everyday inspiration

Posts tagged “family

Vacation Picturebook: Reno + Las Vegas

R E N O 

We had the best start to our vacation visiting Kyle’s grandparents in Reno! They took us to Virginia City (old western town), we explored downtown Reno, and we had lots of late night wine in grandma’s gorgeous garden.

Then we took an amazing day trip to Lake Tahoe – one of my favorite places of ever!

L A S   V E G A S 

Night 1: We love the Cosmopolitan + Absinthe!! If you haven’t seen the show, we highly recommend, but warning it is VERY raunchy.

Pool days are the best days!

Night 2: We still love the Cosmopolitan and didn’t leave – found amazing live music + food at Rose. Rabbit.Lie, the coolest speakeasy behind a barbershop + late night milk bar cake (and secret pizza, obviously).

Another pool day and the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had in my life … also won $$ on my first ever sports bet. Yay Toronto!

Aaand then it was time for brother-sister Leo tattoos!

Fun last night at Container Park + Fremont Street

We had the best vacation spending time with family, and can’t wait to go back! ❤

xo xo

life lately [christmas week edition]

[great christmas party at samantha’s to kick off the week of festivities!]

[non-christmas event – celebrating Mom’s birthday with drinks at 21c]

[celebrated with this fun crew + made (double batch!) boeuf bourguignon – it was a hit!]

[potentially a new christmas eve tradition with husband – make your own pizza night, including english muffin pizzas husband loved making when he was a kid]

[zero christmas morning pictures (which included chicken + waffle brunch!), but post-brunch and presents included relaxing and nap time]

[finished the day with a wonderful dinner at the in-laws!]

Not pictured: a quick trip to Little Rock to see more family, including my 98 year old grandmother – we’re so thankful for all of our amazing family and such a wonderful Christmas.
Now to see what 2019 has in store! ❤

xo xo

life lately

[enjoying this || much needed girls night]

[feeling proud about this || hit my 100 peloton rides!
next goal: 150 for my live ride in NYC in Dec.]

[loving this || lots of cozy reading by the fire with poodle snuggles]

[laughing at this || gridiron show with the family
also, eating this amazing smokey and the (gouda) bandit pizza before starting my no-cheese 30 day challenge]

[watching this || adorable show at the Walton Arts Center with the best people]

[dressing up for this || H A L L O W E E N  P A R T Y !
post malone + the Gump family]

xo xo

Aldermans Go Global: Mexico Family Vacation

[champagne toast – WE’RE FINALLY HEREEE!]

[first night mexican fiesta]

A  D A Y  I N  T H E  L I F E …. 

[step 1: coffee on the balcony]

[step 2: drinks by the pool/in the pool (yes, this was still before noon)]

[step 3: hammock relaxation time]

R E P E A T .

[fun afternoon on the beach + a beautiful butterfly release ceremony husband and I were a part of]

[catamaran ride to isla mujeres – so much fun!]

[loving the coconut water … and this adorable mother/daughter pic!]

[hibachi, sushi + silent dance party!! tori and I were the only ones willing to make a fool of ourselves dancing to our own beat – I would highly recommend this if you ever get the chance!]

[S P A   D A Y … ahhhhh]

[family pictures on the beach, kardashian style]

[final night dinner – don’t make us leave!]

[so thankful for marrying into such an amazing family
definitely a family vacation to remember!]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Aldermans Go Global: St. Lucia

2017: my year in pictures

J A N U A R Y 
birthday celebrations in Vegas

F E B R U A R Y 
the best tour guides + the best pizza in Chicago

M A R C H 
feeling fancy at NWA fashion week + the first of many trips to minneapolis

A P R I L 
the month of amazing concerts – radiohead + blink 182

M A Y 
always one of my favorite months of the year – mother’s day + weddings + anniversaries + beer festivals

BEST VACATION EVER #HotarmansItalianCahoots, Part 1 + Part 2

J U L Y 
someone turned 30 (not me) + fun family reunion in portland

 A U G U S T
a mother-daughter trip to pioneer woman’s ranch + my favorite puppy turned 5

S E P T E M B E R 
labor day weekend NYC fun + polo in the ozarks

O C T O B E R 
a work trip to virginia with some pretty sweet views + won halloween (again)

the best girls weekend in LA

D E C E M B E R 
celebrating the season’s best with my favorite people

xo xo


[a catalog – my year in pictures] 2016201520142013201220112010

Weekend Picturebook: A Little Rock Wedding

S A T U R D A Y 

[a beautiful day for margaritas, guac + tacos at The Fold]

[and for sunning with a few beers at Rebel Kettle Brewing]

[wedding time! gorgeous wedding for cousin Olivia + Sam at Trapnall Hall]

[love my handsome dates!]

