Life Lately…

1. I went to a Paint Party to celebrate one of my good friend’s upcoming wedding. Has anyone ever done one of these before? I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive when I first heard of the idea (partially because I am probably the least artistic person I know), but the night turned out to be a blast!! We brought wine and food and spent the night drinking, eating and laughing with friends while our instructor walked us step-by-step through the painting. And now my beach masterpiece is hanging in our back den! It was such a fun night and I definitely want to go back for another event!!

2. Our boss took the child life team out to lunch last month to celebrate March being child life month! My friend and I attempted to split that huge sundae between the two of us. Let me just say, as much as I LOVE ice cream, there was no way in heck we could finish that monstrosity. We made a pretty good dent though!! I know I say this all the time, but I LOVE child life and I am so incredibly grateful to work with the crazy group of women up there (and more…since not everyone is pictured…)

3. I made some amazingly delicious buffalo chickpea quinoa burgers the other day! It’s tough (if not impossible) for me to get Brett to eat any type of veggie burger, but when I saw that this chickpea “burger” was made with a healthy helping of buffalo sauce, I knew I had a chance! (Hubs does love his buffalo sauce). I thought they came out AMAZING and they received a thumbs up from Brett, which is not an easy feat. Let me know if anyone is interested in the recipe….

4. So we are officially getting a puppy!! Brett’s brother and his wife have two adorable golden retrievers who hadΒ  puppies a few weeks ago. Brett and I have been having the “dog talk” for awhile now, and golden puppies are just too cute to pass up. We have to wait a few months, obviously, but hopefully the new member of our family will be here early summer! Before we decided for sure, Brett wanted me to bring home my hospital’s therapy dog (who I’m a handler for) as a “trial run” to see how Leah reacted. I think it’s safe to say that Leah is pretty crazy about dogs, especially when it comes to feeding them crackers and trying to get them to drink out of her sippy. I also enjoyed some good cuddling with my favorite golden (who doesn’t know that she may soon be replaced for that number 1 spot…..)

5. Summer is officially on it’s way to Florida! I feel like winter lasted about 5 days this year (that one week…when it was gloomy and 50 degrees…) before it decided that it was time for summer. Which is fine with me. Because we are all about water play these days and are enjoying warm days at the playground and in our backyard!

6. The whole family attended a friend’s 1920′s themed birthday party. Brett is not one to dress up for any “theme” events (and to be honest, I’m not a huge fan either) but when I found out that a friend was having a 1920′s themed party I was pretty excited, mainly because I knew I had the most perfect dress. Brett was a little harder to convince to dress up, but in the end he was a good sport and I thought he looked quite dapper in his seersucker pants! (And Leah was obviously a doll in her pearls and feather headband…)

7. Lately Leah has been VERY picky about what pajamas she wears. Clothes during the day, she could care less about, but as soon as it comes time to change into her pajamas, she’s suddenly the most opinionated toddler in the world. The past few weeks she has been on a mismatched kick, and it just HAS to include her “Me-Mouse” shirt and “Eeeee Eeeee” pants. As you can see, she also likes to pair the outfit with her fancy Easter hat. Every night she asks “Me-mouse? Eeee Eeee?” And heaven forbid this lovely pajama outfit is in the wash and she becomes quite distraught. It’s so funny to see her little personality come out these days. One things for sure, she is a girl who knows just what she wants and she sticks to it!

8. The gorgeous weather means that we have started our evening beach tradition back up. Leah just loves strutting down the boardwalk and, as you can see from that first picture, everyone gets a kick out of watching her. This girl has a personality, that’s for sure. And unlike her mother and father, she seems to thrive being in the spotlight! Evenings at the beach are my all time favorite part of the day (and weekend) and I’m glad to start up this tradition once more!

9. Leah has figured out how to use the computer and there are many days when I’m busy in the kitchen and I peek into the back den to see Leah checking her favorite blogs or writing an important email…..

