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26 Sep


We finally made the move to the toddler bed! Can you tell that Lila was super excited about her big girl bed? I think she was really proud of herself and she loves that she can go hurl herself into bed. I won’t lie, the first night was torture. I didn’t really expect things to go flawlessly but I didn’t expect them to go as roughly as they did. She has always done really great at bedtime and when 8pm rolls around she is ready to lay down. Sometimes she will even tell us she is ready for “night, night.” After a few snuggles, hugs and kisses she lays down with her books and is pretty satisfied so I didn’t think too much would be different once the toddler bed came into play.

We rearranged her room slightly and her bed is on a different wall than where her crib was. When bedtime rolled around she acted like everything was normal but the minute I tried to walk out of the room there was a major meltdown. She was crying so hard she could barely catch her breath. It made me really sad because it seemed like she was genuinely scared, not just that she didn’t want me to leave. We reassured her she was a big girl and that we were just in the other room. By the time I would sit down in the living room she would already be up and opening the door. This little routine went on from about 8-11pm. Finally by 11 we were going to bed ourselves and she had finally given up. I guess after repeatedly taking her back to her room she was too tired to fight us. I thought, “finally!” Not so fast there, thinking we were going to get by that easy. Around 3:30 I woke up to Lila standing by my bed. I took her back to her room and tucked her in and told her she had to sleep in her big girl bed. She would comply and say she understood but by the time I would get back in bed I could hear the pitter patter of her little feet coming down the hall. This went on for 2 hours. I was thrilled. At the 2 hour mark I gave in and told her she could climb in our bed but by this point she was wide awake and wasn’t even trying to sleep. After about 10 minutes of her lying there kicking me I took her back to her room. I pleaded my case once more for her to stay in bed, I really thought I had her that time…..nope. At this point I woke Josh up…how he slept through all this I have no idea. I told him I was done and it was his turn to take a stab at it. Of course he only had to put her down once and I guess by that time she was too tired to continue on. I still didn’t fall asleep for quite sometime as I lay restless waiting for the sound of her feet. I might have gotten 45 more min. of sleep and I was prepared for the next day to be painful. However, for the small amount of sleep I got I functioned rather well and never felt like I was going to crash.

Since that first night Lila has done extremely well. We have gotten in a good routine at night and now that she is in her bed I can lay down with her and read books. That is one of my favorite times of day. She is clean, snuggly and calm and we sit side by side and wind down our day together. I was really nervous about transitioning from the crib because knowing she was restricted to that little space was somehow very comforting. And, in the middle of that first night I was convinced she would be in the crib til she was 5 and we would just have to invest in a 2nd crib for Lucy. Oh the places your mind goes in the middle of the night.

I am so thankful she has taken to her bed somewhat seamlessly and just hope that it sticks.


A Little DIY

20 Jun

Josh and I had been discussing putting a big built-in shelving unit in our living room for a while. We both agreed it would look nice, create more storage and make our books more assessable. We never seemed to get motivated enough to actually follow through with the project though. However, a few weekends ago it was pouring rain and we were all stuck in the house. I was perusing some home decor blogs and came across a really good tutorial for bookcases that look built-in. I showed it to Josh and said that we really needed to do that soon. His response was not what I expected. He said if I went I got the stuff we could do it that day. I was bowed over. I knew it was going to be an all day project and that’s not really Josh’s thing. But I took him up on it before he could change his mind.

I went to a few different places looking for the shelving but eventually ended up at Target. I decided on these because they were inexpensive and I knew I needed several. I ended up purchasing 4 of them. Then I headed over to Home Depot to pick up trim, nails and a Dremel (my new favorite tool). By the time I got home it was almost time for Lila’s nap so we were going to try and knock out a big chunk of work while she slept. Yeah not so much. It took us an hour and a half to put the first unit together. It was incredibly frustrating. The instructions were like a huge puzzle and if you didn’t pay super close attention it was easy to turn pieces backwards (which we did several times). But, once we got the first one assembled we used it as a guide and the others went together in about 15 min.

Here is what we started with.



