Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


Leave a comment

Marked

Last Saturday, Randy and I had a date that we will never forget. It has been a long time since we had a date like that. 😉 It is difficult to make every date rememberable when you have been together for over a decade. But on this date, we decided to commit to our matching tattoos.

Now, if you have asked me ten years ago if I would ever get a tattoo; the answer would have been, “Hell no!” But over the years, my desire to have a tattoo has grown. Ten years ago, the days before Pinterest (say what?), I didn’t care for any of tattoo. Now, tattoos are so cool! I love the simple, minimalist ones and the watercolor ones. I love that it can have so much meaning to you and represent something or someone you love. So for the last few years, Randy and I talked about getting matching tattoos. We toyed around with so many ideas. Wedding bands, infinity & hearts, Always Forever (our wedding song title), etc. But none of them really jumped out at us. Then last week, it came to us and we designed our own tattoo.

When designing our tattoos, we both wanted something that was special to us and something that we wouldn’t mind having permanently on our arms… I mean tattoos are forever, you know? And that is how we came up with our design. As Randy so eloquently put: The mountains represent where our roots are and the constellation of Orion represents where our lives came together.

If you recall our last anniversary, we took photos where Randy and I first met. It is also where Randy propose to me. On the ASU campus there are large, metal cones configured in the constellation Orion. And that is why the constellation Orion is important to us.

And in the mountains is where everything wonderful has occurred. We met in the mountains, we got engaged in the mountains, we got married in the mountains, we bought our first home in the mountains, and we are raising our first child in the mountains. And did I mention, that we love the mountains?

To finish our lovely date, we enjoyed a flight of hard cider at a local cidery, because tattoos hurt. 😉  It was a wonderful time and we really needed some time away. But the best part of our day, was coming home to this little sweetie!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week! Happy Hump Day!


Leave a comment

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! 😉

 


Leave a comment

Our Anniversary Weekend

This past weekend, Randy and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. We made it to the “seven year itch” – as some people call it. But the number 7 is my lucky number, so I see it more as the “the lucky seven.” 😉

We celebrated with my brother and sister-in-law, who celebrate their wedding anniversary a couple of days after us. We enjoyed the beautiful fall weather by going to local breweries, shopping downtown Boone, and eating pumpkin ice cream.

We stopped by ASU to visit the spot where Randy proposed. On campus, there some structures that are laid out in the configuration of the constellation Orion; this is where Randy proposed. So when people ask me where Randy proposed, I say Orion’s belt. Very romantic for us physicists. 😉

And we stopped by the tunnels, where Randy and I had our first kiss while listening to the acappella group sing.

Jonathan and Katherine joined in on the fun, too!

My two favorite things all in one place – craft beer and a food truck!

img_8565

We had a wonderful anniversary and we always have fun with my brother and sister-in-law.

Happy 7th Anniversary, my darling! I love the life we have made together and I couldn’t imagine spending this adventure with anyone else! I love you, always forever!


Leave a comment

Life Lately

We have been pretty busy here lately, but busy doing fun things! Just the way I like it! 😉

Randy and I had a great time on our day date a couple of weeks ago. My sweet mother-in-law came up for the weekend to watch our little while we got out of the house and enjoyed Asheville. We stopped by some of our favorite places and enjoyed our favorite foods.

The first stop was Urban Orchard, a cidery that I have been wanting to go to for a long time. They opened when I was pregnant, so I am just now getting a chance to go. And it did not disappoint! They had 8 different hard ciders to chose from that tasted any where from sweet, dry, to spicy. The vanilla habanero was my favorite!

IMG_7117

IMG_7124-1

We also got their meat and cheese plate with our flights. The food was either grown or prepared here locally – apples from Hendersonville and the cheese and meat from Hickory Nut Farm. We loved everything we tried! If you are looking for a place to try that isn’t a brewery, try a cidery!

FullSizeRender-1

IMG_7123

Our next stop on our date was downtown Asheville, where we enjoyed the shopping and our favorite restaurants – French Broad Chocolate Lounge and Bouchon. We had such a great day in Asheville. It was a wonderful break, having fun, just the two of us.

