sweet southern comfort

Hudson and I try to go at least one walk every day. Sometimes things are too hectic and we never get out there, but for the most part, we take a good three mile walk every day.

I love walking around our neighborhood and looking at all the houses, big and small. Checking out all the old trees. Looking at the houses that have clearly been occupied by the same owner for 60 years and those that have been updated and have recaptured their charm with cute fixtures and new paint.

Then I encounter the great smells like a fire in the fireplace or the smell of someone’s laundry coming out of the dryer vent. I love to walk close to supper time to get the smells of meat on the grill.

This is one of my favorite things in the world. It may be nosey, but I find so much comfort in knowing that everyone is going along with the routines of the day by doing laundry and cooking supper.

On the way home from choir practice tonight, I heard the song Sweet Southern Comfort, which is seriously overplayed even years later, but is so much fun to sing in the car. I just like calling out the Southern states.

My list of Southern comforts includes:

1. Hearing Louisiana Saturday Night on the radio.

2. An all-night conversation with some of my best friends.

3. A random phone call from my mother during the day followed by another random phone call just an hour later. Just because she felt like saying hello.

4. Arnold Palmers made with Firefly

5. A piece of snail mail written in familiar handwriting.

6. The way my boy lights up and squeals when his daddy walks in the door every evening.

7. The smell of chocolate chip cookies baking.

8. My bedroom being filled with the scent of laundry and dryer sheets (because our laundry “closet” is in our bedroom).

9. Finding Pretty Woman, Father of the Bride, or Steel Magnolias on TV.

10. A summertime thunderstorm at 3:00 in the afternoon.

11. Hearing someone say “sugah,” “dahling,” or “wawta (water)”.

12. Azaleas and dogwoods in bloom.

13. Bourbon pecan pie, beignets, and strawberry shortcake.

14. The sound of old hymns like The Solid Rock, Holy Holy Holy, It Is Well, and How Great Thou Art. I also cry when I hear my family members sing I’ll Fly Away. Might even cry just thinking about it.

15. The old, nostalgic feeling of being a child and pulling up to my grandparents’ house in Arkansas and getting excited about seeing all of my cousins.

16. Hearing my parents talk about their days as Southern youngsters and, through them, hearing about my grandparents’ days as Southern youngsters.

17. Seeing cotton off the interstate in Louisiana.

18. Seeing the pecan trees growing in front yards in Louisiana.

19. Looking for the “Crossett Light” with my dad and cousins.

20. Sitting in the living room at my Aunt and Uncle’s house, singing old hymns and giggling about the way my grandmother would always take the highest part when harmonizing.

Southerners, what are your southern comforts?

Non-southerners? What little things give you comfort and remind you of home?

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a charleston recap

Do you know what it’s like when you have such an amazing time that you have trouble putting into words how amazing it actually was? (I know my overuse of the word amazing puts me a category with The Bachelor’s Jason Mesnick and Jake Pavelka, but I don’t care this time.)

That’s what this weekend was for me. I had a weekend full of laughs, tears, fun, food, and getting to be the fun Erin that I know is deep down inside of me but has been overshadowed by caring for Hudson, Todd, the dogs, and the house. I’m not complaining at all. I love my family and I love my job as an at-home mom. But it’s always nice to get out and to focus completely on yourself in a way that is one hundred percent selfish.

After my friends Mojito Maven, Nina, and Maggie came here to Columbia, we all drove to Charleston and met up with Grits. This trip was a reprise of last year’s fun trip and it was so wonderful to add two new faces to the mix.

For those of you that are wondering what amazing things there are to do in Charleston, my list could go on and on. Besides spending hours with some of the most wonderful women I’ve ever met, we ate at Magnolia’s, Blossom, Cypress, and had two amazing brunches at the Palmetto Cafe at the Charleston Place hotel, where we stayed.

We shopped on King Street, took a private carriage tour from the hotel, and visited the Middleton Place Plantation and took a tour.

Obviously, we could have stayed anywhere and done anything and still had an amazing time. As long as Grits was still able to get her hair poof on!

There was a lot of girl talk and a lot of one-liners have come out of the trip like, “I love a crime” (which was said to some Charleston police men), “my husband is ready” (when talking about the joys of dating), and “can we take a ride in your cop car?” (also said to the Charleston police officer). But, come to think of it, all of these quotes came from one adorable little Italian girl that we all love!

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Can’t wait until next year– or next time. Whenever or where ever that may be!

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new on my bookshelf

While in Charleston, we stopped into the Charleston Cooks! Maverick Kitchen Store to browse their drool-worthy kitchen items and cookbooks. Most of the books in the store are by Charlestonians and one of my favorite Charlestonians is Tara Guerard of Soiree. She and her team are creative geniuses. They run Soiree, Charleston’s premiere event design company, and The Lettered Olive, the paper and stationery division of Soiree. If you’re not familiar with these two companies, you must check them out.

One of my favorite coffee table books is Southern Weddings by Tara Guerard.

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But while in Charleston Cooks!, I noticed that Ms. Guerard has a brand new book featuring her most recent weddings for “beautiful brides and dashing grooms.”

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Book synopsis, biographies, and images all from the Weddings by Tara Guerard info sheet on the Gibbs-Smith website.

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the new MomAgenda colors are here!

It’s time to order your new 2010-2011 MomAgenda. The MomAgenda calendars run from August- August to coincide with your child’s school calendar.

The new colors are bright, bold, and beautiful. The desktop or the mini daily would be perfect for you and your family. Last year I just had the mini daily and this year I plan to order a mini daily to keep in my handbag and a desktop to keep at home.

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Order your new MomAgenda by clicking here or by clicking on the MomAgenda banner on my sidebar.

Image via MomAgenda

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