[and the southern food was ridiculously on point – fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, crawfish + mashed potatoes and a mini mason jar layered with collard greens, beans + corn bread]

[the only pic with the bride + other cousin Blair at the end of the night, which reminded me of another pic 10 years earlier …]

[girls trip to NYC – can’t believe this was 10 YEARS AGO!]

S U N D A Y   B R U N C H 

Before we headed home, we had one more stop – brunch + beer.

Y’all. Lost Forty Brunch was the best brunch we have ever had in our entire lives. I can’t even begin to describe how incredible every single thing was. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, and let you do the drooling.

[our brunch “appetizer” – fried green tomatoes (yes, again) with jalapeño pimento cheese + skillet cinnamon roll. I’m not a huge cinnamon roll fan, but this was out of this world]

[my dish – biscuits + gravy, which again, were the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had. next time I will get a dozen of these biscuits and bring them home with me]

[husband’s dish – a skillet with all kinds of delicious goodness inside]

[WE LOVE YOU LOST FORTY! and yes, of course we got a growler to take home]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Weekend Picturebook: Chicago, Weekend Picturebook: Hermann, Missouri

Picturebook: Weir Wedding

B R I D A L   S H O W E R 
Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 3.01.43 PM

B A C H E L O R E T T E   P A R T Y 
Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 3.01.51 PM{amazing cookies from sweet little sugar}

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 3.01.59 PM{burlesque chair dancing}

R E H E A R S A L   D I N N E R

W E D D I N G   D A Y !

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 3.14.58 PM{mimosas + hairdos at luxe beauty fayetteville}

IMG_2030{seriously obsessed with my hair! hairdresser called it “Vera Wang in the woods” – LOVE}

IMG_2071{the guys getting ready aka drinking beer}


{love these two!}


{hilarious photo of the bride calming her pre-wedding nerves. also shoutout to marcus for an amazing snapchat filter!}


{how gorgeous is this picture?! photographer: megan hampel}

13483151_1335183519828543_6351715743551434101_o copy

{and we’re pretty cute too}

13418640_3277909819603_8280889595709216361_o copy

{my handsome date and brother of the bride}


{and this is practically the only picture I have from the after-party – on the fayetteville square at 3am. we’ll just leave it at that}

xo xo

12 Days of Christmas [Picturebook]

IMG_9401[Husband’s company Christmas party at Barn at the Springs]

IMG_9443[First of several holiday movies watched – Love Actually]

IMG_9422[Team Christmas party, with our very own Snapchat filter!]

IMG_9474 (1)
IMG_9472[Night on the Fayetteville square + dinner at Tiny Tim’s]

IMG_9498[Friend Christmas party with photobooth fun + telephone pictionary]

IMG_9540[Christmas Eve with the in-laws]

IMG_9547[Early Christmas morning || Very full hearts, indeed]

IMG_9561 (1)[Christmas Brunch at Mom’s || Have yourself a merry little cocktail]

IMG_9559 (1)IMG_9563IMG_9568[Christmas evening at the Aggus’]

IMG_9592[Sadly, our final Christmas shindig got cancelled thanks to rain/flooding/tornados the day after Christmas. Instead of a Family Christmas Cocktail Party of 20, Husband and I ate the prepared food, drank the purchased booze and had a perfect little party for ourselves.]

Other wonderful Christmas celebrations not pictured: 
Annual Community Group favorite things party at Fred’s Hickory Inn
Weekend in Little Rock visiting two amazing families

xo xo

A Valentine Wedding

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

– 1 Corinthians 13:13

Four years ago, my mom was engrossed in my wedding – where should we have the rehearsal dinner? what’s my something blue? how can we get taylor swift to come sing at the wedding?

