Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Finish this Sentence - Part 2

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Linking up with Holly and Jake for round 2 of Finish this Sentence.

1. If calories didn't count, I would eat... Fritos and Doritos - these 2 are my favorite snacks and even though I don’t really miss them, I do remember how much I like them!  Since I'm on Weight Watchers those million point snacks aren’t on my menu anytime soon.

2. On my Prom night....
I was stood up.  Yup, it's true.  Last minute my date canceled.  It's ok, he was a dud anyways.  I called my best friend (who didn’t go to the same school) told her to grab her old dress and come over because "we were going to prom together!"  She did just that and we had an awesome time.

3. When I go to the store, I always buy...
something for my daughter.  It's usually a little something from the dollar section of Target so it's not too expensive.

4. Family functions typically...
HA.  If it's just my family, they stay small.  I'm an only child and a lot of my immediate family live about an hour away so we usually stay home.  If my husband’s family joins then it gets a bit chaotic.  Ad 2 more kids to the mix the volume just increases tenfold.  There's usually tears from my MIL and not good ones and someone always ends up mad at the end.  Ya know, typical functional dysfunction.

5. I think my blog readers...
are awesome!  I love when I can connect when people comment.  I always email back and converse.  That's one of the reasons I love blogging so much.

6. I'd much rather be...
on vacation.  My family and I love to go away.  Whether it's to New Hampshire or Maine or someplace new, we just love exploring and seeing new places.

7. I have an obsession with....
Jesus.  I'm still in the learning phase of my Christianity and learning about Him, His life, His love and the bible is just amazing to me.

8. My work friends....
are new.  I'm switching positions as we speak and I haven’t really established friendships with anyone yet.  My schedule is kind of wonky because of mine and my husband’s opposite shifts so I'm usually not in the office when my team is.

9. When I created my Facebook account....
I had no idea how addicting it would be.... and how much like high school it could be.

10. My least favorite word is...
divorce.  It's something I fear since the statistics are so high but my husband and I take our marriage vows seriously and do everything and anything in our power to stay in love.

11. I really don't remember....
a lot of my childhood. I remember big events but I think that's just from seeing pictures and I don't have a lot of my own memories.  It's weird because life was pretty normal so I dont understand why.

12. Justin Bieber....
is ok.

Head over to Holly or Jake's blog to link up!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Little NSV Changes

When I started this weight loss journey I knew for a fact that I needed to start making healthier food choices. I also knew that working out would become part of my new routine but right now I am focusing on taking one step at a time. Since January I've lost 18 lbs. I've also started doing little things here and there to help incorporate more moving into my life.

Taking the stairs - I was an elevator girl. The stairs at work are literally right next to the elevator but I'd bypass them every morning and push the up arrow instead. I probably could have made it upstairs and to my office before the elevator even opened since it’s so old and slow but I chose to be lazy. Now, I take the stairs every day. Sometimes I even go up, back down and up again to get a few more steps in. Silly, but it's movement.

Jumping Rope - does anyone remember how easy it used to be to jump rope? Well, it’s not that easy anymore! I bought one the other day at Target for $5.99. I figured it wouldn't require me to leave the house and I could go in the garage and jump after Olivia's in bed every night. It's way harder than I thought it would be. Y first attempt I struggled to jump 10 consecutive times so I kept starting over. When I finally did it I exclaimed 'yeah!!' and put the jump rope down - finally!

Jumping jacks - also something that used to be easy and now I'm sure I look like a fool, but again, it's movement. I never want to do them in front of a mirror though! In my office at work I’ll get up randomly throughout the day and do 10-20 jumping jacks, sit back down and start working again. Let’s hope no one walks in my office without knocking and sees me acting crazy!

Running in place - this is also something I do in my office or at home. Just run in place while counting to 50. Easy enough.

At the beginning of my journey I joined a gym and while they have awesome hours - open 24 hrs - the only time I can go is before work which for me is 3:00 am. That means waking up at 2:50, driving there, work out till 4:00, shower, get ready and make it to work for 5:00. Times when I actually did this I was so exhausted from losing sleep that I could hardly function. For now, these little changes I've incorporated are going to have to do until we have nicer weather and can exercise outside.

Head over to KTJ's blog and link up to share your NSV!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So What! Wednesday

First and foremost - I'm jumping on the bandwagon to tell you all to follow me on BLOGLOVIN.  Google reader is going away (although I never used it) so bloglovin is taking its place.  I've joined and started reading my blog feed there and let me tell you, it's awesome!  So, go and follow me there.  It's super simple to just transfer all the blogs you're following from blogger to bloglovin.

