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An Old Town Christmas

I live about 15 minutes from the cutest little old town center in the world – St. Charles, MO.

St. Charles is the site of the first state capital for MO, and it’s also where Lewis and Clark Expedition had it’s first and last stops before leaving and coming back into St. Louis.  Because of that they’ve preserved the buildings along Main Street and converted them into the most charming little shops in the world.  They also have the coolest Christmas tradition ever.

They begin the season the Saturday after Thanksgiving with a parade.  During the parade you get to see all 40 of the Christmas characters that they will have roaming the streets for the next few weeks.  Among them are Santa’s from different countries, The reindeer flight instructor, Mother Goose, the Ice Queen and Jack Frost and many more.  But the best part is that each character has their own “playing card” that they pass out to all the kids when you meet them!  They also have bands preforming and all sorts of great holiday things (and they redo the parade every Saturday).  It’s super fun.  Abi was only able to collect 25 of the 40 so we’ve thought about going back one night to see the lights and collect the rest, but it has been a little bit colder than Abi (or I) want to brave.

So here are our photos from the day, photo dump style.  And if you’re ever in the St. Louis area for the holidays you HAVE to check out the Christmas Traditions in St. Charles.

Lewis & Clark

^^Captains Lewis and Clark and their trusty dog Seaman.^^

Decorated Homes

^^  I love that all the shops have decorated for Christmas!  Do you all judge a house on how it will look decorated for Christmas or is that just me? :)  ^^



^^ Lewis & Clark Fife & Drum Corps // Father Christmas // Santa Lucia  //  WWI Santa ^^


^^ Christmas Angel  //  MacNicholas  //  Saint Nicholas  //  Frontier Santa  ^^



^^  Reindeer Flight Instructor //  Frontier Santa  //  Civil War Santa  ^^

meeting 2


Easy Fathers Day Gift {that just keeps giving}

This year for Fathers Day the main man in our life will be out of town (in fact he’s out of town for the whole month of June. booo) so I can’t surprise him with some grand gesture*.  It has to be something small.  Something simple. Something that fits easily in the mail.  So what’s a girl to do?  Surf Pinterest of course. And that’s where I found this brilliant idea by the ladies over at The Dating Divas then got right to work.

easy fathers day gift main

Isn’t it so great?  Just grab a little 7 day pill box and some treats and you’re set!  Instead of one grand gesture he gets seven small, heart felt ones spread out over a week.

I made a few changes to their version though.  Since I would be mailing it I didn’t want to put any candy in it that could melt.  And I also wanted it to be handwritten notes (they have a printable available) so that Abi could help out a little and make it even more personal.  I really want to make sure he understands how much we love and appreciate him.

easy fathers day gift

Abi also helped me set up for the shot.  I was extremely impressed with her restraint with all that candy in front of her.  But then I got behind the camera and most of the pictures turned out like this.

easy fathers day gift outtake

The little sneak couldn’t keep away! Silly girl.

*like buying him at a date auction

I Am The Face

Today is a day that has a lot of personal meaning to me and my little family.  It is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.


I’ve shared a tiny bit about why I started  my other blog, So You Think You’re Crafty, in the about page over there and in interviews and conversations I’ve had.  But I’ve never shared what lead to that discussion I had with my sister and BIL about blog stalking and starting my own.

At the time Abbi was just over a year old and sleeping all but 6 hours a day (she was a FANTASTIC napper) and I had just found out we were expecting our 2nd baby.  We were so excited and I loved having all that extra time while she slept!  I could read and sew and cook and craft and keep my house clean and get ready for the new little one.

Then my world came crashing down.  I miscarried that baby.  We were heart broken.  All of the sudden, that wonderful free time became crushing to me.  I no longer had the motivation to do anything but dwell.  Dwell on the fact that little one we wanted so much wasn’t coming.  All I could bring myself to do was blog stalk when I was alone and pretend everything was ok when people were around.

A month or so later I visited my sister and her family for a week and we started talking about all the blogs that I had discovered.  That conversation and brain storming session about what SYTYC could be like was a turning point for me.  All the sudden I had a plan and the motivation to actually DO something to work my way out of my depression.  I got right to work getting So You Think You’re Crafty up and going.

We hadn’t given up on adding to our family, but with the 3rd miscarriage came a diagnosis of “unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss.”  We realized that maybe God had another plan for blessing us with a sibling for Abbi so we started the adoption process and paperwork.  For the past 3+ years, and through two more miscarriages, we’ve been waiting.

