Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 : A Year in Review

2014 has been a fabulous year for me, my family and Wife Mommy Me. I wanted to end the year recapping some highlights from the year with posts that I enjoyed writing and sharing with my readers.

:: JANUARY ::


:: FEBRUARY ::

I shared Heather's story & Lung Leavin' Day || Connor's FIRST hair cut || How To Backup Your Blog: A Tutorial || On Finding My Place

:: MARCH ::

Learning to Love Yourself More || My Life: Before & After || 1,000 Days || It's true: Babies Don't Keep

:: APRIL ::

 C's FIRST Easter Egg Hunt || Card Keepsake Craft || Amber Teething Necklaces -- My Thoughts

:: MAY ::


:: JUNE ::


:: JULY ::


:: AUGUST ::


:: SEPTEMBER ::


:: OCTOBER ::


:: NOVEMBER ::


:: DECEMBER ::



However you're spending the very last day of 2014, I hope you are planning to tackling the new year with purpose and motivation, in hopes of making a little magic. Tomorrow starts a fresh chapter of your story! Happy New Year! 

Welcome 2015! Let's do this! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mom Talk Tuesdays


You know the saying "It takes a village"? I never knew what it really meant until we became parents. Add parenthood to moving across the country, I soon learned that counting on others to lend advice, tips and tricks and at times brutal honesty was just the tip of the iceberg when it came learning all about being a Mom and Dad. And let's be honest here, there is always something new to learn and things change so fast that it's really hard to keep up.

Because "the village" is filled with Moms of all walks of life, I thought wouldn't it be fantastic if we all could pool together our thoughts, tips and tricks and pieces of advice in one place. And that's how Mom Talk Tuesdays came about. So many times, I have Googled this or Pinterest that for an answer to question or concern I have and often times, I'm led to a blog post written by a Mom who has been challenged with the same struggles and obstacles as I.

Starting in January, Mom Talk Tuesdays will give Moms a chance to give ideas and take ideas to help foster growth and encouragement as a parent and as a women. Winter is closing in on us in Texas so I thought what better way to kick off this linkup than with our first topic: Indoor Toddler Fun. I can't wait to read what ya'll do to combat cabin fever.

To say I'm excited about this project is an understatement. Building a strong "mom" based support group is so important for any mom out there and I'm hoping this online forum provides support and encouragement to any Momma that stumbles across our posts. So save the image above for reference and grab the button on the right side of my side bar and come back next month and join us in enlightening parents every where.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Toddler Bible Study Introduction

As a parent, it's important to me (and James) that Connor be raised in a home that prays, attends church and lives as Godly a life as possible. While my plans for such are a work in progress, as am I, I wanted to kick off 2015 with a renewed focus of our relationship with Christ.

I want to share a little bit of where we are in our life with religion and church: When we moved to RR, we threw ourselves into a local church. Along with joining MOPS, I attended a women's book club at the church and attending quarterly bible studies. In the beginning, things were exactly what I had hoped for them. People were friendly, I felt challenged and I could see the positive impact attending church and reading The Word was having on myself and my family. Soon thereafter, I starred feeling a little disconnected from the church we were attending. While there are many friendly members, I wasn't connecting with anyone my age and found building relationships to be very very difficult. I don't know if this was because I felt like a fish out of water or because the church we choose to attend was the kind of church where every one knew each other, which in my opinion left outsiders just that... on the outside. Long story short, we stop attending. I choose not to attend MOPS this Fall because I knew we were moving and we haven't been looking for a new home church.

Fast forward to today: We are in the middle of packing up to move back home. We are juggling so many things right now that attending church just isn't a priority. I realize how this sounds. Trust me, I do. But one of the things we have been focusing on is praying with Connor. Daily, we pray at dinner as a family and he and I after pray at lunch time (if things are totally hectic and I forget -- just being honest) and each night, Connor and I pray before I put him to bed. Because little ears are always always listening, I took K-LOVE's 30 Challenge and only allow Christian music when C's around.

I think it's important for me to point out that while I try, I fail just like the next mom. Yes, Connor hears and sees things that I wish he didn't. Some of those of those things come directly from me. We parent the very best way possible. However, we are not perfect parents.

Having said that, I have any say or control over it, I want any and every message Connor encounters to be a Godly one. Starting in January, I will be implementing a toddler/children Bible study into our daily routine. I have picked out verses based on skills/characteristics we want Connor to associate with The Lord.

