Visiting Danielle!

When I had that really rough week I decided I needed to get away. Clear my head and refresh my spirit! I knew spending a couple days with Danielle would do just that for me. Plus we have several things we still need to decorate our house and I’ve literally gone to EVERY store in this area (plus our day at Garden Ridge and Ikea in Atlanta!). Danielle recently bought a house too so we’re both in need of things and I thought a few days of shopping would be perfect πŸ˜‰

I was set to stay with Danielle Monday and Tuesday nights (July 25th and 26th) but I decided to leave Sunday after church to get a head start on the trip. I knew driving would wear me out and that last thing I wanted to do was drive early in the morning to meet Danielle for shopping on Monday. I called Dad and thought it’d be a great time to visit him and Audrey and meet their newest addition…their new puppy! Luckily it all worked out great and I got to spend some time with them for the night.

The drive up was ROUGH. I was exhausted and had to make lots of stops on the way to get re-energized and use the bathroom. I stopped at the Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove and did some shopping (I shopped half of the outlet on the way up and the other half on the way back). I got some really great stuff, lots of gifts (my goal is to be DONE shopping and have ALL my gifts wrapped before Thanksgiving!). It helped break up the drive and I was thankful for the stop.

When I got to Dad’s it was about 6:30 and I was eager to meet Pearl! Growing up we had a white German Shepard named Christy (Christmas Princess was her actual name haha). She was a great dog and when she died (she actually died from a wild animal urinating on her food and it gave her some rare illness…so sad) it took Dad a long time to get to a point where he was ready for another dog. He and Audrey recently adopted Pearl and she’s so cute! We had talked about bringing Kye up for another visit, and while I hate the dates didn’t work out, I’m kinda glad he’s not going to meet Pearl for a little while…she is BIG and she is alll PUPPY! She is learning and will be a wonderful dog but it’ll take some time with her and I could see her having a rough time with a toddler running around. πŸ™‚

Isn’t she adorable?

the only time she was settled enough to take a picture was when she was outside begging to come back in πŸ˜‰

I was impressed with the great job Dad has done around his house to prepare for the puppy – he extended out his fence and made a dog run so Pearl can go into the air conditioned basement. It was really neat and she loves her room! I made a great choice by going to visit Dad and Audrey…not only did we enjoy catching up (and they got to see the ultrasound pics and video of Blitzen!) but they also go to bed EARLY. I was asleep by 9:30. Awesome!!!!

Audrey had to leave for work early the next morning so Dad and I enjoyed breakfast together with Pearl before I headed out. It was a quick visit but a nice one as I always enjoy getting to spend time with Dad! It doesn’t happen often enough! While I probably won’t be back up that way again until after Blitzen arrives, I’m hoping he and Audrey can make a trip down after he or she is born to meet the newest addition like Dad did when Kye was born. It was a special visit for sure! And this time they’d not only get to meet Blitzen but also see our new house and spend time with Kye πŸ˜‰

I left Dad’s and went to Danielle and Jonathan’s new house…it’s BEAUTIFUL! I loved getting to see it all in person and am impressed with how perfectly Danielle has it decorated. They worked hard and were so patient for that house and you can tell they really appreciate it. Zach and I were so young and made so many financial mistakes that we are still overcoming in our early married years and I think it’s so awesome to see my newly married friends not following in our footsteps financially!

We left to go shop it up and had GREAT luck! One of the big things I’ve been hunting endlessly for were two big white planters to put in our center dormer window. I knew exactly what I wanted, but I just hadn’t been able to find it yet. Not only did we find them but we found them for a great deal. Score!!! We went to a TON of stores that day and had a great time together. She found some great stuff and so did I and we were both worn out pretty early on. We had late dinner plans with Rachael that night but she offered to do it earlier which was great for us. We actually both drank Starbucks (my first time having Starbucks in literally 5 years…I told them I wanted whatever a McDonald’s Frappe is called there which they found rather insulting haha) at like 4:00 to get us energized for dinner πŸ˜‰

I haven’t gotten to spend some good quality time with Rachael since Danielle’s wedding (I don’t count the random run-in we had at Joann’s) and dinner was so fun. We laughed and laughed (which is so easy to do with Rachael!) and it was fun to both be pregnant at the same time. We first re-connected our friendship when she was pregnant with Macy and I was with Kye but we didn’t get to actually see each other until after Macy was born (and she was SO sweet to come down for my baby shower!). I’m SO excited to find out what she’s having in September. I’ll be checking my phone like crazy time while we’re at Disney World πŸ˜‰

We hit up O’Charley’s – a fav from our high school days!

