.Little Things Bring Smiles Part 8.

The name of my blog is

Little Things Bring Smiles.

I chose this title because it is so important to remember the little things in life and to rejoice in them. My reason for blogging is to share my life, all parts of it {including the good, the bad, and the ugly} along with the crafts and DIY projects I complete. Each month I want to focus on the little things that brought smiles to my days. I would love for you to share your little things and see if they bring a smile to me, or another reader :)

 Here are my little things from June:

- Baby carrots + Kraft fat free Ranch dressing
- The way my dog snuggles with me at night
- Sunshine after a big storm
- Getting dressed up for my love
- Granny Smith apples + Peanut Butter 
- Netflix for the hours of good movie watching with Adam and friends
- BBQ's and fellowship
- The groundhog that lives in my backyard I named Tabis
- Special packages received in the mail from loved ones near and far
- New washer and dryer (woot woot)
- CLEAN clothes and sheets
- Danon's Vanilla flavored Greek yogurt + fresh blueberries + almonds
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Herbal Tea
- Gain scented air fresheners
- Anniversary flowers from the hubs
- New outdoor pillows thanks to my favorite store, Target
- Our very own personal Ninja
- V8 Fusion drinks: Pomegranate + Blueberry and Strawberry + Banana
- Having the girls I nanny stay here for 2 nights
- Friendly neighbors
- Adam's accomplishments at work
- How Grace (age 4) answers a yes or no question with "sure"

And one kind of BIG little thing:
- Losing 10 pounds!!!

The month of June showed many of God's wonderful blessings to my life.

Now it's your turn. Always remember,
Little Things Bring Smiles!


.It's going to be a good day today.

Good morning!

It is currently 10:15am as I type and I have been awake for close to 3 hours already this morning. Why? Because I have two of the cutest toddlers ever over my house..yeah, this nanny gig is pretty much the best job ever! I got up, showered, put "new" sweats and a t-shirt on, ate breakfast, let my hair air dry, didn't put a lick of makeup on, and then was greeted with some of the best hugs in the world.

So far this morning, both girls have given me "makeovers" by putting braids, aka twisty knots, in my hair, and putting pretend makeup on me using my makeup brushes. Favorite quotes from our salon time together, "Katie your hair is different colors on top! It looks funny."-Joy age 3 referring to my very dark roots coming in. "Why are some hairs shiny? Wow, I see them all over! Let me count them. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, oh never mind too many."-Grace age 4.5 referring to my many gray (grey?) hairs my hair coloring did not cover. Good times, good times :)

I never thought I would get so much joy come from the potty. Yes, the potty. Grace is a potty pro but we are still working hard to train her lil sis Joy. I bought marshmallows for this very reason and as soon as Joy caught a glance of their white puffy goodness she grabbed the step stool and ran to the bathroom. She sat..and sat..and sat until she peed and pooped. It.Was.Amazing. And all for two little marshmallows. Life is sweet friends.

I am getting distracted while typing this because I put in a blu-ray for the girls..Beauty and the Beast. This movie is absolutely stunning. STUNNING. I now understand why this was my mother's favorite Disney movie when I was little. Thinking back, I believe this was the first movie I ever saw in a movie theater. Mom, since I know you will be reading this at some point, is this right?

Well, I think I shared everything I wanted to for this morning. Hope you had some little things of your own that made you smile today :) Time for me to prepare a snack, cuddle with these two cuties, and finish watching this incredibly beautiful movie. Oh, my job is so hard right?

Happy Morning!



This weekend had it's major ups and downs. I'm choosing to forget the downs and remember the ups from our Saturday night. We enjoyed some of the best, simple things in life: 
Friends, Fellowship, Babies, Food, and Settlers of Catan.

 Best Friends in the making: Liam and Jack
Settlers of Catan = 2 hours well spent.
 Rawr Hannah.
 Work it Emily!
Life is good.


.Flow it, Show it, Long as God can Grow it, My Hair.

