November 30, 2011

a day in the life - sarah

Good morning lovelies.  I hope this hump day treats you well.  I'm so happy to introduce you to Sarah, and allow you to peek at her day.  Enjoy!


Hi there! I'm Sarah, wife to the ever-charming Patrick, and mother to the extremely adorable and feisty 18-month-old well as a sweet little girl coming this May! I'm a former marketing exec turned 2nd grade teacher turned marketing exec turned stay-at-home-mommy. Yes, you read that right...I tend to jump around a bit. Which, if you read my blog, comes as no surprise to you. My career path took all sorts of interesting turns while waiting for our family to start, as things don't always go as planned. In short, after over 2 years of trying to conceive, we were told it wasn't possible, so we began the adoption process. We were home study approved and listed with our agency for about a month when we had a surprise miracle pregnancy! Emanuel (Manny) William was born on May 17, 2010, and the Lord has blessed us beyond measure with this little guy. I am blown away that we are expecting again...I never would have imagined what the Lord had in store for us if you told me this 3 years ago!

I blog over at Life {Sweet} Life, mostly about Manny, though I also like to include crafts and DIY projects when time permits. I love the idea of documenting a day in our life, because it definitely changes so fast. Thanks for having me today let the fun begin! :)


7:45 am - I hear Manny stirring. He had been sleeping pretty regularly til 8 - 8:45, but Daylight Savings Time did a number on us. I was thankful he made it to 7:45 today! Hopefully he'll be back to normal soon...mama loves her sleep. We must start his day with a cup of's really like his morning coffee. He's so dramatic as he drinks it, barely opening his eyes and wincing at the light. Of course his Curious George is nearby...that's his new buddy, and I think it's just precious!

8:00 am - After a diaper change and finishing off his milk, he's ready for some morning reading. He is absolutely obsessed with this book he got from Chick-fil-a...I am soooo tired of reading it! He gets so excited though and it's pretty cute. :) We read it a few thousand times, then he plays for a bit while I start some laundry and unload the dishwasher.

9:00 am - Time for breakfast! Everyday is a new day with seeing what this kid will eat. Today applesauce and a banana made the cut. Along with his beloved vitamin juice...he gets super excited when he sees this container! I drink a protein shake and have a banana while he eats, and work on my to-do list for the day.

9:30 am - I turn on the 2nd half of Sesame Street, as Manny has recently taken an interest in it. He starts out in his chair, rocking some serious bed head. Soon enough he realizes that's boring, so naturally moves to the tray on the ottoman. Anything he can climb, he will! After watching a little tv, he plays for a bit. One thing I love about our new house is that his room is downstairs, so he'll go in and out of there to play. Though he's recently started shutting the door...which is hilarious to me.

11:00 am - I decide to try to put him down for a nap earlier than normal because we're supposed to be somewhere at 1:30. It wasn't successful, and he ended up playing in his crib for nearly an hour before falling asleep. I am so thankful he's pretty good at playing in his crib though! While he naps, I get ready, then work on putting together a little gift to take to the ultrasound tech who is going to do a gender ultrasound for us as a favor. I also work on some Christmas card & birthday party designs I'm doing for clients. This is something I've started doing on the side, and hope to get my act together and actually open an etsy shop soon!

1:15 pm - Manny wakes up, and I quickly get him ready so we can head to the ultrasound. Unfortunately it was pouring rain and the place was over 30 minutes away, so we were pretty late. Luckily she was just doing this in between appointments so it wasn't a big deal, but I still hated being late. Story of my life though!

2:30 pm - The ultrasound tech took a quick look and was certain of the gender, so she wrote it down and sealed it in an envelope so we could have a gender reveal party with our family on Thanksgiving. It was so fun, but the suspense killed me! After that, Manny and I ran a few errands to the bank, Michael's, and Old Navy to return some stuff.


5:00 pm - We returned home, and Manny was excited to check out one of the new books he got in the mail as part of a book exchange we signed up for. We read for a bit, work some puzzles, and then I start getting stuff ready for dinner.

6:00 pm - Daddy's home at a decent time tonight - yeah! Manny is thrilled to see him and immediately requests a back ride, and then - of course - the reading of the beloved book.

6:15 pm - I finish up dinner - Ranch Turkey Sliders & sweet potato fries. These pictures don't look all that appetizing, but they are really good and easy! I got the recipe from my sister and plan to blog it soon.

6:30 pm - Dinner time! Manny starts off with his shirt on, but we quickly remember why we don't allow that and strip him down. He's such a mess at mealtime, and loves to wipe his grimy paws all over us!

