33rd Annual Plumb Alley Day

The Abingdon Kiwanis Club organizes Plumb Alley Day every year.

You will find arts, crafts, antiques, food, spices, agricultural products, jewelry, photographs, authors, singers, bands and kids activities.  If you like that sort of thing and are able to go you won’t be disappointed.  It is a great event and it benefits at great cause.

The Abingdon Farmer’s Market was open during the morning and as always had great vendors.  I forgot to get any pictures here because I kept running into people I knew.  Maybe next time!


Rylan enjoyed people and dog watching.  Everywhere we went he’d find someone to say “hey” to!20150523_112240

There were a lot of people here getting in on the good deals.

I found a local author that had some interesting books.So farm it has my attention!  His name is C.S. “Chuck” Thompson and he writes mystery books that are set locally.   I bought “The Night the Wolves Escaped from Bays Mountain” and I’ve just started it.   I’m anxious to really get into it.  He was a super nice and interesting guy.  If you’re interested in buying any of his books or learning more about him or his books you can visit his website HERE.20150523_110927

I bought some goats milk lotions and body butters from The Bates Family Farm.  They’re located in Jonesville, VA and their lotions are divine!


Appalachian Highlanders Pipes & Drums Band


Our traditional “selfie”!20150523_112826

Balkan Bakery

I looked at these and gained weight!  Yum!

Revolutionary War Re-Enacters at Yeary Cabin on Plumb Alley20150523_114126

The Re-Enacters are always ready to answer any questions you have and are so passionate about the Revolutionary War.  I love getting to talk to them.

We started getting hungry and we found the Bone Fire Smokehouse tent.bbq sundae

Christina got the BBQ Sundae!  That is cornbread, baked beans, pulled pork, slaw and barbecue sauce.  It looked great!20150523_120540

Apparently it was great!20150523_120544

I stuck with a traditional pulled pork sandwich.  It was delicious!  I put the Memphis Barbecue Sauce on it.  They had a spicy one but I was in the mood for sweet sauce.  Rylan literally ate almost half.

After we saw everything there was to see we decided to head to Babycakes Cupcakery for a sweet snack!

I wish I could have gotten a better picture of their display case, it was so beautiful.  I wanted to get one of every thing!  They have so many flavors to choose from!


It is such a cute store!20150523_131156

They even have Pup Cakes for your dog!


Our Babycakes: Wedding Cake (Christina), Chocolate Birthday Cake (Rylan) & Red Velvet Cake (Me)

When we finished our cupcakes we thought we would take a ride to Mann Farms since we had some time before we had to be back.  They had strawberries for sale by the gallon.  I bought the last three and they’re now waiting in my freezer until I get time to make some strawberry preserves!


They sell fruits and vegetables at their farm as well as to our regional grocery chain Food City.strawberry fields

Strawberry Fields


On our way home we saw a lot of people mowing, raking and baling hay.  This weekend was honestly perfect for it.  This is one of my favorite sights.  To me, the first cut of hay signifies that Summer is right around the corner!




Thoughtful Thursday: Being a Mama

There are some things I was never prepared to feel as a Mama.

The almost crazy like love that I feel for my son.  Sometimes I sit and think about how much I love him and it makes me feel like I’m a bit unhinged.  How is it possible to love someone so much?  It is overwhelming, all encompassing, like nothing else.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do for him.

The pride I feel when my child shows his tender heart.  If he thinks I’m mad at him he comes over and gives me a hug.  Our dog had cut her paw a few weeks ago and he noticed her limping.  I told him she was hurt and he went over to her and gave her a hug and said “Awww…”  He loves wholeheartedly and it is such a beautiful thing to see.

The way it changed how I looked at my husband.  I have always loved my husband (of course, duh) but after seeing him with our son my love for him is just so much more.  He’s so good with him.  He’s patient, kind, gentle and fun.  He’s really everything a Dad should be.  Seeing how much he loves Rylan just makes me love him that much more.

The deep compassion I feel for other mamas.  If I see you in public and your child is crying my heart goes out to you.  If they’re having a melt down and you look upset I wish I could comfort you.  (I won’t though because I don’t know you and you would think I’m a weirdo.) I’ve been there.  It is frustrating.  If I see your child tell you “I love you mommy.” I am ecstatic for you and I might even get a little misty eyed.  If your child is sick, I understand how helpless you feel.  I know.  I’ve been there too.

