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

Categories: kiddos, pictures Tags: ,
Book Report (& a Giveaway!)

I read all three of these books last month. I didn’t read anything in May and I haven’t read anything this month. What can I say, I read in spurts. Two out of three were non-fiction and here’s what I thought of them:

Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism by Maria Emmerich – I picked this book up based on another blogger’s frequent reference to this book as being life changing for her. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that after reading this book I felt exactly the same way, but I did think it to be informative and encouraging. The premise of this book is to eat real food and avoid processed junk (something I already agree with and completely support). It’s not about “dieting” but rather making healthy lifestyle choices when it comes to food. Personally, I connect with this approach because eating real food that provides quality nutrition for your body makes absolute sense to me. The author gets pretty scientific in breaking down how nutrition is metabolized in the body which I found interesting and also long winded. I definitely did my fair share of skimming. Working in healthcare, the science seemed pretty valid, but I certainly didn’t fact check all the information. I will say that I felt encouraged to stop going through the drive thru for lunch, which is something I was doing kind of regularly there for a while. (YUCK!) For me, this book was a good reminder that eating well is important and should be a part of my daily life. My one warning is that this book is poorly edited. So if you are a grammar nazi or if you find that poor sentence structure makes you want to jump out of a moving vehicle then perhaps you better look elsewhere for your nutritional education.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – More than likely you’ve heard of this one, and I was too intrigued to not check it out for myself. I love a good organization book and this one did not disappoint. Originally this was written in Japanese and I’m not sure how much is lost in translation, but I thought it to be so well written! (To note: I had just finished the previous book above and found it to be poorly written and/or edited, but regardless I still stand behind my statement that this book was written well. End of note.) Some aspects of Marie Kondo’s methods are…extreme. To say the least! In particular it was hard for me to relate to the way she thought of her objects as living things yet at other times I found her writing to be so personable. The backbone of her method is to only keep things that spark joy. Seems easier said than done, but her approach to ridding yourself of things that no longer meet that criteria is so interesting and relatable! When I can find the time (and energy) I plan on putting some of her methods to use.

The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields – I believe I won this novel in a give away that Janet was doing on her blog some time back.  Unfortunately it has sat on my bookshelf for at least a year, unread. (I’ve been busy growing and caring for babies). When I finally got around to cracking this book open, I had zero expectations. Good news, it was great! Based on a true story, The Age of Desire chronicles Edith Wharton’s sad marriage, the close relationship she had with her childhood governess turned personal assistant, and of course her scandalous affair. I finished this book in less than a week (quick for me these days) and then immediately googled everything I could find pertaining to Edith Wharton’s career and personal life. Such a strong and successful woman who lived during a time where that was not even close to the norm.

What have you been reading lately? I’ve been binging on Orange is the New Black (I’m usually late to the newest “cool” thing – which OITNB is not new being that it’s in it’s third season) but I recently picked up a stack of library books that I had on reserve and can’t wait to dive in.

And just for fun, I’m giving away my copy of The Age of Innocence to one of you! I’ll ship anywhere. If you’re interested just leave a comment below telling me the last great book you read and I’ll pick a winner next Thursday, July 23rd.

Give away now closed!  Thank you!

Categories: Book Report Tags:
Right Now

+ As of today I have been working out consistently for three weeks. THREE WEEKS. I can hardly believe it! Besides high school, I don’t think there has ever been a time that I’ve worked out consistently (as in more than once or twice a week) for three entire weeks straight. I definitely feel an increase in energy and notice an improvement in my overall level of fitness. Unfortunately I’m not visually seeing a huge improvement (hello muffin top I’m glaring at you) but I’m trying to not get discouraged and stick with it.

+ I ordered Elaine’s birthday party invitation. My baby is going to be one next month. ONE. This year just flew by, yet had moments where time seemed to drag on and on. Time is crazy thing.

+ Alice’s vocabulary seems to increase by the minute. She’s speaking in sentences and coming home with brand new words and phrases all the time.

+ Motherhood in general. Being a mom to sisters is so much fun. I love watching their little personalities unfold as well as their relationship with each other. They’re constantly hugging on one another and it’s pretty much the sweetest and the cutest. I’ve been trying to be diligent by writing down little things I want to remember about this time in our (their) lives.