Now onto the good stuff - today I'm linking up with Shannon from Life After I Dew for So What! Wednesday.  Here's what I have to say so what to this week.....

~ So what - if it snowed yesterday, I mean, it's on March, spring today to be exact.  I'm over it!

~ So what - if since buying my new eye shadow palette I'm a bit obsessed and ordered a few new colors from MK to try out.

~ So what - if my husband and I have already started Christmas shopping for Olivia.  We got some really good deals on things we wanted to get her, we couldn’t pass them up.  This is the first time I've ever, ever started Christmas shopping this early - well, early at all!

~ So what - if all said Christmas presents are currently on the floor of my bedroom closet.  They're taking up so much space and I need to move them downstairs but haven’t gotten around to it.

~ So what - if my family has been eating fruit salad like crazy these past 2 weeks.  We have spent so much money (and time) making it but it's so delicious, healthy and 0 points!

~ So what - if I joined Weight Watchers almost 2 weeks ago.  I was struggling with tracking calories and felt like I needed a bit more structure.  I'm happy with the program so far....and my 4.2lb weight loss during week 1.

That's all I have to say So What to this week.  Head over to Shannon's blog and link up too!

So What Wednesday


Friday, March 15, 2013

Fab Friday

Linking up with Laura from The Everyday Joys today for Fab Friday.  As always I enjoy ending the week on a high note and reflecting on all the good that was and is to come. 
Happy Weekend!
~ Week 1 on Weight Watchers is done and I'm down 4.2 lbs so far - total lost since January 1st is 17 lbs!
~ Olivia loves school and it has really made a difference in my work week.  Originally I was working early days every day but now I work one long day (Wednesday) and get to leave super early (9am) on Fridays!
~ Mommy/Daughter date this afternoon - taking my girl to the childrens museum.
~ My new eye shadow pallette from Sephora.  I love all of the colors!
SEPHORA COLLECTION - Moonshadow Baked Palette - In The Nude
Moonshadow Baked Pallette - In the Nude
~ A lunch date with one of my favorite people tomorrow.
~ My 30 for 30 Challenge.  I'm excited to see where this takes me. 
~ A new blog name/design is in the works with Jess from Wrangling Chaos.  It will be a while but I know it will be worth the wait!
That's all for today - head over to Laura's blog and link up to share what fabulous things happened to you this week!
The Everyday Joys

Thursday, March 14, 2013

30 for 30 Challenge

This is the year people, the year I leave my 20's and turn the big 3-0! When did this happen? Have I really spent 30 years on this earth? This is kind of a big deal. Turning the page into a whole new century of living. You're a real adult when you're 30 right?

Well, now that the initial shock has worn off there's something that I want to accomplish this year in honor of my 30th birthday. I've talked about giving before. How I've been feeling that God is pushing me to give, to share, to help people in any way I can.

So, in honor of turning 30 I'm starting the 30 for 30 Challenge.

I'm challenging myself to do 30 Random Acts of Kindess throughout this year. I'm not going to plan out what I'll do, I really want this to be an experience of me trusting God and seeing Him work through me for His glory. I want to pray about reaching people, I want Him to show me which people to touch and help. I want to make sure that I glorify Him during this challenge and always give him the credit. I want to use this to help my relationship with Him grow and deepens as I rely on Him to help me.

My prayer every day will be for Him to bring me into contact with the right people, to help me show the world His light, to help me know the best way to bless people, to give me the right words to share. I want this to be a blessing to others but also to me as I use this to learn more of His ways.

So, please, help me pray about this challenge. Pray for me. Pray that He can use me for good and help people who need to see His light in such a dark world.

If you would like to participate and do your own random acts of kindness please link back to me and share about what you've done in a post on your blog.  Let's spread some love!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

So What! Wednesday

Linking up with Shannon today for SWW. 

~ So what if I haven't had coffee in over a week.  Other than having a headache the first day, I'm feeling good and don't miss it.  (never thought I'd say that)

~ So what if this past weekend I bought my first ever eye-shadow palette from Sephora.  I've always just bought individual colors and for some reason it made me all excited buying a palette.

~ So what if Olivia thinks she gets ice cream after school each week.  On her first day of school we celebrated by taking her out for ice cream and last night when I was telling her about going to school tomorrow she says "and then we go get ice cream!"

~ So what if Olivia wasn’t the least bit affected by daylight savings time.  Thank God!

