your burning birthday questions

I LOVE doing a good Q+A session… and I love reading them. It’s always funny to me how this slice of social media has literally impacted so many facets of my life and it’s a joy to get to share it with you day in and day out. So as I embark on my 38th year tomorrow, I wanted to give you guys a chance to ask mw all those questions you’ve been wanting to ask:

I feel like movies should mean something to you and if you can’t quote a famous line or two from one, they shouldn’t be among your favorite… maybe that’s just me?!?! But in no particular order, here are my absolute favorites of time: Gladiator, The Shawshank Redemption, Gone With the Wind, Braveheart, Legends of the Fall, This is 40, Forrest Gump, Love Actually, The Gangs of New York, + Wedding Crashers. Can you tell I have a wide variety of genre preferences??

I would most certainly tell her to SLOW DOWN AND SAVOR this chapter of life. When I was 33, my girls were 4 and 5 and it seems like it was a lifetime ago. I would also tell myself to try to spend more one-on-one time with Jeff and prioritize monthly date nights. All in all, I would trade experiences for stuff and not let the details get me bogged down as easily.

love sweater | parker shorts

Oh goodness… yes, I am an early riser for SURE, but I’ll have to admit at night, I am weak sauce and all I want to do is get into bed around 9PM. Usually, I’ll read a few chapters of the current book I’m into and then catch up on a Bravo show or two before falling asleep to old episodes of Friends. I ALWAYS put my phone in my bathroom to charge overnight so I am not tempted to use it before bed and I think that helps tremendously. And yes, a little melatonin always helps too ;).

Jeff and I met in college, though we didn’t date until many years later. Funny how a friendship we had during our early 20’s blossomed into something truly special once we were both single in Nashville. If you would have told me I’d end up with the “good guy” I would have laughed in your face as I’ll just say my picks before Jeff were not the best. But in the end, each relationship taught me lessons about the kind of man I wanted to marry [and who I didn’t] and it ultimately led me to my best friend. God sure works in mysterious ways!

Food and drink is always something I LOVE to share with my friends and followers. It’s something I find truly cathartic and enjoyable and hopefully it shoes you ways to entertain, eat and drink and not spend hours in the kitchen. You can find a ton of my recipes and staples if you search #hellohappinesseats on Instagram OR the good eats recipes on my blog.

Like I said, I am an early riser by nature and that’s what I try to do every single morning before the kids wake up and take over my attention. Usually, I’ll sit at the kitchen counter or hop onto the front porch and take in a 5-minute devotional read, sip some coffee and then post my daily quotes that I love to share. It’s not much, but that solo time definitely helps start my day on the right side!

passion dress | floral romper | ruffled dress

I’ve answered this one before, but it seems like new friends are here so I thought I’d answer again. Yes, I have a stepbrother named Justin who lives in Columbus, Ohio. He and his wife and two boys usually come visit Mimi and Pap each year and we try to see them then! He and I are the same age, though he lived with his mom growing up, but would always spend summer vacations and winter breaks with us!

I think part of that mentality is just how God made me… y’all, we have ALL dealt with major crisis and traumatic events in our lives, but it’s how you choose to respond to those things that make you who you are. I could whine and complain about how things don’t go as planned or how I didn’t get something I desperately desired, but that’s not what God has planned for me and ultimately I always try to look on the positive side of things. I’ve never one to wallow in pity = tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and I’m not trying to sound like positive polly or preachy by any means, but I don’t want to waste my days being pessimistic. There is too much good to celebrate.

pink embroidered top + white cut-off shorts

Delta Gamma baby!! I don’t actively participate in any type of alumni events for my sorority, but I will tell you being active in DG was single-handedly the best college decision I ever made. I met my best friends there, developed leadership abilities when acting as Tshirt Chair and VP Programming and I absolutely LOVED the philanthropy opportunities as well as those social events ;).

