Football Fridays: College Colors Day

Football Field 1Today is College Colors Day, which means one thing… football season is here! And I mean REAL football, not any of this pre-season nonsense. Wear your College Colors Day was started in 2004 and I was first introduced to it when I worked at an office in Lexington. We were encouraged to “dress down” and wear jeans and a t-shirt to celebrate. Hello? Of course, I was a big fan of this new found holiday.

Tomorrow our family will be sporting Blue and White for the University of Kentucky. Many of you know that I’m actually a Hilltopper by degree, but Wildcat at heart. While I will always root for WKU, Kentucky holds a special place in our family and in our hearts. The University of Kentucky has been a HUGE blessing to us and continues to be. The people that work in the athletics department treat us like family and we are forever grateful for their continuous support: of our family, of Jacob’s career, of our charity golf event… the list could go on forever.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few pictures we had taken of our family before training camp began. Our amazing photographer, Katie Davis of Kat’s Eye Photography is seriously one of the best. We’ve always been blessed with crazy good photographers, but Katie can always bring out Luke’s real smile. Always. It helps that she attends the same church and has a daughter Luke’s age. If you are in Central Kentucky and need family photos, she is your gal! I promise you won’t be disappointed. Just look at the magic she worked with our crazy crew! Wow! I’m thinking about getting custom wallpaper printed with these photos because I can not choose just a few to print and hang. Ok, I would never seriously print custom wallpaper… but it did cross my mind.

fan day 03 This was our first picture ever taken at Commonwealth Stadium. It’s blurry and terrible quality because it was probably taken on a $3.99 disposable camera from Walmart. Crazy how things have changed since this was taken. It was August of 2003 and I was SO excited to go to Fan Day at UK so I could see my boyfriend. I’m not sure why *anyone* let me in the stadium in this get up. White tube top, Nike shox, glitter belt… y’all.

UK/UF Game 2004This is the only other photo I have on our Mac of us from our college days. The rest are stored on our external hard drive and it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to retrieve them. Well in all honesty, I’m sure 99% of the population could figure it out, but I just don’t have the patience for that. (read: lazy) This was after UK played Florida in Gainesville in 2004. They had moved the game up in the day because of an incoming hurricane. I think the humidity may have been over 1,000% and UK had an ugly loss. It wasn’t pretty. But, I asked for a picture with Jacob after the game and he agreed. And even smiled. I knew he was a keeper way back then! On a side note, I look like I’ve been crying. I don’t remember why. It could’ve been from the ugly loss , the extreme heat (I don’t sweat pretty) or maybe the fact that I was heckled by Gator fans… we may never know.

KAT_0004And here we are today! We’ve been together for 15 years… whoa. Seven homes, four states, three teams and two babies later.

UK Luke with FootballThis boy made me a Mama and he has my heart. See that smile I was talking about? Only Katie can get that out of in him in front of the camera.

KAT_0016Miss Priss is our little spitfire and is so sweet we can hardly stand it. We have no idea where her nearly white curls come from, but we sure love them. And that (not so) little gap in her front teeth, I just love it too. One day we will spend thousands to get rid of it, but for now it is just so cute!

KAT_0028Can it get any sweeter than this? Lyla Rae stole Jacob’s heart from day one and she thinks her Daddy is the best thing since sliced bread. She cries every day when he leaves for work and asks for him multiple times during the day. I’m basically chopped liver, but at least I fill her sippy with milk on command and ya know… gave birth to her.

KAT_0123I love everything about this shot. I love that even though he is growing fast and is a big school boy now that he still lets me love on him without complaint. I love that his hair is sweaty because that’s how it looks 90% of the time.. And I love that Katie edited out my gray hair! Thanks, girl!

KAT_0106Jacob is usually a good sport about all the crazy things I put him through except for when it comes to taking family photos… he loathes them. However, once he found out I had planned a UK themed photo shoot, he was hooked. We couldn’t get him off the field and he actually asked Katie to take more pictures. What?!?

KAT_0098Hard to imagine what life would be like the first time we stood on this field together. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. My goodness we’ve had our ups and down, trials and joys, and so many insanely crazy days, but he has always been my constant true North.

KAT_0049And last but not least, our Luke taking the field at Commonwealth. I’ve always said I did NOT want Luke to play football. I even started the hashtag #mamalikesnoncontactsports. I just don’t think I could bear watching my baby boy get hit. However, when I see this picture my heart swells with joy. Maybe football isn’t so bad after all.

And just to clear things up in our hometown: we will be changing in to BLACK and GOLD for our crosstown rivalry football game tonight! GO REBELS!

Grand Re-Opening of Marketplace Gray

Last year, one of my very best friends, Kelly Gray, took a leap of faith, quit her career as a teacher and became the owner of Marketplace Gray. She turned her hobby into her new career and hasn’t looked back. She started out making custom signs for friends and family and her business has grown into a full fledged home interior… well, marketplace. Marketplace Gray quickly outgrew its first home in Perryville, Kentucky and Kelly has now moved her business to a larger location in Danville. The store’s Grand Re-Opening is this Saturday and I would love to see you there! Details are at the end of this post.

