Gossling 4th of July | 2016

4th.1

I probably only spent about 10 minutes snapping a handful of pictures this 4th of July. We had a full house/yard this year! It was a day filled with family, friends, food, and lot and lots of fireworks. We had some people hanging out to swim and eat in the afternoon, but by the time dusk rolled around – the backyard and driveway were packed…literally. Most of the neighbors and more friends had come to join in on the firework fun. I swear every 4th of July and New Years, the Gossling boys make their firework show bigger and bigger. This year definitely did not disappoint and was, by far, the biggest and longest show yet! It is also super fun to be able to just sit poolside and watch the show up over us – the boys set them off in the riding arena behind the pool. With some good all-american jams playing while the fireworks rolled on, it was definitely a wonderful way to celebrate the great U. S. of A!

Though I may be short on photos – our good friend, Paul, brought his drone and made a pretty sweet short film of the day + some of the fireworks! He is super talented. Watch below! . . .

4th.5

4th.7

4th.6

Little Hudson and Charlotte both turn one in a couple of weeks. Exactly one year younger than Jude. No doubt, these cousins will grow up being great friends.

4th.3

4th.13

4th.21

My sister, Dacy, and her family were able to come down from Virginia and join us. Unfortunately, another sister of mine had to head out back home to Orlando that morning with her kids. But it was fun having a full house most of the weekend with them there.

4th.20

4th.15

4th.16

Jude is our little pool lover. He is constantly jumping and splashing. If we don’t keep our eye on him, he would be going for the plunge alone.

But with so much going on, he doesn’t like posing for pictures for me anymore :/

4th.8

4th.14

4th.19

4th.11

4th.12

4th.23

4th.22

4th.18

One of James’ best buddies growing up, Stephen, him and his wife, Teresa, had their first little girl a few months ago. Lila is SO precious!

4th.10

4th.9

^^ Lighting off fountains, sparklers, and some smaller fireworks for the kids before the big show. ^^

Sorry, I didn’t take any actual firework pictures this year. Jude is at an age that needs constant attention, so photo time does happen as often. Again, for the better firework coverage, watch Paul’s awesome video up above in the post.

And a couple phone shots:

IMG_2927

IMG_2928

IMG_2918

(sideways, but I am too lazy to go flip it. love little kid crack!)

And a throwback to last year’s 4th party, which I never did blog…Jude was turning one and still had zero teeth! It was such a cute stage…

4th of July

And if you would like another throwback, see our Gossling Family 4th of July 2014 blog post.

.

.

Before my sister left town, she suggested we recreate a photo from 2014 when they were here to visit. Jude was just a month or so old. This time he did not sit still as well. . .

 2014

ayres.jude

2016

ayres.jude.2016

Happy Summer!

xoxo

Whit

Continue Reading

Gossling Family 4th of July

I love the 4th of July! As far as holidays go, it is ranked up at the top right after Christmas in my book. Why? Well, Happy Birthday, America! Duh! I am blessed to live in such a country that has so many freedoms and opportunities. I am grateful to those who came before me, who suffered and fought to make my current lifestyle possible. Our Constitution is indeed inspired and…We the People should be proud to be Americans! I know I am.

On the 4th there is no gift giving or exchanging. Awesome! There is summer weather, parades, festive gatherings, pie, watermelon, meat fresh off the grill, pool parties, picnics, friends, family, fun, and FIREWORKS! What is not to love? Especially when everything is decked out in red, white, & blue?!

This year, the fourth crept up on us because life happens & it has been one busy summer. We were terribly blessed though to spend the day with the entire Gossling family together. Weather was perfect – seriously, the Georgia humidity did not take over! – food was delicious, James and Uncle Adam drove up to the Carolinas for fireworks the day before, and the day’s company was more than ideal. …Our biggest blessing was that little Grant, Michael & June finally made it home from the hospital the night before (after Grant’s first round of chemotherapy). Getting to see them outside of the hospital and all together as a family made for a perfect Fourth.

