friday || 18

Happy 4th of July weekend, you darling people!

What parade-attending, grilled-food-eating, sparkler-swirling plans do you all have for the weekend??

There's always a part of me that's homesick for TX on the 4th of July; for that hometown parade I grew up going to, for the men grilling out and mom and us girls whipping up wonders in the kitchen, and for AK and our nephews all dressed up in adorable 4th of July garb proudly waving their American flags. And I miss our CO fam, too; I'd love to end the 4th looking out across the mountain range, spotting fireworks from mom and dad c's deck, in that unceasingly dry mountain air, indulging in some delish ice cream treat. 

There's always a piece of my heart that especially misses our families on these holiday weekends. However, family ties continue to be strengthened, even over miles and miles, and times when the missing them factor is extra heavy, it helps me to soak up every bit of the days we do get to spend together with an extra measure of gratitude.

And I am so thankful for the dear friends we have in our KY home to share traditions and food and memories with. They have become family to us here and I am so grateful for the bonds we share with these people. They make the ache hurt a little bit less and help me remember to cherish the days and moments we are living. 

Gap is having a fabulous sale and as I was scanning through the toddler girl section online I came across this darling little number. Overalls on toddlers will never cease to be adorable to me and this summer-y floral pattern is just flat out cuuuuute!

Also on sale from Gap is a shirt I bought last month, which I love. I know you'll all be surprised to see that it is striped, but there it is. ;) It is so very comfortable and light and it is easy to dress up or wear with shorts and flip-flops on any normal day. It's a perfect "repeat" shirt. 

My sweet mother-in-love found the greatest invention last summer for AK -- a popsicle holder. No more sticky dripping down hands -- though you still have to have that on some summer days (it wouldn't be true childhood if you didn't). AK thinks it's so cool. I thought it would be great to have a few extra of this clever contraption when little friends are over or for when our nephews come to visit (yay!), so I found this set of 4 frozen treat holders on Amazon the other day. Not only a popsicle holder, but an ice cream holder, too! Summertime brilliance.

The other night, I made a variation of this Bistro Salad with Poached Eggs from the Food Network Magazine. I made it without the green beans or endives -- just didn't want to mess with them and I wanted it to be a bit more simple of a salad. I also used lemon juice in place of the vinegar for the dressing. The bacon fat in the dressing and the poached eggs on top make this salad. This was my first time to poach eggs and, to encourage those of you who might be afraid of this particular process, it was much simpler than I had been lead to believe. So, pull out those eggs and simmer that water, my friends! You shall soon be poaching eggs like a pro.

I am starting to collect the Nantucket Dinnerware Collection from World Market. I love my blueish/grey dish set, also from World Market, but I've wanted to also have a set of a lovely, white dishes and I love the simple elegance of this particular set. A white background makes any food look extra pretty, too. Did ya'll ever notice how in Home Alone the mac n' cheese Kevin makes right before Harry and Marv break in looks extra fancy tasty? I'd say 50% of that reason is the white plate it's on. Fun little observation for ya'll there. ;)

Lastly, but most importantly, I wanted to share a link to a gofundme account for a sweet family, the Maddux Family. They have been through some of the most difficult, heart wrenching, discouraging days over the past year and continue to have a long road ahead of them. Most especially, they are walking through Jenna's battle with cancer right now. J worked with Jenna a bit when he was a consultant for a friend's album company. Though I have only met her once, her testimony on her blog and her Instagram have been an incredible, vulnerable, honest, hope-filled encouragement to me, and to J. I wanted to share the link with you all. Please go visit the site and watch the little video about their story and, whether you are able to give financially or not, please be praying for their sweet family. It is a privilege as the body of Christ to be able to lift one another up and intercede on one another's behalf before the throne of our God! Thank you, friends. 

I hope that you all have the best of holiday weekends, celebrating with family and friends, enjoying all the delightful traditions of our 4th of July!