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Showing posts from December, 2015

Burgess Falls

It was an unseasonably warm winter Saturday... so we decided to go on an adventure. We choice Burgess Falls. Little did we know we would run it to people we knew or the form mayor would snap a family photo for us. But sometimes that's just how it goes.


Burgess Falls is actually three falls (think small medium and large). The lookout decks were all closed when we went due to storm damage and the trail down to the big falls. Which was disappointing, they said it probably won't be open again for at least a year. But we still had fun hiking the trail and enjoy the other two waterfalls.



Wonder what this use to be? And what is through that little hole?



The family photo the former mayor snapped for us.





 Fall #1


 Fall #2







Merry Christmas From The Cottage

Lights twinkling, carols being sung round the fire. Presents opened beneath the Christmas tree. Cups of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and hugs from the people you love. Across the street or across the miles, wishing you a very merry Christmas from the Cottage.

Thank you all for being here, for caring to read what we write. Thank you for following us on this journey He has set before us. As we approach our 4 year anniversary we find ourselves blessed by each and everyone of you. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to spend a few moments with us.

We wish you a wonderful Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our savior, and a happy New Year.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

All I Want For Christmas

Work calls and off I go. The kids hanging onto my slacks as I try to uncurl their tiny fingers from the fabric so I can slide out the door.

It is another Saturday at the office, Starbucks in hand and rushing to get in once again. The guilt of the promises hanging in the air but next weekend we can do it. Sure I leave when it is dark and return when it is dark but it won't be long now until...

I saw a study where they asked children what they wanted from Santa and they all listed this toy- that game Etc. Then they asked them what they wanted from their parents - overwhelmingly the answer was time and love from mom and dad.

Parents- in the hustle a bustle of life please don't forget, the best gift you can give your kids can't be wrapped in paper but only in your presence. We- none of us are promised tomorrow. In the blink of an eye, everything can change... Cherish every moment. Littles are only little a short while.

When The Holidays Find You Empty

She has spared no expense. Real evergreen garland and a towering tree that was delivered, the ornaments of the utmost class and style adorn the branches. White lights and crystal sparkle in the silence of the evening. Gifts under the boughs wrapped by the talented ladies at the department store perfect bows on top of each and everyone. It is a perfect magazine Christmas scene. The lighting is perfect, everything in its place... perfection.

Only it's not. There is no family gathering about the tree. The family chooses to be anywhere but there to avoid the drama. Past hurts like blaring red signs light up every year- things you just can't seem to let go and that Christmas just seems to rub salt into- and oh, how that burns!

See we can spend a fortune on the outside appearance of the holidays. We can buy the most expensive gifts and lights and food. But- what money can't buy is the stuff built the other 364 days of the year. It is those relationships around us those patterns…

The Little Things

We talked about all the ways we were going to do things differently. It was just yesterday- 8 hours ago. This year we are going to take time for us- for love. For our relationship. He said he was going to stop working so much overtime and spend more time with the kids.

This year we will take that vacation! How about up to the mountains in that cabin like we always wanted, or maybe Disney for the kids- Then in a heartbeat its all over.

CPR and sirens, flashing lights and paramedics and you're gone.

Childhood sweethearts not a widow. Mommy and daddy not alone. Parents not a single parent.

All those hours wasted. All those words left unspoken. All those moments I can never get back.

The times we slept with our backs facing one another in petty anger. All those silent treatments. All those times I failed to hug you. All those times I didn't call I love you- as you sailed our the door.

It is our first Christmas without you- and I don't know how to do this, I don't know how…

When The Holidays Find You In A Foxhole

Dear Mom & Pop,

Well it's Christmas time again, and I can only imagine the excitement back home. Of hot chocolate at our hometown Christmas parade- grandpa & grandma snuggled under the old plaid blanket sitting in their folding chairs on the sidewalk. I can almost see Lucy marching along the route with her reindeer nose passing out candy to the kids. Mom, I can almost smell your cookies in the oven, being baked for all the neighbors- did you make my favorite this year? Sure wish I was there to taste them. You never could bake cookies without me picking in the dough bowl or sneaking samples of them right out of the oven when you would put them out to cool. It's funny the things that you miss.

I miss you all so much.

I'm ok. Life isn't at all what I expected over here. The things that a person sees.  I would have never believed if you had told me.

Billy says hi and thanks for the socks. You don't know how much a good pair of socks mean to a soldier. He has n…

Cummins Falls

We've had an unseasonably warm December so we decided to go hiking to one of the many waterfalls near us. The leaves were all brown but it was still a beautiful hike.







We didn't hike all the way down to the falls because it involves wading in thigh deep water and thought it was just a bit to cool for that. We plan on going back during the summer and hiking all the way down.









If you like this post check out our trip to Fall Creek Falls State Park here


#waterfall #hike #falls #Travel #Tennessee #TravelTN #WhereToGo #TennesseeTourism #Nature #trails #park #travelblogger #tblogger

When The Holidays Find You Alone

It is that time of year again. Carols are playing on the radio and turkeys are on sale at the grocery store. People start talking about going "home for the holidays" and the pressure is on to make that perfect meal, the perfect table setting. Cue the music, dim the lights, insert the laughter...

For some, there is no laughter, no warmth of family. Like for Kelly, Whose family has estranged her children and grandchildren won't be coming to have the perfect meal- they won't even call. The smell of a TV dinner fills her house as she puts in a DVD of 'Holiday Inn' and scoots the cat Mylow out of the chair. Looking out the window she sees the neighbors kids playing tag with 1/2 a dozen cousins. For a minute, those faces become her children's, oh what she would do to go back to those days just for a moment. She glances at the phone- knowing it will never ring.

For Sarah, she has a husband and children and so much cooking to do but oh - for  the empty chairs. C…

Our Favorite Christmas Treats

Peanut Brittle


1 Pound Roasted Peanuts 1 1/2 Cup Raw Sugar 1 Teaspoon Real Vanilla Extract 1 Cup Spring Water 3 Tablespoons Organic Butter 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
Preheat oven to 200ºF and then grease two cookie sheets. Mix sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium size pan on medium heat. Stir occasionally until the candy thermometer reads 240ºF. Stir in butter and peanuts. Cook stirring constantly until it reaches 300ºF and stir in baking soda mixture until light and foamy. Pour half of the brittle onto each cookie sheet. Spread about 1/4 inch thick. Cool for at least an hour and then break into pieces. 

Carmel Corn


12 cups freshly popped popcorn 1 cup light brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/4 cup light or dark corn syrup  1/2 cup salted butter 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract   Heat oven to 300 degrees. Grease two rimmed pan. Pop popcorn, and spread into the pans. Melt butter in a large pan over medium to high heat. Add sugar and corn syrup stir until combined. Bring t…