James and I started the day by waking up in time to catch the “neighborhood” Tractor Parade. We’d never seen it before and weren’t quite sure what to expect, so we met over on the road in front of Michael’s property at 8:30am. I had been playing Neil Diamond’s “America” on repeat all morning up until this point – which James LOVED. Haha! This is my 4th of July jam!

Gossling Farms

 

4th of July

Anyway… Michael, little James, and Grant joined us out front waiting on the parade. We saw it pass up the street on the corner, but not turn our way. Turns out that we wouldn’t see the parade pass for about another 45 minutes and that we were the LAST house on the route. By the time it made it our way – there were only 2 vehicles left in the parade! We will be better prepared for next year. At least the boys enjoyed burning sparklers while waiting & the girls showed up in their pj’s in time to collect the candy thrown during the 15 second drive-by parade.

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Philip and Shellie’s house for the family get-together. The evening was laid back and very enjoyable.

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

^boy cousins.^

4th of July

4th of July

^James, me, & our 36 week baby belly!^

4th of July

4th of July

^Uncle Michael lifting up Sam to catch the parachute poppers^

Seeing how much Grant’s physical appearance had changed after only “two weeks” of having cancer in his life was eye opening. His little body was so frail and his face had thinned out so much. Chemo is no joke. We were happy to see some smiles throughout the evening though – especially during the fireworks.

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

The kids had a blast with the sparklers, fountains, smoke bombs, & other goodies!

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July

^He always has ideas up his sleeve & sure enough, Grandpa Goose got his minions to dance around the strobe fireworks with him^

4th of July

4th of July

It was a Happy 4th of July.

Let freedom ring! And Happy Birthday, ‘Merica!

xoxo

Continue Reading

Cute Ideas for Valentine’s Day!

I love the holidays!

Mostly because it’s an excuse to put up festive decorations and get crafty…which both make me happy. Here are some ideas I’ve come across…

Paper-Hearts.V.words_how to make paper hearts

.

cookie-pops-400x600

chocolate chip cookie pops

.KidsMakingHeartGarland-578x1098

heart garland for kids

.partyvalentines_pixiestix_main_banner

valentine jar and other decor

.

pinterest-433x650

Reese’s heart cookies

.

PS Valentine Pops 024

valentine cake pops

.

tumblr_lwaedt1Jwg1r8p2m3o1_400 valentine-fonts-fixed-325x650

free valentine fonts!

.

valentines-popcorn-5

valentine popcorn

.

88453580151140089_NvRM0JKs_c

love, whit

Continue Reading

Christmas with the Gossling’s

This was James and my first Christmas together as newly weds! We were both thrilled to be able to go home to Georgia for it.

We spent the first few days at home with my parents, but then they headed west to spend the holidays in Arizona…so James and I had a 100% Gossling Christmas this year. (Which is fine by me…I know how some “Christmas with the in-laws” stories can go – ha!)

I was not the best at documenting our trip…but I do have a few moments to share…

let’s start with the Carrie Underwood concert! it was fun with family and friends…

carrie underwood IMG_2379

James and I spent a couple days at Gossling Farms – Sarah, Sydney, and little nephew James (not pictured…also not to be confused with “big james”, my hubby) helped me make treats for the family Christmas party! we had tons of fun that day watching the kids:

c14 c15 c16c

after which, us “big kids” enjoyed four-wheeling and skeet shooting!

IMG_2397IMG_2404IMG_2407

after Papa Jim showed me the way, I shot five birdies in a row with the 12 gauge!…super proud…

IMG_20121222_165433 IMG_20121222_165500

We had the Gossling Christmas party on Christmas Eve Eve. A delicious dinner of honey baked ham + the works…and some tamales & toppings. Followed by the debut of the Grandma Goose Puppet Theater…a hit with the kids and a hopeful yearly tradition. I caught the whole the on video (the first minute as a separate clip – but the rest is below for your viewing pleasure….probably only family would be interested – but super cute! way to go Carrie and Adam!) (my personal favorite happens close after 7:30 minutes)

.

