One of the things I really miss about our pre-kiddo life was going on dates with my husband. Back in the day, we were dating fools! Meaning we went on dates All- The-Time and I have to say, it was awesome! I definitely didn’t appreciate the fact that we were able to grab spontaneous dinners on a random Tuesday night or just the sheer volume of dates we went on.  I knew things would change once we became parents but you just don’t really know-know until you are right in the middle of the experience.

Our fourth wedding anniversary is coming up and we are now parents to TWO sweet baby girls and life is good.  However, the frequency of our one-on-one dates has taken a severe nose dive. Such is life, right? Extra time is a precious luxury when you have a brand new baby, a toddler, and full time jobs on your hands. But! BUT! I still want to go on dates with my husband. I’m kind of sweet on him.  Plus I believe happy and healthy marriages support happy and healthy families.

Investing in my marriage is a priority.

Recently I read about the Year of Dates on the blog Coffee + Crumbs and found myself nodding yes to so many things Ashlee was saying.   She so eloquently says so many things I feel about marriage and dating and wanting her children to see them making their marriage a priority.  Yes, yes, and a fist bump!

Like her, I too thrive on scheduled plans for dates and vacations much more than my husband.  I love seeing plans penned into my calendar and it’s fun to have something fun to look forward to (and of course it’s fun to actually do the fun thing you’ve scheduled).  My love language is also quality time (well that or words of affirmation, it’s a toss up) and I too am guilty for being annoyed with my husband for not taking the initiative to plan more regular dates.   Ashlee has a lightbulb idea moment and realizes that she is more than capable of planning dates for her and her husband.  So that is exactly what she does.  She planned out 12 monthly dates, they went on them, and they made time between just the two of them a priority.

I was immediately on board so the other day at lunch I presented the Year of Dates idea to Matt.  He immediately said he was in.  Yay!  February 12th is our four year wedding anniversary so it seemed like the perfect occasion to kick things off.  We decided that we would take turns and plan six date nights each.  Matt’s up first for February and I’ll plan something out for March.  I’m excited and looking forward to our Year of Dates.  Care to join in?!

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In 2015 I want to do a monthly mother daughter photo project documenting 5 of our favorite little things.  At the end of the year I plan to have this photo project printed into a keepsake book.

HAIR >> M // new straight across bangs!  AK // growing a few curls and in a constant state of bed head.  E // growing sweet wisps of baby hair

WEARING >> Christmas Boots.  M// Uggs.  AK// Pink polka dot boots (seems to no longer be available).  E// pink fleece booties

Listening to >> M // All the Time by Bahamas on repeat.  AK// Frere Jacques on You Tube.   E// the music on her puppy bouncy seat (similar – available but discontinued by manufacturer)

Reading >> M// Yes Please.  AK// Dear Zoo.  E// Baby Faces

Working on >> M// Bullet Journaling.  AK // serving imaginary tea.  E// holding light weighted toys

This project was 100% inspired by Elise’s E&e photo project!


Oh look!  I got my hairs cut and now BANGS!  My first time to have straight across bangs since the 3rd grade when I used to wear black reebok high tops with everything.  And I mean everything.  Remind me to call my mother and ask her why she let me do such a thing.

I like them.  The bangs.  Something new and different.

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Happy 2015! We’re three days in and I hope you’re off to a good start. Do you get into New Years resolutions? Matt feels like it’s just another day, but I totally get into it. I love the idea of a new year and a fresh start. I love buying a new planner (I bought this one) and filling in the crisp blank pages.  I already have a list of things I’d love to accomplish in 2015 penned on one of the blank pages in the back of the planner.  In addition to my overall yearly list of goals, I’m also listing out small goals to help me reach those big goals and  things I would just like to get done each month.

Most of my goals are creative in nature.  I want to sew more (well…actually learn to sew), draw, paint, make a weaving, and put together more photo books.  I also want to get in really good shape.  I have essentially been pregnant for the past two years and it feels so good to have my body back (besides breastfeeding) and I’d love to run, yoga, lift weights, get my heart rate up, and just sweat more!  I’m really excited about all these things.

As for this space I would love a new look.  Inevitably, I always want a completely new blog name and start thinking the one I’ve chosen is lame.  If you read my blog for any amount of time you know that I’ve gone through several blog names and even url addresses.  But, darn it,  I’m committing to this one and I’m going to stay put for now.  Yours Truly, Melissa is fitting… this space is basically an online journal written by me.  Corny and trite, but true.  But a new look is definitely on the brain and I’m thinking simple black and white.

Lastly I have decide to participate in One Little Word.  A concept developed by Ali Edwards where you choose a word every year and it becomes sort of like your mantra for the year.  I initially read about One Little Word on Elise’s blog 2-3 years ago and didn’t really think much of it until the end of 2014.   I was intrigued and the word gratitude kept coming back to me.

