5 for Friday ~ I disappeared AGAIN!

Hi there!  Gosh, I’m so so so bad about keeping up with posting during the school year!  2017 has been quite a doozy so far, but I’m thankful to have faced some challenges together and come out the other side.  Nothing crazy major…just logistics situations.  Let’s jump right in to five things on my mind this Fri-YAY!

{ONE}

CHILDCARE

I don’t think we really knew completely how challenging it would be to live away from family.  Our closest actual “family” members are about 1.5 hours away.  Then, there’s some 2 hour people and then more like 3+ hour away peeps.  We’ve had some logistics issues pop up this year so far that includes the stomach flu, ear infections, and one very awful daycare upset that resulted in a big disappointment and the necessity to immediately find a new place for Miss Helen.  😦  I am so thankful for my mom and sister who dropped all their plans to come over and help us out.  They are busy, working gals, but they made us a priority.  I hope to be able to help them out one day…like one day when I’m not totally out of leave with two small ones who like to pick up all sorts of fun, unique germs each week!  🙂

{TWO}

Holden’s 5th Birthday

Our little boy is five!  How did this happen?!  Words can’t describe how thankful I am that God sent that little boy to us 5 years ago!  I do not have a doubt in my mind that God uses him to refine and shape parts of me that are kind of ick and help me to rely on Him more.  I pray that I can be the mother that God needs me to be to Holden.  I tell Holden all the time that God gave me the most important job, to be a mommy to him, and that I try very hard to do a good job.  I want that little boy to be fully prepared for whatever work God has for him on this earth.

He had a super fun gymnastic birthday party with his friends this past weekend.  That boy gets 110% sillier when he’s around his school buddies!  I love silly little boys (+cool girl!)!  Holden is very much looking forward to his family party this weekend, and we are too!  Many people are coming from out-of-town to celebrate with us.  This is a real treat and a gift itself to have everyone visit us!

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The Mr. was there…he was just taking all these great pictures!  Love the guy with the “dad cam!”  😉

{THREE}

Career Changes

Whew!  This is a big one!  There are MANY things up in the air with my job and the Mr.’s job.  I should begin by saying that I’m thankful we both are employed with no reason to think that will change.  The real issue is that the where of my workplace (and kind-of the Mr.’s too).  We are exploring a few options, but no one plan seems to be jumping out as the “DO THIS!” option.  I’m waiting for my burning bush….anytime now would be great!  🙂

I’ve been working at the same school for ten years now.  There is a certain comfort that comes with this situation.  Also, there are relationships forged and connections made that really make me a bit sad to lose.  However, there’s something to be said for a clean slate, a starting over.  Not to mention…I’d LOVE to be closer to home!  My drive is about 30 minutes with good traffic.  Thankfully, I *typically* have pretty good luck with the traffic. Whatever option I/we pick requires a change in childcare.  Again, back to #1.  Driving me crazy since the beginning of February!

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Image from Pinterest

{FOUR}

Summer Planning

This is about the time I start planning our summer trips, activities, special events, etc.  I like to maximize the “fun-ness” of our summers off.  I’m hoping to add a summer outdoor pool membership to our weekly summer fun.  I do love the beach, and I still want to go a bunch.  BUT it would be so much easier for me to take two kids to the pool vs. the beach.  I’ve found a pretty inexpensive option about 15 minutes away from home.  Although it’s not as close as I thought, I think it will definitely work!  We are also planning lots of family visits.  I really hope we can do a little one night trip for the Mr. and me.  I have yet to spend the night away from Helen.  I’m totally OK with it, but I do feel like it’s easy to let marriage fall by the wayside now that there are two.  You people with 3+ kids…I’m amazed!

{FIVE}

New Hair-Do

I confess that I have been seduced by how pretty long hair looks on other people without considering how it looks on me/goes with my life.  I feel like I’m being choked by my hair RIGHT NOW!  I so want a hair cut!  I’ve got an appointment one week from tomorrow.  I’m so excited!  I want to have a few inches cut off.  I’m thinking of a longish bob???  Right now, I’m being indecisive on the bangs.  Thinking about trying it without and seeing how I feel…

I also know I’d like to incorporate more curl into it vs. the stick-straight look.

