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Updates + Resolutions

22 Dec

Well bloggity blog it has been almost a year since I last posted although a few people stop by this little space no and again to check out some posts (so sweet).  It has been great to have this space as my time travel throughout all the changes in my life (including my resolutions/goals each year!).  I thought I would keep the tradition alive and give a little update + a review on how my 2014 resolutions/goals went + 2015 goals.  This is obviously more for me to look back on…but if some of my old readers stumble on this blog post…hiiiiiiii!! I have missed youuuuu!

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So update…

+First my sweet 2 1/2 year old daughter who is brimming with happiness and delight this time of year (and a bit of a sugar overload) is growing up so quickly.  It has been a big year for her as she is potty trained, sits at the big girl table with no highchair/booster seat, she went from a crib to a toddler bed and shortly will be in a “regular” bed, tries very hard to be polite with her please and thank yous, and is in the inquisitive toddlerhood stage of whys, whats, when, etc, and biggest of all she is about to become a big sister in a few short months.

+Which leads me into my second update for us as a family.  In the spring we will be having TWO babies.  I am over the half way mark at 21+ weeks and since we will most likely lose about 4 weeks of this pregnancy because there are two babies the second half of this pregnancy is going to fly.  I had terrible morning  all day sickness until about 4 months, feel twice the worry since there are two in there and I have no clue what to do with two babies, at the beginning cravings were different than the first pregnancy (no red meat only chicken), but now they are starting to look the same (pasta, sausage, chips, etc), take a bath almost every single day to the point I asked (and received) a bath pillow for my overly pregnant self.  Weight gain has looked about the same this pregnancy (give or take a few holiday treats/pounds I have had these past few weeks), and sleep was way better in the first pregnancy than this pregnancy.  We find out what the genders of the babies are on Christmas Day, which is the most exciting thing I feel that will happen to us in 2014 (besides actually finding out we were having twins!) .  It is a great way to dive right into the new year, plus waiting helped me from not going crazy on Black Friday with the shopping.  As far as guesses–I would say 2 boys, hubs says 2 girls, most of my family says 1 boy and 1 girl.

+Other smaller updates. Work is crazier than usual, life is crazy with the holidays and then turning our playroom into a nursery, we took some smaller family trips in the spring and the summer with our sweet girl, and I took some trips in the Fall to see my favorite ladies around the country before life got too busy (and I got too big) for me to visit.  The hubs got into extreme obstacle racing, which is loving and really has gotten him on the health kick.  We celebrated our 5 year anniversary up in Vermont!  Overall it was a busy year for us because it was really easy to get up and go with Lexi and we took FULL advantage of that (thankfully).  I am thinking that might change a bit with our family expanding in 2015.

Onto 2014 Resolutions…

1. Family time over phone time. I did really well with this one and I have truly made a conscious effort to keep my phone in my purse or away from me in order not to be distracted with Lexi wants to play.  I struggled a bit when I was newly pregnant because I was so sick and had such a lack of energy that using the phone/Ipad was a way to keep both of us distracting with very little movement.  I can always improve in this area, but I have come a long way with my phone from 2013!

2. More date nights. Well this didn’t really happen for 2014 although we had more afternoon lunch dates with each other and those were really nice and tried to do date nights in more often  It was a small escape and even though it wasn’t a night out it really was fantastic to have an adult meal with adult conversation with the hubs.  We did get out a few times for weddings, but we are hoping to squeeze in a small babymoon before the twins arrive and people babysitting 2 infants + a toddler goes out the window.  Sadly I think this will decrease for 2015, but these babies will all be worth it!

3. Keep up with 2013 goals. I did great with keeping up with my 2013 goals of reading more (18 books!), kept myself a priority, keep giving and really trying to be a well rounded individual.  Life is so fast fast paced that it is sometimes hard, but I feel pretty balanced in my life and was able to give to all the people I love without sacrificing too much of me in the process.