Nashville born and bred, which seems to be a rarity these days. My entire family still lives in and around Nashville and I am so thankful to live in the city I grew up in. We lived in Nashville proper until I was 9, moved to Smyrna for middle and high school and then my parents lived in Murfreesboro when I was in college. When I finished UTK, Meg and I lived in Nashville before Jeff and I bought our first house in Sylvan Park. Then we decided to move to the suburbs of Brentwood once the girls were born!

I know this is a really broad one, but I’ll answer it as best as I can. Honestly, I feel like I had an incredible chilhood… one that was happy and filled with so many wonderful trips and times and I always knew that I was loved. My parents were so supportive, my grandparents literally took me anywhere and everywhere and I’m thankful to have such a close family dynamic, even now.

I feel like this answer changes constantly depending on my mood, but hands down I would love to be a designer of fashion + home. I feel like there are SO many brands out there that focus on neutrals and classics, but I would love the opportunity to design items with pattern and punch and texture and loads of color. When we remodeled our home a a few years ago, I fell in love with art and home design and my fascination only grows with time. As far as fashion, everything would have puff sleeves and bows and feminine accents, but made for everyday.

That’s a big HECK NO. Hahahaha… I know God has a funny way of working, but it would be a HUGE surprise considering the steps we’ve both taken to intercept the chance at another baby [if you know what I mean…haha]. I always thought I wanted 3, but once we had Caroline and Carson so close I knew we were done. I’ve had a lot of people ask if we ever hoped to have a boy and honestly I always wanted 3 girls… it’s all I know and my mom is the middle of three girls and I love their dynamic, even now. The only other baby I’d ever get is another puppy and Jeff has vetoed that idea!

Jeff’s mom still lives in Knoxville where he grew up and his sister and her fam live in Talbott [east Tennessee for those that aren’t familiar]. We haven’t gotten to see them this past year due to COVID and preferences due to their specific requests [totally understandable!!]so we are hoping we can remedy that soon and all get back together this fall!

I live by the FWTFL lifestyle 80% of the time… I fast everyday, try to workout 4-5 times a week, but sometimes I slack in counting my macros, especially in the summer when we’re constantly on the go, traveling to the lake/beach/etc and schedules are less “set”. I do eat dairy and drink alcohol and don’t ever intend on giving those items up. However, if I have a trip/event coming up, I go ALL in so I can tighten and tone pretty quickly.

Don’t focus on anyone else other than yourself. Social media, news outlets and all included sources can be such a negative in daily life and I think a lot of people need to mind their own business and focus on themselves first and foremost without pointing fingers on current situations. For me, FAMILY FIRST always and they come before anything. I think we can all have a bit more compassion for others as well.

Well, if you told me 10 years ago I’d still be doing this FULL-TIME, I would have told you no. Who would’ve thought social media would transform into the meca it is today… I didn’t foreee any of this, but I’m grateful to get to do what I love, work from home, share my days with you and use my advertising and marketing background at the same time. I would love to transition into more product development [fun things coming I promise] and possibly one day write a book on social media.

I would love to travel internationally more… we are heading to Paris next March and I cannot wait to take my little ladies to France with us! I would also LOVE to buy another vacation property and fully renovate it because Jeff and I SO enjoyed doing that together for Ro Sham Beaux. Serving on some sort of philanthropic/non-profit board would also be an exciting way to volunteer in my free time!

It doesn’t happen often, but yes sometimes I feel the burnout and want to checkout completely, even if only for a few days. But I’m an enneagram type 3 and “resting” just isn’t how I’m built so I’ll always push myself to the limit before crying and taking a time out that I force upon myself for an hour or two. I do try to set parameters, though which is why I don’t post a lot at night… I usually put my phone down and do all the things with the girls and Jeff and it definitely helps me combat always having to feel “on”.

I’ve talked about my battles with anxiety many times on the blog before… definitely something I struggle with day in and day out, but I am in a very good place based on guidance from my primary care doctor and feeling content. You can read more of that journey here.

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