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All Hair Images from Pinterest

Well, that’s what’s up with me!  Here are a few fun pics from the past few months.  🙂

Have a great weekend!

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Massanutten Fun!

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Water Park ~ Holden and I had so much fun!  I pray I remember how scared I was when we both went down the big grown-up slides side-by-side when I’m 85!

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Helen and I at swimming!  Love her sweet serious face!

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Waiting for big brother at gymnastics!

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at her new daycare – We are SO thankful to have found a wonderful, loving lady who takes excellent care of our sweet little one while we are at work.  Here she is having fun while Mommy is at work!

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Always pretending to be a billy goat!

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Home Depot Builder

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Natalie

5 for Friday (Catch-up Edition)

Whoa!  It’s a crazy day!  I’m actually writing a blog post!!!  The perpetual excuse is I’ve been WAY too busy.  It seems like every moment is scheduled or that I’m absolutely exhausted I do have a moment (and therefore immobilized by all the many other moments of the day).  I can only give credit to this post due to my day off yesterday.  So let’s jump into my 5 things on my mind this Friday….

{ONE}

Yesterday was surprisingly hectic since it was a day off.  I joined big H’s class at a holiday performance at a local theater.  It was a family theater group, so adorable (and very talented kids) little ones were actually a part of the action.  Unfortunately, chaperones had to drive themselves.  I like to ride the bus with kids!  It lets me get to know all the classmates that H mentions at home.  Although it was a lot of sitting for those little bodies (3 hours! by the time they were dismissed), they did a great job!  I think the fake snow machine, Elsa signing “Let It Go,” and a couple visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus helped.  😉  No photography was allowed during the performance, but I snapped this pic prior to it.

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Our faces were all red from the reflection of the light off the curtains.  H was very inquisitive about this, so we had a little mini science lesson while we waited.  Anything to keep him occupied!

{TWO}

I’m so thankful soccer is over!  I know that may be terrible to say, but I’m actually thankful it gets dark earlier.  We start settling down sooner (aka I may have put my PJs on BEFORE 5 pm one night this week).  He had a great season that wrapped up in mid-November.  While we were waiting at the performance yesterday, I asked him what it was going to be for the spring, try T-ball or soccer again.  He said, “Soccer!”

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H’s fan club pictured below…

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{THREE}

I’m looking forward to a visit from my mom this weekend.  We are taking the Hs to see Santa at my school bright and early tomorrow morning AND trying a new restaurant for my birthday.  We’ll have the littles in tow since the Mr. is in hot pursuit of a deer.  We always have a good time!  My mom, sister, and I took a little day trip back in November to Lee Hall (family home of Robert E. Lee and former plantation home outside of Richmond, Virginia).  We also enjoyed lunch and a wine tasting at the nearby winery.  It was such a beautiful fall day and fun to be with them without little people in tow!

My mom and sister

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This side of the house faced the James River

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My mom and I

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{THREE}

Helen is 9 months tomorrow!  I’m so happy that she is growing (although I confess to wanting to weigh her CONSTANTLY!)  and developing!  Plus, I’m excited to be coming to the last leg of breastfeeding.  Here’s a few pictures of our baby girl!

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{FOUR}

We took the kids to the Garden of Lights at the Norfolk Botanical Garden this weekend.  It is always so beautiful and a tradition we have done since Holden was 1.  My lap and hands were full with Miss Helen while we were going through the lights, but I had the Mr. take a few while we were waiting…You can definitely tell Helen is growing!  Look at those high-water pants!

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{FIVE}

I’m so excited for Christmas vacation this year!  We are spending our very first Christmas at home in exactly 10 Christmas of living in our home aka two apartments and two houses total.  We are doing a Christmas Eve dinner that will follow our church’s Christmas pageant.  Holden will be a shepherd most likely.  All my motherly dreams are fulfilled!  I’ll see my number 1 baby in a Christmas performance!  I’ll also use fancy dishes that haven’t seen the light of day in my home!  My Christmas is fulfilled already!  The Mr. is going to be in charge of the meat, and I’m in charge of the sides.  I’m not sure he’s totally OK with this.  He’s rather partial to my mom’s cooking and a bit skeptical of the new dishes I want to try.  However, I’m standing my ground and new dishes we shall try.  Can’t wait to be off from work and spend time with these guys with no schedule (sort-of…if you know me personally, you know we’ll have some type of schedule going on!)!

