Category / Endeavors

happy Oscar day!

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This year, I don’t have the excuse that I have a new house OR a new baby…but still just couldn’t get it together to throw an Oscar bash. Next year. 🙂 Too many projects and other priorities, including this handsome little date of mine. May your popcorn be buttery and your kids’ bedtimes early…counting down to the Red Carpet!

Happy Oscars Day!

one little word for 2016.

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For the past two years, I’ve passed on the concept of a resolutions list and simplified things with one little word. (You can read about the One Little Word concept here.) Like everyone else, yes, I’m planning to get back into regular workouts, eat better, continue to improve work/life balance, and visit somewhere new in 2016. But rather than sweat the checklist, it is so much more gratifying to me to let a single idea guide my year rather than get hung up on what exactly I did or did not accomplish.

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After a crazy-busy year of adventure in 2014, followed by last year’s settling in and nurturing a new little family life, I’m ready for a year to not take it all so seriously. Hello, I sleep through the night again after many, many, long months of not. My hubby and I can finally talk about the possibility of a “just us” trip sooner than later. This awesome tiny roommate of ours is SO. MUCH. FUN. and on a daily basis, I just want to gobble him up with kisses and tickles. I’ve made some new friends and am ready to spend more time reconnecting with old ones. I need more one-on-one time with my mom this year – it’s like soul food to get a good long conversation with her and it happened too rarely in the Year of the Newborn.

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I have a year of balancing motherhood, day job, side job, and life in general under my belt, and I’m continuing to prioritize. I’ve let some things go in favor of others that are more important. I’m not going to do it all, and I’m getting better at declining an opportunity here and there. I’m trying to get tuned in to what I care about most so I can spend my energy whole-heartedly and in the right places.

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I’m planning on lots and LOTS of laughter in 2016. Happy tears. Dancing and singing. Silliness. Waking up rested. Slowing down for extra hugs and kisses. Coffee and conversation. Cocktails and conversation. More laughter. Sore face muscles from so much smiling. Maybe even staying up past 10. And when the inevitable tough stuff comes along, finding a way to laugh, yell, “plot twist!” and make the best of it. So much happens in a year, and it’s all really good, joyful stuff.

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Here’s to 2016…

Bliss.

Bring it on.

one little word for 2015.

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This time last year, I ditched the idea of a traditional resolutions list in favor of a single word on which to focus. Page got in on the selection for the first time and we landed on adventure as our guiding mantra for 2014. As the twists and turns of the year unfolded, we focused on rolling with them all, looking for even more of them, and relishing in the way our life together was evolving because of it all.

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Maternity Photos | Key West, Florida

We could not have known how true the concept of “adventure” would ring for us throughout the last twelve months — we had not yet decided to even look at the possibility of moving, and certainly not to build. We had begun to discuss the idea of starting a family, but neither of us dreamed that journey would begin as early as last spring. If you had told me when the ball dropped last year that in several short weeks, I’d be living in a one-bedroom apartment battling morning sickness, I would NOT have believed you. 🙂

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18 weeks & staking foundation | August

And yet I wouldn’t change a moment of the last year — it was one large, blessed adventure from start to (almost) finish, as the fruits of our two biggest adventures remain to arrive in the coming first few weeks of the new year.

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36 weeks and ready for siding | December

As I look back on 2014, there were other adventures that took place that, while somewhat paling in comparison to our two “biggies”, also helped us to grow and change. We took awesome trips, both together and separately with friends, and tried on new roles and responsibilities in our career paths, tried a new dish or two, and with our eyes a bit more open to them this year, discovered just how many adventures we get to partake in together.

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Page and friends skiing in Steamboat | February

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Girls’ weekend in New York City with my bestie | April

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Web designer… turned hand model for a client’s billboard shoot | June

The year of “adventure” certainly went full-throttle, and it took us in directions we couldn’t have imagined, but through so many experiences we wouldn’t trade for anything. It has been a huge leap for both of us in learning to let go a little, realizing we can’t control it all and that not everything happens on our time table. And that is all part of the bliss. 