~ So what if I want to get a blog makeover and change my blog name - too bad I have no idea how to change the name and I don’t want to lose the connections and friends I've made so I probably won’t.

~ So what if my little blog only has 80ish followers... it's grown from 30 - 80 this year alone and when we hit 100 I'm going to do a giveaway - so - send your friends!

~ So what if I'm super excited about a post I have scheduled for tomorrow.  This idea has been on my heart for a while and I'm glad I'm finally putting it into motion.  Check back and see what it's all about.
So What Wednesday

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Great Date Experiment

Our Sunday school class is a group of young married couples, most of which have children and were starting the Andy Stanly series on "staying in love."  To kick off our 8 week class, this past Saturday {3/2/13} our teachers planned a date night deemed The Great Date Experiment." 
They put together a packet of things to do, topics to discuss, questions to answer and times in our relationships to reminice about - and they provided free babysitting!
All the couples met at church beforehand, dropped off our children, were served hors derves and given our packets.  Where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do was up to us.  Joe surprised me and we went to Fred and Steve's Steakhouse in a local casino, a place that we wouldnt have been able to go with Olivia since she's not allowed in the building. 
Neither of us had ever been there before and it was perfect.
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We were seated by a window overlooking the rest of the casino and a live band. 
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Our waiter was amazing and super attentive.  The service was great and the food was amazing.  
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Joe and I got to talk and laugh and sit and eat without any interruption.  We talked about how far we've come in our relationship, things that we hope for our future, how much we love our daughter and are so, so blessed to be her parents.  We answered the questions in the packet about the beginning of our relationship, what we did to impress the other, where we'd want to live if anything was possible, our dream vacation and we even added in some questions of our own.  
We laughed a lot and there were even a few emotional moments shared. 
We held hands, kissed, hugged and just truly enjoyed our time together - alone.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Finish this sentence

 Today I'm linking up with Holly and Jake to "finish this sentence."  They've put together the following list of sentences to finish - easy enough right?  I can't wait to read everyone's answers! 
1. People always tell me... that my daughter looks just like me. 
Friends, family, strangers - everyone!  It's true.
2. In the movie based on my life... I'd want to make sure that my
true heart was shown to the world.
3. Typically, I end up regretting... when I make a bad food choice. 
It seems like a good idea at the time but then I feel like crap afterwards.
4. I always ask to leave off the... hard boiled eggs on salad.
5. Kim and Kanye really... need to take a few bites of some humble pie.
6. My parents always remind me... to be careful when driving, and they still do it today.
7. Every single day I... tell my husband and daughter how much I love them
and pray, Jesus and I are tight.
8. This one time in college... I liked boys more than my classes.  Oops.
9. My grossest habit it... biting my nails.
10. My latest white lie was... telling Olivia that it was time for bed 30 minutes earlier than normal.
11. I know all the words to... most of the songs on KLOVE (a Christian radio station.)
...and so does Olivia.
12. When I grow up... I want to continue to grow in my relationship with the Lord, enjoy my life, look back and be happy, look forward and be happy and be surrounded by loved ones.
13. Sexy time is... private, to be enjoyed by a husband and a wife.
14. I will never, ever... take my blessings in life for granted.
15. I think it's hilarious... when my husband gets teary eyed over sentimental things. 
My response is always "need a tissue?" while laughing.

Well, this was fun!  Now go over to Holly or Jake's blog, answer these same questions and link up!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

An award? For me?

Why thank you Meg!!  
I've been nominated by my sweet friend Meg for a Liebster Award...  a what? you ask...  it's "a networking tool for new bloggers, to recognize 'up and coming' bloggers with less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning: sweetest, kindest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome." I love that this little award recognizes the small blogger, the little stay-at-home mom who doesn't have a giant following, the writer who hasn't made it "big" in the blog world.

Here are the rules:
1. Answer the 11 questions that were posted for you by the blogger who nominated you
               2. Give 11 random facts about yourself
               3. Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
               4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer

Here are my questions from Meg:

1. What makes you read a blog and/or follow?
I'm mostly interested in Mommy blogs - other women I can relate to through life as a mother.  I enjoy seeing the every day, knowing I'm not alone in certain frustrations, sharing the joy over their childrens accomplishments - real life stuff.

2. How long have you been blogging?
I've had a blog for a while.  Back in 2007 when I had weight loss surgery I wrote for a while and then decided that I didn’t want to be defined by that label so I deleted everything and started fresh.  I changed the name of my blog and here I am today.  I'm thinking about revamping my blog again soon.  Check back for updates!

