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Resolutions 2014

20 Jan

So I have tried to reflect and think about my Resolutions for 2014 for the past couple of weeks. My mind was completely blank and I really had difficulty with thinking about what I wanted out of this year as a whole. I finally have some resolutions and I hope sharing helps me with accountability.

1. Family time over phone time. This seems like a horrible goal and should just be a natural thing that is happening in my life, but alas the phone has taken over my life. When I should be focused and centered on my family at times my escape becomes my phone and checking all the social media, read blogs, play games, and really just mess around with my phone. There is no excuse why I can’t shut it down from 5pm-8pm for family time. I have had this resolution on my mind for quite some time, but just can’t seem to let it go. So perhaps I will do better if I write it down? I am trying to strategize ways to keep the phone out of my hands short of throwing it in the river. I really hope I can look back on this year and out of all my resolutions say I did this one well.

2. More date nights. So last year I did great with taking time for myself as I was able to lean on my husband to watch Lexi while I did things for myself (even if I did feel guilt at times). Unfortunately this is not the case for the hubs and I as we don’t live close to family and we haven’t leaned on babysitters as much as we should have this year. When we have taken time for ourselves it is to eat a meal without interruption and not anything active for us to do (even a movie added to that dinner would take it up a notch). Of course we have date nights when Lexi goes to sleep and we just have a monitor to watch, but we really need to take advantage of dates outside the house more often. I would even make a commitment to once a month. It is really easy for us to make plans with others (girls night, boys night, bachelorette weekend, skiing adventure, etc) with the confidence of knowing the other parent will be with Lexi, but it is really hard for both of us to leave her in the hands of others even almost 2 years later.

3. Keep up with 2013 goals. I would like to continue goals from 2013 as I really feel like these were life long goals I made last year. I want to keep giving, keep reading, and keep myself a priority throughout my entire life. As Lexi gets older I hope we can give as a family together, but for right now I enjoy giving and helping others. I hope to keep reading and increase my goal to 15 books this year, and of course to be there for my family in my first two goals I need to be taking care of myself as well.

4. Visit a place that I have never been. The husb and I have been together for 10 years and it has been a wonderful 10 years of starting traditions and having favorite places to visit. Some of our favorites are Vermont, California, Mexico, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. I love these places and they are our first stops, but it would be great to expand and try a new place this year.

5. Live Healthy. The second half of 2013 I really worked on being healthy (both fitness and eating well). Then I went on a work conference and got out of rhythm and then the holidays hit and now I am 2 months out of my routine. It is really interesting because I am normally focused on the scale (especially this time of year), but the crazy part of this goal is that I actually weigh less than I did prior to the holidays, but overall I just feel yuck. I am not even happy the scale says a lower number. Whowoulddathunkit? While working on my fitness and getting healthy I was part of a Biggest Loser group at my work thinking that would help motivate me. Unfortunately every week I was either remaining the same or going up in weight even though I was eating well and exercising regularly. I kept up my routine even though I was going to “lose” the Biggest Loser because somewhere between getting healthy and the scale not telling an accurate telling of my story I found I was happier focusing on health rather than weight. 10 weeks later and 3 pounds heavier I lost the Biggest Loser, but I also lost a pant size. It was the first time ever that I really saw that the scale does not show the whole picture. It was the first time I didn’t let the scale dictate how I felt about myself. It felt great and even though the holidays got the better of me and I weigh less I am motivated to keep healthy living in my 2014 goals because of how good it felt to eat healthier and work out.

So there you have it–my 2014 goals! It took me awhile to get focused on 2014, but now that I have some goals set I am excited for what this year will bring.

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Letter to my readers

19 Sep

Dear Awesome Blog Readers,

So for a solid month I have been trying to write this post.  The words allude me a bit, but then last night I read this great blog post and I was really drawn to so much that this blogger was trying to say.  What I have been trying to say for a long time.  It is titled I do everything poorly.

