pine mountain.

Little fact about me: I love mountains.

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So, with my dad living a mere twenty minutes away from some mountains, it was a must to go on a trail.

Mountains make my Floridian-self so happy!

I would say the hike was a wonderful but I’d be lying. Combine a pounding migraine with hiking up-mountain it was quite a trek.

But mountain views makes it all better, am I right?

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Eventually, I caught up with my speed hiker of a family at the top and got to take in some pretty scenery.

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We finished the day with some korean food and visiting the church where my brother was born.

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Twenty-one years ago, my parents couldn’t make it to the hospital in time so my mom gave birth to Tummy Timmy at our church. Which has since then turned into a korean church. Tim thought he ought to take a picture with the church sign in the fetal position.

Naturally.

Dean Mountains,

I will see you soon.

Sincerely,

That Floridian Girl.

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Please note the post white water rafting injury bandages.

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rock out… with your crock out!

Even though it doesn’t feel like it just yet, FALL IS COMING!

Which means crockpots are a tad more popular for all those yummy hot meals.

Little fact about me: I’m kinda sorta a crockpot FANATIC all months of the year.

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Starting Septempter 26th I’ll have an online event, “Rock Out with you Crock Out!,” sharing some of my favorite crockpot recipes. PERFECT for feeding your whole family or to get your meal prep off to a yummy start with less work.

If you want in on this action visit my Facebook page here and let’s connect!

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workout milestone.

I had lunch with with one of my sweet mentors last week and she asked how I have time for myself because I’m typically on the go all the time. My answer: All I need is my Jesus time and my sweat time. Those are my stress relievers and “me time.”

My workouts help me escape for 20-40 minutes. Currently, I have lots things on my plate accompanied by a decent amount of stress.

Today’s workout was a milestone for me. It was my first emotional workout.

In the middle of the work out I just stopped and let it go. Caught my breath and pressed play again.

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In my spiritual walk I tell myself, “If God carried me get through that struggle, he can help me through this. He’s got this under control.”

In my physical journey I tell myself, “If I can get through this rep, I can do the next. I’m strong enough to do this.”

This is how I keep my sanity.

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chicken stir fry.

Stir Fry!

Easy.

Simple.

Yummy.

Easy to make healthy!

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Let’s do this!

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Instructions:

  1. Cook chicken with chopped onions, vegetable oil, and honey.
  2. Add carrots, broccoli, green onions, basil, parsley, cumin, honey, and teriyaki sauce to steam 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve over quinoa or brown rice.

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Super simple and super yummy!

Enjoy!

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white water rafting.

Before I get started, let’s take a moment to view this little video I posted on Facebook to give a preview of this post a few weeks ago.

So let’s start from the beginning.

My sister was driving from Michigan down to Florida. Our dad lives a little north of Atlanta, and she thought it would be fun to meet in Georgia to do some outdoor festivities. I was the first to get to the Peach State to venture around and I got to have dinner with my dad. My sister, Katie, got to my dad’s house later that night, followed by my Tim and Brittany (my brother and his lovely girlfriend) who got there in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

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My dad lives an hour or so from Tennessee so we geared up, packed into the car, and headed out before the sun was out.

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Can we take a minute to appreciate the look on my dad’s face.
He’s ready to go and HE is the captain of this raft. 

When we got to Raft1, we checked in and waited for our names to be called. We had signed our waivers online prior to getting there. Usually in a waiver you see a lot of fine print. Yeah, not when white water rafting. They put the “possibility of injury, disability, or death” in bold print. Haha! I mean, they have to cover all their liability issues, right?

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Once roll call was checked off the list, we went to a school bus with other people and was shuttled to one of the Upper Ocoee Riverwater Rafting section. When we first got there, we were given a quick rafting 101 session with our guide. The guide told us the basics: how to paddle, when to paddle, and what to do if we got thrown off the raft. Then we carried the raft to the starting point and braced ourselves for what was to come.

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The first two minutes when we hit the rapids a lot happened. Let me give you some white water rafting basics (look at me talking like I just know everything. Haha!).

To keep your balance, you want to lock your feet between the seat in front of you and the side of the raft. Now balance and me are not in good terms. So, I wanted to make sure I had my balance so that I didn’t get thrown from this raft and plunge to my death. So I jammed my feet into the creases of the raft. It just so happened that a zipper was where I locked in my foot, so almost half of my toenail got clipped off.

So it started out painful.

