Thursday, August 7, 2014

What I'm Loving

-The big hydrangea bush right outside our kitchen. For one reason or another I didn't think of it till this week, but it dawned on me that I can actually cut off the hydrangeas, and bring them inside. What a strange concept?! So we have been loving fresh cut flowers cut by yours truly.
-7 by Jen Hatmaker. I've read her blog for quite some time, so when her book 7 went on sale for $4.99, I was all over it. I am loving it! I started reading it during one of my night shifts and was laughing so hard, but trying to keep so quiet, which result in a big old snort that nearly woke up patient. #nightshiftproblems. But this book has been convicting in more ways than one, specifically about my need for more and just how selfish I can be. More to come on this later.
-Bloglovin. I'm real late to this one.... but this past week I finally started using it to keep straight all the blogs I read. LOVE IT! For those of you who are also blog readers (just a hunch you probably are if you are currently reading this) you need to start using this site.
-eMeals. I need to write a letter and personally thank emeals for their wonderful service. For those of you not familiar with eMeals, it is a meal planning service and app. Each week they send out an email with 7 dinners, and 5 lunches (lunches are an additional plan we pay for), and a perfectly laid out grocery shopping list. I used to think that I hated cooking, turns out I just hate the planning part. The actual cooking part I love! This week on the menu is: Chicken and Vegetable Shish Kabobs, Creamy Avocado Alfredo, Coconut Fish with Citrus Salsa, Simple Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken, and Grilled Garlic Skirt steak. I'm salivating just thinking about it.
-Isagenix. I've been pretty quiet (and with reason) about this for a long time, and I should probably dedicate a whole post to it... but not today. Hopefully sooner than later though. For the past 11 months I have using Isagenix whey protein and eating their protein bars, to sum it up in 1 word, amazing. Love the taste of the protein, love the energy of the bars, love the way I feel from taking it. Especially love the chocolate banana peanut butter almond milk smoothies Harry and I consume on a daily basis.
-My family. Immediate and extended. Immediate first: Harry has been so fun lately! Most mornings I wake up thinking that Harry is going to be as challenging as he was his first year and half. I give myself a little pep talk, drink some coffee, and prepare for what I think will be an exhausting day. Or that is at least how the first couple years of his life went. But lately he has been so fun, and well behaved, and funny, and independent but still wants his momma at times. It's just a nice place to be. And Ollie, well he is just a peach. And Brian, oh sweet Brian. These past couple weeks I have spent more nights working, than not. That means that our house is usually a disaster, cleaning needs to be done, groceries need to be shopped for, and laundry to be done. And Brian has taken care of it all. Almost every night I leave for work with the house looking like a tornado went through it from me and the boys, and every morning I come home to perfectly picked up house with a clean load of dishes. He really is wonderful. And below photo taken by harry:
-And my extended family. Gosh they are great. My parents came through town last week and watched the boys while I worked and slept, and they also mowed the lawn, cleaned, and did some house repairs Brian and I have been meaning to get around to. My sister and her family also came through on their way to Chicago and spent a night which is always a fun time! And Brian's younger brother got engaged this past month so a Devane wedding is now in the works. If you know me, you know I love weddings, and this should be a good one.
-Lifetime Fitness. I should be most thankful just that they provide my husband with a job, however what comes to my head first is the pool. Harrison loves swimming and is often is most well behaved in the water, so needless to say we spend a lot of days at the pool. Ollie usually gets to tag along, but every now and then I'll drop him off in the child center (or drop off both of them) so that Harry and I can have some one of one time swimming. What's also wonderful is some dear friends also are members are Lifetime, so while the husbands work, we take our kids to the pool. That is daytime summer perfection.
-Children of the Day bible study by Beth Moore. Those of you looking for a good bible study, look no further, grab this study and start it now. This alone may be the biggest blessing of my summer. Since the start of June, every Tuesday myself and 7 other women have met and dived into this study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. These 7 other sisters loved by God now hold a dear spot in my heart, but most importantly I have loved being in the Bible and being held accountable each week.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Day in the Life with a 6 Month Old