How the death of other children would make me hold my own child tighter, longer.  When Rylan was 7 months old there was a little boy that was 5 months old a couple of towns over that went missing.  I cried thinking about what could be happening or what had happened to that innocent little boy.  I worried.  I prayed.   I held Rylan till he would sleep and I would fitfully watch him until he woke.  It shook me to the core the way things like that never had before.  I had always felt bad of course hearing those things but now the feelings became REAL.  They ended up finding him alongside the highway.  He was dead.  His own father had dumped him there and his mother was also charged in his death.  My heart still aches for this poor little boy.

How it would feel to be the most tired I’ve ever felt in my life and be the happiest I’ve ever been at the same time.  I never knew that could be possible.  I remember the first time Rylan ever smiled at me.  We were in my bedroom and he was laying in his Rock n’ Play.  He had just woken up from a nap and I was so tired from the 6 weeks of sleepless nights.  When he woke up I heard him coo and looked down at him.  I said “There’s my happy boy!” and looked at me with the biggest, gummy grin on his little face!  He was moving his little arms and cooing away!  I remember thinking that nothing was better than this.  And I cried.  Haha!

The side splitting fear that would wash over me when he would do something dangerous.  He fell of the bed when we were at a hotel in South Carolina when he was seven months old.  Jason had left to go grab us some supper and Rylan and I stayed there.  I laid him in the middle of a king sized bed, took three steps to the corner table and plugged my phone up to charge.  I looked around as soon as I plugged the charger in the wall to see him teetering on the edge of the bed.  My heart stopped.  I immediately jumped, covering the distance and catching him mid drop, skinning my knee and elbow in the process.  I cried.  My chest ached and I couldn’t put him down for a while after that.  The fear coupled with the adrenaline rush left me a crumpled, blubbering mess.  He climbs so much now.  He runs fast and jumps off of things he shouldn’t and my heart drops every single time.

Worry.  Yes, worry.  I know my child is just a toddler and that I’m just getting started in this whole worry thing.  I think this started from the moment I read that positive pregnancy test.  Will I be a good mom?  Can I keep him safe?  Will I be able to be strong enough to parent?  I still worry.  Not so much of the crazy things like “will he like me?” or “will I like him?” (haha…all sorts of crazy thing goes through a pregnant lady’s brain, y’all!  Don’t judge!)  Now I worry about him falling or getting away from me in a crowd.  Sometimes I let my mind wander to the future though and I really get scared.  I keep Philippians 4:6-7 in the back of my mind:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I cry more.  A lot more.  And 99.9% of the time it isn’t because I’m sad.

Speaking of crying…

The way I would look at television, movies…even commercials with new (albeit, emotional) eyes.  Gone are the days that I can sit stone faced through a tear jerker of a movie.  Gone are the days that I can watch anything about a kid being kidnapped, hurt, etc. even if it has a happy ending.  No thank you.

smiling face

Being a Mama is such a whirlwind of love and emotions.

It is by far the best job I’ve ever had and it is also the hardest.

Everything I do carries more weight.  Every decision I make, everything I do revolves around what is best for my child.

I feel things so much more deeply.  My love is stronger.

This is my purpose for sure.  I am blessed.

I think it is pretty safe to say that he has turned my world every which way…and I’ve loved every minute of it!


Spending Some Time with My Momaw

Last night Rylan and I went to visit my Momaw.

My Momaw is one of the most influential people in my life.

She has always been supportive.

She has always loving and ready to tell me how much she loves me and how proud of me she is.

There has never been a time when I didn’t feel like she didn’t believe in me.    

No matter how old I get, this is still so good to hear.

She has cooked for me, done my laundry, taken care of me, been my rock and my soft place to fall.

I’ll never be able to thank her for all that she’s done.

I hope I can be half the woman she is.

Family is the most important thing on earth.


I can’t tell you how much I love this picture!


And this one…


Seeing my Momaw holding my baby just warms my heart.  I’m so glad she’s been able to meet him and spend time with him.  I wish I could get them together more often but I will take any time I can get with her.signature

My First Cooking Class

About a month ago I stumbled onto these cooking classes that the Higher Ed Center was offering.   It’s a series they’re doing right now called “Cooking Along the Crooked Road”.   I thought it would be something fun for a Mother’s Day present for my mom so I signed us up for one on June 1st.  It is focused on heart healthy cooking with local vegetable, sauces and marinades.  I’m excited!  This goes right along with trying to eat better so I’m looking forward to learning some new things.

