Monday, March 31, 2014

Etsy & Mindie May Giveaway

Tammy from Creative K Kids is celebrating her one year blogiversary by doing a great giveaway that, Elizabeth from Mirth and Motivation and Christine from Your Strong Tower and myself helped to sponsor. Tammy thought that a creative gift would be just the right giveaway for her readers since she likes to do crafts and cooking posts, so she is offering one winner a $25 Etsy gift card as well as some gifts that are given by TLC Creations by Mindie May (an Etsy shop).  

$25 Etsy giftcard giveaway and perfume and earrings 

Mindie is offering a pair of silver colored bunny earring as well as your choice of her in-stock perfume oil which often have 20 or more types of essential oils in each one.  With free shipping to the USA, this is an $18 value! Mindie also has her perfumes 25% off right now with free shipping, so if you would like to buy any of her perfumes or other hair products or jewelry go HERE.  She made the cutest filigree bobby pins for each of Tammy's daughters and gift wrapped them as a present!

Thank you for participating in this giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway runs from Monday March 31 to Saturday, April 12, 2014. Contest is open to US residents age 18 and up.  Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen. Creative K Kids is not responsible for prize shipment.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

17 Months - 3.30.14

If I had to pick one word to sum up your last month, it would be INDEPENDENT. You are such a strong willed little man. You throw fits and scream some big screams if we try to help you and you don't think our assistance is warranted. It's easier said than done but we try to step back and let you do things for yourself.

At the current moment, tooth #14 has broke the surface while 15 & 16 are about to pop through any minute. I think the amount of teething you've been doing this week explains some of the rough moments we had along with your inability to sleep at nights. I'll be the first to admit that once these teeth are in, I'll be happy to wait for your 2 year molars until your 5. #seriously

You have picked up the picky eating habit and it's been rough getting you to eat anything more than cheese and fruit. Some days are better than others but you are gaining weight so there isn't a need to worry. We have switched you from Vitamin D milk to almond milk due to your constant runny nose. It's been 3 days and I can already see a difference. I am not sure if you have a full blown milk allergy but it's safe to say you have a lactose sensitivity.

Your sense of humor is out of control these days. When you burp, you give a hearty belly laugh followed by another forced burp. You are all boy, for sure. You have taken to covering your mouth with you hand when you think find something to be hilarious. When your feelings get hurt or you don't like this or that, you'll cover your mouth and give a fake little cry. I will fake laugh just to get you to laugh with me. The amount of happy in your little body amazes me. 

Plain and simple, Connor J, you fill our lives with laughter, sass and so much pride. You make such an impact on every one you meet. Honestly, you are the bright light in so many people's worlds. Keep being amazing little guy; we wouldn't want it any other way.

We love you,
Momma and Papa Daddy 

Friday, March 28, 2014

It's The Little Things

Ashley with Words About Waverly and Jess over at Sadie Sky Boutique have a sweet weekly link up titled "It's The Little Things". Today, I want to share a nightly routine that is just a simple little thing I love.
Days are long and messy with a (almost) 17 month old boy. We love hard and play even harder. By 7:30, we can't get to the bathtub quick enough. Which is totally okay because there is no one that loves being in a tub of water than Connor J.

 


Watching the tub fill with warm water or lining up our ducks, Connor is easily entertained with such small little tasks. Thanks to his Ma, he has plenty of ducks for bath time and has recently gotten very attached to Pirate and Halloween duck. 

During his bath, I talk him through what body part I'm washing, teaching him words like belly, legs, arms and neck, hoping that he may pick up a word or two. He has belly down so it's working. Washing his hair is quite the task but I've gotten pretty good at doing it quickly to help prevent too much water in his face and eyes. 

What could be more fun than playing in water with you favorite ducks? Brushing your teeth of course. 


The moment his wet little body is pulled from the tub, he is saying teeth, reaching for his toothbrush and toothpaste. He must have both in his hands before he is ready to brush his pearly whites. The entire time I'm drying him off, he is busy brushing his teeth. It blows my mind the our baby boy is big enough to brush his own teeth. 


Raising our son includes a combination of the little things that make life fun and memorable. Not every bath night is picture worthy but that's okay. Every evening, I get a chance to take in the little things like a clean baby, smelling fresh from his bath, tucked warm in his footed pajamas knowing that at this very moment, all is right in our world.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Must Watch Baseball Classics

While I'll admit that I a huge football fan, my second favorite sport is baseball. And with Opening Day just around the corner, I wanted to share my list of the top six must watch baseball movies of all time. By no means are the only baseball movies worth watching. They just happen to be my favorites. 



