Category Archives: Holiday

New Year’s Eve at the Lake House

We celebrated Christmas with my family over New Year’s weekend at a lake house in Alabama. It rained nearly the whole weekend so we spent most of the time chatting, playing games, and doing crafty things. The weather was dreary, but we had an awesome time together! I made a video with a few of the highlights, but first a couple of notes:

1. Christopher got a Virtual Reality Headset so most of the family tried it out including my mom and grandparents (clips included below). However the best reaction was definitely from my sister, Holly (the whole last minute of the video). I literally laugh out loud every time I watch it!

2. We have family devotional time every night with my family when we’re together (that’s the clip of us all sitting around listening to my grandfather). This weekend I was reminded once again how thankful I am that I got to grow up in a family surrounded by people who love Jesus.

Okay, enough notes, on to the video!

Happy 2017 friends! I’m so excited for the amazing things this year will bring!

Love Rach

Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg

Our family celebrated Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg, TN this year. We left on Sunday just before the fires came raging through and destroyed so much of the beauty you see in this video. My heart breaks for the devastation of such a beautiful place. It makes me especially glad that I documented this trip. Enjoy this glimpse into our time in Gatlinburg featuring snow tubing, walking trails, a murder mystery dinner, games, dancing, and just general family fun. 🙂

I have so many favorite parts to this video. From my mom snow tubing to Makenzie’s face when Christopher beats her at pool to my uncle and nephew dancing to my aunt photobombing my sister to Christopher’s selfie-mode snow tubing clip… it’s all just fun. I’m so glad we were able to get away as a family for Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful trip!

Love Rach

Halloween Happenings

Monday I updated you on some of the generic stuff that has happened since we got home from Europe so today I wanted to fill you in on the Halloween themed things!

We started by carving pumpkins with our friends Brodie & Lyndal. This has become a fun yearly tradition for us since they moved here a few years ago. S’mores and a fire pit included!

trunk-n-treat2

Then we did Trunk or Treat with our church which was a ton of fun! We dressed as tacky tourists (though we kept telling people that we weren’t in costume and were just dressed as ourselves, ha!). You may not be able to tell in this photo, but Christopher took this picture with a selfie stick and walked around with it all night taking photos with everyone. We handed out tons of candy and saw some adorable kiddo costumes!

haunted corn maze.jpg

We did the Haunted Corn Maze with our friends Stephen & Julia (the same night as Trunk or Treat which is why Christopher is wearing the Hawaiian shirt still haha). It wasn’t near as scary as I expected (thank goodness), but it was a lot of fun!

halloween-cove

And then for actual Halloween night we went to Halloween Cove just outside Memphis. We have friends who live close by so they invited us last year and we had a blast so we went again this year. People come from all around to trick or treat in this cove on Halloween night. They have a couple thousand every year according to their FB page. Thankfully our friends live close enough that we can park at their house and walk. It’s definitely a fun way to spend Halloween night!

How did you celebrate Halloween this year? Or if you don’t do Halloween, have you done any fall festivals or things like that?

Love Rach

Easter

Well… Friday’s post turned out to be popular. Particularly on Facebook. I don’t often share blog posts to Facebook, but I thought our friends would get a kick out of it. And I was right. According to my site stats, on Saturday alone, 896 of my FB friends clicked that link and came to check out what we tell people who ask us about kids. I’m pretty sure everyone was secretly hoping that the post would include details about our actual plans. But alas, no such sharing occurred. 😉

us at the beach{we weren’t at the beach this weekend, I just wanted to put a photo of us in this post and I happen to love this shot 🙂 }

But for those of you who are regular readers, I’ll tell you this: Christopher and I are excited to be parents someday. I don’t know what the future will hold, but I know that adoption has long been on our hearts. And that’s about as personal as I can bring myself to be today on this blog when it comes to sharing plans for our future family. 😉 So let’s move on to talking about Easter!

easter basket.jpg

The morning began with an Easter basket for my husband! We normally spend Easter with his parents and his mom always gives us Easter baskets (because she’s awesome like that). Since we didn’t get to see his parents this Easter, I decided to take the Easter Bunny duties into my own hands. 😉 Christopher was SO excited and surprised so I felt pretty pleased with myself. He has been really healthy this year so instead of filling his basket with candy, the Easter Bunny brought an assortment of protein bars, kale chips, beef jerky, Parmesan cheese (because it’s his fav), peanut butter bites, and other healthy snacks. 🙂 That Easter Bunny is pretty great. 😉

easter eggs.jpg

After church we came home for pot roast with veggies, mashed potatoes, and deviled eggs. So yummy! And then we dyed Easter eggs with our friends, Stephen and Julia. This was actually Stephen’s first time to dye Easter eggs so I was excited we got to be a part of that. 🙂

sunrise

Easter is definitely a day for celebrating! It’s the day we celebrate the fact that the tomb was empty. Jesus is alive. This past week has held some difficult moments so I love the promise of Easter. In the end everything will be made right. Jesus wins. And that’s the Gospel truth. 🙂

Did you give or receive an Easter basket this year?

Did you dye Easter eggs while you were growing up? 

