Friday, May 31, 2013

The Best of Me: A Book Review

I am a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks. I have read most of his novels and they never disappointment. Perhaps because he writes about real life relationships. Situations that so many people have lived through, been faced with, endured, etc. So when I realized that we were about to embark on an 8 hour flight to Rome and I had no reading material, I grabbed one of his latest works from the airport shop. The Best of Me. Maybe his best story yet.

Everyone believes in true love right?! Well Amanda Collier & Dawson Cole were no different. Except for the fact that the two were from extremely different families, one being wealthy the other being criminal, and basically forbidden to be with one another. They also say that if you love someone you should let them go and if they come back to you, then it was meant to be. Twenty-five years after Dawson let Amanda go, the two are reunited unexpectedly in what unfolds to be a weekend that will change both of their lives as well as those they love forever. 

A tale of true love, life's tragedies, and fate at its finest, The Best of Me will touch your heart in ways no book ever has before. Nicholas Sparks has an incredible gift and a way with words which allows his readers to feel as the characters' lives unfold.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Snapshots on a Saturday: Mommy & Me Time

With our trip to Italy literally just around the corner, I was anxious to spend as much time with Adelaide as I could this week. While I am a huge advocate for remaining true to yourself, especially as a mom, I also love my child beyond belief and have not been away from her for more than 3 days. She has never been away from both of her parents. We have never been out of the country since welcoming her into our family soooooooo while I am keeping calm on the outside, I am worried that Monday will be a different story ;)

happy baby girl

mirror mirror on the wall...

peek-a-boo mommy...I see you!

So we did what we do best...laugh & play, hug & kiss, crawl & scream. We played a lot with mirrors and in the pack n' play. We enjoyed a beautiful 80 degree day at the park. Adelaide L.O.V.E.D. the swing as she kicked her feet and squealed with joy the entire time. All of the "big kids" were commenting about how "cool" the little baby was on the swing. Haha How does a 4 year old call a baby cool?!                     

shoeless Kentucky girl

love my munchkin to pieces!

Hoping you all had a fun filled week with those you love. 
I sure did :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mother's Day 2013: Boston Strong

We celebrated Mother's Day weekend in Boston, MA. I had never been and Ryan had only been for work. And given the recent terrorist attacks during the Boston Marathon, I felt it was the right time to go in order to give back to the city and honor those affected by the bombings. To me, it is incredibly important to show terrorist that we will not be led by fear nor will we allow them to handicap us out of living life to the fullest.

We had good weather, slight rain & overcast on Saturday but warm temperatures and sunshine with blue skies on Sunday. We walked our way from Cambridge to Boston Common then along the Freedom Tour on Saturday. Getting a taste of history and a sense of pride for our country. We learned so much and put places with names from US History 101. Our tour guide was witty, charming, and in character at all times. We enjoyed specific dishes that Boston is known for including oysters & New England clam chowder. Oh...peas & puffs too!

Sunday we snuggled as a family in bed...Beau included! Our hotel, The Marlowe (a Kimpton hotel), is pet friendly which really made my mother's day to be able to bring Beaumont along :) 

Adelaide helped me open my gifts. A beautiful pink & red Swarovski heart with the sweetest little card. My first piece of Le Creuset cookware that I have been eyeing for months years. I am a lucky girl.

We had brunch in the hotel restaurant which was delicious and was the spot for Adelaide to first try scrambled eggs...which she loved! Followed by a walk around Harvard Square in the warm sun. It was graduation weekend and the streets were filled with lots of hustle & bustle. My favorite shop just happened to be Mint Julep with Goorin Brothers as a close second. Harvard was rockin' the Kentucky Derby vibe as well as a shout out to the Great Gatsby. 

Freedom Trail
 Anddddd while we were standing on the Boston Massacre, we were front row for a moving I know how cars driving in the movie are filmed! I can't wait until the David O. Russell film which will feature Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, & Jeremy Renner. Sort of hoping for a cameo ;)

All in all, I had a wonderful first mother's day and look forward to celebrating many more with my family!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stamina: A Book Review

1996: Kentucky wins the NCAA National Championship against Utah. I was nervously pacing my basement as the final clock tick-tocked down. I spent a everyday after school waiting in line for my personalized autographed photograph of each player on the team. They are still neatly displayed in my childhood room. Each one matted and framed in silver. One day we will have a sports room with all of the UK memorabilia from my lifetime. 