4. Visit a place that I have never been. We went to 1 new place.  Mt. Snow, Vermont for our 5th year anniversary and also a race that the hubs did while we were up there (kidless!).  I would have loved to have added more than 1 place under this goal, but when traveling with kids we much rather stick to what we know and what works and so going to new places can be a bit harder to do on a regular basis.  I never said how many places so I call this one a win for this goal! YES!

5. Live Healthy. I am not going to count the pregnancy aspect of this year because I was sick for 1/4 of the year.  When I wasn’t pregnancy sick I was rocking the healthy lifestyle.  I found I really loved smoothies in the morning to start the day, found a great beachbody program I loved and stuck with it, and truly felt great for 2014.  I was really proud of this accomplishment and it was starting to feel like a lifestyle versus a diet.  I was eating smaller meals and better meals and overall just feeling great!  My daughter was doing some yoga poses with me and saw me working out and being healthy. Between the pregnancy sickness and the risk factors of me doing any hard physical activity with the twins that has been put on the backburner, but I am already thinking about life post-pregnancy and the changes I want to make (far cry from the first pregnancy where I didn’t think about this for a second).  Out of any of the resolutions I put the most work into this one and it paid off!

So if we are keeping track that would be 4 1/2 out of 5 goals accomplished! YES! I would call that a success for 2014 and I am proud of the work that I did this year.

Now for 2015 Resolutions…

1. Be patient with myself (and my family): Looking back on my first year with Lexi, it truly was an amazingly smooth transition.  It didn’t feel so at the time when I was crying over various first time mom issues, but looking back it was a rockstar year.  My labor recovery was incredible, my daughter slept like a rockstar, ate like a rockstar (once I got over the breastfeeding wasn’t for us hurdle), she developed like a rockstar, and did amazingly in her daycare (while mommy sobbed in the car).  This will not be our experience this time around and I need to be patient with myself and the expectations that I put on our first year as a family of 5 and I need to be patient with my husband and toddler and that it will take some time to transition.  I have a strong possibility of a c-section so my recovery will not take less than a day, sleeping woes are bound to happen with two babies plus a toddler, eating options are still up in the air for us and so who knows, and they wont develop at the same rate of each other or at the same rate as Lexi and I need to be patient with that too.  Diving into a whole new world is scary and I need to find the patience I know I have and be okay with things being different from Lexi and different from only having one at a time.

2.Live Healthy: This will take some time too (why patience is #1 on the list), but I really hope that I get back into the healthy lifestyle.  Waking up early or choosing a workout over Netflix at the end of the day.  Drinking less coffee (than first post pregnancy) and more smoothies. More salads and less bread (with butter).  More fruits/veggies as a night snack versus chips. Getting back into the healthy groove at some point of 2015 would truly be wonderful.

3.Spend 1 on 1 time with family: This goes on all levels of our family.  I want to make sure I spend 1 on 1 time with Lexi, and with each of the twins and especially the hubs.  I think it will be wonderful to spend so much time together as a family of 5, but I don’t want to miss out on the opportunities to do things separately with our children and with each other. I have never had to think about this much with only have one child as situations come up naturally, but I hear having separate time after the babies is so important and I want to make this a priority.  I think we will have to make extra effort for this to happen so I wanted to put it on my goals to work on this so it becomes a routine for our family as the years pass.

I am going to stick with just three resolutions this year as I think I will have my hands full with three kids and wont be able to put too much on my plate.  I have seen other bloggers do monthly goals that help them focus on what they want from that next month, which I might do for myself to keep me focused.  I have already been thinking of a couple for January that I would want to kick off the monthly goals (get nursery started, read 2 books, and get a prenatal massage!)

Until next time (when we are probably a family of FIVE!)–hope you all have a wonderful holiday and an amazing 2015!

Pinterest Food

23 Jan

So I am sure everyone is on the ban wagon of Pinterest because it is just so AWESOME.  I use it all the time and although a lot of time it is just used for inspiration or “when I have time” the thing I use Pinterest the most for is recipes.  It is the first place I go to in order to find new recipes and it has never failed me in the food department.  