+ Dreaming about our next vacation. Matt has put his foot down that our next vacation will be at the beach. No running around taking in all the sites. We’re going to sit and relax and be still. Sounds pretty awesome. Hopefully it happens soon!

+ Yesterday I gave a presentation at work in front of about 25 people and I survived! I was pretty nervous but I think it went decently. I didn’t blow minds or anything (that’s largely in part to the subject matter of the presentation) but I’m glad that I came through without tripping over every single word or staring down at my notes the entire time. Public speaking can be so nerve wracking and I haven’t done it for years. Hooray for getting out of my comfort zone and living to tell the (small) tale.

+ Looking forward to an all girls weekend later this month. Plans include catching up, sitting by the pool with drinks that sport little umbrellas, shopping, and eating good food. I’m so excited.

Categories: yours truly Tags: , ,
M+AK+E June

{Disclaimer: Oh my goodness I realize this is beyond late!  And I was halfway tempted to skip the June edition all together, but for the sake of the photo book at the end of the year I pulled through. Life has seemed extra busy lately with summer and family and just stuff. You know how it is.}

In 2015 I’m doing a monthly mother/daughter photo project documenting 5 of our favorite things. At the end of the year I plan on making a photo book of all these photos. See all these mother/daughter favorites here.

Anyhow, here’s what we were diggin’ in June:

Reading >> M – The Age of Desire, AK – B is for Breakdancing Bear, E – Five Little Ladybugs

Working On >> M – Expecting Alice, AK – naming colors, E – grabbing and throwing everything off of the coffee table

Playing With >> M- the concept of meal prep, AK – tea, E – ladybug

Loving >> M – our new rug, AK – cartoons, E – all things soft and cuddly

Noteworthy >> M – attempting to establish a consistent workout routine, AK – first haircut!, E – standing and cruising everywhere

 

Tell me, what have you and your loved ones been into lately?

Categories: kiddos, M+AK+E, motherhood, Uncategorized Tags: , , ,
Happy Father’s Day

Gosh, we sure do love this guy!  I’m so grateful he’s ours.  Happy Father’s day to my love and to all the great dads out there!

Categories: celebrations, family, kiddos, Married Life, Matt Tags: , , ,
The Weekend Is Almost Upon Us

Hope you have a great weekend!  It’s Father’s Day so I plan on calling my own dad and letting him know that I love him.  And of course the girls and I are planning on celebrating Matt – because he’s a great dad and we’re grateful to call him ours.

Lately I’ve had relationships on the mind, specifically romantic relationships (marriage in my case) and friendships.  Both have such a special place in our lives and go through seasons, would you agree?  Here are some great posts I’ve read lately in regards to both kinds of relationships:

Friendship:

How to Make Plans With Friends:  The comments in this post are good.  Making plans with friends as an adult is hard.  So many things come into play now that we are no longer young carefree college kids.  Now we have our own kids, husbands, families, and careers to deal with, which makes trying to schedule a dinner between 5 people damn near impossible.  I’ve decided that I’m going to try a new approach.  Usually if I decide to invite a group of girls out for dinner I’ll send out a text that says, “Are you girls free any night this week for dinner?”  It’s chaos.  One will say yes, another will say no -but maybe next week, and then another says they’ll get back to you…but then they forget to get back to you.  Two weeks later it’s “so what about that dinner?” and the entire process starts over again.  It wears me out!  I feel like the entire thing should be simpler and why didn’t the two people who were free originally just go to dinner?!  From now on, when I decide to do the inviting my text will say something along these lines: “Hi I’m free this Wednesday for dinner!  I’d love if some or all of you could join.  Let me know if you are free!”  Boom!  That way if anyone is free the plans will happen, if someone’s not…sorry hopefully you can join the next time!  What do you think?  Do you find that it’s hard to make plans with your friends these days?

Marriage: Now that we have two kiddos it takes extra effort for Matt and I to get some one on one time.  I really cherish our times with our sweet babies but I still really enjoy the times when it’s just Matt and I too.  Also I think it’s important.  We’re still taking turns planning out  monthly dates and during the week we’ll sometimes meet up for impromptu lunch dates.  Every little effort counts!

+ This anniversary post.
This post about showing your kids your relationship

What are your tricks for connecting in marriage when you’re short on time?

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Categories: friends, M + M, Married Life Tags: , ,