Mother's Day Gift Ideas

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Somehow April is already almost over (did you see this April Fool's Day prank?), and May is just around the corner, which means it's time to start thinking about how we're going to show our mothers, and the people in our lives who have been like mothers, how much they are loved and celebrated on Mother's Day, May 11. Not sure what to do? Here are some ideas that include gifts you can buy or make.

For the Gardener 


Give a great new pair of garden boots filled with cut flowers or stuffed with paper and topped with small, potted plants. Or create a terrarium with some beautiful succulents for easy care! (I've been meaning to do this.)

For the Mother Who Has Everything

There is no such thing as too much pampering. A massage, facial or mani/pedi, especially with your company, would surely be a welcomed gift.

For the Bath Lover


One of these amazing bath caddies to keep everything in one spot, just where you want them, would make baths even better. And you can personalize it! For a DIY gift, make natural, homemade bath bombs for her to pamper herself at home.

For the Jewelry Lover


Add a personalized card to hold a bracelet, pair of earrings, or necklace hand-picked by wonderful you like this one on Etsy.

For Simplicity

Hand write a sentimental letter on nice stationary. It will mean more than you can imagine.

For the Family-Centered Mother


I'm in love with this DIY family tree tray. I'm going to be on the lookout for the perfect tray at Goodwill to create one of my own.

But really no matter what, the best gift we can give our moms is our time. Whether near or far, plan to set aside time to express your thanks and admiration for the role they have had in shaping you into who you are.

XO,
Mad

P.S. Mothers sure do make the world's toughest job look appealing.

Annual State of Our Union

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by max cooper
At the beginning of the year, Matt and I spent almost a week in Asheville, NC to celebrate our fifth(!) anniversary and have the annual state of our union. We stayed in an adorable little cabin outside the city where there were horses and sheep and donkeys grazing in the field below. All the books and movies on the bookshelf were ones we love, it had everything we needed, and we were able to bring the pups with us. It was better than I could have imagined, and our thoughtful friend, Jenny, gave us a gift of a bottle of wine, an aromatherapy candle, and Phase 10, which was the perfect accompaniment. We danced, we read, we watched Almost Famous (which Matt had never seen!), and we even got to play in the snow. We went to town a couple of times to meet a photographer at the NC Arboretum to take some pictures (in the rain unfortunately) and for a candlelit tour of the Biltmore.

 



all by me except photo above by max cooper

Even if we aren't able to get away, we try to spend a weekend just the two of us enjoying each other's company and talking about our relationship, our finances, and our future. It works perfectly that our anniversary is at the very beginning of the year, and it's winter when we just want to hole up somewhere. Plus, after spending the holidays traveling and being surrounded by people at family and friend get-togethers, we need some time with just the two of us. I think it's important in any relationship, whether you have the opportunity to devote an entire weekend to it or not, to set aside time to talk openly about your relationship, dream about your future together, and get on the same page about where you are and where you're going, from intimacy to budget.

A few weeks before, we wrote down things we wanted to cover while we were at the cabin that looked something like this:
  • finances
  • intimacy
  • to do list for preparing to list house
  • personal goals
  • Tennessee bucket list
  • the next five years
For finances, we totaled all of our debts and all of our assets, looked at a summary of our transactions and financial activity for the last year on mint.com, and reviewed our budget. Then we set a savings goal for the next year along with other specific goals such as drive less by combining more trips and spend more on travel.

For intimacy, we talked about what we like about our lives and ways we would be happier if we did them differently, what we appreciate about each other, what actions or words the other one of us can use to be more caring and supportive, and we talked to each other about our relationships with our friends and family. And we talked about sex, of course.

We spoke our personal goals for the year out loud and wrote them down so we could hold each other accountable. Mine included being present in the present and smiling more, which I think I have accomplished already! :) Matt had goals like do what makes him uncomfortable and eat consciously and deliberately. We had ones that we both made like do yoga more regularly, spend more time reading, listening or learning than watching, and eat in and eat better.

I bought a Nashville All Access pass at the Tennessee Association of Museums conference last year that included two admissions to nearly all the tourist sites in Nashville like the Grand Ole Opry, the Symphony, the Frist Art Center, the Zoo, Adventure Science Center, Country Music Hall of Fame, Studio B tours, all of the historic houses, and more. We made a list of all the places on it we hadn't gone to yet that were a priority, along with other things like finishing the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, going on a First Saturday Art Crawl, camping at Fall Creek Falls, and going to another Predators game.

Lastly, we talked about any other goals we had for the next year and what we saw for ourselves in the next five years. Everything combined made for a wonderful week that will always hold a special place in my memory.