I was telling my aunt (Sis) about it and she looked and thought she would enjoy one too so I signed up to do one with her as well.  We chose the one that focused on Food Truck Food.

So last night Sis and I went to our cooking class (btw, this is something else I’ve been able to check off of my bucket list this year!)

Before the class started


Sis “slivering” the onions


The rest of the class and the instructor giving tips.


Our instructor Melissa of Me & K’s Food Truck (Johnson City, TN)

Melissa was great!  She was so enthusiastic and the love she has for food and cooking is contagious!  She was quick to encourage us to play around with her recipes and she encouraged us to make them our own.

I’m not going to write the recipes on here because they’re not mine to give.  I will tell you though that all of the ingredients were fresh and as many as possible were from the local farmer’s market which I loved!  She used a rotisserie chicken for the wraps and the chicken salad so that cut down on time quite a bit.

What we made:

Chicken Salad Sandwich – I didn’t get a picture of this but I wish I had!  It was so good and I was so hungry I inhaled it before I realized I should have taken a pic!  This was some of the best chicken salad I’ve ever had!  She used a crusty bread for this sandwich.  She had made her own garlic butter and toasted the bread with the spread on the griddle.  It made it so good!

Sausage Sandwich (I can’t remember the name, it was kinda like a hotdog using polish sausage and a hoagie bun) – I didn’t get a picture of this one either…clearly I was starving!  LOL  This was the least favorite of mine.  I’m not big on mustard or pickle so it was just okay for me.  I could take it though and make it into something tailored to my taste.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps


This was made with the darker meat from the rotisserie chicken.  The meat was minced up very finely.  She put local goat feta on top and the veggies were very thinly sliced.  This was such a light but filling dish.

BLT with Chipotle Mayo



This BLT was great!  It was spicy and definitely different.  The Chipotle Mayo was from scratch and could be made more spicy or less spicy depending on your tastes.

These recipes were so fresh and so easy.  I definitely learned some things and found some new flavor pairings.

I can’t wait till the next class.  I know Mom is really going to enjoy it!

The only thing I would change about it would be that they seem to only have them on Monday nights and that means no Zumba.  So since I skipped Zumba this Monday I’m going to have to work my butt off another way this week…


Weekend Recap: VIR (Virginia International Raceway) and Clarksville, VA

This weekend we traveled to VIR (Virginia International Raceway) to watch the MotoAmerica Races.

It’s about a 3 and a half hour drive from our house.  It is a beautiful drive with lots of farms and limited cell phone service…or as I like to call it “mobile stress”.

On our way we stopped at Lover’s Leap just before dark and I took a few pictures.  They really don’t do it justice.


Lover’s Leap at dusk.


This kid was so ready for bed…


Until he saw me taking pictures!


Then I started getting some good funny faces from him!


Quick family selfie while we all were snacking before the race.


He’s such a ham!


He loved running around.  VIR is definitely a great, family friendly track.


Clarksville, VA – Old buildings downtown.


You can see the lake (Kerr Reservoir “Buggs Island”) from downtown.  Jason comes down here a few times a year to fish but I had never been.


I can’t wait to go back to shop.  I found some really good deals in an antique shop and I plan on going back when I can take our covered tailer to bring everything home.  I know if I find deals like I did this weekend I’ll need it!


Really enjoyed watching Roger Hayden get 3rd in the first race and 2nd in the last race.



He didn’t even make it off the VIR grounds before he was out!loversleapday

Lover’s Leap during the day.  I took this on our way home.  The view is spectacular.

We didn’t get home until probably around 11pm and I had somethings to do to get ready for this week.  I was able to get in bed around 12:30am so I feel okay today, probably better than I should.

It was a great trip and I can’t wait to do it again.



New Workout Clothes!

When I started with the “Y” a couple of months ago I bought two sweat wicking shirts and a pair of workout capri tights.  I promised myself that if and when I had been going regularly I would go shopping and buy more…but not until then.  Its always nice to reward that good behavior with a shopping spree!  Anyway, I thought it was time.  (Aaannndddddd I was getting tired of wearing the same two shirts each week…)  I won’t be buying anymore workout gear until I need to go down in size.  More motivation!