It wasn’t awful but it didn’t feel cohesive to me and there was a lot of wasted room. It looked super cluttered and the black furniture showed every speck of dust, which we have a lot of . We opted not to take the big piece of trim out at the bottom. It saved us a step and since we aren’t super skilled carpenters we were a bit apprehensive about it would turn out. By the time Lila woke up we almost had all the shelves assembled and our living room looked like a bomb had gone off. I didn’t get any pictures during that but just imagine pure chaos and then adding a toddler on top of that. Luckily my parents stopped by and took Lila outside for a bit until we could clean up the mess a bit and actually have a path to walk through. My parents left about 7:30 and we were trying to get Lila fed, bathed and ready for bed so we could get the project wrapped up. We got her in bed, got the bookshelves situated and then started applying the trim. Once the trim was installed, Josh was in charge of rewiring all the electronics and making sure they worked seamlessly. By 11pm this is where we were.



It really doesn’t look like much for a days work but wow it took ALL day. We decided to call it a night and we cleaned up . Over the next few days as we were adding books and trinkets we decided we should do one more shelf on the left side. It would only create more storage and make the most of the space we had. So, back to Target I go to get the additional shelving and then to Home Depot for more trim. I think it was probably 6 days after we started that we finally had it just the way we wanted. If you read the tutorial I linked to it took them 7 hours to do the whole thing. So I think you could say we are beginners.

With that being said I am so happy with the way it turned out. I am also happy Josh and I did a big (for us) project together and didn’t kill each other. Reno can be stressful but for the most part we worked really well together and now we can look at it and be really proud because WE did it together.

Here’s the final outcome.









There are small details that aren’t perfect but I am still happy with it.

Also, you may be wondering where we put all this junk before it moved to the living room.




This is the room that we used for the office. Now that we have taken down all the bookcases in here we will be moving the desk out and making it into more a guest room. When we are home we really don’t have the need for an office. We usually do any work on our laptop or Ipad in the living room so this “office” ended up being a room we just walked through. Also, my mac you see on the desk finally bit the dust. I don’t know what to do with it. It feels wrong throwing it in the trash but it won’t even turn on anymore. Any creative ideas?

So, there you have it…Built-in Bookshelves…kinda.

Nashville Half-Marathon Re-Cap

1 May

I can’t even tell you how much fun this weekend was. At times it was invigorating, challenging, miserable, a blessing and pure joy. Jamie and I arrived in Nashville around lunch time and we went straight to the expo to pick up our race packets. The storm clouds were already setting in and we were walking in the rain from the moment we arrived. Once we picked up our race bibs and bags we decided to invest in a bit of rain gear for the next day. The forecast was at a 70% for rain at that point and didn’t look like things were going to clear up. We both purchased visors which proved to be invaluable and we each got an armband that could carry our phones and protect them from the rain. Once we left the expo our next stop was our hotel. We got checked in and unpacked and then headed out to an early dinner at the cheesecake factory.

We call this carb-loading…or a good excuse for a delicious meal.2013-04-26 19.04.48

Don’t worry, we didn’t leave without cheesecake. We both ordered a piece to go to snack on a bit later. The rest of the night was pretty low-key and we managed to get in bed by 10pm.

We had our alarms set for a little after 5 but I woke up around 4am with butterflies in my belly. I went to the window to check out the weather conditions…it was pouring rain. At that point I realized I have absolutely no control over the situation and we were just going to have to make the best of it. I managed to lay back down for another hour until the alarm went off. Jamie and I were both full of nerves and had a hard time wanting to eating. I choked down a banana and half a piece of banana bread and topped it off with some water.

2013-04-27 07.17.04We left the hotel around 6:15 and the hotel shuttle drove us to Centennial Park. We were the only ones on the bus. Apparently, we were pushing it with time and had barely made it before they closed all the roads off…whoops. As we were riding the shuttle the rain stopped and things were looking up. I was convinced the rain was going to hold off for a few hours. I was wrong. As we headed to gear check it started to pour the rain again. We decided we would just run in our long shirts instead of checking them. I’m so glad we did because it was pretty chilly mixed in with all the rain.