Every 3 weeks or so, I will share our focus word (listed above) along with a verse that stresses that word along with a simple prayer for Connor to say at the end of the day using our focus word. My goal is to give special attention to each word, providing Connor a better understanding of what listening, teaching, encouraging and so on means along with detailing how our Heavenly Father is all of these things in one person.

Our first lesson kicks off Monday, January 5th. Check back for a printable document to use at home for added support on your quest to share the Bible with your little one!

*All lessons will be added to this post as they go LIVE*

 LESSON 1:: Listens
LESSON 2 :: Loves
LESSON 3 :: Smiles

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014 Recap

Yesterday, well... yesterday was perfection. Connor's 3rd Christmas was everything I hoped it to be. As parents, Christmas 2014 was the best one yet. CJ was totally aware of all the fun in store for him with Santa's arrival. Needless to say, he was in HEAVEN and we spent the day knee deep in little boy wonder.


Christmas Eve Night :: the scene is set for Christmas morning. Santa arrives and enjoys cookies and milk and the reindeer munch on a clementine. Rumor has it that they are sick of carrots. Who could blame them? Santa sets out Connor's asked for items -- Rocky from Paw Patrol and a black race car.


Christmas morning :: This is what you call the PERFECT reaction to discovering Santa has indeed arrived. Connor was beside himself with excitement over all the gifts but more than anything, he was thrilled that Santa indeed brought him his beloved, Rocky.


Once the initial shock wore off, Connor tore into this gifts. This is one very very spoiled boy. I can't think of one thing he wanted that he didn't get. From friends and family in Ohio to local friends along with James and I, there is NOTHING this little fella could possibly need. Between the toys, figurines, movies and clothes, CJ is set for a while. And the playdough? He has enough to get us through the cold winter months in store for us in Ohio.


The aftermath including a room full of wrapping paper, toys and a little boy who couldn't have been happier. We hope ya'll had the best Christmas!

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours


May you have the happiest, jolliest, most blessed Christmas while always remembering the reason of this season. 
Merry Christmas from James, Connor and I. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas 2014 Photo Challenge :: Day 17-24

Merry Christmas Eve! Today is the last day of our photo challenge. As of this morning, we've had 342 photos uploaded! 342!!! That totally blows me away and I couldn't be happier with the show of support for my first ever photo challenge. If you are wondering if I'll make this an annual thing... well you can beat your Christmas stocking it will be back for Christmas 2015!

Today, I'm sharing days 17-24 with you. You can find our photos from days 1-9 HERE and 10-16 HERE. These photos and many many more can be found on Instagram.

Day 17 || TREE - I've been adding ornaments all year long and finally, it was set for our Pajama Play Date with friends.

Day 18 || GIFTS - The best gifts is the one of friendship, no matter how little the friend. 

Day 19 || INSPIRATION - James, my inspiration to be better, do better and be more. 

Day 20 || PAJAMAS - Connor loves his festive pjs from Aunt Dean.

Day 21 || HAPPINESS - Happiness is being up way past bedtime, enjoying Christmas lights and Toy Story 3

Day 22 || SANTA - Connor's first ever photo shoot in 2012. The theme? Cookies with Santa. 

Day 23 || GLITTER - Ornaments made for our family and friends with just a touch of glitter. 

Day 24 || LIGHTS - John 8:12 -- I am the light of the world; God's promise to us.

Every single day I looked forward to capturing a photo that would detail our prompts. Connor was more than willing to pose a time or a dozen. I hope each of you have a Merry Christmas, spent with the ones you love, making the very best memories possible. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Designed by Erin {Flash GIVEAWAY}

I have 2 confessions - 1: I'm obsessed with the perfect blog look and 2: I've found the best blog designer with the most incredible price. 

I've been blogging for a while now and have had 3 blog designers work on my blog to give Wife Mommy Me a look that I would love. The first design wasn't exactly what I had in mind but worked and as a new blogger, I didn't think long term. The second time I worked with a very popular blogger/designer and felt that my money would have been better used elsewhere. I felt rushed and ignored. The idea I had in mind was nothing the designer I worked with gave me. But because I'm not made of money I lived with both designs and thought nothing of it. 