MPG logo signKelly is basically Kentucky’s version of Joanna Gaines and she has TONS of amazing vintage and farmhouse style furniture and decorating pieces. She travels the region to find the most unique and detailed pieces of furniture and then she restores them into new gorgeous pieces that are works of art.

unnamedThis is a sneak peek into the Marketplace Gray store. Isn’t it awesome?!? SO many adorable things and all styled SO well! She has an amazing line of home furnishings and also sells Kentucky for Kentucky apparel. The last shirt I bought at Marketplace Gray says, “I love you to Kentucky and back.” I think I wore it to training camp a dozen times. Hah! And an added bonus to the cuteness… their shirts are SO soft!

MPGKelly still makes custom signs as well. Check out the City Subway Art and Porch Signs she recently made! She can literally do *anything*! I have several of her signs hanging in my house and hope to add a few more for our forever house too! And, did I mention she’s also an official Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Stockist? Yep, the girl has everything you need!
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I would love it if you would stop by and say hi to Kelly on Saturday at her Grand Re-Opening! The details are below and there will be door prizes, food AND I get to be there! It’s my first time being home for one of Kel’s events and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate her new location.

MPG Grand Reopening

Sunday Scriptures

Psalm 18:2

This weekend Jacob decided that we each needed to lay a stone on our house that we are in the process of building. You can read about our forever home here. We asked the stone masons if we could and they laughed… “um, its YOUR house!” So, while we were laying the stones, I was reminded of this verse, Psalm 18:2.

Jake, Al and Luke with front door stone

As I picked up the rock I was to lay on the wall of the house, I was amazed at the weight of it… it was heavy, especially for its size. And I was reminded of why the Lord our God is compared to as our rock.

Allison and Luke laying stone

This rock I was holding in my hands was stout, sturdy, and extremely hard to break. It is tough and has withstood pressure from being inside the earth for thousands of years, yet it remains solid and unbroken. That rock (along with the others) will protect the inside of our home from what is outside. That rock I placed on our house isn’t going to easily be moved, burned, chipped away or destroyed. If someone wants to move that rock, it will be nearly impossible, if not impossible. And isn’t that how God is? He is unchanging. He is solid and sure. He is our protector. And He isn’t going anywhere. No one can move Him or change Him. Wow!

Luke laying a stone

After reading what I wrote, it sure seems silly to try to compare God to anything, especially a rock. He is our almighty Lord, but this weekend, I was reminded that He can be our ROCK!

Jake and Luke laying stone

And don’t worry, Lyla Rae actually got to help lay a stone on the house too. She just wasn’t up on the scaffolding when we took all of these pictures. Also thankful that OSHA was no where to been seen while the 5 year old was on the scaffolding! Hah!

Weekend Wrap-up

IMG_8824There are some days that you will never forget. Last Friday was one of those days. Our general contractor for our forever home, Charlie, called us Thursday night and asked if we would be busy on Friday… We were pretty busy but he had a surprise plan up his sleeve that would trump anything on our to-do list: We were finally going to break ground on the house!!!

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Family Photo on our future front porch!

Early Friday morning, we met Charlie and the excavation crew at Tamme Valley Farm. After a quick discussion over Burke’s donuts and coffee, we gave the go-ahead to break ground. They asked Luke if he wanted to do the honors and of course he said YES! It was certainly surreal seeing our son operating (obviously with help) heavy machinery and taking the first scoop of earth out of our future basement! And just like that, I was able to cross off #12 on my 30 in 30 list!

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Jacob and I started “building” this house in our heads and our hearts nearly three years ago and we have been working diligently over the past nine months with our architect to dial in every detail. This is our forever house. When we move in to this house, we plan to never move out. That statement alone brought me to tears on Friday. This is our HOME!

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Day one, done!

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Lyla Rae with the man who makes the magic happen on our house, Mr. Charlie!

On Saturday morning, my entire family ran in Jennie Carol’s Memorial Mother’s Day 5k Run. My five year old niece, Lucy, decided she wanted to run, so we all ran with her. Even my parents ran! I was SO proud of them! We thought they were going to walk it, but Lucy and my parents (and the rest of us) finished in 39 minutes!

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Jennie Carol’s Memorial Mother’s Day 5k Run

The picture below CRACKS ME UP! That’s Lucy running with her pony tail bouncing and just chatting away with Luke. She talked the entire race and never got out of breath! I wish I had that girl’s lungs! And then, can we talk about Lyla? She pulled her bow off and her headband down and was using it as a teether! Hah! She looks like she’s been kidnapped and gagged! I promise no baby girls were harmed during the race!

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After the race, we enjoyed brunch at The Bluebird with Jacob’s family. If you live in Central Kentucky and haven’t eaten there, you need to put it on the top of your to-do list! That evening we had a picnic and went hiking at Shakertown. There is a gorgeous waterfall on one of the hikes and the kids had a blast playing in the water.

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Mother’s Day morning was extra special because it was also Lyla Rae’s baby dedication at church. We celebrated with her cake on Friday night, since we had to drive back to Atlanta right after church ended. And, she gave me the best Mother’s Day gift ever… she *finally* slept through the night! Hallelujah!

