olive june: 2018

home decor | designing a new family space with bassett furniture

this post is sponsored by Bassett Furniture, but all opinions are my own. 
i hope yesterday was magical. i hope that you and your family were able to spend the day together. and that it was everything you had dreamt of. merry christmas to you.

our christmas cards | twenty eighteen

may the simple things
bring the most joy

a favorite product | cariPRO Ultrasonic Electronic Toothbrush + giveaway!

this post was sponsored by smile brilliant . thank you so much for supporting this blog
you may remember when i tried (and loved) smile brilliant's teeth whitening system? it worked extremely well and so i am very excited to share that they have now expanded beyond teeth whitening.  in addition to specializing in teeth whitening, they have developed the cariPRO ultrasonic electronic toothbrush. my husband has used an electronic toothbrush for years, but i was good (thought i was good) with a regular manual one. well, until i tried this product. after the first brush, i was hooked. 

nash charles | month six . things i always want to remember

today marks half of a year with our second son, nash charles

he has the calmest, most tender demeanor, and fits so well into our family
he is so loved.

a new journey | olive june market

the sun is starting to set for the day as i sit to announce a special new journey with you all. when parks was itty-bitty, just a few months old, i was taking a walk with him around our neighborhood when i felt a future endeavor come upon me. a dream to one day share my love for re-using items- vintage and thrift finds- with others in the form of a market.  i love nothing more than to curate our home with seasonal rhythms and with timeless, vintage finds. more than anything, i hope to inspire others with old pieces; pieces that thoughtfully tell a story and bring renewed character to a space.  

today, i opened up a shop over at trouvaille market. being able to join and collaborate with like-minded women has already been such an inspiration, a light.  i instantly felt a connection with many and am so honored to be joining them today. 

gift ideas | stockings for babies + toddlers

lately, the air in our home smells of fresh pine and the earth seems to wear magic so effortlessly. i have been decorating our house slowly this year and have been listening to the carpenter's, frank sinatra, and kenny and dolly 'a christmas to remember' on repeat for days. a huge part of me is already mourning the coming of january. although that is always exciting; a clean, new and fresh beginning.

i am savoring every moment of this month; embracing the season.

christmas tree farm + santa visit

yesterday, we ventured about forty minutes outside of charlotte to a christmas tree farm. it felt so good to be out, in the cool air, filled eternally with the spirit of christmas. this season is especially beautiful because it focuses so much on what's already inside. what we need, we are given. what we desire, we already have. 

a most grateful heart / our family photos

autumn is such a special time; a time that invites us to harvest the seeds we have planted throughout the year. a time to share our gratitude with others before winter comes and offers rest and renewal. i love this time of year because it encourages us to slow down, reflect, and spend quality time with our loved ones. 

a trip to birmingham, alabama

last weekend, nash and i traveled through a few states to visit my cousin, kelly, and her family in birmingham, alabama. parks stayed back with tim and made memories at the park, an ice cream shop, the aviation museum and at the donut shop (his very favorite.) knowing he was in the hands of my sweet husband and my in-laws, eased my heart. 

our trip was such a beautiful experience, getting to spend moments and time with my dear cousin. i grew up near her and often babysat her and her brothers, spent almost every christmas day together, we ran wild on our grandparents' farm, went on beach trips/ordered more seafood than we needed most of the time, loved to create arts and crafts, celebrated our german heritage at our local oktoberfest and went on many shopping trips with my mom and her mom/my aunt pam (whom i also adore with all my heart). 

with just the tiny babies, who still sleep a lot, we had time to just be and talk and laugh and browse thrift stores and indulge in sweet potato biscuits / spicy takeout food, and finally, a cold craft beer at a brewery. it was time together and it felt so deeply ours. saturday was a simple day, but the older i get, the more those days tend to be the best days. 

there are people in life that you just really mesh with... and kelly (one of my most loyal supporters in life/blog readers) and her husband, michael, are those types of people for me. they are both so kind and loving and have the best senses of humor. it was a weekend i will always remember. thank you both for opening up your home and creating such a comfortable space. i enjoyed it all so very much.

holiday decor favorites

- these three pieces are the extent of my decorating so far-

i am cherishing these november mornings, perhaps more than any other time of day. i do not think i will ever get over how i feel when i am holding one of my babies, especially with a hot cup of maple coffee in hand. i am in absolute awe over all the color. i sit with him and he squeals with his whole body. we are entering the season of renewal and hope and reflection. i am feeling so grateful, for so much and for everything. 

nash charles | month five . things i always want to remember

month five

this month brought a tiny glimpse into life with brothers (their love is just so beautiful) and there's nothing i have loved more than watching them interact. i am thankful every day that i was chosen to be their momma. 

