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Sunday Matinee

Today, after church and lunch, Wen, Rand and I went to a matinee documentary.

A friend suggested we see The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.  It’s a documentary about people from (some war-torn or communist…Iran, Syria, China) different backgrounds and cultures coming together to speak the language of music.  I enjoyed it.  Especially the music, although I do wish it went more into depth about how they wrote the music, etc.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend it for a 5 year old (Rand begged to go along and won out) or someone who can’t read since a lot of the movie is sub-titled.  However, both boys enjoyed the overall experience and made comments after about how fun and special it was.

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Blueberry picking

Last week, at the recommendation of a friend, we set out to find a local farm in Carthage, NC – Olde Carthage Farm – for pick-your-own blueberries and blackberries.

The boys were excited and loved picking the blueberries.  It was an easy activity for them to do! Philip was more interested here in eating the blueberries than smiling for the camera!

(Sometimes I have a hard time finding boys clothing that we like – for those who have asked, both boys are wearing similar shorts: Rand’s are H&M and Philip’s are J. Crew factory.  Rand’s shirt was a bday gift from his friends and Philip’s is from our trip to Vieques.  Shoes are here and here.)
The boys also picked some blackberries, but Philip is used to eating raspberries at home and had trouble not picking the red ones!!!!!  SO…we purchased some of the blackberries they had there on hand ready to buy for anyone that doesn’t feel like picking!
Isn’t the farm beautiful? I wanted to stay all day.  Best thing of all, it’s CERTIFIED ORGANIC!  And…so is Philip apparently!
They also had lots of flowers and tomatoes for sale.
The owners were really nice and great with the kids.  They even let Rand and Philip borrow some nets to catch butterflies and June bugs.
There were also lots of bees but thankfully they kept to themselves!
If you’re passing through Moore Co. or are local and need some blueberries or blackberries go check it out!  I think they said they would have blueberries for another few weeks and blackberries through August 1.  We will definitely be back soon.  Next up…some blueberry recipes;)

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So…where did I leave off?

I am so behind in updating the blog, it is overwhelming to figure out where to start, so I’ll just start with today. While the entire day didn’t go exactly as planned…or as I’d hoped…we did finally end up making it to Star, NC to their annual StarWorks Pumpkin patch I’ve been DYING TO GO TO FOR THE PAST YEAR! My decoration style has always been “holiday minimal” but ever since I saw the most beautiful glass pumpkin collection in a friend’s kitchen, I’ve been wanting to go to this event! It is held once a year at the StarWorks glass/ceramic studio in Star, NC and they put all the glass pumpkins out in the grass and on hay bales.

So…we got there late and there was not a huge selection left (unless you wanted to spend $200-$500, and while it does go to fund the glass blowing program in the Montgomery County Schools, it was a little out of our price range) but we did get 2 smaller pumpkins to start off what will maybe be a fun fall collection.

Here’s Rand checking out some of the finer pumpkins…

The evening ended with a fun wedding with old friends.  But I think Rand had the best evening as he was spoiled (including a walk to the playground) by a fun evening with Uncle Sam, Kristen and Nina.

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First day

Today is Rand’s first day at Mother’s Morning Out.  He’s going to every Monday morning for 8 weeks this summer and then will go for 2 days in the fall.  It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital….and now…

We packed up his little bag, got dressed and put on some shoes (just in case he decides to walk like all the other kids at MMO…we’ll see) and had some fresh strawberries and a scrambled egg.  This boy LOVES scrambled eggs for breakfast!!!  This weekend at the farmers’ market we picked up some extra-fresh eggs from Fox Squirrel Farm.  Yum.

Now I’m off to do a 2 hour errand blitz before picking him back up for lunch and a nap!  Happy Monday!

