28 Books of 2016

  1. Tone It Up


2. After You


3. No Bad Kids Toddler Discipline Without Shame


4. Hands Free Mama


5. Elevate the Everyday


6. Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money


7. Circling the Sun


8. One with You


9. Summer Breeze


10. My Fight/Your Fight


11. The Island House


12. I’m Glad About You


13. What to Do When You’re Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide from Pregnancy Through the First Year


14. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change


15. Beach Town


16. A Man Called Ove


17. Living Well Spending Less


18. The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify


19. Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose


20. Savannah Blues


21. Savannah Breeze


22. It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff


23. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up


24. Before the Fall


25. Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!


26. Multiples Illuminated: A Collection of Stories and Advice from Parents of Twins, Triplets, and More


27. The Little Paris Bookshop


28. Christmas Bliss


Around Here

Around here she has become quite the feisty little chica. I hear a screechy “NO!!!” way more often than I’d like. But she is also SO FUN.

08.29.15 | ? Last year's jacket, pajamas, and too-big shoes. Heehee.

Around here I pray for patience daily. I prayed for this tiny girl. I even prayed that she’d be an independent, feisty little girl (and God said, “heeheehee, here you go!”).

?? #weekinthelife

Around here I am thankful that all three of us are back under one roof. Our guys took off for their yearly fishing trip in Canada a couple weeks ago, and after deciding last year that we weren’t going to sit around at home missing them another year, Ellie and I went to Myrtle Beach with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and her two kids. We had a great time, but it’s so good to be back together.

8.18.15 | I didn't make it down to the beach for any sunrises this time (Ellie's too early of a riser herself), but I grabbed a few shots from our balcony. ? #takemeback

Around here I’m slowly, slowly working on my Week in the Life album and totally enjoying doing a little “paper” (very hybrid) scrapbooking again. Right now I have the album and page protectors set up with a ton of post-it notes, and lots of photo files. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to order the prints and put it all together. And before that I’ll be posting some words and photos from each day.

08.30.15 | Picking out pictures for my #weekinthelife album. Drinking chai that my honey brought home for me. He had to work today and parked his big huge rollback in the middle of the Starbucks parking lot to surprise me with two chais. ?

Around here I can’t keep up with the new words and phrases she’s saying. Over the weekend, we added “fruit cup” and “sit down!”, along with a few others.

Around here he is still one of the two biggest blessings I’ve ever received. He works so hard, often makes supper, does bath, helps clean, plays, and is just the best daddy. He’s so excited for Ellie to be big enough to take her to the woods, and the river, and farming.

08.23.15 | ??? He's home!!

Around here I’m back to consistently getting up early and working out. I also started a squat and plank challenge last week and I’ve already seen a lot of progress with planks (Ryan’s doing the planks with me too!!!).

  07.30.15 | 5:30 treadmill run. ?Happy Thursday!

Around here I’m ready to get back to reading more.

Around here we had a pretty good summer, but I love fall and I’m ready for some fall weather. It always makes me want to go back to college. 🙂

I No Longer Give a Damn

This space has been pretty quiet lately. To be honest, it’s been quiet since my mini-me was born. There was too much nursing, and now too much toddler-chasing, to do much blogging. And honestly, there hasn’t been much going on that I felt like sharing anyway. We’re good. We’re working, doing daycare drop-off, trying to keep the house from looking like a bomb went off, and working some more. All that to say, today there is something I feel like sharing.

I’ve seen so many articles online lately about how moms should just put on their damn bathing suits and get the in the water with their kids and not care what people think about their bodies. Timely articles with the beginning of summer here and I just so happened to be shopping for my first post-baby bathing suit also. So it’s a topic that’s been on my mind. And here’s what I’ve decided.

My body is what it is and I’m going to be proud of it.

It’s far from perfect, I’d love to lose thirty or forty pounds, and I’ve had comments about my size in the past (from family no less, and when I was much smaller than I am now). But, I’m 31 freaking years old. Isn’t it about time I get over being self-conscious about my body?! It carried a healthy baby to term (finally, on the third try – another reason I’m over feeling uncomfortable in my own skin). It fed her for 14 months. That’s pretty damn amazing.

If that’s not enough to be proud of, it’s time to just get over myself and realize that as she grows, I will be a role model for a tiny girl that I’d like to grow up being confident and happy with herself. How is that going to happen if she hears me constantly talking about how fat I am, or how much weight I need to lose, or how I’m not doing X, Y, or Z because I’m not putting on a bathing suit? Do I want to teach her that you have to have a perfect body or be a size 2 to have fun and enjoy life? Do I want to teach her that what other people think about her body should affect how she feels about herself? Obviously I don’t.