simply loving

"unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. it's not." 
- dr. seuss, the lorax

currently // november edition

"have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

holiday gifts | twelve book ideas for kids

the holiday season will be here in just a few weeks ... but if you are already decorating and shopping and wrapping and baking treats... i say, 'do it!' - 'you do you' (always). i just really love to embrace each season and love to do things like these (and voting) the day of/in the season. yet, is christmas music playing in our home/car - yes! and am i already starting to look for card designs and gift ideas- yes! but going to a christmas tree market after thanksgiving and decorating and shopping in december- with the people and all the festive things around me- is what i truly love. and one of the things i love to give most is a book (with a message inside).

mother / son date: you've got each other

a few weeks ago, we took our first momma + parks date. a happy meal at "donald's" (with ketchup- like only he can say it.) we talked about school and his friends and colors and watched the cars and trucks pass the window. then we took a trip to the toy store, where he picked out a wood guitar, just like his uncle's (my brother's) that he loves. watching him run from spot to spot, with so much excitement, brought tears to my eyes. he was so happy; there was so much joy. he picked up and explored all of the fun things in his vintage pants, button-up shirt, and dapper tie. then we enjoyed an ice cream cone and ended the night listening to his favorite band, 'florida georgia line' in the car. he tenderly said, "momma, i loved it." and i totally melted. when we got home, we danced in the kitchen to the song, "cruise" as he played his new guitar. 

parks james- you are the sweetest. you are sunshine. and i am so glad that you are mine. 
i am not sure if i have ever felt such j o y as i did with you that evening.

simply loving

"dismiss whatever insults your own soul..."
-walt whitman


happy day after halloween, my dear friends. i hope yours was safe and darling and cozy. 

simply loving

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'
the village grind | greenville, south carolina

nash charles | month four . things i always want to remember

often i think, i know he really, truly loves me because i can feel his love balanacing between his heart and mine. i can feel his love in my skin. i can feel it in on my face. 

a grateful heart

"there is beauty in simplicity" 

a grateful heart

"perfection is not a polished thing. it is often simply something that is sincerely meant. perfection is a job complete, praise given, a prayer heard, it can be kindness shown, thanks offered up. perfection is what we discover in each other- what we see reflected back... and if perfection alludes us- that doesn't matter, for what we have within the moment is enough." // mature jenny 

in our home | body + face

"there is no greater power than that of the sun, the moon, and a woman who knows her worth." 
// nicole lyons

my boys | similarities and differences

although you never want to compare your kids... sometimes you do. i get asked all the time how parks and nash are the same and how they are different. (even though baby nash is still very young/new) ... but i thought i would share a few things.

five ways to boost your mood

side note: these are my dream floors (or a white or gray wash) but in an old creaky home. (surrounded by lots of big trees)

hello, dear friends. i hope you are enjoying your day so far. 

i remember vividly the beginning of my motherhood journey- the indescribable joys and all of the unknowns. i learned that listening to your soul and then mindfully crafting your intentions around your voice and priorities is so important. to plan out all of the things you need to do to care and give time and energy to your children. it took me time to realize that i needed to focus on grace. sometimes we have to dissect and shift the layers to what our noisy minds and distracted hearts are keeping us from; the harmony and compassion we yearn for most. our thoughts, ideas, and emotions need a pause, a moment to breathe, so we can be intentional and so we can encourage ourselves to move forward.

simply loving

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'
being a mom of two boys now
every day i fall more and more in love with each one of them
it's been so magical watching them together and being able to experience these early moments again
i am so humbled to be on this new journey that God has mapped out just for us. 
i may not be great at it all the time, but my gosh, do i try. 

somewhere over the rainbow | a first birthday party {part two}

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'
yesterday, i shared photos from my niece's first birthday party in cincinnati- a celebration with close friends. here are highlights from the celebration we threw in my hometown over labor day. my parents live in the country and just put in a new outdoor area (and it's lovely: a pool, hot tub, pool house, fireplace, etc.) it was the perfect space to gather with loved ones, kick off college football, say goodbye to sweet summertime and most of all, celebrate this darling girl.

somewhere over the rainbow | a first birthday party {part one}

during my road trip with the boys in august to the midwest, we celebrated both my mom's birthday and my niece, leona's first birthday. my sister and i worked together to make her cincinnati party a fun 'somewhere over the rainbow' gathering; an afternoon spent with friends. over the years, i have fallen in love with all of their friends in cincy- they are amazing. sweet baby girl is a 'rainbow baby' ... so when we found these cute invites in june, we decided the theme was perfect.

