January 27, 2014

shoot. it's working.

Sorry (not all that much really) for the lack of a post last week.  I'm having more fun working on first birthday party details (even though I am in denial that E will actually be one) than I am blogging so I went with it.

Anyway.  So I've tried giving up sweets before.  I've even lasted a couple of weeks before giving in, maybe a little longer.  I'd have to go back and read my posts and well... too lazy.  But even though it was good for me, and helped with things like headaches and such, I never saw what I was really hoping for, which was progress on the scale.  However this time?  I've managed to lose 6 pounds in the last three weeks with little effort.  All of a sudden I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight.  BAM.

I'm not counting calories or denying myself anything.  I've had my fair share of chips and guacamole.  And bread and butter.  And other random things that I probably should cut down on.  Just goes to show that I was eating WAY too many sweets.  I have had to straight up cheat moments throughout the month.  The first I already mentioned, when we were celebrating Christopher matching to a sports fellowship.  The second, well, after a not so fantastic morning with insignificant but annoying things going wrong, I managed to run out of gas.  On the highway.  With both girls in the car.  AT LUNCH TIME.  I'm pretty sure I don't have to say that didn't go over very well with them.  The good news is AAA was awesome and got to me in 25 minutes or less, were super helpful and got us on our way.  But after that adventure I needed a chocolate pick me up.  So I split a chocolate chip cookie with Ryann.  Totally worth it.

Now I also have been having some sort of cheat nights.  My friend who is also going a month without sweets told me she had been sort of cheating and having this Chobani Greek yogurt, raspberry with dark chocolate chunks.

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Usually I can't stand Greek yogurt by itself.  Mixed in to some sort of recipe, sure, but on it's own it makes me want to gag a little.  But I was desperate and raspberries and dark chocolate are two of my favorites so I decided to give it a go.  The first time I tried I still couldn't stand it, just the slightly tart taste and the thicker texture, I can't do it.  But I wasn't going to give up, so I stuck them in the freezer.  When I went to eat one I had to let it thaw for a good 20+ minutes or so, before I could remotely get a spoon in, but I could handle eating it.  And since then I'm getting a little more and more used to the taste.

So yeah, I guess I'm kind of having sweets.  But I feel like the point of this little venture for me is to change my relationship with sweets, and that is happening.  And I'm seeing a change in my body.  And if eating some yogurt with a few chocolate chunks in it is what it takes, then that is what I'm going to do.  Currently I'm extremely tempted to cheat and eat some little pretzel chocolate treats that Ryann made while she was staying at Grammy's, but I only have to make it five more days before I've finished out the month that I've committed to.  I can do it, right?  After that I'm not quite sure what my plan is, but I can't go back to eating junk whenever I want.

Running everyday has probably also contributed to my weight loss.  I have ran every day in January so far, and even though my knees might be starting to protest a little, I WILL make it to the end of the month.  I've covered 73 miles, and I hope that I can add 10 more to that total.  Starting in February I think I need to exchange one day for a rest day or walking, another day for a strength workout (I still have yet to do any this year, fail) and add a little bit of strength to a shorter run day.  I may weigh what I did when I got pregnant, but I definitely don't have near as much muscle.


How do you approach sweets?  Do you eat some each day?  Only on certain days?  Whenever you want?

Link up health and fitness related posts below!

January 25, 2014

sleep training... yep again.

We previously sleep trained Elsie just before she turned six months old (read about it here and here).  E was sleeping swaddled in the rock 'n play, plus she wasn't falling asleep on her own.  She stopped letting me rock her to sleep easily, and I didn't want to create a nurse/feed to sleep habit, so sleep training it was to break all those habits.  It sucked.  But it worked for a little bit.  Then we started having issues with her going down for naps.  It would take her 30-40 minutes to put herself to sleep, and sometimes, well, I kind of need her to take a nap when I need her to take a nap.  Sorry Elsie.  #secondkidproblems

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So I started nursing her to sleep.  It started off just being here and there, when I knew she really needed a nap and she just wasn't going to sleep.  Then it started happening more and more for naps, and then after a while I felt guilty nursing her for naps and then expecting her to go to bed on her own.  And it was just easier when we were traveling so much because she always fought going to sleep in the pack 'n play.

But hey, it worked.  And for the most part it didn't really affect her night time sleep.  She has been pretty much waking once a night since that time.  And throughout the most recent month 5-7 nights of the week her once is at like 5am, and even makes it until 6:15am sometimes.

