about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Leaving Lanier.

Please don’t make me leave.

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I have not felt this relaxed in eight months.  I’ve been spoiled by hours and hours of downtime while the grandparents loved on Cullen.  I have swam, done at least a hundred underwater summersaults, and I’ve worked on my breaststroke.

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I have splashed, tickled toes, applied countless ounces of sunscreen to tiny pink cheeks, and snuggled with a slippery soggy little swimmer.

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I’ve had six uninterrupted days with Casey, and I’ve been able to watch him dunk, reassure, and gently encourage our little fish to embrace the water.

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With a few good naps under his belt and a few days to get used to it, Cullen started to get the hang of this whole lake scene.

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I feel pretty blessed to have a really flexible baby.  While I do my best to always respect his (loose) schedule and his needs, at the same time, Casey and I always hoped to continue to do the things we love – like travel, visit family, and spend a lot of time outdoors – once our little one arrived.

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Cullen was a total champ – being many miles from the comforts of home, three hours out of his normal time zone, and surrounded by many new faces and voices.  And yet he was his happy, smiling self all week long.  He slept (relatively) well at night, napped on the fly, and played so hard that he passed out like a newborn again.

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I credit most of it to him, but I think part of it is that we’ve had him out and about since a very early age.  We respect his needs for structure and downtime, but we also don’t just sit in our house.  We are really lucky he is such a laidback guy.

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It is so fun to watch him with his grandparents.  He absolutely lights up around them.  It’s bittersweet, and leaves me wishing we weren’t all so painfully far apart.  Best to just soak it all up and appreciate being together when we can!

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This vacation could not have come at a better time for us.  As Cullen has gotten more mobile and now demands more attention, I’ve felt pretty burnt out and overwhelmed these past few months.  This week allowed me to relax, recharge, and unplug.  The water makes me so happy, and sharing that with Cullen is something I’ve looked forward to for so long.

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I am so grateful for my awesome little family, and I can’t help but already look forward to many summers of family vacations to come.

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Cullen wasn’t a huge fan of just swimming and bobbing in the water, but we discovered the secret to helping him find his inner fish…

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Peekaboo from underwater.  You have never heard such precious baby giggles.

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Actually, you can.  Right here.  (Watch for the face plant at the end – oops!)

It’s our last night here, and we’re back to reality (and temps in the 60’s!) tomorrow.  But we’re headed home with so many great memories of a week spent with people we love.

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Until next summer!

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37 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Shari     at 5:59 pm

Oh goodness, his laugh is the most adorable, heart-warming, fills-you-with-fuzzies sound!

So glad you all had a lovely vacation!


Sana     at 6:05 pm

I loved the video! Cullen loves playing with you :)


Jenn     at 6:12 pm

That’s such a great video! He’s so adorable & has the best baby laugh :)


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 6:15 pm

haha I love the under water peek a boo! TOo cute!


Rachel @ Healthy Teacher     at 7:42 pm

You look freaking amazing. I can’t believe you had a baby not too long ago. Insane. And C is adorable, too. :)


Leslie     at 8:09 pm

What a sweet vacation recap. Seems like you guys have a really healthy parenting philosophy. That little guy is adorable.


Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 8:16 pm

I’m sad you are leaving because the lake and the house look so beautiful! Plus it is great to have family gatherings that are full of laughter and fun. At least those memories help us get through the rough times and then we can look forward to more.


molly     at 8:18 pm

uuuummmmm…your FIL is totally hot! and cullen is the cutest thing ever!


Krystina (Krystina Yogini)     at 8:28 pm

That video is so adorable. I love baby giggles. <3


Elisabeth     at 8:41 pm

What a sweet little guy – he always seems so happy in the photos (I’m sure that probably isn’t all the time…ha!). I love the picture of him sleeping on Casey’s chest. Oh, and you look super awesome (especially in the striped bathing suit!) – check out those arms! So glad you all got a to have a fun, relaxing vacation with family. I also think it’s wonderful that you have a pact to still enjoy most of the things you enjoyed pre-baby – you definitely shouldn’t have to give up all of things to be a parent!


michelle     at 8:53 pm

Where did you get those fabulous swimsuits?


Haley     at 10:45 pm

I love these videos of Cullen! He’s is too adorable for words and his laugh makes me laugh. Looks like a wonderful trip!


Erica     at 10:57 pm

Hi Emily, I was wondering where you get Cullen’s clothes? My son is just a few days older than your little guy and I love all of Cullen’s clothes! Where do you shop?? He’s such a cutie! It’s so fun to see the similarities in our boys! :)


Michelle@PeachyPalate     at 12:19 am

I second the comment above..you look incredible! And Cullen is one of the cutest kids ever!


