Friday, September 9, 2016

Love at first sight

Three years ago today, I witnessed love at first sight.

Let me begin by explaining what this story is not.

It is not the story of how I met my husband - or of how anyone met their spouse.

This is not the story of someone's birth.

This is the story of my husband and his cat.

In early September 2013, I received a Facebook message from a church friend. One of his coworkers asked him to pray about some cats who needed a home. This man's girlfriend worked at a vet clinic, and three wonderful, sweet cats had been there for two months. They were abandoned and would be put down the following Monday if they did not find a home. They were absolutely free. Alex decided he wouldn't just pray, but he would also help them find a home. He sent pictures of the cats with his message. 

We had been looking all summer for a cat or two. However, we just couldn't afford the fees from our local animal control. It would be $75 per cat, and we were on a single income. We were looking for just the right free cats. These cats turned out to be up to date on their shots, spayed and neutered, and declawed (not something I would have chosen, but to make a long story short, it became a blessing when they got in a bad fight about six months after we got them - Crookshanks and I took a midnight trip to the emergency vet after Minerva tore him up with just her back claws!). 

I wanted the one black cat in the photos. Those other two? Nope, nope, nope. That yellow one would leave hair everywhere, and the striped one...just kind of looked evil to me. I forwarded the message to Trevor, who thought the striped one was a dead ringer for one he had as a child, and he eventually got in contact with the vet clinic. The black one had found a home, but the other two had no serious inquiries. He was told that they were actually good friends, and they liked each other a lot. That was on a Friday afternoon, so they told us to come in on Monday to see them. We went out that afternoon and bought two litter boxes, two cat beds, and two carriers. 

When we walked into the vet clinic, they took us to the back room where they had several animals in cages. The second the door opened, we heard an excited whimper. The sound came from a cage at chest level. The vet tech opened the door, and a striped cat jumped into Trevor's arms. 

"She's going home with us," Trevor said, scratching her chin.

I knew in that instant that I had just witnessed love at first sight. 

Though Minerva is sweet and affectionate with me, our relationship is nothing like the one she has with Trevor. She sleeps with him (often on top of him) each night that he is home. She sits on his lap in the evenings when we watch Netflix, and she is never far away from him. She's gotten so upset when he left for work that she would throw up on the floor right by the door to our garage. Minerva is always there to greet Trevor when he walks in the door, even if it's 4 AM. 

You may be wondering about Crookshanks and me. Well, things weren't quite so easy with him...but that's a story for another day. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday 5: Things I've learned about myself since becoming a parent

Here's to a new month, a new season, and a renewed commitment to my blog! I'm easing back into it slowly, so to start, here's a Friday Five:

Five Things I've Learned About Myself Since Becoming a Parent

1. If my basic needs aren't met, I can't be the "happy mom" I want to be.

When I look back at the end of my worst days home alone with Hudson, I can usually see a few common denominators. I didn't get a shower. I didn't get any alone time with my coffee and my bible. I was thirsty all day. I didn't eat enough, or I ate unhealthy food. Sometimes, this happens because I'm already too worn out to worry about getting these things done. Sometimes, it's because Hudson is sick or going through a phase where he needs me more. Either way, making sure I take care of myself makes the biggest difference in my attitude and ability to cope with my toddler.

2. I don't need to wear make up or do my hair for the majority of my trips out of the house.

The pre-parent version of me would at least put on make up before leaving the house for almost any reason, and I never went to work or church without straightening or curling my hair. However, now that I spend a lot of my time getting ready with a toddler at my feet, those heat styling devices are now a burn hazard, and make up seems like a waste of time. I mean, with a kid this cute, is anyone even looking at me, anyway?

3. A lot of my identity was tied up in my work.

When you spend 40 hours a week doing something, it becomes a pretty big part of who you are. I do miss my job, but when I look back at how much it consumed me, I realize I'm in a better place right now. It was sometimes hard to stay positive when I realized I was working with students whose parents did not care at all about their education, and at times thought the school was out of line for punishing their children for things like hitting and slapping!