3. What is your favorite dinner to make? Please post the recipe if you know it off the top of your head.
My favorite dinner lately is shrimp and pasta.  
Ingredients -
1 bag of small cleaned/deveined/cooked frozen shrimp
1/2 box of Dreamfields angel hair or penne
1 tablespoon of EVOO
Tablespoon (or more) of minced garlic
Medium onion - minced
1 Roasted red pepper - minced
Salt/pepper to taste
1 cup frozen peas
1 can beans (red/black/white) rinsed
handful of fresh baby spinach

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Sauté all other ingredients together.
When both pasta and shrimp mixture are cooked toss and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

4. Do you know - or have you met anyone famous?
 If you consider local news anchor's famous, then yes. 

5. Do you get along with your parents? One better then the other?
Yes, I'm an only child and I'm really close with both of my parents. 

My mom and I are a lot alike.  We talk all the time and she is an awesome and loving grandmother to Olivia.  She's helped me learn so much about parenting through advice and her own experiences.  Plus she's an awesome cook. 

My father and I have a typical father/daughter relationship.  He is a strong man with a very honest personality.  I look to him for reassurance and approval.  He's an amazing Papa to Olivia and she adores him.

6. Besides your spouse and kids, what is one of the biggest blessings in your life?
One of the biggest blessings in my life has to be my church home.  I was so broken and lost when I found my church and honestly, I didn’t even know it.  The people of my church have welcomed us as a family, embraced us, loved us, helped us and taught us some of the most valuable lessons in our lifetime.  Being able to have a strong faith foundation and a strong church home is essential to Joe and I when raising Olivia.  We are so, so blessed to have a place to go where we feel welcomed and loved and Olivia will have a strong foundation growing up there.  We look forward to the time we get to spend in that building learning about the word and His ways.

7. Do you have any pets? Give 'em some love, tell us about them.
Yes - we have a dog and a bird.  Our dog Penny is half cocker spaniel and half chihuahua.  She's so sweet to us and anyone she knows but she's not very friendly to strangers.  We adopted her from the local SPCA when she was 6 months old and she had already been abused so badly by her former owner.  She was actually taken from her former home because the abuse was reported.  She went from being extremely fearful and skiddish to thinking she is a big bad dog... when she's really only 25 lbs!  Our bird's name is Lucky.  He's a 15 year old cockatiel that I bought when I got my first job at 15 years old.  He was just a baby and he's been with me ever since.  He currently lives in our dining room.  Enjoys whistling super early in the morning and eating sunflower seeds!

8. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
If my family could live anywhere I think I'd have to vote for someplace tropical right now. 
Winter this year has been LONG, so I'm thinking Hawaii!

9. When was the last time you peed the bed?
Meg really?  What kind of question is this!  LOL - I think I was probably about 6-7 years old.  I'm not really sure though.

10. List 5 of your biggest pet peeves.
~ swearing
~ poor grammar
~ bad drivers
~ talking with your mouth full
~ when someone interrupts me

11. List 5 of your favorite bloggers.
~ Katie @
Loves of Life
~ Jess @ Wrangling Chaos
~ Kristin @ First Name Smith

11 Random Facts About Me
~ my husband took my last name when we got married.
~ I'm deathly afraid of masks.
~ Olivia is named after both of my grandmothers - Olivia Yvette.
~ I'm an only child.
~ I've never not had a dog.
~ My first car was a red 1986 Camaro and I loved it!
~ I love to read but it always makes me drowsy.
~ I love iced coffee and drink it all winter.
~ I'm turning 30 this year.  eeeek!
~ Olivia is probably going to be an only child.
~ I just started treating myself to manicures and I'm not sure why I waited so long.

Here are my questions for the blogs I nominated. (I'm stealing a few of Meg's!)

1. Other than your spouse and children, what is your biggest blessing?
2. What is your favorite thing to do for yourself?
3. If you could choose another name for yourself what would it be?
4. What is one thing you'd change about yourself?
5. What is your favorite book?
6. What is your dream vacation spot?
7. What makes you read a blog and/or follow?
8. What is your dream job?
9. What is one thing you are super proud of about yourself?
10. Do you have any pets? 
11. What is your biggest fear?

I have no idea who to nominate - but, if you're reading and you fit the criteria for a leibster award then I nominate YOU!  If you post, please let me know so I can read your answers!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

1st Day of School!

That old saying that children grow up too fast is absolutely, 1000% true. I don't even quite understand how the time goes by at this escalated speed. I can't believe we're here and that this day came so fast. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was cuddling a 7 lb 13 oz little baby girl on our first days home as a family?