Advent wreath making at church

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Decorating the trees!  We have two this year.  One has our sentimental ornaments on it plus some other pretty ones.  That’s our real one.  The fake on has the old ornaments of my grandmother and the Mr.’s grandmother.  These are all the glass/delicate ones.

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Well, there you have it!  A quick catch-up from the past month + some!  I hope you have the best Friday!  Only 16 days until Christmas!  🙂

Natalie

5 for Friday

Wow!  These summer weeks are flying by!  I officially have three weeks left until the end of my maternity leave/summer vacation.  I’m linking up with Andrea, Shay, and Narci for Friday Favorites.

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I’m also linking up with April, Christina, and Natasha for 5 on Friday.

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Can’t forget about this link up too!  Amy and Karli

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Here’s 5 things going on with me this week!

{ONE}

Books – I’ve done it!  I’ve conquered fiction (I’m a die hard nonfiction) and read 1 book in entirety!  I really enjoyed it too.  😉

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Basically, the book is set on Nantucket during the summer.  The three step/half sisters have to live together for one summer to be able to sell (and get the $$$) from their father’s vacation home.  Lots of drama and characters!  A great summer read!

Then, I read another nonfiction!  I really enjoyed this book although it didn’t impart any earth-shattering knowledge.  It did reiterate things that I already know/have learned from other books.  One interesting thing was the really overwhelming damaging impact of TV and video games on young minds.  Kind of scary.  P.S.  I had no idea that the American Academy of Pediatrics had issued a statement saying NO TV for kids 2 and under.  Personally, we followed this rule for Holden and plan to do the same with Helen.  I do let Holden watch occasional TV, and he definitely has been loving his one nursing time/one TV show this summer.

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{TWO}

I’m so so so excited about my sister and mom visiting this weekend!  We are celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday about a month early due to a trip that she will be taking.  I have a few surprises that I’m super excited about.  It will be so good to enjoy both my mom and my sister’s company.  The only thing I really dislike about where we live is that family isn’t right around the corner.

{THREE}

Yummy Recipe to Share – Mix and Match Mama’s Shrimp Tacos – I love this lovely lady’s recipes!  I plan to make two over the weekend.  She uses simple ingredients (and not 5,436 of them either!) to make some yummy food.  I especially enjoyed the avocado corn salsa that goes with the tacos.  I had leftovers for lunch, and I could definitely tell the salsa tasted even better the next day.

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sorry so blurry!  dinner is fast and furious around here!

{FOUR}

Running/My Foot – Well, it was somewhat better.  I enjoyed about a 4 mile run on the treadmill yesterday morning.  Very minimal foot pain…However, my calf felt very tight and somewhat sore after I hopped off.  There also was a bit of a “creaking” sound in my foot.  I know…yikes!  I plan to rest it and stretch today.  Fingers crossed for a decent run tomorrow!  12 miles!

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{FIVE}

Playdates – I need to be a little more intentional about scheduling some playdates for Holden.  He definitely wants buddies around to play with, and I am usually up for some playing.  This summer has definitely been a different pace since my time/arms/attention are occupied by Helen.  I’m hoping we can see one of his friends this week!  We’ve also been trying to get out there  and bike ride with our neighbors more often.

Here’s a few cute ones from the camera roll this week!

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Hope you have the best weekend!

Natalie

5 for Friday

This post is all things summer.  Totally fitting as this the last week of official summer.  To me, August always seems lightning fast and full of preparing for the school year to kick in. Here are five “summery” things on my mind!

