Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Mama + Mini Monday: Lace

I am in love with these mama + mini outfits! Both of these lace tops are so beautiful and my red cardigan has been on repeat here lately. And what better way to enjoy a beautiful, windy day; then by dressing up and taking pictures! 😉

My top is from Anthro and I love all the beautiful lace details. The top is so feminine and vintage – just my style. My red cardigan is from ChicWish and is the perfect transition piece. It is warm without being too warm, it is super soft, it has pockets, and the tassels add a unique flair – need I say more? 😉

Ada’s top is from Crazy8 but I purchased it on Kidizen (have I mentioned how much I love this app?!). Ada’s red hair bow is from Ellia May Designs.

My little girl is getting so big! She is always on the move now and is so close to walking on her own! We are all so excited about it!

I hope you are enjoying your long weekend and all the awesome President’s Day sales going on! Happy Monday ya’ll!

And just so you can see where Ada gets all her funny faces…

 


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Life Lately + Valentine’s Day

What a week! This past week, Ada was sick – like, first time having a fever and all, sick. All she wanted to do was snuggle with me and sleep. It was so terrible to watch and I felt so helpless; especially when she started whimpering. The only good thing that came from Ada being sick was all the snuggle time. Luckily, she was only sick for about 3 days and was her sweet, silly self in no time. Just in time for mine and Randy’s night away.

We have been planning a night away for about two months now. Randy’s mom offered to watch Ada around Valentine’s Day and we jumped at the offer. We haven’t had a night away, just the two of us, since our 30 birthdays last year. So needless to say, we were practically giddy when we drove out of the driveway. Randy and I stayed at the Westin in Greenville, SC. I forgot how beautiful the city of Greenville is. Last time I was there, I was getting my bridal photos done at the Westin. The hotel is beautiful! It is like stepping back in time and I love very inch of it! From the polished brass, to the delicate tiles, and to the intricate iron works – just beautiful!

Here is a photo from my bridal shoot:

We had a wonderful time strolling around downtown and admiring all the beautiful architecture. But I am pretty sure that the best part was sleeping in! It was glorious!

The following morning, we enjoyed a Sunday brunch at Westin’s restaurant. The breakfast room is breathtaking beautiful and the food doesn’t disappoint. Although, I am pretty certain that I spent more time admiring the room than eating. 😉

After breakfast, we headed back home to our sweet, happy girl.

Ada had a great time with her mimi and we felt rejuvenated, mostly because we got to sleep in. Yay for more sleep, am I right?!

We had a low key Valentine’s at home as a family. We enjoyed cheese & crackers (Ada ate most of the cheese), a nice home cooked meal by the fire, and the best angel food cupcakes for dessert.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s filled with love, family, friends, and fun! Love ya’ll! 😉

 


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Mama + Mini Monday: Valentine’s Sweaters

I love little girl’s clothes around Valentine’s Day. All the red, pink, and heart patterns… so stinkin cute! I look forward to Valentine’s just for the clothes! I even enjoy sporting hearts on my own sleeves. 😉

I found my cardigan last year from ModCloth and I love how easy it has been to find matching outfits for Ada. Navy and red go so well together. Last year, Ada wore the cutest navy and red bloomers to match my cardigan. This year, I literally squealed in delight when I found her navy sweater on Kidizen. It is the cutest sweater and it matches my cardigan perfectly! Gosh, I am going to be so sad when she outgrows it! Hopefully, someone will make a sweater similar to this next year. If not, there are plenty of other options out there, like this chambray dress with a heart print.

My striped tee is from Gap and Ada’s leggings are from OldNavy. Ada’s adorable heart hair bow is from Ellia May Designs. And Ada’s sunglasses are from Babiators.

As you can see – Ada is kind of walking!! Super big deal here! It won’t be long till she is running circles around me. We are all so happy for her right now.

And she can now climb the stairs all by herself. It is one of her favorite things to do. Way to go Ada!

 

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day ya’ll!


