rosemary beach

Rosemary Beach might be the most magical place on earth. We visited a few weeks ago on the back end of a work trip and just fell in love with the beautiful architecture, peaceful beaches and designful way of life. It also happened to be winter, so we had the place to ourselves. We rented a few bikes, explored the town, and enjoyed a little bit of rest for a few days. Rosemary Beach is now our retirement dream. It's good to have long term goals, right? Thank you, city planners of Rosemary, for creating such an aesthetically pleasing little city for folks to enjoy. We certainly did. Until next time, perfect little beach town, we'll be dreaming of you.

fall at the lake

This weekend we snuck away from the city to enjoy the changing seasons at the lake. The seasons seem to be having a bit of an identity crisis however, because the leaves have yet to change their golden yellow and vibrant red. Maybe I am just missing it somehow, because all I seem to see is green. But I digress. And not that it totally matters anyways, because we still enjoyed our fall at the lake. The air was crisp and cool, we lit a fire, and breathed deep the fresh mountain air. We went wine tasting in the North Georgia vineyards, braved the outlets for home gear, cooked delicious food, slept in much later the usual, and enjoyed each other's company. What a treat!

puttin' on the ritz

On Monday and Tuesday of this week we cashed in a few vacation days and headed down to the Ritz at Reynolds Plantation to celebrate our second anniversary. Before we left the city, we indulged in breakfast at Empire State South and then meandered to the lake. We spent two days catching up on rest and relaxation and thanking the Lord for this marriage. We learned that we always want to celebrate our anniversary during the weekday because it just feels different and special; like we meant to be celebrating. We were blessed by our time away. Two years down, many many many more to come.

first lake day of the season

We snuck away to the lake this weekend to celebrate Easter with Al's family. The wind on the water was indeed chilly, but getting out into the sun again felt nice. The trees are still winter bare, and it feels like an entirely different lake than the lush summer look that we are accustomed to. On the boat Gus was cautious, to say the least, crawling up into our laps the whole ride, but we are still hoping for a lake dog come summer. We shall see...

catching up

Shooo wee! Where has the time gone? Remember that moment in life when you start a blog and then forget to ever post in it? Yeah, us too. The beginning to this new year has proved to be very busy, and thus, we are just now getting our feet back under us. Both Al and I celebrated birthdays in which, we became more adult than the year before. Years will do that to you.  Al went out of town for a guy's mountain weekend to Pigeon Forge (yeahhh c'mon) while I soaked up all of the goodness that our dear Athens has to offer with sweet friends. THEN WE WENT ON A CRUISE ... to the Bahamas ... with work {both of our work now !!!! } and have finally settled down. Those brackets are no mistake: I start a new job at Chick-fil-A tomorrow and I could not be more thankful and grateful and feel so incredibly undeserving. So here's a little update of the winter. We are looking forward to the Spring and all of the freshness that it is sure to bring.

film

Remember that time in life when we used to take a full roll of film on a camera, drop it off at the drug store, pick it up three days later, and excitedly sift through twenty-six memories in tangible paper form of quickly forgotten life moments? Me too. Until we got a vintage film camera for Christmas. It serves two purposes: one, decor for the homestead, and two, ACTUAL photos. It's great. So here are a few photos from our mountain weekend on said camera. Here's to simpler times, friends!

family planning (part ii)

We rented a cabin in Blue Ridge last weekend to talk through hopes and plans for the New Year. I was a little nervous that we wouldn't be able to get too far with planning, being that there are a few big things up in the air this year, and trying to "plan" the unknown, in a world where you really have little control in the first place, brings me a touch of anxiety at times. But the weekend was more about what we want to become rather than specifically what we want to do. What words do we want to be known for, what non-negotiables do we want to stand for, and ultimately, how can we be more like Jesus? It's freeing to know that you don't have to strive and achieve each and every New Year, you simply get to let the Lord do his thing. Makes the unknowns of the future that much more manageable. My heart left the weekend was such a deep feeling of peace knowing that the Lord has gone before us and is already at work in the things to come.

*We shot our first roll of film this weekend as well from a sweet little vintage camera we got for Christmas. Hopefully there are a few gems on that roll. Having never loaded film into a camera before (hello pre-digital age), there is a very real chance that we didn't do it right and thus, no photos shall be born. We shall see!

family planning (part i)

Last weekend we slipped away from the city to the mountains for an inaugural family planning weekend. A lot of Al's friends from work have been doing this sort of thing for years and years and we thought it was such a good idea, that we decided to start the tradition as well. It's just a time to unplug a bit and think about what you want the year to look like, what goals you want to set, what character traits you want to develop, that sort of thing. But aside from all of the serious stuff, we  knew food was high on the list of priorities of things to accomplish for the weekend.