Oliver is a dream baby. Seriously. He is healthy, eats well, sleeps well, and is happy most of the time. What more could a momma ask for?! Nothing I tell you. So instead of doing my typical post I'm switching it up and doing a day in the life at 6 month post! Although since it is summer I don't know that we have had 2 days alike... so I will do my best and try to piece together what a typical day for Ollie entails (and pardon all the iPhone pictures. Our big camera is currently broken. Not that I would have used anything other than my iPhone anyways....)
0500: Oliver wakes up hungry. He is such a good sleeper, but still loves himself a little 5am snack. At this point Brian usually brings him into bed with me (if he's not already), and we both fall back asleep.
0800:Oliver wakes up hungry, again. One thing I should say now is this little man loves to eat. That may explain the rolls upon rolls on his thighs, arms, neck... you name it, it has rolls. But now the day starts!
0800-1000: Harrison, Ollie and I play in the living room or loft. And by play, I mean Harry orders us around. So if Harrison demands trains, Ollie hangs out in the jumper ponied up to the train table. If Harry wants to play cars on the ground, Oliie hangs out on the play mat playing with his toys hanging down, or attempts to roll across the living room. If we go up to the loft, he usually sits in my lap and we rock while chatting with Harry as he plays. Poor guy just gets dragged along to everything. 
1000-1200: Ollie goes down for a nap. I should mention that I usually nurse him before he goes down. I was doing so good for a while and never nursing him to sleep, but I regressed. If I lay down with Ollie in bed, Ollie will nurse for 10 minutes, then sleep for 2 hours. It's pretty wonderful. 

1200: Ollie's usually awake just in time for lunch. Not that big of a deal since he still isn't eating solids... so while I prepare lunch, Ollie hangs out in the high chair, talking away as Harry and I usually sing Let it Go to him.
0100: Finally, big brother Harry is asleep and Oliver get's some one on one time. Splitting my time between them can be a challenge some days, so I love the chances when I get to have just one of them. A lot of days I brew a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) cup of coffee, and sit on the couch with Oliver facing me on my lap. Oliver is such a talker, so we coo back and forth, and he spends a lot of time jumping on my thighs. If it's a laundry day, he will lay in the middle of all the clothes and eat some article of clothing, or if cleaning needs to be done I'll strap him in the ergo and go to town. 
0200: Eat, go down for another nap.

0330: Ollie usually gets woken up a little early from his nap and we all head to Lifetime for his 4:00pm infant room reservation. I'll usually nurse him in the infant room, then go work out for 45min-1hour
0530: On the car ride home Olllie catches a quick cat nap, which is just what he needs to hold him over till bedtime. And as much as I wish I could be super mom and have dinner on the table when Brian gets home, that rarely happens. Usually when Brian gets home he takes over both boys, and then I begin to get dinner going. They will go out on the deck, or just wrestle around the living room.
0600: Since Ollie hasn't quite made the transition to foods, during dinner he'll hang out in the swing next to the table, although more often than not he isn't having that, and will sit in one of our laps during dinner and try and pull the plate off the table. 
0700: While we read Harrison bedtime stories in Harry's room, Ollie listens too, either sitting in my lap or laying on the floor.

0730: At this point little man is usually rubbing his eyes, so jammie's go on, sound machine gets turned on, we say prayers, and I lay in bed and nurse him one last time.  And then he is out.

Pretty exciting day, huh?? A lot of mornings instead of being at home we will go out for a play date, or bible study, or run errands, or something. Or instead of going to Lifetime we will just play at home.... so it definitely is a pretty fluid schedule that we have. But Oliver is most often pretty happy to tag along to whatever! He doesn't mind his car seat as long it's moving, so car rides and walks in the strollers are some of his favorites! This next month we will embark on the whole solid food journey, and I have a feeling by the time I get around to doing another update, he will be sitting up and a man on the move. So for the 100th time this year, slow down time! 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sweet Spot

For the first time in a long, long time, I feel like Brian and I are in a sweet spot, and it feels oh so good. When I look back on our lives together, much of it has been a bit chaotic. Let me break it down a little...

-When we met I was in nursing school which was quite the demanding and time sucking major
-Then we got engaged and I was in full blown wedding planing mode + nursing school. Stressful!
-We got married, started to figured out married life, then moved to CO
-The first few months in CO were busy getting settled into new jobs
-Then we got to the point where we felt somewhat settled and then we found out I was pregnant
-And that pregnancy was not an easy one what so ever. Between the extreme morning sickness in the first trimester, pre term labor scares in the 2nd trimester, and bed rest in the 3rd trimester, it was not the most enjoyable time
-And then Harry come along and his colicky self shook our worlds upside down
-And then we moved. Again. Back to MN and Brian started a new job in ND that we were apart for, for much of 4 months
-Then we moved, again, back to the twin Cities, and both started new jobs
-And the same month that I started my new job, I got pregnant.
-Then we miscarried, and the next month got pregnant again! Second time mommas, you know what I'm talking about, but the fatigue of the 2nd is unreal.
-Then we had sweet little Oliver!
-Then Brian started a new job
-Then we moved, again.