Standing in the corrals, waiting for the race to start was one of the more miserable moments. It seemed like we were there for a really long time. However, then they had a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon and I felt thankful just to be there and be healthy enough to run. Shortly after 7am the race started. They started us in staggered groups in order to spread the crown out a bit. Jamie and I ended up starting about 2 minutes after the race clock initially began. Once we started running the rain was kinda invigorating. I almost didn’t even notice it after about the first mile. Like I said, the visor came in super handy. It kept all the rain out of my eyes and face and just let me focus on running. I think the first 5 miles were the hardest for me mentally because I knew there lots of hills in those miles and for some reason I just couldn’t get into the run. But, once I got to that that sixth mile I was feeling good and my pace felt great. Around mile 10 my legs were getting pretty tired and I could tell I was starting to fade. However, when I saw the clock I knew I was going to be close to my personal best time of 1:48. I decided if I could keep my pace up that I may be able to beat my time. Those last three miles were a fight. I had to keep reminding myself I only had a 5k left….I ONLY have 2 miles left. When I made it to mile marker 12 I knew I was gonna be able to keep going. At mile marker 13 I knew I wasn’t going to get my best time but I took off in a sprint anyhow because I was so excited to be done! My chip time came in at 1:49:59! I was beyond thrilled since my goal was to break 2 hours. Jamie had finished about a minute ahead of me and we reunited were so happy to be done.

This is where the real miserable times start. As soon as we stopped running the rain became a factor. Our body temperatures started to cool off and we were freezing. Our hotel was supposed to supply a shuttle for us to get back to the hotel so we were being directed to that area which ended up being about a mile away. Once we got to the shuttle area they informed us it cost $15 to get on. At that point, we didn’t care, we just wanted to be warm and dry. Once we got to the shuttles they told us that the shuttles weren’t running to our hotel. We didn’t know what to do or how we were going to find the shuttle for our hotel. I managed to call and get through to our hotel and they informed us that there was a shuttle running but they couldn’t get to us until 11am…at his point it was only about 9:15am. The security at the marathon was top notch and tightly secured since the events at Boston. I was really thankful for that but it made it impossible to leave. We were freezing and miserable so we decided to jump on one of the shuttles even though they weren’t going to our hotel. It would at least provide a little bit of warmth until we had to make our next decision. At this point we planned to go to any hotel and try to call a cab from there. But, when they let us off the shuttle we were right across from the bus station so we thought we would give it a shot. We asked one of the employees if the bus was traveling on the route of our hotel and they assured us it was. We were so excited, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once we boarded the bus I asked the bus driver to let us know when our stop was for our hotel because we weren’t familiar with the area. She turned quickly in her seat and told us the bus wasn’t running that route because of the detours due to the race. We really wanted to cry. We asked her to get us as close as she could and we would figure it out from there. When she let us off the bus our GPS told us we were still 1.3 miles away. We sucked it up and ran or jogged rather…. Seeing our hotel was almost as good as seeing the finish line at the race. It took us 2 miserable hours to get back to the hotel….but we made it.

2013-04-27 12.05.46I took one of the best showers of my life, followed by a 3 hour nap:)

Once Jamie and I woke up we got ready to go out for the night. We spent the rest of the evening on Music Row celebrating our day!

2013-04-27 21.31.57I am so glad we did this race. Not only was the weekend great but getting to train with my best buddy was awesome too. This really made me love running again and the race made me extremely thankful that I was able run. One other thing I should mention was how awesome the volunteers and spectators were. I felt like there may not be that many people out cheering since the weather was so nasty but they didn’t let the rain hold them back. It really makes a difference when you have people cheering you on and pushing you along the way. I appreciate all those people:)

We plan to continue our workouts and hopefully we will be planning another race for the near future.

3 Weeks to Go!

5 Apr

So tomorrow will be exactly 3 weeks until the Nashville Rock n Roll Marathon. If you had asked me 2 weeks ago if I was ready I would have said “no way.” Around that time I had a horrible week of running. My long run that week was terrible and I had to stop multiple times because I just felt plain exhausted. Many times my head gets in the way during a long run and I can be defeated before I even begin. I was so discouraged and couldn’t understand why I was running so badly after several really good runs. I started scouring the internet for motivation. I came across a quote that said something like….run the mile you are in, not the one ahead of you. That really resonated with me. So many times I can be running and I can be on mile 4 and get discouraged thinking there are 5 or 6 more miles ahead of me. I think, if I’m tired now how am I ever gonna make it at mile 9 and then the thoughts just go from there.