7:00 pm - We play a little bit more, get ready for bed, and then have a cup of milk to start the wind-down process around 7:30. Daddy is so tired by this point he's starting to fade...but not Manny - he seems to get a second wind of course! He plays for a little longer, then it's lights out at 8 pm sharp.

8:00 pm - Patrick and I catch up on the dvr with a little Modern Family, Big Bang, and Castle. Things have been busy so we fell behind! In the meantime, I do some designing on the computer then some crafting. I make onesies with my Cricut for the gender reveal party and paint a few more chalkboard frames for gifts. They've been a huge hit and are so simple - they're definitely my new go-to gift!

10:45 pm - Patrick heads to bed, and I realize I've never had my quiet time today - prime example of why I need to do it earlier in the day. Needless to say, this is something I need to be more intentional about, but I figure late is better than not at all.

11:15 pm - I straighten the living room and kitchen, and decide to call it a night. Now that I'm in my 2nd trimester, I'm finally able to stay up past 9 pm (some nights anyway) but am still trying not to let my night owl tendencies get the best of me. Especially since Manners will be full of energy and ready for another busy day tomorrow!


1.  What is the most surprising thing about being a mom? I'm going to be cliche' here and say that the love you feel for your child just overwhelms you. I had no clue it would be so consuming like it is. Every night when I put him to bed, I can't wait to see him in the morning! And of course we think everything he does is the neatest thing ever. It really is such an amazing feeling.

2.  What advice would you give new or soon-to-be moms? I would say to do what you feel is right as a parent. It's great to reach out to friends, family, and other moms for advice and support, but I have been blown away at how judgmental other mom's can be. I think just taking things with a grain of salt will help from getting your feelings hurt. Also, when you're going through the hard times - just remind yourself that this is just a season, and it will pass, and believe it or not, you will miss the tiny screaming baby stage! (kind of) :)

3.  What are your top three baby products? As far as newborn baby products, we LOVED gripe water, and I wish I'd known about it sooner than I did! Manny always had the hiccups, and this cured them instantly. The Wubbanub pacifier holder/stuffed animal thing was also super helpful when Manny was tiny. It helped keep the paci in, and Manny would cuddle the sweet. :) My third thing would be some kind of white noise or sound machine for when they're sleeping. We actually just use an iPod docking station with a playlist on repeat. You can download all sorts of white noise "songs" on iTunes, and we liked the option of an iPod because then we could also listen to fun music during the day on the same piece of equipment.


Thank you so much for sharing your day with us Sarah!

November 29, 2011

this and that

::  I never did hear from the My Memories Suite giveaway winner, so I finally remembered to pick another one last night.  Comment #1, Amy (from the perfectly imperfect parent)!  How often does that happen?  Congrats Amy!  Leave me your e-mail and I'll get you the code for your free software.

::  A certain pretty little someone is 20 months old today.  Hold me!  Hopefully I'll manage a 20 month post in the near future...


::  Speaking of that little someone, Ryann has taken an extreme interest in using the potty (yes, potty training talk alert, if you aren't into that avert your eyes).  If I ask her if she wants to go she almost always says yes (I never force her if she says no) and even if her diaper is wet she will sit on that little red seat and force a few drops of pee in.  She has even dropped a #2 a few times.  But OMG we are not fully potty training yet and I have already spent WAY too much time sitting on the floor of my bathroom watching my child pee.

I'm having a wee bit of a dilemma on what to do now though.  She is great at going, but isn't keeping her diaper dry, and tells me maybe once a day that she wants to go.  I'm pretty sure if we went to underwear it would be accident city over here.  I don't think she is quite ready for that.  So do I just keep asking her if she wants to go?  Or do I just wait until she starts telling me?  Since she can 'make' herself go, I have no doubt she has some brain to pee function connection (whatever that means :o), but I don't know that she really knows before she needs to go.  Oy.  I'm thinking having her in diapers until she is 3 would be way easier (but um, a lot more expensive :o).

::  I haven't really had a chance to put up any Christmas decorations yet and I'm getting antsy!  Have you put up yours yet?  If you have, and posted pictures somewhere, leave me a link.  I'll live vicariously through you until later this week when I have some time to do my own.

::  I didn't do any shopping Friday thru Monday, and now I'm feeling like I should have.  Not that I have a ton of cash lying around to do shopping.  Just feeling a little left out on the retail therapy right now :o).  What great deals did you get?

