Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye Hello - On Being In It in 2016
Image Credit

Oh were quite the epic year.


I celebrated my 29th birthday (oh yes...that does in fact mean the big 3-0 is coming rapidly) and we prepped for Baby Girl.  And that's about all we did.


Baby Girl is BORN!  We find out she is in fact baby girl. We find out SP is a BEAST of a woman. My dream baby has finally made her way to me. I basically cry all the time.

No blogging in March.  Probably because I've never been so tired in my entire life. The first month of baby girl's life is a DOOZY. SP and I fight our way through it...but it is HARD!

We are finally starting to get our footing.  I take a few minutes and tell the story of the day I was reborn as a Mother. I also take some time to write my first love letter to baby girl.  We also talked AGAIN about how #lovecan'twait

Another lost month. Probably because SP goes back to work this month.  I spend a week off with my girl and then we transition her into day care. SP and I are still exhausted and still trying to figure out what in the world we're doing.

I talk about how we took baby girl to my parent's house when she was 6 weeks old (yay flying with a newborn!) And we also dressed baby girl up for the first time! Also MARRIAGE EQUALITY PASSES in the US!

Not so much with the writing still.  However I recap how in June we took baby girl across the country to celebrate the life of my grandmother. We talk about how baby girl started solids at just 4 months old. In June, we also celebrated one Best Friend's big 3-0. And another Best Friend comes from across the country to visit :)

I talk about how having a baby has sucked away all of my time and I no longer have any hobbies or any free time (what even is that?!) We also go to the Pear Fair which is basically the cutest thing ever!

Another letter to baby girl and basically that's all I can manage this month! We're fresh off a week with the grandparents though which was super nice!

Another lost month in terms of blogging. It was baby girl's first Halloween :) And Apple Orchard time! Yum! Sadly we lost SP's grandparents at the end of this month and Baby Girl went on her first looonnnggg roadtrip to Utah to say goodbye to her namesake and meet many many of her relatives.

Pictures from October! Including the Dread Pirate herself! And my parents come to visit again!  And we take Grandma to the Apple Orchards again!

In December I straight up lose my mind and decide to blog every day until Christmas. I write about everything from Thanksgiving to starting bootcamp to how much I love my SP!  I also wrote about our beautiful tree Harriet and our crazy dogo and another letter to baby girl.  I talked about how sometimes things are just stinkin hard. One of my most favorite blogmas blogs however was about being a non-belly mama and how treasured and real that role is. Another important one was about how we must help our suffering brothers and sisters fleeing in the middle east (you can still help!!!) And then it was Christmas! And what a beautiful day it was indeed! If nothing else it pushed me out of my writing rut!  
And here we are now - 2015 was an epic year. It was my mama-birth year as my beautiful girl barreled into this world and changed everything. And our hearts grew more than 3 sizes the day she came to us and they've been growing ever since - as has she. Learning to be a mama and how to love and care and grow with this little monster baby has consumed us completely. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
So 2016 - what are we going to do with you? That is the question. Sure I have a list of resolutions I could come up with. Many related to being healthy or changing my body. (The healthy has become even more important to me, I have to say, in hopes of being around as long as humanly possible for this little one who has stolen my heart.) I'm sure I could come up with plenty of goals about finances and cleanliness and organization. And in reality, many of those lists/details are floating around in my mind - things I'm sure I will think about as we progress through another trip around the sun.
But overall I want only one thing this coming year - one big hope for myself:

To be Present. 
I just want to not miss it, you know? This precious time I have on this planet. These sacred moments as I watch my girl grow and the time I get to spend with the love of my life. I want to see it all and know it all and be in it all. I want to stop getting stuck in the crappy little details of each day and I want nothing to do with the busy trap that keeps taking hold. I want to spend all the time I'm wasting worrying about stupid, insignificant things on much more important things like trips to the park, and baby smiles, and hugs from my wife. Because I'm pretty sure at the end of the day, at the end of my life - those are the things I'm going to remember. And if this past year is any indication of how sweepingly quickly the time really does go - then I've got to dig my heels in and do everything in my power to slow it down and not blink and not miss any perfect moment. Don't get me wrong - I know there will be bad days, or bad moments - but I just don't want to miss any of it. I don't want to be lost in my own panicked mind when I could be right here - living it all!
So here we are - 2016, you have some mighty shoes to fill!
And to you, my friends, out there in the interwebs and the world - I wish you love and light and hope! Happy New Year and Happy New You!
Be Brave! 
I Love You!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Blogmas Vol 25 - Merry Blogmas - The End!

Well my friends, the Blogmas project has come to end! 

