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Happy Birthday, Britton

Better late than never. Never ever thought it would be this late though. Darn you multiple media platforms!

Britton turned 14 on July 9th and all she wanted was a sit down dinner on her actual birthday. Done and done.  Yours truly cooked the meal, her requested chicken parmesan, set out a robust cheeseboard, sparking grapefruit juice, got her the perfect succulent inspired buttercream cake (that she found with the help of Pinterest). Always one to plan a party, Britton made a photo booth after ordering a remote control and tripod for her digital camera. Genius! The teenagers loved it (although all the great photos are on Britton’s memory card). Indoors was a good thing since it was still 94 degrees at 6pm at night. Got to love summer birthdays in Florida!

Oh to be fourteen again.

Happy Birthday to my firstborn, Britton!

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday, Britton via grateful simplicity

 

 

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Happy 14th birthday, Britton

Happy 14th Birthday, to our first born Britton. It has been fourteen years filled with your creativity, curiosity, imagination, elaborate party planning, Mertastic making (don’t be embarassed B, very few know what that means), determination all swirled around with a dose of strong-will for good measure. We love you and know the future is yours for the taking! xo

Happy birthday via grateful simplicity

 

New Life

Easter Sunday is highly celebrated and typically entails a worship service, lunch/brunch and some serious egg hunting.  Sadly, the Easter Bunny brings a little gift or two to the kiddos as well. This year was no exception. In fact, it was a seemingly fitting timing reminding us the resurrection and new life which always brings us hope. And for that we are most grateful.

New Life via grateful simplicity

 

These two tend to be hot and cold. Best friends yet competitive – mostly of their grandparent’s time and affection. Okay, more Raynes than Whit. Case in point– “Pops” picked up Raynes early from Preschool today — because at age 5 he has a serious case of senioritis. As to not hurt Whit’s feelings, who attends the same preschool in the adjacent classroom, I walked down to get Raynes and bring him to a second location where Pops could secretly pick him up so that Whit wouldn’t feel excluded (Whit recently had his own Pops-oh-so-fun day). What does Raynes do? Announces to me, as we are awaiting Pop’s big blue truck to round the bend, “I told Whit that Pops was picking me up and he cried.” He may or may not have said it with a little twinkle in his eye. Little meany. His parents better kick it up a notch at home.

Some bunny is serious about their egg hunting

Some bunny is serious about their egg huntin

 

New Life via grateful simplicity

One guess as to who would’ve given these already wild boys more sugar… Hint: Begins with an “s” and ends with a “y”

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Wherever she goes, they go…

 

New Life via grateful simplicity

Older than Dirt {tales from a fortieth}

Older than Dirt {tales from a fortieth}

I prefer to think of it as a celebration of twice the twentieth. Also known as, a wrinkle in time. But perhaps most commonly known as, “the fortieth” (I just realized that I can’t spell numbers worth a toot). ‘The Fortieth’ sounds so somber. So… old.  I mean seriously, my parents turned forty. And it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. My mom had a surprise party for my Dad upstairs (which I’m sure he knew about) and took a rented bus full of friends (the bus, not the friends) to Jacksonville to see the roller-skate musical Starlight Express. It wasn’t that long ago they turned forty, and it sure wasn’t that long ago we crawled down Tennessee Street for celebrating (the official) 21st birthday. Either way, today was a built-up-this-is-suppose-to-be-big fortieth (yes, I had to google the spelling– again). And as it turns out, over the hill is just an ordinary day, doing ordinary things, with extraordinary people. Which is precisely how I like it.

 

There are a few things that may be slightly different, or at least feel that way. Namely weight (6 hours of cardio a week- seriously?!), wacky hormones (sorry, Mr. Robinson), and my skin regime cost me two-fold these days (you’re welcome, Mr. Robinson). In no particular order. Of course. And really, people tend to live much longer now so 40 isn’t over anything— 50 is the new forty. Haven’t your heard? So what’s all the hoopla about anyhow?

PS- If you need me, I’ll be in the fetal position in the corner….

Sb 2017 park

 

Older than Dirt via grateful simplicity

 

Nashville Smashville

Nashville Smashville did not disappoint.

 

When Mr. Robinson asked, “where do you want to go for your 40th? London? Hawaii?” I quickly replied, without hesitation, “Nashville!”  Boots, blue jeans, country music and yummy food and you are bound to have a knee-slapping good time. And that we did. It didn’t take long, I’d say 4 hours in, for Mr. R to announce that it was high time he owned a good pair of cowboy boots. So, when in Rome…. I helped him find the perfect pair of boots, not too round, not too pointy, not too boring, but not flashy either.

It was then that he next announced, “Now I need a good cowboy shirt.” At first I thought he might be kidding, my Miam-born husband but he was as serious as a Nashville chicken fried biscuit. So we walked upstairs, had him try on 3 9 cowboy shirts and settled on ‘the perfect cowboy shirt.’  And I do agree– every man should own a good pair of boots and shirt but I was still taken a back slightly when the following day, Mike, aka Cowboy Mike, told me (over our second fried meal of the day), “Now I need a good pair of jeans to wear with my boots.” And so, back in the store we went for the perfect pair of jeans to go with his cowboy shirt and cowboy boots.

Cowboy Mike loved Nashville- almost as much, if not more, than me. And that’s saying a lot. But of course, how could you not? It has all the makings of a relaxing getaway weekend. We tried his new boots out in a great honky tonk– an establishment truly called The Honky Tonk and the boots proved to worthy of their purchase as we had a great evening.  Not just a great evening but a relaxing and fun weekend all around. People were friendly, getting around was easy, the music was awesome and the atmosphere was cool everywhere were went. All around in our boots, of course.

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Someone may have found their happy place

 

 

 

After waiting in a line that extended down the city block, we thought Biscuit Love was worth checking out. We soon realized that two, somewhat healthy eating folks could only eat so much fried food in a given 3 day period…

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

Biscuit Love as featured in Garden & Gun magazine

 

Biscuit Love-- outside..

Biscuit Love– outside line. Our Uber driver told us this was a short line so we came on a “good” day…

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

A good man who willingly poses for his camera snapping wife

 

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

Firefly.  Off the beaten path, but well worth the uber.

Firefly Grille was a recommendation by a local man we met outside out downtown hotel. Off the beaten path, but well worth the uber ride it was a cool little place.

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

More extra points for him

 

Someone may have liked the Ryman as much as me.

Someone may have liked the Ryman as much as me (this was my favorite “tourist” excursion by far)

Nashville Smashville via grateful simplicity

Country Music Hall of Fame