Around Here

Most/all of my free time outside of my family and work is spent on trying to improve my health. Which means I’m either working out, preparing something healthy to eat, reading about fitness and or healthy meals, or trying to plan my next workout or my next meal. I want to point out that as a working mother to two, I don’t have a lot of extra time. I’m not trying to downplay my efforts either because I’ve definitely been trying to eat better and workout consistently.   I just don’t want it come across as though I’m spending hours upon hours every day working out and eating well.  (That’d be awesome – ha!  But I don’t have that luxury ;)  Living a healthier lifestyle is definitely a balance and something that’s currently really important to me.  I’m hoping that I will continue to make my health a priority!  Slowly but surely I can see that my hard work is making a difference. I still have a ways to go to reach my personal goals, but I’m trying to remember to be patient and kind to myself.

We celebrated Elaine’s first birthday with our immediate families a couple weeks ago and it was such a fun day.

I’ve always been a little unsure of how much is too much to share in regards to my kiddos online, in social media, and even here on my blog.  I’m not a huge Facebooker but I do love Instagram (I currently have three accounts!  Ridiculous, I know.)  I love having my main account open and not private, but I don’t like not knowing who’s looking at photos of my kiddos.  I was posting a lot of pictures of my girls on my Instagram account and it was starting to make me feel uneasy.  These feelings have been occurring off and on for quite some time so I decided it was time to make a change.  The solution that I’m loving was to create a private account that only family and few select friends that are interested can access.  This private account is all about Alice and Elaine.  It totally satisfies my Momma desire to share photo after photo of them on Instagram while easing my worries about sharing too much with the general public.  I’ll probably still share some photos of my kiddos on my main account, because they are obviously a HUGE part of my life, but the frequency will be drastically reduced.  The new set up is working out well.

I’m already thinking about my One Little Word for next year which makes me realize that I need to focus more on my current One Little Word for 2015.  We still have a good chunk of time to go.  Plus it’s a good one: gratitude.  I’m thinking about making a weekly list of things I’m grateful for.  Big things, little things – it all matters.  I have a lot to be grateful for and can’t help but think it’d be a good idea to give all those things special acknowledgement.

Around here, I’m also re-thinking the Mama/Daughter photo project I’ve been doing this year: M+AK+E.  I l-o-v-e the concept, but it takes a lot of time and effort for me to complete.  I can’t get it together on this one and I’m always late in completing each months’ spread.  (August’s will be late for sure.)  I do have every intention to finish the year out with this project, but next year I’m going to simplify for sure.

What have you been up to lately?  Fill me in :)

 

Categories: Fitness, kiddos, lately, life, motherhood, yours truly Tags: , , , ,
Book Report

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso: I tore through this book in less than 24 hours. It was an easy read that I obviously enjoyed. I feel like it might be better suited for a slightly younger (read: a lot younger) demographic than myself. This book would be great for the new college grad or for the person just starting out in the work force. However, the Take Charge of Your Destiny and Work Hard mentality found in these pages can really be applicable to anyone. I’d say that if you are looking for a good ole fashioned girls-rule-the-world pep talk as well as some overall rock solid Life/Career advice then this book is for you.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: So I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I’d venture to say that I really enjoyed it and have already reserved the next book in this series at my local library. For me, the beginning was a little overwhelming because there are a lot of characters to try and keep straight. Eventually I came to the conclusion that many of the characters were just there to support the overall story and keeping them all straight wasn’t vital to understanding the big picture. I haven’t read anything in the “chic lit” department in a long time and I found this book very entertaining. There’s talk of it being made into a movie, which I support.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins : So I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. Whenever I watch a movie or read a book that the masses are ooohing and ahhhing about I try to keep my expectations low so that I won’t expect too much and be dissapointed. I find that I enjoy them much more when I take this approach. (You’re thinking that this goes without having to say, right?) Anyhow, it was good. I liked it even though every main character has some serious flaws (but granted, to some extent, don’t we all? Just hopefully not to the degree of these folks!!!). I tried to guess “who did it” several times before guessing correctly pretty close to the end. I bet they make this into a movie. It’s a worthwhile read and addictive. I sped through it relatively quickly. (p.s. The kindle version is only $4.99 right now on Amazon!)

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One of my goals for 2015 was to read 12 books. I figured that averaged one book a month and should be totally do-able. Girl on the Train marked my 12th book this year which means that I can now stop reading until 2016. Kidding! I have a new stack of library books on my night stand ready and waiting.

Speaking of the library… I recently got a call asking if I had spilled/damaged a book I had recently turned in. I had not. I remember the pages being “wavy” but not un-readable so I thought nothing of it. Apparently they have to discard book that get wet because they can grow mold and potentially spread to other books when stored on the shelves.  They said fine and we hung up the phone and wouldn’t you know, mere seconds later I spilled coffee on a different library book. Go figure, right? So I had to pay $29 for that book that I definitely damaged.  Sigh.

