I love Easter. I found myself especially thankful this year for my church, for my family, and for friends who have become like family.

We've lived in Montgomery, Alabama for 7 years. I have grown to love this town and I feel a deep connection to this place we call home. It is home.

Recently, I heard that it takes 7 years before you adapt to a culture and call it your own. I have found this to be so true. In this 7th year of living here, without question I bought my children coordinating Easter outfits. Each are white with a hint of blue, and Laurie's dress has some gorgeous ivory lace. This is so Montgomery! In the past I've just pieced together hand me downs or pulled out our Sunday best. But this year I went all out, well, mostly - the boys' outfits did not have lace.

I loved it, they loved it! Of course they did, they are Montgomery kids, born and raised.


I justified the expense knowing that George could one day wear Stephen's outfit. Also, we don't wear dress shoes in this town. It's an old tradition. It is perfectly acceptable for children up to the 4th grade to go barefooted to church. I have never bought dress shoes for any of my kids!

Many of these traditions intimidated me at first, but the longer I live here, I have grown to accept and even embrace fancy children's clothes. Financially, I've learned to partake when I can and enjoy it, but to not feel insecure in our Wal-mart/Old Navy/Target attire that we wear most of the time.

I got a kick out of this article that circulated Facebook last week about how the royals dress their children like southerners (or maybe it is the other way around, southerners dress like royalty). 

This quote below was printed in the top of our church bulletin on Sunday.

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”
Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Our choir sang this gorgeous piece of music on the night of Palm Sunday. AMAZING!  


Save a Little Money On Hand Soap

This is a great little tip for saving money on hand soap.

Buy a couple of the foamy soap bottles and a bulk bag of hand soap at you local Target or grocery store as an initial investment. Once you've used up what's in the bottles, refill the dispensers with 1/3 soap and 2/3 water. And shake em all around.

If you're children tend to pour out entire bottles behind your back as mine do, then you will be so glad that you DIY'd and did not pay all that money for essentially water.

Idea found here.


Cute (affordable) Summer Sandal

Last summer I tripped down some stairs at my in-laws house and ended up spraining my foot and limping for three weeks. Thankfully, nothing was broken! I was wearing a pair of stacked flip flops at the time and holding a glass of wine (which I did not spill amazingly).

It was at that moment that I swore off life threatening shoes i.e. loosely fitting wedges, stacked flip flops, flip flops in general.

Early this spring I started shopping for some sturdy (but cute) flats and this is what I found -  Saltwater sandals for adults. I ordered mine from Amazon with the price tag under $30. Oh my goodness, these are 1.cute 2.comfortable 3.safe 4.affordable. I love them, and I get complements every time I wear them.

They come in all sorts of cute colors. I have the classic tan, but I'm considering the navy or red for later in the summer.

Got to love a blogger foot photo ;)


Perfect Dinner Party Menu

Our church is doing this thing called dinners for eight. The idea is everyone who signs up is randomly assigned a supper club for one year. We meet every two months and last night was our turn to host.

This menu (below) came together and it was fantastic! The best part, I barely spent any time in the kitchen. I did most all of the prep work the day before, mixing up the hash brown casserole and marinating the chicken. All I had to do before the dinner wash heat up the casseroles, toss the salad, and warm the bread. I put my husband in charge of the grilling chicken.

grilled chicken
chicken cutlets and boneless thighs (from Costco), marinated for 24 hours in...
1 quart pineapple juice
1/2 bottle soy sauce
3/4 cup cooking sherry
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar

hash brown casserole
1 30 oz bag frozen shredded hash browns (slightly defrosted)
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 heaping cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 stick of butter melted
1/2 medium onion diced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and place in 9X13 casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour uncovered.

green salad with cherry tomatoes and goat cheese and vinaigrette dressing

French bread with butter

vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce 
(both store bought)


My guests raved about this meal and were not shy about returning for seconds. I will definitely be using this easy, delicious menu again!
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