Woof. That is a jam packed 6 years. Sometimes just thinking about it makes my head spin. And for once I am updating this blog saying that we have nothing big going on. Nothing! No moves, no new jobs, no pregnancy announcements. We are in a sweet spot for a change and it feels. so. wonderful. 

It is so nice to not have something huge on the horizon. Is this what normal people's lives feel like?? Because if so, I could get used to this. 

Although knowing us, something is probably right on the brink and I probably just jinxed myself writing this post. We shall see. But for now I am just going to continue soaking in the normalness of our current lives, and enjoy not having to pack, or upack another box for quite some time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

4th of July Weekend

It's about time to back this thing up, and go back to the beginning of the month, 4th of July weekend. The details of the weekend are already a little fuzzy, but I do know that we had a fabulous time! We spent time with my family, went to the Nisswa parade, grilled, watched fireworks, went for a boat ride, picked strawberries, and made jam. What more could you ask for?!
Spending the holiday weekend in small town America was just perfect. What wasn't perfect, driving back to the Twin Cities, with the other half of the Twin Cities that spent the weekend up north. Brian had to leave a day sooner than I did to get back for a bachelor party, so I was driving solo with the boys. The 2.5 hour drive turned into a 4 hour drive thanks to everyone and their mother driving south. And add in blow out diapers from not only Ollie, but also Harry, a bee in the car, and hungry children.... Needless to say, we were happy to pull in the drive way and have dad waiting for us!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Boys First Twins Game

Rookie parent mistake: telling your child they are going to get to go to a Twins game once they wake up from their nap. 

Well that one blew up in our face. 

Brian's brother Mike has been dreaming about the day he would be able to take his nephew to a Twins game. This has been talked about often. Probably dating all the way back to when Harry was in the womb. This was certainly a long time coming. So when we picked a game, we thought to ourselves "A 6pm night game will be great because Harry will nap, and when he wakes up we will load up and go, and hopefully not be out too late past his bed time." 

Game day rolls around and as I am fighting Harry to take a nap I tell him, "You need to go to sleep, because once you wake up, we are going to a baseball game with Uncle Mike!" And as the words were coming out of my mouth, my palm instantly went to my forehead knowing what I just did....Well the next two hours were spent with Harry playing in his crib shouting the words Uncle Mike and baseball. 

Despite not taking a nap, little man did surprisingly well at his first baseball game. Very little baseball was actually watched, too be expected, but we all had a great time. So this is how the evening went down:

If you were to place bets on a single guy, or a family of 4 arriving to a location first you'd think it would be the single guy, but no. We beat Mike to the stadium. It might have had something to do with the fact that we parked in the ramp connected to the stadium.... long gone are the days where we save a buck or two and hoof it through downtown. We are now the family that parks as close as possible, and pays way too much to do so. So we arrived and Harry had to anxiously wait.
Once Mike made it, we made our way up to our seats and it wasn't long before we realized Harry needed something to occupy himself because just sitting in his seat wasn't going to happen. And the poor people in front of us probably got their head whacked a handful of times from Harry walking up and down the row and climbing in and out of his seat. So popcorn and Pepsi to the rescue.
We owe Mike a huge thank you because he was the one that provided us with these pretty wonderful seats!
Thanks Uncle Mike!
Ollie was fantastic the whole night! He spent majority of his time in the Ergo, but he did make it out for about 30 minutes and happily just sat in our lap.
It took about 3 innings before Harry had enough of sitting, so off we went to walk around the stadium. Witnessed below is one of the minor meltdowns probably because we wouldn't let him run wild through the walkways....
While the boys hung out, Ollie and I quick snuck away to guest services so I could feed him. We were in good company with about 7 other nursing moms, and in the 15 minutes of nursing I think we managed to talk about thrush, mastitis, our OB's, pediatricians, and how old and big each baby in the room was. Nothing brings women together quite like breatfeeding. And then we were off to walk around the stadium some more!
After 1 lap, we headed back over to our seats with a helmet full of ice cream. 
And as soon as the ice cream was polished off, back to walking around the field we went. We made a quick pit stop at the bullpen....
... and a soaked in the view.
At this point we were in the 9th inning, the Twins were down 0-5, so we decided to call it quits and make our way out. 
Surprisingly, Harrison lasted a lot longer than I thought he would, and Ollie was just the peach who ended the night sleeping on my chest in the ergo. I would call that a successful first ball game for both boys! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Taking Stock