This post is about exactly what the title says, "hair."
..my hair in particular.
My hair is thick, but not too thick, and it is naturally wavy, but not too wavy. It can be straightened easily with a hair straightener and can be curled quickly with a little gel or mousse, and some good "scrunching."
My entire life prior to 2006, I sported two simple hairstyles:
1. Long and straight.
See below: 1st grade and 12th grade.
 2. Shoulder length cut.
See below: 4th grade and 10th grade.
I love how these two photos act as an advertisement for braces. My nickname is no longer snaggletooth :D
Looking back, I can see how I always played it safe when it came to my hair. I always kept my color natural because I am a strong believer   
brunettes have fun too ;) 
..and then I did something BIG.
In 2006 I did this:
I cut my hair.
..short, very short.
My reasons for cutting it may not have been the best, you can read about that here, but I am so happy I went through with it.
I met Adam towards the end of 2006. Every time I ask him about my hair he says the same thing, "Well, I fell in love with a short haired cutie."
..so, I kept it short for him!
I did straight and sleek..mini poof..
..in front of ears..behind ears..
..pig tails and bobbi pins..
..teeny tiny pony tails..
..naturally wavy..
 ..a few natural waves on top, straightened on bottom..
 ..curly down and curly pinned up..
..asymmetrical bob..
And now, it has been over a year since I have gotten my hair cut.
..over a year.
I am trying to grow it out long like it was back in high school.
You see, ever since I cut my hair short, it has stayed short.
After our wedding my hair was "long" and then I cut it once again. Check out those before and after shots.
..the hubs was happy, remember he fell in love with a "short haired cutie!"
 Right now, this very day, is the longest my hair has been since my senior year of high school.
I donated 12 inches that year to locks for love.
..12 inches.
 This photo was taken just last weekend. You may notice the reddish tint I colored it recently with my darker roots coming in, nice eh? Maybe this look will catch on soon ;) I admit, my eyes are looking a bit BIG and "cartoony" as Adam says but it shows off the hair well, don't ya think?
  I am getting that "itch" to cut it short again.
..but I really want long hair for the winter.
Decisions decisions.
Do you have any input? 
Is there a favorite cut or style you like best? 
This is mine:
I am also thinking of trying out the thick bang look with the long hair like Kelle is rocking from Enjoying the Small Things.
What do you think?
My next trip to NJ I am visiting my girl Marie, the only girl I let cut my hair, and I'm going to do something BIG again.
Stay tuned.

..sick of looking at my face? I know I sure am! :)
..Challenge: Who can name the song the title comes from without using google?..


.In the Works.

Happy Afternoon!

I do not have time today to get a post written and ready for you BUT I do want you all to know what is "in the works" for this little blog of mine.

Posts and Pictures Coming Soon of:
- House Update + Progress
- Special packages received in the past few weeks
- My dog Colden, a Shiba Inu
- Little Things Bring Smiles for the month of June
- Past and Present Haircuts 
- Painting "State Love" Craft

I am excited to share these "little" things with you along with the unexpected adventures and obstacles that life always brings. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and spending time with friends and family. There is talk about visiting NJ for the 4th, we shall see if the hubs and pup are up the to long drive up North!

Enjoy this beautiful day..in the A/C that is, too hot and sunny for my white Irish skin ;)

Thanks for checking in!


.Anniversary Weekend as Tourists.

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "tourist?"
For me it is: Maps and Brochures, Fanny Packs, and Sunscreen.
Outdated? Yes, but my mind always goes to those three categories.

This weekend Adam and I were guilty two out of the three: holding maps and brochures while wearing sunscreen!!--we were TOURISTS and LOVED EVERY SECOND! Adam treated me to a weekend getaway for our second wedding anniversary to Natural Bridge, VA. Wondering why it is called Natural Bridge? Let me show ya!
Ta-Da..introducing: The Natural Bridge
I do not know how to explain the amount of fun we had together..really, really..it was one of "those weekends" where everything worked out perfectly and attitudes remained consistent, consistently happy that is :) God prepared our hearts to simply escape life and enjoy each other. 

And we did.

We arrived Saturday afternoon and checked into our room in this historic gem:

 Our room:
All I'm saying is we may have moved some furniture around to make one big bed.."may have" ;)
The afternoon was spent doing a lot of: smiling, holding hands, snapping pictures, kissing, hiking, and taking in the beautiful scenery.
We walked under the Natural Bridge..
Visited a Native American Village..
And hiked to a waterfall..
An indoor butterfly exhibit was recently opened so Adam and I spent some time making new friends with these beauties:
Next time we will visit the butterflies first in their 86 degree habitat instead of after hiking a few miles :) Can we say sweaty?
Camera strap left a shadow but I still love how the butterfly is on Adam's heart!
Another part of being a true tourist is participating in ALL of the cheesy attractions and I am proud to say Adam and I did just that! Here are a few quick photos of the Toy Museum and only one shot of the (extremely creepy I think I am going to have nightmares) Wax Factory and Tour:
For my brother Scott: Ninja Turtles
For my brother-in-law Alex: Star Trek
Um, no thank you.
As soon as we made it back to our hotel room Saturday evening, the skies opened up for a terrific Summer storm. After 30 minutes or so, this is what we saw from our window:
Just Beautiful.

