what’s cooking, BK?

One of our goals for this year is to take BK on a date once a month. Sure, we do things outside of the house, all of the time. Play dates and dance … [Continue Reading]

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Baby It’s Cold Outside, showering a sweet baby girl

Could party planning be my love language? Seriously. I love, love, love to help throw a party. I love to make a plan and have a vision and see it all … [Continue Reading]

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American Idol: Superstars Made Here

For years, we have watched American Idol at our house. It's one of our favorite shows to watching from the beginning of the season to the end, and we … [Continue Reading]

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holiday happenings

Let's forget the fact that some of the events happened nearly a month ago. I'm just getting around to posting about our jam packed December. It … [Continue Reading]

dance party

Whole 30: Week 2 Meal Plan

If you missed the plan for week 1, you can find it here. Would you believe we're back to day 1 over here? I couldn't let Allen start over alone … [Continue Reading]

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Judson is 8 months!

Well, actually Judson was 8 months, on Christmas Day, excuse my tardiness, we were just a tiny bit busy. 

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Another month has come and gone, with this month you saw your first Christmas and all of the wonderful things the season brings. Your first visit with Santa, numerous holiday parties, and your first Christmas morning. You rode on the train and even though you didn’t quite understand what in the world we were doing, your sister was quick to explain things to you.

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You love being outside, especially in your swing or the wagon. You love your daddy and your big sister, but I think it’s easy to say mom wins out over anyone else right now. You are the sweetest baby I’ve ever met, so laid back. We love you more than you know.  You started waving at people and saying “Heyyy” as you see people in restaurants or stores, or just when one of us walk into the room at home (I caught your sweet wave in the photo below). This month also brought your first cold, and that was no fun at all.

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At eight months:
  • Eating- you eat every 3 hours during the day. No plans to stretch that out?
  • You take two good naps (one mid- morning and one after lunch) and then you like to catch a catnap around 5:30.
  • We have finally seen some progress in nighttime sleep, prior to the cold you had, you were sleeping through the night (7:30-7:30), but the sickness threw you off a bit. We’re hopeful that you’ll get right back to that routine.

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  • You’re crawling everywhere! Like, for real crawling! It’s crazy to see you go!
  • You have four teeth! This month brought three new teeth, so that was fun for all.
  • You still love bath time, you love taking a bath in the big bath tub and splash and play the whole time.
  • You love Coco, playing peek-a-boo, being outside, playing with your toys, crawling around after your sister, and you really, really love your mommy.
  • You are pulling up on everything, you really love to stand.
  • You’re still babbling and talking all of the time! We hear “ma-ma” and “da-da” and “bye-bye” and “hey!”
  • You want to chew or suck on everything! Everything you touch goes straight to your mouth and I’m a little worried about all the tiny doll pieces your sister received for Christmas.
  • You’re still nursing, you don’t mind taking a bottle though.

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  • I think it’s official, you aren’t taking a paci. End of story. 
  • You love to laugh, you’re so ticklish!
  • We think you’re close to 20 pounds… we won’t go back to the doctor until later this month. 
  • You wear a size 3 diaper  and 9 or 12 month clothes.
  • You continue to love eating. You’re even fun to eat out with, as long as we keep feeding you.

 

 

 

 

 

January Goals

I’m a big fan of goals. While teaching, I was trained in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as part of the Leader In Me program. It was hands-down, the most beneficial professional development I took part in while teaching. I brought it home to Allen, who also implemented parts in his life and business. It was truly life changing. The following year I set monthly goals and accomplished so many things.

Last year, I was a little relaxed concerning goals, I was pregnant and busy and most of all, tired. I know that seems like a lame excuse, but the idea of one more thing on my plate was not appealing. I’m thankful to be looking forward to this new year with excitement and big plans.

I ordered Lara Casey’s Power Sheets and they have been phenomenal. They pushed me and made me answer hard questions. I worked on the initial section for about 2 weeks. Sometimes, I would decide I just couldn’t dig any deeper and set them aside until the next night. By January 1, I was able to take a clear look at what I wanted for this year, for myself, and for my family, and pen a few goals that aligned with those things.

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I set monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Clear, measurable goals (thanks Stephen Covey).

