photo home1_zps4d192f6a.jpg  photo recipes1_zps4c065c0e.jpg  photo about1_zps9481e111.jpg  photo contact1_zps647fd1f8.jpg


Fiery Pastor, Dive Bar, Beaufort & More

Allow me to introduce myself; I’m Karen, Nicole’s (aka Nikki) older sister.

 I’ve been featured in the blog a few times and have spent quite some time in South Carolina over three years visiting Ben, Nikki, and now baby Jack!  I recently returned from South Carolina yesterday.  As I walked Jack in the stroller on Monday through downtown Beaufort, I couldn't help but be thankful for everything that Beaufort has offered my family and now baby Jack. Even the simplest things on our walk I was grateful for--enjoying the warm weather in March, walking past the beautiful historic homes, and seeing the calming waterfront. I even felt thankful to be able to experience this graceful town and learn about the history behind it.  We had some of our best adventures over the past three years as a family that included our grandma, mom, aunt, uncle, cousins, brother, sister, friends, etc. visiting. In addition to the adventures, we were fortunate enough to meet the best people and visit the best places.  Even one of my childhood best friends, Robbin and her husband, are stationed in Beaufort with the Marines. Talk about a small world! Robbin and her husband started a life in South Carolina and welcomed a daughter last month!  I was so excited to meet Robbin’s one month old daughter this week for the first time. I love her dark hair and how tall she is as a baby.  She is beautiful and precious and I’m proud to be considered an auntie to her daughter. Robbin is an absolutely wonderful mother and amazing wife. I’m so proud of her. I will be looking to Robbin and Nikki some day for mommy advice. Thank you for inspiring me.   

My nephew turns 7 months this week and I did not think it was possible to love someone so much as you do for your nieces and nephews! Your heart wants to explode every time you see them. It also breaks your heart every time you have to leave. It makes seeing them the next time that much more special.

I wanted to share with you some photos from the past 5 days and also a side by side comparison of baby Jack growing up in Beaufort! 

The last time I was able to see Jack was over Christmas. When I arrived at the house last week, Ben and Jack opened the door. They were both so excited to see me. I’ll never forget seeing Jack’s face.  He had the biggest smile and brightest eyes. I was so happy that he remembered me.  Then again, I realized, Nikki and I look a lot of like so he was probably confused at who I was. Definitely a benefit when you and your sister look alike so I’m happy to take Jack’s excitement regardless!  I don’t know how many times I heard, “Hi Nicole” when I would walk through Beaufort and would check out at the local stores.  
I think the reason why I love Beaufort so much is that it’s different than any place I’ve ever been to. I live and work in Chicago and absolutely love the city (in the summer); however, Beaufort will always have a special place with me. I’ve become a regular, love the places and the people, and wanted to share with you my top 5 favorite places to visit.  Whenever I’m in Beaufort, you can always find me at one of the following places:
Karen’s Top 5 places to visit in Beaufort

1. Community Bible Church. Pastor Broggi delivers a sermon that’s impactful and nails it. My sister and I love how fiery and passionate he gets with each sermon. Sunday sermons are a must.

2. Lowcountry Produce Market Café. They have the best pimento cheese sandwich with chips and macaroni salad. The biscuits and gravy with eggs on top are out of this world. Also, I could eat their fresh made donuts every morning. This place is charming.

3. Chocolate tree.  I will always order chocolate from the chocolate tree. It’s sweet southern chocolate heaven.  I typically buy about 3lbs when I visit (sad but very true).  Also, who doesn’t love hearing about how these were the chocolates used in the Forest Gump movie. Tom Hanks loved the chocolate so much; he used them in the movie. Absolute must visit in Beaufort. A delightful place.

4. Downtown Beaufort.  Bay Street has something for everyone.  The street is covered with antique stores, shops, restaurants, art shops, coffee shops, bars, etc.  Also, the historic homes are fascinating.  Everything about this place is captivating.

5. Fillin’ Station.  After visiting Beaufort for three years, I finally had the chance to visit this past Friday. I thought it deserved a mention. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was always a little intimidated whenever we drove by the place. To be honest, I think I was horrified of this place when we drove by.  Looks like a local shoebox dive bar on the outside with a parking lot that’s very small.  Whenever we drove by, the parking lot was ALWAYS FULL.  Jam packed. I thought it was the kind of place where you bring a gallon of hand sanitizer with you. I was actually pleasantly surprised when we arrived. On Fridays, for $10, you get the BIGGEST steak, mashed potatoes, and corn for dinner. This place is happening and filled with nice people and karaoke music. The Fillin’ Station also has a great outdoor patio that overlooks the waterfront. You could never find a place like this in Chicago!

Special thanks to the amazing couple, Kati and David that brought me there.  Kati and David are a blast and great people! Hope to hang out again soon!  (FYI… Kati, we still need to plan a trip for you and Deb to come to Chicago this summer).
I hope you enjoyed my post and list of places! Of course there are so many more that I would love to include but thought I would list my top 5 from this past week.  Special thank you to Nikki for letting me change things up and post on her blog! Also, a special shout out to my good friend Swathi that always reads Nikki’s blog posts! Thank you for always being so supportive!  

Xo, Karen   


6 Months: Lessons Learned

 *17 pounds, constantly drooling, spitting, and blowing his lips, not liking food, can roll anywhere but would always rather be upright, laughs really hard when you pretend to walk away but turn around quickly to come back, momma's boy*

Jack turned 6 month on February 08th, here are the lessons we've learned:

  • Sneaking sweet potato puree in Jack's mouth while he's crying (because he doesn't want it) isn't a good idea...he has learned how to push things out of his mouth with his tongue.
  • Watching Jack laugh in the swing at the park was such a bittersweet moment...he's getting so big! He's getting so big.
  • Do not put anything in arm's reach of Jack that you would not want either on the floor or in his mouth. Including the cat's tail.
  • Realizing that I can clean while Jack is awake by putting him in the Moby or Ergo (he does not like to be left alone....ever) has been such a lifesaver. I was starting to worry that Ben might evict me.

What did I blog about before I had Jack?? And multiple posts in a week!? Was that life even real?


5 Months: Lessons Learned

*15 pounds/loves to scream and experiment with noises he can make/loves taking steps/rolling over both ways/putting everything in his mouth/finally on a flexible 3 naps a day 'schedule'*

This is very late. Jack turned 5 months on January 08th, so here are just a couple of lessons learned:
  • 3 semi-decent naps a day are so much better for my health than random 30 minute catnaps throughout the day.
  • Traveling with a baby might be one of the more difficult things I've ever done-from trying to remember all of the random baby things I thought were absolutely necessary as we bounced from house to house (Jack's things took up more room in the suitcase than mine did), to almost losing my wedding rings, to saying goodbyes-I'm just glad we made it back without forgetting Jack.
  • Crazy things happen when babies are no longer operating on their normal routine. Idon'tevenwanttotalkaboutit.
  • I swear when Jack cries he says "maaaaw". I swear he does.
  • Hearing my grandmother sing "You are my Sunshine" to Jack was definitely the highlight of our trip to Chicago. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. Stay tuned for a video...