Holiday Market week!

We survived this week! I’m sorry I’ve been so absent from my blog, but this is pretty much my busiest week of the year.

For eight months we prayed for our house to sell. And then we just laughed at God’s timing and His sense of humor. Because we close on our house the week of my 30th birthday, the week before we took a Thanksgiving trip to Colorado, and two weeks before Holiday Market week, aka my busiest week of the year.

I’m so glad that Todd’s mom helped me with the boys in the afternoons so I could spend the day decorating. It’s so much fun for me to be able to use some of the creativity I’ve kind of tucked away, and it makes me feel so much better knowing the boys are in good hands.

some of the many bows we made this week

But now that it’s all behind us, I feel like we could conquer the world. It was a great week.

Through the Junior League of Columbia, my placement (committee assignment) is Holiday Market Decorations. This is my second year to chair this committee, and I love it. I have 10 other fantastic, creative, hard-working gals on the committee with me and it’s just so much fun to decorate such a massive space and watch it become a Christmas wonderland.

Almost all of the decorations were found this summer at America’s Mart in Atlanta when I went with my mom and Nina.

I thought I’d share a bunch of photos of the space. We had 20 Christmas trees, 9 small wreaths, 1 huge wreath, 27 centerpieces, 50 bows… and a partridge in a pear tree! And then there’s the larger than life Christmas tree.

the big tree- covered in wrapped packages (attached using lots of floral wire) and large flat ornaments

We started decorating last Sunday night and spent all day Monday and Tuesday decorating. We put the finishing touches on everything on Wednesday morning. And tomorrow night we’ll take it all down– and sell it if you’re in the Columbia area and are interested in coming by to shop!

sweet little mistletoe trees on the entry tables, and the beautiful table cloth my awesome committee member sewed

the outside tent and the gorgeous drum chandeliers and huge red ornaments

we had 18 round tables in the dining area in the tent that had lanterns, ornaments, and cute chevron table toppers

We had two trees in the tent this year 

At the entrance to the building, there were 5 white trees showcasing various Junior League projects and philanthropies. These were decorated and created by this year’s provisional class

There was a very large wreath hanging over the stage area

This picture was taken during the decorating process, but I had to show the gorgeous ribbon on the trees around the dance floor

The entry area had six trees and four benches for shoppers to sit

Three large lattices hung from the ceiling and we swagged fabric and hung large red and green finials to lower the ceiling

We had 3 additional trees near the staircase, and of course garland and bows along the staircases and the balcony

One of the 9 centerpieces like this for cocktail tables

A peek down the aisle at the big tree

The theme this year was “Merry and Bright” and the two chairs of the committee and the whole Holiday Market committee did an amazing job pulling together a massive event and fundraiser.

Last night, Todd and I took the boys to the PJs with Santa event at Holiday Market. Santa Claus comes every year and there is also an opportunity for kids to do a fun Christmas craft, watch a Christmas movie, read Christmas stories, get their faces painted, tumble with The Little Gym, and even meet Cocky!

Hudson and Hayes absolutely loved it and they looked so cute in their pajamas that Hillary made!

It was a great week! But now I’m looking forward to relaxing for the rest of the season, and possibly getting a tree up at Todd’s grandmother’s house for us to enjoy!

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Alligator Baby Shower

This weekend, my friends and I hosted a baby shower for our friend Allison and her sweet baby boy on the way. We had it at our house and it was fun to have everyone here. And to have an excuse to get my house as clean as possible!

When Allison told us that she was using navy, green, madras, and alligators in the baby’s nursery, we decided to use that as inspiration for her baby shower.

We decided on a “See You Later, My Little Alligator” theme.

We called on the talented girls at Sweet Birdie’s Nest to help us make the theme come to life. They created party circles, cupcake toppers, a banner, a welcome sign, and a great set of prints for us to frame for Allison. I love these colors and think they’re just so fun and happy!

This fun little set of prints (excuse the horrible glare) was framed on the welcome table. We also had fun little note cards with a number on them for months 1-12. The guests were asked to write advice and encouragement to Allison for each of those months.

Also on the welcome table, we had these delicious and oh-so-cute cookie favors from Holly at Doughmestic Housewife. Holly’s cookies are so soft and yummy and I’ll say it again…. they are little works of art! (Holly ships and takes custom orders!)


My friend Caroline brought delicious chicken salad sandwiches on croissants.

My friend Tina made pimento cheese sandwiches. Goodness, this is making me hungry!

