Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples

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Farewell Summer

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over and even though I am not sad to see it go (yay fall!), this summer will always be the one that I will remember. I am going to miss our laid back summer days on the porch, watching Ada jump around in her kiddie pool. I will miss the daily popsicles, the chalk drawing, the bubble blowing afternoons, and I am going to miss having Ada at this sweet age. This summer I watch Ada grow and change faster than I thought was possible. It seemed like as soon as she learned to walk, she went from my baby to my never-stop-moving toddler. It certainly is bittersweet watching your child grow up.

This past weekend, we gave summer a great send-off by enjoying our time as a family outside. We enjoyed the sunsets, grilled, blew bubbles, and went hiking. We stayed at our family’s lake house and it is the cutest cottage ever! I love how it is decorated and it has inspired me to try new things in my house.

Life with a toddler summed up in these three pictures – happy one second, sad the next, then happy again.



Summer, you have been great but we are ready of you fall!




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Summer Starts Here

Our Memorial Day weekend was pretty low key here – basically enjoying the gorgeous weather hiking, playing in the kiddie pool, and eating popsicles. For Memorial Day, we spent the day at Chimney Rock, which is practically in our backyard. I forgot how beautiful the view is from the top; even if you have to climb 500 stairs to get to it! It is definitely worth it; especially, if you enjoy some ice cream at the end. 😉

Ada’s favorite part of the hike was this ginormous flag at the top. She would hold her arms out wide and say, “Fly, fly!” (Her way of saying flag.)

A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to pack away all of Ada’s pacifiers. She hasn’t really touched them in a month or so. But as soon as I was getting ready to pack them away, Ada all of sudden, became super attached to them. It was like she knew they were getting ready to disappear. Now she hardly goes anywhere without one. I am guessing it is because she has been working on her incisors for a little while now. So that is why she has pacifiers in all her pictures now. Hopefully, she will drop them soon!

These mini pop molds are the cutest ever and the most perfect size for her. I can’t wait to try other recipes this summer! Like, these nutella cool whip popsicles – um, yum!

In the mornings we enjoy our local park. Ada can climb up and slide back down all by herself now! I am so proud and at the same time so sad. She is needing me less and less everyday! (Sorry, emotional mom here!)

This kiddie pool was the best $30 we have ever spent! Ada loves this pool and wants to play in it every day. So when the sun is out, so are we. It has been so nice to sit on the back porch, soaking in some sun, and playing with Ada in the pool. I am loving this casual, laid back summer and never want it to end.

I hope you are all enjoying summer time as much as we are! Here’s to the best summer yet!



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Our Weekend

Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend because we certainly did! Friday night we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with our dear friends. It was a fun night, watching our kids play, while we enjoyed some margaritas.

Saturday was a rainy, cold day. So we did what we could to entertain Ada when all she wanted was to play outside. But Sunday, the weather cleared and we ran outside before it decided to rain on us again. We took Ada to Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. We have been dying to go for a few years now, so we made it happen yesterday.

For those of you who don’t know, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a rare forest of old hardwoods. In fact, this forest is the largest old growth forest in the Eastern United States. Some of the trees are 100 feet tall and about 20 feet in circumference. They are magnificent trees that are about 450 years old! It truly is a beautiful forest, carpeted with moss, ferns and delicate flowers.

Ada loved hiking around, but the terrain was a bit rough for her. So she enjoyed most of the hike in her backpack carrier. I believe Ada has pretty bad allergies. She has had a constant runny nose and red, watery eyes this spring. I feel so bad for her! Any suggestions on how to help her out, besides locking her up inside all summer?

It was a beautiful hike! And yesterday was just a perfect day. We felt like we were exploring this old forest all by ourselves. We only ran into a few people and the forest was so very quiet. It was so peaceful and a nice change of pace for us. One that was definitely needed.

This forest is in memory of Joyce Kilmer, a journalist and a poet who was killed in service during World War I. He is known for his poem from 1913, “Trees.” I am ashamed to say that I have never seen this poem before, but find it really beautiful. My favorite part, “A tree that looks at God all day and lifts her leafy arms to pray.”

This girl never goes anywhere without her “Hop-Hop.” They have shared so many wonderful adventures together.

A Sunday well spent, brings a week of content. If this saying is true, then my week is going to be awesome! 😉 I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! And if the mountains are calling to you, check out Joyce Kilmer. It is definitely worth seeing! Happy Monday ya’ll!