I seem to always have good luck shopping at Belk and Kohl’s so that’s where I went…well, I shopped online because I have zero time to actually shop.  I normally have better coupons for each and I probably got them in the mail and just tossed them not thinking.  (Its been crazy around here, I tell ya!) So I found a coupon code for Belk saving me $10 and one for Kohl’s saving me 10% .  If I’m not mistaken I usually get free shipping with both places.  The things that I bought were on sale anyway too so I don’t think I faired too bad.



Be Inspired Mesh Tank

Blue Volt


I love the way this feels.  It is a little tighter in the middle than I thought it would be but all the more incentive to lose the weight!


Glamorise Double Layer Custom Control Bra



This is my second bra and I really like them.  I like that it is adjustable and comfortable.


Under Armor Women’s HeatGear Alpha Capri



These fit well and feel really good!

I know these aren’t workout related but look how pretty!


Lenox Butterfly Monogram Travel Mug



You Can Never Have Too Much Happy Wristlet





Nike Legend 2.0 Dri-FIT Tights



These are really nice.  Good fit, good feeling.





Tek Gear Banded Bottom Racerback Workout Tank

1 Wired Pink

1 Tart Berry

$11.99 each

I like these really well and I would order them again.

Tek Gear V-Neck Women’s Plus

1 Violet Mist

1 Jade Heather

$14.00 each

I will probably use these to sleep in.  I thought that they were wicking material (I should really read better when I order things) but they weren’t.  They are very soft and they fit well and will be perfect for that so I’m not sending them back.

All in all I’m very happy with what I purchased!


Pretty Routine Here Lately

Other than working, normal family stuff and working out I’ve not had a whole lot going on.  We are planning a trip to VIR this weekend to watch the Moto America races.  This will be Rylan’s first motorcycle race.  I think he’ll like it since he is so motorcycle obsessed (every time he sees one he starts yelling “Bike!” “Bike!” and pointing haha) but with an almost two year old who knows how things will go?  I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best!

I have started my extra workouts this week.  I decided not to just add walking but weights as well.  So far so good.  I’ve also really tried to watch what I eat.  I did some meal prep Sunday but I’m going to have to work on that a little more.  I’ll figure out what works for me before long.  I’m sure I’ll see more results now that I’m moving more and eating better.

Okay, on to some cuteness!

20150502_160705Telling a big tale.


This face.  It is just too darn cute.

20150503_113028Ava decided that she would just blend in with the toys.

We had lunch at Salsarita’s for Mother’s Day.  I didn’t want to do anything big and I wanted to stay close to home since I had so much to do.  I really do love that place, though.  Delicious, fresh, fast Mexican food.

20150510_134127He’s dipping everything these days.  He’s such a big boy….  My heart just swells with love for this perfect little human.

20150510_134140Like father, like son.


Workout Update

So I’m still going to Zumba twice a week.  I still love it!  Once last week and Monday of this week they have substituted R.I.P.P.E.D. for Zumba.  I wish I could do R.I.P.P.E.D. twice a week too (they offer the class) but I’m already pulled in too many directions.

I’ve lost 10lbs so far and toned up all over.  I know that muscle weights more than fat so I’m trying not to get discouraged when I don’t see the scale budge.  Its getting harder not to though, I have to admit.  I feel great though, I really do!  I have a lot more energy and I can tell that I’m building my muscle back in my left leg (it had gotten really weak after my injury).

Its time to do what I always dread when it comes to getting in shape: altering my eating.  Ugh…  I know that I need to start watching what I put in my body in order to see the results that I want to see.  I love healthy food, I love non healthy food….I just love food!  And, like everyone else in today’s society, I feel like my time is stretched thin as it is so meals need to be quick.

So this weekend I’m going to get a plan together and go grocery shopping (in between working on our rental, working on our home, etc.).  I’ve been reading up on meal planning, eating clean and IIFYM.  I’m going to ease myself into all of this.  Honestly, there is so much information out there on everything and I’m a little overwhelmed.  I want to play around with some things and find what works for me.  Everyone is different.

My plan thus far:

  • Weekly Meal Planning/Prep  (So that I can have more control over what I eat and not be tempted to eat bad when I’m in a pinch)
  • 2 Zumba Classes a Week
  • Walking in the morning 3 times a week (I’m thinking Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, weather permitting)

Once I get in a decent routine I’ll do an update on all of it.