Friday, May 30, 2014

19 months - 5.30.14


Before we get started, can we please take a moment and notice your "I ain't got time for this Mom" look. Connor, you kill me with your personality and sassiness. I thought only girls could be this sassy but wow, was I wrong. You are full of it! 

This is your last month in the teens. And then... wait for it... you'll be that much closer to being 2 years old. Please give me a moment to collect myself... how is that even possible, baby boy? You have grown so much in the last couple of months. I can't believe how quickly your personality has came through. You keep us smiling and laughing with your antics. 

You've finally started sleeping throw the night. It's been the best thing for you and me both, buddy. You sleep from about 8PM to 7-8AM. The solid sleep has improved everyone's disposition in the house. You have been eating pretty well lately, too. Of course, veggies are a constant issue but in time, that will pass. You are 99% lactose intolerant so that's been challenging but we've slowly figured out that the only dairy you can have it cheese. And man, do you love cheese! 

You are such a busy body. You spend every waking moment exploring, discovering and getting into everything you possibly can. You play well with others and tend to share and listen great in small group settings. Spending mornings at the park tend to be your favorite way to start the day. You really love the outdoors. You have mastered small playscapes with the exception of the slides. You aren't really a fan. This month, you started fake sneezing and coughing all on your own. When we say bless you, you reply with "bess you". You cough to get your Daddy worked up, for sure. He worries you might choke but you always end up just laughing at us when we ask if you are okay or if you need a drink. You are full of tricks, little guy.

Some days are rough. Nothing seems to be what you want and you are whiny and fussy far too much for anyone's liking. On those days, I feel like I'm raising Frank. We have moments where everything I say deserves a "no" or "don't" from you. Those days are trying for sure. On those days, I'm confident you hate me. But those days pass and overall, you're a pretty happy fellow. You laugh, smile and give the best hugs and open mouth kissing. Life is good with you, CJ. You are growing into fabulous little guy. Days with you are fun and leave me wondering how we got so lucky with you. 

We love you to the moon and back!
Momma and Daddy

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Play Date Survival Kit Must Haves

I mentioned earlier this week, Connor and I spend the majority of our mornings out with friends at one of the local parks in Austin. As much as I hate to say it (I mean, I've mastered parenthood, you know?), once a week I forget something at home and/or run out of another item completely. To remedy the problem of not having this or that on-hand, I put together Play Date Survival Kits
In the top left photo, our box includes diapers, swim diapers, wipes, an extra outfit, sunscreen, a snack container with Goldfish, applesauce, veggie bar and some wet wipes and a sippy cup.

The box on the right contains, toys that can be used when playscapes have either sand pits or rocks. We picked up some measuring cups, gardening tools, sand molds, bucket and trays to play with. The trucks, chalk and bubbles are just fun items to have on hand. 

I placed the kits into the trunk of my car and having spent less than $15, we are now ready for summer! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wife2Wife - The Wife side of Life

95% of Wife Mommy Me is from my point of view. With the exception of guest posts, I do most of the writing here. However, today is brought to you by the The Mister. Coxy is answering some questions and sharing some insight on me as a wife.

{ONE} 
What first attracted you to your wife?
I remember as I walked by her cube row seeing her gorgeous smile, her beautiful blue eyes and how pretty her hair was. And of course, her lips. You have a beautiful face, among other things. Sometimes, she still catches me looking at her and smiling. It's because she is beautiful.

{TWO}
After a long day what does your wife do that helps you relax/remind you that she loves you?
Disconnects from the rest of the world. Putting the phone away and leaving it away means a lot. It means even more when we get to bed.


 {THREE}
What is your favorite thing to do with your wife?
Anything. I love spending time with her. Whether it's a walk or movie, moments with her are important and I wish there were more of them.
   
{FOUR}
What is something your wife does or doesn't do that you want her to do more of?
Have fun with me, laugh with me. Sometimes, I feel like I don't get as much of sense of humor as you share with others. 


