Wednesday, October 1, 2014


If you know me at all, you know that cemeteries aren't really my thing. Objectively, I know that they are simply peaceful resting places for loved ones past; however, I guess I've seen one too many scary movies because I can't seem to see one without having a frightening image pop into my head. Despite all of that, I faced my fears a few days ago to show you one of the coolest things in Carlisle on this, the first day of October (& perhaps unofficial start to the Halloween season): the Old Public Graveyard. 

You could certainly argue that this cemetery is cool for a number of reasons: it houses a statue of Molly Pitcher (the renowned Revolutionary War hero), has headstones dating back to 1757 and even features a Civil War bullet in its main slate marker. But I have always been more impressed by something subtler, hidden in the rough-hewn stone of the surrounding fence...


A long time ago, in elementary school, my fourth grade class went on a walking field trip of Carlisle, and I can only assume that these were pointed out to me that day (although admittedly, I can't remember if that is the case or not). Nonetheless, I've never forgotten about these random acts of art, and can't help but share them with anybody new to Carlisle. I have no idea how old these sculptures are, who formed them or why. But I never tire of finding something unique in the mundane and each time I see these faces, I'm inspire to look at everything with a slightly more discerning eye.

Can you spot them??

In Case you Missed it:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

on staying put

Autumn has been, for the past several years, a season for change in our family.  I have learned to constantly wait for the next thing.  I have sort of trained myself to expect a change when the leaves start to turn and the air gets chilly.  

Over the past 3 years we have had a baby, moved 4 times, had multiple jobs, sold our home, visited many churches, and met lots of new people.  We have felt all the emotions...complete joy, love, heartache, confusion.  It has been quite the adventure...

This year, though, things are different.  We thought Matt might find a new job but he didn't.  We thought we might move into a more affordable apartment but we aren't.  We are staying right here. 

As this season of natural change begins, I am telling myself that yes, it is just fine and actually quite normal to stay in one place for a while.  To get to know the ins and outs of our town; to enjoy everything this place has to offer all year round.  
And so, I will do what feels like the hard thing.  I'll keep working to make this place our home and I'll stay right here.  Just where I'm meant to be.

Monday, September 29, 2014

pickin' apples

On Saturday morning, as soon as we could muster the energy, we ate a quick breakfast and hopped in the car to head to the apple orchard.  We walked the rows, found the trees with the lowest fruit, and let the kids fill up our sacks with pretty red and green apples to bring home.  This is our fourth year picking apples and pumpkins up at Carter Mountain in Charlottesville, and I'm happy to say that it's a tradition we're going to stick with.  And also, butter, apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar happens to be a really great combination that I may or may not have eaten with a wooden spoon while standing over the stove in between making coffee, putting a pan of bacon in the oven, and mixing up a batch of The Pioneer Woman's Pancake Mini Muffins for Sunday breakfast.  The apples would have been really good with those pancake muffins...but they were also really good straight out of the pan.  Ahem.  Can't wait to make a pie and some crisp and hopefully some other fun treats in the days ahead!

I'm looking forward to a fun week spending time in Annabel's classroom, going to the VA State Fair, celebrating Will's birthday, and getting the boys ready for a fun guy's camping trip this weekend.  Hope you have some good stuff planned for the week! 

P.s.  I made a double batch of pancake muffins and froze the leftovers to eat for breakfast this week.  Just store them in a freezer bag, take out what you want in the morning, and microwave for about 10 seconds per muffin.  Easy!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Photo Friday!

It's the weekend! And I'm excited to hang out with some of my favorite people.
Thanks for reading this week! Have a good one. xoCarrie

Dinner on Wednesday night was the Pioneer Woman's orange chicken.  It was really good and totally worth the extra effort although I think I'll make it on a weekend next time.  Give it a try!  We're doing baseball and apple picking this weekend - hope you have some fun things planned, too!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ordinary days

Our days have been so busy and I have not been documenting them all that well but here is a little peek into what we've been up to lately, if you'd like to see...

 Our Sommer girl started gymnastics a few weeks ago and has been loving it.  We totally went all out and bought her a flashy leotard even though it's really not a requirement.  Watching her run, jump, flip and hang it pretty amazing.

 Our local park recently showed Frozen in the park after dark and of course we had to go.  We had the best time snuggling up together under the stars in the crisp evening.