We indulged in the grill a bit (a little luxury we have since forgotten in apartment life) ... and grilled everything. We underestimated said grill Friday night when our poor little pizza stone literally burned to death. A seemingly heavenly pizza; fresh mozzarella, basil, grape tomatoes, olive oil and sea salt ... with a bottom as black as night. Looks can be deceiving; there is a lesson in this dear pizza. Also pictured: Pan seared scallops atop bacon, with cilantro and tomatoes (!!) and grilled shrimp fajitas. FOOD. So good.

weekend in thomasville

We spent the weekend in Thomasville, Georgia with our good friends Dave and Ellie. It was such a treat to spend quality time with these two while getting to celebrate Kyle and Lee Ann's wedding. Dave and Ellie spent a few years in Thomasville on Young Life Staff, and even still know just about everyone in town, so they were the perfect hosts for the weekend. Here are a few photos that we snuck around the plantation before the wedding ... because when you're on a plantation, that's just what you should do.

new york (the departure)

If there's one thing that Al and I have learned over the course of this year, it's that ... we like what we like. We'll rack our brains thinking of a new and creative place to eat on Friday nights and usually just end up back at Taqueria. And we are really ok with this. Which is why it was so fitting that the last day in NYC was un-surprisingly similar to the first: tacos, shake shack, gelato. And it was perfect. Then we headed back to the airport absolutely exhausted but entirely happy. We love you New York. Goodbye for now.

new york (day v)

We spent our first anniversary on the Highline-- a green space bridge overlooking Chelsea ... city on one side, water on the other, buildings all around. There are so many images because we just couldn't stop taking photos of this amazing place. The Highline felt like an entirely different world where the city and greenery mixed so naturally. We just loved it. Happy one year anniversary to my favorite person on the planet.

new york (day iv)

Central Park was a dream. We spent the morning exploring the Upper East Side; grabbing a bagel and coffee and walking around the park. If I lived in New York, I would steal away to the Park at every chance I got. It was just magical. And that was the morning--walking and sitting on a park bench, walking and laying down on the grass, walking and watching some street performers. And after all that walking, we needed a cab to make it to the theatre on time. So we grabbed a quick slice of pizza and headed to Broadway to see Wicked--one of my all-time favorite musicals. After the show we walked home and met up with Natalie for a goodbye drink at the Bowery Hotel before she began the work week. A dream of a day!

new york (day iii)

On Saturday we spent the day in East Village with our local NYer friends. Meredith and Natalie have been living in the city for about a year and just love it. They took us to this cute little brunch place near their apartment called Peels because "everybody brunches in New York" ... only you do not have to show up at 8am to get a table like you do here in Atlanta. There are so many amazing places to eat in NY so no where is especially crowded. It was really nice. Then we walked around East/West/Greenwich Village and just took in the city. That night the girls had a Great Gatsby themed party at their apartment so we got to meet some of their friends. Saturday was a day of really feeling like part of the city, not just like we were passing through.

new york (day ii)

Oh the Chelsea Market! Buy me a million dollar loft and I would never have to leave! Delicious food, beautiful bookstores, vintage stores, sample sales, and a two-story Anthro ... my personal heaven. We spent almost the whole day just wandering around and it was quite lovely. We marveled at the city architecture and sparkling Hudson River and just enjoyed the crisp beginnings of fall. Then on the way back to our hotel, we stopped into the Housing Works Thrift Store (a city gem) and did our real shopping. We headed to Broadway that night and Al got to see his first musical ever--Jersey Boys. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

new york (day i)

A few suggestions we kept hearing over and over that we "must do!" while in New York was go to Shake Shack, Eataly and ABC Kitchen ... so we did all of them, twice. And let me tell you, they were amazing. I think Al and I could move to New York simply for the food. And we could live there our whole lives and never experience it all. That was what was so cool about the city; there wasn't just one area of town with good food and cool shops, there were ten. Hipster paradise.

a surprise christmas gift

This year for Christmas, Al surprise me with one last minute gift--a large wrapped box that opened to a QR code (technology age, yall) that led to this:

We decided to plan the trip for our one-year anniversary ... so the night before, we scrambled around trying to get our act together before our 8am flight the next morning. One of the greatest resources we had while planning the trip was a Manhattan book of city secrets. It broke down the different areas of town into everything you need to do that's off the beaten trail.

Note to self when planning next trip to the big city: substitute comfort for cute in the 'ole shoe dept. Rookie mistake.