The synopsis is about work-life-balance and how at work if you are doing a great job you feel like you are failing as a mother and vice versa. It talks about on top of feeling that at work or as a mother she feels poorly  it increases when she thinks about managing her household. So if she is feeling good about balance of work and family there is always laundry to make her feel she is doing something poorly.   IT WAS LIKE SHE WAS WRITING ABOUT MY LIFE.  

Now this isn’t a woe is me post or a wish I was in different circumstances post –it is a honest post of where I am at in my life and the very reason why this blog has crumbled into blogs posts scattered here and there. About 2 months ago I wrote about the big changes in our family and at the end of the post alluded to the fact that we were all adjusting well and getting into a routine. I just have to laugh so hard looking back at that post because the hubs was commuting like a maniac for months, we ate out on the daily, we didn’t take any time for ourselves outside of being a mom & dad, it felt like one big hamster wheel each day, and our house was in disarray.  I called this routine? Adapting? Adjusted? I must have been living in fairy la la land while I wrote this post because our lives this summer were a hot mess.  Then a month later I wrote a post thinking the reason I came to this blog less and less was because of writer’s block.  Maybe part of it was writer’s block, but I think a ton of it had to do with this feeling of doing everything poorly (including my blog) and so I just shyed away from writing because I felt another ball up in the air would make the whole system crash (aka me).  I started to wonder if adding the “ball” of blogging was worthwhile to me anymore on my to do list.  I didn’t really have an answer for this for a long time.

I have loved this blog to come and share my thoughts and feelings and a space to call my own.  I have loved the blogs I have found along the way while I blogged.  I have loved the community of bloggers since before I was married and had a child.  I loved my time on both WordPress and Tumblr.  I have loved it all.  Until recently when blogging started to feel like a task rather than a creative outlet.  I started to feel guilty about my time away from my blog and as I spoke earlier I have enough work-life balance guilt that additional blog guilt seemed unnecessary so I just stayed away.  Part of me still feels like I have so much to say, but if I am being honest if it takes me a month to sit down and write one post then my life as a blogger is starting to come to an end.  My heart aches with writing it and I truly hate goodbyes, but this blog post is starting to feel like a goodbye.  A big part of me has resisted this goodbye because as a mom you can lose your identity with motherhood and I wanted to keep this blog because writing on it made me happy.  This blog was about something I loved, but as the months have passed I have started to realize it has been less and less for me and has less and less to do with my identity.  I know I don’t owe anyone an explanation, but I feel after 4+ years a piece of my life is coming to an end and as much for others I need this closure as well. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who just fades off into the sunset and you wonder will she be back? Will she update? Should I take her off my feedly?  I HATE THAT!  But the truth is I don’t know. Maybe?  Because so many changes have happened in my life over the past 3 months I feel that I want to take some time before I shut down my blog because what if I feel differently in a few months? I would love to give some updates, but I don’t know how I will feel releasing myself from the task of blogging and just have the feeling of blog if I want. Don’t blog if I want.  I will come back with a decision though and share with you all, but right now saying goodbye feels like the right choice for me.

At the moment my life consists of finding balance, trying to feel less guilty of my short comings, having fun with my family and friends, taking time for myself (baths again! haircut again! pictures again!), getting life organized, celebrating births and weddings, together our family getting meals on the table consistently, swim class with my baby girl, beginnings of potty training perhaps, getting fit, books and season premieres of my favorite shows, and overall maintenance of our/my life.  Just like fitting the gym into my life in the past I would say I have too much on plate and say there is no room for me to find time for fitness, but funny thing is now that I have made it a priority I have easily found the time.  I have made the choice to have it be a priority for me.  Same goes for blogging.  Even at my busiest I always found time for this blog because I made the choice to choose writing over other things in my life.  Right now it feels good to choose other things in my life over this blog. Things that will directly impact both me and my family.

For those who have followed this blog from beginning, middle, or end–thank you thank you.  I found so much joy in this blog and one day when my child is older I hope to show her these 4 years of my life viewed from the lens of this blog.  Should be a hilarious moment one day.  One of the hard parts of this decision is that this blog is truly a time capsule of my life and it will be sad for it to end, but I am sure I will find a new way to share my story.  Thanks for being part of my story for all these years…

Much Love,

C

Writers Block.

