For the first time in 5 years, yes count em 5 years, we decided to pay actual money to go on a real vacation. (Not one where we go visit friends and stay for free at their house which is what we always end up doing because we love our friends and free places to stay.) We decided to try our first B&B in Asheville.

It. was. awesome.

We walked downtown, had great meals, enjoyed the outdoors, shopped a little, met some interesting folks, and just enjoyed each others company.

The Beaufort House

Breakfast on our private deck

first course: blueberry peach cobbler

second course: 3 cheese quiche and fruit

kayaking on the french broad river

a blue heron

my arms were so sore by the end (7 miles)

a snack at the Woolworth counter

It was a short getaway, but so worth it. And we missed our girl, but she was in great hands with the Britts!


A few days ago we had our sad sidewalk removed since the nearby trees' roots were causing serious havoc on the concrete.

Today we went outside to play and Tessa joyfully found a nice use for the empty space: a sandbox ..."dirtbox".

Fun huh? She would grab small fistfuls of dirt and toss it in the air as though it was enchanted specks of love, glitter and magic. got me thinking. Specifically I was thinking, "this stinks, she deserves better." And furthermore, no matter how much she loved the dirt, I knew of something better. Something cleaner, blissful and wonderful. Something that she could really enjoy. (Yes, this will most like be a sermon illustration.)

So we called up a friend who had mentioned having an unused sandbox that we could have. Made a quick run to Ace Hardware for a few bags of you-know-what. And Boom! It was real play time.

I think she likes it. She was in it for a couple of hours at least. Eventually we were able to pry her away...but we had to use a cherry popsicle as bait. (In a related story, we're expecting to give Tessa more baths.)

First Pres Family DR trip

Here's a quick video of one of the many things the group did during their trip. In spite of the tropical storm that was drenching us everyday, we found moments of joy, hard work, and laughter. The video shows one of my highlights for the week. We wanted to have some time for the families to interact with each other as a whole. So, we thought of doing a "field day." But, with the weather and not wanting to invite mass chaos by giving specific invitations, we decided to hold the event in Club Cana (a covered outdoor shelter). As for the families, we decided to invite the Women's Co-Op and their families figuring it would give us a pretty good one-to-one ratio.

The afternoon came and we were literally in drenching thunderstorms. The event was to start at 2:30 which means 3 on Dominican time. At 3pm, it was still just the Americans sitting and waiting. I decided to go up to the gate and check. The rain had let up and as I walked toward the gate, I see all the families huddled under a covered area. As soon as they see me, they yell, "Holly!" I immediately wave them over and see that they are there and excited for the afternoon.

The rest, you can see for yourself. It makes my heart smile.

her favorite things


blue bear

strawberries and eating with a fork

playing dress up

the only reason i'm sad i missed the oscars...

If you don't already know this about me, I'm obsessed with SYTYCD. (Call it American Idol for dancers.) So, in my surfing the web for more about the choreographers and dancers on show, I came across the LXD. I thought I'd share my 8am inspiration of the day.

LXD from Bboy WIZ on Vimeo.

Relevant: Haiti

I know a blog post is way overdue. And I'm working on it. But for now, head on over to It's one of our favorite mags and their recent article on Haiti is excellent.

Thank you Relevant for shedding some much needed light on the situation in Haiti.