While I’m trying to figure out why there’s a piercing pain in my toe, Brittany’s paddle flew from her hands and we’re in the midst of rapids after rapids. So we have a guide yelling commands on how we are to paddle while we have Brittany trying to catch a paddle that is clearly nowhere close to arms length. After we made it past the rapids, the guide moved the raft to where we could grab the paddle as it made its way down the rapids. So all was well.

Well, with the exception of the blood coming from my toe.

I was so upset that my the video that captured those moments on my GoPro were “damaged.” I mean, come on now! It would have been priceless footage.

During the five miles, the guides pulled to the side of the river and got to explore some secluded wilderness or swim in the calm parts of river. In the river there would be large rocks that we’d navigate around.

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Please excuse the picture quality. My little GoPro did its best 😉 

At one point, Raft1 made a DIY water slide. One of the rafts had the passengers get off the raft and stand on one of the rocks. Then they flipped the raft, which made a slide. This is when one of my most embarrassing moments took place. We were supposed to get a running head start prior to jumping and sliding off the raft into the water. Well, me being a scaredy-pants, didn’t get a running start in fear of slipping off the rock. So when I got on the slide there was no sliding. I just didn’t move. Haha! I then proceeded to drag myself down he slide into the water. Not one of my finest moments. That video was the other footage that was “damaged” and I wasn’t very torn up at that.

One of the most memorable moments was watching my brother “riding the bull.” That entailed him sitting at the front center of the raft during some rapids. He was supposed to straddle a rope at the center of the raft. Well, unfortunately, Tim misinterpreted what to straddle and ended up straddling the raft with one foot in the raft and one foot in the river. Before you know it, we’re going down some rapids and Tim falls over! Now, with rapids it’s not like you can just pump the breaks. You’re still going forward. So as the guide is still trying to navigate the raft so we would not hit any rocks and telling us how to paddle, Brittany is trying to hold on to Tim’s hands to keep him from going under the raft. During all of this fast paced chaos, my family apparently deals with stress in a humorous way. Katie and me are dying laughing, yet we were terrified for Tim, but I still manage to yell out “Never let go, Jack!”

Eventually, Brittany loses her grip and Tim gets run over by the raft. I may have felt him bopping up under the raft as we were propelling forward. Then the rapids are over. We’re all in the raft looking back for Tim and finally see him bop out of the water and you hear all four of us “TOES TO NOSE! TOES TO NOSE!” It was one of the safety procedures they told us before: If you get thrown from the raft bring your toes to your nose to keep afloat. Then the river bends and Tim was out of sight.

What was even better, this was when Raft1 had someone taking pictures while we were on the river. Apparently our family picture consisted of everyone looking behind us (looking for Tim). In one of the other family photos, there’s a picture full of confused girls looking at this tall brunette guy in their raft.

So, good news, Tim got rescued by a bunch of girl scouts.

After that craziness, it was smooth sailing.

No big life endangering moments.

We got to the end, boarded the school bus, and headed back to our cars.

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After 3 hours on the river, to say we were hungry was an understatement.

We hunted down a restaurant in Copperhill, Tennessee that was a mere ten minutes away.

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After lunch we decided to explore the small town in Polk County.

The small, quaint shops were full of homemade quilts, yummy honey and fudge.

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And then we hit the road back to Georgia.

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Stay tuned!

I have one last adventure to share with y’all!

Yep, we’re not done just yet! 😉

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downtown atlanta.

A 2:00 a.m. bus ride to the ATL.

That’s how I started my weekend get away for some outdoor adventures.

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I’m not a fan of driving and I found that a ticket through MegaBus would be cheaper on gas. My seatmate took up a good portion of my seat, and landed me a good 30 minutes of sleep. Other than that, it was nice not needing to drive through and battle with rush hour traffic.

Once arriving to downtown Atlanta, I aimlessly strolled around while searching for a breakfast joint.

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After fueling up on a fruit cup and breakfast sandwich I set my sights on the aquarium. I visited when I was younger, but wanted to check it out the highly talked about spot again.

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As I went through the tunnel, I had a flashback of the last time I had been there. The twelve-year-old Emmy rushed through it because she was scared of there being a crack in the glass and traumatically drowning or getting eating by one of the sharks. Kids and their imagination. Am I right?

After checking out some sea life, I took the most awkward UBER drive to search for tacos.

Dear Uber Driver,
I’m not sure as to how you landed that five-star rating because passing gas isn’t good customer service.
Thankfully it was a short drive.
Sincerely,
My dead nose hairs.

 

Where did I find such fine cuisine? In the City Hall that is full of artisan chefs at Ponce City Market. The market is home to multiple workplaces with the lower levels being full of restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and places to hang out.