A few observations:

1) I finished!
2) It definitely made me push myself outside of my comfort zone!
3) I don't think I need to blog this frequently maybe ever again ;)

Our Christmas day was lovely - more to come about Baby Girl's first Christmas soon - but first...a little blogging break!  I'm planning to spend the rest of my time napping, eating burritos and walking on the beach!

Happy Christmas my friends! From my little family to yours! WE LOVE YOU! Be Brave!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 24

What a difference a year makes!

This time last year my family was up north and we were sitting around in our little house, celebrating Christmas and waiting for a long anticipated child.  She, like a little child many years ago, was much anticipated and waited for.  And who we knew would change our world.

And has she ever!

We may be a little more ragged and a little more worse for the wear some days - but Baby Girl has wrapped us up in her. She is joy and wonder and light and we truly are forever changed.

So tonight, while I write, from the comfort of a warm bed, I think of another mother - my homegirl Mary. She is the constant from all of my catholic upbringing. She is the Auntie I pray to when I can't sleep. And now she is the model of true hero - scared and vulnerable and given wholly unto a child. And somehow, I understand a little more what that means. To give yourself over to someone so small. To stand vulnerably in front of this person, this spirit you are supposed to mold and guide - who all along, you suspect is likely molding and guiding you more than you are her. 

I can't imagine what it must have been like for mother Mary back then - talk about pressure! Because in relative comfort and safety I feel the pressure of bringing up this child in front of me in this big scary world we live in now.  I worry about this world I've brought her into. How I can teach her to be kind and loving. How she, in her own small ways, can change this world we live in for the better. How I can help her to see, she too, can be the light.

And when it all seems like too much - this great responsibility - I hum the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song "Breath of Heaven" and think of Warrior Mary out there in the darkness - bringing us great light!

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan

Merry Christmas Eve my friends - especially to my fellow Warrior Mamas out there, who come in every shape and size and situation - you bring the light!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 23

Christmas Eve Eve!

It is almost time to blow this Popsicle stand and migrate south to the parents house.  It is an 8 hour drive (if you don't stop a lot) so we are doing 4 hours tonight and 4 hours tomorrow morning

And we're taking the dog and the baby.

Pray for me friends...seriously.

I'm so incredibly excited to get out of town, hang out near the beach and eat lots of good food.  And to decorate cut out cookies - a family tradition.  And to let Baby Girl get some good quality grandparent/uncle time.

And my parents have a hot there's that.

In true parental murphy's law fashion - baby girl slept about 0 hours last night. Which means me and SP are trashed. So our drive tonight should be extra fun. Especially because I'm still getting over the plague and SP seems to be getting it (I'm in denial...though I swear she's NOT going to really get it)  Why does this always happen?!  I mean really universe - I just want one holiday season where I feel on top of things and ahead of the game and I'm not sick... I guess it just ain't going to happen. At least not this year.

At least I know when we get to my parents, there will be plenty of babysitters so I could possibly NAP (WHATTTTT EVEN IS THAT?!)

Hope you are all well and enjoying some time off with those you love!  

Merry Blogmas to all my favorite fools!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 22 - Let There Be LIGHT

If you only read one of my blog posts, I hope it's this one...


Oh my friends.  It is that time of year when the darkness sets in.  When my gorgeous sun sets at 3:30pm. In fact it is the darkest day of the year.  When all I want to do is hibernate and snuggle up and be warm. And it has been raining here, just to add to the darkness. So also all I want is to be dry.

And the lucky thing is - I get to do that. I get to wear warm clothes every day. I get to go home (and immediately rip off  my pants) and snuggle up with my loved ones. I get to be safe and warm and dry. And not worry about where my next meal is coming from and whether or not I'm safe at the moment. I get to snuggle my sweet wife and my adorable baby and know that we are more than ok.

And yet, right now, in this very moment, on the other side of the world, there are babies being pulled out of a dark, frigid ocean. There are mamas carrying their babies thousands and thousands of miles to escape certain death. They are starving, and freezing, and their bodies are literally rotting from the rain. They are living in a continual state of darkness - figuratively and literally.

And the thing is, all of us, sitting here in our cushy situations (and they are cushy in comparison regardless of how much you are struggling right now) we can do more. In what we all like to refer to as the season of giving - we have more to give to these people who are only hoping to be safe, and dry, and fed.  And we are the ones who can do it. We can light up the dark!!! We can buy one less gift or one less coffee and instead give someone a pair of socks, or a coat, or a warm meal.

Because if you call yourself a Christian, I'm pretty sure there are some specific instructions on this type of thing. And if you call yourself a decent human being - there are also some pretty easy tenants to be followed in this scenario.

100% of donations go directly to refugee humanitarian aid. There is NO overhead! That means your $5 can buy even more baby socks.