4. I thrive on routine, but I'm not in a place where I can have one right now.

My husband is home four days, then gone 4-6 days at a time. His returns and departures are inconsistent. He might get home at 2 AM or 10 AM or 6 PM. That makes it tough for us to set consistent bedtimes and wakeups for the adults in the family, let alone a routine for the day. We have a rough routine for Hudson, but for us...Not so much. I'm making peace with the fact that it might be awhile before we can have a normal routine again.

5. I need community.

I always thought I was a loner. I grew up with my sister on a farm far, far from any other children, so I didn't have a lot of good friends until I went to college, and even then, I really only had one close friend (we're still besties today, texting daily). When I started my last job, I connected quickly to a group of wonderful, supportive teachers. We were part of a community group at church, where we loved on one another and prayed for each other. Both of these groups were lost when I had Hudson. I became a stay at home mom, and Hudson couldn't stay up late enough for us to be part of our community group. While I am still in touch with all these people, it just isn't the same as being part of the group.

We've since joined another small group through our church, and I've become a member of our local chapter of Mothers Of PreSchoolers (MOPS). However, both groups have been off for the summer, so I'm really noticing their absence right now! No one was meant to do life alone. I'm so glad I've got these opportunities for community.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Coming soon

I've got big plans for blogging. Check back in September for my big relaunch! 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

February recap

February seemed to fly by. We started the month with Hudson's 9 month well baby visit, which was great. We were able to discontinue his medication for acid reflux, and he has basically stopped spitting up entirely!

We tried to do the Whole 30. We lasted around 20 days. I'll share more about the failures and successes we encountered in another post, but I will say, I lost about 5 pounds without even following the rules all that strictly!

We went to Chicago for a few days to visit our friends, the Cernys, for Super Bowl weekend. Their son, David, is about three months younger than Hudson, and their daughter, Courtney, is nearly 4 years old. Hudson had a great time playing with the kids, and it was so good to see our dear friends. Though Dave has been on long Atlanta overnights a few times over the past couple years, it had been over two years since I last got to see Erin and Courtney!

After we came back, Trevor had recurrent training in Fort Lauderdale followed by a two day trip that began on Valentines Day. Right after he returned from that, he got a bad stomach bug that left him in pretty rough shape for four days. He ended up calling out sick for the trip right after his illness because he was still so weak, and he feared a relapse. We ended up using a lot of that extra time off to disinfect the house. Fortunately, Hudson and I didn't get sick!

Hudson turned 10 months old on February 23. His current favorite foods are blueberries, clementines, and grapes. He's walking along the edges of furniture, and trying to talk.

We hired Hudson's first real babysitter this past weekend so we could go on a date day. We went to lunch at Meat 'n Greet followed by an afternoon showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hudson did really well with Miss Grace, and we can't wait to have her back again!

On Leap Day, Trevor spent the day in Atlanta renewing his passport. Because his job requires him to carry a passport, he has to go through the expedited passport process and visit the passport office. He got his passport the same day, but he had to come back several hours later. He visited a Lego outlet in Lawerenceville, ate lunch at Ikea, studied for his recurrent simulator session coming up later his week, and visited Trader Joe's while Hudson and I hung out at home.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday 5: Must Haves Before Baby Arrives

With Hudson's first birthday just around the corner, I've been reflecting a lot on this past year. For the next few weeks, my Friday Five lists will be focused on what our favorite baby items have been throughout each stage of Hudson's life so far. This week, I'm sharing the things I suggest getting before baby arrives.

1. Amazon Prime/Amazon Family

These two products are essentially the same thing. Family is free with your Prime Membership, so I recommend just getting a Prime membership and opting into Family when the time comes. You get great discounts on things like diapers and wipes, as well as other special offers. The Amazon Prime membership gives you free two day shipping on tons of items, and if you live in a Prime Now service area, you can get some items delivered within two hours! 

2. The Target Red Card

You save 5% on every purchase, whether you choose the credit card or debit card option (we use the debit card). You can combine this with all other discounts, like Cartwheel, registry completion rewards, and manufacturer coupons. You also get random special coupons or offers throughout the year, which is pretty nice. For awhile, we were able to get free sodas or smoothies each day just by showing our Red Cards!