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The BEST moment…when we learned we were having a SON | July

With that in mind, I think about what I want for myself and my little growing family, as I pick my word for 2015. While I’d sign up for it all again, I’m okay that 2015 is less about “go go go” adventure-seeking, and more about relishing in the ones that are happening now, finding our new normal as a family of three, nourishing our life in our new home, and truly “tending to my garden” so to speak, before striking out in search of the next to-do.

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My one little word for 2015 is nurture. 

Holding many different meanings for me this year, first and foremost is to step into this new role as someone’s mother, and continuing to improve upon being the best wife I can be to my husband. I am anxious to focus on nurturing my body, post-partum. Healing, rebuilding, and nourishing physically will in turn help me mentally, so I can feel more like myself again, and in turn have the energy to nurture others. It’s all a cycle.

I look forward to creating our home, the space in which we nurture our life as a family of three, both in the physical compiling of our finished home, and in creating memories together within its walls.

As always, I’m curious to see what our professional lives have in store for us this year. I am eager to try some new things in the spirit of nurturing my brain and challenging myself with new ideas and how to bring them to life.

In all, the goal is to relish, reflect, and take the best care possible of these blessings that have come our way.

Cheers to you all reading, I wish you a nurturing new year in 2015!

“Be one who nurtures and builds…”
{Marvin J. Ashton}

home from key west.

 

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We were blessed to take a very relaxing four nights in the Florida Keys and get away from it all — day jobs, second jobs, homebuilding, and apartment living. We love to be busy, and we truly enjoy working, but once we nearly forced ourselves to schedule a little time away, we realized just how much we needed it. Lots of sun (and humidity!), lots of laughs, lots of food (I may have eaten my weight in gelato!), and lots of quiet, smiley moments, as we focused on what’s to come as we start the third trimester in the coming days. _MG_0782-Edit

On the eve of our seventh wedding anniversary, we shot some maternity pictures. Little One stole the show of course and I’m beyond thrilled we have these rare, slowed-down, moments captured in photographs, as a way to remember this special time in our lives that is fleeting for sure. (Little One officially has his name by the way…it’s incorporated into a picture we took at this session that I’m dying to share later after he’s made his arrival.)

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Big thank you hugs to the awesome Harmons duo for a photography session around the island that felt more like a double date with friends we’d known for years. I will treasure these photos for years to come.

I’m looking forward to writing another post more specifically about the trip and the sights we saw and places we ate and stayed that we’d definitely recommend. But for tonight, I’m just reliving this perfect past Sunday night with my main guy, and my little guy on the way.

maternity picture planning.

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Navy polo: Banana Republic | Coral pants: Southern Tide | Navy maternity maxi: Old Navy
Necklace: Unknown | Hair flowers: Claire’s | Polish: Beauty.com

While taking our anniversary trip-turned-babymoon in September later this fall, we decided to capitalize on the location and take maternity photos while in the sun and sand. I am so excited to be working with Matt + Michelle for an evening shoot along the beach! I spied a beach portrait recently where the guy had on some sweet coral chinos…and the look above just spanned from there.

At the encouragement of the photogs, we are planning a second outfit as well – still nailing down the details, but we’re going for a dressier “post-date-night-walk-along-the-beach” kind of vibe…and I’m planning to carry the Loubs in hand for a couple red-sole shots. 😉

Can’t wait to take these pics in anticipation of Baby S’ arrival!

past the halfway point!

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It’s crazy to think as we approach the 22 week mark, we’ve passed the halfway point until this little person arrives. I can’t believe it’s September already — the summer truly flew by!

