Category Archives: family

Baby A’s Handmade Nursery

Howdy!

I’m really excited to share Baby Alexander’s bedroom with you today!

I really wanted to create a beautiful and relaxing place for Baby Alexander, it really turned out well. Each piece was selected and created with love especially for her.  The theme was supposed to be grey and purple with chevron print and baby elephants. It seems like a lot, but it flowed pretty well. Of course, we were blessed with wonderful gifts of pink so there is some of that thrown in.

2014-01-09 19.22.19-2It starts with this handmade sign for the door.

DSC_0001That really cute “Baby Alexander” art was painted by my best friend, the one that threw my shower. The pom poms are from the baby shower, and I ordered these lanterns online.

DSC_0006My mom made this beautiful baby cradle! Its really gorgeous. I’m so thankful for my mom!

We are waiting to get a crib until after we move into our new house in a few months. The adorable, colorful blanket was made by my mother-in-law! And it has a really cute matching jacket and hat!

DSC_0015Right next to the cradle is my glider, and the blanket on the back of the chair was made by my mom! (This baby has some really crafty and talented grandmas) Each little elephant is hand stitched and the back is super soft elephant fleece.

DSC_0010And here is the dresser that I completely re-finished! It used to look like this…

2013-08-28 18.40.10Scary right! I love the way it turned out. It took a lot of work, we had to scrap, sand, and re-do the edged but it was all worth it. I even lined the inside of the drawers with grey chevron contact paper.

2013-10-26 16.48.56-2I also re-did this bookshelf. The little bins are holding her bath stuff like baby shampoo, other toiletries, and towels.

DSC_0012The back is also lined with same chevron paper from the dresser. Nana Alexander picked out that adorable elephant shaped humidifier! Baby sure needs a lot more books.

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For artwork I created these prints and I think they turned out great.

DSC_0004And this one is actually just a gift bag that I though was seriously adorable!

I wish I could get a good picture of the whole room, but it just doesn’t work with the shape of the room.

I’m so happy with how great the room looks and feels! I just love how each handmade piece came together to create a wonderful baby nursery. I will admit that I cannot wait to move into our new house so I can’t paint her walls and make her room even more special. It just didn’t seem very economical or worth my time to this rental when we are about to move in just a few months. At first, I was really bummed that everything wouldn’t be “picture perfect” by the time she makes her way home, but I know that it won’t really matter in the end. She will be so completely loved by us, that’s what really matters.

I do have a few more final touches, but I’m no hurry. They are more for when we are moved into the new house, I know her room will be my first priority.

Now the room is just waiting for a baby….

2014 Brings New Focus

Happy New Year!

I have to admit, I love the sense of a fresh start that comes with a new year! New Year’s Resolutions tend to get a bad rep. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the hopefulness that comes with making resolutions and trying to change your life!

I feel like I’ve had pretty good success over the last few years with making goals and working on them all year long. Of course, somethings didn’t get crossed off and somethings probably will never get crossed off, but the real lesson comes from WORKING towards a goal, even if its not officially finished.

For me, 2014 is going to be a completely different year than other year. To be honest, I have no idea what to expect!

Baby Elizabeth’s arrival and motherhood are going to totally shake things up. Most days I think I’ll be able to handle it, and things will go smoothly for the most part. And then other days I panic when I think about how I’m going to juggle being a mother, working full-time, and keeping up with “me stuff.”

This year I’m taking a whole new approach, and starting off with a completely new focus on a few  areas, instead of a set list of goals to check off. I feel like it would be most beneficial for me to focus on more short terms goals, then I’ll be able to go with the flow of the year more easily.

Home & Family

I don’t have too many specific goals yet, but they will come as the year starts to get rolling. I have several areas I’d like to really work on.
-Planning Ahead: Meals, Workouts, Doctor Appointments, Blogging, Bill Paying
-Housekeeping:  I’d like to create a schedule/checklist and stick to it!
-Budgeting: I really want a savings account with money in it! We did a fairly good job at it this year, I’d like to do better.

These are the things that really stress me out, the bills, the housekeeping, and not planning ahead. Wondering what’s for dinner or having to run to the store after work. Stressing about a balance the bills with the paychecks. Feeling like I don’t have time to get my own stuff done because the house is a mess. The extra stress causes tension between Blake and I, mostly because I’m so worried about everything that I tend to get snappy or rude to him.

Personal

As for things for me personally, I have so many thing I want to do. Its a little overwhelming. I need to focus and tackle things one at time:
– I have a bunch of crafts and projects on my to-do list.
– I also got a brand new fancy camera this year and I’d like figure out some of the more advanced features and finally take it off auto.
– I would also like to commit to blogging more than I have over the past months, and finally making this blog self hosted.