Because this world is full of darkness - but we can LIGHT IT UP!

You can read more about this project here: 
I dare you not to cry!

Merry Blogmas!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 21

It's 9pm, do you know where your bed is?!

Honestly friends, I'm ready for blogmas to be over now. Because I am LE TIRED. And like let's be honest am I really this interesting...I think not!

So, in honor of my exhaustion, and the fact that the sun set at 3:20FREAKIN PM today is a cop out blog:

What I liked about today - the ExhaustedIHaveToWriteAboutSomethingEdition

  • Bacon. For dinner. Because it was a cop out dinner today as well.
  • Being back at work! Not the work part but the fact that I finally felt well enough to leave my house. I only hacked up part of my lung today. I also didn't take any cold medication today!
  • A daycare provider who sends you home with baked goods!
  • Super awesome coworkers who get you a graphic novel version of one what is probably your all time favorite book! Madeline L'Engle what what!

  • Amazon customer service. Immediate phone connection with the click of a button. I.Am.A.Fan (not sure she actually fixed anything...but take what you can get)
  • A new Christmas CD! Oh yes I did! Sing to me Kelly Clarkson
  • Christmas Tree Smell
  • Modern amenities - a working heater, hot water, lights etc
  • Makeup - to cover all manner of exhaustion and sickness on yo face
  • And last but not least, a cute little girl who has become obsessed with blowing raspberries!
Gratuitous pic of my kid...because...obviously
So that's what's up today my friends!  Hope you all are well!

Merry Blogmas (?)!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 20

Well my friends, only a few more days of my constant prattling...

Why is it that the time during the holidays is like the craziest? It's funny because I'm pretty sure we all have this idea that we should be jolly and lazing and just sitting around with loved ones. And yet so far today I have:

a) wrapped approximately 99 gifts
b) made 2 tons of christmas crack (more to come)
c) wiped 5million snotty noses
d) cut out a thousand pieces of fabric for a project
e) all of the above

Let me just tell you the answer isn't a-d...

It was a nice day - although my poor wifey went out into the fray TWICE today.  If that's not real love I don't know what is. Because on Fri night I went to Target and the parking lot and the bitchy lady in line in front of me verbally assaulting the cashier was really enough for me for a lifetime. (side note - can we all stop being @-holes to cashiers?! Those people have to deal with us harried, crazed, frazled people all day long - cut them a freakin break. And can we all stop driving in the parking lot like it's the end of the world...just take a min. people, we're allll going to be ok - side note completed)

Anyway, where was I? So was a nice day, although not super lazy (and not over yet...urgh) But it was jolly by god.  We listened to some "ho-ho tunes" as my wife calls them and made A LOT of Christmas Crack.

Oh what is Christmas Crack you ask?  Well some people refer to it as white trash, but I wasn't feeling too comfortable with that name, so we're going with Christmas Crack - which yes does also have some negative connotations, but peeps, this stuff is ADDICTING!  And seeing as I've never done drugs, and don't plan to, this is as close to crack as I plan to get.

So here goes, Sarah's Christmas Crack!

3 cups cheerios
3 cups rice checks
3 cups wheat checks
2 cups pretzels 
2-3 cups m&ms
22 oz's white chocolate (I use Ghirardelli's white chocolate chips) 

In a BIG bowl mix cereal, pretzels, and m&m's. Toss em around.
In a microwave safe bowl melt white chocolate. I start with 30sec intervals and then switch to 20 second intervals as things start to melt. Make sure to stir frequently. It goes fast!
Drizzle white chocolate over cereal mix. Stir until the cereal mixture is REALLY coated. It's going to seem like too much white chocolate...its not! 
Spread mixture onto parchment paper and let harden for an hour or so.
Break up and eat. and eat and eattttt!

So much SUGAR. So much YUM!

If you're feeling really generous you can give some away...


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 19
Image Credit

Why yes Netflix, I am still watching "The Vanilla Ice Project"

I'm embarrassed (? am I?) to say that I am a certified binge watcher. A product of my generation I guess? A product of not having real television perhaps? Becuase I have to wait until things come to netflix so typically shows come with several seasons. And I really like background noise - so if I don't have music going I like some bad TV running in the back.

The problem, however, is that I've made it through many a show lately and am running out.
I've gone through essentially all the cooking shows and food shows (luckily they've just added more episodes to "A Chef's Table") and I've re-watched all of Friends (worth it!) I'm working my way through Alias again. And I chronically and obsessively watch Gilmore Girls - judge away - they are my people. As it is the season I've also started watching all the trashy Christmas movies.  

And we've also watched all of the renovation shows...hence The Vanilla Ice Project.  