After the show, even the big boys had some fun. Meet the Gossling brothers:

c12c13c11

Then the kids ran around, sang some songs, opened presents, and ran around some more. getting a decent picture was close to impossible…but entertaining!…

c10c9c8.

c7c6c5

.

We ended the evening with the adult white elephant gift swap and some all-inclusive Christmas caroling (which often turned into the heavy metal version thanks to Adam and James):

IMG_2412

then everyone went home and we were post-party pooped…

IMG_2416

James and I purchased an Atlanta City Pass for our trip…so over the course of our two weeks home, we enjoyed the Georgia Aquarium/Dolphin Show, World of Coca-cola, Zoo Atlanta, and CNN Headquarters (unfortunately there was just not time for the High Museum of Art or the Fernbank Museum IMAX)

c4c3(there was a good picture of Pete, Lisa, and Troy…but I found this one funnier! this trip has reinforced that not having kids makes pictures much easier)

c2

before leaving the east coast…we did make a trip up to Virginia to visit my sister, Dacy, and her family. I forgot to take pictures though, so all i have are a couple from my phone…most of which were taken by 4 year old Zia. (it was freezing, but we visited the James river anyway…seemed namely appropriate)

IMG_2481 IMG_2489

New Years was spent in GA. We bought a few bags full of explosives on our way home from Virginia, so after a night of food and blasting Rock Band with friends, we made some neighbors upset with our fireworks and then made our tummies upset with Waffle House at 2:20 am. It was a great way to ring in 2013!

For the record, I would count my first Gossling Christmas as a success! – any awkward or uncomfortable moments will remain un-blogged….ha!…just kidding : )

love, whit

Continue Reading

i love the holidays…

.

1. it SNOWED! … a beautiful snow. and i feel so lucky that Lora Grady Photography invited me to go play in it with her! she is wonderful…

you can go to her link above to see the rest. she is AH MAY ZIING!

2. SCHOOL’S OUT…..for Thanksgiving! my break started this last Thursday…until next Tuesday! yes YES  Y E SSSS!

3. Saw Breaking Dawn … love me some dogs and vamps on the big screen!

4. SKYFALL …. love me some double OH seven even more!

5. we have a house guest!!! can’t think of anyone else i’d rather host for than Dave Cashman. what is not to love?? fun times this week! James has been all smiles having his man bestie here.

5. City Creek is the classiest mall. makes downtown holiday browsing much more festive with all the lights and window shopping! but really… classy.

6. VEGAS in a DAY! – road trip with only the best of company…Lora and Dan Grady! we will do Las Vegas in style. i will paint my nails in sparkles for the occasion!

7. after Vegas come CALI! …my first california visit. ever! to LA…visiting some Gossling fam for the big turkey day. and i do believe there will be skeet shooting.

8. did i mention we’re stopping in VEGAS again on our way back?!

9. Christmas is already up in our cozy abode! just love Christmastime!

10. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAND…..

a  S N E A K  P E E K of our wedding weekend is up via BP.FILM!!!…

Sneak Peek: Whitney + James from bc.film on Vimeo.

this gets us so excited to see the whole thing when she’s done!

we love us some bethany petersen!!!

yes, LOVE

11. i need to go to bed now… more ‘tivities coming in the ‘morrow…

love, whit

Continue Reading

Halloween Costume Fun!

even though we pulled them together last minute for a party,

we really loved our costumes this year!

as Tinkerbell…i pulled mine together from DI for $11! gotta love that.

…james went as “Randy”…Randy is a man he found on the internet that thinks he’s Peter Pan. It’s an office-wide joke that he pulled off wonderfully! it was a hit.

…too bad his dancing ended up ripping his tights right in the crotch already!

Chelsea threw a great Halloween Costume Party….

…more people came as the night went on.

we had a doughnut eating contest….