With all the changes we have coming up (our move back to Ohio) and adding some networking to my blog, I knew it was time to reach out and find a new blog look that was "me". I don't exactly know how I came across Erin over at Love Fun Football but I did and let me tell you: she is my soul sister. Not only are we both from Ohio, the two of us are Bengals fans and love a good dose of Mexican food. After reading her blog for a while, I discovered that Erin did blog design as well: Designed by Erin. Since I loved her blog (and it's look) and her sister in law Kayla's blog as well, I knew Erin was my go to girl. 

And if you know me at all or got the message earlier that I'm picky with my blog design (and most things in life), you can bet I made Erin work for her money. But the best part was that Erin just got what I wanted right off the bat. The process was easy and I felt like Erin cared about what I wanted for WMM. Erin had me complete a quick Q&A with what I was looking for in my new design and within days I had a blog design I loved. I had her tweak a few things and add this or that and BAM! Wife Mommy Me was redesigned and prettier than ever before. 

I adore Erin and her designs so much that I reach out to her and asked her if she would be interesting in giving away one FREE blog design to one lucky blogger. The winner will receive the following:


What blogger wouldn't love to start the New Year with a fresh look to their url? I know I would love to walk away with this package. Entering is easy. Follow the prompts listed in the Rafflecopter box below. This FLASH giveaway is for one day only so be sure to enter now! Winner will be announced via Wife Mommy Me's Facebook page. GOOD LUCK!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Neatly - Packaged : My Marriage "Advice"

Today's post is short and sweet. You can find me taking over Nancy's blog: Neatly - Packaged

Nancy is now a married woman and is on her honeymoon. Lucky lady! The only thing better than being on a honeymoon is having a honeymoon near or on Christmas. We all know I would be in HEAVEN!  

:: I don't want to give away too much of my most BUT here is a sneak peak of what my post is about :: 
+ There is no such thing as perfect
+ Men are messy
+ Communication is key

For more on my thoughts on marriage and my 3 pieces of advice, hop over to Nancy's blog and read my post. Leave a comment here letting me know what you think of my guest post.

Friday, December 19, 2014

5 Must Make Sweet Treats for this Holiday

If you are anything like me, you are the first to volunteer to bring something sweet to any family or friend gathering. Maybe it's because I'm a total addicted to sugar {#truth} but I have to make sure there is something sugary and calorie filled to enjoy while celebrating. And because Pinterest is the new Google, you can find anything and everything for your special occasion. But if you wanna bypass both Pinterest and Google this holiday, you can because I have 5 sweet treats that will be the hit of any holiday party. 



Who's ready to start baking? All recipes are from the newly engaged Mary who blogs over at Eat, Drink and Be Mary. Adorable blog name, right? The cuteness doesn't end there. Mary herself is just too sweet and so is her slice of the world wide web. The recipes don't stop with the 5 I've shared. There are tons more on this Pinterest board: B L O G [ Eat Drink & Be Mary]

Now, to decide what I'm going to make for our Christmas Eve celebration with Fav Kristen & Penn!

Happy Friday, friends!
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I MUSTACHE You Some Questions

Folks, my mind is mush. With Christmas just a week away, this Momma is in full force, juggling 36 different tasks and being stretched far too thin. When Jenny over at The Chronicles of We tagged me for a series of get to know you questions, I thought "yes!!! Something I can handle without much thought". #truth 


Four names other people call me, other than my real name...
+ Steph
+ Stephie
+ Momma/Mommy/Mom
+ TayTay

Four jobs that I've had...
+ Student Services Coordinator
+ BMV Clerk
+ Store Manager
+ Office Assistant

Four movies that I've watched more than once...
+ Dirty Dancing
+ Forrest Gump
+ Shawshank Redemption
+ Gone With The Wind

Four places that I've lived...
+ Miamisburg
+ Dayton
+ Tiffin
+ Round Rock

Four places I have been...
+ Tennessee
+ Florida
+ Colorado
+ Louisiana

Four places I'd rather be right now...
+ Home for the holidays
+ In bed
+ Any place tropical
+ Golden, CO

Four things I won't eat...
+ Kale
+ Sushi
+ Onions
+ Chickpeas

Four of my favorite foods...
+ Anything and everything Italian
+ Frozen custard
+ Pickles
+ Asparagus 

Four TV shows that I watch... (just 4??)
+ Mob Wives -- judge away!
+ Anything with the Property Brothers -- Drew and Jonathan Scott
+ Parenthood
+ The majority of the shows on Nick Jr. thanks to C.

