Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Finish This - Week #34

This game is called "Finish This," and all you have to do is finish the following prompts and link up your post below! You can also visit the other hosts of this party on their fun blogs: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, Jen {The Arizona Russums} and Becky {The Java Mama}.

My daily hair routine consists of... putting it in a pony when I wake up.  I work for 1/2 day at home then run on my lunch break..  Shower, wash/condition (with Creme de Coco from Bumble and Bumble), spray with Aveda damage control, blow dry and depending on where I'm going I may curl or hairspray...

The best hair advice I’ve received... use a round brush to increase volume. My hair looks 100x better when I round brush when drying!

My hair idol is... My future sister-in-law (someday ahem...), George's God-mother, Stylist and Owner of the amazing Viva Voce Salon,  Miss Jayme.  This girl has amazing hair whether she's rolling out of bed and going for a run or she's heading out on the town.  She's simply beautiful inside and out and I am so blessed to know her and have her as my own stylist.  And SOON I will have my long hair again as we are doing extensions again in a few weeks. YAY!

Jayme with her sweet nephew Lane... 

My hair idol Jayme :)  - Photo from Facebook

Prompt for WEEK 35 — September 3
I celebrated Labor Day by
My dream job/career, would be
My first paying job was
My current job is

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend in Review

And it's Monday again!  The weekend flew by as it usually does! I didn't take many pics this weekend but George turned 7 months on Saturday and I was able to capture one (a little late!).  My goodness he's growing so fast!

We spent both Friday and Saturday night with friends. It was so nice to get together with different people. Saturday was completely impromptu and it was perfect!  We grilled out and were able to all catch up. Two of the families have newer babes so it was so fun to see them as well.

Likes:  Sleeping with a blankie (yes, I'm aware this isn't approved but he cannot sleep without a small one).  Playing with toys that are loud and have lots of lights.  If I'm on the laptop he's quite interested as well. 

Dislikes:  Not being able to be mobile. He wants to be on the go and hasn't quite figured it out yet.

Mobility: George is sitting up pretty well on his own. He occasionally tips over, but I'm told it's because of his big head :)  George can roll both ways. Hasn't learned how to crawl but gets on his back and scoots using his feet.  This is causing rug burn on the back of his head. Ha.

Food: Eating solids but still hasn't quite taken to them yet.  He likes carrots and sweet potatoes the best.

Sleep:  Usually sleeps through the night. Goes to bed at 8:30 and is up around 6:00am.

We spent some time over at Grandma and Grandpa's house on Sunday night while Adam was at his fantasy football draft.  We played outside and Moo the kitty came to see us.  George cannot get enough of animals. He loves petting and playing with them!  (He's clearly nothing like me!).  I just can't get over how big he's getting!!  

Hope you have a wonderful and easy week!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Finish This - Week #33

This game is called "Finish This," and all you have to do is finish the following prompts and link up your post below! You can also visit the other hosts of this party on their fun blogs: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, Jen {The Arizona Russums} and Becky {The Java Mama}.

I feel stupid when... Im talking in groups of people. I am an introvert so when I start telling a story and I find the group is listening I get anxious and nervous. I find myself talking faster and usually getting to the end of the story and have people staring at me like... What's next?! All eyes are on me... I have nothing more to say.... and that's when the feeling of stupid sets in...

I hope I never...have to see my son in pain.  It hurts my heart watching him go through teething so to imagine him breaking a bone, having his heart broken by a girl or face anything more serious just terrifies me. 

My one piece of advice to the world... Trust in yourself when it comes to all things.  People will tend to give you advice about nearly everything and you simply need to take it with a grain of salt. You should trust your instincts. If something feels off, it likely is off.  My instincts have been right so very often that ignoring them is no longer an option. You know yourself and your children best so you need to trust that you are doing an amazing job raising your littles and that you are being the best person you can doing so.  

Prompts for WEEK 34 — August 27:

My daily hair routine consists of
The best hair advice I’ve received
My hair idol is

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pepperfest 2014

Pepperfest is one of my MOST favorite weekends of summer.  It's an entire weekend event that takes place the 3rd weekend in August in North Hudson, WI.  I grew up just down the street from Pepperfest Park and I have always loved going.  It started as a fundraiser for the local elementary school 60 years ago and has continued in its Italian Heritage and traditions throughout the years. Some events that take place over the weekend include a parade, coronation, a 5k/10k race, hot pepper and spaghetti eating competition, music, beers, italian food and so many other little side activities. 