IMG_7125-1

IMG_7130

IMG_7132-1

IMG_7133

After our date, Randy went on a week long business trip, so I went to visit family for the week. While there I chopped off my hair! I know, right? I cut off about 6-8 inches! It feels so much better. I love my long hair, but it was giving me headaches. It was definitely time for a change! And a huge thank you to my wonderful father for watching Ada while I got my hair cut!

IMG_7150

IMG_7147-1

IMG_7224

I love this picture of Ada and my mom. So freakin cute! 😉

IMG_7155

This past weekend, we went to the Firefly Festival at the Blue Ghose Brewery. Pretty day, food trucks, beer and music – perfect day! We had a blast! Even Ada loved it! She loved listening to the music, she would dance and clap her hands. And she of course, loved all the food. She tried garlic parmesan french fries, toppings from our hotdogs, and strawberry sorbet.

IMG_7205-1

IMG_7207-1

IMG_7209-1

IMG_7208-1

FullSizeRender-1

We have had so much fun here lately! But I guess it is time to slow down and get some rest! Hope you all have a restful, beautiful Sunday!


Leave a comment

Our 30th Birthday

This year Randy and I turn the big 3-0! I know, 30! To be honest, I have been looking forward to our 30th birthdays for a while because I have always wanted to have a huge party for our 30th birthdays. Turns out when you have a little one, it is really hard to plan a big party at your house when the baby goes to sleep around 7pm! So after weeks of trying to figure out what to do for our 30th, it came to me on a night that Ada was extremely fussy and would not sleep. I had been up with her for a few days and I was about to reach my limit. It was then that I knew how we should celebrate, I wanted a night off. I told Randy want I wanted and he was instantly on board. We started planning and got everything set up weeks in advance. And it turned out the be the best birthday ever!

Randy used his Hilton points to get us a wonderful suite complete with an infinity whirlpool tub! It was the coolest room I have ever stayed in!

The Hilton at Biltmore Square was great and treated us like royalty! They even sent up a complimentary cheese tray to help celebrate our birthdays. We thought that was so thoughtful! We enjoyed the cheese tray with some wine before our first ever couples massage. I must have been living under a rock my whole life because massages are fantastic! I want one every year for my birthday now!

After a heavenly massage we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. Just what new parents need – sleep! 😉 That night we had dinner and drinks with some friends. Afterwards, we enjoyed our large hotel room, drinking champagne, eating cupcakes, and playing Cards Against Humanity. We laughed so hard that all of us were crying and complaining about sore cheeks and abs. It was so nice to laugh loud and have a good time without worrying about waking up a sleeping baby! 🙂

IMG_6582

IMG_6577

IMG_6580

We had such a wonderful birthday and I couldn’t imagine it going any better! It will be a night that I will always remember and think back on. And we felt recharged after having a whole day to just “adult”. A day to relax, have fun with some friends, and to not worry about taking care of a little human. But the best thing about leaving, was coming back home to our sweet little girl.

IMG_6603


Leave a comment

Life Lately

It has been a while since I have had a moment to blog… this motherhood thing is so time consuming! 😉 But worth it! I really do love being Ada’s mom, but I do miss having a moment to myself. I don’t mind taking care of Ada, I love that part… it is the breastfeeding that is exhausting and so time consuming. I breastfeed Ada every hour or two and at night I have to pump because she is sleeping so long at night. Which I can’t really complain about that… but I have to work so hard to keep my milk supply up. I guess I just didn’t realize how much work it took to breastfeed. It consumes all of my time!

We were able to get out of the house this past weekend. We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by going out for sushi as a family of 3. And me, being the cheese ball that I am, coordinated our outfits for this special occasion. Unfortunately, I have no lovely family photo because before I could take a picture, Ada had a blow out and messed up her entire outfit. All of this occurred, of course, at the restaurant, right before our food came out. So I went to the ladies’ room to find a changing station and the restaurant did not have one (when did public places stop having these handy contraptions for moms anyways?). I had to change Ada’s diaper and clothes in our cold car. All the while Ada is screaming to eat. So needless to say, we had an eventful anniversary dinner, in a very different way than what we are use to.

