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A Lovely Little Stocking Stuffer…

“First comes the stocking of Little Nell

Oh, dear Santa fill it well

Give her a dolly that laughs and cries

One that will open and shut her eyes

Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go?

Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go?

Up on the housetop, click, click, click

Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick” – Up on the Housetop Gene Autry, 1953

I love this Christmas song probably because it was one of the first ones I learned at school and also because my dad was a nostalgic fan of singing cowboy, Gene Autry’s jolly version. And now it’s part of my Little Lovely’s repertoire of toddler tunes, including “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Happy Birthday.”

A few weeks until Christmas, and while I’ve wrapped up most of my big shopping, I’m working on filling stockings and finding white elephant gifts. Here are a few favorites for friends, children and maybe yourself…don’t forget to tell Santa! 🎅🏻💕

{Metallic Mini Madeline Earrings by Mignonne Gavigan available locally at Scout and Mollys // Jellycat Bashful Unicorn brand available locally at Cottage and Vine // Silhouette ornament by Mark & Graham // Rose All Day ornament from Swoozies // Hand painted angel ornament by L Mitchell Art // Monogram dishes by Susan Gordon Pottery // Voluspa Visions of Sugarplums Petite Candle Tin // Corksicle Tumbler brand available locally at Just the Thing // Prosecco Pong}

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Ten Lovely Years…

10 years

120 months

522 weeks

3,652 days

87,600 hours

52,588,800 minutes and

315,567,360 seconds

Today marks our ten year wedding anniversary. On a picture perfect November 3, we stood in front of cherished friends and family overlooking the Okatie River in Bluffton, S.C., and promised to love each other forever. Then we danced under the stars before embarking on our happily ever after.

I’ve been reflecting on the ceremony led by my dear friend, Chaplain Mel Baars O’Malley, who spoke of our relationship in terms of life’s journey. During the past decade, we’ve experienced so much life, growing into ourselves, becoming parents and a family with our beautiful daughter, and learning together how to manage the joys and difficulties along our journey.

It’s only fitting that we celebrate ten years traveling together and creating new memories of shared experience to add to our story.

“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel

That they are joined together

To strengthen each other in all labours,

To minister to each other in all sorrow,

To share with each other in all gladness,

To be one with each other in the silent, unspoken memories?” – George Elliot

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A Lovely Fall Break…

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” -L.M. Montgomery

The weather this fall has been unseasonably warm even for South Carolina, so we took advantage of the continued summer to plan a beach trip over the long weekend.

Nothing on the schedule except for beach walks and watching some football (for Jody) which meant plenty of time to play and relax.

Dinner on the patio at Bistro 217 was the perfect way to end the day (Eloise is a big fan of their homemade banana ice cream).

We took one more beach walk before heading home. Until next time!

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A Lovely Little Apple…

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple” -J.K. Rowling

The weather was so beautiful yesterday that we decided to hop in the car and head up to Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC. Only a two hour ride from Columbia, Sky Top is the perfect destination for a day trip. In addition to acres of varietal apple trees, the orchard features a market of specialty apple products, fresh cider and delicious goodies, including hot apple cider donuts. There is a playground and tables outside where we were able to have a picnic lunch before we started picking.

Eloise was proud to help select the ripe fruit and place in our basket, and we are planning to make some apple crisp together this week. Make sure to add this fun, family activity to your fall list!

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A Lovely Little Folly…

Happy Labor Day!

Our family spent the holiday weekend in Folly Beach, SC, visiting with cousins, playing on the beach and cheering on the Gamecocks to their first win of the season!

Eloise was so excited to follow her older cousins around and particularly enjoyed her cheese quesadilla dinner at local favorite, Taco Boy. Mom and Dad were also excited to sneak downtown for brunch at The Grocery and King Street shopping (so many great Labor Day sales).

{These Gamecocks were ready for a win!}{Brunch at The Grocery}{Skinny margarita at Taco Boy 🌮🍹}

Hope you enjoy your day off!

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A Lovely, “Tea for Two” Enchanted Birthday…

Sequined tiaras, wands, crowns, teapots, fairies and lots of sweet treats! Eloise’s enchanted tea party birthday celebration was a magical morning spent with family and friends.

I enjoyed watching Eloise’s delight playing with friends, and I had fun planning the party details and decor featuring a custom balloon arch by One Stylish Party, flower “2” from Begonia Rose, “Happy Birthday, Eloise” banner from Banner Bakery, custom invitations and favor labels by Love Lucy Design, chalkboard welcome sign by Swirled Patina, teacup cookie favors from Sugar Columbia and whimsical teapot cake designed by The Southern Gourmet.

Some very special fairy guests from Once Upon a Princess enchanted our little guests, helped us decorate yummy cake pops, sang songs, gave out butterfly tattoos and helped us blow out birthday candles before flying back to the forest.

We still can’t believe that our Eloise is two and wish that her year ahead is full of love, happiness and magic!

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A Lovely Second Year…

"I wake to find your hand in mine
We must have fell asleep last night,
just right
The sunlights dancin'
through the blinds
The day is waiting on the line
just outside

Will you always be
my love?

Will you always be
my love?

Now cars are passing and
birds are laughing as
trees are holding up the sky
in the window
do they feel it,

have they seen it grow
have they been watching us
do they know?

Will you always be
my love?

Will you always be
my love?" – "Will You Always Be My Love?" By Holly Maher

As I give goodnight kisses and tuck in my one year old baby this week for the last time before she turns two, I think about how quickly time has passed this year, how many milestones we've reached- tip toe steps turned to walking and running, first words turned into sentences and conversations, family trips and memories made. I also wonder how long this magical stage will continue for my Little Lovely where the world is full of wonder; where new friends are greeted with smiles and hugs; where sweet giggles and nursery rhymes fill the air and where playing with mommy and daddy are her favorite pastimes.

Eloise is certainly the sunshine of our lives providing a consistent source of joy when we have needed it most. She gently reminds us to be kind, patient, live in the moment and laugh each day. As she grows up, so does our little family, and we can't wait to celebrate!

Here is a quick glimpse of highlights from Eloise's second year.