Since I was pregnant last year I couldn't run the 5K race, but this year I convinced 3 girlfriends to run it with me :)  I am so proud of all of them and how well they did. This was Emily's first 5k ever and she killed it!!  It's a harder race because it has 3 pretty decent hills in it.  I could definitely have done without those! 

Claire, Me, Shonda and Emily pre-race

However, I'm bugged about the race. I have been training for my 1/2 for a while and know I ran my butt off.  When I crossed the finish line it read 33:30. I was pacing at 10:18. How could a 3.1 mile race take me 33:30?  I looked at my Map My Run ap and it said I ran 3.3 miles.  I know I wasn't that far off from the start line.  So I went back and looked at the certified race map and the 2nd mile turn around was placed almost a 1/2 block farther than the course should have been.  I'm bugged because my official time is off by nearly .2 of a mile, which is about 1-2 minutes depending on when I crossed the starting line.  I know I'm not out setting world records but I just had to put this out there. Maybe this will help me let it go... 

Left map:  Official Race Map showing 2nd mile should have turned around just before Woodcrest Drive. Right Map: My running map where they marked the 2nd mile turnaround at Krattley
Meanwhile back at Grandmas...

George spent the day with Grandma on Saturday since Adam and I were asked to help judge the local parade.  We had such a great time!  My long-time friend Michele's parents were the other set of judges and we really enjoyed spending the day with them! I think the free beer helped. We are definitely signed up to do next years parade!! George absolutely loves this little blanet at Grandma's house.  So cute that she was able to capture him playing on it with his little tongue hanging out.    And yes, that is a Brewer's outfit on him.  It still fits and since Grandpa and Grandma are BIG Brewer fans, I thought we would entertain them and put him in his little outfit.     

Grandma and Grandpa had other plans on Saturday night so we brought George down to Pepperfest Park where we ran into my brother Steve and his little girls Vivienne and Brooklynn. Brooke met George after he was first born, but this was the first time for little Viv. I wanted to get a picture of the cousins together and when Adam stepped close to Steve Viv reached out and gave George a hug. It was such a precious moment! Steve's girls are absolutely gorgeous and Miss Viv has such a calm demeanor (much like her dad!).

 Below:  We bought George this cute little firefighter boots at Carter's this summer. Grandpa Paul and Grandpa Dave were both firefighters so when I saw these I had to get them for him!  Too bad the smallest they make them are size 5!  It will be sweet when he can actually run around and wear these!  And a weekend wouldn't be complete if we didn't have our Sunday dinner with Grandma Judy, Grandpa Paul, Uncle Alex, and Great Grandpa George.  Grandma took out all the blocks for little George to play with! 

As always we had such a great weekend!  Next year we might have to get an overnight babysitter for the little boy so we can stay out a little longer at the Festival :)  Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Editorial: Stranger Danger or Good Samaritan?

Growing up in a small town I've always been a bit naive to the fact that bad things can happen in small places.

Today on my lunch break, I ran to the post office.  For those who do not know, I live in a fairly rural area, surrounded by corn fields.  On my drive I saw a little boy (about age 9 or 10) who had fallen on his bike. I could see in the distance he was in the road, so I began to slow down.  As I approached I could see he was bleeding and walking his bike.  I slowed down, asked if he was okay and if there was anyone I could call. He said he was okay and his brother was on his way.

As I drove off I started to think, was I just being stranger danger? Or was I being a good samaritan/concerned mama?  Would I think the same thing if it happened to my child?  The boy handled it perfectly. He kept walking, gave me polite and concise answers as I slowly drove next to him. But it made me think, at what point is it no longer okay to stop and check on the well-being of someone especially if it is a child?

Are we in such a sad state as a country/society that it's no longer okay to make sure that people are safe and okay?  Or are we going too far and interfering and causing alarm and concern by trying to help?

