One of my favorite things to do is throw a party. I love the planning, the prepping, and the executing. It’s so fun to see an idea that you had come to life. With the weather starting to warm up and the flowers blooming (yay for peony season) I thought there was no better excuse than to celebrate my favorite season than with a get-together with some friends. A little spring soirée.

My grandmother gifted me the most gorgeous antique glassware when I visited her house last summer and I’ve been dying to use it. It was the inspiration behind the decor for the party. I loved being able to use a mix of the glassware that she gave me. It’s been sitting in our china cabinet on display and, I’m not going to lie, I got a little thrill when I was able to take it out and set the table.

With soft pink and white and a splash of gold, the colors of spring were everywhere.

I picked up the peonies from our local Whole foods and immediately cut the stems and put them in warm water so that they would open up and fill the vases. Peonies are my absolute favorite flower and I love how simply putting them in a vase can really liven a table.

Of course, no party is complete without wine for the adults. I’ve been drinking red wine all winter long, so being able to switch to white is much welcomed. We were sent a case of Rueda Verdejo wine for our guests to enjoy. It’s the top selling white wine from Spain and it did not disappoint. If you love a white wine with very subtle hint of fruit, while being very refreshing, you’ll love Verdejo from Rueda. I definitely recommend trying the Marques de Caceres Verdejo and the Nisia Verdejo!

I really wanted to show off the Rueda Verdejo with our guests and I decided to stick with the flowers of spring and showcase them in the ice. It was such a gorgeous display and something that brought a smile on their faces when they went to get a refill on their wine.  To make the ice, I simply went in our backyard and grabbed some gorgeous flowers and then put them in ice trays. If you want to use them to put in your glass with the drink, make sure you use edible flowers.

If I could have a charcuterie tray every single night for dinner, I’d be a happy camper. Rueda pairs with just about any food and was delicious with the cheese and meats.

And of course no party is complete without dessert.

Cheers! And happy spring!

To find Rueda Verdejo, look for the Rueda logo in their local wine store or order it directly from with the code “RUEDA” for a 10% discount!

There’s really nothing that can truly prepare you for motherhood. I’m nearly eight years into this thing and I can honestly tell you I have no idea what the heck I’m doing. But while there is no parenting handbook, there is something that’s a million times better; my mom. Do you know who the first person I called the very first night Harlan and I were home alone when MacKay moved to Manhattan? My mom. The first phone number I dialed when I just needed to get out of the house and walk and have some adult conversation? My mom. The one who I begged to come over and rock a crying baby because I just needed an hour of sleep to help me be just a little bit more functional? My mom. I didn’t need a how-to guide to get me through those rough moments. I just needed my mom.

Entering into motherhood elevated the relationship that my mom and I have. It was as if suddenly I had so much more respect, love, and admiration for every single thing that she did for me and my brothers and sister. Motherhood is the first thing that really made me know what it means to be truly selfless. I’d do anything for my kids, just as my mom would do anything for us.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in the Land’s End #DearMom video shoot. Little did I know walking into that shoot how emotional I’d get when they asked me questions about motherhood, my kids, and my own mom. But the truth is, motherhood is such a big part of who I am. I am a mom to Harlan, Avery, and Macks, before I am anything else. And I’m okay with that. They take priority of my life. And I’m okay with that, too. They make every single aspect of my life better and I know that I am on the path that I am today because of them. Being a mom really is the best job ever.

Not only does the Land’s End #DearMom campaign celebrate our favorite moments in motherhood, but it’s also a chance for us to take a second to thank our own moms. I know if it weren’t for my mom, I couldn’t possibly be where I am on my own journey of motherhood.

Dear mom, thank you for your selflessness. For your undying love and passion for me.  Thank you for leading the way and showing me what it means to be a good mom. Thanks for always picking up your phone and for coming to my rescue in the drop of a hat. You’ve always been there for me. Thank you for always letting me know that you love me so that never in a million years could I doubt your feelings for me. But most of all, thank you for being my mom. There’s no one in the world who could replace you and I thank God every single day that He chose you to be my mom. Happy early Mother’s Day.