{FIVE}
If you could compare your love story to any book or movie, what would it be and why? 
 Our love story isn't like a Hollywood movie or Sparks novel. It's pure and simple in a lot of ways. I love Stephanie like Noah loved Allie. This is real life, not a movie. There are however, two songs that always make me think of her and appreciate our love even more. All Of Me "all your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections" brings me right to her every time I hear it. The next is Whatever It Is "when she loves me, girl that's how I feel. When she loves me, I'm on top of the world. Because when she loves me, I can live forever. When she loves me, I am untouchable." At the end of the day, no matter what happens to me, if I know she loves me and support me, there isn't anything I can't do.

{SIX}
Where would you go if you could have another honeymoon?
My favorite place to go with her was and likely will always be where I gave her the seashell ring. 

Today's post is a part of the Wife2Wife linkup.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Free Summer Fun - Playscapes

With summer underway here, it's time for us to spend more time outside soaking up the sun and "payin'" as Connor says until we can't "pay" anymore. On any given day, we will head out around 9:30AM to a local park to play and visit with friends until it's time to head home for lunch and nap.

Connor is just now to the point where he has mastered about 80% of most play grounds. There are still a few parts that are too big for him or that I'm just not comfortable with him attempting just yet. I like being able to sit back, chat with another Mom, while Connor plays and discovers. 


One of the perks of living in the south, is that there are parks every where. Our neighborhood has two small ones just inside of our subdivision. With a quick Google search, I discovered Round Rock has over 20 parks listed on their City of Round Rock site. Can you say summer park bucket list? 

I would be lying if I didn't say I simply love that parks wear Connor out. 2 hours of playing, climbing and discovering wipes him out. He goes down for a nap easily and wakes up ready to tackle our chores and errands in the afternoon. But really, the best part about park play is that it's FREE! 

Often time, we spend our time at our local parks taking full advantage of the playscapes but every once in a while, we visit a local spot that has ducks. And well that's pretty much the best. thing. ever to a little boy.


Connor loves feeding, chasing, talking and playing with his friends the ducks. This fun, yet simple and free activity allows for us to get outdoors and explore, meet some new (animal) friends and enjoy the warm temperatures. 

Our number one free summer activity is going to parks. Have you Googled your hometown to see how many parks you have at your disposal? I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised by how many you have to choose from. I know I was.

Share your favorite summertime activity with a comment below.
I would love to get more ideas on how to spend our mornings.

Friday, May 23, 2014

I just like to SMILE...

 ...smiling's my favorite...

If there is one thing Connor is good for, it's making us smile. Even when I'm completely exhausted thanks to nightly wake-up calls from the little guy, on a daily basis he does something that makes me smile, laugh and thank God for giving us such a wonderful little blessing.

Earlier this week, we took a day to ourselves to just hang out and not have to rush to and from place to place. The weather was perfect so we got our bike (the stroller.. Connor calls is a bike) out and took a 20 minute walk to the park in our neighborhood.

Connor has been really clingy from day one, it's safe to say it's part of his personality. But lately he has started playing independently, taking the chance to discover his surroundings without my assistance. At the park, he climbed the stairs, crawled through the tunnel and slid down the slide without ever looking over his shoulder to make sure I was nearby.

Connor is and always has been a fan of parks and is always excited when we spend the morning at one. One part of the park Connor hasn't been a fan of is the swings. No matter what we try, he just would rather not be swinging. He is all boy and likes to go, go, go and yeah, you guessed it.. GO! But on Monday, I thought I'd give it a shot. And I'm so glad I did.



Seeing the joy on our little guys face, completely melted in my heart, not to mention that I was grinning from ear to ear. Discovering that Connor has slowly but surely decided to love swinging now makes spending hours at the park, that much more fun. Now, if we could just keep him from throwing rocks and mulch, we would be golden!

What made you smile this week? 
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

10% Happier Book Review

Today, I'm sharing a review on my most recent Litfuse book - 10% Happier.

 
10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.

After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had both propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business and also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.

We all have a voice in our head. It’s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we’re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we’re stuck with this voice – that there’s nothing we can do to rein it in – but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It’s a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it’s something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the under reported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness.
10% Happier caught my attention right from the first page. Harris' has an open and candid way of writing that makes you feel like you are talking to a close friend. He doesn't come across preachy, pushing ways to improve your life. By sharing the details on his worse moment, you learn how he was able to step back and take the time and effort needed to fix what was broken within himself. Thanks to the writing style of Harris, you find yourself examining your own life through out the book, wondering if the tips he shares will help you quiet the voice inside your head. I enjoyed how honest Dan is with his lowest of lows and highest of highs. 10% Happier has humor and honesty that you don't often find in a self-help novel. A great read to help you examine your life and encourage self meditation.