{ONE}

Family & Trips – We have had SO many fun times with family this summer!  We’ve had lots of long weekends and a few vacations days for the Mr. that have allowed us to really soak up lots of family love.  Our weekends typically are full of either travel or enjoying our guests here at home.  This weekend we actually have no official plans with no official guests, AND we will be at home.  This seriously hasn’t happened!  We were supposed to be heading out of town for a little couple’s getaway, but we’ll be hanging out as a party of four instead.  In the spirit of our typical weekend, here are a few pictures that are from our time in Staunton this past weekend…

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{TWO}

New Pictures Are Up! – It feels so good to have checked off one big summer “to-do.”  I have sorted and put all our prints in albums.  SO HAPPY TO BE DONE!  I’ve also changed out our hall pictures and put out new picture frames with up-to-date pictures.  Yay!  I love how welcoming our front hall table looks with the pictures!  Holden even told me at dinner that the table by the door looks “cute.”  🙂

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{THREE}

Countdown to the Half – I’m loving my summer goal of training for the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon!  I’ve really been trying to challenge myself to beat my time, and I hope to do so by working on my cadence (definition of fancy running word:  Cadence in sports involving running is the total number of ‘revolutions per minute’ (RPM), or number of full cycles taken within a minute, by the pair of feet, and is used as a measure of athletic performance. Courtesy of Wikipedia).  I’ve also been getting FREE magazines from the local library…Running Times and Runner’s World.  Very inspiring!  Makes me want to do another race soon!  Maybe the Wicked 10K?  I’ve also read about the Monument Avenue 10K in the spring and the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

P.S.  Don’t you just love this quote from Kate Grace?!?  “I am a discomfort master. I thrive in all conditions. Everything I need to succeed is already within me. It is here to stay.”

If you don’t know, Kate Grace is an elite runner and running in the Olympics which are coming up very soon.  Read her blog post here.    It’s about being calm on race day.

{FOUR}

Cookie, Cookie! – I’m getting ready to do some serious baking in preparation for Helen’s baptism and some other party things coming up.  I’m thinking of keeping with the traditional chocolate chip cookie and oatmeal raisin cookie.  Of course, I’m going to do some lemon cookies that are famous in my family.  I’m not bragging…people do actually remember and request these cookies!  I’m unsure about my other two selections.  Should I do the oatmeal and the chocolate chip?  Something more exotic?

These chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies are semi-homemade and look delish!

I tried these Cream Cheese Strawberry Cookies, but they didn’t fair well in the heat aka not refrigerated.  They melted into a blob!  😦

M&M Cookies – They look so cute and cheerful!

S’mores Cookie Bars – Too rich?  Or too perfect?

Please share your opinion in the comments below!  I’m being so indecisive.

{FIVE}

Beachin’ It – I love going to the beach, and I actually don’t mind taking kid(s) to the beach.  Not sure Helen counts as she isn’t mobile yet!  A friend emailed me asking for tips for taking kids to the beach.  Here are my top five!

  1. Go early!  I like to leave by 8:30.  Our beach is about 10-15 minutes away.  It will be cooler and less crowded.  Bonus:  You will be home in time for baths, lunch, and naps.
  2. No big meals there!  I only take water and snacks.  If I do pack a snack or sandwich, I wrap the food in aluminum foil.  It can double as a plate.
  3. This goes without saying (I think), but put sunscreen on kids and yourself before leaving the house.  I take spray sunscreen for Holden to use at the beach for reapplication.  He doesn’t like having the sand rubbed into his skin when you reapply regular tube sunscreen.
  4. Chairs for little people – reduces sand all over…kind of.
  5. Use a backpack to help carry stuff and keep your hands free.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to go to the beach lots this summer and had extra people aka extra sets of hands.  However, I would take things in a backpack when Holden was younger, and I’m sure I’ll do that again when Helen is more mobile next summer.  Right now, she rides to the beach (from the parking lot) in our Baby Bjorn carrier.  This lets me have my arms free.

BONUS – Get a fan if you have a little one!  We got this one from Babies R Us.  I use it all the time and especially at the beach.

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Hope you have a great Fri-YAY!  Here’s a few more pictures from our week (yes, we are at the library again!).

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Natalie

5 for Friday

It’s time for another five for Friday!  Let’s jump right in!