Four things I'm looking forward to in 2015...
+ Being back in Ohio
+ focusing on reaching personal goals
+ Connor starting school in the Fall
+ having Thanksgiving with family again

Four things I'm always saying...
+ I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around your neck.
+ hash tag (insert just about any word here)
+ Take another bite, please.
+ Let's have some patience, okay?

Four people I tag:
+ Kayla :: My Kind of Yellow
+ Liz :: Chasin' Mason 
Happy Friday Eve, ya'll! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas 2014 Photo Challenge :: Day 10-16

Can you believe Christmas Eve is exactly one week away? Hope ya'll are ready for Jolly Saint Nick to come visit. We have some wrapping to do but overall, Christmas can come any day now. This Momma has it covered!

In preparation of Christmas Day, we've been having a blast snapping photos for our #2014ChristmasPhoto Challenge on Instagram. Last week I shared days 1-9 with you. Today, we have a pretty festive college for days 10-16. 



Day 10 || STOCKINGS - They've been hung, now they just need filled!

Day 11 ||  GREETINGS - CJ Frankenstein loves getting snail mail... especially when we get to hang it up on the door like this.

Day 12 || DOZEN - We enjoyed a fun morning decorating a dozen cookies with friends.

Day 13 || PAJAMAS - Warm and cozy in our pajamas while reading a bedtime story. 

Day 14 || CELEBRATE - Presents have been bought, ornaments have been made so now it's time to wrap wrap wrap!

Day 15 || GREEN - Connor wore a festive green tee this week. It says Daddy's on the Nice List but we all know that's a lie. 

Day 16 || COOKIES - While some enjoy the made from scratch baking style, this Momma knows when to stick with the dough boy for easy (tasty) results. 

If you aren't familiar with the challenge, each day you are given a prompt to photograph and then upload it to Instagram. If you haven't joined us yet, don't worry! Join today - the prompt is TREE - and use the hashtag #2014ChristmsPhoto. I'll be on the lookout for your photos! Then on December 24th you post a collection of the photos you've taken so far on your blog or Facebook.


As of this morning, we have had 259 photos submitted to the challenge. I never imagined so many folks would jump on board but you know? I think it has a lot to do with the Christmas spirit; it just makes you want to document a holiday well celebrated. 

Happy Hump Day, friends! 

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10 Must Watch Christmas Movies

The holidays don’t start for me until I watch my favorite Christmas movie. But off course, you can’t just stop with one, you need to watch some of the classics. This is the time of year there is no shortage of options, as many channels will be showing holiday movies all day and night. However, there are a few movies that hold up year after year. My must watch movies of the season include something for every member of the family.
Did you notice I only listed 9? That's because I kept my all time favorite out.
Which Christmas movie is a MUST WATCH for you and your family? And don't forget to check out this post where I share ABC Family's Christmas movie lineup.

Monday, December 15, 2014

See Meg Sew {GIVEAWAY}

With cooler temps (finally!!!) coming through this week, it's starting to feel like winter here in Austin. With that being said, I am really looking forward to chilly days spent curled up on the couch with a good book. When the temps drop and I get cold (which is a rarity here but not in Ohio - bring on the freeze), I love using my heating blanket or pad to warm up. When I was on the lookout for a new wireless way to warm up, I came across Megan's microwaveable heat packs. 


See Meg Sew's rice therapy hot/cold packs are designed to be microwaved for heat therapy or frozen for cold therapy. Each pack is made with a super soft flannel exterior and is filled with long grain white rice. And as an added bonus they come in fun patterns too. I choose the Cardinal Flurries for a couple reasons. First, the cardinal is Ohio's state bird and second, cardinals were a favorite of my mother in law. But there are 8 patterns to choose from. Here are a few of my top picks:


Heating and using your See Meg Sew pack couldn't be any easier. To heat your head pack, simply fold in half and microwave on high for 1 minute. Flip it and fold the opposite way and nuke again for 1 minute. 2 minutes should be hot enough but if you want a warmer flannel, just repeat the process but for just 30 seconds. Easy peasy and no outlet needed.

To help you stay warm this winter, Meg has offered to give one lucky Wife Mommy Me a microwavable pack. Entering to win is as easy as 1-2-3. Winner will be picked and announced on Friday via WMM's Facebook Page.