20 Aug

Here I sit once again to try and write a post. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down over the course of these 2 months and ultimately end up deleting the post as it just felt “meh”. I can’t say this time will be any different, as I still feel I am in a writing funk—but this space felt so empty that I couldn’t avoid it any longer. Anyone else ever have a writing funk?

At some point I have to just start typing and realize it will not be perfect, but at least it is a start. These last 2 months have been hard. Really hard. Wishing away our summer hard. A big part of me feels sad about this as I had so many wishes for this summer with Lexi. Plus summer is my favorite time of year and it was wasted on wishing it was over? What a bummer! Of course there were shining moments during the summer, but overall it was one big hot mess. This could easily turn into a whine fest over here and I will not bore you all with the details, but our life became a grueling job over the summer. First it was synchronizing a move and a move-in at the beginning of the summer, which was like having two full time jobs. Then it was unpacking and trying to make sense of items that had been in boxes for over a year since our last place was so small. Then it was living through a kitchen renovation. Another full-time job on top of the ones we already had. Then my husband over the summer spent 20 hours a week in a car commuting. 20 less hours each week that he got to spend with us this summer. If I had to rank the grueling jobs this summer this would have to be my number one even though I wasn’t even the one doing the driving. Then there were a couple shining moments of BBQs, walks, farm visit, and soaking up the summer. Quickly followed by a week away from family, daughter spending a week away from both mom and dad because of logistical nightmares, and to-do lists piled high. We then had some more shining moments of swimming, family get togethers, laughter, weekends spent together and getting to know our new city we were slowly calling home. Total bliss for a few fleeting summer seconds. Which brings us to August and tons of highs and lows and more wishing to get through this summer. More logistics to maneuver, adult decisions to be made and handled, a little one with a summer cold, and weekends full of work commitments. I have so many to-do lists running through my head for home/personal projects that my mind may explode. Although those will have to wait a few more weeks because it is that time of year again when my job becomes my life. The students return back to college. It happens every year yet every year I am surprised on how fast the pace picks back up when students arrive on campus.

So where does this leave me? Hopeful. Excited. Ready for a new season. Fall will be better and easier on us as a family. For this I am truly grateful. I know that so many people and families have it harder than even our worst day this summer–but for us it was a very long 2 months. Our life will not feel like grueling work and we will be able to bask in the new Fall season. I feel so blessed for our future is bright. I am thankful for all the work we put in during this hard yet I know it will be worth it in the end summer. We will be adjusted to our new city and new routine. We will be settled into our new place and finally get to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We will have time for date nights, playdates, and family activities. We will have more family time in the Fall. Our work – life – balance will be restored once again. I may even get crazy and find time to get a hair cut! The hubs will be starting a new job come this Fall and instead of 20 hours in a car each week, it will be all the way down to 3 1/2 hours each week. Mind = blown. BRING ON FALL!! (let me just be clear that I am in no way saying bring on Winter. That season can stay far away from us for a very long time).

So there you have it. Me breaking through my writing funk and feeling good enough to hit “Publish” for the first time in months. It feels good. The only thing that would make this moment even better is if I could post pictures of the last 2 months to show that we had some great moments even during the hard times. Unfortunately I have not been able to upload my photos to my computer because my Iphoto storage is at full capacity and I am really scared to hit “delete” on my old pictures on the computer even though I have backed them up on an external hard drive. Call me old fashion, but I like to visually see my pictures on my computer! I need to bite the bullet and do this because it is silly to have photos just sitting on my camera. Next post, I promise.