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First Horse

On Wednesday we went for a long walk and we bumped into Frank and Shiloh (the horse) parked in front of the Pinecrest Inn. While Nina was a little skittish around the Shiloh, Rand was thrilled — Frank gave Rand 2 giant carrots to feed Shiloh! While Rand has SEEN plenty of horses, this is his first time getting to pet and feed one up close and personal! He even got a few kisses and nudges. Where else do you just bump into a friendly horse and buggy on your afternoon walk? Makes me appreciate where we live even more.



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Rand’s new favorite thing is swinging.

Yesterday Rand and I met Wes at the park for lunch.  After lunch, Rand did some serious swinging.  When we told him it was time to go, he started to cry.  Honestly, we were so surprised – crying when he doesn’t get his way is a brand new thing – we didn’t really know what to do!  So…we let him swing some more.   Eventually we did have to leave so we had to walk out of the park carrying a cute little boy with HUGE tears running down his cheeks.  It was so sad!

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Catching up on phone pics

A few weeks ago on a rainy Friday, I took Rand to his first concert. We went to hear Homer Ferguson (friend and organist at Emmanuel Church) and Lydia Gill (friend and my former piano teacher!) perform in the “Bach’s Lunch” series at Emmanuel Episcopal in Southern Pines. It is a cool idea – you bring a bag lunch and sit in the pew and enjoy the music. Rand was on his best behavior until Ema and Bebo showed up with silly faces and a much tastier lunch in the pew behind us…then he wanted to go back and forth!

Saturdays have been filled with fun around here…but they usually begin with a big breakfast. One of Wes’ favorite things on the planet is breakfast at his mom’s house. A few weeks ago we took uncle Sam over to breakfast too. Here we all are in grandmommy’s closet – she has it all fixed up for her grandkids!

Grandmommy’s pancakes are good and she is always lots of fun…I think we may have begun a tradition that BOTH of my boys love now.

Last weekend Uncle James flew in for a whirlwind visit.  We had dinner over at Ema and Pops house.  Not sure what we used to sit around and do before Rand…

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Last weekend while uncle James was here we went to breakfast at the Track Restaurant in Pinehurst. Wes took Rand over to see the horses practicing.  I think Rand will love horses like his Ema does.
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Last but not least, we were so thankful we got to celebrate with Aunt Mary Devon getting “matched” with her 1st choice for her pediatric residency – Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC! Yay!!!!! This was our first choice too…since it is the closest to Pinehurst, of course. Photos of that celebration are on the REAL camera, so we’ll have to post em later.

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Whoever reads this is probably wondering where we have been.  I’m pretty sure it was January and then I blinked and now it’s March.  We’ve been up to so much I think I should just let the photos do most of the talking.

back in January…

Since it has been a pretty mild winter, we’ve been outside a lot.

In February, we celebrated Uncle Sam’s birthday…he is pretty good at blowing out the candles on 2 pies at once.


We hung out with Sam and Kristen a lot



We went to the park and did all kinds of new things like swinging in the kid swings


Cousin MJ is a pro when it comes to parks


I even took a little break from being the photographer


We had lots of play dates with friends.  Last week, Ryder turned 1 and I can’t believe I didn’t take any photos of his “Hungry Caterpillar” birthday party.  It was so darn cute.  I’ll have to see if I can find some photos for ya.



Stay tuned…I won’t be away for as long, I promise.

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We’ve been out.  This week has been so lovely, I don’t even mind that the groundhog saw his shadow (I’d actually like to wear the coat I got for Christmas at least once this season without having to travel farther from the equator).

So with all the sunshine, we’ve been in our backyard, riding on “the red car” and in the stroller, spray painting some fun things (more on this later), checking out the pansies and the Carolina Jasmine that has started to bloom…

And we’ve also been out in our friend’s backyard.

3 cute friends (actually, there were 5 total…2 6-month-old twin boys went in for a nap!)

Rand was enamored with his friend Janie

And food…he love’s these baby Mum Mum’s (least expensive at Wal Mart)

And cheerios (and grass too…)

Thanks for having us over Janie & Ginger!

