Category Archives: Date Night


This week was my very last week with the kiddos that I started nannying five years ago. Initially a full time gig that changed to part time just as my photography business took off. And over the past year I’ve really only had Will in the summers when he is out of school and only had Mallory for about 10 hours a week. So hardly even part time. But enough that we’ve still been a big part of each other’s lives. It’s hard to believe that this time is coming to an end. But it couldn’t be timed more perfectly. Mallory will be starting Kindergarten in August just as I’ll be figuring out this new mom thing. You better believe that the kids’ mom and I were both pretty emotional over that incredible timing.

will and mal 5 years later

On the left was them in 2012 not long after I started nannying them. And on the right is them from earlier this week. My oh my do I love these kids!

rach and mal 5 years later

Me and Mallory in 2012 on the left and the two of us again just this past week on the right. I have loved this little girl since she was an itty bitty baby and now she’s obsessed with all the details of my own baby girl which I think is so sweet!

will and mal 2017.jpg

They both love to poke my belly and say “Wake up, Baby!” to get her to start moving. It’s more than a little adorable. This week has been an extra sweet one as we’ve enjoyed our last days together. But now I need to stop talking about it before I turn into an emotional mess, haha! Thankfully they live less than five minutes from us and we are good friends with their parents so I’ll still get to see them! 🙂

us before flight.jpg

Christopher and I have been spending tons of quality time together lately. Our goal was to finish our “house/baby to-do” list by June so that we could spend the month of July just enjoying time together (unless of course Baby V had already arrived in which case we’d be glad we had things finished early). And that’s exactly how it has worked out. We’ve eaten at all our favorite restaurants, spent tons of time with friends, stayed out late, eaten frozen yogurt far too frequently (if there is such a thing as too much frozen yogurt), explored new coffee shops, enjoyed lots of pool days, and we’ve even eaten out at a couple of fancy spots that we normally avoid because they are on the pricy side. It has been a sweet end to the “just us” time we’ve had over our nearly 9 years of marriage. I’m so thankful for this time and we are so looking forward to the next chapter of life!

prenatal yoga.jpg

My mornings are still marked by prenatal yoga and then followed by gym time. I definitely have to take it easier than I did pre-pregnancy, but I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to continue working out throughout this entire pregnancy. Those endorphins are great and I know it’s good for both me and Baby V. Plus I’ve been told that it helps with delivery and recovery so hopefully that’s true!

38 weeks with stuffed dog

As of today I am 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. And on this coming Monday, at 38 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, we’ll go in to the hospital to begin the induction process. I get so emotional when I look back at this pregnancy and see every answered prayer. And there have been so many. Odds have been beat, miracles have happened. And we are so close to Monday. If you are the praying type, please join us in praying for continued safety for our daughter and that her delivery will go safely for both of us. Thank you!

Love Rach


Day 23 Check In

So I had great intentions of blogging about all the fun things we’re doing during our 30 days. And I have a little. I shared about going to Gracelandour trip to the DR, our Italy Memories Night, and going to the Civil Rights Museum & down to the arts district. But that’s all I’ve shared on the blog. And on Instagram I shared a picture from a bookstore date night, a family walksome thrift store shopping, and a snapshot from the Renaissance Faire. I’ve also put up a couple of pictures of some of the food we’re making, but there is just so much more that I haven’t managed to share yet. I plan to share all the recipes we really enjoyed in individual posts, but so much of the fun stuff we’ve been doing can easily be shared in list form. Soooo… here ya go!

Other Fun Things We’ve Been Up To:

-Bowling (cosmic bowling of course. With the black lights and disco ball)

-Lots of family walks

-Hitting up the gym together

-Lazy nights in watching sitcom reruns with take out Chinese

-Played Wii Mario Kart (we haven’t played this in years and Christopher is still crazy good at it. He’s weirdly incredible with hand-eye coordination)

-Watched a couple of really great movies (a whole blog post coming on this!)

-Downtown to the Orpheum to see Gone With the Wind on the big screen

-Thrift Store Shopping

-Renaissance Faire (a whole blog post coming on this very soon!)

-Too many trips to frozen yogurt (Menchies is our fav because they have great sugar free flavors for me!)

