The Perfect Baby Moon at The Greenbrier

Our Room

Ready for the Bunker Tour

Patterns for Days

Casino

Peach Cake

Carriage Rides

The Salt Cave and Spa

Most epic afternoon nap

Afternoon tea

Perfect place for a swim

Jerry West’s Prime 44 Steakhouse

The best décor

Sean’s favorite chandelier

My favorite chandelier

Sunday breakfast

The Greenbrier was the absolute perfect place for our babymoon weekend getaway! I can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for a place to get away for a short trip on the East Coast. It’s the perfect mix of things to do and nothing to do but relax! We arrived on a Friday afternoon just in time for the Bunker Tour. This is a little piece of history that you should not miss! It is absolutely unbelievable that a fallout shelter for Congress existed for 30 years with no one being the wiser.

On Friday evening we went into the nearby town of Lewisburg. It has apparently become quite the local foodie spot. We tried out The Livery Tavern, which was honestly just OK. Our waitress was great and we enjoyed our dinner, but I think if we go back we would try somewhere different. There were quite a few spots we were considering trying out, like The French Goat and The Humble Tomato, so something to look forward to for next time! After dinner we went back to the hotel and checked out the casino. To me one of the fun things about the resort is that it still has a dress code, sport coats are required for men in the casino. It was fun to get dressed up and enjoy an evening out. Once we had run out of luck I decided it was time for late night cake! We had the funniest experience at the dessert shop. The nicest man was helping us grab a slice of peach cake to-go, and then he offered us the cake buy one get one free, so why not!? Two giant slices of peach cake, never heard of peach cake but sounds delicious! As he is packing it up in the to-go containers, another employee walks up to the counter and says “do you know what you’re having?” referencing my very pregnant belly, which I totally missed and responded with “CAKE!” After my moment of embarrassment we took the cake back to our room and it was SO GOOD!!

We started out Saturday with a trip to The Pomona Salt Cave and Spa. The Greenbrier has an amazing spa that I’m sure is worth every penny, but is v expensive. We were both able to do facials, and a trip to the salt cave, and lunch, and smoothies here for nearly the same cost as one facial at The Greenbrier. It’s about 15 minutes driving from the hotel. We loved our experience here! I’m sure it’s not as fancy as The Greenbrier, but it was a perfect relaxing morning. We also loved that there was a café and smoothie shop on site. The lunch and smoothies that we got were great! After our relaxing morning we went back to the resort to relax and I had an epic afternoon nap. We went for afternoon tea in the main lobby and followed that up with a swim in the pool. That evening we had dinner at Prime 44, Jerry West’s steakhouse onsite at the resort. The food was delicious, but the service was even better. Honestly, a perfect day!

One of the things we kept noticing all weekend was how wonderful the staff at the resort is! Our waitress told us that she was a third generation employee from her family. Everyone is so helpful and friendly and really wants you to feel taken care of!

On Sunday we closed out the weekend with the full breakfast buffet in the main dining room! All in all it was a perfect weekend away preparing for little girl!

Also happy to report that I finally checked this spot off my bucket list of places I want to visit in the south!

Paris – Day 6

I could say this about all the days of the trip, but Day 6 was one of the best. We took the train to Versailles early that morning. We got there almost as it was opening and it really was not crowded (with the exception of the crowd you see in the Hall of Mirrors photo, which I think may always be like that). I think visiting in November also helped with the crowds. One thing I will say about our trip to Versailles in low season was that much of the furniture and other things that the audio guide mentioned seemed to be missing, possibly it was being cleaned or restored, and the famous gardens were a little lackluster with nothing in season. However, we enjoyed there not being much of a crowd and still getting to experience this famous location. We stayed a few hours and then took the train back in to Paris. That afternoon we explored Montmarte. I loved this area and would love to spend more time here. There are so many amazing shops and streets that you could spend days wandering here. We watched the sun set over Paris from the Sacre-Coeur, which I highly recommended. The view at sunset was magical. We wandered from here to the Hotel Particulier for some fancy drinks in a cozy spot off the beaten path. (Also happy to report we are still making the drink the bartender here taught us.) We finished up with dinner at Buillon Pigalle. The restaurant was a mix of tourist and locals, and the food was fantastic. This was one of our best “authentic” French meals. We are still trying to recreate the beef bourguignon.