10. We have unofficially started pre-potty training over here. A few months ago, during an IKEA trip, we picked up a potty because it (like everything that is IKEA) was awesome and cheap and we thought “why not!?” For awhile Leah just enjoyed dragging her potty seat around and sitting on it (fully clothed) while she read a book or 2. Now, every once and awhile, she will point to the potty and ask “pee pee?” So we will pull down her diaper and let her sit on the potty while we run her bath or while she eats her snack. We really aren’t officially training yet, but I figured that it’s at least good for her to get to know the potty, and get used to sitting on it, so when we do “get serious” about it (probably after she turns 2) she will be ready to go!

11. I spent my first weekend away from Leah, traveling north to Savannah with some great friends to see our gorgeous friend’s wedding. (Much, much more on this later). It was so tough to be away from Leah, but I also had a blast! Since I nursed Leah well past one, that was always my excuse not to travel without her (and I liked having that excuse!) but now that we aren’t connected anymore (literally) it definitely does give me more freedom. I had such a great time on my girls weekend, but it was definitely nice to get back and kiss those squishy cheeks again!! (Leah’s of course…not Brett’s….haha ;-))

Whew!!! A lot has happened in the past month when I (unintentionally) took a break from this blog! Life is just moving so fast these days, I feel like I’m scrambling to keep up! Much more to come on my trip to Savannah. Happy Tuesday! :)

18 months

Somehow my little baby is already a year and a half. I’m not really sure how that’s possible. One minute I’m waking up at 3 am, wondering if I will ever sleep through the night again, and the next, I’m chasing around this kid who seems to have mastered the arm cross and the attitude of a teenager over night. There is so much I want to remember, to forever lock in my memory, about this fun and vibrant age:
~The way she runs with her arms swinging across her rotund belly.
~The way she says bye to everything, even giving the bathwater a “buh-bye wa-wa” when she gets out of the tub.
~The way she cups my cheeks in her hands and stares into my eyes and you can just see her love.
~The way she licks any new food you try to give her and her “no dank dew!” when she inevitably decides that she doesn’t like it.
~How crazy observant she is and how she can look at a family picture of my family from 15 years ago and still point out “mama!” “papa!” “gama!” “Lolo!”
~Her insane and undying love for Elmo and Minnie Mouse. Followed closely with her beloved baby she sleeps with nightly, “Baby Meme.”
~Her little parrot voice repeating everything we say.
~How she can go from being deliriously happy, to full out drama queen break-down, in 2.5 seconds flat.
~Her crazy streak of stubbornness and defiance that causes her to slowly put one finger, while staring directly into your eyes, onto an item that you just told her not to touch.
~Her love of peanut butter and her desire to eat it on anything, all day, everyday.
~Her love of music and how I melt when I find her “singing” Twinkle Twinkle, ABC’s and Wheels on the Bus, alone in her crib.
~Her ability to count to 3 and her need to jump or step off of anything once she shouts “three!”
~Her adorable “whoops!” and “uh-ohs!” and “oops!” that are exclaimed every time she trips or falls.
~Her claim to have a “boo boo!” on any body part, at any given time, as she holds up her knee/finger/foot/etc for a kiss.
~The way she throws up her arms and yells “Hooray!!” whenever she is happy or excited.
~Her exuberant “ta da!” she gives when she does anything out of the norm, even if it’s just balancing a block on her foot.
~Her overall genuine sweetness and gentleness towards other people and animals.

This girl has me and her daddy wrapped around her finger, and she knows it! This past 6 months have been so fun, seeing her personality really blossom, and we can’t wait to see what the next 6 months have in store. We love you, Leah Grace!

The Fabulous Adventures of Leah and Meme

If you can’t tell, we had a BLAST with my sister, brother-in-law and baby Milly (or as Leah affectionately calls her, “baby Meme”). Besides cheering me on in Miami during my half marathon, we enjoyed some water play in the driveway, visits to the local farmers market, the playground, Jaxson’s Ice Cream and the beach and we had some great conversations around the dining room table. It’s so tough when family lives far away (in their case, Vermont) and I love, love, love every second we can spend together, although it’s never enough. It was also so much fun to see Leah and Milly interact with each other. The last time we visited, Milly was only a few days old and spent most of her days sleeping. Now, at 10 weeks, she was awake and alert and was so interested in watching Leah talk and play. Leah was extremely affectionate with Milly and I almost melted when I witnessed her cupping Milly’s cheeks with both hands before kissing her on the mouth. She was just so incredibly sweet and gentle with her and it made me proud to see how much of a big girl she is now! I think someone is ready to be a big sister!! ;) I’m so thankful that they made the trek down to south FL for a few days and we can’t wait until we get to see them again! (Although, I think it would be easier if they just moved to FL already!) We miss you baby Meme!!

