“She has fire in her soul and grace in her heart”

img_4887Ya’ll, we are so excited for this opportunity to bring you this little something that we’ve been working on. Not only are we hoping to fuel our creative fires through sharing our musings with everyone, we also hope to grow our relationship as sisters. Growing up five years apart, we definitely didn’t always get along- ok, we rarely got along. But now, as adults, we are starting to see just how alike we are and how important we are to each other. Sometimes, sisterhood isn’t easy. Sometimes it takes work. Sometimes that bond that sisters have doesn’t come naturally and has to be nurtured and allowed to grow and change. We are lucky to have a chance to foster that growth and have each other.

So, here are the facts:

-We are from the Commonwealth of VA (2UP2DOWN), most specifically we grew up in Virginia Beach.

-We are both wives and mommas.

-We are polar opposites. Seriously. Melissa is blonde, Ashley is brunette. Melissa is bold and brave, Ashley is quiet and hesitant. We are both sensitive and feel everything to our core. We are both sarcastic (a product of a beach upbringing) and sometimes use that as a shell. We’re both incredibly girly and, well, we’re both smokin’ hot 😉

To introduce ourselves a little further, we decided to interview each other.

Meet Melissa

With your husband being in the military you’ve lived as far south as North Carolina and as far north as almost Canada! If you could settle down in your forever spot, where would you go and why?

My forever spot would have to be Virginia Beach because to me, that’s home. Michael, my husband, recently received military orders to move to Washington state so maybe I’ll change my mind after experiencing that change of scenery. However, I want my children to grow up where I grew up and to live so close to the Atlantic!

You are the momma to my two beautiful nieces. Tell us about them!

My daughters are polar opposites. Madison, my six year old, is more of a jeans and t-shirt with a baseball cap kind of girl. She loves the outdoors and soccer but she also loves gymnastics and starbucks. She won’t wear dresses or skirts, nail polish, or her hair in a braid. Savanna, my four year old, is the funniest little spitfire! She lives in dresses and skirts, nail polish, and her hair in a braid. She is obsessed with makeup and princesses. She is also in gymnastics and is very much interested in ballet after taking the summer course. 

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What is it like being a military wife? What is the best part? What is the biggest struggle?

Being a military wife has it’s ups and downs. Michael is gone for days, weeks, or months at a time. I’m so proud of him for enlisting and creating a safety net for our family. The best part so far, is meeting my best friends! I have so many fantastic friendships here that when it comes time to move, Michael will have to drag me away. Not only that, but Savanna was four months old when we moved here and this is all she knows. So to her, this is home. The biggest struggle is parenting alone when he is gone. My girls hate getting along (because that’s so hard) and it makes it rough when I try to balance everyday activities with screaming children. 

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What is your favorite tv show?

My favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy. HOWEVER, I watch a million shows a week such as Scandal, Devious Maids, the Blacklist, Blindspot, the Bachelor, Empire, Nashville, Narcos, House of Cards, and Scream Queens. Let’s not get started on shows that went off the air…

What are three things, other than friends, family and your basic needs, that you can’t live without?

Starbucks, my camera, and lipstick! 

You don’t have much free time as a busy mom, but when you do get it, what do you like to do?

My free time consists of showering with the door shut, binge-watching shows, and drinking watermelon margaritas. 

Describe your personal style.

I’m OBSESSED with clothes. I love a good flannel with skinny jeans and tall brown boots. I also love piko dresses with curly hair and wedges. I have an adoration for blanket scarves, long necklaces, and beanies. Lip color makes me happy and so does a beautiful shade of blush. I’m an Ulta junkie, and if Sephora was close, I’d be there too. I love online boutique shopping for clothes, also!

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What do you love most about me, your big sister?

What do I love about you? What’s not to love? 😀 I admire your ability to easily be a minimalist. I also adore watching you as a mother. Wyatt is a lucky little guy who doesn’t even know that his mom rocks at life. You make everything seem so easy and fun! 

 

Meet Ashley

You recently just gave birth to my precious nephew, what’s been the biggest challenge as a new mother?

There are many challenges for a new mom, but I think I’m most struggling with body image. I get that I just gave birth four months ago. I get that my body just did something fierce. I get that it took a lot longer than 4 months to gain the weight, but it’s hard to feel comfortable in your own body when this body doesn’t quite feel like yours. I didn’t have a perfectly flat stomach before being pregnant. I definitely had cellulite and parts of my body that I struggled to love, but on a day to day basis I felt comfortable with who I was. I’ll get there, I know I will, but trying to get your body back when you’re at the mercy of a baby and their schedule is a struggle. 

