olive june: August 2016
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birthday wishes | your first as 'mimi'

happy birthday to you, mom
and your very first as 'mimi' 
this year has brought us closer than ever 
we have bonded and have experienced the most precious gift of all together
thank you for everything you have done for me and for baby parks this year
i would not have been able to make it through those initial gray winter days of recovering from an intense labor, traumatic c-section, and months of nursing struggles without you and your love. 
you were the light. 
you have always been the light
we wish we lived closer
hundreds of miles separate us 
but you are always in our hearts 
as parks continues to grow and change in the carolinas 
i am always telling him about you 
...
you are dancing in the kitchen
you are singing old country and george straight songs to the baby
you are turning a weed into the most beautiful bloom
you are chocolate chip cookies
and warm, hearty soups
you are the chicken dance + cabbage rolls around the gazebo during the oktoberfest
you are holding hands while drawing circles on your soft skin
you are glasses of red wine and episodes of downtown abbey 
you are making others feel special; always going out of your way to help 
you are the cowbell during the hometown football games 
you are kisses over and over and demanding a hug (the best hugs) before leaving the house
(this was super fun in high school)
you are trusting your kids and encouraging them to fly
you are making christmas feel so magical 
you are forgiveness, faith and nightly dinner/bedtime prayers 
you are the reason i am sentimental and nostalgic - thank you. 
you are an open-mind and our biggest cheerleader- always.
you are a fun and relaxing day of shopping or thrifting (all) day 
you are a cowboy hat and a really good time at the country concert
you are long walks and a good cup of coffee 
you are the most soothing voice 
you are creativity and a vivid imagination 
you are the only thing i want when i am sick 
you are a heart full of love for all animals 
you are a smile that lights up the world
you are far from us
but you are always with us. 

sending our wishes up to you ... and lots of wishes for more and more years ahead. 
we love you, mimi | xo 
 your first time holding parks was one of the most beautiful things i have ever seen. you were meant to be a grandma; our caring mimi. happy birthday to you. 

currently | a new look for 'simply love'

you may have noticed that 'simply love' has a brand new look. it is still a work in process and there are some features that i would love to change + add soon; however, i am pretty happy with the new look. it had been a long time (over two years) since her last 'face lift' and it was very bittersweet
(mainly because i designed the old one all on my own) but i felt like it was time. i am all about change and feel like it's so important throughout life. my vision for this little space was one that is more clean and simple yet still feminine and whimsical. i have been working with a very personable and talented couple in munich, germany. i truly adore them and their work. check out their gorgeous blog here and let me know if you want more information about their work. 

 ...also, i would love your feedback...

currently

+ parks and i attended a 'mommy and me' yoga class today and it was super fun. it was not the peaceful type of class like i used to enjoy regularly... but it was awesome. parks didn't get past conquering much more than 'happy baby' pose but he was giggling and smiling and loving life. my friend, amy, whom i just love walked in unexpectedly with her baby cece. it was the perfect surprise. we went to bellies & babies for all charlotte friends. i would recommend it to anyone. a great experience and already looking forward to our next class. 
+ just over here dreaming about fall and lighting astleigh of hill collection's lovely twine + cotton candles
+ we are traveling to lake lure, north carolina this weekend (where dirty dancing was filmed) to visit family friends and my parents. we went last year over labor day and it's just so beautiful. it should be fun taking in the scenery, eating delicious food, shopping and playing games. plus, football will be here and i can enjoy pumpkin beer this year! yay!! are you traveling anywhere this weekend?
+ during my most recent trader joe's trip i discovered a lot of new spicy goodness that i can't wait to share soon. so many exciting new options there; my favorite place to grocery shop. 
+ i have a lot (a lot) of exciting news coming up (no, parks is not going to be a big brother) but just a lot of new adventures that i am anticipating and am excited for... please keep us in your prayers and i will be sharing soon. thank you so much, sweet friends.

hope your week is going well
xo

simply loving

hope you are having a good tuesday. things have been going well today on our end. tonight will be even better when i get to go to the movies {a theater that serves wine!} with some girlfriends to see the movie, 'bad moms'. we are in a book club together and met up last week at a restaurant in town called dogwood southern table {so delicious! we closed that place down. literally.} to talk mom and baby things. it was absolutely wonderful {and very much needed.} so we are heading back out tonight for a little more girl + mom time. last week {i had not had a night out in charlotte for about two months} so i spent the day tellings parks about my night out, filled with lots of excitement, as he kept shaking his head, 'no.' it was hilarious. it really is all about balance. i love, love my time with parks but want to nourish and savor the important relationships in my life as well. i love these fellow moms in my life. so tonight should be fun! have you seen the movie? thoughts?

+ here are some things i am simply loving:
we have this rug {target} in two rooms and love it.
{this site, enter my attic, is so incredible.}
[via}
chunky white/cream sweaters + this cactus necklace from modcloth

a grateful heart | august picks

august picks
shop this look: 
august picks by janelle-monaco 
i have a grateful heart for all of these pretty things today; pieces i am simply adoring. i am planning on embracing the extreme heat here in the carolinas for a bit longer by finding fun, colorful items that exude a summer day. this summer has had its ups and downs but i am determined to stay positive. there are a lot of exciting adventures ahead and i know God has an ultimate plan for us. praying, in my heart, to have faith in him and know that things will fall into place. i am very grateful for the good times and i know that the difficult struggles will only make us stronger. most of all, i am thankful for our health (especially regarding parks); the most important thing of all.
...
what are you grateful for today? 
anything awesome happen this past weekend?
... i would love to hear...
... 
also, linking up with sweet emily of ember grey 
{who shared the most exciting news ever. today!!}

our summer trip to ohio

i am a little behind on sharing our travels this summer. i have a few posts coming but i wanted to share a few from our trip back to my hometown in ohio last week. 

'back to school' bags


hey! happy 'back to school' week for most of you and your precious children. after about twenty-five years straight of 'back to school' for this girl, it feels very weird to not be focusing on lesson plans, decorating my middle school classroom, and preparing for the 'first day of school jitters' {the thing is though... i was at the point where i was no longer nervous about a new year}. another reason why i feel like my calling in life is taking me to new places. i strongly believe that change is good. right now, i am at peace with my decision and know that God has a plan and has big things in store for me and my family. the continuous love and support {i am talking hundreds of sweet notes} have meant so much to me. truly. i feel like it was His way of saying... 'you did what you set out to to do and it's okay to let go; you did achieve your heart's calling.'  time for a new chapter in this one life.

{more on this decision here}

in honor, i am sharing some of my favorite 'back to school' bags from etsy 
i hope you find one that inspires you | one that you simply love 
simple and sweet
vegan leather love 
i love the tassels and all of the decor in this pic
anything floral has my heart

i am currently all about the bucket bags
have something fun you want to say? 
you can personalize this tote with anything you want for right around $16 

+ a few things i also love at the moment: 
these natural and peach tipped hooks for an entry way or bedroom to hang accessories
this infinity scarf from loopy mango
lastly, nothing says back to school like a cute lunch bag
...
which one do you love most? 
happy wednesday, sweet friends
and happy 'back to school!'