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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Ten on Tuesday [No.64]

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Okay, the holiday season officially kicked my butt!
I haven't posted a Ten on Tuesday since November and I've just been off of my game with both Instagram and the blog.
I did manage to share a Year in Review last week and have been feeling the itch to write and share in this corner of the internet. I fight the comparison game so much, I want to share I just feel like nothing I have to say is as worthy as what others have to say-but I'm going to fight that feeling, y'all!

 This holiday season was one of the sweetest, mostly because it was Charlie's first year to actually be able to participate in the festivities-and everything sure was festive!
 From the moment we first put up the tree to Charlie toddling in on Christmas morning to check out his tractor and other gifts, this Christmas season is one that I will never forget.
Every year, Garden & Gun has their Annual Made in the South Awards and y'all know I'm all about locally made products and supporting small businesses.
I think gifting items like these is such a win too because a lot of these smaller companies really put so much thought into the details of their items...and what a better gift for a Southerner than a Southern made product, right?
I think my two personal favorites are the beautifully hand crafted duck call (do I hunt? nope, but I would display the heck out of that call!) and the stunning custom-made camp knives with map details inlaid in the handles-they are completely beautiful!
One big change around these parts? Charlie's big boy haircut!
He had gotten a little trim a while back, but this was his first salon visit where he was really trimmed up and it totally changed the way he looked-he looks so grown up and handsome now!
I'm a massive sweet potato fan, even more so when those sweet potatoes are in pie form.
I ran across this sweet potato pie recipe from James Beard Foundation medal and Birmingham pastry chef, Dolester Miles and I want to make it ASAP because it sounds so, so yummy and pretty simple too.
 This has been the season for charcuterie at our home and I'm not mad about it at all!
We made Christmas cookies & candies one afternoon with my sisters and mom and then of course we had our families Christmas on a separate occasion and so they both called for the finest of spreads.
Some of my personal favorites are homemade pickled okra, boursin herbed cheese, and not pictured-it was on a separate plate-room temp cream cheese with blueberry jalape?o jelly spread on top...the best!
I've been pouring over house plans and different articles on architecture and trends because I'm getting so excited about potentially starting our journey to building a house soon.
Southern Living is basically my home-bible and I had to check out what they think the top 8 home trends will be this year.
Personally, out of these I'm all-in for leaving the all-white kitchens behind (I can't keep that clean!), I love the look of a wooden range hood, and I definitely want a formal dining area in our future home for entertaining!
 We have been truly blessed with a rather mild Winter so far & I'm crossing my fingers that this holds true throughout the rest of January and into February & March, too!
Charlie has loved spending time outside and checking the cows is at the top of his list.
Also, I just realized he's wearing the same shirt in both of these pictures ? He has a closet full of clothes and ends up wearing the exact same thing whenever I take his picture?
But to be fair, these simple tees come in a lot of fun colors and prints and are very inexpensive!
We have a great little park close to the shopping center we go to pretty frequently and the weather was so nice that my sister & I took Charlie for the first time the other day. He had so much fun swinging and playing on the slides. I just adore watching this sweet boy have a good time!
I'm not super crazy about the Royals but I have been interested in hearing about Meghan and Harry leaving the fold. Something I didn't consider? Them potentially losing their titles! This article shares more info.
Last Friday I got a wild hair and decided to do a date-night meal at home for Chris & I to enjoy after Charlie went to bed.
Most nights, we try to eat as a family but I wanted to really get to just sit back and enjoy this meal with Chris so we fed Charlie, bathed him, got him in the bed and finally got to chow down!
I made homemade cheese grits (so, so good y'all!), sautéed mushrooms, red peppers, and onions, diced and cooked Conecuh hickory sausage, and I homemade turnip greens. We topped the greens with some of my homemade pepper sauce and it was amazing!
I'm not going to lie, turnip greens at home have always intimidated me but these were so easy to prepare and I ended up only having to cook them for around an hour for them to be delicious-but I bet they'd be even better if they had simmered all day.
I will definitely be doing this again soon!
I don't always share who I'm following, but I probably should because if you like me-you might like them too!
In 2019, I started an Instagram account for our farm @RockinUFarm and have had so much fun having a dedicated spot to share our farm photos (because there are SO many taken on a daily basis!) and I've also really enjoyed finding new farm wives and moms (and FarmHers!) to follow along with.
One of my favorites, who's account is pictured above is Taylor from @BarnOfBlooms. She's actually pretty local to me, which I didn't know ? but she's got beautifully curated, but real photos. She has a real farm story and I absolutely have loved watching her journey.