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Inside the architecture, it is pretty easy on the eyes, and the Beltline has a view full of greenery and blue skies.

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I then took another UBER to my childhood house, which was a good 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta. Upon arriving in Acworth the driver said, “Wow. I feel like only old people live out here. This is like a DUI asking to happen.” God bless that twenty-one year old lad.

I jumped in the shower and took a five-hour nap until my dad got home. Those 30 minutes of sleep and all the walking caught up with me.

Final thoughts?

It was fun to have a day to wander around the city and explore for myself, while taking time to linger and take in the atmosphere of difference places.

This was only the beginning of an action packed weekend. Stay tuned for our white water rafting and hiking adventures!

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baby shower time.

As some may know, I’m a nanny.

They slobber on me.

They give me bruises.

*you’d be surprised how much pain a toddler can inflict on a person*

They poop on floors.

They get sassy with me.

They get all kinds of crazy.

And yet I adore being a nanny.

No, it’s not always glamorous.

Yet, with all that yucky stuff, these kids still bring me such an incredible amount of joy.

 

With that being said, you can only imagine the amount of joy that bombarded me when I found out that one of my best friends, Ali, is expecting a precious baby girl.

FINALLY!

Ask all of my married friends, I’ve been waiting years for ANY of them to pop out a baby so I can finally take on the name of “Auntie Emmy”.

Actually, I have this weird obsession with the granny name of Gertrude. I really truly want to be referred to as Gurdy, but the parents to be made it very clear that it is not happening. It’s okay. I’ve come to terms with it. Auntie Emmy still has a nice ring to it.

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With baby announcements come baby showers. So, I joined forces with some of the loveliest ladies I know and planned a killer baby shower. We met up three weeks prior to the shower to brain storm ideas and designate who gets what. All while sipping on wine and some fine homemade cooking. The day of the shower we got to the hosts (shout out to Granny! Or whom I call Grans) homely abode to decorate.

Or in my case, to decorate AND prepare all of my food contributions.

I mean, long weeks happen.

You only have so many days in a week, am I right?!

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The Décor.

Put five girls together and you know you’re going to have a baby shower full of pink, burlap, small details, flowers, and lambs.*

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The Food.

Let’s be real. Food is one of the most anticipated things about showers. You never know how awkward the games may be at showers, but you can always count on some delicious grub.

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I must add, I got countless compliments on my rice crispy treat recipe. I’d love to say that I slaved away for hours whipping up the treats and making the frosting from scratch but that would be a lie. Your girl cut prepackaged treats in half, slapped some Pillsbury strawberry frosting, and invested in some fancy sprinkles to make them look more unique. Additionally, I may have had one of the girls do all of that as I threw my 5 boxes of “Crunch ‘n Munch” popcorn into cute baggies for the favors. Don’t judge me. As I said earlier, it was a long week.

The Games.

Ali would be glad to know that my suggestions for baby shower games got shot down at our planning get together. I’m all for the hilarious games. a/k/a the ones that involve eating melted chocolate bars out of diapers and guessing the candy bar. Ali, on the other hand, would much rather prefer the games that dealt with diaper changing challenges, bingo, matching games, and relay races.

So that’s what we did!

 

Yummy food, fun games, and cute decorations are great. But at the end of the day a baby shower comes down to being surrounded by those who want to celebrate with the mom-to-be, as she enters this new chapter of her life. Shower her with love and lots of laughs.

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When the mom is showered in gifts, the guests should be as well! The lucky ladies who attended left with some lavender soap and some home made * cough cough* caramel popcorn.

 

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Dear Baby Susannah,

Despite what Amber or Christie says, I’m going to be coolest auntie in the history of aunties. I may or may not have annoyed your mom by referring to you as Baby Gooch a hundred times within the first week of finding out about you. I can’t wait to annoy her with you!

Love, Auntie Emmy ❤

~

Ever since high school, I’ve described Ali as a Susie homemaker and the Mama Hen of the group. So changing her contact in my phone to “Mama Alison” seemed so natural for me.

~

*Isn’t it ironic how we have all call Ali a Susie Homemaker and her daughters name is pretty close to the name Susie? Hmmm. *

~

Dear Ali,

You are gentle in your words.

You are loving in your actions.

You are patient.

You are going to be an amazing mother.

You will have trying days.

You will have perfect days.

Despite what days you have, you have a group of girls who are here to support you in this new chapter of your life.

Love, The Sisterhood Aunties

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*To finish this blog off, we must take a moment to acknowledge Jalen’s borderline unhealthy addiction to lambs.

God bless you, Jalen.

We’re praying for you 😉

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xoxo emmy.