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Making Valentines

Sorry that I have been a bit MIA lately. We have been super busy visiting grandparents and traveling for business. This mama is exhausted from hotel living with a toddler! We are all so happy to be back home and we are getting back to normal around here. Even though traveling was tiring, it was nice to take a little break from social media and just enjoy being with my family.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I put together a little craft for Ada this week. Ada loves to color and she is fascinated with stickers. Even though she does panic when she can’t get the sticker off her finger. 😉 For her Valentines, I cut out some hearts and bought some stickers that I knew she would like; she loved the owl stickers!

I plan on sending these Valentines to friends and family. They might get them before Valentine’s Day. 🙂

This face… wow. I can’t imagine what kind of looks we are going to get when she is a teenager!!!

I hope you are all having a great week! Happy Hump Day!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Hearts

‘Tis the season for heart-shaped everything! It is so easy and fun to celebrate and decorate for Valentine’s Day. And with all the Christmas decor gone, Ada is loving all the heart shapes and fun colors! She has been loving how I cut her food into heart shapes. She just points at her pancakes saying, “Heart, heart!”

Not to mention, all the clothes for littles’ this time of year are so adorable! I just love all the hearts, cute sayings, and cheery colors!

Just like this sweatshirt and leggings from Old Navy. Not only are they super cute, but they are soft and warm. Perfect for this wintry rain we have been having lately.

We celebrated with our friends last weekend, by taking fun photos and eating homemade heart-shaped pizzas. You can find my favorite pizza dough recipe here. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out pepperoni hearts (it was harder than I thought it was going to be!). But they turned out cute and delicious! 😉

The photo back drop was just plastic tablecloths and the two banners came from Target. The heart garland was something I made using my Cricut machine and bakers twine.

My t-shirt is from Hello Apparel and I have had it for years. They no longer carry this design but they have a sweatshirt that is similar that I love!

As you can tell, Ada was thrilled to have her picture taken with me. 🙂

But I was able to get a few good ones of Ada.

I hope you all have a wonderful week full of love and hearts – lots of hearts! 😉

“But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13


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A Broken Home

I come from a broken home.

My parents are not divorced. I have been so very blessed to have been raised in a home with two loving parents and siblings. I couldn’t ask for a better family. The broken home that I am referring to, is my home church.

When I was a child, my family and I went to an amazing church. The church itself was nothing much to look at. No tall spires, gleaming towers, or bells. Just a simple brick church with a small white steeple and tiny stain glass windows. What made this church so great, was the people. I bet you never heard of a child begging to go to church every single Wednesday night and Sunday morning. But I did. I remember one Wednesday night a snow storm came in and my brother and I were begging – no crying for our parents to take us to church. Of course, my dad took us and church services were inevitable cancelled. We were devastated. That is because going to this church, was like coming home.

This church was my second home. It was the most comforting, most secure, and the most happiest place of my childhood. I instantly felt better the moment I walked through those doors. The people that made up this church were the most loving, genuine, supportive, God-loving people I have ever met. It was the one place I felt like I belonged. And to a middle school kid, that meant a lot. Because isn’t that what we all want in life? To belong?

In this church, we did have separate groups and classes arranged by age. But a lot of the time, we spent it together as a whole congregation. One of my fondest memories, was getting up before dawn for a Easter sunrise service. We all met at the top of the hill behind the church and watched the sun rise, while our pastor would give a short sermon about the resurrection of Christ. Afterwards, we all headed back down to the church for huge potluck breakfast. All 250 of us, crowded into the fellowship hall and enjoyed a warm meal together at long tables – family style.

The youth group that I was involved with, is what made this church so special to me. We were a group of about 80 kids, ages from 6th to 12th grade. I know you won’t believe me when I tell you, but this youth group did not have any cliques. Unheard of, with a bunch of teenagers, right? But we did not split up into a bunch of different groups – we were one group. Everyone truly loved one another, respected one another, and most importantly, had a passion for Christ. It didn’t matter where we came from, how we looked, or how we dressed – everyone accepted everybody for who they were.

Every year, the youth group would go on trips called, Youth Tours. Over the year, we would put together a drama, filled with dances, songs, and skits. It was quite the production. We had costumes, fog machines, black lights, strobe lights, and all kinds of props and backdrops. We would then all pile into church vans and travel around the country to perform for other churches. I always had an absolute blast on these tours. I could go on for hours telling you funny stories about these trips. But the one thing I think I remember the most, is how many lives we touched with our stories and how our own lives were forever changed.

