june 25th

This day is such a blessed one. 

Six years ago, I was celebrating my brother- and sister-in-law’s lavish wedding celebration at the Rookery Building in Chicago. 

Last year, another fabulous wedding for my best friend and her hubby in the burbs. 

And two years ago, I was in the middle to end of a 25-hour labor with my bundle of joy at Prentice downtown. Yes, the last one was a little more uncomfortable than the first two. (Not going to share a photo here.)

When E turned one, I was so busy with the wedding and still in the thick of balancing work and baby and (trying to have a) life, that I didn’t feel as reflective as I am this year. 

I was in bed last night crying. Everyone has a story, and it’s not always easy. I was crying with gratitude. With happiness. 

My almost two-year-old little girl is happy and healthy and smart and sassy and funny and sweet and wild and…did I mention sassy? Oh my word, I know there are ups and downs, but let me tell you, this is the best ride I’ve ever been on.

All of the sleepless nights, the lack of a social life, the blow outs (and I don’t mean getting my hair done), the never ending colds, the random stains I discover on my shirt while at work, the crying that hurts your insides so deep…I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

June 25th. A day filled with lots of love. Filled with moments of new beginnings in marriage and life. Of excitement and nerves and anticipation of what’s to come. What a special day! Xo

Help Us Raise the Roof! 

When I first met Nate 14 years ago, he told me he grew up on a farm. But being a suburban gal, I had no idea what that meant. 

It meant he and his family are hard workers, determined people, and have a strong sense of community. (To name a few things.)

Nate’s mom does even more with the farm: she hosts weddings and seasonal festivals in the main barn and on the property. 

Of course, when I first visited, I didn’t appreciate like I do now. That’s because the farm is a part of me as it has been for Nate and his family since they moved there 30 years ago.

My love of the farm only grew. Harvesting fresh produce (or almost picking a praying mantis), eating home cooked feasts (usually from the garden, when possible), visiting the shed to see if Grandpa Ted is around or in the field…these are all normal now. 

Every fall, we return to Knoxville for the Scenic Drive, an event that gets me in the mood for my favorite season: autumn. I love seeing familiar faces of artisans and friends, checking out new vendors, and eating my father-in-law’s signature beef stew that he cooks in a kettle on the fire outside. I’ve done a lot of odd and fun jobs, from grilling to apple pressing to selling Grandma Jan’s wreaths and arrangements. And I leave a bounty, too: decorative flint corn to hang on our fence, pumpkins to stack by the front door, freshly made candy for the ride home, and other goodies from the farmer’s market on-site.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, we return again for the Christmas event. This time, it’s colder, and we can do Christmas shopping! One year Nate’s aunt and grandma made ornaments out of Grandpa Len’s old work clothes to sell. These are now some of our most treasured decorations on the tree. Pottery, hand-knit hats, and Grandma Jan’s wreaths and swags, are also some of our favorites.

These events are special year after year, but we also hosted our wedding on the farm almost five years ago. We were married in the walnut grove, dined under the stars in a tent, and laughed and cried and danced in the barn until the floor boards shook! It was a perfect day with the ones we love, and I hope I never forget how magical it all was.

So why am I telling you all of this? The barn needs your help. This beautiful historic barn is in need of a new roof. It’s expensive, but necessary, and will keep the barn going strong for years to come. This barn means so much to so many. To me, it’s home. 


Whatever you can contribute, I sincerely appreciate your consideration. My family works so hard to bring these wonderful events to Knoxville, and I want to make sure to keep the tradition going strong. For me, Ellie, our family, and the community.

Girls’ Night Out: Mary Lee’s Bachelorette Party

My friend Mary Lee is getting married next month, and we recently celebrated her bachelorette party! Mary Lee and I met through our good friends Jill and Jeremy, as Mary Lee is engaged to Jeremy’s twin brother, Ryan. (They make a really cute couple, I might add!)

We started the night at Mary Lee’s twin sisters Kate and Allie’s adorable apartment in Logan Square. (Yes, lots of twins in this post!) Jill was already there prepping with the sisters when Jess (my sister-in-law) and I arrived. (Another twin fun fact: Jess and I are married to twins!)

They served snacks and cocktails, including a pink drink that was reminiscent of jungle juice in college. My gosh, it was good…and dangerous. We opened presents, took pictures (see below!), and then headed over to Orso’s in Old Town for dinner.

We were seated right away downstairs, but passed through the main dining room, a lively bar area, and piano man on our way to our table. Drinks were included in our meal package, so out of habit and nervousness, I ordered my old standby: rum and diet coke.

Bread and olive oil were placed on the table, along with family-style appetizers of bruschetta and peppers and sausage. Yum! By this time, I noticed Mary Lee and her friend were drinking French Martinis, which looked delicious. I had to try one.

There are many variations of the recipe online, but here’s the gist:

fresh pineapple juice
raspberry liqueur (recommended: Chambord)

You wouldn’t think pineapple juice would be in a French cocktail, but it was tasty…too tasty. I ordered another.

Back to the food! Next came a house salad, followed by mushroom risotto, chicken vesuvio, vesuvio potato wedges, and ravioli. And for dessert? Tiramisu, of course! Are you full just reading about it?

I’m bummed I only RSVP’d for the dinner because the girls were headed to Second City next. I had such a blast, and am so glad I was invited to celebrate Mary Lee and meet her friends. Can’t wait for the wedding next month!

1401 North Wells
Old Town