Dan uses meditation to help calm his inner voice. What do you do to calm yourself? To reduce stress? A long walk to clear my head and stretch my muscles always works well for me. I always enjoy losing myself in a good book to take me away from any current problems I may be facing. 

(As always, I received 10% Happier at no cost in return for my honest published opinions and review)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stick Together

We just got home from a morning with our friends Chrissy and Sienna. Connor is napping and I'm going to attempt to share some (deep) thoughts with you. Have some patience, it might be a bit hard for me to word it so it's understandable.

Life is hard.
Parenting is rough.
Being a stay at home Mom isn't for the faint of heart.

Before I go on too much more, I have a very good life. I don't want to put out some vibe that I'm miserable in my world. I'm not. Other than wanting a few things to fall in place, my life is good. No complaints. 

But like I said, things get hard, even flat out rough and you better be prepared for a bumpy day here or there. Sometimes it's something like your car needing maintenance and you don't have the extra cash. Or your toddler decided today would be the perfect time to let their inner demon out. Maybe you are feeling bad about yourself. You know? Things aren't what they once were. While not every day is filled with one challenge after another, life has a way of calling the shots. You just gotta be able to roll with the punches.

And stick together. 

I mentioned we just got back from seeing Chrissy and Sienna. It's been nearly 3 months since we've spent any time with our friends. Life is busy and things happen and the next thing you know, you haven't touched base with your core group in weeks/months. 

This morning was just what I needed. A simple walk and park play with some low key friends that don't have expectations for us to meet. We hang out when we can and enjoy every minute of it and hope the next time we get together isn't so far away.

But we stick together. We picked up where we left off and we chatted about the kids, our husbands and life. We took in loads of sunshine and baby laughter and hugs and took time to enjoy the company of another Mom. Chrissy has this calming effect on me. She allows me to just be. And that's a great place for me to escape to every once in a while. 

To piggy bank off that thought, last night I was out until 11:45 PM - yeah, I know... PARTY ANIMAL, with some girlfriends talking, playing Cards Against Humanity and enjoying some responsibility free time. We laughed until we cried, dropped F bombs like it was our job and enjoyed the company of friends without worrying about saying or doing the wrong thing. We were able to just be.

The last two days have taught me that although days are sometimes oh so long with your little ones at home and things happen that blow your perfectly scheduled day to bits, sticking together with those who are in the same season of life as you has a way of making the days less crazy and more manageable. We have a fabulous resource and support system in each other. We can depend on our Mom friends for more than just weekly play dates. They are there to answer your bizarre poop questions. They are just a call a way when you need a last minute sitter when something pops up. They are a shoulder to cry on when no one else seems to understand.

We stick together.

Because if we don't? The little ones will take over. And we all know what kind of shit storm that will be. 

So call a friend you haven't heard from in a while. Reach out to someone that you'd like to get to know outside of your Mom group. Find a few ladies you wanna make it through this messy, tantrum filled, sippy cup throwing phase of life with. 

And stick together.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Currently

Today, I want to share a fun linkup with you. Jenna, founder of A Mama Collective, has a weekly linkup "Currently" that allows us to share what's going on in our world. This is my first week joining Jenna and so many others and I like how the prompts let me share a bit about myself.


Thinking about: how I have a lot to accomplish while Connor sleeps. As much as I would love to say when he is sleeping it's "me time", it's not. Or it can't be. Those short but sweet hours of baby freedom allows me to get so many things taken care of without having little feet following me, "helping". I could always get up before hours before Connor and get things done but let's face it, I'm not a fan of an alarm clock.

Reading: Shine Shine Shine for June's book club meeting. So far, it's been pretty hard to get into but I've read fabulous reviews on it so I'm hoping it picks up soon. Along with that, I just finished this week's The Story chapters for a Bible study I'm working on with a girlfriend.

Listening to: Christmas music and the sound of white noise coming through the baby monitor. Yes, Christmas music. I listen to it every time I blog. I don't know why or how it even started but I've been doing it for as long as I can remember. Christmas music puts me in the best of moods.