 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wife Mommy Me 2014 Reader Survey

 
Happy Friday friends! Would you do me a favor? I'm looking for feedback on Wife Mommy Me. This space means so much to me and I'm really looking to kick it up a notch in 2015. I want to know what you love, what you hate, how I can improve our space. Thank each of you for the continued support. I never once imagined we would be this "big".

2014 Reader Survey 
All entries have been verified and the winner was drawn by random. Comment #5 Tiffany is the winner!

Hop over to that link and complete the survey. The survey will close on Friday, December 19th .

There's something in it for you, too! A drawing for a $15 Starbucks gift card to one lucky survey taker! Once you've completed the survey, follow the prompt for you chance to win the gift card. Easy peasy, friends. Thanks a ton and HAPPY WEEKEND!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Q&A & Home Decor

Today, I'm going to answer questions from Faith's Golden Vlog linkup (via text and not a video, sorry Faith) as well as give you a glimpse of our home during the holidays. Enjoy!

What's your favorite Christmas song?
I am 100% old school and love the originals by Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra. When of my favorite Christmas CDs is Christmas with The Rat Pack. Martin's "Silver Bells" is beautiful and again, makes me wish I had been born in the 60's. I also enjoy any Chrsitmas song sung by Elvis because, it's Elvis. And I can't forget Nat King Cole. Like I said, I'm very old school when it comes to my Christmas music of choose. The only modern singers I enjoy Christmas music from is Michael Buble and Harry Connick, Jr. but then again, both have a little bit of that old crooner style of singing that I enjoy.

Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
When we are in Ohio we have to plan around my Mom's work schedule (she is an ER nurse) so there have been times when we've opened gifts Christmas Eve and others on the day of. But this year, we are staying in Texas and we will be opening gifts Christmas morning when C wakes up and has had breakfast (or that's the idea anyway).


Are you a last minute present wrapper or are you done buying and wrapping presents way in advance?
I usually buy presents throughout the year and for a week or so after Thanksgiving and then have one large wrapping session when I wrap so much that I actually start to hate the task just a bit. This year, I'm having a wrapping party with some girlfriends. We are going to bring what gifts we still need to wrap (in my case, it's all of ours) and wrap them together while chit chatting, enjoying some tasty goodies and wine.

What's your favorite Christmas movie?
I would have to say It's a Wonderful Life. I watched it for the first time in 8th grade and remember thinking that there was nothing more beautiful than the sound of bells ringing. Now as an adult, I get the true meaning behind the movie much more and find that it's a classic that must be watched every year. If you haven't watched it do so. Right now, it's available on Netflix.



What's are a couple things on your wish list?
The boring answer is gift cards to: Ulta, Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, Target. Even worse, Lowe's or Home Depot for the updates we want to do when we move back home. My fun answer would be new running shoes, a fancy laptop bag, new Alex & Ani bracelets, new to do list and grocery pads and an endless supply of sleep. Hey, I'm a Mom. We value sleep like you would NEVER imagine.

What is a favorite Christmas memory you have?
When I was about 5 or so, my Dad had bought me and my cousin Michelle Barbie Dolls. He gave her the one with perfume and I just got the boring Barbie. I was so upset and thought he liked her more than me. I've since moved on from it but it's one of the first Christmas memories I have. I still don't get why I knew he was the one giving the gift; WHAT ABOUT SANTA? 


 If you are married, how do you split your Christmas holiday with both families?
We take in consideration when my Mom works, when my niece and nephew goes to their Mom's, when James's niece and nephew will be with their Dad instead of their Mom. Sometimes we have Christmas a day or two earlier or later depending on each families schedule. It's a balancing act really but overall, we always spend Christmas morning at our home. I want Connor to always wake up in his bed Christmas morning. 

Christmas is such an important holiday for me, hands down my favorite. Yes, I deck the halls and shop to I drop but at the end of the day, I know the real importance of CHRISTmas. While that can often times gets pushed to the back burner, James and I try are hardest to keep Jesus Christ in our home throughout the year and especially on Christmas. From praying with Connor and going to church on Christmas (something we plan to start doing this year), we are always reminded what was sacrificed for our eternal love and life. 

Hope you enjoyed my Q&A and a look at some of our Christmas decor. 
Join Faith, Courtney, Jenny and Beth and share you holiday home with us.

