A Beachy Thanksgiving

We got back Saturday evening from a really fun Thanksgiving beach trip! It was a kid of unconventional way to spend the holiday, but we all agreed that it was one of our favorite Thanksgivings ever!

We ate at a buffet for Thanksgiving dinner and there was just seafood galore! It was amazing. I usually don’t love buffets, but the food at this one was fantastic! We stayed just a short walk from the beach and the girls loved running along the water after our seafood feast. They kept asking to get in the water–and JJ did at one point–but it was cooooooold! We all had to warm up with hot tea and coffee and warm baths when we got back.

O Friday we headed over to Jockey’s Ridge State Park to walk up and down the sad dunes. It was such a last! My kids were literally rolling in the sand. They also had a plan to make a dune of their own and spent a rather industrious 30 minutes building up a big pile of sand ;).

And of course there was more running. Because what’s the point of being in a wide open space if you can’t stretch your legs and sprint up and down giant sand dunes?

We left the dues about a hour before sunset a went to our favorite coffee shop for lattes ad hot cocoa. My mom and I hit up the newish Homegoods i Nags Head ad got some really great Black Friday deals! It was nice to just take our time browsing the aisles looking for goodies.

I between the fun beachy things and shopping and eating, there were lots of coloring pages, Hallmark movies and snuggles.

We had such a great time that we’re talking about doing it again the next time we all spend Thanksgiving together. It was the perfect mix of getting out and doing fun stuff and staying in and relaxing. A big plus was not having to cook a huge dinner after traveling to get to our destination.

I kept saying that this was the most unique way we’ve spent Thanksgiving, but I’m pretty sure being on safari two years ago takes the cake. That year will be really hard to top! I’m so thankful for our family and that we got to spend Thanksgiving with people we love so much. There is just so so so much to be thankful for!


Your Friday Favorites

This week I wanted to do something different with my Friday Favorites and ask you all for your favorites! Give me all your best advice about these things.


I’ve come to the end of my planner and I need a new one at the beginning of the year. Here’s my issue–I really like my planner to run July-July rather than January-January. I just think it’s more convenient with the girls’ school schedules if I can sit down and write in all their days off and field trips at the beginning of the year in one planner. So I need a planner from January through the end of June right now, and then a July to July one. Do they make those? Should I just go super cheap now and then get a nice one in June? Are there cheap planners that are actually nice? I know there are planner people out there that are totally particular about their planners, so give me your favorites! Which planner do you love and why??


I’ve been wearing CoverGirl Smoothers for years now, but it just feels kind of heavy and disappears too soon for my looooong days. What recommendations do you have for a really great under eye concealer that lasts all day. I also have pretty dark circles under my eyes (thanks nursing career and kiddos!), so I definitely need something to counteract that.

Fall Foods

I’m really in need of some recipes to add to my repertoire. I love cooking in the fall when warm comforting food just tastes so good, but I feel like I’ve had the same recipes on repeat for the last several years. What are some of your favorite dinner recipes for fall? Links to blogs or online magazines would be super helpful!

Comedy TV Series

My goal for this year was to really clean it and organize the house. But I need a good light-hearted show I can stream while I’m doing it. It just helps so much with the motivation, ya know?? 😉 Here are my musts: it has to be comedy–I’m just not in a place in life that I can handle anything too heavy (especially while I’m cleaning), it has to be funny but also clever and witty, and it has to be on either Amazon or Netflix. Is there anything out there that fits the bill?? I should probably mention I’ve watched (and rewatched) every season of 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, Friends (watched to DEATH), Parks and Rec, and The Office.

And last but not least…<<< e finally started writing about our adoption--how we started, what happened in the middle, and how we saw God show up in a BIG way in the end. I’ll post once or twice a week sharing our story and here’s what I want to know--if I did some of this on my blog in written form and some of it on YouTube videos would you be interested in following along both places? Sometimes I think it’s just a little hard to convey emotions and all the things we thought and felt here on the blog. And I thought it would be a fun way to sort of “interact.” Let me know what you think!


Better Late Than Never Friday Favorites

We’ve had a week here! We hit up the state fair last night and we were all so worn out by the end that I didn’t have it in me to sit down and write a post. So here it is–better late than never, the things I’m thankful for this week!



Date night! We traded off with our best friends for date nights and it was a blast! Several weeks ago we watched their little guy while they went out, and Wednesday night they watched the girls and we hit up a new restaurant in downtown Durham, The Lakewood!

(Corey looking like he’d rather not be there, but really just wishing I would stop with the selfies in public.)

It was soooo delicious and we both loved our meals so much that we ate every bite and didn’t have any room for dessert, which was disappointing because it’s supposed to be amazing there! I had steak, and you know I had to photograph it to show the evidence ;).

Besides the amazing food, it was so nice to have a quiet dinner together with no interruptions. And of course we spent most of the time talking about the girls ;). The atmosphere at The Lakewood is a little retro and definitely perfect for a date night. They actually have rooftop dining that we tried out, but the sun was so bright in Corey’s eyes that he couldn’t look directly at me. Not exactly ideal for your once-every-three-months date night. So we headed back inside and sat across from the huge front windows and open air bar.

After dinner we hit up the new Cocoa Cinnamon and I had a Harvest Latte. The décor in this location is soooo beautiful. I can’t wait to go back when we have more time to sit and enjoy a drink and some churros!


(Harvest Latte outside and the beautiful tile outside Cocoa Cinnamon. And date night shoes–similar here and here)

And as much as we love being out on the town together, there’s nothing quite like being home with our little family.


We hit up the NC zoo last Sunday for the first time ever! I was unsure what the girls would think after being on a safari and to the incredible zoo in Uganda, but they LOVED it! They were both so excited to see all the animals and really enjoyed the experience. They actually had so much fun that we barely heard any complaints about how much walking we did. The zoo is divided into two parts–North America and Africa. We, of course, started with the Africa side and after three and a half hours straight of walking, we were all kind of ready to call it a day and decided to come back another time to do North America. We saw so many cool animals and the park is just so pretty and spacious!

This chimp sat in front of the girls right up against the glass eating acorns for the longest time. The girls were totally enthralled. If we hadn’t lured them away with the promise of a snack, I think they would have sat there as long as he did!

This was by far my favorite part of the day. I fell in love with giraffes when we were on safari in Uganda. And these guys came right up close to us and stood for such a long time! I was almost jumping up and down I was so excited. They’re just so graceful and docile. I had so much fun watching them.


NC State Fair! This was the girls’ first time at the fair and we had a BLAST. We went with Auntie Sarah and hit alllll the high points–rides, food, games, and friend Reese’s cups! The girls played a fishing game and won little trumpets and OMG, that was something. I told Sarah that it was significantly harder to lose them after they had the trumpets than before because we listened to just one constant trumpet call the rest of the evening. My ears were so glad to get back to the car and the “no trumpet rule” went into effect ;).

Waiting for the ferris wheel. That nearly gave me a heart attack when we got to the top. Thrill seeker I am not.

View from the top. When I was finally comfortable enough to move.

Fried Reese’s cups. There really is nothing like these. It’s a melty, gooey, fried ball of deliciousness. The girls were in heaven scarfing theirs down.


And last but not least, this meme I found this week. I’ve really been trying to up my workout game, but I can’t help but feel like this every once in a while. Or most of the time. You know.

I hope you have a great weekend! I am once again working for the weekend 😉 and then I’m sure the first half of the week will feel super busy next week. I’m loving that Fall is finally in the air here in NC, though! It’s been really refreshing. I’ll see you all back here next week!