I've watched each of these classic boys of summer movies over and over. The first one I can remember watching was The Sandlot:

Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood with his parents with a desire to play baseball. The neighborhood baseball master Rodriquez takes Smalls under his wing and soon he's part of the team. Their days are soon filled with baseball, sleepovers, the lifeguard at the local pool and their rival ball team. Beyond the fence at the back of the sandlot, lies a threat in the form of a ball eating dog called The Beast, that the boys must overcome.

My favorite of the six listed, hands down, would be Field of Dreams:

An Iowa corn farmer played by Kevin Costner (swoon), hearing voices, interprets them as a demand to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does and the Chicago Black Sox appear. Because as we all know... "If you build it, he will come."

Do you have a favorite baseball movie? What team to you cheer for during the dog days of summer? Mine? The Redlegs of course! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Love Yourself More

Last night, during a "how life is so much amazing once you are a parent" speech with my girlfriend Kristin, I made a (what I thought was) profound statement:

"When I look back on my time as a stay at home Mom, I want to know that Connor thinks he had a cool, fun Mom who took the time to play and laugh and not one that worried about the trash over flowing or the messes that have to pick up." 

And just like that, I (again) realize that a toddler has taught me so much more than any job in the "real" world could have. It also made me recognize that I'm really hard on myself. I put so much pressure to be the best at everything, that sometimes I don't want to be having fun or laughing, sometimes I just need a moment to collect my thoughts and breath, to check something off my never ending to-do list. I'm my husband and son's biggest fan but while I'm busy making sure they are taken care of, I don't give myself the credit I deserve and find myself doubting the compliments that are handed to me. 

The truth is I need to love myself more.

As women, wives, mothers, bloggers, friends, we are so hard on ourselves. We compare ourselves, our lives, our relationships with others on a daily basis. Enough's enough. Let's learn to love ourselves a little more. So I want to play a little game. I am going to list 5 things I love about myself and I want you to do the same in a comments below. I will do a random number generator and the winner will receive a $5 Starbucks E-gift Card. 

 ...sense of independence. Since the day I was born, I've been very headstrong and independent. This character trait has allowed me to adapt to change easily and to our move across the country. I can stand on my own two feet with confidence and am able to single parent while supporting my husband. As much I adore my guys, I am okay being alone, too.

...lips. Simply put, they are must best asset. And I should mention, baby boy got his from me as well. 

...ability to make friends easily. For someone who had just a handful of friends in high school, it amazes me how many girlfriends I have as an adult. 

...desire to give. I give a lot of myself to others without expecting anything in return. Connor and James get my attention most days but I am always a phone call away if any of my family or friends need something. Instead of making money off of the clothing Connor has outgrown, I've passed it on to 3 others new boy Moms. The fact that our little guy's baby items have helped dress 3 other fellas makes my heart happy.

...obsession with documenting our son's life. Looking back, Connor will get to watch himself grow up with all the photos we've taken, the posts I've written and the memories we've made. He will see that from day 1 he was loved with every ounce of our beings. 


What do you love about yourself?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pinworthy Posts

For the life of me, I can't figure out how to get my post to link to Pinterest. I have instrutions that I follow yet I can't get it to work. Looks like I have a nap time project to tackle this week. But until I get it all figured out, I wanted to share some of my most pinworthy posts. Each link will redirect you to the pin I've created on Pinterest.
Follow me on Pinterest

Book Reviews & Suggestions

Blog Knowledge

Holiday Ideas

Causes/Support

My Two Cents
  
All Things Baby

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jamberry Nails Review & Giveaway

It should come as no surprise that I don't have a lot of extra time nowadays. As a stay at home Mom, married to a man who travels for work, the "me time" I get it is limited. The last thing I want to do is spend my afternoon at the salon, overpaying for a manicure that barely lasts a week. A manicure that last for weeks and isn't a waste of my time or money is what I need. That's when Jamberry comes into play. 