The youth tours taught me a lot. They taught me how to be brave, how to work together with others, and most importantly, they gave me a different perspective on life. Going to different places in our country, helped me to become more aware of the world around me and it opened my eyes to see the world as it really is. And to be honest, the world is a pretty sad place. But the youth tours also gave me hope. Hope that the world can one day see the Light, as long as we can continue to be the Light for the world.

Everything sounds so perfect, right? And it was for a long time. But as you all know, humans are not perfect. Because of our imperfect natures, my church fell apart – just like so many others. I do not know all the details on what happened and to be honest, I do not want to know. All I know is that I watch my home, my sanctuary disappear right before my very own eyes. What was suppose to be a normal Wednesday night service, quickly dissolved into people arguing, pointing fingers, and discord. It was like watching parents argue – the argument that you know down in the pit of your stomach that this is it. This is the argument that will forever change my family and my life. And just like that, my home church was no more.

Going through that was very hard for me and thinking about it now, it is still hard for me. But I believe that God gave me my childhood church when I needed it most. At a time when I was still figuring out who I was and figuring out my faith. I am so thankful that God put people in my life, as a child, to help guide me and to help my faith grow. It is because of them that I now have a strong, passionate, unwavering faith. When I look back on all my memories from that church, I remember them with fondest. I imagine that heaven will be something similar to what I had at that church. A big, happy family – laughing together, crying together, eating together, learning & growing together – but most of all, praising & worshipping the Lord together.

I know this post is different from the norm. I don’t really enjoy sharing these intimate thoughts to the world. But this past week, the pastor of this wonderful church, was killed unexpectedly in a car accident. So here I am, grieving over the loss of a friend and mentor. All the while, I am reminded of the loss of my home and my family. I will never, ever forget the time I had at that church and I will especially; never forget the fire, the passion, and the love that my pastor had for his church and for Christ.

I didn’t write this post to point fingers or to cast blame. On the contrary, I wrote it to share the deep appreciation I have for my childhood church. To publicly thank all who helped make me the person I am today. And even though my home church is broken, I still carry it with me everyday. Everything that I am, everything that I believe – it all started in that little brick church.


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Mama + Mini Monday: Gray & Pink

There is always something magical about snow days. Snow always brings such a beautiful peace. I love watching the snow fall, snuggled up to the fire while reading a good book. But now that we have a little one, all we want to do is enjoy the snow with Ada all day! So our days here lately have been filled with bundling Ada up, playing outside until our noses are red & running, then running back inside to warm up, peel off all of our wet layers to be dried in the dryer, make some snow cream, and then repeat. It is a lot of work, but it is totally worth it to watch Ada light up every time we go outside.

Taking our photos out in the snow, was so fun and probably my favorite pictures of Ada and I, so far! Tesla even join in on the fun!

Ada’s dress is from June&January. I love their dresses and Ada has a few in different colors. The white cardigan is from Target and the detail around the bottom is so sweet. Her rose gold shoes are from Livie&Luca – they have worked very well for her since she is starting to take steps. They are soft and bend easily. They also fit her feet better than StrideRite shoes. She has tiny, narrow feet and these shoes fit so much better.

It was all I could do to keep her from sitting in the snow. But she did manage to touch the snow – which she did not like. Hence, the face below.

Snuggling with this girl is my favorite. 🙂

My dress is my gray pinstripe dress from Kin&Kith. This dress is so versatile and I love how comfortable it is. My cream sweater is from Loft and this is my go to cardigan during the fall and winter months. It is so very warm (similiar)! My rain boots are from Joules and I love the height of them. Being a bit on the short side, these shorter rain boots work so much better for me. Taller rain boots hit right at my knees and it is hard for me to maneuver in them. My hat and scarf were Christmas gifts this year and I love the metallic rose gold thread.

I hope you are enjoying the snow and staying warm! Happy Monday ya’ll!