Gotta run because I’m super excited that my 2nd StitchFix arrived in the mail today!  Can’t wait to see what’s inside…

Update: okay…so I know I promised a hair pic, but I gotta take a shower first and was waiting 24 hours to wash (not sure if that is a true rule for coloring hair, or if I just made it up…)

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Rand the Restaurateur

I love this pic of Rand in his highchair at Ema’s house – James took it on Christmas day with his iPhone. Apparently I need to get better with my iPhone camera, sorry for the blurry pics I took…anyhow…

Since Rand goes to sleep around 5:30/6pm every night, we rarely go out to eat unless we have a babysitter. While Wes and I both enjoy being at home in the evenings for a home-cooked meal (got some recipes to share with you soon!), over the holidays, we’ve had some opportunities to go out and so we took Rand with us. He hasn’t been to a restaurant for dinner in a while, so I was a little nervous at first but Rand was on his best behavior!

The other day, Jonathan and Shelley were in town for a visit, so we called the Butlers and took the 3 boys to Outback. Rand had a great time listening in on all the conversations and was excited to sit next to his godfather, Sean.

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Rand also made an inaugural visit to our Raleigh favorite, Dos Taquitos. He’s wearing his winter gear because we were sitting OUTSIDE. I wished I had a furry suit to wear too.
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That night, we discovered that Rand LOVES cucumbers (even though he’s making a silly face) and when they are cold, it makes a pretty good teether.
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Speaking of restaurants and eating out… is running a great deal right now if you enter the word SALE at checkout you get 80% off. While I agree that you need to watch the fine print before you buy any coupons, I just figured out we can get $75 in gift cert. ($25 each) to three local restaurants we like for $6. That is not a typo. $6. Just passing it along…


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Friday Photo Flashback

I am so excited for this weekend. Our dear friends who moved away this summer are back for a visit (and our bible study group’s “Thanksmus” party). I can’t wait to catch up. Here we are Christmas 2009…not the greatest photo, but I had to post it because I’m way to excited to think about anything else!!!


Also, here’s some catching up on recent photos from the iPhone…

This past week Rand took advantage of the warm weather and went for a stroll with his Bebo (His great-granddad who also has blue eyes).  Highlights of the scenic tour included the St. Joseph’s fountain and several giant Christmas trees.  The trees had some decorative packages underneath and Rand reached for them and acted like he was going to open them.  Guess I should wrap a thing or two for him after all (I was in the mindset of … he won’t know the difference … WRONG!) Wes announced to me tonight that Rand will put milk and cookies out for Santa. Wes, what kind of cookies would you like?

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This next out-of-focus shot is from the powder room at a luncheon I went to last week. I have always LOVED this wallpaper but wanted to snap a photo because I only remember it every December when I go to the Christmas Nativity Luncheon benefitting the Moore County Coalition for Human Care. This year, the speaker was author of Under the Overpass, Mike Yankoski.  He was awesome.   More awesome than the wallpaper but I still do love it.

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Probably because the colors/pattern reminds me of the Scalamandre zebra wallpaper.  I think I saw this zebra wallpaper for the first time in The Royal Tenenbaums.  I’m thinking our hall bathroom would look really fun with either one.  I wonder which one is less expensive?

Here’s a bathroom by Miles Redd.  I think I read somewhere that Kate Spade has the green version in her bathroom.

(Miles Redd via Elle Decor via shelterpop)

Last night, mom and I went to the opening of a gallery for artists Jessie Mackay, Meredith Martens and Marilyn Arthur.  The art was fantastic and a portion of the proceeds go to the Empty Stocking Fund.  The gallery will be open all weekend long (if there is any art left – go soon if you want to buy!  There are lots of smaller, inexpensive paintings that are so beautiful if you are looking to start your collection!) in the Village of Pinehurst in the Razooks building.

Here’s a phone shot of me and artist Jessie Mackay.  My favorite painting is behind her…love the colors (turquoise and orange) and the wildflowers.  Makes me think of this past spring!