So basically what I'm saying is: 1) I have no hobbies (look I'm tired) and 2) if you have any awesome netflix suggestions of things I'm missing out on please DO TELL.  

Because it's almost my vacation time and all I want to do is eat burritos, go to the beach, and melt my brain!

Tomorrow is baking day so expect some pictures to make your mouth water Mmmmm!

Merry Blogmas my friends!  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 18

The Dinner Rut

Ok Friends. I'm in need of your assistance. I'm in a serious cooking rut as of late!  I used to be super creative and made all this good food. And lately...I'm going to be honest its a lot of popcorn, and pasta and grilled cheese sandwiches and crockpot chili.  Which lets be honest are delicious - but maybe not the most nutritious situation. Don't get me wrong though I could eat popcorn and cheese for every meal for the rest of my life.

So tonight we're having some salmon and brussel sprouts...and tater tots...because you know...a meal isn't complete without some heinous starch added to it!

But seriously I need your recipes. Quick, nutritious meals, preferably that can be made small to feed a 10month old. (Salmon apparently has a weird texture, BG is not a fan!)  The emphasis on quick though peeps - especially crock pot things, or things that can be cooked on weekends and frozen. Because during the week I have just about zero energy to create delicious meals.

But I really do want some new ideas because one, we need to eat, and two I miss cooking! (I know, I really do though!) And SP is tired of me!  Sometimes she says, "remember when you used to make good food?" And it's true! I used to make amazing stuff. But I just can't seem to get inspired.

So...leave me your best, fastest recipes!  Because my family's nutrition DEPENDS ON YOU ;) No pressure! 

But really...leave me some good stuff!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Blogmas Vol.17

On Being the Non-Belly Mama

The funny thing is people have a lot of questions about being the non gestational parent and about not being biologically related to your kid.  I guess I find it funny because to me it is not even close to anything important regarding being a parent.
I mean 1/2 of every couple is a non gestational parent - and nobody asks them if they are ok with it. (and yes I'm being very heteronormative in this statement). But it is one of the most common topics around being a non-belly mama.  So let me set a few things straight:
1) There is no question in my mind that I am Baby Girl's mother. SP and I planned and saved and worked to bring her here. I made almost all of the appointments and did a lot of the money related items. I went to EVERY single appointment. And after baby was born I took her to some of her appointments on my own.
2) It doesn't bother me when people say our daughter looks like SP. Why shouldn't she? I think my wife is beautiful (obviously!) why wouldn't I want my daughter to look like her? Does it get obnoxious when that is the ONLY thing people can point out - honestly yes. Because it's like what are you trying to prove? We know she's biologically related to SP. And just for the record, when I'm alone with Baby Girl, people swear up and down she looks like me. The mind is an amazing fake out artist.
3) I am not lacking. There is nothing SP can give her that I can't. I could have induced lactation if I wanted to (I chose not to) but even so, there are plenty of babies that are fed with formula and they are just fine. And I'm pretty sure that's the least important part of parenting - as long as they are healthy and fed, the rest of it is what matters. She doesn't ever need her "real" mother over me.
4) I am her REAL mother. Don't ever suggest or say anything otherwise. Because it is untrue. I am here. Day in and day out wiping butts and noses and doing laundry. I love her and teach her and feed her. I play with her and dress her and care for her. If that's not a real mother, I don't know what is. She takes up every space in my heart (except for a few small spaces reserved for SP and the rest of my family...and crazy Kori)
5) It actually doesn't bother me if you ask who carried her. How you react matters though. If you ask in a kind and interested way so that you can learn more - good for you. If you ask because you need to know who her "real" mother is - we're going to have words.
6) Yes, I am bonded to my daughter. I bonded with her possibly faster than my wife. I don't want to speak for my lovely wifey but when baby girl was born, SP was pretty roughed up. I on the other hand, while exhausted, was able to focus solely on our new little soul. And I had been talking to her and waiting for her and dreaming of her. I was there to cut the cord, and hold her hand while she got weighed, and cleaned and got shots. The moment I saw her, it was all over. My heart was outside my body forever.
7) Yes, I would like to be a belly mama one day. I want to have that experience myself. But here's the caveat - if for some reason, it doesn't work out and we can only have babies carried by SP or carried by another mama - I will STILL be a REAL mother. Because however my babies get to me, whatever paths they take, they are MY babies!
So there you go, that's my experience thus far being a mother. I'm sure my experience will adjust and change with time. But either way - this is my girl, my dream baby!
Merry Blogmas!

Sick Day Selfie

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 16

What I Liked About Today - The Sick Day Edition

So I made the hard decision to skip bootcamp today. I really really wanted to not miss any of them but I sound like a dying seal and a crackling fireplace when I breathe so I figured I better give it a rest.

