Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's Been A While...

I have completely neglected my little blog....shame on me.  I've missed it though!  We've had a super long winter that unfortunately is STILL going on, so I've been fighting a major case of self-diagnosed seasonal depression (okay, not really - I mean...most days I feel like packing Hadley and myself up and driving as far South as I can while letting out a string of cuss words for the state of Wisconsin. Some might call that seasonal depression, I call it normal, ha!)

We've mostly been staying really busy with our home renovation projects.  One of them is 75% done - we just need to finish off a few things indoors, like flooring and countertops, then paint and fix up the outside and we'll be all done and ready to list.  The other house has been the big time-sucker.  Basically, we bought this beautiful little Victorian that had all these wonderful things, like lots of bedrooms and room for a playroom and big windows and character and a GARAGE and for about a month or so we were set on selling it.  Then we slowly started realizing....it would be perfect for us.  When we bought it that thought certainly crossed our mind but as Brad started working on it we came to the realization that we will probably never find another home in the near future that will suit our needs for a growing family (NOT GROWING JUST YET, ha) at the amazing price we paid that offers all the things we need AND want in a home.  The garage is even big enough for a wood-working shop!  So after some prayer and thought we decided we couldn't pass it up and are now fixing it up for ourselves.  Maybe one of these days if I can find some motivation I'll do a post on what we've done :)

Otherwise....there's really not much else.  I have recently jumped on board with a friend's photography business and will be assisting her with weddings this summer, as well as other sessions as needed.  I bought my first "fancy" camera - a Canon 60D - used on eBay and it's been a ton of fun learning how to use it a little better.  I've also sharpened my skills on Photoshop, which has actually been addicting for me!  It's so amazing to see an image go from basic, boring to beautiful with a few small adjustments.

I'm still loving, loving, loving my time at home with Hadley.  It's gotten a little tougher these days with Brad putting in lots of long hours but we've been able to get a way a few times to my hometown, or on a weekend trip with my best friend and her family.  The hardest part has been that we've literally been stuck indoors for almost exactly five months now without an indoor play area to take her, or even a mall to let her run around.  Believe me when I say, I have many conversations with Brad begging him to move us South (and that is not a joke).

Hopefully I can jump back on board with updating!  Just checking in for right now...can't put too much pressure on myself, ha ;)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lately

My favorite kind of post, the bullets....
  • Babies!!!  No, not for me :)  Yet, ha.  Anyway, I recently started watching a girlfriend's 2 month old twice a week, and let me tell ya...you forget how things go after a while!  The first day I kept thinking, how much should she be sleeping? Is she eating enough?  Etc.  She's a super sweet and easy baby, and SO TINY!  She's just now moving up to size 1 diapers, which is crazy!  And as for the obvious, it does have me thinking about our timeline with #2.  I have many thoughts on it that I'm sure most of you don't care about, but suffice it to say that I'm still not ready.

  • Vacation!!! This next month Brad and I are taking a little trip down to our favorite of favorite places, Tennessee!  We're dropping Hadley off with my family and heading down to Nashville for a few days and then over to Gatlinburg for a couple days.  I'm seriously counting the days and maaaaybe hoping and praying that when we're there Brad will want to just pack and move to their fine state.

  • So, fitness.  I've finally found a "groove" (cheesy, yes?) that works for me.  I'm going to the gym most days, sometimes at 6:30am and sometimes at 7pm, but I'm getting there!  For many years my MO was to go to the gym, run on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then do a few of the machines.  I grew tired of that really quick this time around and ended up meeting with the trainer at our gym.  For $25 he put together a complete weight routine for me, discussed the best cardio options and worked out my fitness goals with me.  It was well worth the money and now I feel like I have a new motivation for going.  As far as cardio, I've started doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on the treadmill and I seriously love it.  It's not following any kind of method, I just basically do a short walking warm up, then run for 3 minutes at a fast pace (like 7.3-8mph) and walk at a slower pace, like 3.8.  It's a great workout, goes by super quickly and the best part about it is that it encourages a post-workout calorie burn, unlike just getting on the treadmill and running for 30 minutes.

  • This could be a post all in itself, but we're in the middle of a new career venture for Brad and it's been really, really exciting - he's "flipping" houses!  We recently bought a foreclosure up the street from us and he's doing the work to renovate it.  He's got such a great eye for design and the best part is that he's able to do the work himself.  The house we bought is pretty cute already and I literally can't wait to see what it will look like when all is said and done.  We're going to be keeping a blog to track the progress so when I get that set up I'll make sure to post it here.  (Btw, he's not leaving construction!  He's still doing that here and there, just adding something new for himself into the mix.)