June Loves

11 Jul
June Loves
Here are a few of things that I was loving in June  during our crazy hectic move!
1. Fire Roasted Tomato Triscuits: I found these a few months ago and when we were packing the cabinets were bare I still had these by my side.  Slap on a piece of cheese and you have yourself an amazing snack.  I just finished the box in my house yesterday and I am sad that I have none to snack on today.  I love these so much and you should totally try them! The flavor is amazing an even if you don’t have cheese handy they are good just alone as well.
2. Old Navy Sandals: Last year I picked up 2 pair of sandals from Old Navy that were strappy and a little dressier than their $1 bucket sandals.  They are a little high for me to wear on a daily basis to work, but they are so comfortable and stylish I had to pick up more sandals.  I think picked up a ballerina type sandal there last year and they have been my go to pair sandals this summer.  I was then in Old Navy before we moved and I picked up these sandals above and they are a wonderful neutral sandal for the summer.  During the move I had 3 pairs of shoes out and these above were one of them (along with another Old Navy sandal) and they kept me looking stylish and professional at work no matter the outfit.  I use to really buy most of my sandals at Target, but I may be shifting towards being an Old Navy regular shopper for shoes!
3. The Good Wife: During the move we disconnected our TV really early in June to move it and so we were out of TV entertainment for quite some time.  After a long, hot day of packing sometimes we just wanted to crash and watch mindless TV.  One night I decided that I was going to try out The Good Wife on my IPad as it was recommended to me a long time ago.  There aren’t many shows that hook me from episode 1, but OMG THIS SHOW IS AMAZING!!!! Legit since that day I have been watching this show nonstop (Amazon Prime has the first 3 seasons for free).  We put our TV together at the beginning of the week and I haven’t turned it on once because when I am watching something it is this show! What do you I like about it? The flow of the show is that there is a ton of character building throughout each episode (including a love triangle) while each episode tackles a case that the main character (aka Julianna Marguiluis) and her firm is trying to win.  The cases are gripping (much like Grey’s Anatomy cases were gripping/Numbers FBI cases gripping/CSI cases gripping).  It would be under the drama category and I just can’t get enough of the show.  The nice thing is that there is a ton of episodes to watch in the summer (4 seasons!) and then in September the show will be back on the air (CBS!).
4. Candy Crush: So I got on this Candy Crush train right at the end of May after fighting the craze for a few weeks.  Once I started I got hooked right away and with all the changes and packing mayhem it was nice to just escape onto Candy Crush and play a few games.  It feels pretty awesome beating a really hard level and even after about 6 weeks of playing the game hasn’t gotten old yet.  I think the most brilliant part of the game is seeing where my Facebook friends are in the game and being able to feel part of this community.  Well done Candy Crush makers.  I also read that Candy Crush makes over $600,000 A DAY which is just bananas to me.  Thankfully I have not added to that number as I have given Candy Crush zero of my dollar bills.  As far as giving them my time…well that is another story!
So these are a few of the things that I lovedddddd in June and have continue to love now that we are in July! What were some of your June favorites?
Oh and my good friend is giving away a book on her blog…go check it out!

Big Changes!

5 Jul

I have been literally late for everything in my life these past few months so it would be no exception to be late wishing everyone a very HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!

So I alluded to hoping for some normalcy coming back to our lives in this post in early June and then really put it out there that some changes are happening in our life in this post earlier in the week.  And no mom I am not pregnant (in case my mom or anyone else was wondering these very same words)–I will keep the bakin’ a baby to my bestie and 8 other ladies I know. BABY BOOM-apalooza around me right now. Love it!

My news has to do with this scene below that has been around us for a few weeks now. Moving.    Not in the I am pregnant and need to buy and sell a house kinda crazy that my bestie just went through.   girllllllll how did you do it?! BUT the move was big enough to turn our lives upside down and inside out a bit (okay a lotta bit if I am being honest).   

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a slice of what the unpacking that was ahead of us this month

So this move was about 6 months in the making and it really started with making some big time decisions about my future career early in the year.  I was at a point where I could continue the path I was taking, change career paths, put career aside to raise family, or do more of a job rather than a career focused job.  It took a ton of soul searching, talking with family and friends, and getting input and advice.  I probably could write a whole post on this process as I went back and forth and had some highs/lows with trying to decide what I wanted to do as it would significantly impact my family.  In the end and after some grueling decisions I decided that I was going to continue in this career path as I found out I wasn’t ready to give it up.  There were certainly times where I wondered if I was making the right decision for myself and my family, but now that we are closer to be settled the happiness is starting to be center stage in our lives again. Finally.  