{ONE}

Running – Lots of running happening around here!  I completed my 10 mile long run of the week on Thursday morning.  I did this, so I would not be running (a long one anyways) over the weekend when we are with family.  This meant I had to rise and shine at 4:30 in order to fit in breakfast and the digestion of it.  I calculated my pace at about 8 minutes 15 seconds.  I must admit that I didn’t really enjoy that particular run.  Some hip pain that alternated sides which I believe may be the result of some toe callouses (lovely image, right?) that were throwing off my stride.  However, I’ve been having awesome shorter runs.  I did the run below on Tuesday in the comfort of my low-humidity home.

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Love that fast last mile!  Looks like I ran that last one in 7 minutes and 2 seconds!

{TWO}

Outings – I love doing little outings with Helen and Holden on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This Tuesday we went to the library for a reading of Stellaluna and a real live bat presentation.  Holden was such a good boy.  He sat and listened…even raised his hand with a legitimate question!  I remember taking him there when he was just a little over a year and working on those very skills!  I got to just hang out in the back with Helen.

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We also played at the park across the street afterwards.  Gotta take advantage of these temps that AREN’T in the upper 90’s!

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Here’s another picture of our Thursday outing…Mt. Trashmore and Goodwill!  Holden even got to pick out a toy!  For $1.25!  😉

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{THREE}

Checking off my to-do list – I posted back at the beginning of summer a “fun list” of things I hoped to do.  Let’s see how we’re doing!

  • Sprinkler time not yet
  • Sidewalk Chalk sadly not much interest on Holden’s behalf – I think a fun game might work!
  • Visiting all the Eastern Shore family did it!  So much fun!
  • Color Me Pottery {paint your own!} Yes, Holden painted his crab coffee mug 😉
  • Children’s Museum in Portsmouth, VA may opt out of this one
  • Brickheadz {Lego Play Center} Unfortunately, this place has summer camp until 12 each day.  We do best with morning outings, so I’m not sure if we will make it until fall.  
  • Norfolk Zoo Holden is actually going on a summer camp field trip there!  
  • Farmer’s Market Hope to do this in the next couple weeks!
  • Jamestown Visit check!
  • Visiting Granny (& Auntie Brookie and Uncle Michael) Soon!  🙂
  • Fishing Trip for Daddy, Big H, and Poppy Yes!  Holden caught his first fish!
  • Baseball Game – Try, try, try again at this one! We enjoyed seeing the Norfolk Tides play.
  • Beach – Hopefully, we may even try some quick trips with me and the two H’s. 4 trips total for me and the kids.  Two for the Mr.  Hoping to go again soon!
  • 4th of July Parade – Holden loved being in the parade last year.  We’re looking forward to doing it again! Yes, this was so much fun.  
  • Swimming Lessons These were great!  Now, we just need to keep him practicing all his skills.  
  • Library Visits Oh my stars!  We’ve definitely done this one.
  • Little H’s Baptism in August

Menu for Baptism…

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  • 1 night getaway for me and the Mr. in July – It will be the first night away from kids since Little H’s arrival!  We had to cancel this one.  
  • Play Dates with new and old friends We’ve done some biking with our neighbors!
  • Ziplining Date with the Mr. at The Adventure Park Yes!  This was so much fun.  

I’m so excited about all these things!  My personal goals for June include

  • Put together easel and little table for Holden to use this summer check!  Actually, I delegated these jobs out.  🙂
  • Develop a little summer schedule for Big H’s days at home {He will be attending summer camp starting in July MWF for half days.} with some fun activities We do a little mini “school” on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We have a pretty good schedule going too.  
  • Read 3 books!  Not sure if I met this one…just try to read a little in the evening before bed.  
  • Take Holden on a Mommy – Son date I do feel like most of our days are a Mommy & Holden date since Helen sleeps when we are out and about in the morning.  
  • Run outside once a week For sure!  Every since signing up for the half-marathon I’ve been doing lots of running!  😉

Another item on my work to do list was to wash and wax my car.  Holden helped me wash one morning this week, and I waxed while he was at summer camp.  It always reminds me of my grandfather.  He was the first one to show me how to wax a car.  I remember being underneath a large pine tree in the backyard with him…just waxing away!  He had definite opinions about the right way to do it.  Never would have approved of this wax!  It did the trick though.