::  Oh, and with the wee one being 20 months old, that means her second birthday is officially only four months away!  Since you guys told me it wasn't super lame, I am going to go with the alphabet theme.  My next dilemma?  Color scheme.  I don't want to use primary colors, but beyond that, I have WAY too many ideas swirling around in my head.  Part of me wants to go a vintage flashcard route, and the other part of me wants bright colors and glitter... :o).  Thoughts?

::  Happy Tuesday!

November 28, 2011

its not a diet...

...its a lifestyle change.

I'm sure you've heard that before.  But it is so true.  Successful weight loss can not stick if you don't change your current eating habits, FOR GOOD.  Yes, you can slip here or there, indulge a little bit, but if you are unhappy with your body while still continuing to eat the way you've always eaten it will be incredibly difficult to see the results you want.  You can't just 'diet' for 4 or 8 or 12 or whatever weeks and plan to go back to whatever you were doing.

Last week I received a couple of questions, this first from a new reader.  "So I was wondering, how did you lose 33 pounds so quickly?"  The short answer?  Running + counting calories + a serious amount of will power.  You can also check out some of my older posts by clicking the mcfatty monday label to your right!

The real answer is a bit lengthier, and ties into the other question I received, "I know from reading you run a lot.  But I was wondering, you are always cooking up some awesome yummy looking dishes.  Do you make sure you cook healthier?  Any secrets you have learned?  Or do you just cook and eat whatever since you run?"

I made some drastic changes to my diet when I first started my journey towards a healthier lifestyle.  You know how a lot of people have to give up soda?  For me it was orange juice.  I've never liked pop, but I LOVE juice.  Do you know how fast the calories in juice add up?  Fast.  Now I mainly drink water and lemonade light (5 calories a can).  I can't tell you the last time I had a glass of juice.  After that I sort of discovered that I really don't like wasting calories on liquids.  I would MUCH rather eat my calories.  What I'm getting at is I also rarely have an alcoholic beverage anymore.  That is partly for the calories, and partly because my body just functions better without the alcohol.  I'm definitely not saying I'll never have a drink again, but I have to really REALLY want it for me to give in.  Because it just doesn't feel good to get up and run in the morning after I've had a few drinks.

Other changes that have really helped... we switched from white to whole wheat bread (including hot dog and hamburger buns), also to whole wheat pasta.  We don't eat as much red meat, mostly chicken, turkey, fish and pork.  I switched my favorite treat from full fat ice cream to fat free frozen yogurt.  We rarely eat fast food anymore, unless it is something like Subway.  If we are going to eat out, I try and find somewhere that has nutritional information online, so I can consult that and make a meal choice before we ever go (Side note, if there is a California Pizza Kitchen in your area, try the roasted vegetable salad.  Bonus points if you get it with shrimp.  SO GOOD.  A half order, which is filling, is only 394 calories.  And that is if you use all the dressing.)  Ask for salad dressings on the side. 

And the big one?  Our meals are generally dominated by vegetables as opposed to carbs.  I LOVE a great pasta dish.  Love it.  But the calories can add up so fast.  I also love to eat in large volumes.  Portion control is still something I'm not great at, so to make it a bit easier on myself I just eat tons of vegetables.  I can pretty much eat to my hearts content without making a huge dent in my calorie budget.  I almost always double the vegetables and halve the amount of noodles called for in a pasta dish (unless it is already a 'healthy' recipe).

When looking for recipes, if it is a one pot meal kind of dish I look for things that are under 400 calories per serving.  If it is a main dish with sides I try and find recipes where the main dish is under 250.  Lots of recipes on list the nutrition facts, and is also a great resource for lower calorie recipes.  For the most part I focus only on the calories.  Even though other nutritional items are also important to your overall health, weightloss tends to boil down to calories in < calories out.

But overall, what has been the biggest help for me, is out of sight out of mind.  When I first started this lifestyle change I managed to have amazing will power.  Saying no to this and that, walking past the chocolate bowl at my moms house without picking up a piece.  However that will power has started to slip.  I do think it has a little bit to do with running, after putting in five or six miles I know I have a little leeway in my day.  But do you know how quickly you can eliminate a 500 calorie deficit?  Pretty dang fast if you're not careful.  Especially when your favorite indulgence is dark chocolate covered almonds.

On average you burn 100 calories per mile, whether you're walking or running.  So if I only go for a three mile run, I only have approximately 300 extra calories for that day.  Grab a brownie and a glass of orange juice and that is gone.  So no, I know I can't just eat anything I want, whenever I want it.  But all of the running has allowed me a few more indulgences.  It is those indulgences, however, that have stopped me from losing any more weight.  Sometimes you have to pick what you want more.  For the last couple of months I felt like I needed to relax a bit on the strict diet, but I think I am almost ready to pick it back up again.  To see if I can make any more changes.  It is a rough time of year to do it, but at least keeping that in the back of my mind might make me think twice about eating too many holiday cookies.

