Catching Up…

24 Apr

Things have been busy around here lately.

One of the biggest changes we have experienced in the last few weeks is Lila starting pre-school. She had her first day about 2 weeks ago and has been doing fairly well. The first few days went really smoothly and she was able to walk into her classroom in the morning and start playing immediately. After about 3 days things got a little hairy. When I would walk her to her classroom she started bawling and clung to me for dear life. It was one of those hysterical cries where you can’t catch your breath. Nothing is worse than watching your child in pain, no matter what the reason. I tried to console her and reassure her that I was coming back and that she was going to have a great time playing. The longer I stayed the worse it got. So I finally had to peel her off of me and just leave. It was heartbreaking. Her teacher is great and she texted me throughout the day to let me know Lila had calmed down and she was doing great. That made my day a bit better but it is hard to start your day that way. That same scenario played out for the next week and even though I knew she would calm down once I left it was still very upsetting. When she went back this week though things changed. As soon as we walk in her classroom she rips off her little pink jacket and she is off to find her first toy of the day. No hugs for mom. But that’s ok, I would rather her ignore me than be upset that I am leaving. I love picking her up in the afternoon because she usually gives me the best greeting. When I peak my head around the corner, her face lights up and she runs full speed toward me for a hug. She busted my face one day but it was worth it:) She had been at an in-home daycare up until this point and it was great but we felt that it was time to start having more socialization and to be in a school-like setting. So far, we are really happy with it and the best thing is that she seems to love it too.

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In my downtime I have been sewing and making mobiles non-stop. I received a large order that has to be completed within the month’s end. I am almost done and it has been really exciting to work on such a large order. My dining room table has been consumed by birds and they are shoved in every nook and cranny of the house.

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Jamie and I have 3 days until our half marathon in Nashville! I am really excited but I am also a bundle of nerves. I always get nervous before any competitive event so I will have get through the first mile or two before I calm down. Jamie and I got some really funky pants to run in. I don’t think we will be lost in the crowd:) I’m also thinking these slippers would be really comfy to run in as well.

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I’m looking forward to a fun girls weekend and a challenging run!

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:)

Lila’s 2nd Birthday

22 Mar

Lila’s birthday was wonderful. We had sunny, warm weather and Lila was surrounded by friends and family that love her dearly. This birthday was quite different than last year because Lila was able to maneuver on her own and her little hands were constantly reaching for food. We had to keep an eye on the cupcake table to make sure she didn’t lick the icing off every cupcake.

The theme for her party was Charlotte’s Web. I had envisioned more of a farm party but it took a turn toward bright pops of color, which I was also happy with. I have a love for bright colors and gravitate towards anything that pops.

I have lots of photos from the big day:)

I loved doing the bright pom poms, it really added an extra layer to the room

I loved doing the bright pom poms, it really added an extra layer to the room. I created the birthday banner with pretty scrapbook pages I had laying around. I’m gonna hang onto it and use it again in the future.

Fun color all around!

Fun color all around!

My mom made the cute little pig cupcakes and they were as tasty as they are adorable. The cake was made by a lady that made my birthday cakes growing up. The flavor brought back so many memories.

My mom made the cute little pig cupcakes and they were as tasty as they are adorable. The cake was made by a lady that made my birthday cakes growing up. The flavor brought back so many memories.

My mom had this cute chicken fabric laying around and the colors were just right. I also got the idea for the little message toothpicks from Pinterest.

My mom had this cute chicken fabric laying around and the colors were just right. I also got the idea for the little message toothpicks from Pinterest.

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Lila ate food just as fast as would could prepare it. Some days that girl is a bottomless pit.

Lila ate food just as fast as would could prepare it. Some days that girl is a bottomless pit.

Our little family:)

Our little family:)

Me and my sweet birthday girl.

Me and my sweet birthday girl.

I thought this picture was hilarious. Everyone is looking at pictures of Lila while Lila is sitting there in real life. She loves looking a pictures of herself, I can't blame her though....she's cute:)

I thought this picture was hilarious. Everyone is looking at pictures of Lila while Lila is sitting there in real life. She loves looking at pictures of herself, I can’t blame her though….she’s cute:)

The only way I could get her to take her eyes off herself was to announce that Elmo was at the party.

The only way I could get her to take her eyes off herself was to announce that Elmo was at the party.

