This weekend I celebrated my cousin Kara’s 40th in my favorite little town in Arkansas, Eureka Springs. I’m intentionally downplaying the age b/c this girl looks younger than me and probably has more fun too. She just got back from a 6 month nursing stint in Hawaii so a low-key girl weekend in the Ozarks was the perfect welcome home!

Friday night We took the Ghost tour at the Crescent Hotel and while I didn’t have my big camera, everyone was snapping pics with their phones. Out of all my visits to Eureka, I can’t believe this was my first time to take the tour! I admit it was a little hokey but there was definitely a thrill in the air, especially in the morgue.


The story of Norman Baker’s infamous cancer hospital and the six ghosts who still inhabit the renovated hotel is pretty freaky. People have told stories of sightings, weird smells, even psychically being held down in the night while they slept. The film crew Ghost Hunters named the hotel one of the top 10 most haunted in America after visiting and shooting this crazy scene in the morgue which was one of the “realest” apparitions they’ve even recorded!

The weirdest thing we saw was in this picture.

Tell me this isn't an orb!!!

The tour guide was telling us a small boy is often seen roaming this hallway so I went and stood by the supposed door and pretended to be patting his head and talking to him. The picture that came out was a little unsettling….

Anyway, it was a fun tour and worth the experience, even if nothing truly terrifying happened.

The next morning we were up and out early. Oh, i almost forgot to mention our cute Victorian house we stayed in, which is also quite famous… The Pearl Tatman on Historic Spring Street. We had the entire house to ourselves and it really felt like stepping back in time. I have to admit, old Pearl didn’t hold back on the decor or stuffed animals. But the updated “grotto style” bathroom was really neat, even though I didn’t get to relax in it! :(

i love big old houses!

an attempt to modernize

First stop, Mud St. Cafe which serves some of the best breakfast I’ve ever had. (The coffee is pretty excellent too!)

best desserts too

Kara, Stephanie, Cynthia, Kari, Meg

Next, Kara wanted more than just some snapshots to remember her 40th birthday trip so we decided to stop in at Judge Roy Beans for some good old fashioned (literally) photos!  Of course you can’t take pictures which inside but Cynthia sat out of the shoot and was able to snap a few pics with my phone of the session…

And here’s a photo of the final product.

We are some natural looking saloon girls- maybe too natural on my part.

After our photos we decided to take a trolley tour of the city. It was the only part of the trip I really hated, mostly b/c it was incredibly boring. The guy wasn’t funny and we got a lot of info on a lot of old houses- not my idea of an interesting tour. Anyway, at least the scenery was nice…

It’s hard not to just love this place- it’s so different than anywhere I’ve ever been and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over visiting at least a few times a year.

Crescent in the day isn't nearly as scary...

all the girls

always full of music

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking and shopping and eating; all the stuff Eureka is best at.

Kara's friends are great!

birthday girl!

colors

fall in the air

Basin Park Shot

After a full day we headed back to our cottage and got ready for a night on the town! Granted, a night in Eureka is hard to compare to anything you might experience in LR or especially a bigger city. Kara had her heart set on karaoking so we found the only place and town and were the only ones in the place. It was perfect :)

with Cynthia & Kerri

best friends since grade school!

the fun really started!

pros

with all the right moves!

Such a fun night with my best friend in the world! Kara, 40 is for sure the new 30 and I hope you have the best year of your life! Love you!!!

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Saturday was my little sister’s engagement party at my dad and step-mom’s house and all the immediate family attended. It was small and so cute- decorated by my step-mom Debi who I swear should start her own party planning business she’s so good. The “fall” theme was perfect, as it was the first weekend of fall, and everyone had a great time! My dad cooked his famous shrimp boil and it was truly special that all the grandparents were able to attend. Such a sweet, adorable family I have!

.

my sweet grandma's- but they could not be more different!

Grant's little sister Marie

Katie & Caleb

i love these two!

happy fall y'all!

Ashley & Gabe

my love

some of my favorite people

my dad makes the best faces!

blending families!

little touches :)

Grant & his Papa

Cheers to the chef

Hannah n' the Wilcox's

head tilting runs in the family

the dates

the girls

Sweet siblings

my sweet step-mom

Old fashioned pose ?

good genes!

the happy couple! Love you guys!