For example: I was going to make meatloaf today, but then realized that I didn’t have any eggs in the house (GASP!).  I didn’t want to risk an eggless nasty meatloaf without having eggs on hand so I typed in ground beef recipe and BAM! a few dozen popped up on my screen. I checked a couple out and found one I had the ingredients in the house for and Voila! crisis averted.  Seriously one of the best resources for our family when we are stuck in a rut for what to find to eat.  

So hear are a couple of recipes that I have tried on Pinterest over the past two months:

Chicken Pot Pie Soup: A hit in the household and it was great to add/subtract our own breading on the “pot pie” depending on my feeling our feeling that day.  It was great out of the freezer as well.  

Tortellini Vegetable Soup: The hubs loved this and I would have as well if I didn’t put the tortellini’s right away and let stand in the water.  They soaked up too much of the soup and were a bit mushy for my taste.  Putting them in later would have been really helpful, but it made a ton of leftovers and the hubs was really happy.  It reminded us of minestrone soup, but a lot more heartier because of the tortellini’s.  

Chicken Pot Pie Crumble: Our family loves Chicken Pot Pie. Can ya tell? I really loved this recipe, but it took way too long.  Like a really long time and so even though I loved this recipe I would definitely do the chicken pot pie soup over this since it is less work and we are a busy family.  The hubs thought there was too much crumble and my motto is always you can’t have enough carbs, but I would agree with him on this one.  If you are going to make this I would make a little less crumble for the recipe as it overwhelmed the dish a bit.  

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken: This hands down is my husband’s favorite at the moment.  We have had it on chicken, pork chops, ham. You name it we have tried it.  He is just in love with this!  We put it on ham in the crockpot and I liked it better when in the oven because it was able to crisp up on the top, but the flavor worked both in the oven and in the crockpot.  This is asked for on a weekly basis. 

Smore’s Mix: Made this over the weekend and it was tasty and so simple to make! I even had my daughter helping me with this recipe, which was great bonding time!  The drawbacks of this recipe for me was that it made wayyyyy to much, and after a day or two it was too hard to eat so a ton had to be thrown away.  I would almost day the dry version of this mix would be better as a little less messy and wouldn’t harden and go bad so quickly.  I would make this recipe over again (just less of it!). 

Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip: We made this for football Sunday and it was AHHHMAAAZINNNGGGG (if you like buffalo chicken that is!).  It was really easy and just put it in the crockpot for an hour and had a delicious snack.  Using the rotisserie chicken was GENIUS as it shredded really well and was already cooked so took prep time to zero minutes! We had left overs for two more times and so it made a great batch and it was really tasty a couple days later.  Spiciness is a personal preference but it was a little bit too spicy for me so I would have put a little less of the hot sauce in the recipe.  

 

Hope this helps someone who is looking for something to make and/or needs inspiration to start making what they are pinning! Enjoy!

Reflection & Resolutions

30 Dec

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It has been around the 3 month mark of my blog hiatus and overall it was a good decision. I will say I thought about this blog a lot over the past 3 months and each time I tried to find time to write other things got in the way. It was as if life was telling me to stick with the 3 month break to really reflect on what this space on the Internet means to me. I found out in the 3 months it does mean a lot to me as its a time capsule of some great parts of my life and what was on my mind in 2009, 2010, etc. Especially near the new year as everyone takes time to reflect on the previous year. Just the other day I was looking back at some posts and grateful for them, but sad I didn’t have many in 2013 that captured life and my thoughts of the year as much as I wished now that 2013 is almost over. I also learned that the blog doesn’t mean as much to me as I thought it did prior to this break in the same breath. The guilt of not blogging good enough, frequently enough, on relatable topics enough was plain silly and too time consuming. The time worrying was time spent away from my family, myself, and my other hobbies. So where does this leave me and this blog? Somewhere in the middle. A place I hope to visit to capture my thoughts and events in 2014. a space to connect with readers who find their way to my blog. A space to come to when I find the time and have something to share. A space to write without the pressure to fill a blog post quota for the week/month. I am very thankful for my time away from my blog as it was needed to re-prioritize some things in my life. I am a better person (maybe blogger?) for it and hope to share more of 2014 with all of you.