I didn’t even notice they were matchy-matchy with the stripes!

one of my most favorite friends ever

haha love this face Rach!!!

and I love that we totally fit together like a puzzle piece…you’re SO tall!

Pregnant together

(I’m 21 Weeks and Rachael is 31 Weeks)

yay for great times with good friends

(btw I’m rocking my Amanda necklace!)

After dinner we parted ways and Danielle and I went back to her house. We were WIRED from the caffeine and ended up staying up until 4 in the morning…CRAZY! I love how much our friendship has evolved over the years. Anytime we get together we stay up late talking, but the topics have matured a bit πŸ˜‰ It used to be all about drama, gossip, and boys and now it’s about our lives as wives, homemakers, and especially Christians. I love that Danielle is so grounded in her faith and every time I’m around her I feel like she helps me grow in my own too! I was just telling my mom last night that I appreciate my friendship with Danielle so much and am so thankful that as we “grow up” we are also continuing down similar paths in life that allow us to only form a stronger friendship.

Tues morning we were supposed to go to an aeorbics class but there was zero chance that I could function on only four hours of sleep so I slept in until close to 11 while she still went to the class (some things we have in common…Danielle’s love of exercise we do not…). Once she got back I got up and we took our time getting ready then hit up some more stores! For “lunch” we ate at an awesome Mochi type yogurt place. But it was WAY better than Mochi b/c they literally had 100 toppings. 100!!! My kind of place!

her fruit filled little portion

and my 19 oz goodies πŸ˜‰

We headed up to a place called Real Deals in Jefferson to see if we could have any more luck with house stuff and omg…I wish we’d gone there sooner! It was AMAZING!!! I totally could decorate my entire house from there! I found a great outdoor clock at half off and could have bought a ton more but we didn’t have time. Next time FOR SURE! It’s the kind of place I totally wanted to take Zach and/or my mom too b/c they’d LOVE it!!!!

That night Danielle had planned for us to take a sewing class similar to what we did for her bachelorette party with the painting (remember?). Dana‘s, who I met when she was a bridesmaid in Danielle’s wedding with me, mom actually just opened her own business throwing these sewing class/parties called Just Sew! Studio. I am SO impressed with both Dana and her awesome mom. They are so creative and crafty with the best taste. The business idea is awesome and I know it’s going to be SO successful for her!!!

We met up at Dana’s house and got started on our dresses. Yes, I, Emily Parker, who has ZERO sewing experience…made a DRESS!!! Be impressed πŸ˜‰ We got there at 5:30 and didn’t leave until almost 11. So yeah, it took us awhile, but we also stopped for lots of breaks and spent a lot of time talking (while taking out our stitches and doing them over haha).

Dana, the lovely hostess

Danielle and Chelsea (who totally just started her own blog you can read it here!)

gettin my sew on πŸ˜‰

Before the class I was sure that I’d fail and that by the end of the night our instructor would have to take over for me. I was semi-right. I did NOT fail but I was so exhausted (hello late night the night before catching up to me!) that I stopped being able to even see straight so Dana’s mom did finish up my hemming for me. Other than that though I think I did pretty great! I learned SO SO much. I wish I lived closer as I’d totally do some more classes – such a fun girl’s night things to do! I’d love to bring Mom, Mrs. Charlotte, Courtney and Casey up for a class – we’d have such a great time!

More than any other sewing tricks, the BEST thing I took from the class was to not stress over it. I am a typical perfectionist and the bottom line is it’s okay if things aren’t perfect. Sure I had to take out some stitches and do them over and there are still a good bit of imperfections in my dress but will anyone notice?!?! Nope! Dana’s mom (gah I cannot for the LIFE of me remember her name and I’ve searched through all Dana’s blog posts too but of course she just calls her “Mom” haha) has such a natural talent for teaching and amazing patience for beginners. She was awesome and I left the class really wanting to sew again!!! I had a GREAT time catching up with Dana and Chelsea and I’m so glad Danielle thought to put the whole thing together for us – I hope I get to visit with them again soon πŸ™‚

Our finished products!!!