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We are five years apart, I got on your nerves a LOT, what is your favorite memory of us?

Not only are we five years apart, but we also have two brothers who were, well, boys, so four siblings getting along was a rare occurrence. There were few moments when there was quiet, few moments when there wasn’t bickering. Honestly, my favorite moments have been since we are adults. I have cherished our babies being born, our slowly opening up to each other with our thoughts and emotions and challenges. 

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When I was younger, I used to steal your Dashboard Confessional and Christina Aguilera CDs, who is your go-to band to listen to now?

Well hey thief! As you can see from those two musicians above, I don’t have one particular type of music that I enjoy- I really like everything! My Spotify account is a little spastic, but I have a special place in my heart for 90’s soft rock/pop. Third Eye Blind coming on the radio is the biggest win in my book. 

Roanoke, VA! How have you enjoyed it so far? Besides your friends, what is one thing you miss about RVA?

 

We moved to Roanoke 4th of July weekend and so far it has been great! We both lived in Richmond, VA for over 10 years- it’s where our friends are, where we got married, where we had our son, so leaving was not an easy choice. But my husband, Charlie, was given an incredible opportunity at a law firm that treated him like a professional and understood that while work was important, so was family. We wanted that balance and for that reason, we chose Roanoke. Turns out, it’s so similar to Richmond, just smaller. The restaurant scene is growing, breweries are popping up everywhere (they still need to work on their winery game), and the people are just. so. nice. We don’t miss the traffic, the inability to ever find parking, or the 45 minute drive to downtown if you wanted a house that didn’t cost you half a million dollars. We terribly miss the people. I am so lucky to be able to stay home with Wyatt and work part time for my best friends company, Misty Saves the Day, as a virtual assistant/blogger. 14433001_10103478016309486_6046435538959493300_n

What is your personal style?

I’m not very good at following trends. I’m always amazed at how cute you look in pretty much anything you wear. I’m more of a Ralph Lauren meets Kate Spade meets J. Crew but prefer the prices of Target girl. I love classic looks, with a pop of color in accessories. I wear a LOT of navy blue.  I love long necklaces and anything gold. Wedges are my best friend because I just can not do heels. I am pretty modest and don’t show a ton of skin and I am a sucker for a structured dress with pockets and can’t live without sunglasses.

What/who has made the most impact on your life? Why?

Wow, this one is hard! I am lucky to have so many incredible people in my life. I would say our grandmother is a strong influence on who I am and who I want to be. She was a tall, loud, bubbly woman with a strong personality and a passion for helping others. She taught us so much like how food coloring can be added to pretty much anything to make it edible and she used to collect these glass figurines that she kept in the living room. I used to sneak into the room all the time and just admire them, casually touching the cold glass to see what they felt like. To me, they were this incredibly simple but glamorous fixture in her home. Now, right down the hall in the family room was a giant colorful parrot hanging from the ceiling, so glamour wasn’t exactly of the utmost importance. I remember sitting on her lap, curled up as tight as I could be, while she sat in her recliner watching “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy”. She was the best.

Tell me about your son, Wyatt!

Well, we haven’t had much time to really know Wyatt and his personality but every day he shows us more and more. He loves to blow bubbles and kick his legs like he’s running somewhere. He makes the funniest faces and is a genuinely happy baby, that is, as long as he is being paid attention to by his mom and dad. He may be a bit spoiled, but in my opinion, he’s supposed to be! He may be our only child and he is just a little baby! I just can’t get enough of his smile, his toes (as sweaty and stinky as they are) and his giggles.

Target or Walmart? Starbucks or Dunkin? Pants or leggings? Beer or wine?

Um EASY. Target all the way. I only go to Walmart when I absolutely have to, and even then I usually try to go to Target and make it work. 

Starbucks for the win.

Dresses. Leggings under pants. Leggings are not pants- unless you’re pregnant, and then they are the only pants necessary.

Oooh, beer or wine? Tough one- I’ll go with wine but I also love craft beer. I’m very picky about beer and not so picky about wine. I love a winery or a brewery and pretty much any place that serves alcohol. Oyster crackers are a bonus.

 

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Wine date in Paris outside the Louvre. Pure bliss.