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas 2014 Photo Challenge :: Day 1-9

I have had the best time with my #2014ChristmasPhoto Challenge. As of yesterday afternoon, we have had 159 photos submitted on Instagram. Thank you to each and every one of you who has joined us. Celebrating the holidays is what I look forward to every year and photo challenges like this one make it easier for me to have some festive fun with my blogging family. 


If you aren't familiar with the challenge, each day you are given a prompt to photograph and then upload it to Instagram. If you haven't joined us yet, don't worry! Join today - the prompt is stockings - and use the hashtag #2014ChristmsPhoto. I'll be on the lookout for your photos! Then on December 17 and 24th you post a collection of the photos you've taken so far on your blog or Facebook. Here are our photos from December 1 to December 9:


Day 1 || YOURSELF - and I know this isn't a true selfie but only Desiree complains about seeing sweet C in photos #bahhumbug 

Day 2 || RED - our storage room door is prepped and ready for our Christmas cards

Day 3 || TEXTURE - a kitchen table centerpiece full of glitter, smooth ornaments and waxy candles

Day 4 || ORNAMENT - our first Christmas ornament as a couple - dated 2008

Day 5 || TRADITION - 3 years running, we've had Kringle as our Elf on the Shelf

Day 6 || SWEETS - Mom group Christmas party means one thing: all.the.sweets.

Day 7 || LUCKY - being this boys Momma is real tangible proof that some of us just get lucky in life

Day 8 || FAVORITE - Connor was just 6 weeks old in his first Christmas themed photo

Day 9 || ELF - Kringle works hard during the month of December making Connor smile and smile 

Like I mentioned before, we are having a blast with this photo challenge. Connor likes to help me come up with ways to work with our daily prompt into our day.

Christmas is just weeks away and we have loads of shopping and wrapping still to do! Hope ya'll are having a fabulous December. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mommy & Me Book Exchange Reveal

If I could hand pick one thing I want to hand down to Connor, it would be my love of reading. We started reading to him when I was pregnant and haven't stopped. As my luck would have it, I'm fairly certain that he too, loves books. 

When Courtney, Jenny and Liz announced a Mommy & Me Book Exchange - where your Secret Santa gifts you two books, one for Momma and one for Baby - I knew Connor and I would be signing up. 
I was Secret Santa to Sara from Running From The Law. I gifted her, Mac and Mim books and really hope they enjoy them. Merry Christmas, Sara! My Santa was our host, Courtney


Courtney gifted "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" to Connor. It was so shocked that he didn't have it already but he didn't so I added it to his book wish list. I was given "The Girl You Left Behind" which as I've mentioned is a BIG favorite of mine. I had just finished it the week before I got my package from Courtney. Thanks to a little Amazon magic of sorts, I was able to keep "The Girl" and Courtney was able to send me a new book "Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir".

 

Thank you ladies for hosting this fun exchange. I can't wait to read Jenny Lawson's book and Connor is LOVING his cookie book. It's a new favorite for sure! 

Don't forget to enter my BOOK BUNDLE {Giveaway}. Included in it is "The Girl You Left Behind".

Monday, December 8, 2014

Meet Courtney - Shiraz In My Sippy Cup


Hi there! I'm Courtney and I write over at Shiraz In My Sippy Cup where I discuss all things parenting, working mom challenges and the occasional random thought or two...maybe three. I'm just a small town girl with big city dreams living life as a kick-ass Marketing Manager by day and a Wonder Woman mom by night to a beautiful and tenacious three year old (Yes, I'm fully aware that sounds like a Journey song but It works - I'm a huge Journey fan!). My baby daddy, Michael, is my best friend and partner in crime. He also loves to tell the story to people that I got him drunk at a work event and asked him to kiss me first while we were dating. Lies. All lies. I love Tennessee football, a great glass (or two!) of Shiraz wine, pearls, naps and am a proud Kappa Delta alum. I'm tackling life with a lot of laughs, sarcasm and baby wipes and am honored that Stephanie is sharing me with you all today. Thanks, Stephanie!