-Board Games & Coloring in coloring books (because the child in us loves it)

Serious Talks

We’ve also spent a lot of time talking about future plans (home renovation, career things, volunteer work, etc). I’ll be honest, I thought I knew “for sure” which things I really wanted to do. But after this time of prayer and more discussion, I’m finding that I’m not as sure. And that’s probably good for me, ha! I’ll share more on this as we make decisions.

Spiritual Life

We also started a new daily devotional during these 30 days, but we just couldn’t take the cheesiness of it (it was a daily devotional to help build marriages and really took a lot of scriptures out of context) and quit it last week. So we’ve switched to reading through the book of James for the rest of this week since that’s what we’re studying at church. After that we’re switching to the SheReadsTruth & HeReadsTruth app/website to study the book of Daniel. I love studying scripture with Christopher and being challenged by God’s word. And I especially love that we have plenty of time every night to do this instead of trying to cram it in after we get home from wherever we’ve been before we crash in bed. 🙂

Travel Coming Up

This week we leave for NYC and we are super excited about it! We are also a little sad that our 30 days is coming to a close, but this trip will be the perfect way to end it! We’re just hoping that we both manage to stay healthy on this trip, ha!

So all in all, the 30 days has been AWESOME! A few more blog posts on the fun things we’ve been doing are coming soon! And plenty of delicious recipes will be up on the blog soon. 🙂

Have you played the Wii lately? It is sooo 2007-2009. 😉 But we still have our Wii. I’m glad we brought it out last night. We had fun!

Do you have a favorite frozen yogurt shop?

Any recommendations for a good daily devotional or Bible study? Most of the really great ones I’ve seen have been geared toward women. Which is great for me, but we like to study together sometimes, too.

Love Rach

Celebrating 9 Years Together!

This past weekend we celebrated 9 years together! On September 29th, 2004 we had that all-too-important “DTR” (you know, the “determine the relationship” talk). We were best friends who decided to take our relationship a different and more romantic direction. I’m so glad we did. 😀 And this weekend we celebrated!

ferris wheel midsouth fairWe started by going to the MidSouth Fair! That’s us on the ferris wheel on your left. 🙂

animals midsouthMy favorite part of the fair is always the petting zoo! Some of you have probably already seen it on Instagram, but I got to pet a kangaroo! Her name was Molly Roo and she was adorable! I’ve always wanted to pet a kanga so that officially came off the bucket list that I’ve never written! 😉 I also got to chill with a llama which was pretty cool because I think llamas are pretty much amazing.

pig raceAnd of course there was a pig race because what is a fair without racing pigs? 😉

artAnother thing we love about the fair are all the art entries. It’s fun to see the local talent!

After the fair we went thrift store shopping where we found some amazing finds which I will blog about later this week. Oh, and the place we ate for lunch was so great that it also deserves it’s own post later this week so stay tuned for that. 😉

usAfter thrift store shopping, we got all dressed up and headed out to dinner!

sakuraDinner was at Sakura which was really delicious! We both enjoy sushi and chicken teriyaki so we have been a quest to find the BEST in the city. Christopher really enjoyed this chicken teriyaki and while I enjoyed it too, my favorite remains at Edo’s. Sakura’s sushi was excellent. Especially their shrimp tempura roll which was enormous! The spicy tuna rolls were a little lacking in size, but they were definitely still delicious.
Sakura Japanese on Urbanspoon

The best part of dinner, though, was actually the part when Christopher got to open his present. I made a GIF of his reaction (it’s hilarious to watch his face as he figures out what I mean by what I wrote in the card):

surprise on Make A Gif
I got him FLYING LESSONS! Yuuup! When he was a kid, he wanted to be a pilot and while that dream changed as he grew up, he has still had a fascination with flying planes. I just knew he’d love this. I love watching this GIF because he is reading…confused…eyebrow quirk…surely this doesn’t mean what I think it does…it’s FLYING LESSONS!…huge smile! Not even going to lie, I’m pretty proud of myself on this one. 😉

us29 years ago I knew I was a lucky lady, but I really had no idea just how lucky I was. I knew he was smart and made me laugh and that he loved God, but I didn’t know what a great leader and servant he would grow up to be. I definitely didn’t know that he would grow up to be so classy and a better dresser than me. I knew he respected me, but I didn’t know just how amazing it would be to be loved by a Godly man. I am overwhelmed with the blessings this man has brought into my life. I am richly blessed indeed. 🙂