So I’ve decided that I no longer give a damn. My butt and legs are bigger than I’d like them to be. My squishy stomach will most likely always be that way (and bears some tiger stripes that I’m actually damn proud of). My boobs are not where they started. My arms carry some extra meat and it’s not lean muscle. And this summer they’re in a bathing suit in the pool with my baby. And this summer they’ll be running and playing on the beach in a bathing suit with my husband and baby. I’m still going to work to lose some extra weight and I’m constantly struggling to get a handle on what and how much I eat, but for now, I’m going to accept that this is the body I’ve got and it is just fine.

Photo Jun 14, 1 38 27 PM BLOG

So if you see me and wonder what the hell I think I’m doing, the answer is “I’m having fun with my family and not giving a damn what anyone else thinks”. 🙂 I’m wearing tank tops and shorts (with teal seahorses no less – thanks Old Navy for sucking me in, now I’m 31 going on 6 🙂 and bathing suits with no cover-up. I’m swimming and playing and enjoying this body that I have, as it is now.

What’s On My…

I was inspired by Jessica McDougall and her post What’s On Your… .

What’s on my… 

BATHROOM VANITY | I try to keep it pretty cleaned off. Standard toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. New coral Essie nail polish for spring. 🙂

PERENNIAL TO DO LIST | Plan meals. Project Life. Sweep. Run.

REFRIGERATOR SHELVES | Steel cut oats. Hard-boiled eggs. Lettuce. Beer. 🙂

ITINERARY | A whole lot of nothing for the rest of the year. Well, maybe a short weekend trip to Cincinnati for a night out and an IKEA trip for our anniversary.

FANTASY ITINERARY | Oh my…Europe: The Greek islands, Barcelona, ITALY. Tahiti or Bora-Bora. I’d love to get my husband to Australia to see where I lived for 5 months.

PLAYLIST | The Lumineers. John Mayer. Kid Rock. Zac Brown Band. My running playlist: Joan Jett, Def Leopard, Eminem.

NIGHTSTAND | I’m reading The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp in paperback and Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes on my iPad.

WORKOUT PLAN | I really want to try for a half-marathon in October, so I’m running three days a week right now with Zumba, Turbo Jam, or Turbo Fire two days a week, and two rest days.

IPHONE | Instagram. PicTapGo. Wunderlist. Dropbox. Grocery IQ.

TOP 5 LIST | Adventures. Striving to be my best me. Creating memories with Norm. Moving my body. One thing at a time.

BUCKET LIST | More travel than I have days left in my life. Become a mama. Run a marathon.

MIND | Babies (or the lack thereof). Staying positive. A fall half-marathon. Needing a little more color/pretties in my 8-5 work office.

BLOGROLL | Ali Edwards. Young House Love. Skinny Runner. Elise Blaha Cripe. And 76 others… 

WALLS OF YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE | The walls in my scrapbooking room are the loveliest pale yellow and it gets the BEST afternoon sunlight.

LIQUOR SHELF | Coconut rum. Cuervo. Crown Royal. Midori left over from college (over 6 years ago, yikes!).

LAST CREDIT CARD STATEMENT | Gas. Groceries. A new sectional. Lots of scrapbooking goodies.

SCREENSAVER | Random Apple artsy screensaver.

TV | Too much and that’s something I probably need to work on. I DVR Ellen and watch it when I need a happy pick-me-up. I also watch Hart of Dixie, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Duck Dynasty, The Real World, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal (if I can stay up that late :), and The Amazing Race. See…need to work on that.

Turbo Fire Begins Tomorrow

Tomorrow at 5:15am, I will be dragging my booty out of bed to torture myself get started on the 12-week Turbo Fire program. I did a little 20-minute preview yesterday and it was a bit intense (I’m sure the 3-mile run just before it didn’t help). I’m not sure how I’m going to work my running into this program just yet, but I’m excited to see if I can stick with it and what I can get done in 12 weeks.

Wish me luck!

Turbo Fire Starts 9/10/12

The Summer List: Update #1

Thought I’d post a little update of how the Summer List is going so far.

Summer List 1
I actually finished my Georgia mini album just before summer started. About time, since that vacation was exactly a year ago. 🙂
Think I need some bigger rings.
Saturday was our fifth wedding anniversary and we spent the night in Tinley Park, IL (on the south side of Chicago) at a Sugarland concert. I have wanted to see them FOREVER. And Norm…was along for the ride. 🙂
Sugarland Concert
The openers were Lauren Alaina and Canaan Smith and the whole show was amazing. It was at an outdoor amphitheatre, and although the day was hot, it clouded up in the afternoon and it was in the 70s for the show and was perfect. Such a great night.

Sugarland Concert

Sugarland Concert

Sugarland Concert

Sugarland Concert

Sugarland Concert

This summer is off to a great start!