If anyone sees my license plate on the news tonight I drive a black Saturn and yes, it was me asking that little boy if he was okay.  It's in my nature to help and unless it's unsafe for me, I will likely continue to make sure others are okay.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Finish This -- Week #32

This game is called "Finish This," and all you have to do is finish the following prompts and link up your post below! You can also visit the other hosts of this party on their fun blogs: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, Jen {The Arizona Russums} and Becky {The Java Mama}.

Thirteen things to know about me:

1. I LOVE music.  I used to eat, sleep and breathe music and going to concerts. I knew all the upcoming bands and truly felt engaged and passionate about something.  While I don't have the same amount of time to dedicate to music, I'm sitting here listen to Jason Isbell's album Southeastern and it takes me back to a different time of my life. 

2. I am slightly OCD about things. When I bought my house and we were moving in, Adam nearly wanted to kill me, as any normal person would. I had to make sure things were "square" against walls, I couldn't have anything angled.  The rooms needed to have balance.  I am the same with my food. It doesn't touch. (Unless it's Thanksgiving). I used to eat one thing at a time, but I've manged to get better at it. LIkely because I have little to no time to eat and if I want it hot, I'd better eat it any way possible!

3.  I have a bucket list.  I made it several years ago when Adam and I started dating. It includes things like "spin a globe and take a trip wherever it lands.."   learn to play fiddle (a big dream of mine!).  Get a nose job.  -- don't judge - while that may not be my current leading item on the list of things to fix on my body, its something I have always thought about.

4. I have a Master's Degree in Education and still haven't had a full-time teaching job. I have stayed with the same company for the past 15 years and never tried to apply. But it's what I've always wanted to do since as long ago as I can remember. I did half of my student teaching abroad in England and would love to go back and visit anytime. Such a wonderful little community I taught in!

5. I once thought about moving to New York City.  My friend Sara used to plan trips there as she grew up in one of the boroughs... And I fell in love with it!  I think when you have a wonderful tour guide, it makes cities come alive in ways that a normal tourist would never see.  That happened and I thought my heart would have ended up there.  And now, I simply cannot imagine ever living in a big city! 

6. Christmas has always been a dreaded holiday. I love Jesus and appreciate the religious aspects of it, but I strong dislike the commercialization of it. It's stressful, people are mean and ugly, and stores are packed non-stop the entire month of December. I dread the hustle of going from house to house wishing our Merry Christmases and going home so exhausted that we wished it would all be over or that we had simply gone on vacation instead.  Adam is the same way.  I hope having a little one, we can simply make it our own holiday and our families will just have to respect that and realize we can't be everywhere this year. 

7.  I never went to prom in high school and clearly even after 17 years it still bugs me.  Maybe after I get married and get to wear the fancy dress and look pretty I'll move on.

8. I love all fruit except pineapples. I think they are icky! And I used to eat them all the time when I was younger. I cannot even tolerate the smell.

9.  Before I was a mom I used to love wearing high heels and wedges. This morning I purposely put away my wedges because I was too afraid I would trip and fall while carrying George's carseat. My gracefulness in heels has disappeared and has been replaced with mom shoes.

10. After writing #9 I'm realizing I need a vacation or a spa day (which I have thanks to my sweet friend Ashley!). I need to be able to wear awesome shoes and dress fun like I used to without worry of falling or being puked on before walking out of the house. 

11. I don't drink coffee, but I have a serious addiction to Mountain Dew.  I have given it up for lent in the past, but I would rather live without so many other things than my soda. I guess if it became a health issue I would give it up.. but as of now, I work the calories into my diet and I'm doing just fine!

12. My two closest friends are friends I have had since I was 5 and 3.  Both of them have come and gone out of my life but we have always remained friends and can pickup where we left off regardless how long it has been. We have become much closer since we all had babies within weeks of each other. 

13.  I have learned to enjoy shopping - but for other people!  I love a good mission.  I also NEVER pay full-price for anything. So if I see something I want, I will coupon or find a way to buy it without having to pay full-price. I've learned the art of patience this way! 

Invite your blogging friends and come back next Wednesday for another round of Finish This where we’ll answer another set of prompts!
Prompt for WEEK 33 (August 20) is:
I feel stupid when
I hope I never
My one piece of advice to the world

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Running Encouragement

I run.  But I don't quite consider myself a runner. Yet. I don't have the fancy running gear. I love my reebok shoes (never thought that's what shoe I'd fall in love with).  I can't afford Brooks, dry-fit gear, and fancy water contraptions for my "long runs."  But I run. 