Also another thought on the library… my public library is kind of gross. Although it has been remodeled recently, which is an improvement because they ripped up gross carpeting and put in laminate flooring.  However, it still just seems dark, dingy, and dirty. Plus this past weekend I walked by a random man using one of the computers and had to look away quickly because the screen had larger than life questionable material displayed! I mean, WHAT? #Awkward.

How’s your public library? I always thought I’d take my kids to the library because I have such fond memories of spending time at my local library when I was growing up.  However I really can’t see myself taking them and worrying about them touching anything.  Maybe I’m over reacting… Who knows.

 

Categories: Book Report, goals Tags: ,
Beach Suggestions

Matt and I are hoping to take a relaxing beach vacation early next year to celebrate our five year wedding annivesary!!! (Doesn’t five years seem so long and like a drop in the bucket all at once?) Do you have any fabulous beach destination suggestions? We are just starting to brainstorm. Mexico is a strong contender… (I’ve never been!). An all inclusive adults only resort is right up our alley. Something nice but not toooooo expensive.

Categories: Vacation My Love Tags: , ,
M+AK+E in July

M+AK+E is a monthly Mama/daughter photo project showcasing our top five favorites. At the end of the year I plan on having these photos printed into a hardbound photo album. You can see past monthly favorites here

July was a BUSY month and the beginning of August has been crazy with a sick kiddo so there’s that excuse. Regardless here’s what we were into in July:

Reading >> M – Crazy Rich Asians, AK – Goodnight Little One , E – If I Were a Hippo 

Eating >> M – Spinach Scrambles, AK – granola bars AKA “cookies”, E – bread, bread, bread

Loving >> M – Dallas Weekend Get-a-way with girlfriends, AK – ponytails/pigtails, E blankies

 

Wearing >> M – braided workout headbands, AK – all the dresses, E – purple flower shoes

Noteworthy >> M – actively meal planning/prepping, AK – talking SO much, E – taking independent steps for the first time

Categories: M+AK+E Tags: , , ,
One

Dear Elaine Marie,

It’s your very first birthday and what a whirlwind of a year it was. When Daddy and I very first learned that you were on your way we were completely surprised. I have to tell you that I love a good surprise, and goodness, I love love you. You complete our family of four and you, my sweet girl, belong.

When I think of some of your defining characteristics I immediately think of how smart, affectionate, courageous, and adventurous you are. You want to run before you can walk, you want to climb everything, and you want to know, see, and do. You’re tiny but mighty and you have the voice to prove it. You’re a loving girl and give the sweetest snuggles to Mama, Daddy, and your big sister. You adore soft and cuddly toys, soft blankies, and bath time.  You like to drop things and say “uh oh” in your sweet voice.

As you continue to grow and discover the world around you, my heart hopes and prays that life allows you to know, see, and do the all the good and wonderful things that are meant for you. I pray that you are healthy and protected, that you are filled with joy, and that you achieve your biggest dreams.

 

Elaine I hope that you always know that you are worthy and loved. I will always be grateful to be known as your Mama and I will love you forever.

All my love,
Mama

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Written on E’s 1st birthday, August 13th, 2015.
p.s. Stay tuned for several one year old birthday posts – you’ve been warned ;)

Related: One – a letter to Alice on her 1st birthday

Categories: Uncategorized
Our Baby’s Turning One

(personal details blotted out for privacy reasons)

Can’t believe we’re already planning E’s first birthday party!  We’re doing a lion theme to coordinate with the lion I used to take her monthly baby photos.  As always, this party will be small as well.  Just immediate family, but it will be sweet and awesome just like our girl.

Categories: baby girl, celebrations, kiddos Tags: ,
Two Year Quarterly Toddler Photos

Once Alice turned one I knew that I still wanted to take some scheduled photos for the sake of documentation. I absolutely loved the way her first year monthly photos came together, but for the sake of simplicity I knew that taking a scheduled monthly photo wasn’t practical long term. For her second year I decided to take quarterly photos in the nursery rocker with her giraffe.

For her monthly baby photos (see above photos) I dressed her (and am currently doing the same for Elaine’s monthly baby photos) in a white onesie. I momentarily considered dressing her in a white tee-shirt for these photos, but quickly nixed that idea. Toddler clothes are so colorful and fun I knew it would be neat to look back and remember what she was wearing at this age. Sometimes I dressed her in something cute and other times I just took the photo in whatever she was wearing at that moment. The point was to get the photo and throw out the idea of perfection.

Photographing little ones can be hard. I’m not saying anything new here. They move a lot, they don’t look at the camera when you want them to, they get tired, they get grumpy, they try to dive head first off of a chair… Sometimes (99% of the time) these little photo projects take effort, but having these photos makes it all worthwhile.

p.s. Alices’ monthly baby photos

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Categories: kiddos, pictures Tags: ,