I debated on taking the workshop, but truth of the matter is, I’m not at all interested in scrap booking.   Not even a little bit.   I do love all the things that go with scrap booking: pretty papers, photos, journaling…so it’s sort of puzzling to me why I’m not really into it, but I’m just not. I think things like Project Life are awesome and I admire when other people post their spreads and think what a great memento to have of your days.  I can’t put my finger on exactly why it’s not for me, except that I personally love the more streamlined look of photos in hardbound albums.  Different memory keeping method right?   Although, I guess it’s more of digital scrapbooking, especially if you arrange the photos and words in the album yourself.  Yes?

So One Little Word.  Having an intention for your year and this year I intend to focus on gratitude.   I actually have a couple other words that I really liked as well, but this is the word that really stands out.  I have my word painted in watercolor and pinned  to my cork board so that I’ll see it everyday.  I don’t think I’m especially ungrateful, but I could definitely be more grateful, more thankful, more appreciative… I have two very small children (a 4.5 month old and a 19.5 month old), I work 32 hours a week, I have the day to day grind of laundry, shopping, and general housekeeping.  It can all become wearisome and very easy to focus on the have nots.

But I know I have it pretty good.  More than good.  It’s a beautiful life I live and I want to focus on those things.  Of course there is always room for growth and improvement, but there is So. Much. to be grateful for.  I’m still contemplating on exactly how I will have more gratitude in 2015.   I want to be grateful for the things I already have but also for the new opportunities and blessing that will come my familys’ way.   One thing is certain,  I want to regularly identify and list out things I am grateful for.  I also want to read this bookto give me a kickstart.  I am a firm believer that grateful people are happier overall.  Positive yields positive.

Cheers to positivity and happiness!

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Anyone else participating in One Little Word?  Are you intrigued?  Read more about it here, or listen to this podcast.  If you decide to join in please leave a comment and let me know what word will speak to you this year! You can start anytime!  I’d love to hear all about it.


Welp, I’ve read a total of three books since my last book roundup back in August.   I read a book in September, October, and December.  Apparently I was too busy to read a book in November.  Good news is that the three books I did read were all really good. I enjoyed each one thoroughly and highly recommend them all.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.  First off, the main character has an excellent name! *winky face* This was a light read, easy.  Alice, the main character with the excellent name, suffers a head injury and wakes up thinking it’s a decade earlier than it actually is.  A lot has changed in those ten years,  especially within her most important relationships.  I read this back in September so the details are slightly foggy, but I remember it being entertaining and quick.  I know it’s the middle of winter, but this would probably be a great beach read.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling.  I was already a fan of Mindy Kaling and watch every episode of her hilarious show The Mindy Project.  Now that I’ve read her book I like her even more.  This girl is funny.  Her sense of humor is so me.  Her high school experiences were also so me.  She’s nerdy and cool.  She’s naive and asks lots of questions.  I loved it all and actually laughed out loud which wins major points.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  Another YA book for the win.  Eleanor and Park are both different than all the other kids in school.  Except one is more socially accepted than the other.  They both have untraditional families, but one is not so great and the other is safe and loving.  I was less than happy with the ending, but I guess everyone’s trying to not tie up novels in a nice neat bow.  (Most of the times I wish they would!)  I did enjoy this book, but feel it’s a little rough around the edges for a pre-teen…not to say it’s not real life, because it totally is…  Anyone else read this?  Thoughts?

I’ve made a 2015 goal to read (at least) 12 new books this year.  AND I’m doing it with a friend!  We’re each going to pick 6 books and have mini-discussions at the end of each month – a book club for two.  I’m excited!  If you have any suggestions on what we should read, I’m all ears…

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What are you reading?  I’ve got Yes Please downloaded on my new Kindle that I got for my birthday.  I’ve already read the intro and know that I’m just going to love it all.  I love funny and smart ladies that work and succeed at what they do, I feel like I should listen up to what they have to say.


How was your Christmas?  Ours was pretty great.   We spent a ton of time with family and our girls were spoiled rotten by their grandparents and by of course, Santa.  This was my first Christmas as a mama to two and it was something special & surprisingly exhausting for everyone (other parents feel the same?).

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but sharing it with two littles definitely adds an awesomeness I never knew.  These girls, you guys!  They are something else.  Alice is pretty sweet to her baby sister and next year, AK will be 2.5 and E will be almost 1.5.  I’m already looking forward to watching them interact and play together next year around this time!