To celebrate Mother’s Day and the #DearMom campaign, Land’s End wants to give you a chance to win! There are so many ways you can win:

    • SHOW MOM SHE’S LOVED ON SOCIAL MEDIA: From April 24 until May 10, the socially savvy can follow daily prompts to share a Mother’s Day message, motherhood moments, photos or videos on Instagram and/or Twitter using #DearMom, #sweepstakes and #mylandsend for a daily chance to win a $100 Lands’ End gift card. Winners will be chosen at random and participants are encouraged to enter daily, because Mom can never hear enough how much she’s adored
    • WIN A TRIP WITH MOM: A Lands’ End survey found 86 percent of mom respondents would like to spend more quality time with their children. As a result, Lands’ End is offering one lucky winner the chance to win a trip with Mom through the #DearMom sweepstakes. From now through May 10, 2017, everyone can enter for a chance to win a four-day trip for two to America’s favorite modern classic destination, Hilton Head Island. This “mom and me” trip includes a stay at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, luxurious treatments at the Westin Heavenly Spa, and three days of private poolside cabana access.  To enter daily, fill out the form at
    • MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK: This Mother’s Day, give mom a gift that gives back to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). From now through May 14, 2017, add a select Mother’s Day or Pink Ribbon Embroidery to a Lands’ End item from totes to towels and the company will donate $4.50 of the $6.00 embroidery fee to BCRF to further support the organization’s mission to be the end of breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.  Find gift suggestions at

You know that feeling when someone says to you, “gosh she’s really grown since the last time I’ve seen her,” and you look at your daughter in amazement because she actually does look a bit older. It’s hard to notice these details because we are so focused on our daily routines that we never really stop and look at how much our children are in fact growing right in front of our very eyes.

I see it everyday with Harlan. Each day she walks downstairs, and while I may not see it physically, it’s there in the way that she presents herself. Each day she’s just a little bit more mature than she was the day before.

The other morning I walked into our youth room at church where there was a room full of kids scattered around waiting for Sunday School to start. Harlan was in the crowd of children running around and having fun with her friends. I stood in the back of the room and observed while I waited for everything to begin. Each Sunday I usually take my group of middle school kids to another room to teach them, so I never really get to see what Harlan does while she’s there. I try to give her her space, as I know she needs time to do her own thing without me looking on. But that day we were doing things as an entire group. I sat quietly in the back of the room near the kids that I teach while Har sat in the front of the room. She looked back at me before the lesson started and smiled. I smiled back and fully expected her to turn back around to hang out with her friends. But she didn’t. She got up and saw the empty seat next to me to sit down. She put her head on my shoulder and held my hand throughout the rest of the class.

This gesture wasn’t unlike Harlan. In fact, all three of my kids are very affectionate. They’ve always been that way. But what struck me was that Harlan did all of this in front of her friends. I took priority over them in that moment. She didn’t care what they thought. It probably didn’t phase her that they might have even thought anything of it.

But it did for me.

Watching her grow up is like a ticking time bomb. With each day that passes, I know that it’s one day closer to when she won’t want to hold my hand when she’s in front of her friends. It’s one day closer to when she won’t come up and give me a big hug and kiss in front of her friends. When she was a baby and toddler, all I would do was get excited about her firsts and here I am wondering if these will be the lasts.

I dread the day when she’d rather hang out with her friends than hang out with me. When our road-trips down to Florida no longer excite her, but rather annoy her because she’s stuck in a car with me for that long. I know the days are coming because, let’s be honest,  I went through same thing growing up. We all do. And that’s why I can’t fault her for when the time does come.

She’s my first, my guinea pig. We’re navigating this road blindly with one another. I don’t know to expect as she gets older. At least I can use her as some sort of guideline for her brother and sister. With Har, I have none. Perhaps that’s why I’m so nervous about what’s to come. Scared for her to get older. I can only use my childhood as a reference. And while I know it’s not exact, I do know as they get older, they also become more independent.

While I do try to control much in my life, I know I don’t have control over the fact that she’s growing up and maturing. But what I can control is these moments that I have with her right now. I can control that when she comes up to me when I pick her up from school and gives me a hug that I fully embrace her back. I can make sure that when she’s holding my hand down the sidewalk that I’m fully engaged with her rather than what’s on my iPhone. I can control those moments when she wants to talk with me that I sit down and listen rather than telling her to wait a minute.

And when that day does come that she doesn’t want to hold my hand anymore, I’ll let go. With tears in my eyes, I’ll let go and watch her be who I taught her to be. And deep down I’ll know that one day she’ll come back and ask for my hand again. Just as I did with my mom.