Link up your health and fitness related posts below!

November 27, 2011

week in iphone pics

For some reason I'm really lacking the motivation for this lately... the motivation to get out my camera all the time (either camera) and also the motivation to put this post together.  But I love being able to go back and revisit our weeks.  So I won't stop.  Oy.


Grammy was in the mood to bake cookies, and Ryann loves to bake cookies (aka, eat dough/lick the spatula/eat chocolate chips) so we decided to whip up some peanut butter blossoms.  Unfortunately Ryann had a complete meltdown when we wouldn't let her eat the entire bowl of dough.  So we decided to distract her with a little arts and crafts.  But painting quickly got out of control and messy :o).  It ended in a bath in the laundry room sink.


Monday we had a playdate with Jenn and JT, but of course I neglected to take any pictures of the two little houligans.  Jenn's friend was there with an itty bitty seven week old baby (only 5lbs 3oz when she was born!).  I love me some itty bitty baby snuggling.  Ryann of course cried.  She was extra happy about meatballs for dinner though.  And hanging out with her daddy before bedtime.


Ryann is always in the pantry.  ALWAYS.  We relocated all of her snacks up a bit higher so she couldn't reach, but that doesn't stop her from trying to open all packages and get herself a little treat.  We headed to another fun playdate, it involved painting and cute little kids making 'dinner'.  Piggies!!  And apparently girls night was too much for Ryann :o).  Ok she wasn't actually sleeping, the flash from the phone made her close her eyes, but she was extremely wiped and just wanted to go home, which explains the head on the table.  We were at the restaurant almost two hours, so I would say she was a trooper!


Grammy came to play, and helped us make some pumpkin brownies to have for Thanksgiving.  Ryann was obviously pretty content.  And laundry.  Seriously?  How does this happen every week?  I know I could do a load a day or something so it doesn't build up like this, but then I would feel like I was doing laundry all the time.


Daddy had to work and the gym was open, so we started Thanksgiving off like any other day.  I definitely felt a wee bit better about indulging after knocking out 4 miles.  I actually managed 5k in 27 minutes on the treadmill!  It was pretty bright out, so Ryann requested sunglasses in the car.  Rather stylish :o).  Ryann totally took over the game of washers at our family gathering.  And was completely spoiled at what I would like to call Christgiving.  Christopher's family doesn't all get together for Christmas, so they pass out some presents at Thanksgiving.  Ryann scored a mountain of playdoh gear, and spent the evening playing with it.


Ryann and I headed back to grammy's house, and as soon as Ryann saw Auntie Lorin she requested Tom and Carl.  Side note, she totally insisted on wearing 'the gingers' the night before (even though they were dirty) and didn't want to take them off.  Silly, silly girl.  We headed to a little boy's 1st birthday party that afternoon.  Ryann was a happy camper (as was I) thanks to the frozen yogurt bar.  I was also extremely happy to see my friend Kelsey, who has ditched the midwest for an exciting life in DC :o).  Friday night we went out to dinner with my parents, and then drove to 'Winter Wonderland', a two mile strip of Christmas light displays.  Ryann loved the tunnels of lights.  And she seriously loves that damn talking cat too much.  He makes her so stinkin' happy.


Saturday was Thanksgiving part two.  Chris drove over since he managed a day off, and we had a couple friends over as well.  My mom put together an amazing meal, and I managed to whip up some awesome gravy, if I do say so myself.  Ok for the most part all I did was stir, but I stirred for a long time (like 30 minutes!) so I'm claiming it my success.

It definitely was a nice week.  I love the holidays.  Pink puffy heart love.  They might not be so great for my waistline, but good food and good company warm my heart.

Linking up with Amy!

November 26, 2011

becoming fearless

Yesterday we arrived at a birthday party late because it started in the middle of naptime.  Festivities were in full swing and there was a small crowd of people.  I put Ryann down and pointed her towards the other children and off she went.  Barley looking back.

She did search for me one more time, but as soon as she knew I was there she was off again.  Exploring what the other children were doing, playing with toys, being her own independent little person.  I swear it was just last month that her little fingers were constantly gripping my shirt, or grabbing my hand and pulling me along as her little security blanket.  Now?  Now she doesn't always need her mama for reassurance.