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Our First Day of Fall

When the first day of fall arrived, so did the beautiful fall weather. It has been wonderful! We pretty much hibernate during the summer. I swear I lose more weight during the fall/winter months than I do in the summer months! I guess because we stay inside a lot more during the summer to hide from the heat. But as soon as the temperature drops, we are out the door every chance we get! The first day of fall, we took full advantage of the wonderful cool weather and took Ada on a little hike.

Bear Wallow Mountain is practically in our back yard. It takes us about 10 minutes to drive up to the trail head. The hike is relatively easy, but it is a constant up hill climb. But the view up top is worth it. I am pretty sure that it is my favorite view in the Asheville area. On a clear day, you can see for miles. 🙂



At the top, is a pasture of cows, which Ada loved! She kept say, “moo!”, every time we got near one.








We had such a wonderful time taking Ada out for a hike on a beautiful fall day. I look forward to many more fall adventures with her! Happy Friday ya’ll!

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Summer is for Fun

These past few weeks, we have been soaking up all the fun that only summer can bring here in the mountains. We have enjoyed the Apple Festival, the Mountain State Fair, and trying out the local vineyards. The evenings are starting to cool down and it is glorious! Our favorite thing to do every night is to take an evening stroll around the apple orchards with Ada or to sit out on our back porch with a glass a wine while Ada plays. Days like these, makes me wish for time to stop so I can enjoy these little moments with my family just a little bit longer. But alas, the only way to make time to last a little longer is to take lots of pictures! 😉




I was so excited for the Mountain State Fair to get here because of all the farm animals they have. Ada loves all her toys and books about farm animals. Instead of calling them by name, she refers to the animals by what sound they make. She doesn’t call a cow, cow – she calls it moo. It so cute! She loved seeing all the animals and would make the sound of each one as we walked by.


She had a blast on this stuffed horse! She didn’t want to leave it! I guess I’ll have to get her a rocking horse now. 😉




And we all enjoyed the fair food!


It was so much fun taking Ada to the fair. Next year, she just might be big enough for some of the rides!

The hiking back pack for Ada has been great for all these festivals and fairs. But we are looking forward to when she can walk on her own. Hopefully, soon!





The pack is perfect for our evening strolls through the orchards, of course. She loves riding in it. She gets a great view where ever we go.



I hope you are enjoying these last few days of summer. But I am glad to see fall coming! I am ready for the crisp, cool air; the beautiful colors; sweatshirts; and nights by the fire! Happy Hump Day ya’ll!


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Randy’s 30th Birthday

This past Monday, my sweet husband turned 30! I had planned to have a big party at our house with all of our friends and family, but we decided against it. It is hard to throw a party with a baby! 😉 Instead, we plan on having a wonderful night out, just the two of us, closer to my 30th birthday. But we celebrated a little bit for Randy’s birthday this past weekend. Since the weather has been so beautiful, we decided to take Ada on her first hike!



Had to take a little break. 🙂


She did really well in her backpack carrier at first. Then she cried and cried and cried. So we transferred her to the Ergo and she was happy again.

Isn’t that waterfall gorgeous?! I love where we live!


I carried her for a while in the Ergo, then we moved her back into the backpack without the sunshade and she was perfectly content with that. So I guess it was the sunshade that freaked her out. Either way, babies sure do keep you guessing! 😉

Back when it was just Randy and I hiking, we would just need our camelbacks. Now we have to bring the daypack and the backpack carrier (which has tons of storage too). Maybe we overpacked, but you have to bring a lot for a baby! Diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, extra clothes, pacifiers, toys – you get the picture! Although, I will admit, seeing little Sophie in the pack was pretty darn cute. But Ada was even cuter – looking so cool in her North Face hat.


Overall, I think Ada enjoyed it. She was just taking everything in – the trees, the waterfalls, the people, the sky. Turned out we didn’t need the toys to entertain her! 😉



To finish our day, we stopped by Oskar Blues Brewery. We enjoyed a cold one, while little Ada took a nap. She was tuckered out! Poor thing! She had a full day. 🙂


Happy 30th Birthday my love! Ada and I are the luckiest girls in the world! Thank you for everything you do for us. We love you so very much!

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Our 5 Year Anniversary Trip – Part 2

The next day was spent exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Being October, it was extremely busy. We knew planning the trip that we were going at the busiest time of the year, but it is still surprising how crowded it felt in such a large park! But we still had a great time.

We were blessed again with another beautiful fall day!


Isn’t it beautiful? That sky… just wow!







I could stand and look at this forever!