Love Rach

Lately

me with will and mal.jpg

Last week we had the most beautiful weather here in Memphis. It was 70-80 degrees every day with a bright, sunshiney sky. So naturally I took full advantage of playing outside all week with the kiddos I nanny. Because I do the photography thing full time now, I only keep the kids about 10 hours a week so we try to play hard in the time we do have together. I sure do love these two. 🙂

kiddos at the zoo.jpg

And on one particularly beautiful day, Mallory and I met some of our friends at the zoo. Are they not precious in those big rocking chairs? 🙂 It was Ben’s (the youngest curly headed one up there) first time at the zoo at an age old enough to see the animals and he was flipping out over everything. It was so sweet to see everything through his eyes!

at patrick's.jpg

Last week also included St. Patrick’s Day so we went with friends to our favorite place to celebrate… Patrick’s! You can read a full review from a couple of years ago here. If you are in Memphis and want the best sandwich ever… you need to go to Patrick’s and order the Mempho. It is my absolute favorite and unreasonably delicious. (see blog post linked above for photos and description).

christopher building barstools.jpg

The weekend was mostly spent working on building the bar stools for our kitchen. We are so close to finished with this project which is just super exciting! The plan for tonight is to stain & paint them (we’re going two-tone again!) and hopefully they will be finished this week! 🙂

balderdash.jpg{source}

Saturday night we played Balderdash with friends and as it turns out… I’m not half bad at it. I even managed to win (though barely). The last time I played in college I was definitely not good at it so I was excited to redeem myself. 😉

Have you played Balderdash? Did you enjoy it?

Do you have a favorite place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Love Rach

Visiting the family farm (and other Thanksgiving week happenings)

Last year was the first time we had ever had the opportunity to sit at one table with both sets of our parents and eat a Thanksgiving meal together. And this year we got to do so again. Both times due to family stuff going on. But we find ourselves grateful to be part of families who love and support each other. To know that our two families love and care for each other is such a precious gift.

thanksgiving with the famOn the left are my parents and sister, Abby. At the end of the table is one of my mother-in-law’s best friends, Mya. And on the right are Christopher and me with his parents. Behind and around us sit my extended family on my dad’s side.

While we were in this part of Arkansas for Thanksgiving lunch we stopped by the family farm. What’s that you say? I haven’t mentioned a family farm before? Well, that’s because I haven’t been to it since I was a kid. It’s where I grew up visiting my great-grandmother, Rachel Morris (who I’m named for). After she passed away the farm went to her two children (my grandmother being one of them).

morris farmMy grandmother and her three children (my dad is in the lighter colored shirt). {photo courtesy of my cousin, Maggie}

So random fun fact for the day: my family brought rice farming to Arkansas. Which it turns out is a pretty big deal. I was so glad to have an opportunity to visit the family farm again and to hear my grandmother, dad, aunt, and uncle telling stories about years long past in this place.

us at the farm

I also loved getting to take Christopher out to the farm and show him the things I remembered from my visits here as a kid. My memories of the farm include: an outhouse, picking up pecans from the biggest pecan tree in the world (at least that’s what I thought until I visited last week as an adult and saw that it was, in fact, a very normal size pecan tree), wearing my great-grandmother’s wigs, and mosquitoes the size of my face. It was a good place to grow up visiting. 🙂

vendettis{photo courtesy of my cousin, Maggie}

We spent the rest of the week with my parents-in-law, but it was pretty low key so I don’t have many pictures from it (also it was pouring rain every day after Thursday so that limited the things we could do outdoors which is typically what we do when we’re with my parents-in-law). However, I did manage to snap a really precious shot of Christopher and his dad decorating the Christmas tree together.

tony and christopher decorate the tree

Christopher’s dad has dementia so there are good moments and hard moments. We had some of both this past week, but this was definitely a precious one. The best part of  this Thanksgiving week was being surrounded by so many people we are thankful for. 🙂

Did you grow up visiting a farm? Or grow up on a farm?

Have you ever celebrated a holiday meal with both sides of your family at the same table? 

Fill me in on your Thanksgiving! I’m behind in blog reading and hope to catch up soon, but until I do – I want to hear at least a snippet! 🙂 

Love Rach

Pumpkin Carving… and Drilling!

Last night Brodie & Lyndal came over to carve pumpkins! Well, the boys carved pumpkins while Lyndal and I drilled our pumpkins! Yup! We broke out the power tools!

lyndal and rach

I saw this on Pinterest a couple of years ago and it’s such a neat idea! You empty the pumpkin by cutting a hole into the bottom of it so the top looks untouched. And then you use a drill to put holes in the pumpkin! I used a 5/16th bit in the drill and it made a big ol’ mess, but it was worth it because I love the way it looks! Lyndal used a 3/8th bit because her pumpkin was bigger than mine and if I had to do it over again – I’d probably use the bigger bit next time even on a small pumpkin. It just lets out more light. But I still love how both pumpkins turned out! Plus I love how easy this is. I mean, really… no carving or planning. You just drilled a bunch of random holes until it looked sufficiently “hole-y.” 😉

christopher's pumpkin

Christopher went old school classic and did Frankenstein!

polka dot pumpkin

Mine and Christopher’s pumpkins!

pumpkins!

All four of our pumpkins! Brodie’s pumpkin was by far the most detailed and it turned out really amazing! He free-handed the Mississippi State design. I was super impressed!

fire pit

We had s’mores around the fire pit and sat under the stars and watched the dying embers glow. It was such a good night. 🙂

Have you carved pumpkins yet this year?

Have you ever used power tools on a pumpkin?

Love Rach