Valentine’s Weekend in Asheville

Bryan and I took a quick trip to Asheville—one of our all-time favorite cities—to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and we got to take Finley with us.  We ate yummy tacos, explored breweries, had a delicious dinner at The Admiral, and took Finley on her first hike. The perfect weekend getaway.

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Hawaii

The Friday after Christmas, Bryan and I left for a week on the big island of Hawaii.  It was an incredible trip. We went whale watching, took a boat tour to see an active volcano, ate some truly amazing food, went snorkeling, and of course, spent many glorious hours simply relaxing in the sun. We absolutely loved Kona and are already dreaming about going back. Here are a few photos from our trip:

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2016: A Year of Adventures

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. This year has truly flown by, and so I’m taking a few moments to look back at some of our favorite moments. 2016 brought our world it’s fair share of heartache and pain, but it also brought our family some incredible adventures.  2016 is definitely a year we will never, ever forget. Here are some of our favorite memories from this crazy, wonderful year:

January: Skiing with friends, movie nights, snow days, leaving a church we loved, and the most wonderful few days in Jamaica.

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February: Bachelor nights with the girls, a new job, more snow, and a baby shower celebrating sweet Baby Kennedy!

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March: Lock-in with 4th and 5th graders, CBFNC, Holy Week activities at church, March Madness, and a few days at the beach with family.

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April: Baseball games, nights spent listening to music and grilling on our back deck, welcoming (and falling in love with) baby Kennedy, OIAM at church, and a trip to Atlanta for work.

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May: Graduation festivities celebrating my sister, Pentatonix at Red Hat, steak frites in Paris, boat rides in Capri, touring vineyards in Tuscany, sightseeing in Rome, and celebrating three years of marriage. (Basically the best month EVER.)

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June: Bryan’s birthday festivities, moving my sister into her new house, BLTs from Merritt’s, rooftop bars, and standing beside my best friend while she married the love of her life.

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July: A week of birthday celebrations, NYC, a wedding at the beach, pool days, buying a new car, and lots of ice cream.

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August: A weekend at the lake, countless hours spent watching the Olympics, Fellows orientation, and Saturday mornings at the Farmer’s Market.

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September: A crazy busy month of work, Ben Rector, camp with my kiddos, a weekend in Asheville, and house hunting.

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October: Girls’ weekend in Charlottesville, visiting my bestie in Chicago, family retreat with church, Rent at DPAC, and meeting Finley.

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November: Belong Tour, ALL THE GILMORE GIRLS, Thanksgiving celebrations, tailgating in Chapel Hill, Christmas card pictures, and buying and moving into our first house!

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December: Unpacking, Christmas parties, picking out a tree, decorating our home, Living Nativity at church, Christmas services, all the holiday movies, a trip home, and jet setting to warmer places!

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Here’s to 2017—I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us. Cheers!

Chicago

My best friend got married and moved to Chicago this summer, which I mostly hate. But the fun part is that it’s the perfect excuse to make a trip to the Windy City! This past weekend Bryan and I hopped on a plane for a super short week to visit my friend and her husband and explore one of our favorite cities. We started with deep dish pizza (of course!) and a visit to the Field Museum.  We also had a fabulous dinner at the Girl and the Goat on Thursday night.

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Friday morning I spent some time exploring downtown. Cubs pride was EVERYWHERE. It was really fun being in the city during the World Series and just taking in all the hype. It would have been more fun if they had won a game while we were there, but you know….#theresstillhope

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Saturday we checked out Wrigleyville, brunched, and took in some amazing views overlooking the water. I loved being in Chicago, and I loved visiting my sweet friend even more. We’ll be back…but after winter! GO CUBS GO! #flythew

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Cheers to 10 Years!

My college roommates and I spent the weekend in Charlottesville celebrating our friendiversary. We had SO much fun exploring, eating, catching up, and generally just being ridiculous. I love these ladies so much, and every time we’re together I’m reminded how important it is that we invest in these relationships. I tried to pick just a few pictures, but I couldn’t do it—there was simply too much goodness!