You are a working Momma and wife. How do you balance a having a career, raising a family and being a kick ass blogger? 
For me, it all boils down to staying organized, lots and lots of laughing (mostly at myself) and always keeping in mind what my priorities really are. Life has a great way of trying to sway us in all different directions so as long as my internal compass is in check, I feel grounded and able to balance it all. When I leave work, I leave it at the office so that my family has all of me. Blogging of course is my outlet but at the end of the day, it's a hobby so when life's challenges come calling, it's usually one of the first things to get put on the back burner and I'm perfectly OK with that. It's also the one place where I've allowed myself to be completely real and honest about my life and thoughts. I'm not perfect but I strive to keep my talk real and on point and in a blog world full of fluff, pomp and circumstance, I think my up front approach is refreshing and resonates well with other women and bloggers. I think it also helps to do life with a strong and committed partner which is what I have in Michael. Without him, I really don't know what I'd do. Single parents have my utmost respect. 

What has been your greatest parenting moment so far with Chickie? Your biggest heartache? 
Wow, this is really a tough question! Greatest parenting moment by far would have to be potty training. It sounds completely stupid to say and I feel like I'm being "that parent" but I'm just going to be honest and keep it real: teaching a toddler/preschooler to shit and pee in the right place at the right time is no joke, y'all. I've done a lot of challenging things in my life but nothing so draining, frustrating and complex as potty training. The first time I realized Chickie was really starting to get the hang of it, I felt like I had conquered the world. It's a feeling that only a parent can relate to and understand and for those of you who've been there and done that, I know you're nodding your heads right now. For those of you who will eventually be in my shoes, you will soon understand. 

My biggest parenting fail by far would have to be the day I realized that I was killing my little girl's soul with my laptop. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Maddy was playing independently with her blocks while I was paying bills, surfing, blogging, and generally just killing time. She came over to me several times to get my attention and each time was met with a, "Ok sweetie, hold on..." I happened to glance up and see the look on her face and she just looked...devastated. I in return felt like the biggest ass in the world and it was right then that I vowed to never lose my child to the computer again. I'm not perfect about this all the time but for the most part, I've really curbed how, when and why I use technology when I'm with her. I never want her to ever think that anything is more important than her. 


You blog over at Shiraz In My Sippy Cup. How did you get your blogging start and what inspired the name of your blog? 
I started blogging as most mothers do - to document our family and our daughter however, I quickly fell in love with the writing and creative outlet of it all and it just kind of took on legs of its own. When it came time to think of a name for it, Michael and I were standing in the kitchen one night enjoying some after work cocktails while Chickie was playing with her own sippy cup. She was also starting to teethe and was horribly, horribly cranky that evening. I started joking that if she was going to keep that up with the whining and fussing, I was going to need a sippy cup of my own filled with Shiraz wine and voila! Shiraz In My Sippy Cup was born. 

Which blogger do you think you would get along with in person? 
Aside from Stephanie (no really, she is my first pick), I feel like I've always had a great connection with Jenny from The Chronicles of We. I "met" Jenny online a little over a year ago and we hit it off instantly. We had a lot in common with feelings on the newborn days, PPD and being a family that feels confident in being "one and done." The funny thing is that at the time that we met online, we both lived in Colorado. We tried to make plans to meet but because of my schedule, it just didn't work out. I hope that changes someday soon!

Looking for more Courtney? Here are 5 of my favorite Shiraz posts. 
After reading these, you will know why Courtney is blogger bestie material.
 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book Bundle {Giveaway}

One of my 2014 goals was to find time to read more. I've always been a huge bookworm (I shared details about such in this post and this one) and once we had Connor, my schedule didn't really allow for reading as much as I would have liked. But I wanted to change that so I focused on working reading into my daily routine. So far in 2014, I've read a total of 27 books. I'm currently reading book number 28, Matched, and think that will be the last book of 2014. I had set a goal of 30 so I'll be 2 novels shy of that but 28 books is still impressive. 

I'm also still a huge fan of reading PRINTED books. Gasp! I know. While I will read books on the iPhone iBook app and on my Kindle, I balance it all with reading paperback books as well. Something about turning the pages to move through a story is totally comforting for me. I can't be the only one, right? I hope not because I'm giving away 5 books I've read this year and want to pass along to one lucky Wife Mommy Me reader. 


One fellow book lovin' reader will win the following book ... 

Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow
Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

The Girl You Left Behind and Sparkly Green Earrings are 2 of my favorites from the group of books I've read this year. Jojo Moyes is my new go to author when I'm looking for a fabulous read while I meet Melanie this past year at MOPS and just feel in love with her as a fellow Momma. Neither books will disappoint.

You can enter to win these books by following the prompts in the Rafflecopter below. Winner will be picked and contacted on Friday. GOOD LUCK!