When I was really little, like Alice's age, my parents brought me to Wisconsin to meet family. We visited my Great-Aunt Dorothy's farm. I have vague, cloudy memories of snow, vast fields and long walks. It has been a long time since that visit and now we are living in Wisconsin instead of visiting. We are so thankful to be close to family. The welcoming warmth of a Thanksgiving meal cooked, in part, by my Grandmother is something I am very pleased to share with Alice. 

Dinner was casual and relaxed and we stuffed ourselves full. It was beautiful.

I've always loved the way the holidays look in movies. Snow on the ground outside and warm light inside. Our Thanksgiving night was like that. Alice had a wonderful time visiting with my Grandparents, her Great-Grandparents. She ran around the house, kept everyone laughing and sang to us at the table. I hope she will have a memory of the night. Even if it's just a foggy recollection of warmth and love and thankfulness.

11 things to be thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving! 
We have so much to be thankful for this year, I hope you do too.

This is how my day begins.

This is how we act around 5pm.

1. Getting to play stay at home mom, even if it's only for a little while.
2. My silly little bug, Alice.
3. Our Byron and his patience.
4. Living close to family for the holidays. 
5. Facetime- for the family that we can't be with on the holidays.
6. Pie, stuffing, and all the food we will be blessed with later today.
7. Snow on the ground and no more falling from the sky...yet.
8. Heat included in rent.
9. A car with seat warmers.
10. Friends, new and old.
11. Health and happiness.

sneak peek

 We have been hard at work prepping for this years Christmas card. I thought you might enjoy a sneak peek in the form of some outtakes. Rosy "Mimi" is always a cooperative poser. She manages the faraway, pensive look with her natural chihuahua graces. 

Alice, not so much. I had to bribe her with a KitKat to get her to stand still, and in the right spot. This is her enjoying her reward. I assure you our card turned out beautiful this year with no evidence of the chocolate bribery. 

snip, snip

It was high time for this little lady to get a haircut. I've trimmed her hair myself to varying degrees of success. But as Byron said one morning, she has that toddler helmet hair look. She needed a professional.

We had a great visit to the Salon. Alice was a wiggle worm, but the stylist was kind and very patient.

Alice managed to sit pretty still while watching videos of dogs on my phone, except when she would squeal Daaaawwwwg and giggle.

Her do is a bit wispy and unruly, but absolutely adorable.

a white christmas

Well, we had snow so that means it is fully acceptable to put up the tree right? Our collection of ornaments has become quite special over the years. I thought I would share a few of our favorites, old and new. The quilted tree above was hand sewn by my Grandma Niecie. I keep it low on the tree so Alice can touch it and feel the fabric beneath her fingers as my Grandmother once did. 

This is Clara and her Nutcracker. They were two of my favorites as a child. Clara has since lost a foot and the Nutcracker has lost and arm, but they are still very happy together. I always make sure they get hung next to each other.

The Mad Hatter and Alice were gifts from Byron's mother and are some of our newest ornaments. I found the little cheese wedge at Target. It is to commemorate our first Christmas in Wisconsin.

There are at least five cupcakes on our tree. These are my favorite ones, they are so sparkly and darling.

We inherited a beautiful set of Danbury Mint gold ornaments from Byron's Grandparents. They really sparkle with the lights.

The Dorothy ornament is another favorite from my childhood. When you pull the string, her arms and legs move. I found this little owl in a small shop in Micanopy, Florida, the town where my Great Grandmother lived. The stick reminds me of the Florida trees I grew up with.
Do you have favorite ornaments? What are their stories?

first snow

So, we had our first Wisconsin snowfall. It was totally manageable and really pretty. I'd like to think we are being eased into the Winter weather. As a Floridian, born and bred, I still get really excited when it snows. We will see how I feel come February. It's just so clean and peaceful and Christmasy.