Jamberry Nails are a new and innovative way to avoid nail polish drying time, chipping, and pricey salon visits. They are a vinyl adhesive wrap that is heat activated, and pressure sealed to the nail. They are easily applied at home with supplies you may already have – they are a DIY dream! They come in over 300 designs (plus a nail art studio where you can design your own!), and last up to 2 weeks on fingernails and 4 weeks on toenails. 


My thoughts of Jamberry:
The process of applying the applique was simple and quick. I was able to paint my nails and apply my blue and white stripped Jamberry nail during Connor's nap. Thanks to a video posted on my Jamberry consultant's Facebook page, I was able to apply my vinyl wrap within minutes. You don't need any special tools, most things you have on hand if you are one to do your nails at home. When I took my 7 day challenge, I thought there was no way I would still be wearing my Jamberry nail but boy was I wrong! Jamberry Nails have designs for everyone's taste. Here are a few of my favorites:
I'm such a fan of Jamberry Nails after one week that I want to share a chance for you to win a sample sheet of Jamberry Nails. One WMM reader will receive a free sheet of Jamberry Nails of their choice. Each sheet has 18, double sided wraps on each side. Be sure to visit Jamberry Nails and check out the designs offered. Winner will be picked on Friday. Good luck! 


Friday, March 21, 2014

The BLOGmopolitan Quiz - Part 1

A couple weeks ago, I shared my answers to Erin's "The Blogmopolitan Quiz" with you. Today, I want share part one which was originally posted in December as a linkup. I just enjoyed the idea so much I went ahead and took the quiz. If you want to join me, head over and visit Two Third Hazel and download the quiz today.


 Be sure to pick a question and share your answer below!
Happy Friday!
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Meet Heather with My Life Well Loved

Happy Friday Eve! I'm so excited to introduce you to Heather so let's not waste any time... 

Clare Brown Mills Jewelry Geodes 

Good morning! I'm so thankful Stephanie let me join you today on her blog! I'm Heather and I blog at My Life Well Loved, a lifestyle blog. I'm married to my college sweetheart, Eric and we celebrated our 5 year anniversary in New Zealand at the end of last year! I'm a Christian and my passions include Pure Barre, clean eating, social media, workout swag and helping others to love their lives well.
salmon recipe

Today I'm sharing one of my staple, go-to recipes with you guys. In order for a recipe to make it on the weekly menu at my house, it has to be healthy, quick, and easy. It's my own personal trifecta! What I love about salmon is you get a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids that help keep your heart strong and your arteries clear! Talk about some great benefits!

I found this recipe via Pinterest (it’s on my Healthy Eating board) from none other than The Pioneer Woman, so you know it’s gotta be good, right?! I served it with a side of broccoli slaw which I got from Eat Smart that I’m sure was BOGO at the grocery store. We have made this recipe SEVERAL times now and I’m a fan. Next time you see salmon on sale, snap it up and try this out. Now, onto the recipe…

Simple Salmon Ingredients:
1 salmon fillet
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt Pepper

Directions: Drizzle salmon with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then put in a cold oven set to 400 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Make sure salmon is flaky and cooked all the way through. Optional to top with tartar sauce or squeeze lemon over the top.

I'd love to hear what you think about this recipe in the comments below and please come visit me at My Life Well Loved!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So What! Wednesday

This week, I'm saying So What! if...

* being on vacation with Connor has taught me we can veer of course with his nap schedule and all Hell doesn't break loose. This week hasn't been scheduled like usual and Connor has done so well. He is such a trooper and I'm so proud of him.

* having 3 kids in the house (ages 3, 2 and 1) has killed any chance of me ever giving Connor a sibling. Plain and simple, I'm not capable of mothering more than one child at a time.

* I am head over heels in love with Courtney over at Keystroke Journaling. I love how she writes; when I read her post, I feel like I'm sitting in her living room listening to a girlfriend chat. Check her out. Also? Her little girl is to die for adorable.

* summer is fast approaching and I need to find a new bathing suit and I can't find one I like, let alone love. I want something functional for pool days with a toddler, providing coverage of the ladies and doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. Any suggestions?

* my lust over Target is slowly dying to a simply like. This makes both James and our bank account happy but not me. Where does a girl shop if not at Target? I just feel like they need to step up their game.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Babies Don't Keep

Plain and simple, babies don't keep.

They grow fast.
They gain big personalities.
Their independence grows by leaps and bonds daily.

 
Last year, we were parents to this little guy. Someone who hadn't yet discovered his voice or had the ability to move freely, from place to place. I remember thinking that I had never loved someone as much as I did Connor at that point.


