We thought it might be a good idea to give everyone an update on things going on with us and the changes that have taken place in our lives. We also added some updates on what Small Town Living USA is doing.
Hey! It is Stephanie (the mother of this duo). Things are finally slowing down for me a bit. This past February I lost my Godmother to heart and kidney disease and this past June I lost my father-in-law to Alzheimer’s Disease. My dad spent 6 months pretty sick as well during this time. I spent nine months in caregiver mode and would not have changed a moment of it! Even though it was so very hard and exhausting, I was beyond blessed to have these amazing individuals in my life and was able to be present with both of them as they passed away. Grief has a way of being overwhelming at first and then slowly turning into a time of beautiful memories and thankfulness for having these wonderful people in our lives!
A group of us recently planted a house church and that has been so amazing! We all love the close relationships we are building and especially love being the hands and feet of Jesus out in our community. Every time we go out and bless others we all get blessed so much more in return!
All photos from this photo shoot were taken by Ashley Dunlavey Photography. Definitely check her out!!
I absolutely love exploring new coffee shops and visiting favorite ones. As far as I am concerned coffee and chocolate should be added to the food groups! Cooking and baking are at the top of the list of things I love to do, along with finding new restaurants to try. I guess you would say I am a foodie at heart! I also enjoy planning, or at least the creative side of it. The sticker sheets and sticker books, washi tape, rubber stamps, colored pens and all the other goodies that go along with being a planner addict are all part of the experience that I love.
Netflix is definitely my down fall! I love Netflix. Sydney and I try and take a couple of days a month to have a mental health day. We binge watch tv series on Netflix from early morning until late evening. It really is very therapeutic! We highly recommend it!
Jim (my husband) has been working relentlessly on a rental rehab that we purchased this past winter. He finally got it finished! During the week, Jim works for a large hospital organization in the quality area. On the weekends, he turns into Mr. Carpenter Extraordinaire! 🙂
Many of you may not know that Sydney actually has a brother, Mason. 🙂 He has just moved to Columbus, OH into his first apartment. When Sydney and Austin moved to Florida right after they got married, they were about 19 hours away. Mason is only about an hour away, so I can’t complain at all about the distance. He has started working in the corporate world of human resources since college graduation.
Bentley, our standard poodle, is thriving and growing! He is such a perfect completion to our little family (at least until I have some grandchildren to spoil!). 🙂
Hi everyone! It is Sydney (the daughter of the duo). Austin (my husband) and I just purchased our first house! We are super excited! It is just a few houses down from Mom and Dad and that makes it so nice for us. We normally work on the blog together everyday…so this will be perfect. She says it will also make it great being this close when the grandbabies start arriving. 🙂
Our new house needs some work done to it, so we will be working on it (with a lot of help from Dad) in the upcoming months. The kitchen needs gutted and we are going to tear out at least one, maybe two, walls to open up the space. It is a really neat older home with tons of potential. I am a huge fan of the farmhouse style (thanks to Chip and Jo!) and plan on doing a lot of farmhouse style and decor. I love taking something that has been lost and forgotten and bringing it back to life! Look for some upcoming posts about our home renovations in the near future.
Austin and I don’t have any children yet, but they are definitely planned for the near future. We would like to have our children both biologically and through adoption. God has placed on our hearts a love for children with down syndrome, so that is definitely something we are looking into. 🙂
My passion for baking and cooking continues to grow! I love learning new skills and trying new recipes. I can spend hours in a kitchen store browsing and dreaming! And Austin is normally off in some random aisle playing with the utensils or something acting like he is a knight. I can’t take him anywhere…hahaha! This coming winter I hope to try my hand at different types of bread making and would love to grow an indoor herb garden. There is nothing like having fresh herbs on hand when you are cooking.
Something else I am wanting to try is furniture making. Dad already has all of the carpentry tools I would need; so now I need a 101 lesson from him on how exactly to use them. 🙂 If it goes well, we will be posting our projects that we make on the blog.
My second biggest passion is definitely the Christmas season! I am a self-proclaimed Christmas fanatic! Normally, I have all my decorations and tree up by November 1st (please don’t hate me!!). I start playing Christmas music and watching Christmas shows really early also (a must). The Christmas season for me is the very best time of the year and I just enjoy it a little more and a lot longer than most. 🙂 Austin does NOT share this passion with me, but I’m okay with that…it just means I was put in his life to brighten his Christmas season a little early, whether he wants it or not! 🙂
Like Mom, I also really look forward to our Netflix binge watch days! They are so relaxing and mind numbing. Some of my favorite shows are: Blacklist, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal (RIP), The Walking Dead, and…of course an oldie but goodie…Gilmore Girls!
Austin loves his job. He is a salesman for a large corporation that treats their employees amazingly well! He truly looks forward to getting up and going to work each morning. Not many people can say that!
Small Town Living USA:
Small Town Living USA is growing and changing as we learn what our readers like most. Our cooking and baking posts seem to still be great hits with all of you. So glad as this is something we really love to do!
We have discovered that home decor and holiday decorating are huge favorites of our followers, so we will be doing more of this in the upcoming months.
The holidays are something that we both look forward to so much! Look for upcoming posts containing recipes, decorating and DIY revolving around fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Supporting small businesses and buying local are still major themes of Small Town Living USA. We love getting to meet and share with you about these wonderful and inspiring small business owners. They truly are an important part of all towns, whether big or small and they really do make a huge difference!
Traveling is something we love to do and we were so fortunate to get to travel to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, Cincinnati, and Columbus over the past several months. We stayed in some wonderful hotels and B&B’s, ate at some awesome restaurants, visited some amazing places and saw some great sights! We can’t wait to see where Small Town Living USA travels to in the upcoming months!
That is it for this update on both of us and Small Town Living USA. We hope you enjoy our articles and recipes and if you haven’t subscribed to our blog yet, it would mean the world to us if you would! 🙂
Have an awesome day!