Allison said she has been craving fruit, so I made my friend Emily’s pineapple pretzel salad recipe that I’ve posted before. Yummy!

My friend Allyson put together a pretty vegetable platter.

And of course no shower is complete without fluffy cupcakes from Publix and sweet cupcake toppers.



My friend Julie brought these delicious chocolate cookies.

I made these baked brie bites. I found the recipe on Pizzazzerie, and I will definitely be making these again.

My friend Caroline brought this wonderful spinach dip, and I think it looks so pretty!



The banner said “See You Later My Lil Alligator.”

And all the hostesses with Allison. She allowed us to touch her belly– we did ask permission! Ha!

Me, Allyson, Julie, Allison, Tina, and Caroline

I love these girls!




weekly recap: September 8-15

I realized that I haven’t really updated on what all we’re up to, so I thought I may just do a post each weekend to fill in the details of that week for my memory-keeping purposes. And in case any of you want to know what we’re up to, here it is!
  • I had a Holiday Market meeting on Tuesday night, and we organized all of our new decorations for this year. Oh my goodness, I’m so excited about the decorations committee and the fun decorations for this year!
  • We all went to church as a family on Wednesday night. In the past, I have just taken the kids with me and Todd meets us there later. But we’ve started meeting at church on Wednesday nights for supper as a family and then we all move on to our respective “programs.” This is something I did as a child and I’m really excited about having my whole family there on Wednesday nights for AWANA, Bible study, choir rehearsal, etc.
  • Hudson has started AWANA at church on Wednesday nights. He has already memorized his first Bible verse and he’s so excited about it! (“all…. he had made… was very good.”)  Genesis 1:31
  • Our choir has already started rehearsing our Christmas music for our Singing Christmas Tree. I can’t believe it’s already that time of year, but it’s so exciting to be working on the music!
  • Hudson is staying after school twice a week for karate and J.A.M. (jump and move). His favorite thing about getting to do this is that he gets to bring his lunch. He thinks he is so cool because he has a lunch box! It’s really the cutest thing!
  • I started my new Bible study this week. It’s a community Bible study full of over 150 women from all denominations. Our commonality is that we all believe in the Word of God and its truths. I’m so excited about getting to know the women in my small group, and spending Thursday mornings with these women as we fellowship and learn together.
  • On the way to school on Friday morning, Hudson threw up in the car. Having throw up in a car seat is really just horrible. But poor Hudson was so confused. One minute he was singing a song and the next minute he was sick. I rushed him back home, and luckily Todd was still there to grab Hudson and get him cleaned up while I took Hayes to school. Hayes was at school until noon, and Hudson and I just sat and played and watched movies for three hours. It has been so long since I’ve had a few hours with just Hudson. It was wonderful. I’m sorry he was sick, but I’m so thankful that we had that sweet time together.
  • Shark Tank and Dateline are back with new episodes! Our Friday night ritual can resume. We are so happy!
  • Last weekend, I went to Charlotte to co-host a baby shower for the beautiful Rachel and her baby girl on the way. It was so fun to host with Katie, Ashley, and Michelle and to get to see other Charlotte bloggers. I was just going to share a handful of pictures from the baby shower.
Rachel had this adorable print on her Pinterest inspiration board for her nursery, so the hostesses and I thought it would be a great jumping off point for her baby shower inspiration.
The talented mamas at Sweet Birdie’s Nest helped us create a beautiful invitation and all the  fun cupcake toppers, banners, party circles, etc. I loved how the orange, pink and grey all came together.
Then Holly created these cookies based on the Etsy print and the whole look we were going for. I have never tasted such delicious iced cookies that were just as beautiful as they are tasty! Holly is the best! These cookies were truly little masterpieces. Adorable, delicious little works of art! Holly is amazing! (You can look at more of Holly’s cookies at Doughmestic Housewife.)

Hayes's First Fiesta: the birthday boy and friends!

Okay, I’m finally getting around to posting the remaining pictures that Rachel took from Hayes’s party. There were so many amazing pictures of Hayes, our family, and our friends! It took me forever to decide which ones to post and then there were still too many.

We were so thankful to have about 50 of our friends and family there. We invited friends with kids and friends without kids. So many of our friends have kids that are Hudson’s age or Hayes’s age. And a lot of our friends have kids both of our kids’ ages. It’s so much fun to get them all together!

At Hayes’s party, everyone just ate and the kids ran around and had a great time just running. Then Hayes devoured his cake. He defined “smash cake” that day. He absolutely loved it!

So this post is really just a picture dump, but I just have to post them for my memories. Enjoy!

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