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Jacob introducing Lyla Rae to our church family for her dedication to the Lord.

The privilege of dedicating Lyla to the Lord made this morning so special. We promised, along with the congregation, to bring her up in the ways of the Lord and to teach her about God’s word. I pray everyday that Jacob and I will not only teach her the Bible, but live it out daily for our children to see.

Of course, after church we had to take the obligatory Mother’s Day pictures!

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The Elmore Crew

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The Tamme Crew

I just love this picture of my mom with Luke!

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Late Sunday afternoon, we made the drive back to Atlanta. The babies slept nearly the entire drive, for which we were so very thankful!

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This is what a big weekend in Kentucky will do to a kid! Hah!

My Old Kentucky Home

Kentucky Derby Pie

I’ll never forget the first time I wasn’t in Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. We had just moved to Denver and I was SO homesick I could barely stand it. It wasn’t that I didn’t love being in Denver, it was that I was SO far from home on Kentucky’s most exciting day of the year. We couldn’t even watch all day coverage on the Derby in Denver. We were subjected to only seeing about 30 minutes prior to the race and a few post race interviews. Blah!

So, this year I knew we weren’t going to be in Kentucky and I wanted to do something that would take the sting out of not being there. Since we always bake a Derby Pie on Derby Day, I decided that I would bake them for our neighbors as well. Giving to others always makes us feel better, right? And to top it off I could cross off #18 on my 30 in 30 list.

As I went for a walk around the block, I was trying to decide who our “neighbors” were. It was hard to narrow down, so I ended up baking 11 pies! ELEVEN! Looking back on the last few days, I was absolutely crazy for doing so many. However, Derby Pies are seriously the easiest dessert to make, so it wasn’t too bad. You just mix seven ingredients together and pour them in a pie crust. If you’re a real go-getter you can make a homemade crust, but I normally just use the good ole’ Pet-Ritz ones you buy in the freezer section.

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I always use my Mama’s recipe. I’m not sure where she got it from, but it is delicious! Some Kentuckians put bourbon in their pies, but I grew up Southern Baptist, so we never did. Hah! Of course, if you would like you can always pour a splash in before baking.

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We boxed up the pies in cute little pie boxes from BRP Box Shop and added tags with baker’s twine. Luke and I are going to deliver the pies this afternoon after his nap and just prior to the Derby. I’ll try to post pictures of my cute delivery boy with the pies tomorrow. I’m excited to meet our new neighbors and spread a little Kentucky love around our neighborhood!

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Here’s the recipe if you would like to make your own Derby Pie for tonight’s race!

Mama’s Derby Pie
1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
1/2 Cup chopped pecans
1 9″ pie crust (not deep dish)

Mix together butter, sugar and flour. Add two eggs and vanilla. Mix. Add chocolate chips and pecans. Mix until just combined. Pour into pie crust and bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

See? SUPER easy! You could probably whip up eleven of these yourself before the Derby’s post time at 6:24pm. By the way, my Derby pick is Firing Line. I like the jockey, Gary Stevens, but what I like most are his pink and green polka dot silks!

Snowpocalypse + Disney Outfit Prep

We have been snowed in for most of the week as the winter storm Octavia hit Kentucky. The local weathermen hyped this storm up so much that everyone in the state flocked to the nearest grocery before it hit and bought enough food to survive until Spring! ¬†Kentucky rarely gets more than a couple inches of snow¬†and when we do, the ENTIRE state shuts down… literally! Schools, restaurants, banks, even the local courthouse has been closed all week. The snow did not disappoint and we ended up with about 13″ in our yard. Wow! Our driveway is a tenth of a mile long and it would’ve taken Jake ALL week to scrape it with a shovel. Thankfully, we have the most amazing neighbors. You can’t imagine the surprise and joy we felt when we saw our neighbor plowing our driveway in his big John Deere tractor. Luke and I watched through the window and it was the highlight of his week!


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We waited until the sun came out on Tuesday to get out and play. Luke insisted that we take his trucks out to play in the snow. There are currently 5 trucks that are MIA and buried in the frozen tundra that is our back yard. We’re hoping to see them sometime soon, but with the looks of the long range forecast, it isn’t looking hopeful.

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I was somewhat thankful that we were stuck inside all week because it allowed me to finally sew a few things for our trip to Disney this weekend. On Monday, I finished my Snow White running costume and on Tuesday I made the kids an outfit each to wear to the Magic Kingdom. Every time I sew an outfit with ruffles, I swear that I’ll never do it again… yet here is another ruffled frock! They are just so stinkin’ cute, I can’t quit making them even though they give me fits!

We are currently sorting out flights and travel plans because there is another winter storm hitting this weekend right when we are supposed to fly to Disney. I’m blaming all of this on Elsa! I will certainly let her know how disgusted Kentuckians are with this eternal winter when we meet her on Sunday and I better get an apology. Hah! I’ll be posting the Sunday Scripture and will have a full wrap up of our trip when we return! Until then, stay warm and safe, Kentucky friends!