So a small recap of 2013…
January: Turned 31, Lexi had her first surgery with getting tubes which was successful, back to pre-pregnancy weight, bought an Ipad off our no-spend month in November 2012, and had more snow than we knew what to do with
February: Prepped for Lexi’s 1st birthday, Lexi on the mend after months of sicknesses and just in time for Steve and I to get a terrible 48 hour stomach bug, took a month blog hiatus from tumblr and decided to move back to WordPress, and took a trip to visit my BFF and writer Jodi Picoult up in Vermont!
March: a full month of birthday celebrations! Really this month was all about Lexi (like most months but to the extreme). Sweet little girl died on Lexi’s birthday that had been fighting cancer for a year. Broke my heart that we were celebrating and this sweet family was in mourning. Life is not fair sometimes.
April: Took a big family trip to Outerbanks, NC and while there the Boston Marathon bombing occurred. Frantic to get the news and make sure friends who were running it were okay (thankfully they were all okay).
May: Got a new job! Blogged every day in May so you all learned a ton about me that month.
June: Moved and started the new job! Said goodbye to some great people and struggled with saying goodbye to Lexi’s daycare and my coworkers. Excited about our new adventure.
July-August: tough couple months of the husband commuting long distances, transitioning to a new job, planned 2 trainings and a crash course in rising the ranks in management. It was a blur, but we tried to go to parks, petting zoos, splash pads, farms with Lexi on the weekends. Conference away from my family for the longest stretch ever. Also celebrated BFF’s son’s birthday and their move further away. Lexi has an ear tube check up that goes great!
September: Overwhelmed by life and so said goodbye to blog and hello life. Started new year and continuing to adjust to our new life in a new city. Hubs got a new job that was closer and more flexible! Our saving grace these past 3 months! More farms and pumpkin and apple picking done this month. Swim classes begin and that means being around 10 Saturdays in a row! This is big for us as we find ourselves always traveling. I also started to workout regularly, which helped my sanity!
October: Finally feeling settled and into a routine with personal life and professional life. Lexi loving her new daycare and loving walks around campus in her buggy. Bridal shower for one of my dearest friends! Can’t wait for the wedding! We really loved this month and soaked up a lot of family time this month!
November: enjoyed a warmer than usual November, more lazy weekends before the holiday craze. Did some Thanksgiving crafts and baking (baking big fail) and enjoyed more family time. Reunion with my grad school friends and meeting baby Ryan! So wonderful catching up and wishing they lived closer all weekend long. Another conference, but less time away from family and great bonding with coworkers. Had a great Thanksgiving at the in-laws and spent a ton of time with our niece Nadia this month. Work slowed down a bit, which I was very thankful for since the beginning was hard.
December: Stressful! We waited to long to start Christmas shopping and so we were shopping until the last minute and wrapping in the wee hours. Thankfully by the time the weekend before Christmas arrived we finished and got to enjoy some great family time! Phew! Lets not do that again next year self. Also remembering the Sandy Hook victims really put the holidays and what they are about in perspective. I ate too much, Lexi ate too many sweets, we have bags and bags of gifts from family to sift through, but I’m grateful for all the love we had in our house this week. End of December is detoxing our house and lives of the holiday and getting ready for what 2014 has in store for us…

On my tumblr blog I wrote my 2013 resolutions and here is how I did on all 5 of them:
1. Eat at the dinner table more often than not this year 50% completed. We couldn’t start this until July when we were completely moved in to our new place. Since our new place we have eaten at the table every single day. Success in my book!