Except nursing her to sleep ISN'T working anymore.  She regularly wakes up when I try to transfer her to the crib, and at that point if I leave her she just screams.  If I try to nurse her back to sleep it doesn't always work.  So she is skipping/missing a lot of naps.  Not to mention I can't be away for more than a couple hours at a time and I ALWAYS have to be the one to put her to bed.  That isn't really conducive to any date nights or the like.  I've missed a few events I really wanted to go to simply because I didn't want to burden any one with trying to get her to sleep, nor did I want to leave her upset.

Which means it is time to break the habit once and for all (I hope).

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We started the Ferber method (progressive waiting approach) on Thursday night, and it went over much much better than I expected.  Bedtime was hard for me to give up nursing her to sleep, because we almost never had any issues with it (other than me wanting to be gone a couple evenings).  And she was quickly drifting off to sleep so I had to cut her off.  I gave Elsie some snuggles and laid her in her crib with her owl.  When I closed the door she cried, so I set the timer on my phone for five minutes.  By the time it went off she had already calmed down considerably, to the point that I didn't feel I needed to go back in there.  And less than 20 minutes after I put her in her crib she was asleep.  Really?  Just like that?  I was thrilled.

Naps yesterday went pretty well too.  I never had to check on her for the morning nap, and she was asleep in less than 20 minutes again.  For the afternoon nap I could tell she wasn't as tired, and while watching the monitor, shortly after I walked out, she threw her owl out.  I decided to just leave it be, she was quiet.  But she kept getting up and reaching for it.  At about the 20 minute mark I decided to go in and get it for her.  She cried HARD when I walked back out, but again, only for a minute or two.  I didn't think she was going to fall asleep because she was just playing around, but right when I was going to throw in the towel and go get her, she fell asleep.  SCORE.

Elsie only slept about 45 minutes for that nap, so she was pretty tired come bedtime.  I had to work hard to keep her from falling asleep while nursing (actually I'm not really sure I succeeded).  When I laid her down in the crib she attempted to protest, but her cries lasted less than two minutes and I'm pretty sure she just passed out.

Where I am running into the biggest problem, is early in the morning.  Yesterday she started stirring around 5am.  She started fussing around 5:30am.  And by 5:45am she was pissed and wanted me.  In the past I would have gone in shortly after 5, nursed her, put her back in her crib, and she most likely would have gone back to sleep.  But the truth is I do want to wean soon (there are only so many more swift kicks to the jaw I can take), and once I'm done nursing I don't really want her up for the day at 5:30am.  In my ideal world both girls would be in their beds until 7am.  Yep, that's all I'm asking for, 7am.  On a good day I'd take 6:30am.  But before that just makes me not a very good mom.  Not because I need to sleep (well sometimes), but because I crave a little alone time in the morning.  To workout, or shower, or just freaking sit on my computer because I can and it's quiet.

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Right now I'm going to try and avoid nursing her until 6am, and hopefully keep pushing that time back by 10 minutes or so every few days until I'm not nursing her until 7am (the earliest time I ever intend on serving breakfast).  But we'll see how it goes.  Naturally I sat down to type this post out and now it's 6:05am and I haven't really heard anything from her.  Good work Elsie, good work.

I know sleep training isn't for everyone, but I like to share our experiences with it, because if the child takes to it I believe it is a truly beneficial process for everyone involved.  My life changed dramatically when we sleep trained Ryann, and I doubt the change will be quite that dramatic this time around, but I am excited to have a little bit more freedom in my life.  And I honestly expected her to resist and scream a whole lot more, but Elsie surprised me.  Thank goodness.

January 23, 2014

that's what she said

while hanging over the seat of a dining room chair
Ryann:  "I'm sleeping like a pony!" uh, ok
Me:  "Oh really?"
Ryann:  "Yeah!  A dreaming pony!  I like to dream."
Me:  "What do you like to dream about?"
Ryann:  "I like to dream about the body.  I like to dream about bones, and the heart and the brain and alveoli."
Me:  "What are alveoli?"
Ryann:  "Alveoli?  The little air sacs in the lungs?  Maybe YOU need to watch some body videos!"

Chris and Ryann have been watching videos about the human body (child of a doctor much?).  And I'm not talking interesting kid geared videos.  She is basically watching a professor or doctor give lectures on various parts of the body.  What almost four-year-old enjoys that?