I found this poster and it gave me a little pick me up.

This Sunday will be my longest run I have done or will do before the half. We are at 11 miles and I think I have given myself the pep talk to get through it. It also helps that it looks like it is going to be sunny and 7o all weekend. That has to do good things for the spirits.

Obviously my first goal is to finish the half but beyond that I would like to do it in less than 2 hours. My running buddy, Jamie tells me I am crazy and can definitely reach that goal but on most days I’m not so sure. In my first half, which was about 7 years ago I did it in 1:48. My second was 2:11 and my third which was last year was 2:28. However, I do feel like I am in a better place physically than I was last year.

We are on the countdown:)

New Year, New Aspirations

8 Jan

We celebrated the New Year at home, low-key with some really good friends. We talked, cooked, ate, played board games and just enjoyed being together. The last several New Years have been quite different than years past. We weren’t out on the town til the wee hours of the morning, hopping from one place to the next. But that’s ok with me. We got to play with Lila up until her bedtime and celebrate with people we love while she was only one room away. I could sneak in and catch a peek of her resting peacefully and run my fingers through her curly hair. It’s a new year and it is going to be a good one.

I usually make resolutions each year. I like the idea of starting fresh and putting my ideas on paper to help re-enforce my motivation. So, here is my list to make this year the best it can be.

1.) Exercise. I know, this is every other person’s resolution too. But, I really do love to exercise. It makes me feel better, gives me more energy and puts me in a better mind-frame. Since having Lila it has been hard to carve out the time I use to dedicate to the gym. It’s not easy and it takes some planning but it is worth it.  Jamie and I have started meeting up to run together 4 days a week. We have worked out a schedule that is reasonable and is good for both of us. I have never cared to go work out by myself but I have found lately if I don’t have someone to hold me accountable I can talk myself out of going. Now, Jamie and I make a plan and stick to it. It’s actually fun and I get in some good friend time as well. We are looking towards running a pretty big race in April!

2.) Eat better. Cook more. I know these sound so cliche so far but these are my goals. Josh and I have both been talking about eating better and cooking more over the past year but that’s about all we did was talk about it. We took some steps to make those talks a reality. Josh bought me an awesome new cookware set, along with some great cookbooks and an awesome new shelf for storage. This weekend I made my first ever menu plan for the week. I listed all the ingredients I would need and off the store I went. I felt so grown-up as I marked each item off my list. The week has started off a success and we have had some great meals. A great bonus is that we always have leftovers so I don’t have to think about my lunch for the next day. I love to know when I get home that there is a plan for dinner and that I have all the ingredients. It has started to take the stress out of dinnertime.

3.) Create More. I want this year to be filled with lots of crafting and writing. I get on spurts where I will create a lot of stuff at one time and then end up taking a longer break than intended. I find I am at my happiest when my hands are creating something new. Whether it be an actual craft or sitting down to write a paragraph, I just want to do it more.

4.) Be Kind. I had written about Ann Curry’s 26 Acts of Kindness a few weeks ago and it has really inspired me. I have added several acts to my list over the past few weeks and it has made me feel so good. I want to remember to be kind all the time. It doesn’t have to cost money or take a lot of time. Sometimes the smallest gestures mean the most to those receiving them. What would a kinder world look like in a year?

5.) Scoop the litter box daily. Yes. This is really a goal. My poor cats rank low on the needs list at our house. They don’t require much upkeep and sometimes they don’t get the attention they deserve. Josh and I both hate cleaning the litter box but I think they deserve it. Every time I have to use a dirty porta-potty (which isn’t often), I am reminded of how nice it is to have clean facilities…haha. Then I am immediately reminded that I need to go scoop the litter box. If no one else appreciates this…I know my cats will.

6.) Pay More Attention. This one is kinda vague and hard to be measured but important all the same. We all have our schedules and daily routines and sometimes it is easy to overlook or not listen as closely as we should. I just want to be more present.