Watching: the clock. I need to have this post written and posted so I can shower and get ready for the rest of the day while CJ sleeps. My life revolves around seeing how much I can do without having Connor climbing my legs to get to the computer, stove, dishwasher (anything really) and seeing how much I can do while it's just me awake and moving.

Thankful for: the most perfect weekend with my husband and son. We did family outings both days that allowed us to enjoy the sunny weather we had and I was able to take walk/runs both Saturday and Sunday sans baby. Some of our weekends are so jammed packed I feel like I need an extra day to get to relax but this weekend was full of fun and relaxation and I would love to see a repeat this weekend.

Now it's your turn to share your "current" thoughts with me. 
Pick a bullet point and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finish This...

Happy Friday! As crazy as this week has been, I'm pumped for the weekend. We have plans for a low key, relaxing weekend and I can't wait to spent it with my boys. Today, I'm hooking up with Nicole at Three 31 for this week's "Finish This" linkup.

 
A lesson I learned from my mom … you will never have all the answers. You'll never have it all together. But what you will have... the memories, the laughter, the fun, the pain, the heartache, it's all worth it. Tomorrow will always be better if today has been rough and there is nothing comfort food can't fix. 

To burn calories, I … chase and play with Connor. All. Day. Long. And when that's not enough (trust me, it's not), I take my happy butt to the Y for a class or go on a walk around the neighborhood with Connor and Cox. 

My best hair day was … last Friday. Any time I get my hair cut, the day after is always a good hair day. If only I had a personal hairstylist to do my hair every day. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I am grateful for … being home after a rough start to our week and that Connor's pediatrician was able to give Connor the right medication for his ear infection. This week has been a rough one but like Momma said, tomorrow will be better.

Now it’s your turn. Answer these prompts below in the comment section of Wife Mommy Me.  And be sure to join Nicole and I next Wednesday for another round of "Finish This" where we’ll answer the prompts below:

Prompts for WEEK 20 (May 21) are:
My favorite recipe is …
I believe in …
I need to set boundaries …
I began living when …

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Celebrating Mother's Day has yet again but more than just a simple day all about mom. Last year, Connor was dedicated on Mother's Day and this year, we traveled to IL to witness my baby brother graduate college. With all these important events falling on Mother's Day, I kept help but wonder what next year will hold for our family.  And now.. the photo dump from our weekend.


Here's the graduate. CA graduated with double bachelors in Physics and Chemistry with a Minor in Math. Yeah, exciting right? He is one smart cookie though and I'm so proud of him. There is nothing this guy can't do.


Why you gotta be serious all the time? That's our motto and this is picture proof that we, when together, Chester and I are complete fools.


I can't believe how grown up both my baby brothers are. I remember when they were just little fellas and I would boss them around. I don't get to boss them anymore and they are far from little.


The whole clan, minus James who was our photographer. I was so happy everyone was looking at the camera and smiling... well except Momma. Who knows what she is doing?


My little family of 3. How I love these fellas! Nothing in the world makes me happier than being a wife and Mommy.

I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend Mother's Day. I was able to see my Mom and family, celebrate my brother and Connor smiled for photos. Over all, it was a beautiful day. 

I hope each of you spent it with those dearest to you, feeling appreciated and loved.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Best Photograph - #WMMPhotoFav

If you've been a fan of Wife Mommy Me long enough, you know that I've been trying my hand at photography. Simply put, I'm in love with photography. The best part for me is the hunt of taking that one photo that you can't help but share or better yet, print (what's that right?) and frame. I'll be quick to point out that I am not a professional nor do I think I have the skill to be one anytime in the near future. However, I am darn near obsessed with our little guy so I usually spend my days snapping photos of him which gives me plenty of practice.

I've taken nearly 7,500 photos of Connor in the last 18 months. More than enough to document his short existence. Most photos are blurry and out of focus because let's face it, getting a toddler to sit still is nearly impossible. And forget about having them look at the camera. God forbid!

But every once in a while, my desire and incredible determination pays off and I get a photo that I just adore. One that I think will forever be a photo that we cherish and share. To date, I think this is the best photo I've taken of Connor.