for leona's birthady, i propose a toast! a toast to leona rose, our one-year-old. a toast to a healthy, joyous little girl, who makes us smile so much our cheeks hurt. to a little girl who makes us melt with that little head full of curls. to her- a reminder that my sister is strong and resilient and a fighter for all that she loves and all that is important. a toast to her soulful brown eyes - may they continue to shine throughout the year ahead. 

in our passport | the smokey mountains

'tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'twill be in the valley of love and delight.
when true simplicity is gained,
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
to turn, turn will be our delight,
till be turning, turning we come 'round right.
"simple gifts" an old shaker hymn from the 1800's

nash charles | month three . things i always want to remember

piggy bank / truck / shoes : rein state

yesterday our little nash turned three months old. it's been a dream to be the momma to this boy.

with parks, i used to update all of the things on here - and although i loved that at the time, i think i am going to take a different approach with nash. my adorable blogging friend, chelsea of 'the girl who loved to write,' used to do posts about 'all of the things she wanted to remember' while she was pregnant with her son, jack- and i loved it. i think i am going to follow in her footsteps for nash's milestones and then plan to spend time (hopefully) completing all the other info in his baby book. (more on that soon- i have found the most perfect, beautiful book / it was created by an online friend of mine from texas)

honest motherhood | 'motherly' articles

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting 'olive june'
-gia and the blooms | cincinnati-

every morning, i open my eyes to my sweet baby boy, who is sleeping next to me in his bassinet and i stare at him. and he smiles back. it's the most tender grin; so innocent and pure. while he nurses and my husband slips quietly out of the room to prepare breakfast for parks and coffee for me, i open our blinds to let in the light and it brings me so much joy. 

 i initially started this space to share all of the things i was loving; simple inspirations from daily life. now, as a mother, i feel like it's even more important for me to share inspirations. life with two babies has definitely been a change- my time is usually given to both of them throughout the day and it's usually non-stop; often leaving me feeling extremely exhausted and sometimes even lonely. however, i already feel so much love for nash and feel like he was always supposed to be with us- and i absolutely adore their strong brotherhood bond already. and it makes all of the tiredness, the fog, worth it.

but sometimes i yearn for more. 

lately, i feel like these articles from the website, motherly, have constantly been popping up on my facebook newsfeed - and they have touched me. so much. i have been saving my favorite ones to share with you all. i hope these beautiful messages also bring you some sense of comfort. 

a grateful heart

"when you look at life through eyes of gratitude, the world becomes a magical and amazing place."
| jennifer gayle

snapshots | life lately

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting olive june
we traveled back to north carolina monday after a two and a half week road trip. we traveled to my hometown and enjoyed celebrations, my parent's new outdoor pool/fire pit/hot tub/pool house and spent time in cincinnati as well. here are some snapshots from our trip:

a new 'shop olive june'

i hope your week is going well. today starts a new journey / shop and it already feels so good to be back. these past few months have been a really good little breather as we adjusted and enjoyed becoming a family of four. thank you all for being so patient as i have been reconstructing my shop. i am excited to announce that i am now a brand ambassador for shop stevie/her new program called
"stevie style." this new program means that my customers will get access to ALL of her products through my website. i think this program is going to be so much better for me as a busy momma.

snapshots | life lately

parts of this post were sponsored. thank you so much for supporting olive june
every morning, around five or six, our alarm goes off in the form of a little squeal or whimper. he makes slight sounds that wake us instantly; his way of letting us know the day is ready for us all. we move slow and quiet. 

i turn to him in his bassinet next to me, smile and whisper, "good morning, my love" and i am met with a tiny grin and a deep gaze.  i gently pick baby nash up, still tightly swaddled, and feed and soothe him back to sleep. i feel like our new family routine is slowly forming and i find myself smiling throughout the day as i ponder this new life, as a family of four. 

to the new momma's | i really feel like week seven is the 'magical week' ... the time frame when you start to feel like yourself again. (something that is usually dearly missed - after about eleven months of feeling quite foreign to your own body). so if you are in the early weeks, you got this. and try to be gentle with yourself.

the love that let us share our name

if i get murdered in the city
go read the letter in my desk
don't bother with all my belongings 
pay attention to the list
make sure my sister knows i loved her
make sure my mother knows the same
always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name
always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name

nash's newborn photos

hello world
hello day, hello night

here i am 
glowing bright

filling the days
with joy and a smile

and i will stay
for a long long while

baby bird

"Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words 
and never stops- at all.

all sweetest- in the gale- is heard
and sore must be the storm
that could abash the little Bird 
that kept so many warm.