I am sure I have other small goals that I have forgotten about for the moment but these are in the forefront of my mind. I hope to come back to these often to check-in and get a boost of motivation when needed.

I hope your new year is off to a great beginning. If it’s not, change it today:)

The Days of Discipline Are Upon Us

22 Aug

Lila experienced her first time-out yesterday. She didn’t like it.

Lately, she has gotten into the habit of pinching me. She likes to do it while I am reading to her, when she is sitting on my lap, when she wants my attention and during toothbrush time. Obviously I am not a fan of being pinched, I don’t really know anyone who is. We started out with a stern “NO,” followed by that hurts and it’s not nice to pinch people. That didn’t seem to work so then I decided she needed to understand what she was doing. I pinched her back…not hard but enough to get her attention. That seemed to work for a while and I thought we had an understanding it didn’t feel good and we were cutting it out. However, in the past couple of weeks the pinching has made a reappearance. I decided pinching her back wasn’t working….after I pinched her she started pinching herself:( And, of course I felt bad for pinching my baby, even though I was trying to teach her a lesson.

Last night as we were reading books she was pinching me over and over again….it was starting to hurt. Apparently she sees it gets a reaction out of me and I think that is why she continues. Josh suggested she probably thought it was a game so maybe we should try time-out. I had my doubts because I thought maybe she was too young to grasp the concept. Oh she understands and she doesn’t like it. Directly after she pinched me I told her she was going to time-out. I walked her over to an area away from all her toys and had her sit in the floor. I told her to sit there and not move. You  know what? She sat there and didn’t move and I was blown away. However, after about 20 seconds she realized this wasn’t “fun time” anymore and burst out into tears. SAD. The first thing I wanted to do was to rush over and scoop her up and tell her it was gonna be ok. But I didn’t. I let her sit there for a minute and half and I just had to watch her cry. After the time was up I went over told her that pinching hurts and we don’t do that to mommy or anybody else. It took her a couple of minutes to calm down and realize the world wasn’t ending. I gave her a hug and we continued story and playtime before bed.

Toothbrush time rolled around and as we were getting those suckers all shiny and bright she reached over and pinched my chest. NO! So back we go to time-out. She sat for another minute and half but this time she started crying immediately. She tried to get up and we told her she had to stay put….she didn’t like that and the cries got louder. As she was sitting there Josh and I were both telling her to calm down and everything was ok. Once she quit crying I went and picked her up and repeated everything about not pinching. Then, she buried her little head in my neck and started sobbing.

Discipline time is not fun but I know it is necessary. I understand this is only the beginning and she will test us along the way. We are learning everyday. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. I think this is a step in the right direction….now mama and daddy just have to stand strong 🙂

As I went to check on her last night this is what I found…


I almost wanted to wake her up to give her a big hug and kiss but then I came to my senses and just stood admiring her like a weirdo;)

Just A Minor Meltdown

16 Jul

Saturday morning Lila and I set out for Market Square. We didn’t really have anything too specific in mind but we just wanted to get out of the house and enjoy the day a bit. I always enjoy the hustle and bustle of downtown, the people watching, all the babies, and the unique flavor of the farmer’s market. The square has a fun fountain for Lila to play in too so it is great for those muggy days.

I just happened to have Lila’s bathing suit in her diaper bag so we did a quick wardrobe change in the square and she was ready to play. It was pretty crowded and there were a lot of older kids playing so I was bit hesitant to let her go. We were already there so I though what the heck. My nerves were being pounced on after about two seconds of being there. The older kids were running WILD and they weren’t watching out for the little ones at all. I guess their parents had dropped them off because no one was there to calm them down or reel them in. They were stepping on the geysers spraying water everywhere and drenching everything and everyone. Now, I really wasn’t trying to be a no fun Nelly so I reminded myself that I was at a water fountain and that it was ok to get wet. Breathe in. Breath out. 1. 2. 3. Repeat. So I have now regained my composure and I am chasing Lila all over the place as she tries to stick trash in her mouth. She was having lots of fun getting sprayed by the water and investigating the other children. As she was running and playing there was a little boy who was about three who kept running into her. Not on purpose, just not paying attention….like all little kids. I was trying my best to stay right with her but you think she going right and she goes left, she’s tricky. Anyway, the little boy came barreling around the the corner into a head on collision with Lila and she went flying backward with her head hitting the concrete. I freaked and the little boy’s father was standing there and helped Lila up. I gathered her up in my arms as she was bawling and drenched. The boys father kept apologizing saying he didn’t mean to. I knew it was an accident but I was upset that it happened and that my baby was hurting. We went and sat down at a table and rocked until she she calmed down. I checked out her head to make sure there was no blood, cuts or major swelling….there wasn’t thank goodness. She does have a nice knot but we are thankful that is all.