3. A stockpile of all the essentials

Fill the freezer with easy meals to reheat. Fill the pantry with your everyday essentials like cereal, coffee, and snacks. Have a good stash of diapers and wipes built up. Do everything you can to avoid having to go shopping for the first week you're home. We thought we were prepared, but I think Trevor went to Target and/or Publix each day for the first two weeks after we brought Hudson home.

4. Pain management options

I received two different prescriptions for pain relief when I was discharged, but within a few days, I realized I needed relief, but not that much relief. I wish I would have thought ahead and purchased some pain relievers, but I had no clue how much I would hurt, nor how long I would hurt. 

5. Really comfy pajamas or loungewear

You will live in them for days (maybe weeks or months, depending on if/when you go back to work). Make sure they are comfy, fit well, and you wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in them by a delivery man or a neighbor. I am still wearing nursing camisoles with yoga pants or pajama pants almost all the time, usually with a t-shirt or hoodie over the cami. Today, I'm rocking some grey leggings with mint and black monarch butterflies on them, a grey cami, and a mint raglan t-shirt. This outfit is perfect for following Hudson around the house because the leggings stay where they belong, and I can easily cuddle up with him when it's time for a nap. 

What were your must-haves when you first brought home your baby? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Surviving Baby's First Cold

At the end of January, we were struck with our first cold of the season. Though Trevor and I were able to avoid catching it, Hudson fell hard. Of course, it was on the second day of Trevor's six day trip, so I got to handle an angry, sick baby all on my own. It was completely miserable. However, I did figure out a few tricks to make things easier on us. Today, I'm sharing my must haves to help both baby and Mommy survive the first cold.

For baby:

1. Sleep

Do whatever it takes to get the baby to rest - even if you have to hold them through their naps, sleep holding them in a chair at night, or put them in your bed with you. I tried to get Hudson to nap two hours after waking up, and that worked well for us. 

2. Fluids

I offered Hudson a bottle or breast every two hours when he was awake, even if he wasn't acting hungry. These feedings usually resulted in the naps described above. Keeping Hudson hydrated helped him pass mucus, which was really important with this particular virus. Hudson sounded wheezy and sniffly most of the time if I hadn't just cleared out his nose.

When it came to solids, I tried offering him more liquidy favorites I knew he would eat, like pieces of clementines and blueberries. People often forget that food can help with hydration, and the fruits had the added bonus of vitamins and antioxidants to help fight the cold, too.

3. Steam/Mist

I closed the bathroom, left the fan off, and put Hudson in the shower with me each day. By the end, gobs of green snot were streaming out his nose. He was SO much better after that. At bath time, I closed the bath room door and let him breathe in as much moist air as possible. I also ran a humidifier in his room non-stop. I honestly never used the Nose Frieda while Hudson was sick because the steam did such a good job opening up his passageways and getting the mucus to flow on its own. 

4. Hyland's Cold Tiny Tablets

We love the teething tablets for Hudson, so we knew that the cold tablets would probably be amazing, too. Because they dissolve as soon as they hit the tongue, Hudson showed almost immediate signs of relief when he took them.

5. Vick's Babyrub

My friend Erin recommended this, and it helped Hudson oh so much! I rubbed it on his chest and neck at bedtime until he felt better. It's a much more mild version of the VaporRub we're all familiar with. I think it really did help him a lot because he seemed to sleep pretty well when he first went down each night (though he would wake up somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m. each night).

For Mommy:

1. Wine

You'll need to unwind when you finally get that angry kid to sleep. A nice glass of wine definitely helps, and red wine is full of antioxidants, right? ;)

2. Healthy Snacks

It's always good to have something nutritionally-dense on hand that you can eat quickly, but especially so when you've got a sick baby. I basically survived on Lara Bars the week Hudson was sick. They are nut and date based bars, so they are vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and dairy free. I think Apple Pie and Lemon Bar are my favorites. The Coconut Cream Pie bar almost tastes like an Almond Joy if you roll it in a little unsweetened cacao powder. Not that I've tried that or anything....

3. Amazon Prime Now to deliver medicine and snacks

If you live in the Atlanta metro area or one of the other select cities served by Prime Now, you can order certain necessities for free two hour delivery from Amazon. It's truly a lifesaver. I ordered Hudson's medicine, my Lara bars, and a few other things when he was sick. Three weeks later, Trevor got a stomach bug that was just awful. That day, I ordered saltines, Sprite, Gatorade, Pepto Bismol, and yummy snack for Hudson and me. None of us had to leave the house that weekend. It was so wonderful to not have to worry about anything!