XO,
Mad

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

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My talented and beautiful friend, Katie, recently sent me a package in the mail. It was a small box, lovingly wrapped in craft paper and lace, and I had no idea what it could be! To my surprise, it asked me to be one of her bridesmaids in their wedding next Fall, and I could not have been more honored. It was so creative that I asked if I could feature it on my blog. Lucky for you, she obliged! :) So here is a personal and creative way of asking your loved ones to be a part of your big day while giving them all the info they need up front.


Underneath the wrapping, the box was adorned with my name in gold lettering and tied with twine. Inside the box was a sweet, personalized card stamped with the definition of "friend" and a picture of the two of us.

Along with a "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" card, there was a "Before I Say Yes...What All Does This Involve? The Details" booklet: 
  • Who: You, of course!
  • When: October 2015 (forever from now, but plenty of time for planning!)
  • Where: Sevierville, TN
  • Why: To have a great time and celebrate our wedding with us, our families, and closest friends.
  • Responsibilities: Feel beautiful, hold flowers, listen to my planning rambles, have a GREAT time in the mountains!
  • Also: Should you accept, as part of my gift to you, spend 3 nights in a mountain cabin having fun (and working a bit).
  • The Dreaded Dress: You'll wear it again! Choose your own dress style and pick from a variety of fall colors. (Also included was a book of possible colors)
  • What Now? Please let me know you got your package, but feel free to take some time to formulate your answer. Call me when you're ready!


Also enclosed in the box was a picture frame with a photo of Katie and I, a matching earrings and necklace set stamped with the initial of my first name, and a lip gloss.


I have such wonderful friends, and I am thrilled to get to be a part of the celebration of their love and commitment to each other. Have you asked or been asked to be a part of a wedding in a creative way? I'd love to hear!

XO,
Mad

Precious Little One

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Remember the Welcome to the World baby shower I threw for a friend? For the first time for one of my friends, I got to meet her precious little Lucy at the hospital!


Isn't she beautiful? She was so new. It was astounding to see a tiny little human having all of her firsts and becoming a person one breath at a time. I saw her again last week at a month old, and it's crazy how much she has changed already. Babies do the most beautiful, simple things. I think that's why we get so enthralled in them, could do nothing more than watch them for hours. Puppies, too.

Matt and I have been talking about having kids a lot more lately. We're still not quite ready to take the leap, but we're excited about it. We have a boy's name picked out that we've had since I think the first year we dated, one that we both loved the moment we had that first conversation. :) But we have no idea what we would name a girl if we have one. We've been tossing around names for years and have never been able to find the perfect one. I kind of look forward to not planning a name until we see that sweet face and know exactly what we should call her. She'll have my middle name, though, as it was given to me from my Grammy, and I wouldn't have it any other way. What's funny is that Matt has baby fever when it was just a few years ago he was worried that I would get it when my friends started having kids. But I'll admit, I like it.


XO,
Mad

P.S. If you're wondering what gift I decided on, I brought a soft new robe to the hospital for the new momma.

New Road Ahead

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When I chose The Rush of Life as the name of my blog, I was unsure about it. It was something I anticipated changing when I thought of something better. :) However, every time I write a post, it becomes more and more fitting. Life is truly a rush, and not necessarily in a bad way. It's just that: a rush from one thing to another, a rush of time, a rush of emotions, completely and utterly unpredictable. Now, the perfect descriptor because, as life tends to do, the rush of it all got in the way again. For good reason, I hope...

We have put our house on the market and are moving to Raleigh!


As you probably already know, I have been dreaming of North Carolina for a long time and lusting after historic beauties. Its casual, Southern charm with adorable cities that feel like small towns have been where I have pictured thriving in my life and raising a family. Now it's in our near future, and despite looking forward to this for years and knowing a year ago that it was likely to happen this summer, it is bittersweet. A lot has happened in the last year that make it really difficult to leave: my job, the newly thriving friendships it feels too soon to separate from, and our first home with all its memories. However, North Carolina means closer to the beach, access to trains, a more progressive culture, more courteous drivers (Nashville has terrible drivers!), and better schools (for future little ones, and hopefully, my master's degree), which I am all really excited about.

So we spent most every weekend in the last month working on getting the house ready to put on the market (followed by a mother-daughter trip to Charleston, SC, but more on that later). Even though the house looks better than it ever has, it is super weird because it doesn't feel like home anymore, and everything is too neat. The Raleigh part of the planning is on hold until we sell the house, so I'll let you know when things start rolling. Wish us luck!

XO,
Mad
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