This was during Connor's first Easter Egg Hunt. He was running away from me (and my camera) and I pointed out to him that Dyllan (his best friend and Texas love) was right behind him. He turned around with the biggest grin and I just snapped my camera. I honestly think I just got lucky when it came to this photo. Luck or not, discovering this photo on my camera sent a thrill through me. I love the expression on his face. The cocked eyebrow is a trait he gets from his Daddy. I love the how big and independent he looks. More than anything, I love that smile. Nothing makes a Momma's heart skip faster than seeing joy on their child's face.

While my photography skills have a ways to go, I see the potential in my work when I look at this photo. Capturing our every day life is turning into a hobby along with the chance to one day share all of Connor's first and milestones through photos. My photos. 

I was once told to always carry your camera with you. That you never know what you will have a chance to take a once in a life time photograph. I take that advice to the furthest limits and snap 15-20 photos a day. Mostly because I never know what I might end up with.

Do you have a photo that you just love? One that is a favorite to be cherish for years to come? Share that special photo with me on Instagram by using the hashtag #wmmphotofav. I would love to see your photos. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

All About My Motherhood

With Mother's Day this weekend, I can't help but sit and wonder how I was ever so lucky to be given the title of Momma, hand picked to be Connor's Mom. The role of Momma has proven to be far tougher than I ever imagined. However, it's also been the most rewarding.


I've been a Momma for 18 short months and yet, I can't remember ever loving life more. To me motherhood is all about...

... learning something new every day. Be it a new trick to keep the little one happy or the exact type of dinosaur on Dinosaur Train. You are constantly learning.

... the nightly wake up calls night after night for no reason other than he wants his Momma to hold him.

... spending all your money on someone who could careless about what he is wearing.

... discussing poop with your husband, family and friends without thinking twice.

... finally appreciating your Mom.

... singing the songs to your child's favorite song long after they are off to bed.

... learning the concept of Mommy guilt all to well. 

... looking forward to grocery shopping solo.

... never using the restroom alone again.

... accepting that your to do list will never be completed.

... loving someone more than you ever thought possible. Giving them all you have to offer in hopes that it's enough, that he or she grows to know that they are loved beyond measure.

What does motherhood mean to you? 
Happy Mother's Day to each of you celebrating this weekend.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Must Confess - Round 2


... I am over planning and preparing dinner. It's the single task I hate. I need to figure out a way to prepare it without having to do much work, let alone require too much thought. If I had it my way, we would get carryout every evening. But that's not gonna happen nor do I really want that for the boys and I.

... The amount of murder television I watch is damn near disturbing. I'm fairly certain I can plan and execute the perfect murder and get away with it. 

... The following actresses get on my every last nerve: Lea Michelle, Kate Hudson and Kristen Stewart. Each of these "talented" ladies are my personal form of nails on a chalkboard. 

... I follow someone on Instagram that I'm not particularly fond of. The amount of drama that she brings on herself is reason alone to follow her, it's that comical. She is a walking train wreck; you know the kind that you can't help but watch unfold? 

... My feet are in need of a pedicure like never before. My heels are so dry they could be used in place of sandpaper. 

... Complaining about our family's spending freeze on Facebook resulted in my girlfriend purchasing a backpack for C for school this fall. I should feel some sense of shame but I don't. At all. Thanks Favorite Aunt Kristen. 

Now it's your turn! Share something you need to confess. I promise this is a judge free zone!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

From Mess to Keepsake

Today, I want to share with you, what I think, is the sweetest keepsake idea I've ever thought of. A few weeks ago, I shared with ya'll our messy play date. In true Momma fashion, I snapped lots of pictures. One area I focused on was the finger painting station. Here is Connor in action.


Nowadays, most photos end up on my computer and blog, never to be developed. But I wanted to capture Connor's first of many messy play dates and document it. After the play date, I let Connor's masterpiece dry and picked a photo from the day that I wanted to print and display. Once I had the photo in hand along with his painting, I went on the hunt for a simple frame to store our keepsake in. 