Instead I stayed home all day and tried to rest - but it turns out I'm a work-aholic...when did that happen again?!

So without any further ado, What I liked about my sick day:
  • Binge watching NCIS while answering email. I can't lie, I love NCIS and there are about eleventy billion episodes on netflix
  • Sweat Pants. Nuff said.
  • Addressing these bad boys (they might actually get out before Christmas)

  • Getting excited for Christmas - ITS COMING
  • Big bowl of pasta for lunch
  • Snuggling with Kori!

  • The ability to work at home
  • Nap-lets (I really wish I had that amazing napping ability that some people have)
  • Enjoying Harriet in all her glory
  • Fudge leftovers
  • Not cooking anything all week
  • A reliable day care situation with someone I really love
  • The internet (yay last minute christmas shopping!)  

So that's what's going on around these parts - not too much my friends. This weekend is going to be full of cookie baking, present wrapping, and your other general elf like duties. And of course prepping to head down south with all of our stuff and a dog and a baby (why did we do this?!) We're also getting a new couch delivered because why not? Well actually because our big giant couch is just too ginormous for our little cozy house. And really it's time. And we're really trying to make it look like we're not college kids anymore - since apparently we're adults now (The big 3-0 is coming real real soon my friends!)

Sending well wishes and holiday spirit!

Merry Blogmas my friends! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 15

Tales From The Annual Sick Ward

Apparently it's that time of year my friends. Wherein we start stocking up on the cough drops and tissues and cough syrup. And we look like we've been hit by a mac truck and we just.can't.stop.coughing. The best is that my cough drops have fun "encouraging" slogans on them like "Be resilient" and "Dust off and get up." Guess what cough drop maker - you can take your slogans and shove em you know where!

And thus begins the annual whining about being sick as well :(

What is the deal with this wintertime plague that always seems to come around? The end of the year exhaustion? The exposure to many other sick people (hazard of the job)? And let me tell you what I know it isn't being helped by the fact that I am now exposed to a myriad of daycare germs. Baby snot is NO joke! And those kids love to share their snot with one another - like take it out of their nose and stick it in another kids face! (Luckily our daycare has a no touching each others faces/heads rule - which at first seemed silly and now seems GENIUS. This is where you trust the woman who has been doing this for 27years!)

The cruddy thing is I have a lot of things I'd rather be doing like say...addressing my holiday cards or making cookies!  But instead I'm munching on cough drops and post-nasal drip and laying on the couch hacking up my insides.

But at the end of the day I know I need to shut it. Because this sickness will pass. One day soon, I won't be coughing all the time and I won't be snotty and glossy and drained. And I'm very well aware that there are many many people out there who WISH they just had a little cold. So I'll take this obnoxious virus and I'll be grateful for it. 

But I'm definitely going to look like crap doing it...

 Merry Blogmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 14

It's the Most Sugared Up Time of the Year!

So if you're like me, you have about 99 holiday parties/potlucks coming up.  And many of them require you to bring a cookie or sweet of some sort. And typically I like to make something fancy (like these or cut out sugar cookies or camel/chocolate dipped pretzel rods).

But sometimes sister doesn't have time to make dozens of cookies and she needs something yummy and sweet and sort of special for an event.

And so I give unto you Sarah's Super Easy Cheater Fudge:
3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (this is my personal preference I've never tried with other types)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (small can)
pinch of salt
1.5 tsp vanilla

Put chocolate chips, condensed milk and salt into a sauce pan over low/ low medium heat.  Stir continuously until chocolate is melted and smooth (this is the only tricky part, you really have to watch it because it can go too far really fast).  Take the pan off the heat and add in vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Place in 9x9 pan that is covered in tinfoil and sprayed with cooking spray (just for easy removal)  smooth it out as evenly as possible.  Place in fridge for 1-2hours to let everything firm up.  Cut and eat.

Sometimes I crush up candy cane and throw it on top or in as well to make it "Christmassy" 

I've made some other fudge recipes before but honestly this one is my favorite even compared to the more time and ingredient intensive versions. It's dense, super sweet, and fudgyyy!

So there you go!  Happy Sugar-ing!

Merry Blogmas!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 13
Image Credit

Can we all just be honest for a minute?

Sometimes adulting is hard!

Today involved baby poop, dog throw up that looked like poop, and gutters that were full of something that also looked like poop! There was also a lot of snot...a LOT! And just for the record, the dog ate and threw up what was in the yeah.

It was just that kind of day.  And the thing is, sometimes, especially online - we just show everything being happy sunshine rainbows all the time. And really sometimes it's just not true.