I am so proud of her.  Occasionally she still clings to me, but for the most part, she is becoming fearless in situations and can definitely hold her own.  There is no doubt in my mind that spending time in the gym daycare and mother's day out have contributed to her confidence.  At the gym she runs through the doors full force, filled with excitement to play and see her favorite care givers.  Last week at 'school' when I asked for a kiss goodbye?  "Just go mama," and she was off playing (I swear she is already going on 13).

she saw papa pull into the driveway.  this kid LOVES her papa.

She is growing and changing so fast.  I can't keep up. 

November 25, 2011

crock pot turkey meatballs in italian sauce

Err...  More recipes.  I don't have a whole lot of other meaningful content prepared right now :o).  But I hope all of you lovelies had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Christopher's aunt made an extremely delicious sweet potato casserole and now I should probably spend the rest of the day in the gym... moving on...

A couple weeks ago (I think) I mentioned that we managed to get Ryann to eat the same meal as us.  Well, this is it.  Minus the noodles, she acted like the noodles were the most disgusting thing she has ever tasted.  Seriously, she was freaking out about the stupid noodles.  BUT, this kid has CHOWED DOWN on meatballs lately.  She loves them.


I think this is a very family friendly recipe.  It is pretty much spaghetti and meatballs.  I've added LOTS of bell peppers to the mix because that is the one vegetable I can guarentee Ryann will eat.  So pretty much every meal we've had lately includes bell peppers...  I'm sure you could make this even easier (I used frozen meatballs) by just using a store bought spaghetti sauce, but I prefer it this way.  Oh and this filled my little crock pot to the brim.  I really thought the thing might explode.  Use a slightly larger one :o).

Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs in Italian Sauce
adapted from Healthy Eating Simplified

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic  (we um, love garlic...)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (sneaking in some more veggies)
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (28 ounce) bag frozen fully cooked turkey meatballs
  1. Combine all ingredients except meatballs in crock pot.  Stir well.
  2. Add (still frozen) meatballs and stir in.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (I've never gone longer than 6.5 hrs).
I boiled about 2.5 cups of whole wheat pasta to serve with this.


November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving!

I hope your day is filled with lots of family, food and fun.  Ryann and I will be spending the day with Christopher's family, and we're hoping he gets to join us at some point this evening.  We started the family festivities off right last night with dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  Chris made just after dinner was served, hooray!  Ryann spent the evening practicing her awkward smile skills.


Nice right?  There was actually a group of 14 or 15 of us, but I'm lame and didn't take a picture.  Oh well.  It had been a long time since I indulged in some tasty greasy cheesy goodness.  Mmmmm.  Side note, did you see Ryann's hair?  We did it.  We made piggies!


Oh man.  The piggies kill me.  I love them.  They probably won't be making an appearance too often right now, because those things are TOUGH to put in.  The top of her hair still isn't quite long enough.  But man, I really do love them.

Hope you have a great day and eat lots of turkey!

November 23, 2011

crock pot chili

Sorry, no day in the life today.  But you finally get my chili recipe, so its ok right?  Because I know you all have been dying to know how I make chili... ha ha... ok anyway...


Christopher and I definitely like a hearty chili.  I don't want any soupy business going on, so I looked through a lot of recipes before I found one that looks just right.  It would be great if I could remember/find where I printed this from, but I totally forgot to bookmark it or pin it.  Oops...

Really, this stuff is so good.  We eat all the leftovers every time we make it, and it makes a LOT of chili.  Not to mention Ryann won't eat it (I'll give her some credit, she tried it!).  The original recipe called for pork and beans in molasses.  Of course I accidentally stocked up on pork and beans in tomato sauce.  To compensate I add some brown sugar to the mix.  Honestly I kind of like it that way, I add some while I'm cooking, and then you can add a little bit to your bowl if you want, allowing it to be as spicy or sweet as you want it.  Because we all know I hate spicy.

Crock Pot Chili
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14.4 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, mild
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, browned and drained
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mushroom pieces, drained
  • 2 bell peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 med size can baked pork and beans with tomato sauce
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • brown sugar to taste (I used at least 1/4 cup)
  1. Combine ingredients in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours, or 4.5 to 6 hours on high.
I didn't specify the color of bell pepper, but thought I should mention the original recipe only calls for one green bell pepper.  I've always added two and just used whatever we've had on hand.  I prefer a green and a red!  The original recipe also didn't use tomatoes with green chilies.  Again, it is what I had on hand, and have just continued to make it that way.