And four years later, it’s the exact opposite. What an amazing feeling to get to watch a parent get married. I could literally feel the presence of God in the sanctuary and feel the joy radiating from my mom, excited for a new life ahead of her – falling upward.

I’ve shared in a blog previously my path to getting here [the only constant is change]. It hasn’t been easy, and honestly, it’s still not close to being complete. I’m still struggling. I’ve had a roller coaster of emotions the past few weeks you could hardly imagine, with sleepless nights and tearful days.

But let me tell you, He blesses the faithful. He may take away, but He also certainly gives, and what He has given me has been so valuable already – an amazing, loving, beautiful bonus family of sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and more.

I will never forget my dad and the love he and my mom shared, but I also will not let myself grieve instead of opening up to love. “But the greatest of these is love.”

Enjoy some pictures below from our Valentine Wedding weekend.

S A T U R D A Y  N I G H T
“Rehearsal” Dinner
Hosts: Spencer + Kristin, Bret + Erika

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.16.42 PM

[beautiful mama]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.23.13 PM

[from ohio and okc – what great friends to make the trip!]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.20.25 PM

[two of the wonderful hosts: kristin + spence]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.21.21 PM

[surprise acapella group serenaded us all – they were amazing!]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.17.02 PM

[meanwhile, husband and I are in the pantry pouring whiskey shots for a surprise toast]

Wedding: United Lutheran Church, Bella Vista

Post-Wedding Brunch: Alderman Home
Hosts: Kyle + Mille

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.19.31 PM

[congrats to the beautiful bride + groom, mr. and mrs. nelson]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.30.42 PM

[didn’t get any pictures of the actual wedding, but here is mom + fred giving valentine’s candy to the kids after their song “joy, joy, joy”]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.19.46 PM

[the boys (my new nephews) – bruce, nelson, henry + jack]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.17.20 PM

[fred ❤ robin]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.19.15 PM

[champagne bar was a huge success]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.17.40 PM

[head over heels for macaroons + the newlyweds]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.17.59 PM

[my beautiful servers! they were amazing helping prep for the brunch]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.19.00 PM

[sister, sister!]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.18.46 PM

[my wedding gift: “a new road together” via etsy]

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.18.24 PM

[love my mother and so overjoyed to be part of this special day!]

And now the newlyweds are off on their honeymoon, two weeks in Hawaii by way of San Francisco – oh how jealous I am as we are having our first snow of the year!

xo xo

life lately

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.42.42 AM{eating this // food truck tacos}

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.43.29 AM{partying like this // as Tom Cruise a la Risky Business + Top Gun}

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.42.56 AM

{walking in this // Sunday afternoon corn maze and pumpkin patch}

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.44.00 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.44.10 AM

{loving this // time with both of our grandmothers}

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.46.36 AM

{feeling like this // battling sickness}

xo xo

A Tribute: Wonderful Father, Loving Husband of 40 Years, Loyal Friend aka Donny “Rooster”


“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” – John 14:1-4

My Dad passed away December 30 unexpectedly from a heart attack. This blog has been my online scrapbook of sorts from the last 4 years, so I wanted to include a tribute to him, no matter how hard to write, as he is a huge part of my life and memories and always will be.

Bear with me as I sort through some photos and memories, some of mine and some of others who have shared the last few days. I do not intend for this post to make anyone cry or be sad (myself included) as I really want to celebrate his life more than anything.

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 11.28.30 AM{Dad’s school days photo and high school football photo – look how handsome}

IMG_9160{me, Dad and Mimi, his mother, 1998}

My very first memory is with my Dad. I must have been 2 or 3 and I was visiting him for a week while he was working in Kentucky. I remember seeing snow for the first time. I remember the hotel ladies bringing me cheese pizza (my favorite). But I also remember a story that my Dad loved to tell – we had stopped at a gas station and he left me in the car. I had just gotten a new outfit that I just couldn’t wait to wear, so my dad comes back out from the gas station only to find me standing in the back of the station wagon, butt naked, trying to put my new clothes on. (I still want to put on new clothes the second I get them!)