…without hands it’s much harder than it seems!

and some bobbing for apples…

.

i just love halloween and october festivities!

love, whit

Continue Reading

it’s fall! – – – 20 pumpkin ideas…

i love fall!

i love pumpkin!

a few internet findings i’m thinking about for my “to-do” lists…

PUMPKIN DONUT HOLES!

.

MINI POTS OF PUMPKIN CREAM PIE!!! – love this idea

.

CINNAMON ROLL PUMPKIN SHEET CAKE!

.

PUMPKIN POOP! hahaha

easy PUMPKIN PRETZELS!

.

PUMPKIN MONKEY BREAD!

.

PUMPKIN FROSTING and CUPCAKE

.

love these vampire pumpkins…. made them last year off of Martha Stewart

.

cute carved flowers for fall

.

…i wish i could take the time to do this.

.

12 THINGS TO DO WITH PUMPKIN SEEDS

CHEVRON! – so in right now..ha

and cutsie DIY PUMPKIN GARLANDS:

(how to link)

.

PUMPKIN SMOOTHIE

and

PUMPKIN NOG

.

and OF COURSE the PUMPKIN + CHOCOLATE CHIP combo!!!….

BREAD

BARS

and

COOKIES.

here’s to pumpkin everything!!!

love, whit

Continue Reading

my life in shminstagram

visual update of what i’ve been up to this summer…

okGO!

…italian sodas with elissa…

and play dates with elissa and nate in SLC…

…my sunflowers grew MIGHTY BIG this summer!!!

and i got some flowers from my lovah…

FIVE SPOT frozen yogurt. YESSSS!

…james and me sitting on a big bail of hay. no big d.

and he snags pics of me as i sleep in the car…

we upgraded in life!…

meal for $3!

dates with chels and bryce…

…ok now you are sick of us.

i fell in love with Mountain West Burrito…

…and love when Costco has SALES on pizza!…$6!…

4th of July FUN with the Beach Boys…

study time with james…

the ugly ashy clouds out my window for days when we had all the big forest fires…

.

he likes anchovies on his salads apparently…

…fancy dinners at italian cafes…

..

a lovely saturday with my ladies in Salt Lake City – Temple Square…

atop the conference center with chels and carolyn

ok…

i stay busy, see?

happy summer!

love, whit

Continue Reading

turning a quarter-of-a-century

for some, 25 may not seem old at all. in fact, i know many people dream of being that young again.

for me, it seems like just last month i was dreaming of turning 21 and how old i thought that was. then suddenly, i’m blowing out candles on a homemade pink lemonade cupcake and thinking… “twenty-five. where did the last four years go??”

my actual birthday weekend (the BiG day being may 20th) was far better than i could have imagined. i won’t lie – i was not thrilled for the date to roll around and had little intentions of making any plans. in my head, it’s just a reminder of how old i am and where i find myself in life. i never pictured it like this, for had you asked me at age 20, “where do you see yourself in five years?”, i had a different vision in mind.

though, for being a few weeks new in town, new faces and a few familiar ones made it a special day. especially chelsea – my blog bestie and now roommate. (check out her adorable cupcakes and set-up. homemade frosting too!)

however, what made my birthday not so dreary, was a surprise that came about a few days before….

i’m cooking some dinner for me and chels on thursday night, when the doorbell rings. standing there is my boyfriend’s best friend and fiance with beautiful flowers in a vase. a huge smile comes over my face as i’m thinking, “these must be from james!” (also given that they had their iphone out recording my reaction). as i’m gawking over my lovely arrangement, stephen remembers he forgot the stuffed animal in the car and left to retrieve it.

still gawking over my flowers, i hear them call me, “Whitney, come look!”…

completely and utterly shocked, i peek around the corner to see stephen carrying my stuffed animal…

…james flew all the way from Atlanta to surprise me for my birthday!

i had no idea. at all.

best. birthday surprise. OF   ALL   T I M E!

having him here to spend my weekend with was more than i could have ever wished for.

i have to say, i feel like the luckiest girl because james is practically perfect in every way.

happy birthday, to ME!