Not only have they been watching body videos, but they've also been cruising through the Planet Earth DVD's.  Last night they were watching the 'fresh water' and a crocodile was attacking it's prey.  I made a comment about how I didn't want to watch that or told Ryann not to look or something.  She said, "It's ok mom.  It's just life."  For the love, really child?  You're right, it is just life, but COME ON.  She is something else.  ;o)


January 13, 2014

i want ALL the chocolate.

Twelve days.

Ok eleven days.  How about we say eleven and a half days.  That is how long I've gone so far without any sweets.  We did make a little pit stop at The Melting Pot for dessert after celebrating Christopher matching in to a fellowship, and I absolutely don't regret that one little bit.  But aside from that I haven't had any sweets yet this year.

Originally I had planned to just go the first week without any sweets with the hopes of kicking the habit yet again of essentially eating half a bag of chocolate chips one handful at a time throughout the day.  But then with some of my friends shooting for the whole month I felt a little guilty about stopping after one week.  Not to mention my craving for sweets hasn't really lessened at all.  I figured for sure by now I wouldn't be missing it.  But no, I stand in the middle of the kitchen after nearly every meal torturing myself, toying with the idea of giving up and just eating some damn chocolate.

I so wish I didn't have such a lame relationship with food.

Running at least a mile every day in January is going well.  It is helping at least keep my weekly mileage up a tiny bit.  I'm doing nearly all my running on the treadmill right now and I have to be in just the right mood to convince myself to stay on that thing longer than 3.5 miles.  Oh well.  Hopefully when I need to start training for a half a couple of weeks from now the weather will be slightly warmer (HA) and I'll get to do a little more running outside.

Other than that nothing exciting to report.  I think I've lost two pounds, but I still fluctuate a lot so it's hard to tell.  But I'll pretend it's true.  Hoping to be down another two by the end of the month!


Link up your health and fitness related posts below!

January 10, 2014


For the longest time, Ryann has not be in to playing dress up.  She wasn't interested in wearing hats, putting on fake jewelry, fun skirts or glasses, etc.  She just wasn't.  She'd rather play with her dinosaurs and trains and legos.  No baby dolls, no playing mommy, no princesses, nothing of that sort.  Now she still loves pink and purple and prefers dresses over pants, so I wouldn't go so far as to say she is an all out tomboy or anything.  But yeah, girly girl stuff just hasn't been her thing.

All of the sudden in the last few weeks though, Ry regularly wants to put on a fluffy dress and multiple hair bows and who knows what else and prance around the house.  I'm sure part of it is that she is probably more aware of what is supposed to be 'girl' stuff, and what is for boys, and I feel a sad for her in that respect, but she IS having fun so maybe her tastes are just changing a little.  And I'll take it, because I think watching her put together an ensemble is hilarious and adorable.

She constantly wants to wear this dress and play 'wedding' with me.  Yes, I get to be the groom.  And all she wants to do is walk across the room (while she hums 'Here Comes the Bride') and then we kiss.  And of course eat pretend cake and ice cream.


This get up came about while I was attempting to take some pictures of Elsie for her party invitations.  I was about to get started and naturally Elsie pooped, so I went to her room to change her diaper.  Ryann came waltzing in dressed liked this and I couldn't stop giggling.  Neither could she.  And she was even sweet enough to let me take her picture.  That NEVER happens.


This one I'll call her 'Fancy Nancy' attire.  For the record I love the Fancy Nancy books.  I think they are cute stories with decent messages.  Anyway we've read several lately, and the other day Ryann put together this outfit.  Two skirts for an extra 'fluffy' dress, a variety of hair accessories, some necklaces, bracelets, rings, and she even asked me for pretend earrings, which we managed with stickers.  I love it.


I hope this trend sticks around for a little while.  I'd love to get her some fun dress-up and pretend clothes for her birthday.  But if it doesn't, I'm so happy she let me take these pictures, I absolutely love them.

January 9, 2014

elsie - eleven months

Poor E has quite the runny nose and is working on cutting her fifth tooth, so her face was just a plain ol' hot mess.  She absolutely wouldn't have any part of us trying to clean it off, so aside from a little booger photoshopping, gooey face is what you get.

Oh Elsie, the amount of ridiculous antics we pull trying to get these pictures of you?  It's just absurd.  Just as I say to Ryann, if you would just suck it up and do what I'd ask we'd get done a lot quicker, mmmkay?  ;o)  And seriously.  Eleven months?  How in the freaking heck did that happen?  Surely my baby is not almost one.  It just can't be.  Can I borrow someone's newborn for a bit?  (Because I'm not dumb enough to consider having another one of those right now, I'm still waiting for continous string of good sleep...)