4. Comfy clothes

I lived in my pjs and slippers while Hudson was sick. Cozy was my number one goal. We spent a lot of time napping together either in the rocking chair or my bed, so it didn't make sense to put on anything else.

5. A friend to vent to!

Trevor and my friend Rachel got tons of texts that weekend. I had to complain about it to someone because it was so frustrating to go through the worst of his cold without anyone to help me! But if I hadn't been able to text them, I really think the pressure would have broken me. Raising a kid alone for half a week isn't easy, but it's truly difficult when your kid is sick!

Hopefully, my experience with Hudson's first cold will help you through your kid's first cold. Every kid is different, so use your best judgment, make sure what you choose to use on your child is age appropriate, and consult a doctor when necessary (because I sure as heck don't have a medical degree, so don't take my advice as coming from any sort of expert!).

Friday, February 12, 2016

2016 goal updates | 2.12.2016

This year is going too quickly already! I cannot believe we are almost six weeks into 2016 - and that I'm less than three months away from having a one year old little boy, not a baby. I fully intended to write this update around two weeks ago, but here it is, finally.

1. Read the entire Bible.

I did really well for the first three weeks of the year, but then I started reading the first work of fiction I've read in years...and I got distracted. With Lent beginning this week, I plan to get back on track. I want to catch up on my year-long reading plan, as well as stay caught up on a Lent devotional plan.

2. Declutter and organize our house.

Well, things haven't gotten worse, so I guess that's progress when I compare it to how the first eight months with a baby looked in our house! I'm slowly chipping away at the existing disorganization and putting out the organizational fires before they get too terrible. With luck, I will be satisfied with this house by the end of 2016!

3. Lose the leftover baby belly. 

I started the Whole 30, which is huge. I wanted to go walking with Hudson each day, but the weather has been extraordinarily awful over the past six weeks. Ugh. I am planning to join a gym soon. I'm really excited because I've found two gyms that have both childcare and barre method classes! They both cost a fraction of what I was spending to go to a Pure Barre studio, and they are both significantly closer to my house. I am still trying to decide which one will win my membership, though!

4. Update the blog 3 times a week. 

I've averaged something more like twice a week so far, but I hope that will change as the year goes on. I have about 30 posts that were started but never finished. Right now, I'm working on going back and finishing them up. I'm also trying to blog from my laptop so I can schedule posts in advance.

5. Learn to use my DSLR camera. 

I've made no real progress on this front. None whatsoever. I'm hoping I can start doing more on that front soon. I would love to sneak off to a pretty park for a day this spring and play with my camera without Trevor and Hudson. Then, maybe I can take some awesome first birthday pictures for Hudson!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The (Almost) Whole 30: 10 days in

The first day of our Whole 30 was Sunday, January 31. I did pretty well the first five days. I ended up eating a handful of non-compliant foods to avoid wasting them and to help myself save some time while dealing with a sick little boy all week. It was rough trying to change my diet that much while caring for a sniffly, coughing baby all on my own!

On Thursday, we got a call from a friend who had a pretty awful thing happen (everything is OK now, though). We don't get to see her often, so we picked her up and went out for a comfort food dinner at the original Chik-fil-a Dwarfhouse in Hapeville. Well, there's nothing compliant on the menu there, so we suspended the Whole 30 until lunch the following day. I had a breakfast potluck event on Friday morning. The breakfast was amazing, but full of carbs and sugar! 

We finished off Friday with delicious, healthy meals before heading to the airport on Saturday morning. We traveled to Chicago for a Super Bowl party. We ate huge, non compliant meals at Pilot Pete's, drank a lot of hard root beer, picked up dinner at Taco Bell, and gorged on creamy, cheesy, and carby snacks at the party. Then, we ended up ordering a pizza on Monday evening when we got home. We finished off the pizza for lunch on Tuesday, and got back on the Whole 30 diet with dinner.