I am so grateful to be able to start another year of blogging and sharing with you all, friends!
Until next time. . .

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

2019 In Review + Most Popular Posts

Happy 2020, y'all!
I honestly still haven't gotten used to saying or writing 2020 & it doesn't feel like 2019 was last year yet ?
I'm a little behind on posting here; I lacked a Christmas home tour (which I'm honestly sad about, but this was a crazy season in our lives) and barely made it through with my gift guides by the skin of my teeth.
I didn't want to let the new year slip by me without a recap of 2019 and also sharing the years most popular posts with you all...so let's jump in!
Christopher & I kicked off 2019 with a bang by heading to New Orleans to attend the American Farm  Bureau Federation's conference where we were competing in the Achievement Award. We placed in the Top Ten nationally and were so excited to represent the state of Alabama so well! 
We also had so much fun taking Charlie to the aquarium in Atlanta for the first time with some of our sweet friends. He was such a little guy then & had so much fun taking in the whole experience.
In February, Charlie and I spent a lot of time at the farm watching Chris and his Papa work.
He has always loved the farm!
We also got to attend the Alabama Cattleman's Convention Tradeshow and we had so much fun talking to friends, checking out all the new technology, and even adding some toys to our Christmas list.
At the end of February, Charlie took his first trip to Mount Cheaha (the highest point in the state of Alabama). I love sharing my love of the outdoors and adventure with my boys!
The first weekend of March brought Charlie's first trip to the Alabama Young Farmer's Conference.
Chris & I have been going to this conference since before we were married, so it was so fun to bring Charlie to his first conference. It'll be so fun to watch him grow up with the Federation!
In March, this blue eyed guy was trying to crawl around and showing off his ability to sit up all by himself.

In April, we took Charlie out to one of our favorite local restaurants and he sat in a high chair by himself for the first time! This was the restaurant that we took him out to for the first time period, so to have another milestone there was sort of fun!
April also brought Charlie's first Easter and he was just so sweet, although I have to admit that I cannot wait for his second everything now because his second Christmas was so fun!
April also kicked off our season in the hayfields and Charlie's first experience with cutting, baling, and wrapping hay. He was so intent and just took it all in-this year he'll be knee deep in it!
We kicked off May with a trip to the state capital to receive resolutions from the House and Senate honoring our time and efforts spent as Outstanding Young Farm Family. We also had an audience with the Governor and many other notable figures while in Montgomery. We left there feeling even more grateful, proud, and overall just fired up to continue advocating for agriculture!
My first Mother's Day was so, so sweet and it included a Mother's Day lunch with both of our mom's and Chris' grandmother. I love spending holidays with both of our families!
Charlie also got to take his first trip to the lake & "drive" the boat for the first time in May!
We love spending time on the water during the summertime so this was just another sweet experience I was so grateful to share with Charlie!
We don't have a pool at our house, but thankfully my parents have one and Forrest & I took Charlie for his first swim at the end of May. He's such a water baby!
He enjoyed the big pool so much, we grabbed a plastic pool for our patio and Charlie loved playing in it all Summer long!
The Fourth of July was spent dockside at the lake hanging out with our friends, watching fireworks, and snuggling up to his mom.
Charlie and Forrest also had a mini photo shoot at Auburn on one of our trips there for Forrest.
They are such sweet brothers and I will forever treasure these moments and pictures.
On a whim one Sunday afternoon, Chris and I drove up to Mount Cheaha again walked out onto Bald Rock (you should definitely google it if you want to see some pretty views!)
I snapped this shot of Charlie & Forrest and it actually became a magazine cover this past month!
July is also the month that we celebrate Forrest's birthday (his Gotcha-Day from the shelter) and it wouldn't have been complete without a birthday hat pic!
On July 29, Miss Minnie Pearl the calf came into our lives-the cutest thing ever!
Her Mom was an older cow in our herd and she was unable to care for Minnie, so I became her adopted mom and raised her for several months until she was able to join the other calves out in the pasture. I still make a point to see Minnie each time I'm out in the pasture and to give her some scratches!
August brought a trip to Chattanooga for the Alabama Farmer's Federation's Commodity Conference.
We once again were so excited to bring Charlie and he loved the experience, especially the farm tour we went on (evidence below-"driving" the truck at the winery we toured!)