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Happy wall coverings and happy weekend!

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Art and Lately

So here’s what we’re up to lately…

After Thanksgiving, Rand had some quality time with his cousin buddy Parker. They are only 9 days apart and it will be fun to see them grow up together and be friends.

Also, last week I did this. I’m still not sure what it will end up as but, for now, it is a pretty Christmas window display for Quality Upholstery in Aberdeen, NC.  Don’t you love that Trina Turk “Santorini” pillow in the middle?

I think it is funny you can see me, my car and my favorite Mexican restaurant all in this window reflection. Crazy pic.

Last night, I chose the winner of the giveaway!  Congrats Holly – I hope it is a blessing to you and your two little girls!

AND, I’m really looking forward to Thursday night – mom and I are having a girl’s night out and are going to stop by the Gallery Opening in Pinehurst in the Razooks Building for Jessie Mackay, Meredith Martens and Marilyn Arthur. Should be a fun evening – I can’t wait to see their new pieces.  If you’re around, you should come!

All are fabulous local artists and their work, while it would not be considered inexpensive, is affordable if you are looking to add to, or start, your art or jewelry collection. I have always loved Jessie Mackay’s art and I love Jessie too!  She is a dear friend who not only is a talented artist but a dedicated philanthropist and writer. Her blog, Karimu, documents her mission and travels in Tanzania, so go check it out while you’re at it.

When I graduated from college, my parents gave me this Jessie Mackay of a Tuscan countryside.

(note to self: lower the art…looks like it is hanging a little high from this point of view)

I also have one of Jessie’s rooster paintings hanging in my kitchen and a black cat (for Haywood – our 20 lb panther-cat) that was a gift, hanging in our master bedroom. I will keep you posted if I find anything new Thursday…

In fact, it seems like I was destined to go to this event because, coincidentally, we decorated Rand’s room around a Meredith Martens horse.  It is an electric blue chalk drawing and it hangs over Rand’s changing table.  It is a gift for Rand from his Grandmommie Smith – something he will be able to use in a “big boy room” and then in his own home later!

Apologies for the not-so-great pictures of the art. Rand is napping and so I’ve dug through photos to use what I already had. “Don’t wake the baby” is the new game I play. Yesterday morning, I saw Wes launch into an all-out sprint to stop someone from banging on the front door. With that, I’m off to price-check sound machines.

Hope to see you Thursday night at the opening reception (or if you can’t go then – the gallery is open daily all this weekend).  A portion of the sales will benefit the Moore County Empty Stocking Fund.

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Here we are after the finish of the Turkey Trot.  Charlie, mom, Rand, Wes, me, Sam, Kristen and Elizabeth.  While Sam, Kristen and Wes all posted some pretty impressive times, the rest of us took a more leisurely pace.  It didn’t help that Rand decided to fuss from mile 1 on…we actually crossed the finish line with Mom, Elizabeth and me taking turns pushing the stroller and carrying Rand who was thrilled to be carried.  He even clapped for himself as we approached the finish line.  Clapping is his new thing.  And screeching like an owl.

We were glad to see such a great turnout for the race – I think I heard there were over 1900+ people who participated.  Well, Rand is napping now so I’m off to get in a good Saturday nap myself.

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Have I told you yet?

I’m thankful for Harris Teeter Express.

If you know me already, you may be sick of hearing how obsessed I am with the new Harris Teeter Express.  I’m convinced that this new service was made just for me. Both Wes and I have determined that the $4.95 fee actually saves us money.  How is that?  I usually have at least $4.95 in coupon savings, but mostly it saves me from the extra things I suddenly need once I’m inside HT.  Eggs? Check. Bread?  Check.  Yummy cheese, new brand of yogurt, extra bottle of wine, gum, magazine, oreos…hey, they were on sale…