We called it a day after that. I think we are gonna stick to sprinklers in the backyard!

My Shadow Is Holding Me Accountable

12 Jul

As I was giving Lila a bath the other night I was splashing the water and and building towers out of blocks with her. As I watched her I noticed she would mimic my every move. If I splashed the water, she splashed the water. I thought to myself that is just adorable. I know, I am her mom and I think everything is adorable….but it was adorable:) I couldn’t believe she was already picking up on the little things we are doing. I have been noticing it more and more. Then I started to think, I really have to watch myself. She’s seeing EVERYTHING we do. The good, the bad and the ugly. Josh and I are her examples. Geez, that’s a lot of responsibility. That means I can’t say sh*t when I get frustrated, can’t pick my nose, must eat all my vegetables, brush my teeth every night, and always say thank you. Good grief.

I don’t just want to preach at Lila and tell her she should act a certain way, I want to be that example for her so she can see me living it daily. I guess now that I know someone is always watching it is a good reminder be on my best behavior.

Let’s re-visit this in 6 months.

The Great Pacifier Takedown

23 May

Ding dong the pacifier is dead!

I really can’t believe that the pacifier is no more. I’m relieved but it wasn’t really planned.

A few weeks ago when I picked Lila up from the babysitter she told me Lila hadn’t had it all day, had taken a nap without it and had been completely fine. I was hesitant because she loves the pacifier. A lot of times I think I like to keep it around too because it makes it easier on us. It definitely makes trips out in public much smoother. However, I was willing to start weaning her off of it. The first night I tried not giving it to her she just screamed and cried until I gave in. I was super tired that night so it didn’t take much to get me to that point. The more she started being without it during the day and nap time I knew I had to try and make a better effort at night with her. The second night we attempted it she didn’t make a peep. She simply laid in her crib and sang herself to sleep. What? That can’t be right.

Unfortunately it’s not just that easy. You don’t just take it away one day and they don’t notice…not in our case anyway. She has been without it now for about a week and half or 2 weeks, I am losing count. Some nights she is fine and will lay down quietly and other nights she puts up a fight. The first night she really cried I had to time it so I wouldn’t give in within a minute. She ended up giving in around 8-10 minutes. Now, on the nights she does cry it usually lasts about 1-2 minutes…which still seems like forever. It is hard to not just run back in her room and try to make everything better. Naps have actually been harder than night-time. I had the last 5 days off with her and her naps were hit or miss…when I say miss she just decided she wasn’t taking a nap that day…fun times! We are making it though and I think we are all going to survive!

I really think she has forgotten about it for the most part. However, we were at the zoo on Friday and she saw a little kid with a pacifier in her mouth and started reaching for it. I had to quickly distract her and go the other way. I have also gone through the house and collected all the pacifiers laying around so she didn’t stumble upon them and fall of the wagon.



It’s Easier Together

20 Apr


I was thinking about the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child” and I believe this to be the absolute truth.

When I think about all the support our family has it makes me a little misty-eyed. I know at any point in our lives we could call both of our families and we would have an outpouring of help. It gives me a sense of security when I know we aren’t alone in this. Even if we don’t necessarily need anything, just knowing that help is available is a comfort. I don’t know how people do it alone and I don’t want to find out.

I feel grateful that my daughter is going to be surrounded by people who have such good hearts and are always willing to lend a hand. As much as I want to prove I can be super-mom and do it without any help. That is just not the truth.