I mean really, these little red berries in the pretty. All of the fall leaves against a backdrop of white...amazing. Plus, I can wear my cute snow boots!!! Bring it on Wisconsin.

a hike

Alice and I went on a little hike in the prairie lands. It was a cold and cloudy day but we found some flowers and even a little yellow bug. Coincidently, I like to call Alice bug and her favorite color is yellow.

nature center

I found a great list of free things to do in Milwaukee. Most are warm weather activities, obviously, but there are a view worth bundling up for in the colder months. I took Alice to this nature center on a cloudy day. We learned about all the animals that live in these parts.

It was a great place to visit with a little one. There were lots of things to touch and see. 

Most of the animals were stuffed. Badgers are not to be touched, obviously.

our wedding

Six years ago, Byron and I were married. We had so much fun planning our wedding and celebrating the day with our friends and family. Here is a little glimpse into the occasion.  

We were married in Wilmington, North Carolina in an old building by the river walk. It was such a beautiful evening with the sun setting over the water. 

Our wedding theme was Old Hollywood. We meticulously planned every detail from the movie themed tables to this newsreel, shown before the ceremony.

We wanted the ceremony to be the big show, so we provided concessions before the wedding started.

We learned how to fox trot and danced to Glen Miller's Moonlight Serenade. Byron created a playlist with songs from the 1940's and earlier for everyone to dance to at the reception.

This cupcake stand was a monster. I couldn't find a stand large enough for 200 cupcakes, so I made this one from pre-cut table tops from Home Depot and wooden candlesticks from Michaels. I glued it all together the morning of the wedding. It was so heavy we had to leave it at the venue, but it was perfect- exactly what I had pictured.

We had such a fun time planning the reception decorations. Each table was named for a movie, Byron and I sat at the From Here to Eternity table. We watched every movie and found props to represent the story lines. I even made trivia cards with facts about the stars and production. We hung posters on the walls and had stand-ups of Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart. 

We handed out wax lips and mustaches once the reception was in full swing. One of my favorite memories of the night was looking around and seeing every member in our families wearing these, laughing and being silly. 

I love our wedding, it was such a romantic and glamorous night. Byron and I worked so hard on every little detail and it was truly a representation of us. Six years and a few plot twists later we are still so much in love and we will be celebrating our anniversary at the movies. 


There sure are some pretty fall colors in these parts.

life in the north

So, we've been residents of the great state of Wisconsin for about three weeks now. I thought I should update you guys and let you know how things are going. It was really hard leaving our friends behind and our sweet little house (for sale here, if you know anyone who's in the market) for a lot of unknowns, but we made it. Our apartment is a little less than we would have hoped, but it is beginning to feel like a home. My new favorite saying is small space solutions. Surprisingly, we are adjusting to the weather well. 50 is the new 70, as I say. I actually had my car's air conditioner on when the temp read 45 the other day. How about that. I am playing stay-at-home mom as I continue the job search. Alice and I get out of the house everyday and explore. She is such a little trooper, going on errands with me and making me laugh when I need it the most. We are having a great time meeting other moms and kids in the area, everyone is very kind and welcoming. Life up here is the same yet very different from down south. It feels very authentic and casual, if that makes sense. I wear my Packers hoodie every Sunday and eat a lot of custard. The Christmas decorations will be going up this weekend, before the first snow of the season. We have our collection of winter clothes, wool socks, and boots ready. Every once in a while, I forget I'm in Wisconsin, then I see a map on the news or something and realize just how far north we really are. It's kinda crazy. There are a lot of things we love about our new home and a few things we are still getting used to. But, we have each other and plenty of laughs to keep us going. Wish us luck- rumor has it snow is on its way. 
Winter is coming.

a special invitation

We received a two very special invitations in the mail. One for me. One for Alice. Both were wrapped in antique handkerchiefs. By BFF will be tying the knot next year and Alice and I will be by her side as she takes the glorious leap into married life. We are thrilled for her and her beau's happiness and can't wait for the special day. We miss you dearly, Beth! Our hearts are so full! We wholeheartedly accept!