I am a planner.  I like to plan out what I’m going to buy and what coupons I’m going to use.  The planning usually takes up to an hour to do…then I still have to go get it and shop for it which can take an hour or longer (especially if I’m using coupons or if it’s senior discount day).  But now I just make one list.  When I’m done with the list, I just hit “order.”  Right after I delete a few things to get my total down to what I want it to be, of course.  Then I  just pull up in front of Harris Teeter at the time I chose (you can order up to 6 days ahead) and someone loads them in the car and swipes my debit card.  So far, I’ve spent less time and a lot less money grocery shopping.  What has impressed me even more:  I always get a phone call prior to my pickup time notifying me my order is ready early and asking if there is anything I forgot or would like to add!  Harris Teeter did not pay me to say any of this, I promise.  Give it a try and see for yourself.  Thank you Harris Teeter.

Okay…on to other things.  I’m guest blogging today about the Pinehurst Turkey Trot (a race sponsored by FirstHealth) over on, so go check it out.  Thank you awesome November weather.
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Also, I’ve been meaning to post this photo of Rand and Jonathan.  It was my favorite photo from our recent trip to the mountains.  Not only is it a fun moment captured, but also wows me because I never would have imagined that my sweet friend from way back in the 5th grade would be holding my son one day.  AND that our sons would be 1 week apart AND that his wife would become a great friend of mine too.  Thank you Lord for old friends!
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Today, I saw this fantastic Christmas swag (is that what you call it??) outside of the Aldena Frye Floral Design showroom in downtown Aberdeen.   Isn’t it fantastic?  I love how natural it is with the pine garland and pinecones, holly and grapevine all tucked in.  Magnolia too.  I think I need this at my front door.

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Weekend fun

This past weekend we walked to a local crafts festival. I found some really cute handmade puzzles – Rand will get it for his 1st birthday so don’t tell him. We also found the funnel cakes…

And we found Grandmommie…and Nina decided to catch a ride.

All the weekend fun landed me in bed Sunday with a sore throat.  Rand (in his new Mater Onesie) had a little cold himself but he wasn’t letting it get him down.  I chose this photo because it shows his sweet little dimple (and it isn’t too zoomed in on the piece of dog hair on his cheek! Errr!)

I almost forgot…last week we took belated 5 month photos before Rand grows even more.  This one’s for you Auntie Jax!



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Where am I?

The past few months have been quite an adventure with Rand in more ways than you might know. In fact, on days where he has fussed and fussed and I haven’t been able to figure out what to do, I would just load him up into the car, pull through Starbucks for a grande decaf iced coffee with soy milk, crank up the country music (Rand especially likes Randy Travis or Zac Brown Band) and we’d hit the road.  No directions, no maps, no plan. I think I have driven most of Moore County.  Wes was okay with the extra gas miles I logged now that I know 3 different routes to the Pik N Pig.

We like to take it slow because lots of deer, rabbits, squirrel, a fox, ducks, cats and plenty of mangy dogs have crossed our path on these country-road drives…and it is a good thing we take our time because then we don’t miss things like this:
Sunflowers in Carthage NC

Sunflower Field Carthage

Carthage Sunflowers

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Flame Prince Peaches

Yesterday, Rand and I ventured over to the Monday Farmers’ Market (Ruben the crazy bird tagged along too).
Rand and Ruben the Crazy Bird

It was a busy day, but I had a hankering for some peaches…Flame Prince peaches to be exact (NOT Red October Sam Franklin & Wesley Smith). The Flame Prince is a really yummy yellow freestone peach that is usually ready in late July/August. I learned that “freestone” varieties are ready later in the summer and “clingstone” varieties are earlier. The names mean just what they sound like – freestone peach meat doesn’t stick to the pit, clingstone sticks to the pit. Now I just need to find the perfect peach cobbler recipe. Any suggestions?

Farmers' Market August

I also picked up some delicious multigrain bread at the market. Wes and I use it for our toast in the morning. Although I just noticed half of it is already gone so we must have snacked on it some too…

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