Connor remembers getting messy. He lifts his little hands and says "meshy meshy" each time he sees the picture frame. How could I not find a way to keep the memory as fresh as possible for him? He enjoyed that day so very much. The messy play date came and went but thanks to a simple idea, I was able to create a keepsake that we allow us to relive our first messy play date long after. 
 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Goals Recap - Month 4

It's a new month so it's time to hold myself accountable regarding the goals I've set for myself. Here is a break down of the six areas I'm focusing on.

.:BLOGGING:.
Here is the breakdown on my numbers on each social media outlet I'm registered with: Facebook: 1,139 likes, Bloglovin: 584, GFC: 462, Instragram: 580, Pinterest: 781 and Twitter: 614. I'm really growing my social presence and that has allowed me to discover some fun new reads and I've been able to grow my readership as well. I can't stress enough how I am not worried about reaching a certain number. Seeing my numbers grow shows that the time I've been spending mingling and supporting others is helping Wife Mommy Me as well. With summer right around the corner, I will be blogging less. Our schedule is going to be busy this summer so the blog will have to take a backseat to creating memories with the guys.

.:READING:.
As of the end of April, I reached 36% of my reading goal of 30 books in 2014. I've read 11 books so far this year. In March, I read The Husband's Secret and started a Bible study based on the novel The Story.
 
.:CLASSES:.
I have decided to see how well I can do self teaching Lightroom. There are tons of videos on YouTube that offer detailed instructions on how to use the software. I have also found some blogs that are strictly photography related that have free tutorials. If I don't seem to be getting what I want from the online tools, I plan to enroll in a class.

.:DEBT:.
We have decided to really focus on spending less in every area of our life. While I was having fun completing the savings jar challenge, we are putting every single extra dollar directly into our savings account. We have a plan in place for what the savings will be used for later this year and I'm really excited about the opportunity, which has made saving so much easier.

.:ORGANIZATION:. 
It seems like month after month, I'm purging our home of baby clothes. Dude had way too much! But this month, the clothes were easy to tackle so I turned my attention to ridding ourselves of some toys. Thanks to a girlfriend who's little guy was in need of some boy toys, I was able to clean out some toys that C didn't play with much. This week, I'm going to focus on our bedroom and our walk-in closet.

.:HEALTH/FITNESS:.
I've lost 3.6 pounds in April. That's a tiny drop in a big fat bucket but each day is a new chance to make it happen and that's what I've been focusing on. I've been walking more, adding runs in when I think I can handle it. My first 5k is in June so that's what I'm working towards right now. I have also started doing some yoga when C heads to bed at night when Mister is away on business. It helps me unwind and I love how I feel the next morning. 
 
I know the New Year was so. very. long. ago but I hope you are still working on your goals. Are you? What areas are you succeeding in? Which ones are you struggling with?

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Milestone Memory

As a blogger Mom, there are monthly milestones that are celebrated and documented with posts and photos. Ones that are plastered all over Facebook, Instragram and Blogger. Connor turning 18 months old is a perfect example of such a milestone. One that came and went so quickly, I'm glad I got to document the heck out of it.


If you look real close at the picture above, you'll see that Connor has rocks in his hands. When I tell you that he loves rocks, that is no joke. He is crazy about them. I love that this picture captured his love of the outdoors. He is all boy and we are in love with every single rowdy piece of our little guy.


Black and white photos aren't always a favorite of mine. I think they lack the dimension I love in photos but this one stole my heart. Getting a toddler to sit still is nearly impossible let alone having them to look into the distance but I'm sure Connor found something he thought was interesting and was busy wondering how he could get to it as quickly as possible. I love how I can see his Daddy in him in the photo.


Forget happy wife, it's a happy baby that makes a happy life! There is nothing I love more than the sound of Connor's laughter. And boy, does he have a big laugh! It's the kind of laugh that has the ability to make you laugh even when you aren't in the laughing mood. I hope that our sweet boy stays this happy, full of giggles because it's a good look on him, don't you think? 

With each passing day, Connor is getting that much closer to turning 2. Gaining his independence, becoming more boy with each growth spurt. As days go by, making memories and documenting our little loves life, I know that with each milestone we encounter, we have the chance to freeze time with the photos we get of our little one. 