In case you were thinking "Where's Katie?"..I am not camera shy I promise! Here I am putting my earrings in along with a little mirror fun with my love. (Note to self: taking self portraits in mirrors is harder than you think!) Enjoy us being "us."
I decided to try out my old high school hair do again--straight, long, and parted in the middle! Not sure how I feel about it yet..
FAIL #1. But please look at Adam's eyes--they get me every time! LOVE my man and LOVE that I get to look into those blue, smirky eyes for the rest of my life!
Scary FAIL #2.
Success for being goofy!
One nice shot for the moms :)
The hotel had a fabulous restaurant that featured a southern style BBQ buffet. YES PLEASE. Half way through my second plate, I told Adam I was finally getting used to living in the South..this Jersey girl is adapting well! Please see my love's plate below:
Ribs: CHECK! Chicken: CHECK! Smoked Pulled Pork: CHECK! Homemade Mac n Cheese: CHECK! German style Potatoes: CHECK! Roll with Butter: CHECK!
So..we kinda went "off" our diets for the weekends..hehe..I must say, IT WAS WORTH IT! We ate and ate well :)
After dinner on Saturday night we had an hour to kill before the light show..so..we..took more pictures of course!
This photo cracks me up. We had the camera set on a self timer and it ended up taking about 15 photos in what felt like 2 seconds! Towards the end Adam's hand began moving down..and down..and well, let's just say the photo after this one shows a certain boy rounding first base and sliding into second ;) Boys will be boys..ALWAYS!
Okay..time out from the post..Are you guys still with me? I know..lots and lots of pictures. There are still more photos to come so take this as your official "warning" and continue with caution :)

Saturday night Adam and I attended the Drama of Creation light show on the Natural Bridge. We sat outside together on a park bench and snuggled waiting for the night sky to arrive. It was so peaceful and precious quality time with Adam. The light show was beautiful as reds, greens, and blues were projected onto the structure. The story of Creation was read straight from the Bible accompanied with beautiful instrumental Hymns.
While sitting wrapped in Adam's arms and listening to the beautiful story of how God created the Heavens and the Earth, I could not help but pray for everyone sitting there with us. Praying for their hearts to feel Jesus tugging on them..praying the seed was planted in their heads and hearts..praying they may know the love of Christ and sit in awe of His handiwork. We walked back to our hotel room that night humming and holding hands.

Sunday morning came fast and we just made it to breakfast! Breakfast ended at 10am and luckily, Adam woke up at 9:20, got me up, and we were both sitting drinking coffee by 9:30am.
Guilty: Yes, we did push the beds together..and yes, this is how I get ready every single day..even the days I shower, I climb back into bed to put on my makeup.
After breakfast we explored some AMAZING caves and caverns. Such a cool experience! I highly recommend it to everyone :)
A perk to being a tourist is getting to do awesome adventures with your loved ones! 
It was 54 degrees inside the caverns and in my thin t-shirt I am glad I had this man to keep me warm :)
Such a cutie!
The weather began acting up as we finished with the caverns so we were not sure if our journey was over or if we should keep going..

We kept going.

And found something unexpectedly: FOAMHENGE!
How hilarious is this?! We LOVE Foamhenge!

Just wait, it gets better..Adam battled Merlin and WON!
Credit is due to the man, Harry Potter, for teaching my baby the moves!

Have I mentioned we LOVE being tourists and LOVE each other?
Our Sunday adventure did not end here, we continued on to the Natural Bridge Zoo and thankfully the sun came out!
Call Adam the Camel Whisperer!
I really love and appreciate how people think..it makes me smile. The zoo named her "Maybelline"..can anyone guess why? :)
We made it back to our home here in Lynchburg late Sunday afternoon to pick up one very excited pup. Hot showers and a few snacks got us through the afternoon and just as I finish typing this, we are getting ready to meet Adam's parents to celebrate Father's Day with a delicious dinner made by my mother-in-law!

So here it is--the END of our anniversary weekend as tourists! Thank you to all of you who made it down this far, I know it was a long post. I hope you enjoyed hearing about our trip and all of the cheesy/mushy gushy love stuff we did :) We cannot believe two years have passed since we said, "I do."
June 20th, 2009.