2. Read 12 books this year (1 per month). 100% completed! Finished 12 books over the 12 months! I didn’t space them out 1 per month as it states as some months read 2-3 and some months zero, but they equaled out to 12! Success in my book!

3. Spend a little more time on me. 75% completed. I definitely spent more time on myself in 2013 than in 2012 with working out, mani/pedi, getting hair done, reading, adding new clothes shoes and clothes to wardrobe, and taking baths. I only gave myself 75% as there was still a big part of me that feels guilty when I do something for myself or if I am away from my family on the weekend. Something I still hope to work on in 2014, but made great strides in feeling like myself again.

4. Give back more. 30% completed. Out of all the resolutions I lost focus on this one this year. I did some charity work and gave money to some charities that are close to my heart, but this year wouldn’t be described as the year of giving. More was done than in years past, but more can always be done in this category for me.

5. Be settled by 2014 90% completed. I feel really close to being settled both professionally and personally. Our third bedroom is a hot mess still and I haven’t completed a full year at my new job yet and so there is still things to be settled in our lives. Closest we have ver been though! Yes!

I will be back with my 2014 resolutions soon…

13 Jun

Well I was a bit crabby this past  Friday…could you tell by my blog post?? WOWZA! I am happy to report that it was fleeting and once the sun rose on Saturday so did my spirits! I can’t believe I left “Bad Day” as the blog post for people to read first for almost an entire week! Sorry peeps! It has been quite the week so I am just a little fried in the brain and so I am only good for candy crush (dang you level 79!!) and YouTube surfin’ these days. I am hoping for some normalcy soon, but we have a few weeks before that actually happens. Below are some finds on the YouTube that really have kept my spirits up with all the crazy happening around me (promise to fill in soon!)

 

Here are some things that are making me happy on YouTube these days:

1. Stella Sisters.  Any of you readers watch Nashville? I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the show and in one of the last episodes the daughters of the Mega star Raina did sound check and I just thought “wow that is such a great sound by those two daughters! I wonder if they can actually sing?!”  Well this weekend I found out they can sing! Bonus they are actually sisters in real life! They are actually YouTube sensations and you can look up the re-makes of songs.  This on here is what got them started on YouTube.  I am addicted to their sound now and find myself listening to it at least once a day.  Makes me happy!

2. Lexi summer fun! So this isn’t a YouTube sensation, but she is a sensation to us! I just had to share this video of Lexi as she found a frog while playing this weekend.  She just loved it! I will say that the video isn’t great as I was mostly frightened of the frog as I was filming.  There was no frogs harmed while making this video and the frog was sent to the woods after Lexi finally let us say goodbye to the froggy.  It was quite a hoot!

3.  Another great clip making it around the web is Neil Patrick Harris and his opening of the Tony Awards this year!! I watched it and was just in awe of how he got through that entire performance still breathing.  I am still in awe and it is a little lengthy (7 minutes long) but it is totally worth the time! And hellooooo he raps at like the 5 minute mark! You need to watch this!

4. An oldie but goodie that always makes me laugh! Charlie you bit my fingggerrrrrrrrrrr. I have watched this video at least 4.5 billion times over the course of the years but it still makes me laugh every.single.time.

5. I am a big So You Think You Can Dance fan and this is one of my favorite seasons! There are two just beautiful pieces of dance that I are just seared into my mind as my all time favorites.  We are in the middle of SYTYCD season and every time it makes me think of these two collaborations! The first is actual a rendition of the real dance that happened earlier in the season so I will post both of them.  Here is the one with Ellen and here is the original.  The other dance has to do with getting through cancer and the dance is just beautiful and moves me every single time.  They are totally different genres of dance–but still both moving in different ways.  Gosh I wish my body moved like that and had actual rhythm!

So yea I am totally out of my funk and if you need a little pick me up hope one of these could help! Any people can add? I am always on the hunt to add more to my “makes me smile” list on YouTube! Happy Day!