And I know it’s a bit late, but I thought I’d share with you our 2014 Christmas card.  The past several years I’ve managed to whip up a fairly simple design for our Christmas cards but it just wasn’t happening this year.  I did try but it wasn’t coming together and I was getting frustrated.  So I cut myself some slack and went with a pre made card from Shutterfly and called it excellent.

This photo was taken right after Thanksgiving by mother in law.  It wasn’t planned, note Matt’s sweatshirt, his movember beard, and Alice is wearing a pajama top, but it turned out great because it’s just us.

I hope you enjoy the last few days of 2014 and that your 2015 is awesome.  I’m all about New Year’s goals and have been busy listing out things I’d love to accomplish in 2015 in my new planner.

And in case you are interested, our past Christmases including our previous Christmas cards.


The last time I laid out our typical weekday it was July. Alice was 15 months old and I was miserably and, might I add, hugely pregnant.  A lot has changed in these past five months. The biggest change being that Elaine is now here. We’ve grown from being a family of three to four, I’m no longer pregnant (thank goodness!), and both the girls continue to thrive and grow. So here goes:

A “Typical Weekday” in Our Family – Alice 19 months, Elaine 4 months, Matt & Melissa married for 3 years and 10 months (4 years this February!)

Note: This timeline is based on the days I work 8-5. It varies slightly when I have to work until 530 or 6 o’clock in the evening, but for the most part this is how a typical week day looks for us right now. Right now being the week of December 15th, 2014.

630 am // The sound of my alarm drags me out of what feels like the deepest of deep sleeps. “Noooooo…. I’m so tired!!!” these are my thoughts every morning. 630 am comes very quickly after being up at 5am (and 2am before that) to nurse Elaine. I hit snooze. More than once.

650 – 710ish am // I force myself to throw the covers back and drag myself out of bed. I’m going to be late if I don’t hurry. Everyone, except Penny our dog, is asleep. She wants to go outside. After letting her out, I carry the baby video monitor into the bathroom along with my phone. I check to make sure that both girls are still asleep. They are. Once again I tell myself that I should have gotten up earlier because I now have approximately 8 minutes to get ready. I head into the bathroom and quickly brush my teeth, wash my face, and apply some makeup. I still prefer to take my showers at night because 1) it helps me unwind and 2.) I hit snooze too many times to allow for a morning shower.

712 ish – 725 ish am // I am officially rushing around. I put on the coffee and whip up a very quick breakfast (these days it’s fast cooking oatmeal). I pack my car with Elaine’s bottle bag, my breast pump bag, my purse, and a bag of snacks. I have so many bags and think for the millionth time that I should consolidate. I shovel breakfast down and head to our bedroom to get dressed. I turn the hall light on because Matt is still asleep and dress in semi darkness, which is okay because I wear a uniform everyday and my outfits fortunately don’t require any planning or forethought.

730 am // Fully dressed, I head into Elaine’s room. She’s still asleep and I wish as I do every morning that I didn’t have to wake her. There’s just something not right about waking peacefully slumbering babes. I turn off her sound machine and gently rub on her belly. She awakens easily and after adjusting her gaze she always, always flashes me one of her huge gummy grins. She. Is. The. Sweetest. I scoop her up and kiss her soft and full cheeks. I like to give her a moment to adjust to being awake before I turn on the overhead light and get her dressed. We are out the door by 735/740ish and on the road to daycare.

730-745 am // Matt gets out of bed around this time and takes a shower. Sometimes Alice is awake and talks and plays quietly in her room. Sometimes she has to be woken up and other time she talks and plays loudly. As toddlers do. Matt dresses himself first before he goes into her room to get her dressed and ready for the day. He finds this is much easier than getting her out of bed before he’s dressed and ready. If you’re ever in a hurry, try adding a crazy toddler to the mix and you’ll quickly realize that you are now late.

Alice is at daycare by 830am so that she can eat breakfast with her class. She is in a class with 12 other one year olds. She has two main teachers and they are both fabulous, caring, and fun. We are so pleased that Alice really seems to enjoy daycare and her teachers. Her day consists of going outside for fresh air twice a day for a walk in the buggy, to play on the outdoor playground, or both. There is also a stellar indoor playground that the kids play on when the weather is bad. Other activities to fill the day include story time, music, learning and developmental activities, and art. Lunch is at 1130 and then it’s quiet/nap time from 12-330 followed by an afternoon snack. Matt picks her up shortly after 5 pm.

745ish to 750ish am // I drop Elaine off at daycare. She’s in a small in-home day care with 8 total babies ranging from 6 weeks to 15 months. The caregivers are a mother daughter team and Elaine seems to be doing really great there. We weren’t able to get her into the same in-home day care that Alice was in, but I’m so grateful to have been referred to this one and that they had an opening. Elaine’s day involves naps and milk :) My understanding is that she gets her bottles around 9,12, and 3. I know they have play time, story time, and they listen to music. A sweet bonus is that her daycare providers occasionally text me photos of my sweet girl and they send home little art projects using E’s hand and foot prints!