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New York, New York

Bryan and I went on a mission trip a couple weeks ago with our church’s youth group to New York City.  Trying to survive in the middle of Manhattan with teenagers was equal parts hilarious and terrifying.  They spent a good chunk of their time dabbing and playing Pokemon Go, but they also worked incredibly hard to serve people in Jesus’ name during our time there.

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We also made time to have some fun while we were there. We explored Central Park, ate delicious food in Chinatown, and saw the 9/11 memorial.

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Other highlights included a Yankees game, keeping 19 teenagers alive and out of trouble in Times Square, and worshipping at Hillsong NYC. It was a wonderful trip!

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Friday Links

Friday Links are a round-up of my favorite posts/projects/videos/photos from around the web. 

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Happy Friday! We’ve been in New York this week on a mission trip, and we’re having a blast with a group of youth from our church. We’ve been seeing a lot of the city while we’re here, so I’ll be sharing more on that soon. Today we’re headed to serve in the NYC Food Bank, and then going to see Lady Liberty herself. Have a lovely weekend, friends! XO

For your weekend reading pleasure…

Roma!

Rome was the last stop on our European adventure. It was a whirlwind day…we took the train in from Florence that morning and had just one day to see everything we wanted to see in the city.  We started the morning at the Colosseum.  Rome is the only Italian city I had visited before this trip, so I had seen a lot of the famous sites before. However, the Colosseum is one of those things that is pretty darn impressive no matter how many times you’ve seen it…

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Rome was CROWDED….way more so than the last time I was there, so it was a bit of adventure just trying to get from place to place.  We spent most of the day doing our best to make it to all the major tourist attractions, including stopping to see Papa Frank.

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We also made a wish in  the Trevi fountain….

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Fun fact: the last time I was in Rome was during my study abroad trip in college, and I made a BIG wish in the Trevi fountain and it came true! But just to be safe I can’t reveal what I wished for then…and I definitely can’t say what I wished for this time!

Ah, to be young….

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That night we had a delicious dinner on the rooftop of our hotel, and the next morning it was time to go home. I am so thankful for this incredible trip with my family…and I CANNOT wait for our next adventure!

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Under the Tuscan Sun

After leaving Sorrento, we took the train into Florence. Florence is a really beautiful city, rich in art and history and really good wine. We spent the first day exploring everything Florence has to offer. We saw the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, and of course had more gelato. (I miss it soooo bad!)

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And you can’t stop in Florence without seeing this guy…

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Our hotel had an incredible view of the city, so we enjoyed a rooftop dinner on our first night in Florence. It was the perfect way to end a lovely day.

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We also just happened to be celebrating our third wedding anniversary that day. Talk about a once in a lifetime anniversary dinner. I love that guy. I love Italy. I love gelato.

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The next day we took a tour of Tuscany. We visited several small towns throughout the region, did a wine tasting, and took in the gorgeous scenery. It made me want to watch Under the Tuscan Sun so bad!

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Our last stop of the day was in Pisa. One of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen is a whole bunch of tourists trying to get the perfect picture “leaning” against the tower (us included, obviously). It was such a fun day, but we were definitely ready to pass out by the time we got back to our hotel that night.

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And because you have to…

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Next Up: Roma!

 

Amalfi Coast

It happened—I have officially found my favorite place in the world. After leaving Paris, we flew to Naples and drove down to the Amalfi Coast of Italy.  You guys…it is AMAZING!

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We spent three days in Sorrento and traveled around to some of the surrounding islands.  It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen (and the most delicious).

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We spend Monday morning on a tour of Pompeii.  I have to say this was not my favorite.  I’m just not a history buff, but my husband thought it was cool. So if you’re in to that sort of thing….

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We spent the rest of the day exploring Sorrento, eating gelato, and relaxing by the water. In other words…heaven.

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The next day we took the ferry to Capri. By far one of my favorite parts of our entire trip was the private boat tour we took around the island.  It was a freezing a little chilly, but we had prosecco, each other, and the most incredible views.

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Take me back!