More from our trip: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 7

Paris – Day 5

Our the 5th day of our trip we covered a lot of ground. We started with a tour of the catacombs. I cannot express how much I disliked this. Sean had booked this as something he wanted to do, and I had no clue what we were getting into. I do not like small spaces, I do not like being underground, I do not like dead bodies, I do not like there being no emergency exit. The catacombs are all of those things. That aside our tour guide was really knowledgeable and engaging. We were lucky enough to be in Paris when the Rembrandt collection was on display at the Louvre. We had reservations that afternoon to check it out. We hit the highlights of the exhibit and hit the road. The Louvre was overly crowded to the point of not being enjoyable, as it turned out our reservation was only to see the Rembrandt pieces not the rest of the museum and we weren’t sad about it because it was such a cluster. That night we had tickets to see a ballet at the Palais Garnier. I had mostly just wanted to see a show inside the famous opera house so we could see the inside. It is definitely worth seeing in my opinion. It’s gorgeous. We wound up loving the show we saw, we had amazing seats that I had purchased basically by accident, and it was great to drink champagne and feel fancy for a night.

More from our trip: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 6

Paris – Day 4

Day 4 of the trip was a museum and shopping day. We started the day with breakfast at Brasserie Le Bourbon. There were lots of business people here having meetings and eating. We enjoyed eating here. We followed that up with walking to the Rodin museum, which allowed us to take in some sights around the area. The Rodin museum was probably my favorite that we visited. I loved that it is both inside and outside, it wasn’t crowded, and you could walk around the gardens right in the middle of the city. We then went to the Museum D’Orsay, which has lots of great highlights, but we were lost most of the time we were there. It was crowded and difficult to navigate but we did manage to see some beautiful art! From here we walked to Rue Saint Honore to do some shopping. We stopped in Laduree since no trip to Paris is complete without the famous macarons. After our shopping we hurried back to change and head to our dinner reservation at Frenchie. We made a huge mistake and tried to take an Uber since we were all dressed up, we ended up sitting in so much traffic that we were late for our reservation. The restaurant staff was so great about it, but they have a strict cancellation policy so Sean was freaking out the whole drive there. The food at Frenchie was AMAZING. It is one of the best meals I have ever eaten. We had the sommelier do the wine pairing for each course also. We were lucky enough to have seats at the bar looking into the kitchen, which was a great experience. After dinner we walked to get a drink at the Experimental Cocktail Club, which was a fantastic spot our server told us about. When we were ready to head home we tried Uber again, but had no luck as our driver drove away as we were walking toward the car. We opted for the metro back, and I was not please about being in the metro late at night in high heels, but what a cool looking metro stop.

More from our trip: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 5, Day 6

Family Holidays 2021

Graham’s First Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! We started the day with a FREEZING cold Turkey Strut. It was good to get out of the house and get in some exercise. We ordered most of our meal from Salem Kitchen so all we had to do was heat it up. I made a green bean casserole and homemade dressing, but otherwise we kept it low key. Aunt Jody came in the afternoon to have Thanksgiving with us and brought 2 pies and some deviled eggs. Graham tried and liked all of the food we had for our meal, he even had a bite of pumpkin pie! It was a great first Thanksgiving for G!

Christmas in Old Salem. We spent the morning walking around, listening to the carolers, and eating fresh Moravian Sugar Cake. I love the bridge in Old Salem at Christmas.

Christmas at Graylyn. We had a nice lunch at Graylyn before going to meet Santa. This was Graham’s first time seeing Santa. As you can see he was intrigued at first but then like most kids he was not a fan of sitting in his lap. Sorry, but I love the picture of him in Santa’s lap. It is a classic.

Christmas visit from Grandpa Jack.

Christmas at Reynolda House on a warm December day. Playing in the water fountain and the fields.

School Christmas Party! I love this background the teachers set up for the photoshoot, the kids did a gift exchange and everything!

We spent several days in West Virginia at Sean’s parents house this year celebrating Christmas. It was so much fun to see Graham start to be interested in Christmas. He liked the lights and all the shiny things best of all. Sean’s brother and his wife were in town for the holiday’s as well, so it was fun for Graham to be able to spend more time with his aunt and uncle. It was unusually warm so we spent a lot of time outside on walks and on the porch which was nice.

Champagne wasn’t the only thing popping this New Year’s Eve. My belly officially popped. We had a nice dinner out with friends while Aunt Jody baby sat G, and that wrapped up our holiday season this year!

We’ve been keeping a secret…

Graham is going to be a BIG BROTHER! The Easter Bunny is bringing Graham a little sister. I am due on April 17th, Easter Sunday. I know that Graham is going to be a wonderful big brother and look forward to them being so close in age. It may be a bit chaotic for a while, but how lucky are we to have two little ones that can grow up together and hopefully become the best of friends. I have been feeling great other than being tired from chasing a one year old and being pregnant at the same time. We are soaking up the time with him as an only child, but we are so excited to meet our sweet girl.