.

.

.

though, my birthday is over, and now i’m back to dwelling on my “quarter-of-a-century”. thinking about where i’ve been in my past and where i want to go in my future.

yesterday, i had an overwhelming epiphany regarding my divine potential and the person i could BE. my mind went crazy with goals and resolves of the kind of life i wanted and the things i wanted to spend my days doing. so much to do. so much to learn. so much to improve.

today, i feel an overwhelming wave of disappointment and self loathing because of the person i AM and my lack, or more – failure to ever reach my full potential. walking to church by myself this morning bundled up in freezing wind and hail when it’s only days until june (so messed up) really set the mood for a day that can’t seem to keep the tears from flowing.

it’s days like these when i’m glad to be in a place where nobody knows or notices me, but at the same time wishing i had familiar faces around.

i know come tomorrow, i’ll probably be feeling as good as new…but today, i hate twenty-five.

.

.

.

last night i put together this super fab arrangement of freshly cut roses from my friend’s bushes…

…and this morning i woke up to find the big ones completely dead/wilted and about half the others pathetically drooping. how appropriate.

i hope the sun comes out tomorrow.

love, whit

Continue Reading

valentine’s day ideas

so, it’s PRACTICALLY february!

if you haven’t thought about Valentine’s Day…you should! i’m not sure why, but i enjoy this holiday very much. i don’t think i’ve ever had a romantic valentine’s day spent with a significant other…so i can’t say that’s why i like the day so much. however, i’m not one that scorns the 14th and dubs it “single awareness day”….come on people, that’s ridiculous!

i like it because it’s simple and full of LOVE…and a perfect excuse to give little thoughts and tokens of love to the people in your life. growing up, valentine’s day wasn’t a HUGE deal in my house, yet i looked forward to waking up and seeing splashes of pink and red on the kitchen table where my mom had set out little treats for each of us – usually candy and some valentine socks and a special note. since we’re all girls in my house, maybe a little bottle of pink or red nail polish or a lip gloss added. it was nothing flashy, but it was special. one year, my dad even gave me fresh flowers …(i’ll never forget it, because to this day, it’s the only time he’s done that…he just doesn’t do gifts – ever)

and i always looked forward to the valentine cookies!!! my mom only made them once a year…soft, cut into big hearts, and decorated beautifully with homemade pink frosting that melted in your mouth. oh i LOVEloveLOVED them.

do you remember making a “valentine box” every year for school?!! i DO! decorating my box and putting together a valentine with candy for each kid in my class was my favorite. then coming home at the end of the day with my box full of valentines from all my classmates waiting to be opened – it was the best. at least, to me.

so, today, i still love the holiday. i still love making homemade valentines to give. family…and many to send to my friends – hand crafted with silly poems i write on the inside. ha! it’s fun. and who doesn’t love mail?! valentine’s day is for any and all…not just romantic lovers. love has so many sides to it.

in my thoughts of spreading love this year, i already started getting ideas together. little things to be given to share the love:

i experimented with sugar cookies and raspberry jam…i think they turned out quite cute, no?! ( a little white chocolate drizzle for looks…aesthetics are important! )

my homemade peanut butter cups! very easy. way better than store bought…and i love that i can control the pb/choc ratio. (i’m not a BIG pb person)

so why not take your fav store bought candy and spruce ’em up a bit?! i think it makes them extra special, and i can combine them with my other homemade treats in these little boxes (super cheap @ Hobby Lobby – just add some ribbon or something) ….

just some other simple little goodies for giving away that can be personalized….

i’m kind of obsessed with these little jars of my FAVVVY candy: dark chocolate covered almonds (dove)…mmmm….but look how cute! i would be so happy if i got this, so why wouldn’t anyone else?!?

yes, i am definitely in the spirit of the season…now it’s time for card making and more treats to prepare!

….maybe i’m just ridiculous. but it’s fun!

love, whit

Continue Reading