I repeat, this makes a LOT!  Don't try and cook it in a little crock pot.  I believe we comfortably served 8 adults with it one night.

*I wanted to add that I have made this chili with ground turkey as well, and it turned out equally wonderful!


November 22, 2011

this and that

::  I completely intended to write a post last night, so that I could have the giveaway winner up first thing this morning.  It um, didn't happen.  What is it about Monday nights that make me completely unproductive?

::  I suppose you actually want to know who won the LR2 Designs giveaway...


Congrats Amber!  Leave me your contact information and I will make sure you get your earrings!

::  Speaking of giveaway winners... I never received any contact info for the My Memories Suite winner.  J, if you're out there, you have until tomorrow (Wednesday) night to contact me, and if you don't I'm picking another winner!

::  Even though I ate a good sized lunch, I am STARVING right now.  Which is causing me to be unable to think or function.  But all I want?  Chocolate.  That is not going to do me much good... hmm...

::  Yesterday I forgot to add something to the post about what Ryann said... Last night we put her in gingerbread men pajamas, and of course told her that was what they were.  Because she likes to ask us questions she wants us to ask her she said, "What are you wearing tonight Ryann?"  So I responded, "Ryann, what are you wearing tonight?"  "Gingers."  And I immediately imagined footy pajamas covered in little red headed children.  Sorry :).

::  Is an alphabet themed party lame?  I'm trying to decide on a theme for Ryann's birthday party.  Yes, I realize it is over four months away, but if I want to go all Martha Stewart craftastic on it I've got to figure it out.  I can't come up with any 'theme' ideas that I'm in love with, because I want the party to be something Ryann enjoys.  But I'm refusing to host a Minnie/Mickey mouse party and the only other thing that comes to mind is the alphabet.  Bah.

::  Really, I can't concentrate at all... must go find chocolate...

November 21, 2011

what did she just say?

I had to post all of this so I never forget.

When I walked into Ryann's room after nap... "Ryann was sleeping in crib in the top in the corner with blanket and owl and mommy find her on the monitor?"  Yes, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.  That is definitely the longest string of words she has ever put together.

Well, this isn't an impressive sentence or anything, but after bath Christopher was drying Ryann off on the changing table.  He was opening the drawer to get a diaper or something, when Ryann just looked up and said "Peeing!"  Yep, sure enough, she peed.  Lovely, but of course I had to laugh.

Ryann asked for milk before bed, which is a habit we are trying to break.  It is a comfort thing more than anything else.  As of the last couple of weeks I can usually say we don't need milk before bed and she gives up quickly.  Tonight just a couple minutes after I started reading her bedtime books she looked at me and said, "Mommy tonight I need milk."  I figured she was serious since she hasn't asked twice in so long, so I called for Christopher to see if he would bring some in the room.  Ryann then said, "Daddy come back here Ryann need milk!  Daddy where are you?  Milk!"  And of course I burst out laughing.


I love that girl.

embrace the journey

Lately I've been browsing photos from the past 18 months.  Partly because I love to see my sweet girl as a baby (I'm pretending she isn't turning two in just over four months!) and partly because I have WAY too many photos and I need to delete some.  It is fun to look back, and also incredibly tough at the same time.

When I see photos of myself I cringe a little bit.  Mad at myself for letting my body get that way.  Cursing myself for eating too much junk and never exercising.  It flat out sucks to hate SO many of the pictures of myself from even less than I year ago.  I love photos and memories and all that, but I get embarrassed for myself just looking at them.  Why did I let that happen?

But I'm trying to stop kicking myself about it.  I am a completely different person than I was just a short while ago.  I have a lot more motivation for everything.  Of course I still have my lazy days, but in February something inside me clicked and I simply wanted so much more out of life.  It has been exactly one year since my 'before photo' was taken.  My how things have changed in a year.


In five and a half months I lost 33 pounds and changed my life for the better.  I'm so much healthier, so much happier, so much more driven.  I still struggle from time to time to keep my chin up, but I can honestly say my life is probably the best it has ever been.  So even though it is all too easy to be mad at myself for not taking control of my life and my body sooner, I am learning to embrace the journey.

I never would have gotten where I am today in regards to my health without this blog.  All of you readers pushed me to succeed.  Other blogs inspired me to keep going, keep reaching higher.  I can sure as heck tell you that I would never have run a half marathon, more than likely I would have never started running without all of you great ladies out there inspiring me.  And every time I hear that I've inspired one of you?  My heart soars, and I know it has all panned out exactly as it should.


November 20, 2011

week in iphone pics

Although I still have plenty to show, I was pretty terrible about pulling out my phone to take pictures this week.  Oh well, it was the thought that counts, right?