What has surprised me most so far is how quickly I adjusted to eating fresh, healthy foods. I felt pretty icky by the time we got back from Chicago, and two days later, I'm still not feeling totally back to normal. We have decided to keep up the diet through March (or at least until Easter Sunday on March 27). We really haven't been all that serious about it so far, but we are hoping to really change our lifestyle. Doing it for another month seems necessary at this point, and highly doable. I'm really excited to see what happens in the next month and a half as we continue following this diet!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Currently: February 2016 Edition

Each month in 2016, I'll be answering the same set of prompts. I love to document real life, but also how real life changes over time. This series is designed to help me do both.

Eating: the Whole 30 diet 

Drinking: LaCroix sparkling water

Wearing: yoga pants and t-shirts

Watching: The Walking Dead

Wanting: Cheese. Diet Coke. Bread. All the stuff Whole 30 forbids.

Needing: More sleep!

Hoping: Trevor makes his flight home tonight!

Thinking: About Hudson's first birthday party!

Reading: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Praying: For a few friends quickly approaching their due dates (and it is #4 for two of them!)

Planning: Our belated Valentine's Day date 

Wishing: I looked as good as Carrie Underwood does (our babies are the same age). 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 recap

There's a meme you've probably seen. It reads "Each month has an average of 30-31 days...except the last month of pregnancy, which has 1453 days."

Well. After having been through that last month of pregnancy, I can confidently say January actually has 2000 days. ;)

This has been a long, tough month for me. Trevor had three sets of 6 day trips from December 27 through February 2, plus two junior man assignments and a scheduled 4 day trip. 

Here's the big stuff that happened this month: 

Hudson learned to pull himself to a kneel, and then to a standing position. He's going to walk well before a year, I'm sure. 

We joined a new small group at church, which means we will now have a group of families that we meet with twice a month. 

We FINALLY ordered new sheets, pillow shams, and a duvet cover for our bedroom! The duvet cover has yet to arrive, though. It's been on back order for months. I guess it's quite popular!

We took a little trip to IKEA and Trader Joe's last week to get ready to baby proof the house and start the Whole 30 challenge. The next day, Hudson and I went to story time at the library with another pilot wife, Amanda, and her 7 month old, Archer. 

Trevor left for a 6 day trip. Hudson took a big tumble, and bit his lip open. He also rug burned his sweet little nose! To make it worse, the next night, he woke up just wailing at 11 PM. I went in his room to find green snot streaming down his face. We were struck with baby's first cold. Hudson and I spent the last part of the month hunkered down, trying to get through the week without Trevor. 

Here's hoping February is a better, easier month for us! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Almost Whole 30

I've resisted the Whole 30 phenomenon for years. I argued that changing the way I eat for 30 days won't have a lasting effect, and besides, I eat healthy already. I also thought I couldn't give up things like bread, cheese, and sodas. 

And then I had a baby. We started relying on fast, cheap, and easy meals for ourselves. I didn't lose the baby weight. In fact, my weight has bounced around in the upper range of where I was in my third trimester. I started looking for diet and exercise plans designed for busy moms who are still breastfeeding their babies. I stumbled on a plan written by a woman who was my height, weight, and build before she got pregnant, who gained what I gained in pregnancy, and who lost what I lost before stalling where I stalled. Her secret? The Whole 30 and lots of walking! 

A friend of mine was pinning a ton of Whole 30 recipes on Pinterest, so I asked her if she was planning to do it soon. She was, so we formed an accountability group that will begin on Sunday, January 31. Trevor will also be following the diet while he is home, but he plans to keep his travel diet the same. We just aren't sure what he could pack that would be compliant! 

 The big challenge for me will be making sure I don't "sample" Hudson's non-compliant baby foods. He loves small cubes of peanut butter sandwiches, corn puffs, rice cereal puffs, cheese, and yogurt melts. Grain, dairy, and starchy vegetables are off limits during the While 30! 

However, I'm taking a very laid back approach to this first Whole 30. 

•I'm not making my own almond milk, but I am using an unsweetened, unflavored version of what we normally buy. 

•I'm not giving up my coffee creamer, but simply cutting back. 

•I'm taking a short trip in early February, and I plan to cheat a lot that weekend! 