Spend the Day in Reims

Paris – Day 3

On our third day of the trip we took the train to Reims to explore the champagne region. It took a little over an hour to get there and was well worth it. This was maybe my favorite day of vacation. Reims was a fun town to see and we found it very walkable. The Museum of the Surrender allows you to experience the location where the German’s surrendered World War II. The map room is still exactly as it was on the day of the surrender. We really enjoyed this museum. It is next to a local school and we accidentally went into the school looking for it. Ooops. From here we walked to the Reims Cathedral. It is absolutely beautiful, the stained glass is unbelievable! The history here is fascinating; It was built in the 13th century and was the location for all of the coronations of the French monarchs. After this we walked to Brasserie Le Gaulois for lunch. Our waitress was great and talked about how much she loved having a chance to practice speaking English, however the food was honestly not good. Kind of reminded me of the French version of Applebees. I should mention that we came to Reims on a Monday and many places are closed so we didn’t have as much to choose from. We knew that going in to the day and were fine with it, but I do wish we had been able to try some of the places we heard about. One cool thing about the restaurants in Reims was they have great champagne selections so we were able to try a few from places we weren’t able to visit. From lunch we walked to Tatinger where we had made a reservation for a tour and tasting. Most of the larger champagne houses require reservations for a tour. We enjoyed the tour and our guide was great. We did a tasting and ended up buying some to have shipped home. From Tatinger we walked to Pomery. We did a tasting here and bought a couple more bottles. After a full afternoon of champagne drinking we found l’edito brasserie to stop in for dinner. We enjoyed the food here and our server was great! It was the only restaurant of the entire trip we went to where the server spoke no English (our problem not his – for being in France and not speaking any French), but he kept apologizing to us and was just so nice! Our last stop before the train was the local grocery store. This was a great stop as we found many of the local champagnes we hadn’t been able to try for sale here.

More from our trip : Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6

Graham’s First Birthday Party

Winter Onederland First Birthday Party

winter onederland first birthday cake
winter onederland first birthday party decor
winter onederland first birthday party
winter onederland birthday party
winter onederland birthday party

Waking up as a one year old on his first birthday!

Graham had a wonderful first birthday party at our home on the day before his actual birthday. I decided on a “Winter Onerderland” theme. We served potato soup and chili and had a hot chocolate bar to go with the theme. I set up a cookie decorating and snowman making station outside for the few older kids that came. My coworker made the most adorable shirt for Graham to wear. I think the whole party turned out really cute. Graham had a good time with all of his new toys and books, and of course the wrapping paper. We had such a good time celebrating with friends and family! I was so thankful to be able to have a small get together safely in our home this year! As you can see from the photos the smash cake was a huge hit. All it took was one bite and Graham was ready to demolish the cake. We love our one year old boy!!

Graham is Twelve Months Old!

48 weeks – day light savings time got to us all

48 weeks – napping with Aunt Jody while Mom and Dad went to the Panther’s game. (day light savings time at it again!)

48 weeks – first time in a grocery buggy – of course it was at Total Wine

48 weeks – napping with Mommy. This will never get old to me sweet boy.

48 weeks – eating spaghetti

48 weeks – First Chic-Fil-A

49 weeks – eating stir fry and cheesing it up!

49 weeks – dinner at Moe’s – the black beans were a hit – one of your first times in a restaurant (Covid Kid)

49 weeks – Your First Thanksgiving

49 weeks- post Thanksgiving nap

50 weeks – home for a sick day with Daddy – Facetimeing Mommy at work

50 weeks – In a real pickle – stuck under the bar stool

50 weeks – lounging at the table out to lunch

50 weeks – Christmas at Old Salem

51 weeks – starting to learn how to use your cup

51 weeks – your favorite face to make

51 weeks- Reynolda Gardens

My sweet Graham how can it be that you have been ours for over a year! It has been the hardest, most challenging, sleep deprived year, that has been the most wonderful time with SO MUCH JOY! You are the absolute love of our lives and watching you grow this past year has been just the most rewarding experience. At 12 months you are cruising around with ease and getting anywhere you want to go. You’re not quite walking but it will be here soon enough. You happily eat most anything we serve you and are getting better and better at using your sippy cup and feeding yourself. You want to do it all with no help! You’re sleeping through the night very well now, which we are SO THANKFUL for. You’re doing lots of jabbering and talking. Your first word was “ba” for ball. You are almost always happy and smiling, and able to go with the flow most of the time. You still love playing ball with Bertie. Books are becoming more interesting to you. We are soaking up this time with you because you are just SO MUCH FUN right now! I’ve said it before but you were such a bright light for us in a challenging time for so many. While 2021 was certainly better than 2020 for us, we are so thankful for the light and joy you brought to us! We love you so big little one!

Graham’s One Year Photoshoot

We had family photos taken a few days before Graham’s birthday. We used Amber again and I am so happy with how they turned out. She is so wonderful to work with and so good with Graham. The location she picked and the time of day is just perfect!! Sean’s parents were in town for Graham’s first birthday party already so we asked them to join in on the photos as well. How cute is Graham in his bowtie and suspenders!?! I just love these photos so much!