Love Rach

Pizza Night {finally sharing our pizza recipe!}

Every Friday night that we are in town is pizza & a movie night. It’s one of my favorite traditions that I grew up with and I’m glad that Christopher has whole heartedly embraced it into our own little family as well. 🙂 I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to share our pizza recipe with you guys since we make it nearly every week. I guess it’s mostly because I thought that I might eventually do a fun how-to video to go along with making the pizza, but that definitely hasn’t happened yet and it won’t anytime soon, haha! So I’ve finally decided to just share it with you as it is and then if I ever do get around to making a video then I’ll share that too! 🙂

There are so very many options for pizza crust. Our two favorites are to use artisan bread or focaccia bread. I’ve blogged about using focaccia bread as pizza crust here, but apparently I haven’t mentioned how we like to use artisan bread as crust sometimes too. So here’s a picture from the last time we did:

artisan bread pizzaAh, there it is in all its glory. Using artisan bread as pizza crust is Christopher’s favorite. He likes how it gives the sauce a chance to really shine. I really like this one too (it’s chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside like pizza crust should be), but I grew up eating focaccia bread as my pizza crust so it’s still my favorite.

focaccia bread pizzaPlus look how good it looks when you use focaccia bread as your crust. Oh me oh my. I love this. So many herbs in the dough itself PLUS the amazing sauce… it’s just fabulous!

basil, oregano, rosemarySo when making the sauce, you start with some fresh herbs! These are all straight from my little garden so they were uber fresh and fragrant. I don’t grow herbs through the winter, though, so I normally just used the dried kind. Still very tasty! I just like the flavors of the fresh when I have it on hand. 🙂

makin' pizza
pizza sauce

After the sauce has time to blend its flavors together, top your prebaked dough with all the sauce you want. {to prebake: 8-10 minutes at 425 for artisan bread or 450 for focaccia bread.} I like a nice thick layer of sauce because it’s my favorite (as seen in the photo above the recipe), but Christopher likes a thinner layer. That’s the great thing about this recipe – it makes two medium pizzas which means we each get to personalize ours however we want and eat the leftovers the next day. 🙂

pizza with fresh mozzoI top my pizza with slices of fresh mozzarella and pepperoni from the deli then let it finish baking until the cheese has melted (about 5-7 minutes). We have only recently discovered the joy that is actual deli-sliced pepperoni. It’s like the difference between prepackaged sandwich meat and what you get behind the deli counter. I’m not sure how no one has ever mentioned this to me before! I highly recommend it.

two pizzasChristopher uses regular mozzo cheese on his pizza and tops it with as much pepperoni as he can. As a side note: we put the pepperoni on top of the cheese so it crisps up more. I like the taste of crispy pepperoni. It does even better if you microwave it for 10 seconds, blot it with a paper towel, toss it on top of the pizza, let it bake until the cheese melts and viola! Super crispy pepperoni!

I hope this isn’t terribly confusing. I know I kind of bounced all over the place with different options, but that’s part of what makes pizza so great. And I didn’t even touch on all the different toppings we like to use or the fact that sometimes Christopher uses the artisan bread to make a giant calzone instead of pizza. Just so many options and they are all delicious. 🙂 Happy pizza making! 🙂
Love Rach


Go Karts, Putt Putt, and BBQ!

Christopher is the director of the activities committee at work and this past weekend he was invited to come to a free fun day at the local Golf & Games! And I got to go along for free  as his plus one!

golf and gamesGolf and Games! Check out their price list here.

corkysWe started out with lunch catered by Corky’s (a local BBQ place). Their barbecue is really sweet and a little smokey. Definitely delicious. I’m not as big of a fan of their baked beans, though. They have so much going on with them that they taste sort of overwhelming. But then Christopher really enjoyed them. And since I’m not a fan of slaw in the first place, it’s not really noteworthy unless I actually like it (at a few select places).

