Gatlinburg Getaway

It has been too many years since we have celebrated a big holiday with family.  We live on the east coast; and they all live on the west coast!  This past Easter we decided to do something different and at the last moment booked a hotel for a lil get-away to Gatlinburg, TN!

Booking online without knowing the hotel can be risky… I read all the reviews and went to one of those bargain sites.  We were SO HAPPY with where we ended up at. Originally we were looking in Gatlinburg, but Pigeon Forge is just 10 minutes away and had more options for less cha-ching!  The hotel we opted for had an indoor pool, outdoor pool with a small lazy river, and even a tiny (I don’t think it gets used much at all) gym!  We had a gorgeous view out on our balcony, including the Smokies and a creek.  It was so peaceful and beautiful!

Starbucks in downtown Gatlinburg!  On Saturday we walked around downtown.  I grew up in sunny SoCal, but every summer we traveled to Knoxville, TN and we always stopped to see the cute and quaint town of Gatlinburg…and buy treats from Aunt Mahalia’s Candy Shop!  Now that we live in Tennessee, I find it super fun to take my family here on short trips.

This time we spent the extra money and took the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram up the mountain.  We saw all the fire damage down below.  Honestly, other than the tram, I was not impressed with all they offered up there.  It was similar to a county fair atmosphere. Complete with creeps.  Ya’ll, always be aware of your surroundings!

A few places on the strip had been burned, but most were still there.  Many homes burned in the hills that we could see, I am sure many more that we couldn’t see from the tram ride.  If you look closely, you can see a burnt home on the hill in the background.

Naturally, we ate too many things that aren’t on my diet plan. But that’s what vacations are for, right??  We had fun playing all weekend.  I think the kids’ favorite thing might have been the single car rollercoaster that went through the Smokies!

I am so glad I brought my DSLR to capture this trip instead of just my smart phone.  It was worth lugging around! :)

I would love to chat with you on Facebook ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

 

Boy Mom

I met this beautiful mama in 2009 when my hubby was first stationed here.  She has always been so cheerful and optimistic; such a sweet spirit.

She isn’t always smiling because life is always amazing; she is always smiling because she knows that God is always with her!  Her life is a testimony and anyone who knows her is blessed!

Love you, Casey!  Thank you for letting me capture you and your handsome boys!!

I would love to chat with you on Facebook ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

 

~~~

p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

family love {sneak peek}

Today I had the privilege of photographing my friend and her extended family!  And… can I just say this?  I was having some serious red hair envy!!  Thank you, Tina and family for letting me capture some special moments!

varnell35

varnell09

varnell17

varnell03

varnell04

varnell31

I would love to chat with you on FacebookTwitter  ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

 

~~~

p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

{Rudling} sneak peak

So… while I don’t pursue family portraiture photography as a full-time business, it is something I really enjoy doing!  Especially of awesome friends!  This is the second time I have photographed this sweet family.  Only this last time we added grandparents!

a-Rudling04

The Mrs is a wonderful resource teacher; which is how I met her originally.  She has been such a blessing to our family; so glad to call her friend!

a-Rudling23

a-Rudling22

The Mr has only the best.accent.ever!  This time I got to enjoy the same wonderful accent from his parents as well!  Such a sweet, sweet family!

a-Rudling10

a-Rudling30

Thank you for entrusting me to capture your moments in time!

Blessings & JOY,

Sadie

 

My Thoughts on a Friday

memorial

As Memorial Day approaches, I have seen so many posts about the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.  Most, if not all, were posted my military service members or their spouses.  Being married to a combat veteran, I better know the difference.  I am gathering from these posts that the general public might not?

ashcraft03

Most service members do not seek praise and they don’t always know how to respond when told Thank You for their service.  They are just doing their job.  Many have lost friends and battle buddies while “doing their job”.  They haven’t forgotten; nor will they ever.  I pray that as American’s we will never take the cost of freedom for granted.  I am always saddened when I hear of yet another hero paying the ultimate price; as a spouse and mother, my heart just aches for those left behind.

hurt04

So, I fully understand from where these informative posts are coming from.  It’s not that I disagree with them.  I fully agree that as American’s we really should know the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.

edler17a

In the midst of all these posts, a civilian friend posted a frustrated rant about these posts.  While I fully understand and respect the posts, she definitely had a valid point.  I think making sure we know our great country’s history would be better than bashing our civilian neighbors.

7000boots

With these recent Memorial Day “what not to say” posts, I am reminded of the many “What not to say to a military spouse” articles I have read.  Lots of them.  Not that they aren’t correct.  But I think they come across as a little harsh.  Of course the civilian world doesn’t know what to say or do; they don’t live in the military world!  It is a whole ‘nother world, that unless you have personally lived it, you have absolutely-no-freaking-idea.  That said, we should all use common courtesy when speaking.  ;) I don’t think we should widen the gap between civilian and military families.  We shouldn’t scare them from trying to talk to us!  We need each other.  In my married life I have been both, so I feel like I can sympathize with both sides.

homecoming19

Don’t get me wrong.  I was one of the dorky proud Army wives!  There is nothing like being a military family and gaining those instant sisters!

So here I am, suggesting that we show grace and patience towards our civilian neighbors.  They really do mean well!

Blessings & JOY~

Sadie

 

 

*In case you wonder what the difference is:  Memorial Day is a day we set aside to remember those men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate price (death) for our freedom.  Veteran’s Day is the day we say THANK YOU to all the vets who have served our great country!