484728_10202832839807201_410740281_n{with friends at a class reunion}

1534405_10202851243347278_1617871959_n{planting trees with “forever” friend Joe Miles for a boy scout project}

As we’ve been reminiscing the past few days with family and friends, there has been story after story about Dad that I have just soaked up. Some of them involved dancing (with his little girl, with his beautiful wife, with his friends, my friends, anyone), some of them involved his mischievous doings with the Walnut Street Gang in elementary school and some of them from the college years are not fit to print here (he was a true 70s hippie, what more can I say?)

1385346_679874062037471_643151559_n{family/friend tailgate weekend, Nov. 2013}

One of my other favorite memories is the story of how he and my Mom met. I’d heard the first half of the story multiple times, but only heard the second half this weekend from one of their college friends. They both went to ASU in Jonesboro. Dad and a friend would sit in their dorm with their binoculars scoping out the hot girls on the lawn. One day he spotted Mom and said to his friend, “I have to meet that girl.” Later, Dad was in the lunchroom with another friend/an ex-girlfriend and he saw Mom again, to which he said, “That’s the girl!” The ex said, “Oh, that’s Robin. Do you want me to introduce you?” “Oh no, no, don’t do that.” The ex went up to my Mom and asked if she wanted to eat lunch with her and her friend, pointing to Dad. To which my Mom replied, “The guy with the binoculars?!” Obviously she went out with the guy with the binoculars anyway, and the rest was history.


{Appleton family photo, 2006}

IMG_8118{father-daughter dance, 2011}

Some things about my Dad that I hope never to forget: his love of people; his habit of drinking coffee in the morning with mom while she read the paper and he did the crossword puzzle; his new addiction to candy crush thanks to me and mom; his willingness to give me money all the time, even if it was his last $20, he just wanted to make sure I was taken care of; his habit of watching Jeopardy at 4pm and yelling out the answers; his stories of growing up in Newport and keeping up with his classmates; our game of “Name that Tune” on car rides, as he tried to educate me on classic rock; his insistence on trying to teach me to fish even though I just couldn’t stand it;  his friendliness to all – he had no prejudice to ethnicity, religion, class; his laugh and his positive outlook – not holding grudges and just moving on; his love of good southern food (mashed potatoes, grits, bbq) and his sweet tooth (that I inherited); his willingness to travel just about anywhere with his girls, though his suggestion was always the same – Destin or the Keys; his compliments that he was unafraid to give; his nicknames for me, including LD (little darlin’) and Mille Moo from Tuscaloo.

IMG_6056{Park City, Utah, 2012}

1497785_10151787446762251_172014117_n{Orlando, FL, 2010}

Now a tribute from Kyle, his favorite son-in-law:

I wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone for all the love and support you have given us. Robin, Mille, and I surely have the most amazing family, friends, and coworkers, and as Donny would say: “y’all are good people”.

You form a special bond with a man, when he gives you his blessing to marry his only daughter, and that bond only strengthened over time as we rode along together through all the awesome (and some times crazy) trips that Mille and Robin planned. From the Islands of Adventure in Florida, to honky-tonk hopping in Nashville, every year just seemed to get more awesome, and gave me so many wonderful memories.

Donny, I am so grateful that you (and of course Robin too!) said yes to me when I asked for your daughter’s hand, and that you so easily accepted me as part of your family. You are so very missed, and I want you to know that I will do everything I can to take care of your two beautiful girls.

What an amazing and sweet husband I have. I’ve always known how great he is, but he has been such a blessing the last week. I don’t know what I would have done without him – from driving us 13 hours from Ohio then 5 hours to Newport to always being by my side and giving me a hug or a kiss on the forehead exactly when I need it. I also want to give a shoutout to everyone else who has been so supportive during this time – family, friends, co-workers. We have just been overwhelmed by the love and support and prayers, and please, keep the prayers coming. There will still be a lot more hurt and pain. This is not an easy journey, but we’re thankful to have all of you by our side. I leave you with a poem that was read at Dad’s service, that is absolutely perfect.


You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

xo xo
Love, LD

life lately {holiday edition}


{celebrating mom’s birthday on the Fayetteville square 3 days before Christmas}


{Christmas with the fam}


{snuck in some relaxation}


{confirmed birthday plans, now only 22 days away …}


{kisses for 2013, NYE at Petit Bistro}

xo xo