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{FOUR}

Bizarre Food I Eat – I think everyone has some weird stuff that they like to eat.  This week I’ve been enjoying a hard-boiled egg (sliced) on two pieces of toast with BBQ sauce.  Absolutely delicious!  I know you’re probably grossed out, but (like I tell Holden) you should try it before you say you don’t like it!  I’ve been eating the same breakfast for like a month a half.  1/2 cup oatmeal + 1 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter + 1 tbsp. Trader Joe’s raspberry jelly + lots of boiling water.  Then, I let it sit covered for a few minutes.  Last, I microwave it for like twenty seconds.  If it isn’t soupy enough, I add extra water.  I love this breakfast!  So filling AND sweet!  No picture of either of these items as I’m sure the pictures would do them no justice!

{FIVE}

Summery Desserts! – I’m going to pick up the ingredients to try out these Strawberry Lemonade Bars this afternoon.  I have really been enjoying lighter desserts since the weather has been so hot.  Don’t these look delicious!?!?

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photo & recipe from the baker upstairs

P.S. I realized I didn’t snap any pics of baby Helen this week!  Poor girl!  I’m going to blame it on having my hands-full when she’s awake!  I’ll try to do better by the sweet girl this weekend.  Have a great one!

Natalie

5 for Friday

Hi there!  Wow…this week has flown by!  I think we have Independence Day to thank for that!  I hope you’re ready for another weekend and a hot one at that.  Here’s five things on my mind this Friday…

{ONE}

Helen Elizabeth is three months on Sunday!  She is getting to be such a big girl!  Here’s a run-down of her stats…

  • Sleeping from 9PM to 5:30/6:00AM without any feedings!  Hip hip hooray!
  • Naps are better during the day with longer ones in the morning and short (1 hourish) in the afternoon) for a total of 5 naps
  • Breastfeeding continues to be great – Miss Helen does NOT like a bottle!  We are working on that.  🙂
  • Weight – She weighed 10lbs 14oz at her two month check-up mid-June.
  • She’s a happy baby most of the time!  We’ve seen lots of smiles and heard lots of baby talk recently.
  • Helen loves baths, fans, and looking at books…even big brother’s!

She is so much more alert these days!  Here we are doing a little water play with her.  She promptly spit up in the water after this picture and grossed out her big brother!

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{TWO}

Running – I’m really enjoying running again.  Hallelujah!  Also, it has been pain free except for that feeling of tiredness that makes me think I’m slightly crazy to be planning to run 13.1 miles in Virginia’s hot and humid weather!

I have been fortunate to do lots of outdoor runs in the past two weeks, but I got a late start on Thursday.  I had to do my 3 miles on the treadmill.  It was a pretty fast one!  First mile was 7:46.  Second mile was 7:11.  Third mile (+.1 – I actually pretended it was a 5K and ran the extra .1) was 7:29.  Overall time…

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{THREE}

Family Visits – We’ve been so blessed to see lots of family over the last several months.  The trend continues with my sister-in-law and her fiancee coming to visit this evening.  They’ll be staying with us this weekend and enjoying some of our hot and humid weather!  I think it will make for a very early beach day tomorrow!  I’ve got lots of good food planned and can’t wait to see them!  Here are two recipes that are guaranteed good (aka I’ve tried them before!).

Chicken BBQ Sandwiches

Key Lime Bars

{FOUR}

Groupon – I love how Groupon can inspire you to do something you haven’t before.  It might be a new restaurant, a day at a paintball park, or even a massage!  I bought three Groupons in the past couple months.  One was for a local Lego place that allows kids to visit and build.  We’ve been before, and Holden really loved it.  I also bought my Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon entrance fee from Groupon for some percentage off.  Another one I bought with Holden in mind was the Color Me Mine visit.  We went this week.  The Groupon covered the studio fee.  Holden picked out something to paint, and I had to pay that additional cost.  He picked a crab mug!  Must be inspired by his recent fishing trip!  We had such a nice, relaxing time painting together (Helen was snoozing!).  I can’t wait to pick it up next week after it has been fired.