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my Aunt Becky’s wedding and it was absolutely perfect. She looked every bit the radiant bride and David just as handsome. The ceremony and reception was small and beautiful, held at Lakewood Park in North Little Rock.

To give words to how much I love this person is difficult and I prefer to remain surface level. But let me just say, I love her like a mother. She is my favorite aunt by far (nothing against my other aunts of course!) and our relationship has always been special. Maybe because she only had boys (3 of them!); maybe because people have always said we favor; maybe because she and my mother are more than just sisters but without a doubt best friends: Aunt Becky and I have always been super close. When my uncle Chuck died of cancer almost ten years ago I thought my heart would break for her… But now that time has passed and love has overcome, I couldn’t be happier for this very special lady.

Here’s to new beginnings and proof that ‘happily ever after’ might really exist!

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My little sister is getting married!!!

I never thought I’d be doing this, helping her try on big beautiful wedding dresses, as I myself flounder around the world of the unwed. We’re different like that though- in just one of so many ways- and I can’t help but admire her for being so “traditionally” perfect. This girl is good to the core- still lives with my parents, isn’t even out of school yet- but she knows what she wants and will make a wonderful wife and mother. I can’t help but feel emotional about it! I remember praying for a little sister for YEARS and all I got was brothers until that one special day when I was eleven years old and my mom gave birth to this perfect little princess. I was even in the room- although I remember so little of it. All I know is that God answered my prayer and gave me the most beautiful, kind-hearted, special little girl who is now all grown up and starting a life of her own.

I love you Hannah Brianne, and am so honored to be your maid-of-honor! You are so precious to me!

mom is pretty excited!

Ash helping find the perfect dress...

sweet love!

my baby sister!

the wedding gals

So many choices!

We didn’t find the perfect one this time but I’m ready to do some serious shopping over the next few months. Can not wait to be on this ride with her- finding the perfect dress, the perfect flowers, the perfect song; as she’s already found the perfect man. I’m so proud of this little girl! And she’s going to make a beautiful bride!!!

xoxox

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So this weekend was the big day- Saturday evening my brother and Ashley got married! It was absolutely one of the happiest days ever to stand next to them as they vowed their lives to each other. Although the weather was rainy and chilly- especially for early May- it was such a joyous occasion that no one seemed to notice. They are now on their way to Jamaica for a week of sun and relaxation! I wanted to get a few pics posted before I leave myself for Hawaii on Wednesday!!!

Congrats to the happy couple. Love you guys.

flower girl and ring bearer at rehearsal (playing on their phones!)

baby Jasper and momma Jessica

taking the shuttle to wedding!

loved the simple decor- so pretty!

"vintage chic"

getting ready!

Ashley pre-gown

Ashely and her flower girl :)

cheers!

adorable Jaydon!

getting ready to see the groom for the first time :)

so sweet!

watching them from inside (all of us tearing up!)

picture time! The Knight's with our new sister!

all the kids

plus Dale & Emerie

both families

Jacob & Jessica Knight, and crew. How gorgeous are they!

Ava is ready for showtime!

my sweet momma

I was in the wedding so this is where pre-ceremony pics stop and post-ceremony begins. I actually didn’t have my camera for the toast or cutting of cake, so we’ll have to wait for the real photographer’s pics to see all that. (And most of the following from reception were actually taken by my sweet cousins Lauryn and Laynie who I let run loose with my camera. They did a fantastic job- love these girls!!!)

Lauryn, Caleb, Laynie

me and Trysta (the L's momma)

Angel child!!!

best cousins!

finally did it!!!!

sister of the bride Christy and her bff Meredith

love Laynie-bug!

stosh and broc (what cuties)

the McGuires (the L's parents)

Caleb & Lauryn bff

i'm her favorite ;)

time to go!

I will spare you the 500 or so other pics the girls took of the decor of the house- I’ll have to put them in their own post one day as they have nothing to do with the wedding but are pretty cute just the same. After the reception (which the above pics are pretty limited to one area of outside- there was a dance floor and dinner that we seemed to have missed completely! Again, the camera wasn’t around till late night) many of us from the wedding party took the shuttle back to our hotel and hit the bar downstairs…

so happy!!!!

Josh and Caleb

Christy and Tabitha

beautiful bride! (even at 1 am)

sweet pic!

my honey

even a few kids still around!

love my brothers!!!

hugs for everyone!

sweet sisters

congrats to the best couple I know- Mr. & Mrs. Knight!

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