October 26, 2016


God gave Brian and I the most precious gift on Labor Day, September 5, 2016.
Meet our sweet boy, James Allen Crain.  He surprised us by making an early arrival on September 5, 2016 at 3:41 pm, weighing 5 lbs, 15 oz and measuring 18 inches long.  We were so grateful and surprised to meet him three weeks early. 
I I'm so thankful each day for such a sweet gift.
I love learning and growing with James.
I am being extra mindful to slow down to savor this season.   
All the diaper changes, coos, squeaks, grunts, and cries.
The way his little skin is so soft and smooth.
His perfect little fingers and toes.  
His sweet sleep smiles and wiggles.
And especially all the snuggles. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above.."
James 1:17

January 23, 2016


Last May we adventured with the Grundys in Nashville for Collegiate Summit.  During our free time, I led an unofficial culinary tour of Nashville.  Blake said that I kept us eating around-the- clock like newborn babies. 
We had coffee and treats at Barista Parlor.  And the lattes and pour-over coffees were the best!
We stopped for afternoon coffee at Crema.
And bonuts and biscuits for breakfast at Biscuit Love.

We shared burgers at The Pharmacy and ordered old fashion sodas.  And saved room for tacos and tamales at Mas Tacos (across the street).  If I had to choose, I'd pick tacos!
Brian and I dined at Husk on our first night in town.
And ate delicious breakfast at Marche Artisan Foods
We tried Nashville hot fried chicken at Hattie B.'s and all sorts of yummy southern sides (greens, pimento mac and cheese, baked beans, potato salad) and the boys got fries. 

We ended our trip with a picnic in the park by the Parthenon

January 16, 2016


We stopped by District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. for pre-dinner coffee and dessert (for me).  Everyday Adventures Lesson: It's okay to eat dessert first.

Since the king cake donut of the day was sold out,  my next choice was Boston Creme, although the cinnamon roll was pretty.

I read that the donuts at District are made from scratch (even the sprinkles).  That's straight dedication to the donut game.  They also serve made-to-order sliders and brew delicious coffee!
For dinner at Willa Jean (named after the grandmother of pastry chef Kelly Fields), the style was simple, rustic and modern.  I loved all the little details --- honeycomb tiles, Edison light bulbs, fresh flowers, and cute salt and pepper shakers!

The bakery/coffee bar was probably the best feature.  Maybe because, baked good, desserts and coffee are among my favorite things.

Brian had a great idea!  I got a to-go piece of king cake for the next day (since I ate a donut a few hours before and all).  I found the recipe here by baker Lisa White.  It was filled with fresh bananas, salted carmel sauce, mascarpone and topped with a praline glaze and pretty edible gold.  It also made a great breakfast treat for the next couple of days!
On our drive to NOLA, Brian caught up on the latest episode of Serial Season Two.  We navigated the Friday afternoon traffic with minimal sass (from me) and sweet patience (from Brian).  Date nights give us a chance for good conversation and fun.  On the drive home I pulled up Jennie Allen's Dream Guide on my phone (link here) to reflect on life in 2015 and think about our goals for 2016.