Kate @ life's precious moments     at 3:25 am

I am so glad that you had an incredible time. You look fabulous! It doesn’t look like you had a baby 8 months ago! Cullen is seriously the most adorable baby ever!


Erica { EricaDHouse.com }     at 4:07 am

You really do look insanely good – not even just’you look good for having a baby ‘ … just good, period!


Emily     at 5:39 am

Cullen is SO adorable I can’t even stand it. I’m so glad y’all had a nice week away!


Sarah     at 5:45 am

Looks like a great holiday. What a lovely family of 3 you are. You are SO lucky to have a flexible baby like Cullen. We tried with our one, god we tried, but she just would not sleep out and about or on the go. So, we have just had to accept that is how she is and respect it and know it won’t last forever!


Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See     at 8:20 am

Hahha Cullen’s giggling totally made me start laughing like a baby too :)


kath     at 8:22 am

Awww this is one of my favorite posts you’ve ever done!


Lauri     at 9:38 am

Lools like the perfect trip! Cullen is adorable in the water!

Keep up with your method of a loose schedule while still making him a part of your life! It will pay off time and time again. Our families also live far from us and we have always visited both several times a year – both by car an plane starting when our son was 6 weeks old. He has been with us to Miami on vacation, to friends beach houses for a weekend and just fr sleepovers at friends house and he is so laid back and will sleep anywhere and just goes with the flow! I attribute this to the fact that we took him everywhere! Restaurant, etc
Parties, etc. he is now 4 and more easy going than some of our adult friends :) you guys are doing a great job!


Tracy     at 10:39 am

My first was just like Cullen at that age…such an easy baby! He made me want another one right away. haha Now I have 4 kids VERY close together (ages 16, 14, 13, 13) and I’d do it the same way all over again.

Also, hopefully this will be true with Cullen, my firstborn is still a super laid back great kid at age 16.


steph     at 10:54 am

the last pic is great!! and grandpa is a looker haha


Amber K     at 11:29 am

Gotta love baby giggles! So adorable.


Sneakers2Sandals     at 6:19 am

You have such young grandparents! I love that so much! I’m going to keep this peekaboo method in mind for when I have a little bean :)


Andrea     at 9:24 am

Your body looks incredible! Work it, mama!


Gabrielle     at 1:02 pm

What an ideal vacation! I live in the Atlanta metro area and grew up sailing on Lake Lanier every summer… but I haven’t been back in years. The idea of renting a cabin and hanging out on a pontoon boat is a good one. Maybe one day I’ll drag my cats and dog up there and do just that. So glad you guys had such a good time. Cullen is going to have such a treasure trove of captured memories to look back on when he is older – lucky, lucky boy.

And yeah, Grandpa is hot! :}


Amanda     at 4:26 am

Love love love those videos with that laugh! I have a couple with Claire that my Husband loved when he got back from deployment. I love how easily amused babies are.


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 5:26 am

Beautiful pictures (as usual). Being away from family is hard but spending vacations together makes it all the more special. Glad you had a great time to relax and enjoy!


Monica     at 8:34 am

Glad you got a chance to recharge and spend some time with family!

I love how you guys have been able to successfully travel and adapt Cullen to the unfamiliar from a young age. Wrigley is fairly adaptable, but he is so easily distracted that we struggle with napping on the go. Maybe with the next baby we will get an easy napper. ;)

Safe travels home and enjoy those 60′s for me! It is gross gross gross heat just about every where else.


krista     at 9:35 am

Easy babies are definitely something to be thankful for! I’m 2 for 2 on them, at least so far. My youngest is 5 months and his personality is starting to really come out!
Cullen is the first baby I know that doesn’t love the water from the start! Maybe it’s a Texas thing, since it’s so hot here. Or maybe we just start them earlier because of that, who knows.


Sam     at 9:46 am

Hi Emily – I’m curious what sunscreen you used on your trip? After a bout with basel cell, I take it very seriously and use at least 55+ on my face every day and 100 when I’m out for more than 20 min between 10 and 2:00. But I’ve been hearing that Neutrogena (what I use and what my derm recommended) is full of chemicals and other toxins. I haven’t been able to find a natural sub either. Do you have any recs?


Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 10:06 am

1. You look AMAZING! I can only dream of looking like that post (future) baby.

2. Cullen is SO cute.

3. You give me hope for life after baby, some people make it sound like you can’t go out and do the things you used to do! You rock!


Husband @ Midwestern Bite     at 8:10 am

Looks like a great trip. We’re trying to decide if our 8 month old is ready for his first vacation. I’m thinking yes!


Melissa     at 11:21 am

So sweet! Those belly laughs get better as time goes on! :)


Michelle R.     at 6:50 pm

Love the video – is that some Grateful Dead music I hear in the background??


Leah     at 8:56 am

Love this post–and so perfect for me to read today. I’m back at work today after 5 days at a lake. :)


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