•I'm making my own Lara bars, but I couldn't find dried cherries without added sugar. 

•I bought a jar of marinara at Trader Joe's that has soybean oil in it. Otherwise, it is compliant. 

•I'm probably going to drink wine or rum once a week. TV chef Alton Brown lost 90 pounds on his radical diet, but he still has one martini a week. I think it's OK if it fits into his diet. 

•I'm not giving up Diet Coke cold turkey. I'm going to wean myself and start drinking flavored sparkling water in its place. La Croix is amazing, anyway, so it should be an easy switch. 

•I might actually go 60 days! 

I'll be documenting and sharing my Whole 30 journey through the next several weeks. I plan to post about the process at regular intervals, sharing meals and compliant packaged foods I've found along my journey. I know I wouldn't be able to do this if I hadn't read numerous blog posts sharing the same information, so I feel obligated to contribute to the Whole 30 blogging community! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day in the Life: Hudson at 9 months

I can't believe I didn't publish a single post last week! Life was pretty crazy for us - Trevor was gone Tuesday through Friday, Hudson decided he will only nap if we hold him, and he learned how to pull himself up to kneel! He definitely lived up to his "Hurricane Hudson" nickname!

Loads of well meaning, curious people have asked how Hudson and I stay busy on the days Trevor is working. I always say that we have no problems staying busy, and to prove it, I tracked what we did for one day last week. Here's how we spent our Wednesday!

6 AM: Wake up. I let Hudson fuss a few minutes, and if he doesn't go back to sleep, I get up. I change his diaper and we nurse in the rocking chair.

7 AM: Done nursing, we head downstairs. Hudson plays on the floor while I have my coffee.

8 AM: Hudson has his second breakfast of Gerber Lil Crunchies and a banana. It takes 30-45 minutes to feed him each meal. He plays on the floor, turning on the Roomba, while I clean up. 

9 AM: Nursing/napping time in the rocking chair. 

9:30 AM: Hudson is wide awake and bouncing on my lap, pulling at my glasses. We move to my bedroom, where he plays on the floor and I straighten up. I also need to wipe tiny fingerprints from my glasses. The cats watch warily from the center of the bed. 

10:15 AM: I have a grumpy, inconsolable baby pulling on my legs. Back to the rocking chair to give this nap another go. He's quickly asleep. I browse Facebook  and read a chapter in an ebook.

11 AM: Realizong that he might be down for awhile, I take off my glasses, put down my phone, and settle in to nap with him. 

11:45 AM: We wake up, but Hudson is fussy. I nurse him for another half hour, and he snoozes in my arms. 

12:15 PM: It is play time! Hudson crawls to the tote with his toys and starts pulling them out. He greets several with his favorite word: Hi! 

12:30 PM: My stomach is rumbling. I change from PJs to fleece clothes and retrieve the mail, then fix lunch for Hudson and me. 

12:45 PM: Sit down to eat. I alternate bites of my food with giving him bites of food. 

1:30 PM: The baby/bottomless pit has been satiated, so we clean up. 

1:45 PM: Hudson is super angry again, so I nurse him after a diaper change. He stars to nod off quickly once again.

2:45 PM: Hudson is suddenly awake and throws himself from my arms to the floor. He wants to see everything in his room right now! 

3 PM: We move to my room, where I try to sort my tanks and camisoles. I am trying to work through the KonMari Process. Hudson is too interested in the bright fabric and rearranges my piles, so I give up quickly. 

4:15 PM: Fussy again. We attempt to nap but he would rather pinch and bite. 

4:30 PM: We go downstairs and Hudson plays while I prep his dinner. 

5 PM: Dinner time. Hudson eats lots of applesauce, bananas, and cheese. By 5:40, he is super fussy. 

5:50 PM: Bath time. Hudson plays in the water for 15 minutes before pooping and ending his bath.

6:10 PM: Overnight diaper, calming bed time lotion, and fleece jammies. I nurse Hudson until he falls asleep. 

6:35 PM: I try to switch sides but Hudson wakes up. I make a bottle of formula. He drinks half, then tries to nurse again.

7:20 PM: Hudson is finally asleep. I clean up the cat vomit in the hallway and the poop in the bath tub.