My baby, scratch that, my big girl is officially in pre-school, today was her first day!

We've been talking about it for over a week. Preparing her for the drop off, explaining we wouldn't be staying with her, that mommy and daddy had to go to work and that she would stay at her school like a big girl. We explained what to expect throughout the day - snack time, lunch time, nap time, lesson time, reading time, outside time. Everything.

Last night before bed I asked if she knew where she was going tomorrow and she proudly exclaimed 'I'm going to school like a big girl, all by myself!!'

She was ready! She woke up bright and early asking for her puppy lunch box and her pillow for nap time that she picked out. We had everything ready to go.

When we dropped her off she confidently walked right in, took off her coat and got to playing! We had to ask her twice for a hug and kiss before we left. She was just so excited! I peeked in the window before getting in my car and she was already intently playing with all the new toys. She spotted me, gave me a quick wave and went right back to what she was doing. I'm so proud of my girl!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Hampshire Vacation - 2013

I posted about our first day of vacation here... but I didn't come back to finish, so here I am. 
I'll let most of the pictures speak for themselves.  It was gorgeous!  The mountain views were beautiful and breath taking.  I was constantly in awe of the beauty He has created. 
Driving through the vast mountain-scape's I felt so insignificant compared to how grand the mountains are.  They're so majestic and beautiful.  The pictures don't do them justice and barely capture their beauty.
Olivia had a blast and it was so fun watching her have fun. 
We drove up Thursday, checked in and walked around the center of the town we were staying in.  They have a bunch of little shops and a train station which Olivia loved.  
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Friday morning we went to breakfast, shopped, drove around to take in the scenery and took Olivia on a horse drawn sleigh ride.  She was in heaven!
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Saturday we decided to take a ride down the Kancamangus Highway.  Bad idea.  I've been on this road before so I figured no big deal..... 45 minutes into our drive down this one road and we had no cell phone service, the GPS couldn't locate us and there were moose, deer and bear crossing signs every few miles.  Thank God Olivia was asleep so the ride was less stressful and I could concentrate. 
This road literally goes through, up and over a mountain. 
At one point, when my anxiety was at its peak I turn a corner to see a warning sign for a steep incline ahead paired with a sign saying "you're at 3000 feet elevation" - GREAT! 
We finally made it to the town we were heading to and the first thing we asked a local was directions for another way out!  We got another route, took us 2 hours, but it was so worth it. 
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After lunch we took Olivia to the local children's museum which was a blast.  We practically had the place to ourselves!  Then we spent more time in town.
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Sunday was our last day.  We woke up to snow which was beautiful.  The road we were staying on was plowed and clean but once we got to the main route to leave New Hampshire it was awful.  The road is 75 miles long and we drove 13 miles in 45 minutes.  It was snowing so heavily that visibility was low and the roads were slippery and dangerous.  We stopped at the first hotel we saw and checked in.  We made the most of being snowed in.  My husband walked to the general store across the street, bought a sled and we took Olivia sledding which she loved!  Made for a good nap and a solid nights sleep.  Monday morning, we headed home and back to reality.
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Fab Friday

It's Friday again!  Woo hoo!  Even though I had a short work week due to being snowed in on our vacation in New Hampshire (more about that next week), I can still celebrate Friday right?  Right!
Today I'm linking up with Laura @ The Everyday Joys for Fab Friday.  Like I've said before, I really enjoy ending my blog week on a high note and reflecting on all the good, well, FAB, that's going on!
The Everyday Joys
~ Vacation - do I even need to explain?  An impromptu family get-a-way to the mountains with my 2 favorite people?  No agenda?  No rushing?  Beautiful scenery?  It was awesome.  I have tons of pictures to share next week so be sure to check back.
~ The Great Date Night Experiment - our church is nothing short of amazing.  The Sunday school class that we are part of, The Shipmates, have awesome teachers who always, always think about us, our needs, where we are in life, what we need from them and what the most important and valuable lessons are.  I have to say, this one is my favorite yet!  We're doing an 8 week series on how to stay in love and keep your marriage alive.  To kick off the start of this series, Saturday night the women who are running it are babysitting our children for free while we go out on a date as a couple.  As in, I drop Olivia off at 5:30, be back by 8:45 and get 3 glorious hours together with my husband.  Unbelievable.  To say we're excited is an understatement!
~ The Bible - there's a new show starting Sunday 3/3/13 on the History channel called The Bible.  I've been waiting for months!