It's moments like these that make the hard days easier to tackle. Life with Connor is simply days full of milestones and memories.
 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Saturday Blogger Spotlight - Meet Danielle



Hello to all Saturday spotlight readers! I’m Danielle and I blog at ooh breathe, just breathe. I began blogging in 2009 mostly as a way to track my running (while throwing other random life stuff in there as well) and just recently we had our first baby, Henry! I’m now getting back into running and training for marathon #9 this month. Thank you, Stephanie, for having me as one of your spotlights!

You are an avid runner. What race are you most proud to have completed? 
What pushed you to train and run the way you do?

Yes it’s true, I love to run. Some might call it an addiction; I like to call it a passion. It’s really my "me time". I use running not only to keep in shape but to keep me sane in this ever changing/crazy life we live in. especially now with having a baby! I was lucky to have been able to continue running throughout most of my pregnancy, and ran a 5k, 10k, and two full marathons while pregnant. I think the race that I am most proud to have completed was this past November- the All Women and One Lucky Guy half marathon. I was coming off of two other half marathons in the previous 4 weeks, and I worked really hard to come back from having Henry and managing the new lifestyle (while going back to work full time as well) and was able to get a personal record for this race of 1 hour and 48 minutes. I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish in the past, recently, and hopefully in the future. I know that my husband is proud of me as well (and he is now training for a half marathon too!) and most of all, I am hoping that I will someday make Henry proud. 

As a mother to Henry, what do you think your greatest parenting moment has been so far? 
Your biggest parenting fail?

Since he is only 11 months old, this is difficult to say, but I think my greatest parenting moment so far has been that I was able to breast feed Henry until he was 4 months old. I felt like I gave him a great gift in doing this and the bond that we solidified in that time is priceless. Along those lines, I feel my biggest parenting fail would be that I was unable to continue longer than 4 months. I know deep down that is not really a "failure", but I had a very difficult time letting it go and really felt like I was failing him, despite the fact that I couldn’t do it any longer. Before I had him I didn’t think that I was going to enjoy breastfeeding, but I knew it was what was best for him. I was very surprised that I ended up loving it (I didn’t love having to do it on the 95 degree days or pumping after each feeding or feeling like my boobs were going to explode, but overall it was a wonderful experience). Henry is a healthy, strong, growing boy and I know I gave him everything I could for as long as I was able to.

If Hollywood was to make a movie about your life, what would the title be and who would star as you?

"Behind the starting line" starring Julianne Hough

Please share what a perfect day would be like for you. 

First of all we wouldn’t have all cold weather and snow... a perfect day would be waking up with a cup of coffee, a nice long run, and then spending the day with Ty (my husband) and Henry. Taking a family walk with our dog, Duke, or just lounging around in our sweats. I just like the family together time (of course while also getting in my run for myself).

What has been the most rewarding part of blogging?

The amazing people I have met through blogging is by far the most rewarding part of it all. My husband doesn’t blog or tweet and therefore doesn’t quite understand it, but the support I have received with both my running and during pregnancy/after giving birth, has been amazing. I’m a very social person and I have many friends outside of blogging, but the friendships I have gained through blogging are also ones that I really love, despite not having met many of them (and the ones I have met I have great friendships with!). I feel that I am the same person in my blog than I am in real life, and I don’t try to be someone I am not through my writing.
  
Using the first letter of your first name, D, describe yourself in 5 words:
Determined, Dedicated, Daring, Difficult and Decisive

Thursday, May 1, 2014

$450 Cash Craft Dictator Blogiversary Giveaway

$450 Craft Dictator Blogiversary Cash Giveaway!

Welcome to the $450 Craft Dictator Blogiversary Cash Giveaway!

We are so excited to be celebrating our One Year Blogiversary over at Craft Dictator!  We are also excited to get to giveaway $450 PayPal Cash to celebrate and that we have some awesome bloggers to celebrate with us!  All you have to do is enter to win below and follow all of our bloggy friends here!  We also have some amazing co-host so make sure you go by their blogs and check them out!  
Craft Dictator was started last year by myself (Cara) and my mom (Rhonda) as a way for us to show off our craft and diy projects!  We would have never guessed how much fun it would be and what a supportive blogging community we would be apart of!  So this giveaway is a THANK YOU to all of you!

The following are all of our wonderful co-host so make sure you go and check out all of their blogs!

 

Now onto the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Make sure to Pin or Share our Giveaway with your friends!
 
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