Boy was I ever so wrong. My days are now filled with watching this fella grow, discover and make me wonder how in the Hell did I ever get so lucky to be chosen to be his Mom. And I find myself loving him more with every passing minute.

Parenting is tough. Scratch that. Parenting is the hardest responsibility you will ever take on. But hands down, it's the also the most rewarding role I've ever tackled. Connor has changed me in the very best of ways and because of him, I'm a better person and for the first time in nearly 15 years, I am completely comfortable in my skin. I am a confident person thanks to a spunky little boy. 


And since babies don't keep, we make memories. We take road trips to visit our best friends. We stay up late and eat too much while laughing together around the dining room table. We celebrate St. Patty's Day and play with Flarp and we refuse to look at the camera. We rejoice in the good days and pray for bedtime when days are long and kids are just too much to handle in one day. 

And since time isn't on our side, we love every second, minute and day, remembering babies don't keep.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Meet Jen from JVKom Chronicles

Happy St. Patrick's Day! While the majority of Americans are drinking green beer, making memories they won't remember, I'm having my own kind of party. It's Spring Break in Oklahoma. I mean... how is that a party? #justsayin. While I'm on vacation, I have a Jen taking over the blog today! I'm a huge fan and I hope ya'll enjoy her as well.

Hey WMM readers! I'm here to take over Stephanie's blog today. I'm Jen and I blog over at JVKom Chronicles. It's a lifestyle blog with an emphasis on healthy living. I really believe in living your best life. I would to have you jump over and say hey :)

jensquare

Spring is in the air. I can finally feel it. This was my first winter back north after spending the past five in sunny Florida. Talk about a slap in the face. This has been the harshest winter in YEARS! Lucky me right?! The first snow was amazing. I have two little boys and they were in complete awe. It was really fun to act like a kid again and play in the snow. But the second, third, fourth time it snowed I just wanted to hibernate. I am so ready for warm weather. My poor TOMS have been locked away since last October. They are calling to me from the closet. I'm ready to bust them out and paint the town. Since this is our first year in Richmond, VA there is much to explore. I'm ready to come out of hiding and get to know our new city. I'm also excited for block parties. We live in a really great neighborhood. I'm longing for summer nights spent out on the patio.

 toms2 

I am also in desperate need of a tan. I can not remember the last time I was this pale. In Florida everyone always has a natural glow. Not here. I would give Casper a run for his money right now. I'm sure my vitamin D levels are lacking as well. I need the sun. There is just something about the feeling of the warm sun on your skin. I soak up every minute (with a thick layer of sunscreen of course). What are you looking forward to most about warm weather?
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Blogger Spotlight - Meet Kim

I am a Wife, Mom, Nana, and a Mommie "Again" to our youngest grandchild who was born in 2009. I am his Nana by blood, but I am Mommie to him. I hope to inspire grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, as well as "older moms" and of course all mommies! Moms young and old will find that I have something in common with each of them. I have a family-friendly blog here and post about family, parenting, eating healthy, menopause, DIY crafts, fashion and beauty and the funny things that my little does. I offer wonderful product reviews and giveaways that pertain mostly to all women and preschoolers.

Mommie... Again earned its title when you became a parent again to your grandson. What was the hardest part about becoming a parent again after raising your son?
It would have to be my age and wondering if I can keep up with him. I’m a little older …but much wiser. Also, having patience doesn’t always get better as you age!!
To piggyback off of the first question, what do you think you would be doing if you aren't raising sweet faced Brody?

Well before Brody (I like to call BB) we had just went on a nice vacation to Jamaica with some friends of ours and during that vacation we talked about the next one we were going to take. We were in the stages of planning a once in a lifetime trip to Alaska when Brody came. We did decide to go ahead and go, but we knew that was probably it the last time we would go somewhere like that without Brody. I’m here to tell you though, my husband and I did go to Alaska again w/out Brody – but from here on out we will be taking him as we want him to explore life too!

If you were stranded on an island alone, what 3 personal items would you wish to have with you?
My phone, laptop & lipstick!!
What part of blogging is your favorite? What do you dislike that most?
I love to create and I love to see what others like about what I created. Blogging takes time and sometimes I just don’t have that kind of time…but I have to make it and then someone or something gets left behind. Needless to say, I need a course in Time Management!
I love how creative and artsy you and Brody are. I love the fall clothespins and Halloween treat bags. Please share with us your favorite DYI crafts.

