The Todd Nest : Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch

Sneak into our garden and check out the Easter Egg Hunt we had with our neighbors this year...

As most of you know, we inherited an amazing backyard garden when we bought this house. The lady who lived her before us spent most of her days cultivating the lovely flowers that bloom year-round. We couldn't think of any better way to enjoy it than to enjoy it with others. 



Decor: We used the potting bench JD and dad made for us as the drink and dessert table. It worked superbly! We displayed chalkboards which proclaimed the glory of Christ, that He is risen! Unfinished quilting squares were used as tablecloths and we placed our snowball hydrangeas in old tins and a large vintage teapot. They bloomed just in time for the brunch. Mom and dad gave us their super sweet vintage cooler on wheels so we served ice out of that and filled with side pocket up with little glass Coca-Cola bottles (not pictured).


JD and I put together a mass of these "Jelly Bean Story" favors with the help of our next door neighbors. My friend Katy Jo told me about the poem she found online but I rendered it a bit to give it more diversity in the rhyming. :) The design matches the invitations we delivered to our neighbors. My genius husband had the idea of placing a couple of our barnwood boards on the arms of the island chair to create another table. Gosh, I love that man and his creative brain. We set a watering can and a few other vintage items on it. One of our neighbors brought us a lovely spring bouquet we set in the watering can.


All of the neighborhood kids came over, with baskets in tow. 


They started wandering the backyard garden as soon as we said "go"! 
{did you like the rhyming there...?}


Since we're planning on hosting this Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch annually, we asked the kids to return their emptied Easter eggs to a basket so that we could use for next year. (Thanks to my parents, we ended up having a total of 600 eggs!!! And thanks to our church small group, we had several hands willing to stuff tiny prizes in each one. Wahoo!)


The kids emptied their baskets and sorted through their eggs to find lots of little surprises....


And we even hid six golden eggs (a few with half dollar coins and one with a $5 bill). One of the kids found two golden eggs and sweetly gave his second one to Lilianna. She opened it only to find the one rolled up $5 bill. Cha-ching! 


This was, by far, my favorite moment of the day. I loved watching JD help little Ava open all of her eggs. While we're incredibly happy in the season we are in (married without kiddos), these moments certainly make my heart anticipate the day that we have some little Todd-lings running around. He's going to be an amazing dad one day. ;)

Ok... retreating from the sappiness, each family brought a delicious brunch item which varied from homemade cinnamon rolls to cheesy grits casserole to homemade biscuits with the fixins to sausage pinwheels to fruit to cute cupcakes. It was incredible!! 


Look at all of these beautiful faces!!


What an absolute joy it was, to see relationships being built and families gathering together all while worshiping the resurrection of Christ through joining in community!



We loved, loved, loved getting together with everyone... but having my parents with us made this celebration priceless. My mom is the master of hosting and making all things lovely. Seriously. She is the person I call before typing "how to" into Google. 

I thought she was going to help me organize everything and give me a checklist of things to be done. On the contrary, she made dad turn into an estate sale early Saturday morning instead of coming to help us. Before you start judging her and thinking that this was a terrible thing for a mom to do, please know that in hindsight, I couldn't be more grateful. I'm incredibly dependent on her and she knows it. She wanted this to be an event that JD and I put together all by ourselves, to show that we could do it without her and dad. 

It's the same way I learned to ride my bike... My dad was always there guiding me but when he knew I could peddle on my own without falling off, he stepped back. He let me ride freely, with my hair flowing in the wind (or stuffed under a fat helmet). He trusted that I learned all that he taught me and that I listened well. And you know what? Sure, I fell off a few times after that, but I always got back up. I learned from my mistakes and developed into a really great biker that only falls off her bike rarely now (instead of often. Yes, it still happens occasionally).

And so it went with the party. It made me flip out at first, but at the end of the day, I learned SO MUCH MORE!! She and dad stepped in when they were absolutely needed but stepped back at all other times. Thank you for teaching us your skills, your tricks and your creativity. Thank you for trusting that we learned those things and learned them well enough to do it all on our own. Thank you for letting us go forth on our own, but still coming to support us and celebrate with us. We are so deeply grateful for you both, mom and dad. 


The entire event was a massive collaborative effort. Thank you to everyone who helped us prepare / brainstorm, brought food, and helped clean. We couldn't have done it without you all!!


Viva Las Vegas : Red Rock Canyon


Not what you would be expecting from Las Vegas, huh?

Located about 15 miles outside of Vegas, Red Rock Canyon will overwhelm your senses. It is a glorious creation of fossilized sand dunes mixed with amber and crimson cliffs, thanks to the iron oxide built up throughout many centuries.


Isn't my mom lovely?


And this guy? He's such a stud. ;)


The stark contrast between the deeply colored rocks and the barren valley truly mesmerizes onlookers.


Chase & Jackie


Dad, Chase & me


JD & me


Happy 30th Anniversary, mom and dad!






Special Finds at The Cotton Depot

Is it in you?? The desire to find the hottest deals at the lowest prices... with the most history behind it? 


Here are the hottest things I found when antique-ing in Monroe, GA, at The Cotton Depot with my mom the week before Easter...



There is just something classic about an old rotary phone, no? This screams retro and America. Don't you love it? I had to part ways with it after snapping this photo because I have a lovely yellow one just like it (oh, but it would fit in so wonderfully with my light blue and red kitchen appliances!!). 



Old filing cabinet. 
Oh yes. I've been searching for something like this for a while. I just never expected it to be so perfect. This purchased jewel will be stored in my shabby chic office when we buy a new home. 



These pieces were created using photo frames and candlestick holders. Fantastic way to create a tiered look to those photos, word art creations or scrapbook paper accents!



This lady's booth is one of my favorites. She has such a beautiful way of organizing her products. Old suitcases such as the one above simply make my heart melt. Did I mention that my mom had a tiny tan one waiting for me (with a few inches of fabric for me to play with tucked inside) when I went to visit her and dad the week before Easter? She knows me so well. :)



{sigh} 
An old sewing machine head. This baby was only $22 but will probably never be able to work again without the sewing table and presser foot. I don't care. It's beautiful. 



One day, JD and I will buy an old typewriter to put in our home. We just have to find the perfect one. This one was close to it, but I had already maxed out the budget for my trip. How so? 

...Well, we'll show you that once we have it all settled and cozy in our home...





And finally, I couldn't resist sharing this absolutely striking photo of my mom walking her garden. 

Isn't she beautiful? 


We had the best time walking around their yard as mom pointed out each plant and the history behind it. Many of the plants have been pulled from her mother's and grandmother's yards, simply to be re-planted in my parent's yard. I look forward to the day my mom and Gingin pass down plants to us when JD and I move into our first house. 

Come back Thursday to see photos of my parent's yard and the magical little fairy garden they've created in an old rusty bathtub from my grandparent's lake house in North Georgia.