Ryann was browsing drawers in my room at my parents house.  She pulled out a box and found the mother load of stickers.  Seriously, it was crazy.  I must have been so cool with my stickers, there were like a million Lisa Frank... along with other various embarrassing selections :o).  We tried to bake some pumpkin cookies, the cookies didn't work out, but we turned them into muffins.  Ryann approved and tried to shove the entire thing in her mouth at once.


Monday we made our way back home.  We did some grocery shopping, some unpacking, some cleaning.  Then we got all gussied up and went to the park for some family photos.  Naturally Ryann tried to get as dirty as possible before the photographer ever arrived.


I would prefer not to have Ryann eat snack in the car.  In general I find it messy and dangerous.  But we tend to go from one thing to the next in the mornings so it happens pretty frequently.  Good news, she looks adorable with her snack in the car.  We met Sarah and the boys at Monkey Business.  Ryann actually figured out how to move herself around on one of the little cars.  While we were putting our shoes on to leave one of the boys tried to hold Ryann's hand.  She was NOT amused.  She was very happy to eat some lunch.  And we've been working on our surprised face, I think she about has it mastered.


Ryann has been loving her few pieces of play jewelry, so I handed her my jewelry box.  She was in heaven.  After I put her down for a nap I decided I wanted to throw the sheets in the wash that I threw down the laundry chute earlier in the week.  Um yeah.  I had to sort that mountain of dirty clothes to get to the sheets on the bottom.  And yes, I had done all the laundry exactly one week before.  While I was trying to clean stuff up, Ryann proceeded to make giant messes everywhere she went.  So is the life with a toddler I guess.


Every week Ryann insists on trying to carry her bags to the car when we head to MDO.  Apparently she is unaware that I got the backpack that is more than half her size!  While she was at school they made hand print turkeys.  It is the first piece of 'art' she has brought home and it seriously made me so giddy.  I'm sure I won't be thinking the same thing when the art begins to really pile up, but her little hand print was so cute.  And my child has a serious obsession with putting things in boxes.  She spent more than 30 minutes putting these books in and dumping them back out.


Daddy was on nights this weekend, BOO.  But that meant he was home with us in the morning on Friday.  I was packing up to head to grammy's house (yes, again), and I came out to the family room to find them snuggled up watching a robot movie.  Ryann has become obsessed with robots for some reason.  I had planned to run during Ryann's nap, but upon arriving to my mom's house I discovered they had some leftover weight watcher's recipe deep dish pizza.  That stuff is freaking amazing.  So I pawned Ryann off on my mom and pounded out 3.2 miles on the treadmill before indulging myself.  I wish there was still more left!  Friday evening Ryann treated me to a rock performance.  No biggie.


What is the little miss doing in the first picture?   Why dumping markers out of a box and putting them back in of course.  Seriously, she is obsessed with doing things like that!  Saturday morning we hit up Hobby Lobby (50% off the Christmas stuff, couldn't pass it up), and Saturday afternoon we took a trip to Michaels.  One craft store a day just isn't enough.  While papa was watching Ryann they apparently came across stuff from the summer I got married and decided to drag it downstairs.  Awesome, right?  While getting down Christmas stuff from the attic, my mom found my Muffy bears and clothes.  Ryann was very intrigued and stayed up late because she was having too much fun playing.  And look at those post bath curls, I wish it would stay like that all the time!!

Linking up with our week by iphone and instaFriday!

November 19, 2011

just a few videos

I've got a few videos of the wee one that I wanted to share.  If you're not a video loving reader I suggest just moving on.  (Except you should probably check out the LR2 Designs giveaway if you haven't done that yet!)  First up, baby (toddler) laughs, just because they make me smile...

Next up, I got this hat and mittens set out to try it on when the weather started getting colder.  We decided to take the set back (ear flaps are a bit more flattering for Miss Ryann :o), but she was so amused by the mittens.  She asked to have them on and off millions of times in the three or so days they were sitting on the counter waiting to be returned.  Really the best part of the video is hearing her say mittens.  And I'm pretty sure she is saying 'sad choice', because she was going to take them off or something.

Another video in which really, the beginning is the most important.  I have no idea where she came up with this, as far as I know my father is absolutely NOT a cross dresser.

Ryann loved this 'five little pumpkins' book throughout October.  It is more cute/understandable if you know the words, so here you go...