Corky's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

go kartWhy yes, yes I did take a photo of myself while we were zooming around the go kart track. Probably not my brightest moment, but the photo is hilarious so I thought I’d share it with you guys anyway. I’m almost grimace-smiling because we were going so fast and it was so bumpy (and you know, I’m busy taking pictures when I should be focusing on driving). 😉

putt puttNext up was Putt Putt! We’re both exceptionally bad so we decided to do the easiest course. Each one was supposed to be a Par 2. I won’t tell you how many ended up being Par 5 or 6 for us. 😉 I told you… we’re really bad! Haha!

hole in oneHowever, as luck would have it… we BOTH got one hole-in-one! Mine actually hit Christopher’s ball in too so I got TWO golf balls in the hole in one swing! You should’ve seen us celebrating when we made our hole-in-ones! We are on the course with all these little kids and we are partying like we have just won a hundred bucks! 😉

prize bucketWe didn’t win $100, but we DID get to pick a prize out of the prize bucket!

They also had bumper boats available to us, but people were getting soaked doing that and while the weather was warm, it wasn’t exactly warm enough to walk around soaked, haha! So we skipped out on that. It looked fun, though! We wanted to do that batting cages, but there wasn’t an attendant around to ask. They also gave us $5/each in a game card, but we ran into a family from our church so we gave our cards to them because we thought their kids would enjoy them. 🙂 Christopher is most excited to return to the driving range so he can hit golf balls. He has been looking for a place to practice his swing. All in all, it was a fun afternoon. We’re really glad that we went and had a great time!
Love Rach

Celebrating 8 Years at the Pyrate Faire!

This Saturday was mine and Christopher’s 8th anniversary! September 29th, 2004 was the day my best friend officially became my boyfriend and every year we celebrate! 🙂 This year we went to check out the local “Pyrate Faire”!

We saw these tagged stop signs on the way and they cracked us up!

I would say 75% of the people we saw were completely decked out in pirate wear and most of the rest were at least wearing a pirate teeshirt. We had a great time just walking around looking at everything and everyone!

Us at the Pyrate Faire!

“Scallywag Skool”! This was so cute! They taught the kids pirate lingo and how to hoist the sails and work together to “heave ho”! It was a lot of fun.

The pirates who run the “scallywag skool”!  We actually talked to this guy for a bit. He is a “living historian” who travels around on the weekends teaching about pirates in 1718. On weekdays he’s a firefighter in South Carolina. We learned a lot from him! Definitely had a great time! 🙂

Our 8th anniversary ended the same way it started so many years ago: an evening spent star gazing, laughing, and talking about the future. Back then it was at a playground, last night it was by the make shift fire pit in our backyard. Life is good. 🙂

Happy 8 years to my favorite! 🙂

Weekend Happenings :)

Friday night for date night we watched “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. I expected it to be hilarious. Which it was. What I didn’t expect was for it to make me cry. A lot. Yeah, apparently it has a couple of really sad parts. I think I cried through a good bit of the movie, haha! Anyway, for those of you who haven’ seen it yet and cry easily – just be prepared for a tear or two.

{source} The “dudes group” was completely hilarious!

Saturday was yard saling day! Then Saturday evening we decided to light a fire and spend some time taking advantage of the cooler weather. 🙂

It was such a beautiful night for star gazing, snuggling, and cooking hot dogs over the fire pit. 🙂 Hot dogs aren’t normally one of my favorite foods, but there is something about cooking them over a fire that makes me really enjoy them. I think it’s because I actually kinda like them burned, haha!

The other thing that made the hot dogs really good was that I made homemade ketchup to go on them! I found the recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple and I am excited to try out some of his other condiment recipes. It was seriously the best ketchup either Christopher or I had ever had. He even threw away the other (nearly empty) bottle of store bought stuff (which is crazy for us because we really just don’t waste food in general – we always get every last drop, haha!).

I know it doesn’t look pretty, but keep in mind I was doing this in the dark, haha!

Homemade Ketchup


6 ounces tomato paste
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
pinch of Stevia
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp pepper


Whisk all ingredients together. Store in air tight container.

Sunday was baby shower time! Cari Beth is having her first little girl in October. I’m so excited for her!

After the shower we had small groups then headed out to dinner with the youth group.

Some of my girls waiting in line at Moe’s.

It was a great weekend!