Perhaps my favorite player of all time is Derek Anderson. His demeanor on the court was of sheer determination. His story was/is one of great courage and dedication. I was only 13 in 1996, but I knew that he was someone special. Not just for his basketball skills but for the man he had become at such a young age.

Fast forward to present day and you will find that Derek Anderson is even better off the court. My family has had the pleasure of working with him in regards to charity events & his book, Stamina, as he begins to tour the country speaking & signing autographs. He is prompt in returning calls and emails. He is professional and shy. He is gracious and thankful for his life. He has tremendous faith in the Lord.

I was stoked to get my autographed copy of Stamina a few weeks ago. I set out reading it at every chance I could...usually staying up late at night to read his story. I cried several times. I laughed at his realism. I remembered his memories as a Wildcat because he shared them with the Big Blue Nation.

Stamina is the brutally honest story of a young boy who endured all the trials that one person can all while keeping his faith and striving for a better life. In his book, Derek tells his story with painful details, real life examples, and intense emotion. He is the definition of a man. He is the face of adversity. He is the hope of the projects. He is the sole reason why you should always believe that anything is possible.

I highly recommend picking up a copy. Your heart will forever be changed. #BBN4Ever 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May Date: Picnic for Two & Beach Day at Croton Point Park

For May's date, we decided to step outside our backyard and enjoy the peace that nature brings. Tucked away behind the Croton-Harmon train station is a beautiful park, Croton Point, which is wedged between the Hudson River and the west banks of Westchester County. Boats glide in and out as they cruise on down to the city & over to the Hamptons. Families enjoy picnic lunches on the beach as children joyfully play on the playgrounds complete with swings & slides.

So we decided to have our own little family picnic and beach day. The air was crisp and slightly cool when out of the sunshine, but we loved being outside & taking in the scenery. We laid our blankets on the freshly cut grass and opened our picnic basket cooler. With a few snacks leftover from our Derby party, we lunched on petite sandwiches, cheese & crackers, and cupcakes. Sipping on a chilled chardonnay while Adelaide played with her toys and her puffs, we had a wonderful little family afternoon.

It was refreshing to have a low-key family date so close to home. I feel like Croton Point Park will be a staple in our lives come summertime! And I can't believe that this was our 7th monthly date! Our second year of marriage is flying by with lightning speed!! I can't wait for next month's adventure...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Snapshots on a Saturday: Friends & Fun

The last two weeks have been filled with beaucoup amounts of friendship and fun times. Aham came to visit from Charleston for a few days which was beyond needed for this girl. A sweet southern smile, lots of wine, and girl talk can cure just about anything :) Doesn't hurt that she helped cart around my chunky monkey giving this mommy's back a break for a bit. We got to enjoy the gorgeous weather that has been hanging around here in the Northeast. Hitting up Greenwich for shopping and the Big Apple for sightseeing, we covered much ground. We also had plenty of "couch" time relaxing and catching up on life.

Adelaide also played dress up in her new Heidi Klum inspired dress. Her future IS so bright that she's wearing shades. Or eating them. Whatever moves her.

She also has some new tricks up her sleeve...holding her bottle one handed, crawling through tunnels, attempting to climb up stairs. You know the usual stuff.

Don't let her smile fool you...she is into EVERYTHING. Curlers included.

We have really enjoyed that warm weather I mentioned. The backyard has become a fun little spot in the afternoons. Homegirl needs a tan as does mommy so we dabble in a little vitamin C when we can!

And well we I have been on my toes as Ms. Adelaide has been on the move...

Hope you all have had a fabulous week!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kentucky Derby 139

This past weekend, we brought the Bluegrass to New York. Unable to head back to Kentucky for Derby 139, we decided to throw a Derby party up here in Yankee town. Many of our friends had never even seen the best two minutes in sports so we were thrilled to show them the pride of our hometown.

