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"Nothing goes faster than a vacation..." - Ken Simpson
I woke up Saturday morning and felt immediately sad. I couldn't believe how fast our trip went by... We went upstairs and had breakfast in the dining room and got to chat with a few other guests at the B&B.
After we packed our bags, we checked out and decided to recreate a picture from our honeymoon...
5 years later in the same exact spot. Who are those babies in the first picture?!
We had pretty much a whole day to do whatever we wanted, so we headed to Wormsloe Historic Site. The arched live oaks are absolutely STUNNING and the way they line the driveway makes my southern belle heart flutter.
We got to have a mini-photo shoot (shout out to our tripod) and I was so happy with the pictures!
We changed clothes at the Visitor's Center and decided to walk around the plantation grounds. We even checked out the Colonial Life area. NERD ALERT.
We stopped for lunch at the cutest little bakery/deli called Great Harvest Bread Co. This roast beef sandwich was so good!
We drove around for a while, but got bored really quickly. We had dinner reservations at 6:45, so we didn't want to get sweaty again. What is the most logical thing for a Millennial couple to do? Go to a coffee shop, duh.
The Foundery Coffee Pub was such a cute little place, and the coffee was great (iced latte with hazelnut and coconut syrup). Definitely would recommend.
It was finally time for dinner! We changed clothes at the coffee shop, and headed to the restaurant.
We ate at Alligator Soul for dinner on our One Year Anniversary, so we decided to revisit for Year Five. It wast just a delicious as I remembered.
I stuck to the basics and got a ribeye, but B was a wild man and ordered the kangaroo... Yep, you read that right.
I tried to take pictures, but the restaurant has dim (romantic) lighting, so photos were not really ideal.
The kangaroo was shockingly delicious --very similar to steak-- but my parents were horrified that B actually ordered it!
YOLO, am I right?
For dessert we split the Bananas Foster Beignets and they were nothing short of amazing. After dinner, we headed home, and it was definitely bittersweet. I'm a homebody at heart, but these little getaways are always so special.
5 years of marriage down, 1 million more adventures to go!
"I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams..."
I know Christmas is over, but I wanted to document my decorations from 2016 before we take it on down on New Year's Day.
I love Christmas, just like everyone else, but I'm especially sad to take it all down this year. The lights, the colors, and the fullness of our home really makes me happy. I love how warm everything seems... How cozy. This year has been full of exciting things, happy things, hard things and sad things... I'm thankful Christmas is at the end of the year so I can end it full of the peace and joy only Christmas can bring.
I have never put pressure on myself to buy a ton of Christmas decorations all at once... I have slowly built my collection through the years. I have gone from one container of ornaments and a few holiday votive candle holders, to now being able to fill several rooms in our home with Christmas cheer. It's not going in Southern Living any time soon, but I'm pretty proud of our house and how hard we've worked to make it our home : )
The best Bath & Body Works holiday candle: Spiced Gingerbread
We had the prettiest tree ever this year. We drove all the way to North Carolina to pick this one out with B's family! It was well worth the trip.
I love my Willow Tree Nativity...
That picture is one of my favorites of us; It's from our first married Christmas!
***The third stocking is not a baby announcement. Maxx is just special enough to have a Pottery Barn stocking, too : )
Oh, and if you wanted to see how I made that Burlap Garland on the mantel, check out my post here!
When we moved into our house, we decided to leave the cabinet doors above the oven off. I use this space to house my cookbooks, but also to bring a little seasonal decor into our house...
All things gingerbread... I love these little guys and gals!
The Dining Room:
My obsession with my Christmas china goes deep. Sadly, I haven't had a dining room table to set it out on since we got married.
This table was my parents', and I'm so grateful to have it in my home now. I was determined to have it set with my Christmas dishes, and I'm so proud of how it turned out! Shout out to my Ginnie and my mother for helping me!
Christmas 2016 was really great, and I'm sad to see it go. I would honestly leave the decorations up all through winter if my husband would let me... Hopefully next year I will make even more additions to my decor stock pile!
Saturday was an early wakeup call! We were supposed to be on campus at 7:30AM to start lining up for graduation, but the traffic was CRAZY. There were a lot of graduates walking down the road in their cap and gown, which was hilarious. I wish I had taken pictures.
I didn't end up getting there until 8:30, which was when the processional began. Thankfully there were 14,000 of us so I didn't miss everything : )
Graduation was held in the football stadium, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny and 72. Thank you, Lord.
Our official commencement speaker was Rashad Jennings, a former Liberty student who now plays football for the NY Giants... Before he came out, Willie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) and Randall Wallace (Director of Bravehart, We Were Soldiers, etc) both spoke briefly. But the real surprises were MEL GIBSON and VINCE VAUGHN. Mel Gibson is directing a film about a war hero from Lynchburg starring Vince Vaughn, so they were half commencement/half film promoters. I was in total shock when they came out. Me and the guy who was sitting next to me were just like "Is this for real?" the whole time.
After the Commencement, we headed to my Degree Presentation Ceremony which was just for my individual school. I was thankful I didn't have to sit through 14,000 names being called! It was small and intimate, which was nice! I was so excited about walking across that stage. I could not stop smiling!
Y'all, there were times when it felt like I would never make it to this place in my life. I'm so thankful! My husband and my parents have supported me every step of the way, not to mention my other family and friends. It was worth every minute!
After graduation was all over, we headed back to the hotel to C R A S H. I took the best nap of my life and woke up 10 minutes before we had to leave for dinner. Ha.
We ate at Shoemaker's American Grille which was downtown. The building was an old shoe factory, so all the decor was shoe themed. I absolutely loved it! All the quotes were so cute...
My family has an unspoken rule that no one can order the same thing at a restaurant. This makes it more fun to share! We all got different salads, and they were all so good! I love a fresh salad.
I ordered the Filet and the Crab Cake with Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Veggies. The food was seriously so good. I would have loved another crab cake!
Our rules still apply to dessert of course. Key Lime Torte, Chocolate Cake, and Cheesecake.
To top the amazing meal off, they served coffee in a French press which made my hipster-wannabe heart so very happy! The coffee was so rich and flavorful, too, so I was one happy girl!
I am seriously in love with Lynchburg. I want to move there for real. It is one of the coolest cities ever! A truly hidden gem.