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Love this sweet boy!  He has so much to say and wants to learn/take in everything!  I hope his curiosity continues.  🙂

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A couple cool quotes I saw on Pinterest this week…3ac40d475b8901bf25e1545ce9f5ece5.jpgtumblr_o23ds6S4gI1s8zgc6o1_500.jpg

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Have a great day!

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

5 for Friday

Hi there!  It’s officially Friday, and I’m up extra early due to Miss Helen’s 4:30 feeding request.  She has actually slept through the night {9:00-5:00/5:30} a few times since Memorial Day weekend.  However, she’s still little.  When she wakes up that close to her official wake up time {5:30 – this will be the time she has to get up when I go back to work in late August}, I feed her just a bit and put her back to bed.  That leaves me up though!  I decided to get a few moments to myself.

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Home with Two – Today will be day 3 of being home with two kids.  Wow.  I knew it would change the routine that Helen and I had gotten into.  I also knew it would challenge my patience and force me to rearrange my expectations.  Well, it has been everything I imagined and more!  Whew!  I feel like I’m doing the hardest work ever right now!  It is very sweet to be with both of them.  Holden is such a good boy and big helper.  He was my dusting partner when we were cleaning yesterday.  He always tries to play with his sister when I ask him to…like when she’s crying during tummy time!  Does any baby really like that time?  Plus, I am amazed at how blessed I am to have these two beings with me.  They are such gifts.

{TWO}

School in the Summer – Yesterday I began a few activities that I want to keep up with off and on with Holden this summer.  We are focusing on reviewing letter and letter sounds.  I have a set of flashcards that we use with capital/lowercase letters and key pictures.  Holden’s very good at identifying these letters and sounds, but we are also working on getting him to apply his knowledge.  There are so many great resources on Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers {just check “free” and search for worksheets/activities}.  I’m trying to keep it light and quick.  I think early morning will be best.  Holden is the most alert and agreeable {ha!} then.

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He was done at this point in the picture above.  He was playing an elaborate game of “good markers, bad markers.”  The universal boy game.

{THREE}

Breakfast Idea – I’m kind of over some of my breakfast choices these days.  I usually love oatmeal, but I need a break.  I’m not a big cereal or smoothie fan in the morning.  Eggs are okay.  I really prefer a sweet taste in the morning…but I want something healthy too!  I had the 2 ingredient banana pancake recipe one day this week, and I plan to enjoy it again this morning.  I followed the recipe except for the part about making the pancakes small.  This apparently was a key point as my pancakes looked a HOT MESS and NOTHING like the ones in the photo.

{FOUR}

Fitness and Family – Well, I’ve given up on a fitness goal that I wanted to take on this summer.  I planned to sign up for my second Rock and Roll Half-Marathon.  I had been doing two weekly shorter runs on my treadmill during the week, and I got up to 6 miles on my long run.  However, it is SO hard to find time to exercise.  I’m talking about a 4 mile run or a quick strength routine!  In order to prepare for a half-marathon, I would have to be doing one long run a week.  This would have to be on Saturday or Sunday, so the Mr. could stay home with the kids.  As my mileage got higher, I could be gone for as long as 2.5 hours in the morning.  I confess to wanting that time on the weekend with my family more.  As my mother says, there is a season for everything.  I think as women we are truly convinced that we can do everything.  That is such a lie that sets us up for failure and disappointment.  I can do lots of things…just not all at once.  It looks like my fitness focus {for now} will be on getting it in when I can and enjoying moving my body.

P.S. This is my little shadow during my home workouts…which typically happen M-F.  It seems like I’ll only be a gym-goer on the weekends.

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Breakfast and Books!

{FIVE}

Father’s Day Weekend – Happiest of Father’s Days to my daddy and to the Mr.!  Dads are so important to their wives and to their kids!  Thankful for these two!

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Check out this cute video – Dad Song.

Happy weekend!

Natalie