I wasn't lying, see Elmo did show up.

I wasn’t lying, see Elmo did show up.

Blowing out candles. She tried to smother the flames with her hands first but we stopped her just in time.

Blowing out candles. She tried to smother the flames with her hands first but we stopped her just in time.

I love these two with everything I have.

I love these two with everything I have.

I think the highlight of the day for Lila was when she received her new wagon from Papaw Barry. She stayed in it for about an hour straight.

I think the highlight of the day for Lila was when she received her new wagon from Papaw Barry. She stayed in it for about an hour straight.

Thankful for such a beautiful day and such a beautiful girl.

Thankful for such a beautiful day and such a beautiful girl.

This past year went by too quickly and I have a feeling they are only going to speed up as we move forward. I am excited about the future but I’m trying to remember to live in the moment and make the most of each new memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently

14 Mar

Looking for: My mojo to write a little bit more. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to create and write more and I have definitely been keeping with that on the creative side. I have been really busy with mobiles over the last few months. My sewing machine has found a permanent place on the dining room table where I sit at nightly and sew birdies. It has been good to stay busy and see business better than ever.

Feeling: Luckily on the mend! We have all been a little under the weather lately. Luckily Lila experienced the least of it. I got the flu and that put me down for a good 5 days and since then I have been left with the longest cold ever. I wake up each day hoping it will be gone but it is just lingering about. Josh felt pretty bad for a few days but he is convinced it wasn’t the flu. Lila spent about 3 days with my parents as we were trying to survive. We wanted her away from all the germs and to stay as well as possible. She managed to escape the whole thing with only a runny nose, so she wins!

Anticipating: Lila’s second birthday! Lila turns 2 on Saturday and I can’t wait. Well, that’s a lie. I can wait and it kinda breaks my heart she is growing up so fast. She will be excited when she see’s her birthday cake, though. We are trying to do a Charlotte’s Web theme so she is going to have a cute little pig cake with pig cupcakes. When I was growing up my mom always had the same person make our birthday cakes and they were the best ever:) They had the most unique flavor and it was always one of the high points of my birthday. Since I have gotten older and life has been busier I haven’t had one of those birthday cakes in years. I called my mom to see if she could get the lady to do a special cake for Lila and she agreed! I hope she loves it as much as I always did.

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Running: I have been keeping up with my running since the first of the year and I feel so much better. My friend Jamie and I try and run about 4 days a week and we have been training for the Nashville Half Marathon at the end of April. After last year’s half marathon I said I was done but here I am again. I might be crazy. I find that I do best when I have a goal to work towards and scheduling a big race helps keep me on track and dedicated to working out. The flu put a little halt on training for several days but I am back at it and trying to get my endurance back up. I got some spiffy new running shoes that I love:) They make running a bit more fun if that is possible. I have really enjoyed having Jamie as my running buddy. I used to love working out by myself but here lately it seems a lot more fun when you have someone to do it with. We push and encourage each other to do more even if we aren’t feeling it!

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Watching: Well, you know I am always up on my tv so I have lots of shows that I love. One of my new favorites is Scandal and Duck Dynasty! Scandal keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time and I love Kerry Washington. Josh and I have both gotten really into Duck Dynasty which is something I didn’t think I would ever say. It’s just hilarious and Si is the best. You know what I mean, Jack!

Looking forward to: Spring! I am over the cold weather and mother nature’s fickle ways. We have had a few days where we have gotten a tease of the warm weather, only to be followed by freezing temps and lots of wind.

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Eating: Thin Mints! Someone take them away.

Making me happy: Cuddles on the couch, coffee, sunshine, and quality time with the family.

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-Inspired by Danielle at www.sometimessweet.com

Happy 23 Months

19 Feb

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Lila-

I don’t know how it is possible that I am throwing around ideas about your 2nd birthday. I could swear it was only yesterday I was gathering everything up for your 1st birthday and anticipating the excitement you would have as you dove into your cake. By the way, that never happened on you first birthday. You would barely touch the cake so we basically all stood and watched you watch your cake. It was still thrilling!

I have been prepping you lately by asking you how old you are. I have shown you how to hold up two little fingers and you are catching on quickly. I think of all the things we have accomplished over the last two years and it makes me proud. But, then as I begin to look toward the future I am a bit timid. I tend to worry about things that far off and how I will handle a situation if you are ever in it. Then my mom gently reminds me that I might not be ready now but when the time comes I will be prepared. Mothers always know the right thing to say.