7:45 PM: I finally get to eat my dinner and relax a little before cleaning the kitchen, dining room, and living room. 

10 PM: Shower, blow dry my hair, get ready for bed. Wind down by playing games on my phone.

11:30 PM: Lights out! We sleep blissfully all night, waking around 6 once again. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016


If you can't tell, I love documenting life, and especially how it changes from month to month and year to year. This year, I'm planning to answer the same prompts around the middle of each month. Here's the January edition:

Eating: Whatever I can forage from our pantry because I refuse to take a baby to the grocery store until we are in desperate need

Drinking: Coffee with paleo almond joy creamer. Yes, it's awful, but see above. 

Wearing: Yoga pants, nursing tanks, and long sleeve henleys are my uniform - if I bother to change from my pjs

Watching: iZombie and Happy Endings

Wanting: Hudson to start napping daily without me holding him

Needing: To buy groceries

Hoping: Hudson sleeps through the night

Thinking: About my next career

Reading: The Bible

Praying: For major changes to Hudson's schedule

Planning: A trip to Chicago in February

Wishing: We had family closer

Monday, January 11, 2016

Nine Years

Last night, a bit after 9 PM, Trevor called. I smiled when I saw his photo and name pop up on my phone. I'm always excited to hear from him when he's gone, but this was different. Nine years ago last night, at just after 9 PM, Trevor called me for the first time, and we talked for several hours. At the end, Trevor asked, "Can we continue the conversation over coffee tomorrow night?"

Nine years ago tonight, we had our first date at Starbucks in Grand Forks, ND - the one in the strip mall in front of Super Target. We talked for hours - until they kicked us out! We were together every day after that, and we made it official the following Tuesday evening. 

Eight days later, Trevor got the call to interview at ASA. He was hired at the interview two months later, and he left for Atlanta in early April. He commuted to Grand Forks twice a month during my final year at UND. We talked on the phone every night, even when Trevor was doing sims at 5 am in training. 

I student taught, and then did one more semester at UND to complete a requirement that slipped through the cracks (my advisor was constantly changing, so it was like I didn't have one). I visited Trevor for spring break, and I fell in love with the South.

I graduated from UND in May 2008. During finals week, I interviewed for a teaching job and accepted it the next day. I would be moving to tiny Velva, ND in the fall to teach middle and high school Language Arts. 

Eighteen months to the day after our first date, Trevor proposed in Chicago. It was the day after our friends, Dave and Erin Cerny, were married. I wanted to go home via Las Vegas and secretly get married, with a church wedding later. Trevor vetoed this plan, but I'm glad he did. We were married in a beautiful Catholic Mass just over a year later, on July 25, 2009, and I moved to Atlanta to join him. 

We bought our house in February 2011, and we began growing our family when we adopted our cats in September 2013.  Trevor was hired by Spirit in December 2013 and reported to training on Super Bowl Sunday 2014. Six months later, we found out we were expecting Hudson. 

It's been an amazing 9 years, and I can't wait to see what the next 99 have in store (I'll only be 130 - it's possible, right?!?!)

Random True Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

Most days, I'm not sure what day it is. I just know how many more days (or hours) I have to be solo until Trevor comes home.

I wish I could say I live in yoga pants, but I don't. It's actually pajamas. 

I don't have the free time I thought I would. Hudson never naps!

I feel like we have had a successful day if I have showered, brushed my teeth, and run the dishwasher. 

I sometimes miss the routine of having a job to go to, but then I have two wake up calls from Hudson that night and sleep in the rocking chair in his room from 3 until 6 and I realize "Nope, I'm good." 

I'm secretly addicted to the Gerber Lil Crunchies, AKA "baby Cheetos."

Sometimes, I just put extra stuff on Hudson's plate and we share his dinner of scrambled eggs, mozzarella cubes, clementines, and banana French toast. 

I am not bored staying at home. Sometimes I'm frustrated by how little I can accomplish right now. I know it will pass, and in a year or two, Hudson will be able to play alone while I clean up. I'll miss him constantly wanting to snuggle with me. 

I suddenly understand the value of being highly organized, and I curse myself daily for not getting it together before getting pregnant. 

