for us! Or maybe this already exists and I'm out of the loop.

3. Which blogger's closet do you want to raid? 
Kendi @ Kendi Everyday. She has an amazing new outfit everyday. Honestly I don't know how she does it, well actually I have an idea because of her genius 30 for 30 remix. I participated in this last summer and it helped my creativity in picking out and creating new outfits from clothes I already had. 

I also love Emily @ MeMe and He's style. She is just trendy without trying to be! She finds amazing thrift store items and somehow always looks adorable in an effortless way!

4. You are stuck on an island. Which blogger would you want with you to help you survive? 
Obviously I'm going to go with people who are already living on an island. DUH! Katie from Priceless Adventures and Clare from C squared W both in the Caribbean and would be my go to girls for island survival. 

I'd also go with Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds. This girl knows how to pack and adapt as she moves around frequently for her husband's job. 

5. The first blogger you remember "meeting" and connecting with ? 
Emily at Hope Squared was my first blog friend. She helped me see how amazing blogging can be because before her I was just a blog stalker and didn't feel part of the fabulous blog community. We are both obsessed with our cats and we have no shame about it although Basil is much better at wearing bowties than my kitties. Watch this vlog (although Emily hates it) and you will A.) Want to be Emily's friend and B.) Want to steal her bowtie wearing, well mannered cat. Emily is hilarious and whether she realizes it or not is very talented with all this bloggy stuff. I need design lessons ASAP Emily! Go check out her blog now! 

6. Any blogger that you admire and look up to?  
I just adore Jennifer Blair. Megan Mackey. and Meg from Henning Love for their beautiful and sincere hearts. These girls all have an amazing heart for the Lord and share it proudly through out the blogosphere. 

7. Who is the craziest/funniest blogger? 
Megan at Across the Pond makes me laugh out loud often. Megan says it like it is and I love her for it. Any topic you might think she won't discuss with you, she will. I love how real she is and am jealous that she lives in London! 

8. There's a reality television show for bloggers, who would you want to be casted with you? 
It would have to be someone hilarious and loud since I'm not really either one of if you fill that profile then we'd be a good team. So who wants to start a reality tv show with me? 

9. Some bloggers have really cool jobs, anybody you'd like to swap careers with? 
Well if you know me at all you know which blogger I would want to swap careers with...Pioneer Woman! If I could stay at home on my amazing ranch and cook for fun I would do it. If you don't know who she is do yourself a big favor and check out her blog. 
10. Favorite blog design?
This is so hard! I'd have to say Scenic Glory because of the vintage feel of her blog. I obviously love her work because I chose her to re-design this here blog back in February. 

I also really enjoy Janell's design from Happ-ily Ever After.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yellow Springs Street Fair

Before we made our reservation at our Bed & Breakfast we found out that there was an annual street fair that would be going on on Saturday, which made us very excited. Saturday morning we woke up and headed in to town to check out the street fair, which apparently is a big deal in Yellow Springs. There were tons of craft booths and food trucks that lined the streets and it took us at least an hour to make the rounds. We managed to pick up a few trinkets along the way...
After walking around for an hour or so we stopped in a school yard to enjoy some of the tasty food and some shade.
As we continued walking around the different booths we walked over to a booth that had different hot sauces you could taste and we watched as a familiar looking man started freaking out after tasting it. We watched for a minute and then noticed hey that's Dave Chapelle. Dave Chapelle is a comedian originally from Yellow Springs so it makes sense we would see him there. I decided not to be one of those people and try to inconspicuously take a picture, but I definitely wanted to. I took a picture of these gorgeous lavender bundles instead.
Overall our trip to Yellow Springs was a great one. We tried new foods, stayed at our first B&B, and took home some goodies and some wonderful memories. We will be back again Yellow Springs!
Part 1
Part 2