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So here we are — approaching fall, excitedly watching our house progress come together, and thinking ahead to the coming four months before this little guy arrives. We are fresh off a mini trip to Columbia (where Page stood up as best man in the wedding of a lifelong friend) and then to Chicago (where Mama and Baby both stocked up on new threads) and we picked up some house stuff for upcoming projects. We are looking forward to a couple of baby classes in the coming weeks and then a trip to Key West for some much-needed R&R from day jobs, side jobs, house stuff, and our tiny apartment. 🙂

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Until then, we are still sorting through the IKEA finds from last week…and dreaming of our house!

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At today’s visit, my doctor said if she had to guess, she thought I would definitely deliver the second week of January – the 14th or 15th if she had to wager. I’m okay with that if it means we’re in our house!

And finally, the monthly stats:

How far along: 22 weeks this Friday (Baby’s the size of a papaya!)

Gender: BOY

Weight gain:   First weight gain at this appointment — +4 pounds, on track to gain 20-23 overall; first belly measurement taken — right on track at 22cm

Maternity clothes: Bought some maternity clothes for my fall stash, but not all of it fits yet; still lots of summer dresses and some maternity leggings and tees

Stretch marks: No – lotioning up daily!

Belly button in or out: in

Sleep: lots of mid-night bathroom breaks, waking up way too early!

Best moment:  first kicks at 18 weeks, Page reading to Baby

Worst moment: boo for rain delaying the house progress this past week — fortunately, things look sunny in the coming days to start FRAMING!

Miss anything: red wine – always!

Movement: FINALLY – one day shy of 19 weeks, I felt some unmistakable “punches” (not so much flutters ha!) way low in my abdomen, and now they’re very consistent — strong babe and based on the timing, he’s a late-nighter!

Cravings: peanut butter sandwiches and ALL THE MILK I can get my hands on

Queasy or sick:  feeling great – only complaint would be heartburn, brought on by just about anything at this point

Looking forward to: our “babymoon” — (originally planned as our seventh anniversary trip, until we found out we were expecting) the end of September

And in related news, Page’s stats, who started a workout program, motivated by our pending arrival 🙂 After my BP was recorded (112/66, pretty typical for me), he asked the nurse to take his at his “starting point”. He’s always high, but wanted me to blog for the record that he started at 150/90. Here’s to his BP numbers dropping as my weight number goes up ha!

cleaner eating chocolate chip cookies

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

Okay, so I don’t know if chocolate chips are actually considered “clean eating”, but these cookies are made from no more than THREE ingredients, total, and none of them are eggs, butter, or granulated sugar!

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

And did I mention? They’re DELISH! They’re chewy and sweet, and dare I say, almost good for you? The recipe’s so short it fits on a post-it:

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

Which is exactly where I jotted it down, after my coworker brought a batch to work a couple weeks ago. Easy peasy!

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

Mash your bananas first, so they blend easily with the oats.

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

Add the chocolate, and scoop onto a VERY lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake and let them cool for several minutes to firm up … and enjoy!!

for those of us who can’t eat avocado…

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…I have life-changing news! Read on 🙂

I’ve had delicious guacamole just often enough to know how much I LOVE it…and also how much it does NOT love me back.

I never ate avocado growing up. It just wasn’t ever on the menu. Then, I tried guac for the first time. Ah-maz-ing. But I got terribly sick afterwards and didn’t draw a connection. I had it a handful of times after, with the same result. Then, for the longest time, I thought I couldn’t eat sushi because I’d feel awful afterwards…until I put it together and learned that there are tiny bits of ‘cado in the rolls!

So once I figured it out, I sadly gave up on avocado. It’s just not going to happen. I can order my sushi sans the fruit, but it’s guacamole that I continue to lust after at every Mexican restaurant we go to.

Then, this weekend, my friend, Sarah, CHANGED. MY. WORLD. She brought a guacamole with NO avocado — it’s made with broccoli! Broccamole.

Seriously. I died.

Find the recipe here – allergy or not, it’s DELICIOUS, nutritious, and tastes like the real thing!

(image: myrecipes.com)