Health & Fitness

Lastly, I’ve yet to sit down and tackle my health and fitness goals for the year. Sure, I’m already dreaming about the days I starting running again and might have been looking at a hotel for Bloomsday this year. I’m excited about taking my baby girl for a walk everyday! I really am looking forward to having tough sweat sessions and feeling my muscles again. But at the same time, I’m not ready to commit to specific goals yet. I’m going to wait until after I’ve had the baby, and ready to get started again. Then I’ll take it one day at a time.

I’m really looking forward to this year! We have some big, big, big things ahead of us, and its going to be a blast!

Do you do resolutions or goals for the new year?
I’d love to hear them!

Our Christmas [2013]

How was your Christmas??

Mine was so wonderful, seriously wonderful. I love spending time with my families!

Christmas TreeOur Red, White, & Blue Tree

I grew up living very close to my aunts and cousins so holidays were always filled with arguments, fighting, and stress. Although, I miss my cousins with all my heart- its pretty nice to spend time with just my immediate family.

I also love being with my husband’s family! This was my fourth Christmas with them, and seriously it’s like I’ve been a part of the family all along. I feel very lucky to be a part of their family.

For Blake and I, the Christmas season starts on Christmas Eve with a big family dinner and gift exchange at his Grandma’s house. The whole family is always there, and we have delicious, delicious prime rib…its such a great time.

familyAfter dinner we had a gift exchange where we had previously drawn someone’s name and one of those Chinese Gift Exchange type gift exchanges. It’s always fun to watch people’s gifts get stolen and traded.

Christmas morning is spent with Blake’s parents, his sister, and her boyfriend. The last few years we have spent the night at their house to make things easier, but next year we will live a lot close to them!

I feel so blessed because the one “big thing” I still wanted to get for the baby’s room was a glider rocker, like this one.

I’m so thankful! I can’t wait to rock the baby to sleep in her quite room, in this super comfy chair. Its going to be so wonderful. My goal this weekend is to get the one last piece of furniture that needs painted done!

After all the fun was had, we loaded up the car to head home because I had to cook big dinner for my family! I LOVE cooking Christmas dinner! This is my third year cooking for my family and it was by far the best!

We had turkey, ham (using this crock pot method), garlic mash potatoes with turkey gravy, layered sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, and rolls. Plus I made two pumpkin pies!

Roasted TurkeyOk, I was super proud of my beautiful roasted turkey! Sure it was a little over cooked, but still delicious. I rubbed the outside with a little mix of olive oil, fresh “poultry” herbs, salt and pepper – which I blended in to a pesto of sorts and Inside was a honeycrisp apple and a lemon. It really turned out great. And for the first time ever I used the drippings to make gravy which was big hit with everyone!

We have tons of turkey leftover so we are going to be picking it off the bones and making some freezer meals for when the baby comes! I’m thinking some turkey chili, turkey noodle soup, and rice casserole!

Presents with my family is so much fun because my brother has little kids! AH! Kids are just too fun! As a family “us kids” got my mom a Kindle Fire and she loved it! She was just as excited as the kids! Once she opened that thing she was zoned in!

DSC_0080My niece Evelynn playing with Uncle Tommy!

Then we took our family picture!

DSC_0071What good lookin’ family! Well except the one on the end, but we don’t claim him very often.

Our Christmas was a huge success! Although by the end of the night, I was exhausted. A busy Christmas day at 8 months pregnant is like running a 8 miles…afterwards I had to take an ice bath for my feet and ankles. In fact, I’m still a little sore today.

But I’ll take the soreness right along with the amazing family! Love them all!

Tell me about your Christmas! Leave a link if you wrote about it!

Our Christmas [2013]

How was your Christmas??

Mine was so wonderful, seriously wonderful. I love spending time with my families!

Christmas TreeOur Red, White, & Blue Tree

I grew up living very close to my aunts and cousins so holidays were always filled with arguments, fighting, and stress. Although, I miss my cousins with all my heart- its pretty nice to spend time with just my immediate family.

I also love being with my husband’s family! This was my fourth Christmas with them, and seriously it’s like I’ve been a part of the family all along. I feel very lucky to be a part of their family.

For Blake and I, the Christmas season starts on Christmas Eve with a big family dinner and gift exchange at his Grandma’s house. The whole family is always there, and we have delicious, delicious prime rib…its such a great time.

familyAfter dinner we had a gift exchange where we had previously drawn someone’s name and one of those Chinese Gift Exchange type gift exchanges. It’s always fun to watch people’s gifts get stolen and traded.

Christmas morning is spent with Blake’s parents, his sister, and her boyfriend. The last few years we have spent the night at their house to make things easier, but next year we will live a lot close to them!

I feel so blessed because the one “big thing” I still wanted to get for the baby’s room was a glider rocker, like this one.

I’m so thankful! I can’t wait to rock the baby to sleep in her quite room, in this super comfy chair. Its going to be so wonderful. My goal this weekend is to get the one last piece of furniture that needs painted done!

After all the fun was had, we loaded up the car to head home because I had to cook big dinner for my family! I LOVE cooking Christmas dinner! This is my third year cooking for my family and it was by far the best!

We had turkey, ham (using this crock pot method), garlic mash potatoes with turkey gravy, layered sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, and rolls. Plus I made two pumpkin pies!

Roasted TurkeyOk, I was super proud of my beautiful roasted turkey! Sure it was a little over cooked, but still delicious. I rubbed the outside with a little mix of olive oil, fresh “poultry” herbs, salt and pepper – which I blended in to a pesto of sorts and Inside was a honeycrisp apple and a lemon. It really turned out great. And for the first time ever I used the drippings to make gravy which was big hit with everyone!

We have tons of turkey leftover so we are going to be picking it off the bones and making some freezer meals for when the baby comes! I’m thinking some turkey chili, turkey noodle soup, and rice casserole!

Presents with my family is so much fun because my brother has little kids! AH! Kids are just too fun! As a family “us kids” got my mom a Kindle Fire and she loved it! She was just as excited as the kids! Once she opened that thing she was zoned in!

DSC_0080My niece Evelynn playing with Uncle Tommy!

Then we took our family picture!

DSC_0071What good lookin’ family! Well except the one on the end, but we don’t claim him very often.

Our Christmas was a huge success! Although by the end of the night, I was exhausted. A busy Christmas day at 8 months pregnant is like running a 8 miles…afterwards I had to take an ice bath for my feet and ankles. In fact, I’m still a little sore today.

But I’ll take the soreness right along with the amazing family! Love them all!

Tell me about your Christmas! Leave a link if you wrote about it!

Wonderful Weekend

How is the weekend almost over already? It just can’t be! The last week has been so busy, its crazy.

I’m so thankful for the 3-day weekend because its gave me some seriously needed time with my hubby! We both had a long weekend and totally used the time to have lots of fun.

We used Saturday to have a little pool party with our friends, which ended up delicious burgers cooked by yours truly. The day was so much fun that everyone was wiped by the end of the day, so we hit the hay early.

Sunday, I ventured into the kitchen to make a batch of homemade biscuits for breakfast!

Sunday Breakfast

The last time, I tried to make biscuits they came out as hockey pucks! But this time the rose beautifully, but were on the small size. I’ll have to keep trying.

After breakfast we hit the up the town! We picked up a flower pot for the front door, groceries, and even a new pair of ankle boots for moi!

flower pot

I’m not sure what kind of plants are in this, but I love it! In a few weeks I’m going to get a little scarecrow to put stick in it.

We ended grocery shopping for what seemed like an eternity! But we are super stocked up for a healthy week or two.

Today was another fun day! Blake and I slept late, then I went to my brother’s to hangout for a little bit.

future model

My neice, Eveylnn loves shades!

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I also took the baby for her first swim! She seemed to like it, except for the sun in her eyes so she wore sister’s big hat.

For some reason, I didn’t take any picture of big brother today.

After playing for the little while I came home to tackle some house chores. I got a “new” dresser from my aunt last week, but it has a funky smell so I tried to clean it up.  Plus the regular stuff like laundry and dishes.

For most people this might be a boring weekend, but for us it was perfect! We hardly see each other because of work schedules so sometimes we just need to be normal, ya know!

I’ll be back tomorrow with the baby update! I started the house hunting post, but its a lot more time consuming than I realized so I’ll have to finish it in a bit.

Family Time

Good day!

Mondays really give me headaches. I’ve been tracking my headaches and I get one almost every Monday! At least this weekend was quite enjoyable! We sure packed a lot into two days.

Saturday started with a super yummy breakfast for some pre-run fuel.

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Sadly, I ate it too close to run time, so I had a stomach ache for 5 whole miles! My run was just….meh. They were slow miles and I had heartburn plus the stomach ache, but it felt great when I was done!

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The view wasn’t too bad though! Plus I rocked this awesome new shirt.

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We planned to check out the farmer’s market which just opened for the season, but silly me thought it closed at 3 PM when it really closed at 1 PM…Whomp whomp.

We still had to do some grocery shopping though, so off to the store!

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It was actually kind of fun, because we had not been shopping in weeks! For meals this weeks I’m planning greek yogurt with fruit and granola or eggs for breakfast. Turkey sandwiches for lunch and salmon (bunless) burgers with veggies and a rice and quinoa medley. Nothing fancy, but everything healthy and delicious! I also found some fun, new stuff to try like this Justin’s Maple Almond Butter!

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So good with just a hint of sweetness from the maple. Perfect for an afternoon snack before my workout today.

We also scored these Honeycrisp Apple Shock Tops.

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I’m not sure if I’ve expressed my love for honeycrisps apples, but I love with with everyone once of my heart. The only apple that matters. We’ve been on the lookout for this beer for literally weeks, and it did not disappoint.

Saturday night we had dinner plans with our friends, and I totally enjoyed a prime rib dinner with salad, green beans, and a baked potato. We  also saw Star Trek, Into The Darkness in 3D and I really liked it. It’s the first movie that I actually thought was worth the extra price for 3D. Good food, good movie, good company…excellent night.

Sunday was spend snoozing late, and spending time with the family! We a little BBQ at my mom’s house and it was nice to see my family, especially this little beauty!

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Miss Lyllian Riley hanging out on Uncle Blake’s lap! She is now 9 days old with a seriously full head of hair. Here hair is the same color mine was when I was born: greyish, dirty blond!

After the BBQ we did a quick round of mini golf, and then Blake offered to tackle the spare room, which was packed full of junk and you have move stuff around just to move in there. It took a little while but now we have neatly organized junk! I also came across old jeans, of course, I had to try them on.

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Crazy! This was nice little reminder that I really have come so far from the beginning! This makes me appreciate my hard work and dedication. I’m not always perfect, I haven’t lost weight super fast, but I’ve worked hard and I’ve really changed. That’s what matters.

This was such a great weekend, I loved spending time with family!
And I’m pleased to say that I did not overeat and I did not gain weight over the weekend! Score.

Surviving

This will be hard post to write, but I need to do it. I need to get it out and continue to heal.

In August of 2011, my cousin Amy passed away  at the young age of 25. I was devastated. We were very close growing up, even lived together for a little while. Of course, we didn’t always get along, and for while grew apart for occasionally , it didn’t change anything. In fact, one day I was looking through my phone contact and randomly decided to call her to see if she had the same phone number, and we chatted for like 2 hours. We were cousin and friends.

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Amy’s death changed me. My cousin’s life was cut short, and there were so many things she didn’t get to do. She had wishes, dreams, and plans. I decided from that moment, that I would not waste anymore time waiting for things to happen to me. When you want something you have to make it happen.

After this, I decided to start a family, I wanted to have a baby. It took a long while to get the ball rolling, due to the type of birth control I had been using and getting myself & Blake ready. In September of last year, after 4 crazy pregnancy tests I excitedly text Blake you’re going to be Dad!

As any first time mother would, I called the doctor right away! At 8 weeks I was scheduled for my first ultrasound, to say we were excited is an understatement, but we were really excited. Sadly, nothing came up on the ultrasound, the technician could see the “sack” but no actually baby. I’m pretty sure my heart stopped for a second. The technician told us that there was no baby and I could barely walk out of the hospital. How could this be. I felt broken.

There was a series of more doctors appointments, tube after tube of blood work, and two more ultrasounds. The whole time we were in limbo, we didn’t know if there was a baby or not. My hormones levels were super high, but then dropped rapidly. After 4 weeks of not hoping and praying that there really a baby, we found out there was definitely not a baby. I had miscarried at 6 weeks. (I ended up having a D&C.)

After the miscarriage, I wanted to lay in bed crying. And I did for while, but I knew deep down that if I didn’t do something I would end up in worse shape emotionally. I have a long family history of severe depression and have fought with it myself for a long time.

So I forced myself to run even though I was slow and would end up crying mid run. I forced myself to hang out with friends, even though I cried when I held my friend’s baby. I worked out, tried out recipes, visited the library….anything to help me try to gain a routine.

I threw myself in to weight loss, and I credit how far I’ve come to that moment. In this moment, and maybe still to this day, I felt like this happened because I was over weight and unhealthy. It had to be my fault, I knew it. So I promised myself to be as healthy as possible whenever “next time” came.

Now I am so thankful, that I was able to turn things around, I lost another 20 pounds. I made fitness my hobby. I changed. I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity if I had the baby.

That doesn’t change the fact that It still hurts me that I am not a mom. Today is May 17. The day my baby was due. To tell you the truth, I’m a little mad. The last few weeks have been seriously hard. Friends have had baby showers, my sister-in-law and brother had a baby (due only the day before me). And I am so happy for them. Its just hard to watch what could have been unfold.

I thought by now I would be pregnant again and happily waiting for my baby’s arrival but of course it didn’t pan out that way. I also thought I’d be down to 160 lbs by now, so that I would know deep down that its not my fault, and I’m not. The two things together have made the last few weeks so hard. And probably the reason why I’ve struggled to commit to my weight loss. Expectations have a funny way of slapping you in face, don’t they?

I’m at the point where I want a baby so bad, but I’m not where I need to be physically and I don’t know what to do about it. But I know that writing this will help me. Writing this is letting some of my tears and fears outs.

We just have to take it one day at a time. That’s all it takes to survive.