I love my life and I love my kid (and most of the time my dog) and I have nothing to worry about - but today I definitely understood how sometimes people run away. My adorable smiling kid was in everything today. And I was so tired of wiping snotty noses. 

And the true truth is - I don't sleep much. And anybody who knows me knows I never really have. The thing is, when I was just an adult it was more manageable - I was less needed. I could fall asleep on the couch. I could leave the laundry for another day. But now I'm a couple and a mom and the occasional nap has been taken over by dishes and the laundry never ever ever ends.

Don't get me wrong - my wife is off the chain amazing. And she put on her cape today and just went to to town cleaning things and taking care of things as she watched me melt down in front of her eyes (not my finest moment). But even with all of that - sometimes it's all.just.a.lot.

So that's where I am today. And that's ok. 

Because tomorrow - new day! (hopefully poop puke free! - Dare to dream I know) And 10 days until we migrate south!

Merry Blogmas my friends! Take care of you!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Blogmas Vol.12

What I liked about today - the Blogmas edition 

In no particular order what I liked about today:

-Seeing happy grads while working at commencement. So shiny and excited for the future! (suckasss! jk jk...sort of ;)
-"Sleeping In" until 6:45am (yes that is late for me)
-Doing a little in person shopping all by myself
-My wife cleaning the bathrooms! Hallelujah!
-A fun holiday party with friends from all the different worlds
-Grilled cheese sandwhiches
-Clean clothes. So much laundry done.
-Peanutbutter balls!!!! (Thank you so much you know who!)
-Comp time for working at said commencement ceremony.
-The smell of our (dying) Christmas Tree Harriett
-Advent calendars and the nasty nasty chocolate that comes in them (we need a better system for next year - except SP says it isn't Christmas without nasty chocolate!)
-Online Shopping - can I get an AMEN?! 
-A baby who's fever broke.  And who pulled her self up to standing for the first time today (ACK)
-Christmas lights
-Thank you notes from small children

Hope everyone is having a merry and bright night! 

Merry Blogmas!

Baby's First Advent Calendar! (no chocolate for!)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 11

Dear Baby Girl - Vol. 3

Dear Baby Girl,

Today you are 10months old. 10months ago at 10:27am, after 38hours of hard labor you made your glorious entrance into our lives. And every moment since then has been nothing short of a roller coaster - an amazing one!

Every month has been my favorite. This past month you've been clapping and saying uh-oh all over the place. You smile like a fool...but only when you feel like it. You are most definitely afraid of all adults these days, but you can warm up if given the chance. Little people however seem to be a-ok with you.

You are still a really great baby! You rarely cry and fuss. You still sleep pretty well, although we're going through some sort of fun sleep regression right now where you wake your mom up at about 3am every day - FUN!

You love to eat eat eat!  You have 4 teeth - 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom.  I'm pretty sure one of your top canine teeth. You've sort of learned how to bite with them, but not quite. You are really good at mushing things around with those gums though. You still cry if we don't share food. And if our food looks better than yours - you won't eat yours. Your favorites right now seem to be just about anything. Seriously you eat it all.  You do love cheerios and puffs though. And while you like to feed yourself and want to eat regular food - your not so great at the self regulation (ie you will put 17million cheerios in your mouth at once if given the opportunity) so we have dole things out carefully.  

You are also a crawling, knee standing/knee walking, pulling yourself up fool.  You can't quite get both of your feet up under you yet but you're working really hard on it. And you can definitely reach A LOT from your knees.  You love to chew on the coaster on my night stand. And pull anything off of any horizontal surface possible! Such fun!

You love socks...yeah we don't know. And you love to touch everything you know you shouldn't (light sockets, dog bones etc) Mostly you just like to touch!  You also love the noisest toys possible - again - Such fun!

You are a constant delight. When I pick you up from daycare you and you rush to see me and clap your hands my heart melts into a million pieces. When I tuck you in at night and you make your funny little grunty sounds again...the melting. I hate to watch you cry (except when it's  a little bit funny lets be honest)

I can't wait to see what the next few months bring. I can't believe that in just 2 more months you will have been on this planet (on the outside) for an entire year! But I can't even go THERE yet!

We love you babygirl. More than life it self. More than anything and everything compared. You have brought the greatest lessons and challenges into our lives. And most importantly the greatest joys!