8 am // I make it to the office and settle in for my morning of work.

9 am // I pump for about 20ish minutes. I have lots of thoughts on being a working mom/breast feeding/and pumping but that would take forever. So maybe another time I’ll share those thoughts…

930-12 // Work

12 -1 // Lunch. I go home everyday at this point. We live very close by, less than 10 minutes to drive. Once I get home I eat whatever I can scrounge up in the kitchen and pump for the second time of the day. Sometimes Matt meets me at home and with salads from the deli down the street. It’s pretty much the only time we are by ourselves these days. By the time I eat, pump, and wash my pump parts it’s time to head back to work. The hour truly flies by.

1-5 pm // Work

3 pm // Pump for the 3rd time of the day.

5-530 pm // As soon as I’m able to, I rush out the door to pick Elaine up at daycare. I usually arrive at to get her by 515 or a few minutes before. I get a brief update on how her day went and then I pack her in the car and head home. Elaine is pretty much quiet the entire ride home, which is opposite of Alice at that age. We pull into the garage around 530 and Matt and Alice are usually always there. Alice has a snack and is intently watching her dad put dinner together. I kiss them both hello and change out of my work clothes. Matt and I dive into the whirlwind that is night time parenting duty for the next couple hours.

530-605ish pm // We usually try to eat dinner together as a family at the dinner table with Alice in her high chair and Elaine sitting in the bumbo on the dining room table. E isn’t eating food yet, but I think she still enjoys being included. Once dinner is over I try to spend time with Alice, read a couple books, or just play. E loves to play on her piano play mat or sit in her bouncy chair. Alice is very interested in her baby sister and wants to give her lots of hugs and pats. She’s still learning how to be gentle and that she’s 2-3 times her size! :)

610-640 isn pm // Elaine usually starts to get fussy which is an indicator that she is ready for bed. I get her in the bath and changed into her pi’s while Alice and Matt watch Elmo and/or read books. I nurse and rock her in her room. We try to keep things consistent so that she can get used to a routine. Bedtime with Elaine is hit or miss. Sometimes she falls right asleep, other times she cries and it take several attempts to get her down for the night. Granted she is only 4 months old and I think she’s growing through what they called the Four Month Sleep Regression.  I didn’t know this existed, but apparently maybe it does.

645 – 715ish pm // Matt gets Alice into the bath and changed into her pi’s. I give her a hug and kiss goodnight before he puts her down. While she’s in the bath I wash Elaine’s bottles and try to clean up the kitchen in general. I also prepare her bottles for the next day and pack them in the bottle bag before placing them in the fridge so that they are ready to go in the morning.

730 pm // Alice is down for the night, but Elaine has woken back up. Matt takes over clean up duty in the kitchen so that I can try to get her back down.

8 pm // Both kids are asleep. For now. I jump into the shower, which is kind of my escape for the day.  I try to relax under the hot water and white noise.

820 pm // I’m out of the shower and Matt is in Elaine’s room trying to get her back down again. She eventually falls asleep.

9-930 // Matt and I collapse in the living room, exhaustion hits us full force. Ha! We chat for a bit, watch TV, and/or zone out online. I try to get into bed by 945 pm and Matt is on baby monitor duty until he comes to bed.

11-1120 pm // Matt wakes me up. Elaine is awake and hungry. I nurse her and put her back down. She usually goes back down very easily late at night, thankfully!!! Matt usually comes to bed by 1130 or 12.

2 am // E is up again. I nurse her, rock her, and put her back down.

5 am // E wakes up and is hungry. More nursing, more rocking, and again she goes down easily. She was sleeping so much better a couple weeks ago. I really hope she goes back to waking up just once in the middle of the night like she was. But really I’m looking forward to when she starts sleeping the whole night through on a consistent basis.

630 am // My alarm goes off and we start a new day.

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So it’s obvious that we are in a super busy season of life. Sometimes it’s wearisome, but overall it’s awesome. I love my family and am super grateful for each one of them. Do I long for more free time? Of course I do!

Sometimes, after the girls are in bed Matt will stay with the girls while I go out and watch a movie or grab a bite to eat with girlfriends and vice versa for him. Honestly, this happens so infrequently because it takes effort and, lets face it, we’re pretty low on steam these days. Weekends we spend a lot of quality time together at home and occasionally hang out with the girls’ grandparents. Once Elaine is sleeping through the night I think our schedule will change again. In the future I’d love a little more time to work out on a regular basis and have some crafty time.

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