What I (don’t) Miss…

12 May

Day 11: What I miss…

Today was a wonderful Mother’s Day filled with so much joy! My second Mother’s Day and the hugs were wonderful, the cuddles were sweet and the laughter was plentiful. I couldn’t have asked for a better day! I hope all those mommas and those expecting enjoyed a wonderful day with their sweet little ones.

Today’s post is about what I miss and I could go on and on about what I miss–but today was so joyous and happy I wanted to end the day thinking of the positives rather than the loses and hurt in my life. Today was sweet and good so I am going to end the week with a Top 10 Things I Don’t Miss. I’m sure I’m breaking the rules by changing up this post although I think the first May Challenge rule was there were no rules. So I think I’m in the clear.

Drum Roll Please…

10. I don’t miss brown lipstick
9. I don’t miss replacement refs for the NFL
8. I don’t miss the days of getting dumped and putting angsty AIM away messages up
7. I don’t miss the days when my parents made me dress up for school every single day (no jeans allowed)
6. I don’t miss trying to be cool and doing the popped collar thing. (I never pulled it off well)
5. I don’t miss my really short hair cut because I thought I could pull off the Meg Ryan “look”
4. I don’t miss Jersey Shore and the Twilight saga ending
3. I don’t miss going to clubs and trying to play “the game” when it came to dating
2. I don’t miss Interstate 80 and the 8 hour drive every weekend to see the boyfriend (now husband)
1. I don’t miss my red (p)leather pants I rocked out throughout all my college years

So there you have it my Top 10 List! I could go on and on, but I’ll stick to just 10. Hope you enjoyed this list as much as I enjoyed making it! Hugs to all those mommas out there! You do great work and you should be thanked every single day.

What is something you don’t miss?

Why you should know me

11 May

Day 11: Sell yourself in 10 words or less

Distance doesn’t matter; if you need me I’ll be there.

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Doing for family

6 May

Day 6 of Blog Every Day In May! “If you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question ‘what do you do?'”

This is pretty ironic that day was this question because I am sitting in our bed about 10 minutes away from this day being over, but I wanted to blog. I wanted to keep it real as sometimes I don’t finish everything I wanted to do even when I do stay up until midnight trying my hardest.

There are so many ways I can answer that question, but with only a few minutes until midnight my response is, “I do whatever it takes for my family to be happy.” It’s a lot in one little statement, but I really try everyday to do the small things and the big things and everything in between for my daughter and my husband. Then I try to reach out to my immediate family if I am able to do this and ever so often there is time for dear friends and myself. I treasure those days when I can do everything and be everything to everyone in my life. I thank technology everyday for making those days as regular as humanly possible.

Having a family it’s easy to answer this question because my life revolves around them and not my job. I do for them everyday. Today I did something sweet for the teachers at my daughter’s daycare. Sure I could have given all 35 teachers small gift cards, but I wanted to do more (it is teacher appreciation week at the school). I go to work over 40 hours a week (as does the husband) and all those hours I don’t fret one bit that my child isn’t laughing, learning, playing, and being loved by her teachers. It shows when I drop her off and when I pick her up. It shows in the way the teachers greet her and say good bye. It is the way they talk about my Lexi-like their own. So I wanted to do more. This picture below represents a small piece of what I “do” when I am not taking about what I do for my job. (Sorry its grainy its all I could do with 15 minutes left in the day). I made DIY body scrubs (more on this!) and tie ribbons and cut out cute statements and put them on the lids. I want the awesome teachers to keep doing their amazing job and feeling that someone cares about what they are doing. I do everyday. When they do their job I can do mine.

So it’s a small piece of what I do, but the most important piece. I do for my family and others (while being crafty for me to stay sane). It’s not exactly what I had in mind when I thought about this blog post over the weekend, but life is funny that way because I find this to be even better than what I wanted to write about today.

Short and sweet because now I have to do some sleeping.

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