  • I've got a new and exciting venture coming up myself which I'll share about later down the road since it hasn't started quite yet....but as part of it I've been spending a lot of time playing around in Photoshop and seriously, I'm obsessed.  I literally don't have a clue what I'm doing but I'm having fun!  I designed these little recipe cards yesterday, which has now got my wheels turning about what else I can design - 

Alright, I've got a 17 month old scaling my chair which means "pay attention to me" - better go :)  Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jason Aldean! And other randomness

This Friday night I'm going to my first concert in a loooong time to see Jason Aldean, and I.am.excited!  I love my country music, and he's always been one of my favorites.  I saw him in concert about 3 years ago when he was opening for Brooks & Dunn on their farewell tour, and it was so good.  I'm going with a girlfriend of mine and we got AWESOME floor seats, which thrills me even more.  I'm a total stand-up-and-dance-the-whole-time kind of girl, and when I saw him with B&D we were in a section where everyone was literally sitting the ENTIRE time, like they were at a funeral.  It was weird and awkward and made me seriously grouchy cause who wants to be the one person standing up and dancing and singing??  Not me.  So anyway, this time should be a lot better.

On a side note, can we just compare these pictures of him?




I told Brad recently that he looks as though he's living HARD out on the road.  The man just looks haggard and....flat eyed?  I don't know.  All I know is I love his music - old stuff is the very best - and am counting the days til I see him live.

I'm also trying to figure out what to wear.  What does one wear to a country concert (besides the obvious, boots?!?)  I could talk all about how I feel like I've lost any sense of style I once had and thus hate figuring out what to wear for things...but that's another post for another day.  Anyway, for a long time I've wanted some booties that were a little more casual than the heeled ones I have, and lookie what I found at Target this last weekend for TEN DOLLAS!!!



It's the Kodi boot from Target, found here.  I wouldn't have paid full price for these cause I'm not super crazy about the big heel, but I figure for $10 that they're worth it!  Plus, you always need a little bit of extra height at a concert :)

Sooo...I'm thinking skinnies, these boots and some kind of shirt...?!?

Well, moving on from that...I've been begging Brad to build me a little vanity for our gigantic bedroom, and he got it done this last week!


It ended up being a little larger than I was expecting, but beggars aren't choosers when it comes to free, custom built furniture :)  We still need some hardware on it and to hang the mirror (that may get painted, not quite sure yet?).  And I need to figure out a little lamp or light source for it, but that will be tough cause the nearest outlet is pretty far away...headaches of an old home.

Once I get this done we'll just have to get a mirror for the large stand-up frame that Brad built recently and maybe some runners for either side of our bed and then we'll be done decorating in our room!  It's nice to finally have it feel home-y.  It only took a year, ha.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hey 2014


I'm not much for resolutions or even goals for a new year, but this year I've decided to just face it all - the things that scare me, the things that are hard, the uncertainties and insecurities.  I want to look those things - the big and the little - in the eye and choose to see the good and see the truth.  It might sound strange so to give an example, I've had a small insecurity about a friendship recently, and instead of letting things go haywire in my mind or become bitter/cynical towards them, I found the root of the problem - that I'm worried I'm not good enough, or not as good of a mom as her, just that there's things lacking in ME - and claimed every truth I know against that: I'm accepted as a daughter of the King and that's the only security I will ever need, and I can love this friend fully because I have that freedom.  It actually really helped my attitude.  Now to just apply that to every other little crazy thought in my brain :)

The other area I'm committing to is that of my health/fitness.  I'm kind of in a tough place cause I'm really hoping we get pregnant this year (though we're not yet ready), and I struggle with the idea of being fit and pregnant, ha.  With Hadley I gained a TON of weight - and though I'd like to look back and think about how it was all water weight, or I just couldn't help it....I really could, and the bottom line is I gave myself license to eat whatever the heck I wanted.  Hence the 60lb weight gain.

So this year, I've been trying to eat cleaner but I'm still indulging in some of my bad habits, like French Vanilla coffee creamer (as much as I want....I just cannot ration that stuff.  I won't drink my coffee then, and it's just not worth it to me to give that up) and the occasional Diet Coke.  And of course, my wine :)  I've been back at the gym, running on that dreadmill and getting more into the weight machines.  I don't have a goal of weight loss, per se, just to drop a pants size so I'm truly back to my pre-pregnancy size.

Here's been some of my meals -







Top to Bottom:
Black Bean Dip & Low Carb Tortillas cut into chips and baked
Scrambled eggs, spinach and sweet potatoes w/ Sriracha
Skinnytaste's Sugar Snap Pea, Chicken and Carrot stir fry
PB2 Banana Protein smoothie
Fat Free Greek Yogurt w/ Kashi Go Lean, dried berries and a drizzle of agave

The tough thing for me is that I'm a Southern girl at heart and will always love foods like mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, BUTTER, full fat mayo/yogurt/sour cream/etc, but the bottom line is that I just can't eat it the way I want to.  I can already tell that my metabolism is slower than it was a few years ago so I recognize that in order to maintain a healthy weight I need to learn good eating habits now.  