I'm just too plain lazy to try and figure out how long Elsie is because how dare we try and make her lay still for any length of time, so yeah.  I know she is taller (longer?) because she no longer can stand under the dining room table without hitting her head.  We did manage to weigh her tonight and according to our scale she is 19 pounds again this month.  Meh, not sure why I even bother.  Still in 6-12 month clothes, size 3 diapers and size 3 shoes.  I've ordered some 5 inch sole moccs but even they won't stay on her little feet.  So sad.  The onesie she is wearing in these pictures is actually a 9 month Carter's onesie, but it's a touch small.  Just never got around to getting some 12 month onesies and for some reason didn't have any from Ryann?  I have no idea.


Our tooth count is up to four now!  And she puts those little chompers to good use.  Pretty sure Elsie would eat all day long if I let her.  She is constantly following us around the house 'nom nomming.'  I swear you would think we never feed her.  She wants to try anything and everything.  She prefers my food over what I typically deem acceptable to her.  Cheese, meat, hummus, enchiladas, yes please.  She loves scrambled eggs, peas and blueberries as well.  Vegetables regularly get the boot (forcefully tossed from her tray with a look of disgust, as if we slapped her in the face with them or something).  I haven't tried anything besides water in her sippy cup, but she does great with the water.  Hopefully she'll accept milk in the sippy soon, just haven't exactly ventured down that path at all.


We did have one instance this past week where I fed her something much too spicy for her.  I had cooked some Italian sausage and vegetables in the crock pot.  She hadn't napped that afternoon, and during dinner kept randomly bursting out in tears.  At first I chalked it up to she was just being a nut because she was overtired, but as my tongue started feeling more and more hot it finally clicked.  Poor girl, her mouth was on fire and she had no idea why!  Of course she just kept eating anyway because, um, food.  We switched it out to something a little more mild and all was good.  Sorry Elsie!


Elsie is nursing anywhere from 4-6 times a day.  I know, 6 is probably kind of ridiculous.  But, well, I nurse her before each nap and bed, and sometimes in between, just depending how long she sleeps, what her disposition is, just trying to keep her happy for a bit, etc.  Lately nursing her to sleep hasn't really been working, and I know being on the verge of weaning (because as much as it scares me, I'm ready to move on, I think...) I'm going to have to teach her to put herself to sleep.  So to cut a couple of those nursing sessions I think we need to revisit sleep training.  Oy.  I don't want to go back there, but I'm hoping since we've done it once, and she puts herself back to sleep with no problem in the middle of the night, it won't be that bad.  I hope.


Sleep has been all over the place.  Overall, I would say she is a decent sleeper.  Elsie usually naps twice a day, around 9:30 and 1:30.  Sometimes the morning nap is only 40 minutes, sometimes longer, one day she randomly went down at 9:45 and slept until 1:00.  The afternoon nap is usually her longer one, but if she took a good nap in the morning I have a hard time getting that second nap in, and then she is just a bear for bed.  Bedtime is between 7:15 & 8:00 depending on how naps went, and she is up for the day anywhere between 6:15-7:15, depending on how well she slept at night.  She'll give me like a 4 or 5 day stretch of sleeping through the night, and then another 4 to 5 day stretch of being up around 4am.  I just plain never know.  But it never fails, if I stay up late, or gasp, have a drink or two after she goes to bed, you better believe she is going to make me pay for it by waking up at absurd times.


Over the past few weeks Elsie has become so much more fun and interactive.  With that also comes a bit of ornrey and more opinions, but still.  So. Much. Fun.  She gives hugs and giant open mouth kisses when asked (most of the time anyway), and will occasionally initiate the little love fest on her own.  The best was Christmas morning.  Ryann had slept in my parents room, so it was just Elsie in with Christopher and I.  When she woke up I pulled her into our bed.  After a bit I told her she needed to give her daddy a morning hug, and she crawled over to him and did her best version of a hug, which comes with the most adorable little 'mmmm' noise.  It was so cute, so I asked her to come give me a hug and she did!  It was just the sweetest, definitely a nice little Christmas present.