I’m a crafter by heart and I got that way from my mom. She has always spent her leisure time making something and taught me everything she knows…..except sewing. I was never good at that. I’ve got Brody in his own art classes on Friday mornings, but sometimes we pick up a paint brush or spatula and make stuff at home. My favorite has got to be the Valentine’s Day Candy Cones I just did. Brody didn’t help me with those though. Some things are just for me to do!!

Using the first letter of your first name, K, describe yourself in 5 words:
Keeper
Kinship
Kinder-hearted
Kinfolk
Kipper
Feel free to connect with Kim through the following social media outlets:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Liebster Award

Christina of This Women Cooks has nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thanks Christina! This is a fun way to get to know other bloggers and share a little bit about yourself. Christina has given me eleven question to answer and then I'll nominate some ladies and provide them with questions to answer. 

1. Did you always want to be a Mom? No. Before getting pregnant with Connor in January of 2012, I had spoken with my OB about getting the Paragard birth control. The idea of having a baby wasn't something we actively talked about but knew one day we would have a family. I just liked my freedom and independence and saw having a child as having to lose so much of that. I'll be honest, I don't have as much freedom as before and Lord knows I've lost a lot of my independence but what I've gained from being a mother doesn't compare. My life is now complete, more purposeful thanks to Connor J.


2. What did you do before you were a Mom? I worked at an IT training company as a Student Service Coordinator. Think of it as a guidance counselor for adults.

3. What's the biggest struggle you've had so far, in parenting? I doubt myself daily. I'm concerned I'm not doing enough to help our son grow mentally, physically and socially. I've gotten better about it in the last few months as Connor has really started to blossom and I know that's thanks to us and how much work I put in to teaching and showing him how the world works on a daily basis.

4. Favorite TV show? How about shows? Revenge, Scandal, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Mob Wives, Nashville and Teen Mom. Please hold back your judgement. I don't watch TV for educational purposes.

5. If you could have one day to yourself, what would you do? I wake up late and enjoy my Momma's biscuits and gravy for breakfast followed by some reading in bed and napping on and off like our cat Rudy does. I wouldn't be responsible for Connor, dinner, the house or laundry that day. So, I'd be really lazy with a SOLO trip to Target to just smell the Target air.

6. Do you have any guilty pleasures? Other than the crap TV I watch? Not really.


7. What's your dream vacation? 2 weeks in Europe, sightseeing, hiking and eating all the Italian food I can get my hands on.

8. Favorite go-to meal? Spaghetti and meatballs. Our household loves it and it all but cooks itself.

9. Favorite restaurant? Pearl Bay. It's a Thai restaurant back in Dayton and I miss it like I would my right arm if I were to part with it.


10. What are your hobbies? I can get lost in a good book easily and have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I love going for a walk, checking out the scenery, especially on crisp Fall days. If traveling wasn't so expensive, I'd say that would be my all time favorite hobby. 


11. If you could have any career, what would it be? I would love to be a high school counselor. I truly believe that many kids today need just one person cheering them to help them make good decisions for their future. I'd like to know I was helping shape America's future as a counselor.

Now it's my turn to nominate a few other bloggers! I'm supposed to nominate eleven other bloggers for this award. However I'm only going to nominate a handful. Eleven seems a bit much. 

Desiree - Macke Monologues
Courtney - Sweet Turtle Soup

Be sure to visit these ladies. 
They have been such a huge part of my blogging experience and I just can't get enough of them through their daily posts. 

1. What is the meaning behind your blog title?
2. As Moms, I'm sure you get a good dose of cartoons/kid shows daily. What is one cartoon/kid show you child(ren) like that you can't stand?
3. Something you haven't done in the last year:
4. Currently loving:
5. Currently hating:
6. Favorite place to shop for yourself:
7. Last piece of mail you go that wasn't a bill or junk mail:
8. Share a favorite blog that you enjoy reading daily:
9. Last place you went on vacation sans child:
10. What is your favorite holiday?
11. Share one piece of parenting wisdom with your readers:

Thanks again Christina for my nomination. I can't wait for ya'll to meet the ladies I nominated. 
Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!
 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It Had to be You Book Review & Giveaway

As a member of Litfuse Publicity Group, I have the privilege of reading and reviewing books. I am excited to share with you my thoughts on my book choice from Litfuse and give you a chance to enter a $100 Visa gift card.