This overlook was really unique. There was a little bridge that was built next to the road so you could get this amazing view!



Isn’t he so handsome? I am one lucky gal! 😉

randy 2


When we finally made it back home we decided to have our own anniversary dinner. We made our favorite – filet, sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus and roasted potatoes. Mmm… so delicious!

anniversary dinner


And to wash down this great meal, we opened a very special, rare wine. We opened one of the Chiantis we brought back from Italy. We decided that it was the perfect time to open it. It was our 5 year anniversary and it had been 1 year, to the day, since our Italy trip.



Our trip was perfect for us – a romantic B&B, beautiful views, hiking, great food and awesome wine. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect get-a-way for our anniversary. Looking forward to our next big anniversary trip… maybe another trip to Europe or Napa Valley! 😉

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Our 5 Year Anniversary Trip – Part 1

For our anniversary we decided to go to Cades Cove, TN. I have been wanting to go there for months, so we thought our anniversary was the perfect excuse for us to go.

We stayed at a B&B, The Richmont Inn, and we had a lovely view from our room of Rich Mountain. These windows were right above our bed… it was awesome! Especially at night, we had a great view of the stars! 🙂


B&B view

Enjoying the view from our private balcony.

B&B us

The weather was perfect while we were there, the sky was such an incredible blue. October is the busiest season for Cades Cove, so there is a lot of stopping and going. But it was worth the trouble. 😉



Cades Cove is full of beautiful open fields, adorable little white churches and log cabins.  DSC_8035




I love this little white house! Isn’t it the cutest?!




These Cantilever Barns were everywhere in this area of Tennessee. These barns were designed to help with the rainy and the high humidity climate of the mountains. They provided plenty of ventilation and kept rain away from livestock and the cribs.



A lot of these photos were taken from the truck. It was much easier to continue driving through Cades Cove with the windows down, taking pictures then it was to park and get out of the car. There were just so many people! So sorry if they are a little blurry!



We did eventually get out and hiked. We decided to hike a little bit of the Rich Mountain Loop trail… but we accidentally hiked the entire 8.3 miles! Oops!




After hiking one of the hardest hikes I have ever hiked, we made it to the top. The brochure made it sound like there was a huge clearing at the top and that we could see for miles… that is why we kept hiking… we were looking for the huge clearing – instead, we found this…


Not the worst view, of course… but definitely not what we were looking for! 🙂

us hiking



Isn’t that tree stunning? It just popped against the smoky mountains.


The hike back down was much more pleasant and the trees created a beautiful golden glow.



So pretty!

randy hiking 1

randy hiking 2

After the hike we were exhausted. So we headed back to the B&B, just in time for our fondue dinner!

This champagne is very significant… it was the champagne we had on our honeymoon and it is very hard to come by. We have been saving this bottle for several years for a special occasion. So we thought our 5 year anniversary was special enough to open it. 🙂

toad hallow

us at dinner

We enjoyed a 4 course meal inside a beautiful, private, timber frame cabin with a lovely view of Rich Mountain.



Our day was perfect – a beautiful day at a beautiful location, enjoying the things we love to do.


Stay tune for part 2 of our trip and more picture overload!

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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!




Our first apartment with an awesome view!



Our fur-babies!



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Our first house!


When we bought the house 2 years ago!

Our first house! April 2011

We have renovated a house together!





We have celebrated together.

Halloween 2011_02



Small Group Christmas 2013-18

We have shared many adventures together.

us at sunrise

Randy in the hammock


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

Mount Evans 220



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!

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Summer Bucket List 2014


Summer is here! Well, mostly. It isn’t June 21st yet, but the weather is suggesting otherwise! I am more of a cool weather girl, but I do love all the activities that summer offers. Camping, cookouts, stargazing, fresh fruits and veggies – the list goes on. So here is my bucket list for this summer!

  • take a trip – we have one trip planned this summer! 🙂
  • go to the lake
  • camp and hike often
  • go to a summer concert – got one in the books, Florida Georgia Line and Nelly June 22! Eek!
  • eat as many s’mores as possible by the fire
  • read “fault in our stars”
  • eat watermelon often
  • refinish Randy’s childhood chest of drawers and dresser
  • stargaze
  • catch fireflies
  • have a water balloon fight
  • go to a drive-in movie (this will be “try something new” – I have never been to a drive-in movie!)
  • go to the farmer’s market in Boone (they have the best one! 😉 )
  • have a BBQ
  • watch fireworks

I hope you plan to take full advantage of all that summer has to offer this year!

What are you doing this summer?