i've heard it in the chillest land
and on the strangest sea
yet-never- in extremity,
it asked a crumb- of me.
-emily dickinson- 

read and listen + a summer playlist

may my heart
always be open
to little birds
who are the
secrets of
- e.e cummings

parks' big boy room

i just wanted to give a sincere 'thank you' for all of the love, messages and comments regarding nash's nursery (so sweet!) today, i am sharing parks' new big boy room with you all. we worked on their rooms simultaneously this past spring and i could not be happier with how they both came together. i had a lot of fun looking for ideas on instagram and walking around ikea (sans a toddler) trying to decide on the look i wanted to create. i love light, airy, and neutral colors with sentimental/meaningful pieces throughout. 

tiny moments

"wishing you a day of remaining in the moment. not the past or future or story. not your thoughts or anxieties or lists. but right here, right now, straight into the center." | victoris erickson

nash's nursery tour

i am so excited to share nash's finished nursery! we went with a neutral color scheme- with birch wood and greenery and sentimental pieces as accents. i think it gives this little space a simple, calm tone and i am so excited to spend endless amounts of time cuddled up with my new little boy. 

my husband and i got started on the nursery pretty slowly. we decided to turn our guest bedroom into the new nursery and kept parks in his room (with a different look / i plan to share his space soon.) because we don't have basements in charlotte (they are rare because of the red clay soil here) the guest bedroom was our main storage space ... so it took awhile to organize, purge and sell/donate all of the things we no longer needed. many winter afternoons were spent prepping the room and then many trips to ikea/putting it all together once spring came around... and i completely smitten with the way it turned out. what i learned: everything takes so much longer than what you expect. however, watching parks 'help' his dad build furniture, while i folded tiny white onesies, is something i will always remember- and cherish. we finished his room around the end of may, just in time to enjoy a few weekends together before his arrival. parks used to love to tell me where his brother's room was and loved to play on the floor and look out the window. his joy and excitement as he ran to the room always touched me - in only a way that a momma feels. i hope you enjoy this nursery tour... i poured my heart and soul into his room. 

a grateful heart

while my husband and toddler enjoy a week at the beach with family, i am having a 'staycation' with baby nash at home. and i am cherishing every second. although i have missed them since the moment they left (minus all of the toys- i don't miss picking up toys- all day long!!) but i miss them both very much. however, being able to have a quiet week with my second baby boy has been so nice. and i feel so thankful. a soft blanket/wearing our pajamas while enjoying old mad men episodes and reading for hours while he nestles into my chest. i have been hiding my phone and have listened to records and have made iced coffee every afternoon. it feels good to sip while i gently rub my newborn's soft head and just take in the day; loving on my son above anything else. 

to be still and to slow down. 

i hope you have all been well, my friends. 
and that you have been following the paths that feel good and true and sweet. 

i can only hope to feel as grateful as i do at the moment 
and deeply live life.

parks and nash meet | hospital photos

this post is full of photos documenting what might just be the very best moment of my life so far. our early june charleston proposal, our entire wedding day, and the crisp winter morning i first saw parks/became a mom for the first time are up there... but this one has my heart. our photographer | stephanie wiseman photography did the most incredible job of capturing the moment; the moment my two sweet boys met for the first time. i know i will cherish these forever. here are just some of the images of the time parks met his little brother, nash. i hope they will be the closest of friends and i look forward to watching their bond grow as they create memories over the years ahead.

our baby boy | nash charles

on tuesday, june 12, 2018 we welcomed our sweet son, nash charles monaco, into the world. 

ways to become more grateful

my boys bought me fresh flowers from the farmer's market for mother's day weekend

motherhood | has taught me

"Jesus taught that providing shelter for the shelterless, food for the hungry, and clothing for the naked are sacred acts. they're also the hallmark activities of mothering. when we do them for the right motive for those in our homes, it's as if we have done them for Christ Himself. (matt 25:31-45) 
-jen wilkin

i have learned

the notes section of my phone is full of quick flashes in time~ moments, a love letter to my husband, people to forgive, lyrics, books to read, names of our future children, it's all there. lately, i have been using my notes section to write down things i have learned and am trying to live by them. our lives are worthy and they are beautiful and they are homemade. however, our heads are tricky creatures. by writing down my thoughts regularly, i am able to set a tone for my days.

my bedtime routine

"rest nurtures creativity, which nurtures activity. activity nurtures rest, which sustains creativity. each draws from and contributes to the other." - kim john payne author of simplicity parenting

april moments

i am pretty sure april was the fastest month- ever. i was talking with my husband the other night and we both agreed. it was full of working hard to get ready for baby and some traveling to visit family and friends. upon arriving home, we have spent some mornings at home together, wrapped up in our bed. my husband's arms wrapped over parks' little body makes me realize that all i am ever journeying to is being beside them, taking in their lives like a person who takes in the ocean for the very first time. 

it is beautiful and vast beyond words.
it's all there is, all the possibility for more is just extra. 
kind of like, more heaven