 Sommer and I visited the costume aisle at Target this week.  After not finding an Elsa costume and feeling like everything else was just pretty "meh", I decided homemade is the way to go this year.

 This little was a champion eater on Monday night.  We had chicken with roasted carrots, potatoes and broccoli and she ate every last bite plus a second helping of veggies.  She is typically picky so I was so proud of her.  She's showing off her muscles from all that healthy and yummy food!

The view from our back porch earlier this week. 
That fall sky...

 Giada's Mini Chicken and Broccoli Potpies were a huge win in our house last night!  They are a fun little afternoon project with kiddos too!

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chalit's Thai Bistro

I haven't mentioned it too much on the blog, but I am getting ready to move! And though it's not far, the fact remains that kitchen utensils and Christmas ornaments and clothing must be sorted, donated, dealt with or packed. I ended up tackling my clothing first and, finding that most of it would better serve a twenty-two year old than a twenty-eight year old, decided to try and sell it to a local place called Plato's Closet. This store is essentially consignment for teens/young adults and you can drop your unwanted clothing off, wait an hour or two, and get paid for anything they're interested in keeping. That hour or two is where Chalit's comes in.

Chalit's Thai Bistro is, in my opinion, the best Thai food in the area. To me the cuisine tastes brighter and fresher than most other Thai and honestly, I'd choose to eat here over almost any other place around. Last Wednesday, Brigid, Caroline and I decided we'd make the most of our Plato's Closet trip and had a leisurely dinner here while we waited for our clothes to be sorted. It was absolutely delicious (as usual) and was a really nice addition to a typically mundane work week. And in case you were wondering...I was offered a whopping $2.95 for one Old Navy tank top on the clothing front. Better luck next time...

[beautiful interior]

Brig and I had planned on stopping for wine since Chalit's is conveniently BYOB, but Caroline read our minds and showed up with a bottle of Amber Hill! I had to laugh later on in the evening when a guy showed up with his wife carrying two bottles of Bud Light.

[Pad Thai]
If you're new to Thai Food, you really can't go wrong ordering Pad Thai (the national dish of Thailand).

[Drunken Noodles]
These are delicious, and though I prefer to order the dish below, almost every other person I talk to who frequents Chalit's raves about the drunken noodles. 

[Eggplant & Sweet Thai Basil]
I ordered this dish on a whim my second time at Chalit's and I am so glad that I did. This is one of my favorite things to eat on the face of this earth, especially when paired with the housemade brown rice. If you're an eggplant fan, this is a definite yes.

[Fried Banana Bites]
We ended up splitting both featured desserts. I am usually so-so on banana desserts (I prefer to eat them on cereal or in bread form, mostly) but this was so good. I could eaten the entire thing myself.

Also delicious. But surprisingly, not as delicious as the fried bananas.

[Honestly, I can't think of much better company than these two girls!]

Until next time Chalits!
(& hopefully sooner rather than later!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

weekly menu

Do you write out and follow a menu every week?  I have become a list maker and as life becomes busier, I feel the need to make lists for just about every occasion.  I have always made a weekly menu and grocery list to go along with it.  Although I don't typically follow the menu exactly, it always helps to have an idea of what I want to make each week.  Recently, though, our evenings during the week have gotten so crazy that I needed to revamp my process.  Matt is a busy guy (I can't thank him enough for all that he does for us) and with my early mornings, the evenings I am home by myself get long and exhausting and one thing I hate is to be a crazy person as I'm trying to wind down and get ready for the next day.  All of this to say, I started making a better menu - one that utilizes the same ingredients in different ways throughout the week and also one that includes all of our meals and snacks.  This way I can prep a bunch of stuff early on in the week so when those tough nights come later I am totally ready for them!
This week I made green smoothies and mini banana/peanut butter muffins for quick, easy and healthy breakfasts!
Last week I tried putting all of my smoothie ingredients in freezer bags, sticking the bags in the freezer and then blending it later.  It didn't work for me at all.  This week, I blended all my ingredients into a smoothie, put them in freezer bags and will stick them in the fridge the night before so they are thawed by morning.  We'll see if this method works any better. 

Also on our menu this week:
Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies  
Traditional Friday night pizza
Pumpkin Apple Muffins 
The perfect chili for watching football on Sunday afternoons