Making: Our family budget. Yuck. Not the kind of 'making' I love, but a necessary evil
Cooking: All sorts of delicious meals thanks to emeals. The latest being grilled caprese flatbreads with chickpea salad
Drinking: Gin and tonics
Reading: Children of the Day. It's hardly reading considering it's the work book for my bible study, but that's about all I have time for lately
Wanting: To get started using essential oils
Looking: At the deer and turkeys every morning with Harrison shouting and pointing at them
Playing: "How big is Ollie!"
Wasting: Time by sitting on instagram too long
Sewing: Ha. Sewing....
Wishing: There were 10 more hours in a day
Enjoying: Summer! Minnesota summers are all to short so we are more then soaking it in
Waiting: For Ollie to sleep through the night and drop the 5am feeding
Liking: My most recent paycheck. Thank you time and a half!
Wondering: How long we are going to live in our current house for
Loving: My 3 boys. How cliche, I know. But I could seriously tear up just thinking about how much I love them.
Hoping: That Harrison will be potty trained by the time he is 3
Marvelling: At God's handiwork in nature
Needing: More coffee. Always more coffee.
Smelling: The hydrangea bush outside the kitchen window
Wearing: Lululemon. When am I inside my home not wearing lulu....
Following: The sun
Noticing: How much I love pregnant women.
Knowing: That in a month from now, we are sadly going to be saying goodbye to summer
Thinking: My job really is too easy.
Feeling: Bliss.
Opening: Bills.
Giggling: Harrison looking through binoculars backwards
Feeling: contentment

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Esprit De She 2014

Last year, Spring 2013, my friend Kelsey asked me to run the Esprit De She 5k with her. As much as I would have loved to, I was newly pregnant, exhausted, and doing my best not to throw up all day long, so I declined. After she ranted and raved about how much fun it was, I vowed to myself that I would run it the following year.

Well here we are, a year later, and now I too, can rant and rave about how fun this 5k is! It is a women's only 5k, and seriously a blast. The actual run, not as much fun, but the after party, worth it! But first, the run....

The past few months I have slowly been whittling down my 5k time to an 7:45min/mile pace. Then about two weeks before the race, I took a two week break from running because life just got busy, and the few work outs I did squeeze in, I just didn't feel like running! So come race day, I was coming off 3 overnights of work, and no training for 2 weeks, not ideal. I was hoping the energy of the race and endorphins would help me power through with an at least 8 min/mile pace, but no.

Literally as soon as I started running and crossed the start line, I had a terrible side cramp that would not go away. I tried running with my hands on my head, deep breathing, walking... nothing seemed to help. After the first mile of no relief I figured this cramp was just going to stick around (and stick around it did! 2 days after the race I STILL had a side cramp.) Thankfully the course was lined with all the beautiful homes of Edina, so letting my mind daydream about owning one of those homes was a wonderful distraction. 
All in all, I finished with a time of 27:01. Not the time I was hoping for, but at least I finished. And considering I'm only 5 months postpartum, I'll take it. 
My splits were:
Mile 1 8:15min/mile
Mile 2 9:23min/mile
Mile 3 9:16 min/mile
At the finish line Kels and I met up with my dear friend Kayla and her mom who also ran the race!

Athleta was a major sponsor of the event, so everything in their store was 20% off for all runners. Kelsey and I made sure to stop on over and put our discount to use. And wouldn't you know, Kels and I walked out of there both buying the exact same shirt and pants. Great minds sure do think alike. And please note our matching shorts.... not planned.  
After our little retail therapy, we then made it over to the food area and picked up some pretty phenomenal turkey burgers courtesy of the Edina Grill. Next up, drinks. And this year we learned our lesson for next year: as soon as you cross the finish line, keep running all the way over to the drink line. Kelsey and I unfortunately had to wait about 45 minutes in line to get our drinks, but at least we had good company as we met back up with Kayla and her mom.
All in all, everything was seriously so much fun. Running the race in the evening verse morning (like most of the races I've done) was a fun switch up. And bonus that you don't have to feel guilty for drinking after the race, as it's actually at an appropriate drinking time! The swag bags were great as they were catered to women, and running alongside strong women of all ages was certainly a privilege. And for next year, running this race will definitely be on my summer to do list!

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