Our favorite "walker"
Baby's first pizza crust!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Blogmas Vol.10

On Dusting Off the Perspectacles (term stolen from my spirit animal Glennon Melton)
Christmas can be such a magical time.  A time of focusing on the beauty around us, a time of self reflection, a time of giving, a time of love and joy and happiness. 
It can also easily and rapidly turn into a time of selfishness and greed. Commercialization and how much we can get get get.  A time of keeping up with the proverbial Joneses.
Don't get me wrong - I love giving gifts. I adore thinking about my loved ones and what they really need or would enjoy and trying to find something for them. And showing them I love them with a sweet memento. And I like receiving similar gifts - thoughtful tokens from those I love.  I love walking around and seeing something I know someone I care about would LOVE and then getting to watch them open it. And I will admit, I do have a fantasy of giving someone a blow your socks of totally out of control gift one day.
But this year, once again, I'm trying to remember that it isn't all about the THINGS.  And that really many of us are so far better off than our brothers and sisters around the world right now. As all of the stories of the Syrian refugees come out I can't help but be reminded of how incredibly blessed I already am - what wonderful gifts I'm lucky enough to have.
First of all, every morning I wake up. That alone seems like a pretty fantastic gift. One that many have been robbed of this year in various tragic ways. And when I wake up, generally I'm healthy, I'm warm, I'm clothed. I'm laying next to the person I love most (except on nights when I've been snoring like a mac truck). I often wake to the babbling sounds of a squishy baby dream come true. I wake up in a house I own - how luxurious is that?! When I go to the kitchen I know there will be plenty of food. And I know that when it runs out I won't have to worry about getting more. When I walk out the door to go to my job (that I like!) I am safe. I can get in my functioning car. And so on and so on and so on.
I mean really, how lucky am I?!
So, my hope is that this coming year I can do more with what I have. It's time to share more - because there is plenty to go around. I have time to give, and talents, and material things - and I know there is plenty of love in this vulnerable heart of mine.
Merry Blogmas my friends!  Be Brave!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Blogmas Vol.9

A short one tonight my friends because I'm one tired mama!

9 things (in no particular order) I'm loving on the 9th of December:

1) Baby girl saying UH OH! Possibly the cutest thing in the entire world
2) Diet Dr. Pepper - the biggie cup (like the size of my head) because caffeine. 
3) Bootcamp (believe it or not) I feel so much stronger already and I'm only a week and a half in. I love feeling stronger. And the women in the class make me laugh and make me feel powerful! (and get me to wake up at DAWN)
4) Christmas music in all its cheesy glory. 
And Christmas Movies!
5) Getting family photos back. I have a KID (say what?!)
6) 2 weeks until we start the trek south to see the fam! Because I need a mom and dad hug. And some rolled tacos like whoa!
7) My wifey! Who still packs my lunch for me every day (yes I'm spoiled!) Who makes sacrifices for me so that I can spend time on myself (like bootcamp!)
8) Intelligent discussion on social media. The use of articles and the interwebs for good things, for making a difference and for changing hearts and minds.
9) Vanilla Eggnogg candle - because sometimes the little things make all the difference.

Hope you and yours are well. I have the post nasal drip that won't end (WHYYY) and am in desperate need of a nap - so buenas noches mis amigos!

Merry Blogmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 8

Kori the Cray!

This one's for my fur-st baby. If you've had he "joy" of meeting our puppy then you know - she's certafiable! Kori was mine and SP's first adventure together. Shortly after we moved in together we decided to start looking for dogs. One day we went to "just" look and came hope with a sweet scared quiet little fur ball. She was afraid of the seats in the car. She was afraid of shadows and leaves and plastic bags. She was afraid of EVERYTHING! We affectionately referred to her as our shelter surprise. With time and love and care she was no longer afraid of everything - just most things! Instead of fear she was - WIRED! She finally was warm loved and well fed and her true personality came out and boy were we surprised. Instead of fear and shaking and quiet and meek - we had crazy bouncy snuggly excitable little fur bean.

She's definitely been a challenge. But she has taught me so much. And the dedication we put into her before we had baby girl trained SP and I on how to work together, on patience, on unconditional love, on poop, and sleepless nights.

And while she still drives me 100% bonkers sometimes - I most definitely wouldn't be my best me without her! She has listened to me when I was scared, she's snuggled away my tears thousands of times, and made me laugh until I cried happy tears!

And even though she hates almost all people on earth she has been nothing but fabulous with baby girl. She cries when baby girl is "stuck" in the crib, she hangs out with her on the floor, she licks her snot away, and cleans up all baby girl's leftovers! 

We love you crazy baby dog! Even if you're a punk face sometimes! Muah!

Do you like how the tree is coming out of her head?!
That's how you know she's really part of the fam :) Signature move!
Merry Blogmas Friends!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Blogmas Vol. 7

Ok friends - here's the rub. 