Once that was decided we then had to decide where I was going to look for a job.  Near my husband’s current job? Near our family? Back out in California again? Maybe even Florida? North Carolina? Close to our daycare? We really were all over the place in the job hunt at points and some people in our lives probably were thinking where in the heck were they going to end up???!! They weren’t the only ones as we were thinking the same thing and to be honest it was driving us batty! We did narrow our search (New England) although we still were in limbo because my type of jobs are few and far between so I need to be as open as possible.

So after all that was decided I then had the fun job of searching/applying/networking and really getting out there for a new job.  It was a tough market out there, but I was hopeful (most weeks) and we kept our options open about what Plan B would be if the job search didn’t pan out for us.  In the end a great job landed on my lap at the end of May and it moved quickly and within a week I not only had a new job, but also a new place to live.  In my field it normally takes about a 1-2 months to really hear from jobs so the fact that it all turned into this whirlwind craziness of a week was out of control! 

happiness and panic and sad goodbyes ensued. 

We have done a move with a baby in the past, but not much changed for Lexi in the past because she was too young to really understand the chaos of moving and really everything around her stayed the same except the apartment piece. Plus when we put her down she didn’t go anywhere for the last move.   This time around it was different.  New place to live. New daycare. New playgrounds. New Peditrician.  New usual routine. New mobile baby.  New everything.  I would lay awake at night wondering if all these changes were too much for her to handle at her age and that is when I would really start to second guess our decision to move.  (Spoiler Alert: She has adjusted a lot quicker than her parents! Kids are crazy adaptable!).  I will say that moving with a toddler is no easy task.  Everything takes 5 times longer than without said toddler.  It is mentally exhausting as well because you aren’t just moving yourself and another adult–you are moving a child. Let’s just say it was quite the adventure. 

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we look pretty happy and adjusted, right?!

So we have officially been in our new place for a week today.  Where did we end up?! Well we are in the Worcester area, which brings us about an hour closer to both of our families. We are also still close enough to stay connected to the community we built in the Lowell area. WOOHOOO!  Lexi is doing great in her new daycare and has really grown to love our new place.  I have started to adjust to the new routine of life and starting a brand new job. Everyday we are closer and closer to being unpacked.  We found the local grocery store, coffee shops, food places, and a local park.  We are adjusting to the new routine of the hub’s commute at the moment because of the routine and starting to get a little bit of normalcy back in our lives.  It has been about 6 weeks of chaos, but in reality it has been 6 months of up in the air plans for what our lives would be come this summer and it feels really good to start to settle into life. 

With so much up in the year for 2013 it feels really great to say we are starting to feel settled and have less unknown feelings.  Some people find being settled to be boring, but being crazy and living day to day is pure exhaustion for us! At this point in our life I will take routine over chaos any day! We still have a crazy long list of things to do before the summer is over, but for now it feels really nice to grill a burger and have dinner with my husband over a beer on our own kitchen table.  Oh how we missed the little things in life during this adjustment period.

So that is where I have been–moving and getting our life settled.  My life (including my computer) has been in boxes for almost a month now and so June has been a bit hodge podged! It is nice not to have ask the questions like “hey do you know what box my shorts are in?”

Oh and how was our Fourth of July? Spent time getting more acquinted with our new area, more unpacking, wine, beer,  and spending time with friends and our babies together.  And by spending time with our friends it was more like putting friends to work to help us build furniture. Hope your 4th was equally fabulous!! Stay cool!

Just Ducky!

1 Jul

So there is a ton going on in my life and I will get to that soon–promise. Right now though I need to tell a funny story amidst all this craziness. So I was supposed to head down to see my family for a graduation party on Saturday. This involved a bit of a hectic morning, but by noon we were out the door although already sweating since it was hot outside. I hauled all the items into the car and got my daughter all situated only to go turn on the car and the darn thing didn’t start!

GASP. THIS HAS TO BE A JOKE. RIGHT?! 

So there I was sweaty, tired, alone with my daughter,  hungry, and in desperate need for a coffee and the car would not start. After multiple attempts to jump-start the car, some weepy phone calls about not being able to make it to the party and lots sulking while my daughter took a nap I decided to make the best of a pretty bad day.