But we still had a lovely evening. After cleaning up Ada, we were able to enjoy our dinner. And it takes real talent to feed your child and use chopsticks to fed yourself without dropping any food on her. Win!

After dinner we walked over to my favorite ice cream place, Kilwins and got their amazing apple pie ice-cream. Sorry Ada, it won’t be much longer till you can join me!

IMG_4808

We spent the rest of our weekend at home, enjoying the beautiful fall weather. And Ada had her very first hammock experience. Our little happy camper in the making!

IMG_4804

I hope to be back soon! Hopefully things will slow down and I will have more time! Happy Friday!


4 Comments

5 Year Anniversary Shoot

A little while back, Randy and I did our own anniversary shoot. I have been planning an anniversary shoot with Randy since, well, since I said I do! (Haha! I always think and plan ahead, if you haven’t guessed that by now!) I have always envisioned a large field where we could have an elegant picnic together, wearing our wedding attire and sipping champagne. Well, I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, but it was close enough. Due to our crazy schedules, we just didn’t have the time to find a place, a photographer or the right time to have a session professionally done. So, we thought, why not do it ourselves? The photos are not perfect, but we had a great time taking them.

Anniversary-2

Anniversary-6

Anniversary-7

 

At this point, it was getting a little cold so we decided to finish up inside by the fire.

The next series of photos taken here were blurry because, when Randy popped the corked on the champagne, it exploded, like champagne does. This was the first time we have ever “popped” a cork. Usually we push it off gently, getting a nice satisfying pop without the mess. Well, this time, we got the mess. But it was a lot of fun!  I guess this is our own way of “trashing the dress”. It is definitely going to have to go to the cleaners now! But it was worth it! 🙂

Anniversary-29

I had the urge to sing, “Happy Birthday” at this moment. 🙂 Something about having a lit candle on top of a cake.

Anniversary-31

For the next session of photos, I wanted to go a bit more casual and I wanted to take full advantage of the balloon while I still had it!

Anniversary-100

 

Having some fun with the balloon!

Anniversary-107

Anniversary-108

I had such a great time taking these photos with Randy. Oddly enough, it was a great stress relief for me after some hard weeks at work. Randy has such a gift to make me smile and laugh, even when I don’t feel like it. I am so very blessed to have him as my husband. And I am so glad we have these photos to put in our album, something to look back on and smile.

 


Leave a comment

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A few nights ago we had a date night in… life has been so busy that all we have wanted to do is stay home! So I made a spaghetti and meatball casserole. This was actually the first time I have ever made meatballs. Sad, I know!

datenight1

I got the recipe from my favorite magazine, Celebrate. This magazine has never lead me a stray! Great ideas and great recipes!

And you can’t go wrong with this recipe! Spaghetti topped with hearty meatballs, rich marinara sauce, and a modest amount of melted mozzarella cheese on top – this one is a keeper!

Spaghetti and Meatballs Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground round
  • 1/2 
pound ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 
cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 2 
tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 
(8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 
(16-ounce) package spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 
cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 
cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack over pan, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground meats, next 4 ingredients, 
1/2 teaspoon salt, and next 
2 ingredients. Form mixture into 
1 3/4-inch balls. Place on prepared rack, and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add marinara sauce and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Add cooked pasta, 
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack, and 1/2 cup mozzarella, stirring to combine. Spoon into prepared dish; top with meatballs and remaining 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and remaining 
1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
http://ourmapletree.com/spaghetti-and-meatballs/

 

datenight4

The salad was simple – baby greens, broccoli slaw (a new thing of us), bell peppers and tomatoes all served with ranch dressing.

datenight3

Very colorful and the broccoli slaw adds a nice crunch to the salad!

datenight2

And dessert was just as simple! I mixed a box of brownies and added toffee and semi-sweet chocolate bits. Baked as instructed on the box, then added carmel, toffee bits and chopped pecans. The carmel is what makes this oh so good! (I used Breyers brand of carmel.)

date night brownie

All washed down with a glass of red wine, of course! As Gino said in Italy, “Wine should never leave the table!”