Over the past month you have begun to love Disney movies. Your favorites are Charlotte’s Web and Cinderella. You would sit and watch them all day if we let you. Even though you love the movies you are still loving books to no end. You take an armful of books everywhere you go. We have discovered our best ally for nap time is a stack of books. As long as you have a pile of books by your side you immediately forget about fact we are making you lie down for a nap. I am enjoying this time until you figure out our handy new trick.

Sometimes I feel like we speak a foreign language to each other. Each day you are discovering new words and creating your own, unique way to say them. It is our job to decipher what they are and sometimes you leave us stumped. It is incredible though when you pull a new word out of thin air. I usually look around for a witness because I instantly think you are a genius. I guess every mother has her own little genius, but you are mine.

I want to enjoy every second of this last month. I love you my little bug.

Mama

Happy 22 Months

24 Jan

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Lila Doodle-

I am several days late in writing this to you and I am upset with myself because I have missed the last several months of doing your monthly update. When life gets busy around here this blog is one of the first things that falls by the wayside. Hopefully I can get you caught up on the cool things you have been up to.

You are talking more and more each day and with each new word that comes out of your mouth I am absolutely floored. It is wild to watch you develop and grow right in front of  my eyes. Just tonight you said “love you” for the first time to me. I could have squeezed you in two it made me so happy. One of your favorite words that you are saying right now is puppy. You say it as “buppie”…..I know, too cute. Your daddy and I read you numerous books each day and you simply devour them. You are also quite possessive over your books and don’t really want to share them. Sharing is definitely an area we are trying to work on with you. We have to remind you on a daily basis that big girls share.

We had attempted to start introducing you to the potty and you were doing really well with it but then just a few days ago you decided you didn’t want anything to do with it. That’s fine though, it is a little early anyway and I am in no hurry to rush it with you. We are gonna take a break from it for a few months and then revisit.

There are days I want to record everything you do because I don’t want to forget it and I try to make mental notes to myself. I know those moments are quickly forgotten about. However, you did have two gems for me tonight. As soon as we walked in the door tonight you walked in and picked up a book called “Counting Kisses.” It counts down from 10 telling us all the places to give you kissses. You turned straight to the page that said “10 kisses on your teeny tiny toes” and promptely lifted up your foot and started kissing it. Then we jumped in the shower and you laid down with your booty up in the air and told me “nigh nigh.” I asked you if you were gonna go to sleep in the shower and you simply replied, “yeah.” It was the sweetest.

Speaking of sleep, you are doing pretty well. The 2-3 weeks after Christmas were a nightmare. With all the excitement, travel and different schedules your whole routine was kinda thrown off. For several weeks you were waking up with night terrors in the middle of the night and then you would wake up between 4 and 5 and be ready for the day. I was not a happy camper and was so tired. Finally after a few weeks you have gotten back to your regular schedule of sleeping from 8pm to 7am. Sleeping in til 7 sounds amazing after weeks of waking up at 4 and 5. Thanks for getting back on track:)

I know there are million things I am leaving out but I promise I am going to do better about your monthly updates. I do want you to know that you bring so much joy to our lives each day and I never imagined I could be this happy. You are so loving and I am so thankful that you show us so much affection each day. That is the favorite part of my everyday.

We love you sweet baby.

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:)

Holiday Happenings

4 Jan

The holidays were busy, fun, exciting, exhausting and wonderful. We jam-packed lots of entertainment and memories into the last two weeks. We had holiday parties, visited Dollywood, attended a family reunion, ate entirely too much food in several different sittings, visited Santa, celebrated Christmas, spent quality time with friends and family and played til we passed out. It’s always hard coming back to work after having an extended time off but I do like having a schedule to follow again. Our sleep and routines have been all over the place lately.

It’s hard to put into words how much I love the holidays. For me the holidays mean spending time with my family and those closest to me and there is no other way I would want to spend my time. My brother has been in from Seattle for the holidays and we have been hanging out as much as possible. He flies out today and that gives me a case of “the sads.”

