Tuesday, May 30, 2017

An Engagement Brunch

Last week, I had the privilege of hosting a brunch
in honor of my sweet sister-in-law, Kyra,
who recently got engaged!
We are so excited for her and Nick, and can't wait to celebrate with them in just a few months!

Bridgette (another sister-in-law!) planned the event and would have hosted,
but her baby was born just a week and a half earlier!
So I let her do the hard work of planning the menu, since that's not my expertise,
and I got to decorate. (Don't tell her, but I clearly got the better end of the deal!😉)

I had fun making these watercolor verse cards for each place. 

It was so special having Polly there to celebrate with us!
She and Joe made the trip to VA for Liz' graduation, so it was the perfect time to be together.
Aren't these girls just beautiful?!

I gathered some stems of greenery to lay down the center of the table.
I love that it is simple, but gives impact!

And there were just enough peonies, irises and roses left in the flowerbeds to make a bouquet!

This picture captures the joy of the morning so well!
Is there anything better than good friends, laughter and good food?!
Oh, and a brand-new baby! She was pretty much the center of attention. 😍

The sisters pitched in to help make the food, and it was oh-so-delicious!

I attempted making pavlova, because I've been dreaming of it ever since Amy introduced me to it years ago!
It didn't look like the picture on Pinterest, but it ended up being delicious! I can't wait to try making it again. Maybe I'll get brave next time and make a lemon curd to go along with it!

Even the children got in on the party! We heard them praying, and I ran for my camera, but didn't get there in time to capture that moment! I think they had as much fun as we did. 😊

Iced coffee over ice cream? Yes, please!

And here is the glowing bride-to-be! She's such a beautiful soul, and I'm glad I get to call her family.

This photo was taken by Hadassah! I was impressed that she got us all in the picture, even though some of us weren't looking at the camera or smiling!

This may be the sweetest photo of the morning!

Happy week, friends! xoxo, Ruby

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Easter Gardens

As I was browsing Pinterest a few days ago,
I stumbled onto a picture of an Easter garden and instantly knew it would be perfect project for my children and I!

We spend time doing special activities with the children at Christmas to celebrate the birth of Christ,
but Easter is an even more significant event for the Christian!
Jesus' death on a cross and resurrection from the grave is our salvation and hope for eternity.
I want my children to understand why we celebrate Easter,
and this seemed like a great way to start more discussions about it. 

There were only a few basic items needed to make the gardens.
(And if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm all about simple projects! 😉)
I found the clay plate and faux moss at Walmart and got the pebbles from Hobby Lobby.
We just picked out some twigs from our backyard to make the crosses.
Not pictured: an empty tin can

We started with a layer of dirt that Nicholas scooped from somewhere (probably my flower beds!),
then added the tin can with the open end toward the front of the plate.
I hot glued the moss over the can and the children placed the pebbles around the sides and front.
I used twine to fasten two twigs together, which created the crosses, and then hot glued them into the moss.

I took the children on a four-wheeler ride to find some larger rocks to cover the opening of the can.
That was probably their favorite part of the whole project!

It was such fun to watch their gardens take shape,
but even better to have conversations with them about why Jesus went to the cross for us that day. 
I love how a simple activity like this can communicate profound truth to little (and big) hearts.

What Easter traditions are meaningful in your family?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Rug Dilemna (and how we resolved it)

Since moving to the farmhouse, we've been on the hunt for a rug.
It didn't take us long to discover how loud a living room with hardwood floors can be!
We cringed at the echo of noise and the lack of warmth
in this space.

But the process of actually purchasing a rug felt daunting!
For starters, we needed a big rug because we had a big space.
It wouldn't be easy to return if we didn't like it.
And there are so. many. options.
How in the world would I ever decide?!

And secondly, rugs aren't cheap. 
It didn't take me long to discover that I probably wouldn't find the size/style I needed
on Craigslist. (or I might be waiting for a long time)
So I decided that the next best option would be to snag a rug during the Black Friday sale.
I had heard great things about Rugs USA, so that's where I looked and was happy to find some of the best prices anywhere there!

After much deliberation and second opinions, I placed the order.
This rug arrived just a few days later!
And it was SO BLUE. I just wasn't prepared for all that color.
Part of me loved the richness of it, but I just didn't love it!
And we quickly found out that it was simply too big, so I called the company to request a return.
My sweet husband got the job of hauling it back to the hardware store so they could ship it back!

I showed Eddie another rug that I had my eye on the whole time,
but he didn't think the size was right.
We remeasured and decided it would fit this space, and I ordered it just in time to make the Cyber Monday sale! (Thank you, Jesus!)

From the moment it came, I loved it! It fit the room perfectly, had a subtle pattern that was exactly what I was envisioning, and in a color that didn't scream "look at me!!"
Eddie was happy with it too, which was a pretty big deal to me.
It's soft on little (and bigger) feet, and gives the room the warmth it desperately needed.
It was worth every penny!

If you're in the market for a large area rug, check out Rugs USA!
They have a wonderful selection and excellent service.
And don't be like me: get the rug you really want the first time! 😉

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

10th Anniversary Getaway

When Eddie first suggested that we go to a cabin in West Virginia to celebrate our 10 year anniversary, I'll admit I was a little less than thrilled at the idea!
I was picturing vacationing on a tropical island  (maybe even Hawaii!),
but that just wasn't in the cards for us this year.

The longer we talked about it, the more it grew on me.
What's not to love about being snuggled up by a fireplace in a cozy cabin with my man?!
So we booked a sweet little getaway to Canaan Valley in West Virginia for 3 nights.
And amazingly, it ended up being one of the very best trips we've ever had!

When we arrived at our destination, a blanket of snow was covering the ground,
and it continued to snow until late that night.
It felt like a gift from God just for us!

The view from these windows was so beautiful!
I loved waking up to this winter wonderland.

Eddie was in charge of breakfast,
and cooked a delicious meal all 3 mornings that we were there!
It was so much better than anything we could have ordered anywhere else!

The first morning, we decided to hit the slopes since they were covered with fresh powder.
I was a little nervous about going, since it was my first time on skis!

But Eddie stayed with me until I got comfortable,
and I ended up having the time of my life!

By the end of the day, I was wishing I had more time to try 
something more challenging!

This guy has no fear, and he rocks the snowboard!
I'm so glad he pushes me to try new things and helps me face my fears.
This day will always be one of my favorite memories!

The second day, we decided to go explore Blackwater Falls.
 Apparently, it's a popular tourist attraction
but you never know if it will be worth seeing until you actually go! 

We were not disappointed!
There was a short winding trail, which led to several flights of steps down to the falls.

I've never gone hiking in the snow before, but it was exhilarating!
I felt like I had entered a magical new world.

We rounded the bend and got our first glimpse of the snow-covered falls. 

 They were breathtaking!

After we left Blackwater Falls, we decided to take a sled ride down the longest slope on the East Coast! 

We rode this Wonder Carpet conveyor up to the top, and raced each other to the bottom of the hill!  

The icicles here were some of the biggest I've ever seen!

There was a beautiful sunrise on the last morning, and I enjoyed every second.

This vacation ended up being so much better than I even imagined!
I'll always treasure the memories we made
in the mountains of West Virginia.