Bringing back a full suitcase from my visit a few weeks ago, our Derby decor was in full swing to commemorate the festive event. And of course we introduced our New York friends to some southern comfort food as well as those potent things we like to call Mint Juleps

ready for post!

Ryan makes a mean mint julep especially when its in a mason jar laced with colorful "silks" and chilled to perfection. I also mix a sweet Lily for those who prefer a little pink in their beverage. 

We sprinkled plenty of fresh red roses, Derby hats (fancy & jockey), racing tickets, and copies of My Old Kentucky Home throughout the house to give the Thompson house that Churchill Downs feel.

Not only did I whip up Kentucky's finest dishes, I also made sure to get creative in presentation. Thanks to Pinterest I had help with ideas and simply had to follow directions for success. We snacked on Derby cheese hat, mini hot browns, & horseshoe-shaped Benedictine sandwiches. Dinner included pony trough salad, jockey silk green beans, Churchill Downs corn souffle, and bourbon-glazed pork tenderloin. Dessert served famous Mint Julep cupcakes, bourbon balls, Derby pie, and a lovely carrot cake made by our friend Marc.

Derby wouldn't be complete without a little wager...creating even more excitement amongst our friends. Susan walked away with win & show while Jake took home place. 

We thoroughly enjoyed hosting our first Derby party. It was nice to have a piece of home right here in New York and share that with such wonderful friends here. The sun really was shining bright on my old Kentucky home...

PS- A huge thank you to my husband for spending 2 1/2 days working on our deck to have it in party shape for our guests. And also for putting the finishing touches on our new front door planters! It is amazing what we can accomplish with a little team work ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Adelaide Jane: 8 Months

Dearest Adelaide Jane,

Month eight was quite busy and monumental as you continue to grow. This was the first month with several "downs" as you caught a terrible tummy bug causing you to throw up for 4 straight nights. It was so difficult to watch you feel bad and cry in pain. How will I ever get through your first heartbreak??!! 

You also have had a rough go 'round with teething this month. Explosive diarrhea multiple times a day and horrible diaper rash/full body rash. The rash comes and goes as you work your little gums. We will be happy when all of your teeth pop up ;) As of now, you are rocking a 1/2 tooth on your bottom gum, front & center.

The highs of month eight include partying at Club Deco in Naples on your first Spring Break. Sun, sand, and drinks (in mommy's hand) pretty much sum up the trip. You even got a little crazy, girls gone wild style, by crawling around the house topless. Diaper on of course!!

While on SB, we celebrated your first Easter. Who knew the Easter bunny stops in New York AND Florida?! You had a little egg hunt with your cousins Bishop, Collins, & Cooper. Well, you & Coop didn't really get any eggs because you are slower than the big kids. In due time though I know you will be hunting them down...mainly because I am training you to be a detective ;)

A social butterfly, you attended your first birthday party for friends with the Bachman girls. Their mom planned a super fun Dr. Seuss themed party and you enjoyed playing with new friends. You also hit up Aunt Kara's 35th bday soiree as well as Collins' 2nd bday party. I think you snagged a cupcake from me at one point. You are my child for sure.

You reached your 21st flight when we flew back from Kentucky. People always ask me if its your first flight; then I laugh slightly and explain that you are a professional flier. No really, you sort of are.

Your vocabulary is one of my favorite things. You love to say "bo, bo, ah" in reference to little Beaumont. You actually repeat this all day, every day. You must really love your big, furry brother. You also crawl follow crawlow him around the house. You attempt to say bye bye but it sounds similar to "bo bo" and you have learned how to say "no, no." I think you are mocking me and will let you get away with this for now...not so much when you are 16.

Laughter ensues when you see any puppy. When mommy bites your fingers & toes. When you touch daddy's face especially if he hasn't shaven in a day or two. When Collins & Bishop make silly noises or faces. When we "fly, fly, fly your plane" at Gymboree. 

I feel like this month flew by and I have a feeling that it only goes fast with each passing month. I love you more each day. And although I lose my patience at times (which you will understand when you become a mom), I thank God each day for you. I love getting to wake you up in the morning as you greet me with a wide grin, and I love when you fall asleep in my arms at night nestled warmly against my chest. 

I love you.