You guys just have to check out this sweet new book When I Pray For You by Matthew Turner. It is the sweetest! And when I pre-ordered it on Amazon, I also got a free copy of one of his other books, When God Made Light. Charlotte and I are enjoying them each so much. If you’re in the season of friends-having-babies like I am, these would make incredible gifts as well.
A few fun facts about the author and his wife – they live here in Nashville, and Matthew’s wife, Jessica, is an author as well. Not only does she run the blog The Mom Creative, but she also has written the books The Fringe Hours and Stretched Too Thin. Both books help women (like me!) manage their roles as wives, moms, employees, and creative human beings. I’m deep into Stretched Too Thin right now, and let me just say, IT SPEAKS TO ME. Check them out!
Recently, a brand new Tennessee State Museum opened here in Nashville! Growing up as a local, my husband frequently visited the old state museum, and we even went on our lunch hours occasionally to walk around. His love of history – especially TENNESSEE history – adds an extra level of joy to the whole experience.
So last weekend, we took Charlotte to check out the new space! Let me start by saying the whole place was SO well done – the exhibits were beautiful. We did sort of do a “speed race” through them because when the stroller stops, the wiggles start.
As a parent of a toddler though, the best part was the HUGE children’s room. They still plan to add more interactive exhibits here, but right now it has books, blocks, magnets, and story time. Our little one loved roaming across the Tennessee map painted on the floor, and my husband loved telling her about different places in Tennessee.
It was a sweet weekend, and I highly recommend it! It’s free, kid-friendly, and extremely well done!
Over the weekend, a friend and I had a chance for some girlfriend time, so we checked out The Candle Bar here in Nashville. While I believe the “Sips and Strokes” format was the first DIY class that swept the nation, there have since been dozens of businesses started where everyday non-artists can gather and create. The Candle Bar is one such place – a DIY candle class.
This particular business has two permanent locations in Nashville (plus two pop ups in Nashville and Dallas) and is in partnership with Paddywax Candles – a favorite brand of mine worthy of their very own post.
The class is $35 a pop, lasts exactly an hour, and – I would argue – is more than worth it. The candle I made, for example, retails at $28, so I essentially paid an extra $7 to choose my own scent and vessel, hang out with a friend, and break out my rad chemistry skills. Like Sips & Strokes, the class is BYOB if that’s your jam. My partner in crime, Allison, happens to be pregnant right now, so I wasn’t about to make her watch me sip wine, but it’s nice to have that as an option!
Unlike some DIY courses where you have to intently watch the instructor for fear of missing out on something crucial, this class allowed for plenty of chit chat time with your friends. We had plenty of time to browse and select both the vessel and the scent. The instructor then walked us through how to weigh out the scent and wax. And, oh yes, we used the TARE FUNCTION – chemistry flashbacks anyone??
The Candle Bar also has a cute shop as part of their space, and you can make purchases at a 20% off after your class. The candles do need to set up overnight so if you’re local like us, you can come back and pick them up. Otherwise, you can pay $8 to have them shipped home to you.
Overall, we both really enjoyed this experience and highly recommend it!
I’m sorry to say I only took ONE before picture of the guest room. But as you can imagine from the picture below, it was a small, wood-paneled room that once housed a teenage boy.
We painted the walls a light grey, and accented the room in as much black and white as possible. Here is a shot walking into the room – it’s hard to tell, but there is a funky black and white wallpaper on the ceiling! We are keeping it for now 🙂
And for our guests, who I hope are many, we have a few little touches…
I realized that I have started many blog posts over the years with “big news” or “good news” or “exciting news” so I’m going to start adding subtitles. Hence, today’s Big News: The Time We Moved Back To Nashville.
The most recent (and final) big event is that I have happily accepted an exciting job offer. In just a few short weeks, I will start in my new role as Director of Development for the Make A Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee. This is a bittersweet announcement, as some of you know, due to the fact that I absolutely love my job and my coworkers at Ohio State. Going to work every day with a team that works so hard but yet is so fun to be around has opened my eyes to what “work” can really be. As sad as I am to say goodbye, I really hope I can take what I’ve learned here and help make the MAW Foundation a fun and meaningful place to work for myself and my colleagues.
I say this is the most recent bit of news, because in case you haven’t been paying attention, here’s how the summer has gone down.
Not long after, we bought a house. It needs love. It’s torn to pieces at the moment. It’s stressful. But we are doing it – we have an ADDRESS.
Now, after several months of living apart from my husband, I got a job! A job I am excited about!!
All of this about 2 1/2 years after A DIFFERENT “BIG NEWS” POST about the OTHER biggest change in our lives. But seriously – WHERE DOES ALL THE TIME GO?!
It is truly yet another reminder of how God has His hands in everything. I worry, I doubt, just like the rest of us, but as soon as I take a step back and say, “I don’t need to be in control of this – God’s got this,” everything seems to come together a little more easily and with a lot more grace.
Well, on Monday, Labor Day, I turned 30. And I’m not mad about it. In fact, I’m pretty okay with 30. But the sound of it is a little strange… THIRTY. That used to sound SO OLD and so far away. And…it’s not.
I got to spend an extended Labor Day Weekend in Nashville with my hubby, my mom, and my in-laws, and got to visit with a lot of our family. We shopped, we ate, we drank. I’m pretty sure I broke one of my small toes. That was about the extent of it!
I came back to the office to find this on the whiteboard…
And this in my office…
I’ll have an update on my 30 before 30 list soon. I was able to accomplish a few more things just in the nick of time… SOON SOON!
It was a great weekend in Nashville, except that it RAINED on the night of the 4th, so we didn’t get to watch fireworks from our secret spot like we had planned. MAJOR BUMMER.
But I spent the 3rd with these two little ladies (and also I had to catch a glimpse of my flag dress from Red Dress Boutique)…
And that night, me and the hubs gave a shout out to my hometown, with each of us wearing our Wisconsin shirts:
The hubs had to work during the day, so I headed to a family cookout (with his fam!), and had a great time catching up with everyone: Me and the lovely ladies had to get a photo – two cousins-in-law and a sister-in law:And I just have to show off the adorable back of the OTHER dress I bought from Red Dress Boutique:
And finally, my adorable nephew Jack, because he is the most photogenic kid I know: