Tuesday, September 2, 2014

About the Author #blogtember

Brave Love Blog
9/1 prompt [I decided to play catch up]

Lil old me. Prego. A toddler. And an amazing husband.

My novel would be completely different than I would have expected, if you asked me this question 8 years ago.  My childhood was rather picturesque and rather fairytale like.  Sure it had its imperfections, but overall, I had a loving family, two parents who loved each other and two little sisters.  I grew up in a small, but not so tiny town, and was honestly a rather 'good kid'.  I did well in school, danced, and never got into drugs or alcohol.  

I went off to college to become a teacher, graduated in 4 years and got a job right out of college. I taught for several years, living in the trendy part of the city here, and ended up buying my own house at the age of 25.  I rescued a dog from a shelter, Sadie Lady. I went to grad school, received my Master's and met my husband on Match.com. We dated a few months and then I moved right in, as we just fell in love and it all seemed right.  

I continued teaching, he proposed to me in October, 2009 and by July 2010 we were married. I went back to school for one more year and decided to stay home as a housewife in 2011.  I started blogging, and since then we have had added a beautiful baby girl in January 2013 and are expecting a little boy January 2015.  

While struggling to lose the baby weight, I decided to give "that AdvoCare thing" a try, and in August of 2013 I started with a 24 day challenge.  Little did I know, this would be the start of such a growth in me; I lost over 30 lbs in 6months and kept it off and it taught me to eat so much healthier.  I am on my second pregnancy now, and am 16 pounds lighter at this point than I was with my first child!! 

 I started contributing to my family's finances {$500-$1000 on a very part time basis}.  This company has taught me so much about health, wealth and well-being.  I think that is what drew me to it, as I really believe in leadership and always working on trying to be our best. The teacher in me loves helping others reach their health and finance goals--and it continues to inspire me to be my very best.

I would consider myself a girlie girl, but I also love adventure and fun outdoors.  We love good food and so when I'm not cooking in my kitchen, I am probably researching different recipes to try.  

I am a dreamer, but also a do-er.  I think setting goals are great and really the most important thing I can share, is to communicate them with someone!  I believe that communication really is key in ANY and EVERY relationship.  I love texting, e-mail, Facebook, instagram, but most of all I miss face to face interaction.  I am making that a real goal this year; no more excuses.  No hiding behind technology; but to really truly 'get out there and be' with more people.

I never ever claim to be "perfect" and I know there are always areas for improvement. I just try my best at whatever I am doing and I try very hard to not compare anyone's life journey to mine.  It is special, unique and at the end of the day, the only thing we have control over is our own mental attitude.  There are certainly things I wish that were different in my life, but instead of dwelling on them all of the time, I try to focus on what I can change or do and always appreciate and focus on the good.

Joe and I often joke about what our "real life" book would look like.  If only…haha!  For now, I leave you with my blog, and leave it at that.

Farewell Summer, Hello September!

And just like that, Summer is over and September is here.  I love seeing all of the back to school photos and posts; it makes me excited for my kids to go back one day, but so grateful to be home with them until then.  It is still surreal to me that I don't have to go back into a classroom and teach; I couldn't be happier.  Being home can have its daily struggles, but I cannot imagine anyone else spending these hours with our baby Brooke.

I am also ecstatic to be wearing chunky scarves, leggings, and boots soon. I feel so bored with my maternity wardrobe and look forward to something other than the three shorts that fit and tank tops!

The weekend flew by, starting with Saturday night date night. It wasn't anything crazy, but we were able to get out from 6:30-9:30.  I wore this dress again and it was  little more snug than last month!

Our dinner was AMAZING and I wish I had photos to share and drool over with you, but we hid the phones and focused on just us two for those few hours.  After dinner it was still so hot out, which is the first time ever for me being in the Corvette at night. The few dates we have been on, the weather was so chilly!

Sunday we played the lazy card.  I watched movies and read books while Brooke napped and Joe played Madden.  #nurserynextweekendiswear

Joe and Brooke went to the store so Joe could make us some sirloin burgers for dinner.  We don't buy/eat beef too often, so when we do, we make it count.

We threw a fried egg on top of the sirloin burger and he stuffed them with Cooper Cheese.

Organic no-nitrate applewood smoked bacon and you're good to go.

The cheese just oozed out the sides--perfection!

Monday we went to my dad's house and I brought a veggie tray to share.  {I have to share, as I prepared this, Joe watched Frozen with Brooke for the first time--it was seriously so cute!}

Brooke loved the sweet corn!

Ok, so did I!  We joke around that I'm not putting on as much weight this second pregnancy because I never finish whatever I'm trying to eat, because of lil miss here! She always has to have what mama is eating! It's a bit crazy.

We don't have a ton planned today, but we do need almond milk, eggs, and bread so another trip to the grocery store is in order.  I need to menu plan so we don't have to keep running to the darn store every few days!

I was also reflecting this weekend on how I attempted to "blog everyday in November" so I thought I'd give "Blogtember" a whirl. 

Interested in joining?  I found this for prompts--

The Blog-tember Daily Prompts:

Sept 1st: Imagine the front sleeve of a hard cover novel. Give us your "About the Author" so we can get to know one another, and for fun tell us what your imaginary novel would be about.
Sept 2nd: Write about what makes you happy, from the little joys to the huge game-changers.
Sept 3rd: "When I grow up I want to be...." Feel free to answer as your 5-year-old self or as of now.
Sept 4th: Pick a fashion trend you love and a fashion trend you hate. Win us over!
Sept 5th: "I am passionate about ______________. "
Sept 6th: A "currently..." post. Tell us what you're loving, hating, reading, eating, etc. If you want to borrow a list, mine is here.
Sept 7th: What's on your current reading list? Or what have you read that you recommend?
Sept 8th: Music that moves you. Are you a Spotify addict or a Pandora guru? Tell us your favorite artists/stations!
Sept 9th: Let's talk personality types. Introverted? Extroverted? Unsure-troverted? ;) If you know your Myers-Briggs type, tell us about it! If not, you can take this similar test and share your results.
Sept 10th: List 10 things that you love about yourself! Let's kick that negative self-talk outta here!
Sept 11th: How do you stay inspired? Who inspires you the most?
Sept 12th: Tell us about a favorite tradition. It could be a family tradition or from a holiday, university, you-name-it. What makes it so special?
Sept 13th: Your current relationship status. If dating/married, give us a glimpse of your story! If single, share about this special season.
Sept 14th: When did you start blogging and why?
Sept 15th: Make a mood board. Are you brainstorming a room re-do, or are you dreaming of glamping with gal-pals? Share a collage of any kind! (Examples here and here).
Sept 16th: "Most people don't know this but..."
Sept 17th: Be brave: make a vlog!
Sept 18th: Tell a tale of traveling, a city or country you've been to or a favorite vacation.
Sept 19th: If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?
Sept 20th: Share a day in the life. Pictures, timelines, stats, however you like.
Sept 21st: Fall Favorites. What do you love most about this season?
Sept 22nd: Introduce us to 5 blogs you read on the regular, and tell us why!
Sept 23rd: A guide to your city! Share some of the hot-spots and hidden gems of where you live.
Sept 24th: Your fall bucket list. What do you want to do before winter rolls around?
Sept 25th: Grab a guest post! Swap blogs with someone, and share about anything. :)
Sept 26th: How have you changed in the past year?
Sept 27th: What's on your wish list? Be sure to include links so we can shop, too ;)
Sept 28th: What were your highs and lows for this month?
Sept 29th: What are your go-to blogging resources? What would you recommend to a beginner?
Sept 30th: A farewell coffee date. Take some time to breath, sip a warm drink, and share with your new blogging buddies. If you'd like a prompt: how did the Blog-tember challenge go for you? Any surprises? What was your favorite prompt, or what would you like to see included next time?

Brave Love Blog

Now, I obviously already missed day one, (and clearly day two, as I'm sharing this) and some prompts I may have nothing to say, but I thought it'd be a fun way to inspire my writing and pass the time away!  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Randoms

Hey hey, it's Saturday!! I am excited to have Joe home an extra day this weekend.  Of course he's working today, but we had a nice day yesterday.   We were able to pick out paint for baby boy's room, started narrowing down new carpet ideas, and are ready to tackle his room hopefully tomorrow!

This week was nice--warm, but breezy and I tried to get outside with Brooke as much as we could.

She loves trying on our "shoe-shoes"

Tuesday we went shopping with my friend and her kids. I rocked the bump.

I had to buy baby boy a few things…it was Gap card Tuesday (extra 10% off!) and 20-30% on top of that.  I also grabbed some socks (so cute right?!) and hats (they say "new arrival" at H & M.  I am doing the same thing I did for Brooke and buying bigger. I had one newborn onesie and she wore it twice and was out of it. 0-3 and 3-6 months will be fine.

Now that I've had a winter baby, I know exactly what I liked/what worked best.  Obviously cute dresses aren't even an option, but I didn't put Brooke in them much when she was little anyway.  I like soft materials that are cozy and warm!

So this Target purchase may have happened. #handsomelikedaddy

I bought this is 6 month size, but that is like 12.5 lb and I am pretty sure Brooke was that at one month. We have big babes!

Fall is rearing its head, and I spotted one little mum poking through!

Brooke needed some cooler weather sleepers and these 3T (Carters) from Target fit!

Brooke's doing really well--I was brushing her teeth last night and did notice her back molars are coming through--she has not been eating as much and has been pulling on her ears.  I also think she's a bit more clingy and that explains it.  Poor girl!

She got a "bloon" from visiting Daddy at work, while I ran Sadie to the vet next door. [sidenote: don't give your dog Nylabones, as they can BREAK THEIR TEETH. What??  Oy, so now we need to get a tooth extracted and all that jazz. I swear I've never had such high maintenance dogs!]

How are baby and I doing?  Quite well!  I definitely do a lot during the early part of the day and then by the end of the day, 7/8 I am DONE. I just want to put my feet up and relax.

Still having prego brain-- I totally shaved my legs and my left armpit, but completely forgot the right one.  Noticed that last night after running around in a tank top all day. #awesome

Used up all but one egg yesterday and was going to make sure I get to the grocery store…but forgot. This morning Joe got one egg and we ate some organic frozen waffles.  Thank goodness I had something on hand! I made him a pb&j for a snack too because I felt bad. Oops!

Wish list:

While I am trying to be super practical with baby #2, there are a few things I am looking into that I did not have for Brooke.  I used a K'tan for her when she seemed a little fussy or I wanted to wear her and I loved it.  I just know that to make my life easier, I will be wearing little boy a lot more-- so I am looking into ring slings.  I hear that Sakura Bloom are really wonderful linen sling that hold up well and are somewhat stylish haha.

I'm loving this color.

I have a bouncy seat I used for Brooke but it is really near the floor and doesn't rock. We barely used it; I would put Brooke in it while I showered/did my hair.  I LOVE our swing, but that thing is pretty big and bulky so it stays on our first floor. I am thinking this may be helpful for when we are upstairs and I don't want Brooke sitting on him or something.  It seems easy to travel with too, so if we go some place we don't have to carry the huge pack and play everywhere. I won't use it for sleeping the night, only because we are very big on putting baby in crib as soon as we can…it worked really well for Brooke, so I'm hoping he does as well as she did.


I still need silly things like boy bibs, more sleepers, etc. But I will pace myself and I have a feeling even though I won't have a baby shower/sprinkle, Christmas is right before we are due, so we may get a few things there too.  Goodness knows I won't want much under that tree for me! It's all about the kiddos this year!

OK I need to get my booty to the grocery store for some eggs..which I really try not to do on a Saturday. Ca-razy!  Happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy the last weekend of Summer!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Clips

Thursday was fun!! I participated in a Freezer Meal Workshop and I am SO happy that I did.  It was a little fast paced, as we did 10 meals in under 2 hours, but holy moly, does it feel good to have some frozen meals on hand from now until baby boy!  Some days you just don't feel like cooking, going out, or ordering a pizza. Just take one of these meals out, defrost, and cook!

I just love cooking, so I do feel bad when there are nights I don't feel like cooking.  This idea is perfection!

My friend Cathy was super organized and had the workshop flowing successfully.

Some of the meals included burgers--I used up our ground venison! 8 patties, which is kind of a lot for us, but hey we can entertain now!

Cathy was so organized, she had labels for our bags, so it literally takes the thinking out when we go to cook up our meals.

I had TWO huge coolers filled.

And I should have laid them on their side, oops, but my meals all stacked in!

Friday we spent just the three of us. {speaking of burgers, I finally got mine!}

Saturday I was organizing, cleaning and I made eggplant parm casserole and homemade gnocchi.  It was a tad soft, so I need to work on that recipe.

Someone doesn't like waiting for her food.

Sunday morning was an impromptu play date--Brooke loved the little house and the sandbox.

So much that she fell asleep on the way home.

Only to awaken on the way to Joey's grandma's house!  She got to run around and stuff her face with fresh tomatoes.

Looking at the sheep.


Eating those tomatoes again.

And great grandma's homemade chocolate chip cookies.

We came home, I cleaned up the kitchen while both Joe and Brooke fell asleep.  The house was quiet, but I could hear the crickets chirping, with a slight breeze…I busted out a leadership/business book that caught my eye and started reading.  I thought Joe would like it, but he doesn't really have the time to read a whole book, so I thought I could read it and we could talk about it.  It's really good!

I saw it posted on Facebook as a few of the leaders in AdvoCare were reading it and it just fits right up my husband (and my) alley.  It's all about how some ideas take off, what makes people tick and why certain things are more popular.  Good stuff! I grabbed it on Amazon, as they have the best price.

I really only try to buy books that I will reference again or that I want to write in.  If it's a cheesy silly beach read, I will make an effort to just get a loan copy, but something like this I liked being able to take notes in. #oldschool #englishmajor #foreverstudent

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Baby Boy!

I cannot tell you how nervous and excited I was to go to our anatomy scan for baby number two.  I don't remember being this nervous for Brooke.  I could hardly sleep last night and as I re-cap today, I am just exhausted!! It's funny how much our emotions can wear us out.  In a good way, of course!

Before we went into our appointment!

I don't know when exactly I started thinking it was a boy… I never wanted to really admit it out loud because I thought Brooke was a boy, and well I was totally wrong!  I want to say it was when I started feeling super nauseous (like I did with Brooke) first trimester, but this time was worse. I still didn't throw up, but man I felt horrible and just different. I seemed to feel my best in the morning and worse at night.  I also thought I was carrying a little different, but I also was thinner this time around when I got pregnant.

Other signs? I craved lemons/lemonade anything sour!  I still like sweets, but don't crave them like I did with Brooke. I really could take them or leave them and I really try to leave them!  I also want cheeseburgers and fried chicken, which again, I try not to indulge in very much, if at all!

Silly signs--

I did the baking soda/pee in the cup---it totally fizzed really fast but then disappeared. We weren't sure what the heck that meant!

Chinese gender chart said boy!

When we asked Brooke, "Girl or boy?" She always said, "BOY!" Until today when I went to go leave for the ultrasound she said, "Girl."  Trickster!

I bought a little frog sleeper and stuck it my hope chest shortly after finding out that I was expecting.  We also picked out a "harbor blue" paint color that we liked, if it so happened to be a boy.  Joe was convinced it was another girl, so that was the only time he really put forth anything for a boy.  The rest of the time he has told me, don't expect it to be a boy…

But it is!!

I know I would be happy with two little girls, but I just really wanted to experience both! I also thought it would be perfect, since I only had sisters and Joe has a brother--it broke the mold!  How cool!?  I also worried that since their birthdays are so close, it might cause competition or hurt feelings…but I have pretty good idea that a little boy will be totally fine with whenever his birthday falls.  I think girls are more dramatic like that.   I also think a sister/brother relationship is different than same sex ones. I don't know (obviously) but I just think it would be.

Because I'm all cheesy like that, I of course have "a song" to play.  Last time I kept playing a few songs over and over about a girl, and now I keep ballin my eyes out over this one.

I played it this morning before we went, and cried a little. I was going to send it to Joe, but thought, no I won't.  On the way to the Dr's I asked to send me a sign.  Another Brad Paisley song came on the radio and I thought, "ok…"  Sign acknowledged, thank you!

Our little man flexing his muscles!!

Our, "OMG WE GOT A BOY" faces…and all my makeup cried off.

I still can't believe it and I don't even know where to start. It's funny how finding out the gender makes everything seem so real.  I can envision the room and what he may look like and how he will fit right into our lives.  Ahhh! I am just so excited and filled with joy.  We are so very blessed and I know that these next 20 weeks will fly right by.