An exciting thing to note this month was that Elsie said her first clear word, 'hi.'  It was actually on Christmas Eve, while Chris and I scrambling around the house packing up everything we needed.  We had the girls situated at the table with lunch and Chris was going in and out of the front door putting things in the car.  One of the times he came in, Elsie looked over at him and said 'hi!'  I looked at her and said, 'hi?' and she continued to repeat it over and over again.  Her and Ryann said hi back and forth for a good 15 minutes or so.  She has the most adorable little voice.  I think she also says dada or daddy, kitty (ki-yee), and boo, as well as off, on, up and hat, but those ones all sound kinda the same in Elsie speak.  Whenever she sees us putting on coats, feels cold air or we go outside she says brrrrr.  And if she is hungry or sees food it is a pretty intense 'nom nom!'  Let me tell you that makes grocery shopping so much fun.  The entire time she is pointing at everything (still with her middle finger I might add) and yelling 'NOM NOM!'

right when she realized Chris had crackers... "NOM NOM NOM!"

Elsie is slowly but surely getting pretty good at animal sounds as well.  I mean, they don't sound perfect and it isn't 100% every time, but she makes her own little roar/growl sound for lion and dinosaur, attempts a 'woof' noise for dog, has some version of moo for a cow and a somewhat accurate elephant sound.  She also says 'bop' for bunny, because I tell her they 'hop hop hop!'  Overall you can just tell her word recognition and understanding is growing by the day.  She can somewhat follow simple commands, will point at things like the light or random toys and stuff when prompted, will go to the bathroom if you ask her if she wants to take a bath (which she loves by the way.  love love LOVES.).  She is definitely entering my favorite stage, where you can just see their little brains soaking up things by the minute.

she's learning just how to push my buttons! ;o)

Just in the last week Elsie has truly started to show an interest in books.  It makes my heart so happy.  I know many kids aren't all that interested in books until after one, but Ryann would let me sit and read to her for hours from a very early age.  Elsie?  Heck no.  She was way too busy doing other things.  But now she'll bring me a book and actually sit still long enough for me to read it, and maybe a few more.  Barnyard Dance is still ranked pretty high on her favorites list, but I think right now Peekaboo Kisses is at the top.  She loves the squeaky mouse page.  Are You Ticklish also makes the cut for one she'll listen to.  The other day I was reading What's Wrong Little Pookie, and in it the mom is asking the kid (pig?) what is wrong.  One page says 'Are you cold?'  Elsie responded with "brrrrr."  'Are you hungry?'  Elsie said "nom nom!"  Adorable.

annnd she's done with me

She still has no interest in standing unassisted.  I try and trick her in to it but she just melts to the floor or dives at me.  She is cruising a lot more though, using furniture and the walls to get her around.  And sometimes when I try to set her down she'll keep her legs straight and want me to hold her hands so she can walk.  But for the most part nothing crazy going on in the gross motor skills department.  E has taken an interest in putting things inside, containers? for lack of a better way to say it.  The other day I caught her carefully moving a pile of fake coins Ryann has one by one in to a pot from their play kitchen.  She is also enjoying a shape sorter my parents got her for Christmas, where she can put the pieces in the big wide open part on top.


Can't believe you're almost one Elsie girl.  Love you more than you'll ever know!

January 6, 2014

it's time.

Time for me to cut the crap, and get back in the whole fitness game that is.  And bring back 'Move it Monday.'  I can't promise that it will be here every week, but I'll shoot hard for at least every other week.  I need all the motivational help and accountability that I can get!

I am making no promises to do anything amazing, but I do have some goals for the new year.  I've spent the last oh, I don't know, 20 months more or less devoting my body to Elsie, but 2014 is going to be my year.  Before I get in to that though, I want to revisit my fitness goals from 2013 and see how I did.

1.  Run 500+ miles.
It wound up being harder than I thought, but I did it!  I ended the year having ran 545 miles.

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2.  Try a new group fitness class at the gym.
I ended up pausing my membership at the gym, so I guess I'll give myself a pass on this one.

3.  Run a half marathon.
Check.  It certainly wasn't my best or most rewarding half, but I did manage to train for and complete the Kansas City Half Marathon in October.

4.  Run a 'fun' race.
Boo!  I didn't do it.  And I'm always kicking myself when everyone starts posting pictures from whatever color run or glow run or who knows what run they did.

5.  Lose the baby weight by July 1st.
I've still got five pounds to go.  But I am proud to say that I maintained my 'only five pounds to go' weight since a couple months after E was born.  It would have been easy to give up on exercise and eat everything and sight (well, sometimes I did the latter) but I didn't.  I kept running, and nursing, some of those calories away.