We also checked out the aquarium in Chattanooga and Charlie had so much fun!
We had our second annual County Cattleman's Rodeo and it was Charlie's first rodeo ever!
We had a lot of fun attending both nights and it's one of my most favorite small town traditions.
We finished August out with a baby shower for my oldest sister Trystan and her newest blessing, Miss Cleo! It was such a fun shower to throw (which I need to share on the blog ? Maybe one day!)
We kicked off September with some fun on the farm, hanging out with Daddy while he was cleaning up fence lines and creek banks at the farm with the excavator.

More fun was had in September with the baby pool-it got a little bit smaller when Charlie had to share with Forrest!
One of the most fun things we did this month this year was taking Charlie to Auburn's homecoming!
We went to the Ag-Roundup tailgate and then brought him down to Tiger Walk and the pep rally and y'all-I had literal tears seeing him experience Auburn and game-day for the first time, it was just so sweet seeing how much he enjoyed it.
On September 13th, 2019 Charles Levi turned ONE!
We had a fiesta and it was so fun!
In October, we snuck away for a little getaway to Grayton Beach with some of our sweet friends. I hope this is something we can do each year because it was just the best!
Of course, we couldn't let October sneak by without having some Halloween fun!
Charlie dressed up as a cow and visited some family and went to a local trunk-or-treat on Halloween night.
In November we went to see Aubie Claus and you can see how that went...?
We were much happier when we put up our tree and sat by it with our own personal Aubie!
At the end of November, we went to some friends house to watch our Tigers win the Iron Bowl and my boy looked so grown up in his jersey, jeans, and boots!
December kicked off breeding season with our cattle herd and Charlie was doing his part, checking out the girls and making sure they were all doing okay!
Chris and I also had the opportunity to steal away down to Montgomery for a few hours to attend the Young Farmer's meetings at the Alabama Farmer's Federation's Annual Meeting.
We also snuck in some time to take some quick family pictures for our Christmas cards; they turned out so beautifully!
December also brought a chance to take Charlie to see Christmas lights for the first time!
We tried out the whole Santa thing and he loved seeing Santa's train set.
Christmas mornings brought all the most fun things; tractors, new chairs, trucks, and the sweetest Christmas pjs!
Doesn't everyone celebrate the day after Christmas by hanging out in cotton seed?!
Also the looks on these cows faces is too funny!

It was a wonderful, wonderful year & we were so blessed to spend it loving each other and loving Charlie. I can't wait to see what happens in 2020, but I have a feeling it's only going to get sweeter!

Now let's dig into the most popular posts of 2019. . .
Ten on Tuesday [No.58]
I always think it's so funny and interesting when y'all really, really enjoy a Ten on Tuesday post as the most popular but this one was much needed. I shared a lot about our trip to the capital, a lot of my summer porch garden, and more.
Top Ten Recent Amazon Purchases
This was one of my favorite posts of the year as well, because 2019 is the year where I more fully embraced using Amazon.
I still love all of these things, but especially the wireless charger and my mop because they are used daily!
What I Packed in my Hospital Bag
If you're expecting-read this and if you know someone who is-share it with them!
I wrote all about the things that were in my bag and then all the things I wish I had ditched or brought with me.
What Charlie Received for Christmas
This was such a great roundup of gift ideas for anyone that has a baby at Christmastime because he didn't really "want" anything because he was too little-so instead we focused on things that would serve him well for the next few months. We still use the booster seat & he adored that play piece until he absolutely outgrew it!
Grayton Beach Getaway
Y'all loved our beach trip almost as much as we did!
This post was a labor of love because I was trying to remember to take the pics but also trying to be present, I just knew I wanted to share this piece of paradise with you all and also Charlie's first beach trip!
Charlie's First Fiesta
I no joke spent months planning this party and so I was so thankful that y'all enjoyed this post!
So many of the things I used were from Amazon, so be sure to check that out if you're in need of fiesta items.
Charlie's First Easter Basket
I had so much fun putting together Charlie's first Easter basket and I hope someone out there found this post helpful. I'll most definitely be doing another one of these this year for an older little boy!
73 Questions with Jordyn
I just think it's SO sweet how many people interacted with me on this post and shared their answers to some of my questions, too! If you're new around here and would like to get to know me a little bit better, this post is a good one to start with!
What's Up Wednesday [8.28.19]
This was a fun "catch-up" post where I shared some recipes I had been cooking, my summer uniform, and my favorite book!
And last but not least, one of Charlie's monthly posts made the cut & I adored this one because I feel like six months is when his little personality started coming out big time!

Y'all 2019 was a huge year around here-such a time of growth for our family!
2020 is going to be jam-packed with fun, learning, and excitement and I can't wait to experience it all and then share it with y'all!

Until next time. . .