Monthly:

  1. Whole 30- I’m doing another round of Whole 30 for the month of January (hopefully, longer) but for now, January is the goal. Allen is jumping on board this time and I’m really excited to see how we’re feeling come the end of this month.
  2. Photo Book of BK’s First 6 months- I am that behind. I need to go through and organize the photos as well, so I want to do this in 6 month increments.
  3. Date Night with Allen- Yay!!
  4. No Eating Out- With the exception of our date night, we’re going to skip eating out this month. This is actually huge for us, we eat out several times a week and most weekends. It’s going to save tons of money and make is easier to stick to Whole 30.
  5. No Online Spending- December was excessive for so many reasons. With the exceptions of Valentine’s outfits for the kids, I won’t be spending any extra money online.
  6. Photos on the hard drive!- We recently bought a new hard drive and I need to transfer the photos and put it in a safe place.
  7. Read two books- Just two. Simple and easy.

Weekly: 

  1. Blog- I’m going to start blogging more, at least Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week.
  2. Teach BK something new- I’m really excited about learning new things with her!
  3. Declutter one space in the house- A closet, a drawer, a room, doesn’t matter as long as we rid it of the clutter.

Daily: 

  1. More Water! I’ll be back to drinking a gallon daily!
  2. Bible Reading and Journaling-  I’m going to put my new Journaling Bible to good use this month.
  3. Wake up and shower/get ready before the kids- I used to be so good at getting up and getting things done in the mornings, no it’s sporadic at best. I’m starting this again!
  4. Work Out- Simple or complex, it’s my goal to get moving every single day.

I’m also promising to put the phone down more often and be more present. That little device gets some of my best attention and I’m putting it down more often in the new year.

We have some fun dates planned with the kids and I can’t wait to unwind on the weekends. Allen wants to plant a garden this year, so we’ll be planning that out this month, too.

I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Did you set goals for January?

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Whole 30: 7 Day Meal Plan

I posted a photo on Instagram a few days back while I was planning my Whole 30 meals for the week, and I promised to try and get a sample plan on the blog.

Planning is probably the reason that Whole 30 was successful for me the first time. And planning also means we eat 99% of the fruits and veggies and I’m not throwing them out at the end of the week. I like to plan three meals each day, and I try not to snack on Whole 30, but if I do need a snack, I just keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. I can grab a few raw carrots or an apple with almond butter, as needed.

Here’s what a typical week might look like. This is actually what we’ll be following starting tomorrow.

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Here are the links (or recipes) for the breakfast options:

Sweet Potato and Sausage Cups- 2 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and shredded), 4 eggs, 2 crumbled chicken and apple sausages, pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix together. Pour mixture into parchment lined baking cups and bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.

Crustless Quiche (I omit/add things based on the veggies that are in season/on hand)

Frittata

Sweet Potato Hash

Lunch:

Balsamic Tuna Salad: 3 cans compliant tuna, 1 shredded carrot, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons Paleo mayo, mix together and serve as lettuce wraps.

Chopped Salad: Lettuce and as many chopped veggies as you have on hand, grilled chicken, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and EVOO.

Chicken Sausage and Apple Skewers: Cut up a chicken and apple sausage link and brown in the skillet. Layer the sausage with apple slices on a skewer. Serve with steamed veggies.

Chicken Salad- You can find the recipe in this post.

Dinner (Ill cook a sweet potato or roast veggies to serve with the protein only dishes):

Crock Pot Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings (with roasted veggies)

Crock Pot Roast and Vegetables 

Almond Crusted Mahi 

Cilantro Ginger Flank Steak- Leave out worcestershire sauce and add 1/4 c lemon juice

New Orleans Shrimp (be sure to make your own tomato paste and stock, so that it’s compliant)

I hope this helps with some of your Whole 30 planning! I can’t wait to get that wonderful energy back and make some positive changes in the New Year!

dear little ones, my new year’s resolutions for you

dear little ones,

I know you don’t understand, but there is quite the chatter about New Year’s resolutions right now. Many people are resolving to lose weight or exercise more, maybe to quit an unhealthy vice or start something healthy and life-altering. These resolutions come in all shapes and sizes, and while you’re not old enough to have the slightest clue, I’ve come up with a few for you.

Not truly resolutions, by definition, instead these are my new year wishes for you.

May your year be filled with less busy. Less car naps and more nap-time snuggles. Less urgency and more calm.