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "My it's getting late!"
The second one said, "They are witches in the air."
The third one said, "Good folk beware!"
The fourth one said, "We'll run and run."
The fifth one said, "Let's have some fun!"
Woooo went the wind and out went the light.
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

And lastly, this little trip to Target made me so freaking excited for the holidays.

Happy Saturday!

November 18, 2011

lr2 designs {giveaway}

**  this giveaway is closed  **

Remember when I mentioned a special little package that I was excited about?  Well, it is finally time for me to share it with you!


Earlier this month I was contacted by one of my sorority sisters, Lauren.  She told me that she started her own jewelry line this year, and was wondering if I would be interested in having a pair of earrings for myself and giving a pair away to my readers.  I checked the link she sent me and quickly responded with ABSOLUTELY!  The earrings were right up my alley, simply and sparkly all in one.  I'm going to assume it was the 20 some years I spent in the dance world, but show me something sparkly and I get all excited.

note to self:  seriously, STOP trying to take self portraits, it never works like you want it to

This pair of earrings are absolutely wonderful.  They seem very sturdy and well made, and also very versatile.  I think I've worn them at least every other day since I got them.  When I first tried them on, Ryann wanted to wear them so badly!  "Ryann wear sparkles?  Ryann wear earrings?  Pease?!?"  Poor girl, I'm regretting not piercing her ears, and my mom is cringing while she reads that... moving on!  Really, I am in love with my new sparkles.


A little excerpt from the LR2 website, "LR2 Designs seeks to provide attainable luxury creations to a discerning clientele.  LR2 Designs' products blend timeless style with superb craftsmanship and materials."  Personally, I'm an earring girl, and there are definitely several pairs of fun and galmourous earrings available.  I'm partial to these and these.

I am thrilled to be giving away one pair of LR2's signature earrings.  How do you go about entering?  Why there are several options :o).  First, please visit the LR2 Designs website and leave a comment stating your favorite piece of jewelry on the site.  For additional entries you can do any of the following:

like LR2 Designs on facebook
follow LR2 Designs on twitter 
like the domestic wannabe on facebook 

Please leave a separate comment for each entry!  I use to pick my winner, meaning I just have the site pick a number between 1 and X, X being the number of comments on the post.  If you leave all of your entries in one comment you didn't really get any additional entries!

This giveaway will close Monday, November 21st at 10:00pm CST.  Winner will be announced Tuesday, November 22nd.

Because Lauren is my sorority sister, I figured it was a good reason to plop in this video.  A little background, I was wearing a fleece with the Chi Omega symbol on it and Ryann asked me what it said.  Naturally I broke out into song, and then she asked me to sing it over and over again.  Now she can sing almost the whole thing, but she won't let me get it on video.  No worries, this much is still adorable...

A long shot for being related to the giveaway, but a giveaway + an adorable video of my child made your day that much brighter, right?  Peace love and owls ladies, peace love and owls :o).

I received a pair of LR2's signature earrings for free, but all of the thoughts and opinions above are my own! 

November 17, 2011

embrace the camera

Some days are just greasy hair, no make-up, high school tie dye t-shirt, sweatpants, mac photobooth kind of days.  Yesterday was one of them.

Photo on 2011-11-16 at 16.30 #2
Photo on 2011-11-16 at 16.29 #2
Photo on 2011-11-16 at 16.26 #3
Photo on 2011-11-16 at 16.28
Photo on 2011-11-16 at 16.27 #2

I've been playing catch up all week as far as stuff around the house goes.  So yesterday we (I) decided to have a lazy (sort of) at home day (after the gym of course).  I was trying to pick up and clean here and there but little miss bossy pants had other ideas.  At one point I walked out of the family room without Ryann noticing to pick up some stuff... " (chatting to herself, and me I guess) ... and mommy do this.  Mommy?  HEY!  MOMMY!  MOMMY WHERE YOU GO!  Oh Mooommmy where are you?"  And then later I was trying to look for recipes on my laptop while she was playing with her toys... "(in a stern little toddler voice) Mommy come sit here.  Sit here, play with Ryann.  Now."  Honestly?  I was so taken back by that sentence that I just complied without telling her to ask nicely.

Oh my sweet girl.  I'll always call her my baby, but the truth of the matter?  She is nearly a little girl.  It is tough to find any baby left in her.  Sometimes that makes me a wee bit sad, but I'm also so happy to have a little friend around now.  She can put a smile on my face like nobody else!

Photo on 2011-11-16 at 16.26

For the record, I find it mildly ironic that I'm trying to be serious while posting pictures like this.  That last one is another that just makes me snort a bit.  We are just a couple of crazy goofy nuts over here!