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Our Holidays in Photos

Our holiday season was sweet and simple, filled with family, friends, and good eats! 😉 We enjoyed spending Christmas with our families and had special visits from old friends for New Years. Ada loved every minute of it and I am so sad to see Christmas end. Ada is already missing her Christmas lights in her room and the choo, choo train around the tree. I am going to have to think of something fun and festive for Valentine’s Day just so Ada (& I) can enjoy another celebration. 🙂

One of my favorite activities that we did this Christmas, was taking Ada to see Christmas Lights in Asheville. It is a spectacular light show that you drive through and all the lights are schronized to Christmas music on a dedicated radio channel. Ada loved it! She just talked and pointed at everything as we drove by. It was simply the best!

Ada and I spend two days making Christmas cookies for our family and neighbors. She had a blast getting covered in flour and eating cookie dough behind my back.

Afterwards, we all enjoyed some milk and cookies by the Christmas tree.

Freshly made Christmas cookies, ready to be delivered.

For New Year’s, we stayed at home and enjoyed playing with Ada and her new toys. Her favorite – the elephant ball popper! But we also enjoyed some cake, sparklers, and champagne (for mom and dad)!

I made us some mini party hats and was delightfully surprised when Ada loved having it on.

I adore this picture! Just look at that adorable, cheesy smile! 🙂

Clapping in the new year! Ada’s favorite word right now is, “Happy”; because of us saying, “Happy New Year!” So now she is running around the house saying, “Happy, happy, happy!” Yeah – it is pretty darn cute.

I hope your holiday season was filled with love, family, friends, and happiness! And may God’s peace and joy continue to bless you all through out the new year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ya’ll!


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Christmas Family Photos

One of the things that I look forward to during the holiday season is making and receiving Christmas cards. It makes getting the mail everyday so much fun! I love seeing everyone’s beautiful families and all the different styles of cards. I have been using Shutterfly for our Christmas cards since we have been married and I have saved each one. It has been so much fun looking back and seeing how much our lives have changed from year to year.

This year we took our photos at my family’s farm. Our dear friends helped us take our pictures. It took a village – one to take the photos and the rest jumping around and dancing to get Ada to smile and/or laugh. My so serious child! 😉 But I love how the turned out and they will be treasured photos that I can look back on and remember this sweet time.

I just love these two!

Ada was really into growling at this time. Thanks to Halloween and Randy. 😉

And my favorite picture of all time! Definitely hanging this one up in our house somewhere! Those big, blue eyes – makes my heart melt when she looks at me like that.

Special thanks to Adam Zipperer for taking these great photos.

Merry Christmas from the Maples Family!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Emerald Green

Christmas is just 6 days away!! I am so excited for Christmas morning. I can not wait to see how Ada reacts to all the chaos of opening presents, eating cinnamon rolls, and being past around the family for some love! It is going to be so much fun!

Today, I am sharing another simple holiday outfit. I feel that the color green gets overlooked at Christmas time. Don’t get me wrong, I love red. And red pretty much looks good on everyone, but a beautiful emerald green is hard to beat. Today I paired my green top with jeans. It is hard for me to wear dresses or skirts right now, because I am mostly on the floor playing with Ada. I spend a lot of my days sitting on the floor while she sits on my lap or me getting up and down to help her walk around the house. So pants are necessary anymore. 😉 This green blouse is one of my favorites and I have it in cranberry red as well. It is comfortable, flowy, and flattering – what’s not to love? I bought them both at TJMaxx and have been hunting for more. There are a few options on PoshMark and eBay – just look up Violet and Claire blouses.

Ada’s shirt is from Kidizen – I cannot describe how much I love this app. I have found so many beautiful clothes for Ada already! I love the green flower with a gold button center. Such cute detail!

My little scooter is always on the move. She can crawl and stand while holding on to something, but her preferred method of transportation is still scooting on her booty. 🙂

This face though! How can anyone say no to this face? We certainly can’t! 😉

And my favorite gold velvet bow from Small Peanuts Shop is on repeat here lately.

She gets her silly faces from her mama. I’ll show you what I mean as soon as I can get a hold of my baby pictures.

My jewelry is another TJMaxx find. They are very unique pieces, I have yet to find anything else like it. The necklace and bracelet are even prettier in person. If anyone knows where I can find more jewelry in this style, please let me know! A sapphire blue would be gorgeous, right?!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas week!