We live near a duck pond and so I thought this might be a great day to go see and feed the ducks for the first time. My daughter is a lover of all animals so this seemed perfect! Well I get down to the duck pond only to realize that the ducks were a little TOO friendly. The ducks at this pond are apparently  use to people and so instead of these ducks being afraid of us they were jumping (okay more like waddling) at the chance to come over and see us. All 30 ducks (okay probably more like 12 if I think hard about it) seemed to coming towards us in droves. So I would like to say that it was very picturesque of my daughter and I feeding the ducks, but it truly wasn’t. It was my daughter running up to the ducks saying “hi!” “hi!” “hi!” and waving her Cheerios at them while I was in a panic they were going to eat her alive. Yes I was that mom who really googled “do ducks bite?” while pleading with my daughter to stay away from the ducks while I googled. (The answer is that if we are aggressive or try to take their babies they can, but usually doesn’t hurt). Was this rapid “hi!” business seen as aggressive to the ducks? I wasn’t sure and I really didn’t want to test out my google finds. I was scared as they were all quaking and I was overwhelmed and felt at any point they were going to poke her eyes out or eat her hand.  Who knew I was afraid of ducks?!? 

If more than 3 came near my daughter I was in a sheer panic and would throw Cheerios in the opposite direction (I thought at the time this would be a really great diversion) so that I could run with my daughter in the opposite direction. Not a good plan at all. My diversion plan failed as they ate the Cheerios a lot quicker than I could briskly walk and they followed us very quickly out into the street for more Cheerios. I may have started to run away with my daughter in my arms like a football while trying to steer her buggy away from these ducks . My heart was racing as my daughter was screaming in my hands to put her down so that she could play with these killer ducks.

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picture of my daughter frolicking with the ducks as I fear for my life in the background

I would put her down, but then quickly the fear would be there again and I would panic.  This back and forth lasted a good 20 minutes until it ended with me chucking some Cheerios, quickly putting my daughter in her buggy car and running away from the ducks as fast as I could.  “Really cool mom!”  is the look that Lexi gave me when we were far enough away from the ducks.  I felt bad afterwards about the experience because I was probably putting my fears of being overwhelmed by ducks onto my daughter.

Later that weekend we went to the duck pond again, but this time with my husband who isn’t so easily afraid of ducks. He tried to get our daughter to leave her buggy ride to visit with the ducks but she shook her head no and stayed safely in the car. I was torn because on one side of it I was happy that she stayed in the buggy because I knew with her being in the buggy she was safe and not going to be attacked by these killer ducks. On the other hand I was sad that the experience earlier in the weekend probably made an impact on her and I was disappointed in myself for placing my own fears on my daughter without letting her decide on whether she liked ducks or not.

Looking back on this whole scene makes me laugh out loud and just had to be shared with all of you.  It sure was a riot for all the observers at the pond watching me freak out over ducks. I don’t want that to be experience she has with ducks to be with fear/terror in her eyes  so we will be bringing her back to the duck pond so that she can calmly feed the ducks, but this time my husband will help with her feeding them.  I will stand far back and take the pictures and let them enjoy the ducks.  Apparently duck feeding will not be on my mommy resume anytime soon.

Anyone else realize they had a fear once they had kids?

Summer lovin’

24 Jun

 

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Work Hard. Play Hard. This is the family motto for the summer.  

Although summer just began this weekend we have been in summer mode for quite some time now.  We work really hard all day long yet the moment the door opens up to go outside it becomes family time. Play time.   We work hard so that we can play hard with our daughter the first moment we get the chance.   Dinner might be late getting on the table, but it well worth the summer memories we are making with our sweet little girl. Dusk is our favorite time of the summer season as we get to spend it together playing.  Although she most likely will not remember the countless stairs she climbed, the rocks and pine cones she collected, the birds and balls she chased, the scraped knees she got, the flowers she “petted”, the weeds she pulled, or the frogs and worms she touched–we  most certainly will and we will cherish this summer long after the leaves start to fall.  

Welcome summer.  Please stay forever…