2014 MICHELOB ULTRA MIAMI BEACH 13.1 MARATHON

So, I did it!! This past weekend I ran my first ever half marathon! I love running, but I’ve never really considered myself a “true runner.” I run all the time for enjoyment (slow and steady), but I’ve never before run a race longer than a 5k. So it kind of shocked me when I actually decided that I was going to do this. Backing up a little, 2 years ago my good friend convinced me and 2 other friends to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon together. We all thought it would be a blast, but then a few months into our training I found out I was preggers. I attempted to continue training, but my heaving in everyone’s bushes got in the way, and in the end, I decided to drop out and just go as a spectator. So, since then, I’ve felt like this half marathon deal has been unfinished business. Something I still needed to check off my bucket list. And with our hope to one day soon add a second kiddo to the family, I figured now was the time! So with that in mind, I decided to (somewhat impulsively) sign up for a half marathon in Miami Beach. Lucky for me, my father-in-law was sweet enough to sign up with me so I would have a running buddy the entire way.

To say I was nervous before hand would be an understatement. Saturday I was such a bundle of nerves, snapping at everyone and trying to eat without throwing up. And then Sunday morning, while me and my father-in-law made the 4 am trek down to South Miami, I had pretty much convinced myself that I had forgotten how to run and that I hadn’t actually trained at all for this race. If you can’t tell, I don’t handle stress very well. My sweet and amazingly gifted running sister flew down with her husband and new 10 week old baby and I all but demanded that she find a way to meet me at mile 7 so she could run 4-5 miles of the race with me. And even though mile 7 basically sat in the ghetto of South Beach, there was my sister, ready and waiting to jump in and keep me motivated during the hardest part of my run.

^^Apparently I have HORRENDOUS running posture! Just look at that lovely slouch!

For the most part, this course was AMAZING! Starting and finishing in downtown South Beach, the course took us over gorgeous waterways, past cruise ships and along the beach. Yes it was hot, and yes those bridges were a heck of a lot hillier than I expected, but there was always something to look at and enjoy. My father-in-law was a lifesaver, handing me Gatorade and water the entire time and keeping the pace. And my sister? Well, let’s just say that the whole first half I kept repeating “just get to mile 7, get to mile 7″ because I knew that’s where she would jump in with us. Having someone jump in and run with you for a few miles, half way through the race, is seriously a great energy booster. I was so excited to see her and have her join us that the next few miles sailed by. She didn’t even mind when I listened to my audio book instead of talking to her the entire way. (Does anyone else listen to audio books while running or am I the only one?? I seriously love listening to books way more than music while running. I’m weird like that).

My best friend Katie totally surprised me at mile 11 and it was such an awesome feeling to see her jump out from the sidelines and run with us for a little bit. It was funny because I knew I would see Brett and Leah around mile 12, and when I saw them, running towards me with huge smiles on both of their faces, I completely lost it and started to ugly cry all over the place while still running. Have you ever cried while running? It’s not pretty. I was doing this horrible gasp wheeze, trying to catch my breath while still keeping the pace and it was a hot mess. I gave myself a stern “pull yourself together girl!!” before kissing Leah and Brett and finishing my run toward the finish line.

^^My amazing sister who ran over 5 miles of the race with me (while texting updates to the family and taking photos, so you can see how strenuous this run was for her. Ha!) and my gorgeous 10 week old niece, Amelia Lynne.

After the race was over, we did what any smart person would do, head to Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor and indulge in a huge banana split sundae.

So there we have it, my first ever half marathon. Did it make me want to run another? Maybe, maybe not (although there was a moment, around mile 9 or so, where I found myself thinking, “Why the HECK did I think this would be a fun idea?!”) but in the end, it was such a blast, and I am so happy that I can now check this life goal off of my bucket list!