Well, I'm off to pick up my house for the 15th time today.  That's one of the drawbacks of having a tiny house - it can feel messy within minutes when you don't have a playroom or office!  Happy weekend!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Little Christmas

This post is gonna be one big FAIL because I have zero, zilch, nada pictures to share of our holidays.  WOMP WOMP.  But to be perfectly honest....it was a pretty unremarkable year, celebration-wise.  Brad and I didn't exchange gifts, really, I bought myself a vest from Land's End and I think he's buying some jeans or something, and then in a few weeks we're heading out of town for a little getaway that's going to be our "Christmas present."

As far as Hadley goes, she did alright.  Who knows how it will change over the years but Brad and I firmly believe that we don't want to instill in her that Christmas is about "things" - I grew up this way and experience major disappointment each Christmas now, if you want to know the honest truth.  We will always buy her gifts, of course, but we won't be spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on her (or any of our children).  This Christmas we bought her three books, a couple Melissa and Doug toys, bubble bath and bath crayons and that's it.  And let me tell you...the girl was MORE THAN HAPPY with just the wrapping paper so that right there is reason enough to not blow all our money on toys.  She also got some nice things from her grandparents, like a baby doll and baby stroller (that by the way, she wedged herself into last week and I almost called the fire dept when we nearly couldn't get her out) and a VTech car that converts into a scooter.  One of the most thoughtful gifts she received was an antique rocking horse that Brad's aunt restored by hand painting it, adding hair and stamping her name on it.


Even though I didn't get pictures we did a video of Hadley opening gifts from her Grandma and Grandpa, it was kinda cute cause she got a blanket that her Grandma made for her and all she wanted to do was play "Peek a Boo" with it...girl loves attention!



So!  That was Christmas.  It was a nice couple days but extremely busy (I felt like I was in the kitchen cooking the entire time that we weren't at gatherings or having people over).

Tonight Brad and I are going on a MUCH NEEDED date - seriously, I can't remember the last time just me and him went out.  I am so excited to fix my hair, put on some makeup and a pretty top and hold his hand and flirt and not have to worry about my child screaming at the top of her lungs or throwing toys or trying to climb out of the high chair.  Thank ya Jesus!!!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

The holidays catch up to ya, don't they??  I don't have much to say, just hoping that I can get back on the 'ol blogging train next year!

Here's our Christmas card for the year, and to the friends of mine that didn't receive one...well, I ran out of envelopes and then it got too late.  But I love you all and just pretend this came in your mailbox, ha!


And just cause she's so darn cute, here's a couple shots from our Christmas mini photo session with In Full Bloom Photography:






May we all remember tomorrow that Jesus is why we celebrate, and that He is THE GOOD NEWS!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The 'Ol Bullet Points Post



  • The baby's sleeping, the dishwasher's going, the laundry is started and I'm sitting down with a hot cup of coffee.  These are the moments when I stop and realize that my life is so good, and I'm so thankful for the little things.  Mostly thankful that I'm home.
  • I went to the chiropractor yesterday for the first time.  Right after I had Hadley I started feeling this tingling feeling in my right upper back area.  It was so weird and I thought it had something to do with my C-section surgery (why I felt that way, I have no clue...this is why I would be an awful doctor).  I mentioned it to my doctor and she thought it was a nerve issue, but I never had it addressed until yesterday.  The tingling has continued and has started to even spread a little, so I wanted to get it taken care of.  Sure enough, the chiropractor said I'm all locked up in that area.  Today I'm in a little bit of pain but I'm so happy it's getting fixed (and that I don't have a degenerative disease, which is what I was certain it was...again, terrible doctor).
  • For Thanksgiving we're going to Brad's parents house and I think I'm going to bring Barefoot Contessa's Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms.  They're stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, mascarpone and parmesan cheese, garlic, scallions, etc.  Sounds so good!
  • This last weekend I was on my own for most of it since Brad was out hunting, so I took Hadley out for a little coffee date....

We actually had a good time.  I say "actually" because she's not in the easiest age to take out to restaurants, but she sat and ate her grilled cheese while I drank my latte and then we shared a scone :)  Sweet girl.

  • Last Christmas I decided I was tired of my ornaments - I bought them about 4 years ago and they're so pretty but I'm just bored with them.  This is why I don't paint colors on my walls or furniture!  I get bored with it or end up not liking it after a while.  So this year I'm trying to decide how I can decorate my tree without ornaments but still make it pretty.  Shoot, with a 15 month old and a puppy I will probably not even want ornaments on my tree, ha.
Welp, my laundry's done so I need to get crackin'.  Here's to Wednesday - which means its almost Thursday, which means it's almost the weekend!!