Susan May Warren


Susan May Warren has a gift of giving an authentic voice to her characters along with true to life personalities that match your friends and family. It Had to be You is the second novel in the Christiansen family series and while I haven't read book one, I have read Warren's work before so I knew this was going to be a book that left me aching for more. It Had to be You is the perfect mixture of love, godly romantic relationships.

Eden and Jace couldn't be more opposite from the outside looking in yet they both struggle with trying to show the world their true colors. Eden is in the shadow of her NHL playing brother while Jace shines bright in the spotlight as a rough guy, on and off the ice. Both are unhappy with the roles the play in life and are looking for a chance to let the "real me" shine through. Their friendship is built on unstable turf but with love, patience, God's guidance, they come together to help others around them in the most moving way. In the end, Jace and Eden discover there is more to a person than what you read in the papers.

Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. Please note, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I received no other compensation. 

Susan May Warren is celebrating the release of her newest Christiansen Family novel, It Had To Be You, with a $100 Visa cash card giveaway and offering readers a free book club kit.

ithadtobe-400-click

  One winner will receive:
  • $100 Visa cash card
  • Take a Chance on Me and It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren
Enter today by clicking on the photo above or the icons below. The giveaway ends on March 29th and the winner with be announced April 1st on Susan's blog.




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Before & After

Recently, a couple friends and I were talking about how much life has changed since being mothers. Obviously taking care of a little one 24/7 has changed the look of things in my everyday life. What you don't see or notice is that as someone who worked outside of the house full time making the switch to being a stay at home Mom wasn't exactly the easiest of transitions.

Before Connor:
Monday thru Friday, I worked my 40 hour (plus some) job. I commuted 20 minutes to and from work, stayed late when needed and was able to take an hour lunch break daily. I spent my days talking tech with students and coworkers and dressed in my signature black pants, black boots and gray or black top. Hair and makeup were always done.

After Connor:
Monday thru Sunday, I work around from about 7:30AM to 10PM. My commute consists of going down the hall to pick up my 16 month old boss and then downstairs to start the day. Luckily, I don't have to worry about clocking in or out as that wasn't always something I remembered to do. Lunch is consumed in between chores like laundry or dishes while the little one is enjoying his lunch while watching Signing Time with Rachel. My wardrobe consists of black yoga pants, a comfy 3/4 sleeve top covering a tank top. I'm still rocking my bedhead most days and makeup? That's strictly used for date nights, MNI/MNO or weekends.

Before Connor:
I ran errands, shopped, got my hair/nails done, visited friends, went to a movie, had a nice dinner out and worked out when I wanted to without focusing on anyone else's schedule. I never had nor needed "me time"

After Connor:
I run errands in the morning if we don't have a playdate. If we do, then errands are pushed to later on in the day, after nap time. Shopping is only done while Mister is with us as Connor hates shopping and would rather push me over the edge than sit in the shopping cart for longer than 15 minutes. My hair cut is scheduled for a Saturday morning, first appointment and only every 4-5 months. Visiting friends is scheduled well in advice if the little one isn't going with me. Usually it's when Daddy is in town and can spend the evening with him so I get "me time". Dinners out are only if we are feeling brave and Connor is in a good mood. Working out is scheduled a monthly basis, around playdates, naptimes and visits with Connor's friends. "Me time" is like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. 

Before Connor:
I never doubted my role or abilities in my career. I was a stellar employee and my students loved me. My life was simple, orderly and planned. I felt close to my husband and that our marriage was first and foremost.

After Connor:
I question myself daily on if I've done enough to help Connor grow socially, physically and mentally. I struggle to get everything done that I've chose to aim for on any single day. To do lists are written daily but usually tossed in the garbage by 10AM. Life is planned and enjoyed day by day with hiccups along the way that make life real. My marriage is stronger than ever and we depend and support each other more than ever before. 

Before Connor, things were easy. Life went as planned and things didn't get so crazy just because someone didn't get a good enough nap. Life after Connor has been the best 16 months of our lives. We know the meaning of true, unconditional love and for the first time in a long time, we have learned to enjoy the everyday here and there. CJ has taught us that sometimes, you just need to sit back and enjoy the view.