I made mine plenty big so I can hopefully rock it at Disney World and possibly Hawaii too πŸ˜‰

Since the class I have been wanting to try to applique something. We got to talking about appliqueing while we were sewing our dresses and Dana’s mom said it’s beyond easy. While I’m not ready to sew an entire dress on my own (will I ever be?!?!) I thought it’d be a good thing to try out. Mom bought me a sewing machine (and a really nice one too!) years ago so I really don’t have an excuse not to at least try it out. Since we have Disney coming up I really wanted to applique a shirt for Kye…I’ve seen them ALL over Etsy and they are $20 a pop. I know I bought some tie onesies for Ashley’s baby shower and paid a pretty penny for them. Duh, I’m sure I can make that stuff cheaper!!! I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some shirts, the least “lame” Mickey fabric I could find, thread, and other materials. I also hunted the internet (thanks to Pinterest it didn’t take long!) to find an easy tutorial.

Mom came over last night and we had a SUPER fun girls night (maybe sewing is one of those really fun things to do together…anyone wanna come sew with me sometime?!?!) and made Kye a shirt for our trip! I was so inspired that I made another one today ALL BY MYSELF. So proud πŸ˜‰ It took us about an hour and a half to do a simple project but we got interrupted by three phone calls and the biggest chunk of time was spent on just setting up the sewing machine. Now that it’s set up, the whole things a lot easier – I did my project today in under 30 minutes!

This is not a typical Emily thing to do, to blog out of order, but I thought it’d be neat to include the pictures of me making my first sewing project with the ones from the class that got me started right?

Ready to go!

 Mom said I make the same concentration face as Kye πŸ˜‰

 Finished Product!!!

 Here’s the one I made on my own today!

 You’ll be seeing both of these shirts on my little man at Disney World!!!

I know, I know, you’re mega impressed with my skills right?!?! And you totally feel inspired to do it yourself too? Don’t worry I hooked you up with all the how-tos on my other blog, you can read the instructions HERE!

…back to my Atlanta trip…after we left Dana’s we didn’t stay up half as long talking as we were both beat and I had a drive ahead of me the next day. I got up nice and early and headed out (peaking my head in Danielle’s room to say bye). I stopped by Chic-Fil-A then went over to Kelly‘s house! I LOVE my new friendship with Kelly. We met through blogging and have such a great connection. She’s one of my mommy idols and now that she’s welcomed baby #2 (cutie pie Mack!) I’m thankful I can learn from her about how to juggle my own two soon! We had a short visit but it was wonderful. I got to see how a Miracle Blanket works first hand (and I WILL be registering for some!), I got to meet Mack, visit with Rhyan, get some Dave Ramsey vehicle buying advice from Jeff, borrow a TON of maternity clothes from see Kelly, and catch up with her. It was great and I’m glad I was able to stop through!

Of course we had to get a picture together before I hit the road

(and I’m wearing my sunset bangle, la coco gold chain and paradise brooch)

Stopping again at the outlets was nice on the way back and I got SO many of Zach’s birthday presents that day plus several that I’m holding back for Christmas which was great. I love finding good deals πŸ™‚ I had a WONDERFUL visit (as I always do!!!) and I really would like to plan something someday to bring Kye and possibly Blitzen up there to meet everyone. I think the only of my friends up there who has met Kye (other than Rachael at JoAnn’s for 5 seconds) is Danielle and that was when she came down for his first birthday party! Wouldn’t that be fun though? It’ll probably be awhile until I get to visit with everyone again and hopefully next time I can see those people who I wasn’t able to fit in the schedule during this visit!!!

Thanks again to Danielle for having me…I feel honored to have been her very first house guest πŸ˜‰


  1. Dana Doss
    August 17, 2011 / 1:33 am

    Love the post! I am proud of you making Kye's shirts! He is going to be so handsome at Disney! Mom's name is Mary! I shared the post with her. Thank you for the kind words. I enjoyed the class with all of you gals as well! Thanks for coming!Β 

  2. Rebeccakandrews
    August 17, 2011 / 5:03 am

    I have the same shirt as Racheal is wearing in the pix! LOL… When you come up with the little one's next time, I want to meet the the little blog celebs in person and, catch up with you! "Bubble" and "Blitzen" will be so close in age, it will be fun for them to play together!

  3. Rachael_Copponex
    August 17, 2011 / 12:24 pm

    Ugh no more pictures…Β  I look 7 feet tall!

  4. Erin
    August 18, 2011 / 1:08 am

    SHUT UP! I am a hop, skip and a jump from Real Deals in Jefferson! We bought our coffee table from there. The picture of you three girls in matching dresses and the one girl in the black dress, I just saw on someone else's blog a few days ago (I'm hoping it was one of the other girls) but when I saw that picture, I thought, "wait, what?" Β Anyway, looks like a fun time!

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