I have no time to do anything cool and thus I have nothing to write about. I mean I could talk about current events or I could talk about the presidential candidates and how the state of politics in this country just makes me sad and how some of the candidates make me question the whole concept of kindness and empathy (he who shall not be named). Or I could talk about the whole Syrian debacle but I think I've probably opened my big mouth about that plenty already and again the whole thing makes my heart break. I could talk about gun control but that's a can of worms I'm just not ready to open on here.

The thing is this time of year I always think about how I could do better.  I think about how I would react if a struggling couple came to my door.  I think about the world I want my daughter to grow up in and how I can help shape it to be the dream I want it to be for her. The problem is... it all seems really dark sometimes. It seems like too much.  It seems like too much heart break and too much loss. I want more than anything to believe that people are good but I'm so scared sometimes of other people. And I hate that. It is the worst thing I think to be so conditioned to be afraid of strangers - and I want no part of it. But how do you fight that feeling with all the darkness pressing in from every angle?!  With all of the sorrow and heartbreak and tragedy that surrounds us all.the.freakin.time?

I honestly don't know. Some days the darkness presses down pretty hard, I won't lie, and I'm fearful and sad. But then I remember the little lights. The smiles of my innocent baby girl, who has the hope and the world and all the potential wrapped up in her tiny little being. My friends - all good people who make this world vibrant and kind and hard working. I think of my colleagues - in the trenches of student development - working their darndest to help students and coworkers to unlearn hard, horrible things. Working their darndest to help develop our future leaders, thinkers, do-ers - and compassionate, empathetic people. I remember the dissenting voices out their, who speak out against the darkness at every turn. And the proverbial "little guy" who stands up and speaks when everything around him tries to silence him.

I just know we can better, do better, love more, be kinder. Because despite all the darkness, despite all the tragedy and heartbreak - there are always little lights. And little lights, when put all together, shine extra bright! Each speck adds something special. Each light breaks away just a little more of the darkness.

So be you my friends. Be brave. Do the right thing even when its the hardest thing. Choose love, even when you don't want to. Forgive again. Say yes. Say no. Smile when you can. Most of all, love love love!  

Because I know you, my people, are the brightest lights out there! And when the darkness starts to press in - look for me - because I'll be in the dark corner with my little light - waiting just for you!

Be Brave!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Blogmas Vol.6

Harriet Con't

Today was decorating day! 

SP and I woke up at dawn this morning (as one does when they have a 10month old) so we figured 7am was as good a time as any to get going with decorating!  We pulled in all the boxes and got Harriet all lighted and bead garlanded up. Baby girl ate and went down for a morning nap and SP and I went to town on Harriet - pulling out all our memories.  SP and I have a tradition where we buy an ornament everywhere we travel.  It really is the best souvenir because they are small, they don't take up space in your home all year long, and each year you get to pull them all out and remember the trip and where they came from.

7:30am stop taking pics of me face
Beautiful Harriet...and SCARY SANTA! Back for another year of fun!
We got Harriet all fluffed and sparkly and dressed to the nines...and then we went to town on the rest of the living room.  SP indulged me this year and let me buy these giant Christmas Stars :)  And then she did me one better and hung them for me! 

And then I got a little crazy and decided Baby Girl needed something in her room (small tree next year people, mark my words!) So we hung a few (plastic, shatterproof) bulbs from her ceiling and a few tiny stockings on her wall.  She's loving the fact I'm afraid we've made a critical error in that I hope we don't have a fit on our hands when it's time to take them down...but too late now!

Because really, why not?!

So all in all it's pretty christmasy up in here. We don't have the outside lights up yet but we're going to do a few because I just couldn't resist. And I have this giant painted winter window that we haven't quite figured out to do with yet (and need some serious anchoring items we didn't have on hand this weekend)

I have to say though, overall, the beautiful lights and the vanilla eggnog candle I got from the dollar section of you know where and I'm feeling pretty darn Christmas Spirit-y!  And We're like 75% done with Christmas shopping so I'm feeling even better about things because have you BEEN to the mall lately (DEAR GOD!)  Needless to say there aren't likely to be any pictures with santa this year because baby girl has two grinch moms who aren't going to stand in that line for anything!

And in other news, Happy Hanukkah to those starting their celebrations this evening! Can one of my lovely friends please educate me as to why there are so many different spellings and which one is correct? I did find one sparkle Hanukkah sign this year (it may be making an appearance in my office very soon so no pics yet!) 

Merry Blogmas my friends!

P.S. Week 2 of bootcamp starts tomorrow...pray for me!  
P.P.S Editors note: In Blogmas Vol. 5 I incorrectly gave the tree a royal title. Namer of said tree was not pleased with said edition. The tree henceforth will be referred to as ONLY Harriet...get it right already ;)