I constantly wonder what I will do when I don't have a baby to take care of. At some point, I have to go back to work, right? 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Friday 5: Goals for 2016

1. Read the entire Bible.

I've honestly never read the Bible all the way through. I'm sure I've read almost all of it over the years, but I've never actually read it all. I would love to change that this year. 

A week into the new year, I'm doing well with this one! My iPhone and the Bible app are always with me, so I usually do my reading while Hudson nurses or naps on my lap. 

2. Declutter and organize our house.

I had no idea how much extra stuff would come with one extra person! I'm working towards reducing our possessions to only those which spark joy. I'm planning to read the Marie Kondo book everyone is raving about, and revisit another really good uncluttering book I've had for a few years. I'll take what seems useful from each, and develop my own system. 

3. Lose the leftover baby belly. 

I have lost exactly half of what I gained while pregnant. My pre pregnancy weight was actually a bit on the low end for my height, so if I can lose half of what's left, I'll be happy. Toning is actually a bigger issue. While I would love to do Pure Barre to help me tone, I can't devote the drive time to it right now. I would spend as much time in the car as I did in class. Orange Theory is something that's on my radar right now, as I need that accountability. Beach Body workouts I do at home just end up collecting dust. 

For now, my focus is on eating better and trying to hit 5,000 steps a day with my Fitbit. 

4. Update the blog 3 times a week. 

I've been feeling moved to write lately. Writing has been a big part of my life. I tried to write my first novel at age 10. I've always had a journal of some kind, and j wrote for two different newspapers in college. Somewhere along the line, that passion fell away for awhile. It's back in a big way. My blog will be the outlet for that passion. This year will be all about finding my voice as a writer and my niche as a blogger. 

5. Learn to use my DSLR camera. 

As I said in my OLW post a few days ago, Trevor gave me a Canon D-Rebel as a push present, and I haven't really learned to use it yet. My goal is to be taking great photos with it by the end of 2016. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up starting a small photography business! 

Bonus goal: Live out my One Little Word, Focus, by making my goals, faith, marriage, family, and health my top priorities this year. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hudson at 8 months

Hudson turned 8 months old on December 23 - the day after we arrived at my parents' ranch in North Dakota for the holidays. It was very exciting to be able to use one of my mom's Christmas quilts for the back drop this month - and to make the switch to a sitting baby, too! 

I cannot believe my baby boy is already 8 months old! It is amazing how much Hudson has changed in the past few weeks. He went from sitting with help to sitting up on his own, he started crawling, and he started talking! I had no idea how much joy I would feel the first time I heard him say Mama, nor did I know how heartbreaking he would sound when he started interjecting it into his crying and fussing! 

Sleep has been our biggest challenge lately. Hudson wants to be held through his naps. He will sleep for hours if I hold him, but as soon as I put him down, he is wide awake again. It's so frustrating to not get that little bit of free time to myself! Consequently, all the housework gets done after Hudson goes to bed, so I'm generally up late...only to get a wake up call from Hudson between 2 and 5 a.m. 

Here's to 8 amazing months! I just hope time starts to slow down a little! I'm not sure I'm ready to have a toddler. :(

Sunday, January 3, 2016

December Recap

December was a very busy month for us! 

Hudson and I attended Blake's second birthday party during the first weekend of the month. As we were shopping at Target for Blake's gift, we ran into my college friend, Drew, and his family! 

We had Drew, Ashley, and Audrey, their baby girl, over for dinner the following Tuesday. That Friday, Hudson and I flew to Minneapolis to stay with Trevor's parents for the weekend. Trevor arrived separately as he was working. We all attended a Christmas party for Trevor's mom's side of the family that Saturday before going our separate ways back to Atlanta on Sunday morning. 

We had our Mothers Of Pre Schoolers (MOPS) Christmas party on December 18. We painted an adorable nativity scene with the guidance of an instructor from Bubbles and Brushes in Newnan. 

We traveled to North Dakota on Drcember 22. We celebrated with my family and enjoyed some quiet time on the ranch before returning on December 29. Trevor worked from December 27 to January 1, so he returned a few days before we did. I put Hudson down on New Years Eve and celebrated with mozzarella sticks. An appetizer dinner on NYE is my family tradition, so I stuck to it!