But good news!  At this very moment my husband and I are waiting for the call to head out to Las Vegas, Nevada.  And when we come home it will be with a little sister for Abigail.

God is Good.


Boston Freedom Trail {part 1}

A while ago Design Mom started a column on her blog about loving where you live.  I decided that’s a good idea.  In the past 4 years we have lived in 5 states and visited a few others.  We figured we would be in each place for a while and would have plenty of time to see things.  But we never got around to seeing more than the one or two main touristy things in the area.  So I’m going to join Design Mom in the quest of loving and learning about where I live and visit.

When I found out that my husband was being transferred for work causing us to move again just 5 days after I unpacked the final box from our last move you think I would be more upset than I was.  Well, I was pretty livid until I found out where we were headed – Boston Massachusetts.

You see, I’m a huge history buff.  Especially for Revolutionary history.  We even named our daughter Abigail after Abigail Adams.  I have wanted to visit her my entire life and now I was moving there!  I was pretty dang excited about it.

One of our first excursions we took when we had a free weekend was to hit up the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston.  We decided to start at the end of the trail at Bunker Hill in Charlestown (they have free street parking there) then walked the trail backwards toward the city center.  Here’s the Instagram pictures I took of our trip.

Our 1st stop:  Bunker Hill Monument

2nd stop: USS Constitution

3rd stop: Copp’s Hill Burying Ground – That headstone is from 1661.


4th stop: Old North Church – There were two lanterns in case you forgot.

5th stop: Paul Revere’s house.

And here is where Abbi lost it.  It was SOOO hot and humid and we had been walking for ever so I don’t blame her.  We were going to turn around and head back to the car when we noticed the splash pads on the Greenway.  So we decided to let Abbi run around in them for a while first – clothes and all.


We finally dragged her away (she wasn’t very happy about it – as you can see on the right :) ).  She fell asleep in the stroller on the walk back to the car.  Poor kid.  We plan on getting to the rest of the trail before summer is out.  So be watching for part 2 soon :).

Are any of you Revolutionary history buffs?

The Best Dad in the World

Father’s Day is usually pretty low key around our house.  Abbi was born on Father’s Day so  that means that her birthday is either on or very near the holiday every year.  So a cute little girl always somehow takes precedence :).

This year Abbi and I decided that we wanted to fill out this little book we found on Eighteen25 last week for dad.  Because, let’s face it, Brad is the best dad in the world, so why not putting a book about it together for him.

A Book for Dad by Eighteen25

The lovely ladies over at Eighteen25 listed the steps to put the booklet together, but they didn’t do a photo tutorial.  So, even though they explained it all very clearly I thought I’d put some photo steps together for you.

First, you need to download and print out the book pages from Eighteen25.

Then, gather your supplies: an exacto knife, a stapler,  crayons, washi tape and one of those $1 4×6 photo books.


Next, cut out a few Continue reading →

Biltmore Estates

A while ago Design Mom started a column on her blog about loving where you live.  I decided that’s a good idea.  In the past 4 years we have lived in 5 states and visited a few others.  We figured we would be in each place for a while and would have plenty of time to see things.  But we never got around to seeing more than the one or two main touristy things in the area.  So I’m going to join Design Mom in the quest of loving and learning about where I live and visit.


While Abbi and I were visiting their family, my sister and I decided to ditch the kids and take off on a road trip. The Biltmore Estate was our destination. We have this unhealthy fascination with touring homes.  I blame our dad.  If there was a new home being built or an open house near we always had to go walk through it. If there was a historic home near our vacation spot, we toured it.  We’ve been in historic mansions from California, to Massachusetts and even in Canada.  Our husbands don’t exactly share our zeal.  So it was the perfect opportunity for a girls trip!


The Estate is amazing you guys.  It’s a 1750,000 square foot mansion that was built by George Vanderbilt between 1889-1895 for his summer home.  He was single at the time, and even when he did get married they only had 1 child.  That is one mighty big place for 3 people.  I wish that they would have let me take pictures inside the home.  It was amazing.


But the grounds are equally as amazing.  If not even more so.  It was originally 125,000 acres and meant to be a totally self sustaining.  They had their own dairy, farms, everything.


To look at it now you would never know that it was almost completely empty of trees when Vanderbilt bought the land.  He brought in the landscape architect that designed Central Park in NYC to plan the estate grounds.  It was the first attempt at planned forestry.  It is totally amazing.


Have you ever visited Biltmore? Do you love old historic homes as much as I do?



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