May your year be full of fun. Not fun by the lighted screen of an electronic device. Instead, fun in the form of board games and puzzles. Playing chase in the backyard, learning to ride your bicycle in the driveway, fort building on rainy days.

May this be your yes year. May you hear yes to baking in the kitchen and fun dates with mom and dad. Yes to spontaneous zoo trips and park adventures. Yes to letting you be little. Yes to post-dinner dance parties. Yes to Let It Go, even though we feel the need to let that song go.
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May we let you be little. May you live with a set of expectations meant for a child, rather than a tiny adult. May you be disciplined when needed, loved when needed, and may you be extended grace, even when it feels like there is no more to be given. May you be allowed to mess up, and mess up again, and mess up a thousand times more, and still feel the same love as if you got it right the first time.

May your home be filled with laughter and love. May you wake up with a smile on your face and go to sleep to sweet lullabies and bedtime prayers.

May the adults in your life understand that these days are fleeting. Not just say it, but understand it, feel the urgency. May they pause while doing the dishes and have a concert with you in the kitchen using plastic storage containers and wooden spoons. May they pause folding the sheets and putting away the towels in exchange for make-shift superman capes and make believe heroics on an ordinary Wednesday.

May they hold your tiny hands and trace the outline of your tiny lips. May they rock you to sleep when you reach your tiny hands up to them in the middle of the night. May they let you sleep in the middle when you wander in from a bad dream in the middle of the night.

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May this year be slow.

May this year be full of adventure.

May you understand gratitude and give thanks.

May you feel love and in turn give love.

May you know how thankful we are for you each and every day. And even though you don’t understand, I hope you can feel it from my heart when I hold you tight. You are my gift, this year is our gift, and may you be reminded of that every single day. May you feel celebrated and loved each day, even on a rainy Monday in March or a scorching hot day in August. May each of your days be celebrated, no matter how ordinary they may seem.

This my dear little ones, is my wish for you in the new year.

May it be our best year, only to be topped by the next year.

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Merry Christmas, 2014

I’m a little behind on all things blog-related, but I knew if I wanted to post this while it was fresh on my mind. I don’t want to forget a single detail about this magical today. (I actually wrote this post on Christmas night, but I’m just getting around to putting the photos in).

BK said her good-byes to Lucy on Christmas Eve, we baked some cookies, read Twas The Night Before Christmas, and called it a night. Random little side note, BK really showed she could read on Christmas Eve when she started blending words completely on her own while reading our Christmas books.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know we’ve been planning a special surprise for BK. I sketched out a rough draft for a doll house and Allen took it from there. I helped here and there with painting and gluing shingles to the roof, but he was definitely the master craftsman of this project. To say it was a labor of love would be a huge understatement. It took many late nights and trips to Home Depot and Hobby Lobby, many Internet searches for the perfect furnishings, and a few bottles of Modge Podge.

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The one and only thing BK has been asking for is a Barbie Dream House, but I knew that a custom doll house, built by daddy would be the ticket. We set everything up late Christmas Eve night, and slipped into bed around 1:30. I never imagined she’d wake up so early, but a sweet little voice exclaiming that Santa had come woke us up around 5:00 Christmas morning. We heard, Santa came! Mom! Dad! Santa came! And he brought me a doll house! The best doll house ever! Come see! 

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Her reaction was even better than anything I could have imagined.

Judson has been fighting a nasty cold and he’s also cutting his two top teeth. I wasn’t sure how the day would go, but in true Jud fashion he was happy and smiling. He was actually excited to rip into a few gifts and play with the toys Santa had left for him.

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My parents, my brother and Haley (his fiance), stayed with us on Christmas Eve. We all woke up and watched BK and Jud, it’s truly magical seeing Christmas through a childs eyes. Then, we exchanged gifts as well. My mom always has a way of making Christmas so special for us, she always has and it’s really special to us. And the scene was rather chaotic. I laughed when I looked back at this photo of the Christmas morning mess.

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But, really, we had the best time!

 

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And we managed a quick Christmas morning family photo.

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We had prepped a few breakfast casseroles the night before, so we cooked them while we were opening gifts. Later that morning we welcomed family for breakfast. We didn’t leave the house all day and I only changed out of my pajamas after taking a shower and changing into a different set of pajamas. It was the most magical Christmas so far.

 

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