This meal is great for weeknights, it is quick and easy (just cook the meatballs ahead of time). And it is perfect for a big crowd… I’m pretty sure we ate on this casserole for a good week – lunch and dinner!

Something about spaghetti and meatballs just hits the spot! Enjoy!


Leave a comment

Five Years in Pictures

Today we celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it has been five years already! It feels like just yesterday when we first met each other in modern physics class. I guess time flies when you are having fun!

Our wedding day, October 17, 2009 – such a perfect day!

WED-089

WED-333

WED-492

Our first apartment with an awesome view!

DSC_2913

DSC_2103

Our fur-babies!

aryanna

Aryanna

120509_ 018

Orion

DSC_0051

Tesla

 

Our first house!

DSC_3614

When we bought the house 2 years ago!

Our first house! April 2011

We have renovated a house together!

DSC_3678

DSC_4225

DSC_4357

DSC_4388

We have celebrated together.

Halloween 2011_02

christmas

DSC_5262

Small Group Christmas 2013-18

We have shared many adventures together.

us at sunrise

Randy in the hammock

jamablackbalsam

We have traveled to Colorado, the Bahamas, San Francisco and Italy together!

Mount Evans 220

IMG_2686

IMG_3623

trevi fountain

We have laughed together and cried together. But mostly laugh!

us laughing

us and icecream

We have done so many great things and have made such wonderful memories – and we have done all these things together. There have been times of hardships and struggle, but that has only made us stronger.

You have been my best friend, my partner in crime, my helper, my teacher, my comedian, my comforter – my husband. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life. God has blessed me above all reasoning and I am eternally grateful.

Thank you for just being you. I love you, always forever.

I look forward to 100 more years of adventures with you!


Leave a comment

Life Lately

This summer has been hectic for us. Great, but busy. My class for work ended a few weeks ago (yay!) but I am taking another one that starts next week (boo!). So I have been squeezing in fun activities before I get sucked into school work again.

I had a girl’s night out a couple of weeks ago and it was so much fun! We went to Wine and Design. You bring your own wine and they provide everything else; canvas, paint, brushes and an instructor. You sip wine and laugh with your girlfriends while you attempt to paint the assigned painting of the night. It is a lot of fun! The night we went was an abstract painting night, which is good because I am sure it is a lot more forgiving! 😉

paint 1

paint 5

paint 6

My husband, Randy, is the sweetest guy I know. When I came home, he bragged about how awesome my painting was and how we needed to hang it up. God bless him! 😉 Note: I will not be hanging this painting up in my home! It is a little too Dr. Seuss for me! 😉  It was just a fun girl’s night out! I would love to do it again sometime.

Last weekend was filled with volunteer work. We helped with the United Way Golf Tournament all day on Saturday. On Sunday, we went to a volunteer appreciation dinner for Blue Ridge Humane Society (for those of you who don’t know, I am a board member for this group). It was held at a historic building in Hendersonville called, The Cedars. It was a beautiful house! But I adore everything vintage. The trees around the house are huge and beautiful. And inside it is filled with antique furniture and decor. I wore my vintage inspired dress and shoes from modcloth.com. I love this outfit!

bird 2

bird 1

Also last weekend, Randy and I had a much needed date night. We aim to have a date night out, at least, once a month. But it had been probably 2 months since the last date night out! It was so nice to go out for a romantic meal with my husband. It was lovely!

date night 2

 

date bugt 3

I wore one of my favorite shirts from BCBG. It is so feminine and romantic!

pink

pink 2

I just love the detail in the back!

pink 3

 

I hope everyone is doing well and that your summer has been fantastic! It won’t be long till fall is here! I can’t wait! Happy Friday ya’ll!