Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Grove Park Inn

We spent last weekend at Asheville's Grove Park Inn where Ryan had a medical conference. The hotel was simply beautiful. It was built in 1913 and just oozes old world grace and charm with sweeping mountain views and rustic furnishings.

Upon checking in, Caroline and Duncan were given little stuffed animals and then the next day goodie bags.

The view from our room looking towards the back of the original hotel structure. 

We were all impressed with the gigantic fireplaces in the lobby.

Saturday we spotted daddy taking pictures with his colleagues.

I spent Saturday afternoon at the resort's spa and felt extremely pampered. Jennie and I got pedicures and then alternated between the outdoor pool and the indoor saunas and heated pools. One even played classical music under water! That evening our group went to eat at Ambrozia, a farm-to-table restaurant.

Sunday morning while Ryan wrapped up his meeting, I took Caroline and Duncan to met up with Warren and Lainie for breakfast at Early Girl Eatery and then went to see their house.

And the entire Med-Peds group and spouses finished the weekend off at the Sierra Nevada Brewery. I think this is the first time we've all been together at the same time! It's been almost a year exactly that we went with Duncan and Caroline - Caroline had just started walking and this time she ran (and jumped!) all over the place.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Five for Friday

Is it just be or has this week flown by? We started the week off with a quick trip to Augusta and got home late Monday evening. I feel like I've been playing catch-up ever since...

1. Caroline is into doing everything that I do. I absolutely love it. It also terrifies me the way she notices everything, like the pony tail holder on her wrist in the picture below. When did she notice that I almost always have one on my wrist? She'll tell me things like "Mama went to yoo-ga" and then in the next breath "Caroline went to yoo-ga" (even though she stayed home). Also yoga is the only place she can fathom me going. Ryan came in from work the other day and she said, "Daddy went to yoo-ga" - he was like nope.

She also had to pack a matching bag for our short trip!

We at at Oliviana's in Augusta and had the best pizza!

Ryan had a work thing on Monday so Caroline, Duncan and I checked out a park and then spent time at the hotel pool.

2. Duncan's had a handful of seizures lately so we had his Keppra level checked this week. It's so scary, and I'd give anything to take this from him. But he handles it all with amazing strength! He's getting old enough to get really upset about blood draws and his bottle really didn't help like it has before. 

Extra snuggles were required when we got home!

3. We love when our little friends come over to play!

4. One of the best things about all of Duncan's therapists is they all full of good advice on where the best playgrounds are around town. We checked out Rockwood Park with Katelin and Heather after Becky told us about it in physical therapy. It was truly hidden - we circled the block three times before I noticed the sign for the entrance!

Caroline has been a little hesitant on slides lately after loving them all spring. But she seems to have gotten over it and did this one over and over.

5. On National S'more Day we baked s'more cookies. The first batch was a gooey mess, but the dough did much better after it had been in the fridge for 24 hours (just like the directions said to do!). 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Summer Reads 2017

I've done a summer reading list the last few years and even though it's practically the end of the summer, here's what I've been trying to read all summer. I usually pick up my book at nap time and before bed but then decide I'm too tired to read!

A few suggestions (that vary widely in genre!)...

The Summer Before the War

Absolutely LOVED this book. If you've missed Downtown Abbey, The Summer Before the War is a fabulous read that will transport you back to pre-WWI England in the last days of a perfect summer. The characters are endearing and the landscape and social drama of the town just comes to life. The book follows the town's new Latin teacher, Beatrice, who has moved to the small town of Rye and is much more freethinking and good looking than expected. It's historical, romantic and a thoroughly enjoyable read.

One of my favorite lines that illustrates the humor found throughout the book...Beatrice's thoughts after an early interaction with a maid, Jennie, "...and it was a funny thing about those in service, thought Beatrice, that they could be as rude as revolutionaries to those just above them while remaining unconditionally loyal to their masters."

The "rude as revolutionaries" sounds like something the Dowager would say in Downton! I'm adding Helen Simson's first book, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand to my must-read list.

Biblical Femininity

I was in a summer Bible study with Grace Church here in Greenville that published this book. It looks at what it means to be a woman made in God's image and how that affects every aspect of your life. From the back cover: God created every woman to be an ezer kenegdo, an essential counterpart. An ezer is one who comes alongside another and brings strength in the context of relationship.

The Last Anniversary

This is Liane Moriarty's second book and it's been interesting to see how she's evolved as an author with her most recent works like Big Little Lies. I'm about half-way through the book and quite tell where it is going. The main character, Sophie, has been left a house by an ex-boyfriends aunt. The house is located on an Scribbly Gum Island that is famous for a Baby Munro Mystery. Obviously, the mystery will be solved!

Church of the Small Things

I was chosen to be on the pre-launch publishing team for Melanie Sha new book,
Church of the Small Things. Melanie's books (and her Big Mama blog) are so encouraging, uplifting and life-affirming. The book focuses on the small significance of fully living everyday life and how God uses the small moments of our lives. Here's from the back cover: The million little pieces that make a life aren't necessarily glamorous or far-reaching. But God usues some of the smallest, most ordinary acts of faithfulness - and sometimes they look a  whole lot like packing lunch...Melanie helps women embrace what it means to live a simple yet incredibly meaningful life and how to find all the beauty and laughter that lies right beneath the surface of every moment.

Also on my to-read list is the newest book from one of my favorite bloggers at My Scandinavian Home. Niki is a London native who married a Swede and has embraced the Swedish culture. Her book, Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced Happy Life, looks fabulous.

Here's the Amazon description: Uncover the secrets of the Swedish philosophy of life called Lagom - meaning `just enough'. At its core is the idea that we can strike a healthy balance with the world around us without having to make extreme changes, and without denying ourselves anything. This delightful book, written by Niki Brantmark, founder and curator of the award winning interior design blog, My Scandinavian Home, gives a taste of the philosophy behind Lagom and shows how to include some of the principles into our daily lives. 

What are you reading? I'd love to hear!