6.  Go a week without added sugar.
I did manage to do this way back in April.  Over the last few months I've been hitting the sweets HARD again, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to try and cut sugar out another time.

Well, I only truly managed 50% of my goals.  But hey, I feel like I accomplished the ones that truly mattered the most to me!  It would sure be nice to get rid of the rest of this baby weight though.  Which brings me to my goals for this year.

1.  Run 750 miles.
This sounds a little daunting, and also completely doable at the same time.  I hit over 500 miles only really running half the year, so surely a full year without being pregnant, and only nursing part of the year, I should be able to do it.  Just have to stay motivated!  If I could manage to get back to running with friends again I think that would really help.  Running by yourself all the time gets old.  I'm all for having a little alone time, but some days I could use a little push.

2.  Run two half marathons.
At least one in the spring and one in the fall.

3.  Run a 'fun' race.
Which one of my friends will sign-up for something with me and hold me to it?

4.  Get back to the gym.
And go at least three times a week.  For some reason I'm dragging my feet on getting back to the gym.  I know once I get back in the habit I'll love it, but, well, it isn't habit right now.  It still seems daunting to time it and make it work, but I foresee Elsie to be able to handle only one nap a day pretty well by the time she is 13 months, and that will make a world of difference on the timing front.

5.  Lose the baby weight by March 1st.
No more excuses.  The extra pounds have to go (and then another 5 would be awesome!).  And if the number won't budge I still want to see a certain pair of pants fit by then.

6.  Strength train once a week.
Ideally a strength class at the gym once a week.  My muscles are getting smaller and smaller.  Time to whip 'em back in to shape!

I've challenged myself to run at least one mile every day this month and also to go the first week of the year without any sweets.  So far so good, although I'm already so tempted to cheat on both fronts.  More so the no sweets gig.  Some of my friends are going the whole month, and, um, I just don't think I can do it!  Maybe, but I really really REALLY want to dig in to some chocolate.


How has the new year started off for you?  Have any goals?  Link up health and fitness related posts below!

January 5, 2014

that's what she said (+ project 52)

Early in December I told Chris one of my goals for 2014 was to complete a project 52.  And the goal for this project?  A family photo every week.  We usually SUCK at taking family photos, so this is going to be a bit of a stretch, but how fun would it be to have a whole year's worth of family photos to look back on?  Anyway, driving in the car on New Year's Eve of my project...

Me:  "Remember what what one of my goals is for 2014?"
Chris:  "Uh... no."
Me:  "A family picture once a week!"
Ryann:  "You're gonna lose me on that one.  I don't like taking pictures."

Chris and I could not stop laughing.  Where does she come up with this stuff?  And so far we've accomplished 1 out of 52.  I so hope we can keep up with this little project.


January 2, 2014

bold. brave. purposeful.

Over the last few years I've been eager to put the prior year behind me.  To start fresh, and to keep moving forward in our life.  This year though, this year I'm looking back a lot more fondly.  Sure there were ups and downs, stages and moments I am happy to be done with.  But for once I don't feel like I'm scrambling towards the next level.  I am actually kind of enjoying the ride.


2013 was tough.  I didn't know the meaning of exhuastion until now.  I cried a lot.  I grew a lot.  I learned a lot.  I'm not sad to see the days go, but I am thankful for all that I had over this past year.  I never would have made it through if it weren't for my family and friends, specifically my parents.  They were my lifeline every time I felt like I wasn't going to survive.  Mom and Dad, I truly TRULY don't know what I'd do without you in my life.  Thank you so very much for all you've done for me and my family over the past year.  Without you, I don't think I would have been able to make good on last year's resolution.

To be happy.

For the first time in a very long time, I feel comfortable with how life is, and ready to take on what it is going to become.  And this year, with that in mind, my motto will be:

bold. brave. purposeful.

I am a pessimistic, type A, people pleaser with some OCD tendencies and a fear of change and the unknown.  Sounds like a lot of fun to be around, am I right?  ;o) Ha.  I don't think all of those traits are always on display front and center, but there is no denying it, that is who I am.  And they are definitely the qualities that slow me down sometimes.  So without making this too long and complicated, this year I want to live my life with more purpose.  I will put my needs and my family's first.  I will take risks, I will follow my heart, and I won't be afraid to fail.


Instead of reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day, I want to live like I might not have tomorrow.

That sounds pretty intense.  Maybe a little too hardcore...  But the years are flying by at rapid speeds and I don't want to have any regrets.


Happy New Year.  2014, let's do it.