Here is a little summary of what has been happening lately…

christmas11Getting ready for the big man…and trying his hat on for size.

christmas10Josh and I got all gussied up to attend my annual work Christmas party.

christmas8Lila loved riding the horsies and getting to pick out her very own at Dollywood.

christmas9My little bumblebee:)

christmas7Putting on a show for the family.

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You know….just, gettin her model on.

christmas6Santa paid Lila a visit.

christmas4Testing out all her new toys with daddy.

christmas3Lila wanted to show Uncle Brian the magic of Elmo.

christmas2Our nightly dance parties!

Brian got this great video of Lila on Christmas morning! I have watched it a dozen times:)

I hope you all had wonderful holidays as well!

Processing

21 Dec

I haven’t written in this space in a while. Part of it was out of laziness and part was out of sadness. With the tragic event that took place in CT last week, everything else seemed so minor. When I thought about getting on here and telling a cute story about Lila or sharing pictures of our recent events I was struck with a pain of guilt. I spent last Friday in a whirlwind of emotions. I would be fine one minute and bawling the next. ALL DAY. Anything I did that day seemed so trivial and meaningless. Lives had been shattered, the innocence of children had been ripped away and there was nothing I could do accept sit in a ball of pity. In a way I feel bad even mentioning it, I feel like I don’t have a reason to be so upset and heartsick because I wasn’t affected first-hand. But I was affected. More affected than I have ever been in my life over any major event. I know it is because I am a parent now, the pain these families are going through seems impossible.

After Friday, I turned off all media and looked away when I saw anything relating to the tragedy pop up. That seems almost mean and callous but I simply couldn’t watch anymore. I did watch President Obama make his speech to the country and then I was a mess all over again. I have thought about it everyday.

It’s hard to go anywhere and not hear people discussing the events, asking why it happened and who would do such a thing? This has really put a dark cloud over life lately. I could sit here and tell you my stance on gun control, religion and other beliefs but that will do nothing to change the way things are. I can say there is still good out there. If you want to be encouraged and see the goodness in people, please take a look at Ann Curry’s twitter page. She started the idea of doing 26 acts of kindness for other people in honor of the victims at Sandy Hook. When I started reading her twitter feed ,I had tears streaming down my face. It has inspired me to do my own acts of kindness. I started at lunchtime when I had to go to the post office. I put some gift cards I had won to a restaurant in an envelope and wrote “Merry Christmas” on it and put it on someone’s windshield in the parking lot. I didn’t see them get it but I imagine it put a smile on their face. That is honestly the best I have felt in a while and it took 2 seconds. I look forward to continuing the kindness and hope people pay it forward.

I know this in no way heals the pain of those families but this is something small we can all do. Put a little good back out into the world.

The Magic of Memories

6 Dec

I am fortunate enough to have some of the best memories of childhood. Many of those memories were created around the holidays and I am reminded of them each year at this time.

There are a million little details that I still remember. We would always have Johnny Mathis playing as we put our Christmas tree up. My parents always purchased a live tree and the smell was so wonderful and lingered through the entire house. I loved getting sticky sap on my fingers as we would decorate the tree with all our handmade and sentimental ornaments. We each had very special stockings that we would hang on the mantle each year and await the moment that they would be filled with goodies. My  mom would decorate the mantle and sitting in our living room would feel like the coziest place on earth. On Christmas Eve we would have a huge dinner with our grandparents and then open gifts from one another. We would stay up way too late watching The Christmas Story, even though it was on for 24 hours straight. We would wake up on Christmas morning to find that Santa had been there a few hours before. Once all the bows were ripped off and the last package had been opened we would have a wonderful breakfast with everyone. The remainder of the day would be spent eating, napping, playing with new goodies and watching Christmas movies. It was such a magical time.

Once you have a tradition it’s hard to break it. When Josh and I got married he would want to integrate or try a new tradition and I was always opposed. I guess I had it in my head the exact way things were supposed to go because that is all I knew. However, since Lila’s arrival I feel like I am becoming much more open to new traditions. I want her to always remember this being an incredible time of the year. I want her to feel those butterflies in her belly that I remember feeling as a child. From time to time I still that amazing feeling as Christmas approaches but it is much more fleeting now. I want to re-live all those special moments through Lila’s eyes. I know she is still a bit young and most likely won’t remember this Christmas but that won’t stop me from trying to make it as special as possible. Nothing beats seeing your child’s face light up with joy and discover something new.