I once tweeted "I dream about the day I run more than when cars are driving by."  And I am finally getting there.  The girl who didn't run for 9 months when she was pregnant is finally getting faster, stronger and feeling good about running.  After I had George I could barely walk 15 minutes at 2.5mph on the treadmill -- and that was 7 weeks post-partum.   So when I signed up for my first 5k of the season in May and I could barely walk in March, I knew I had a long road ahead of me.  I did it though. I ran. 

When my friend Vicki asked me to do the Run for the Gold in July, I said to her, "yeah that would be perfect, that way I can beat my 5k time from May... " And she said, "Its a 4 mile race."  Here we go. The girl who can barely walk a few months prior is now pushing herself to a 4 mile race.   But I did it.  I finished in less than the 48:00 I gave myself  (46:05 was my time).  It was an amazing course and Rosemount is a gorgeous city.  I look forward to this one next year!

Vicki Swenson-Quirk, Dongi Huss and I after the Run for the Gold 4Mile
If you read my post "Going back to the Gym" you will see all of my insecurities I had just a few months ago.  I was still carrying 25 lbs out of the 31 pounds I gained (do the math, George was only 5lbs 5 oz) I didn't walk out of the hospital that much lighter.  I was insecure about running and insecure about myself.  I have simply pushed myself in these last 4 months to where I feel confident and secure about running.  But then I agreed to something WAY outside my comfort zone.

I started going to Bootcamp at Willow River on Monday nights.  And although I've managed to only attend 1 actual "bootcamp" session, I go every week. There's a group of us who hike before the workout and I've met some wonderful people in the group.  One of them being my new friend Jen.  She is inspiring, supportive and encouraging and when she asked me to join her for the Biggest Loser 1/2 marathon, I thought she'd lost her mind.  Me?  I'm not a runner.  I don't do half marathons. I have to TRAIN for 5Ks, are you kidding me?  But she believed in me. She encouraged me to sign up (quite pursuasively I might add..) And so I did.

My official training began 3 weeks ago.. and when I read the training guide it said, "If you cannot run 3 miles this training is not for you." I laughed and said, I might not be able to run 3 miles all the way through, but I'm still going to follow it and I'm still going to try.   I can honestly say, I'm almost there. I feel good about going running. I'm not embarassed by my jiggle and am confident and feel good about myself.  It takes time, dedication and patience but let me be the first one to say, you can do it.

Next up: Pepperfest 5K.   Hills. Hills. Hills.  Looking forward to running this one with some amazing mamas who have been training for it!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend Recap

I feel like I just wrote my weekend review, but here I sit writing it again a week later... I'm starting to wonder if I write these to share or if I write them to simply remember what we actually did all weekend. Crazy how fast the time goes! 

This past Friday our daycare was closed so George spent the day with Grandma and Grandpa.  He had lots of visitors too!  Auntie Dorinda and Auntie Patti came to see him while he was over.  He helped grandma with laundry and they went for a long walk to the post office too!  George and grandpa went out for a few rides on the ATV - one of G's favorite things to do.

We had to run a bunch of errands on Saturday and George was such a trooper!!  We made a stop at Carters to pick up a few gifts and I saw these sweet shoes and had to grab them for G.  My sweet boy has the smallest little feet!  These are 3-6 month shoes and he still has a little room in them :)

Below:  We went to the Hammond Heartland Days Parade and met up with some of Adam's friends who were there.  Their little girl Harper was born in November.  It has been so fun watching all of these little ones grow up so fast!  Miss Harper has some teeth coming in already too - we are still waiting for George's first one to pop through!

George was such a good boy on Sunday at dinner!  He played with Great Grandpa George and was all smiles for Uncle Alex.  Grandpa took him for a ride on the ATV and grandma got out his little blocks and he had so much fun playing with them!!  We stayed to watch the end of the golf match and G was sooooo tired.  Good thing for grandma as she was able to rock him to sleep.

Looking forward to more fun filled weekends ahead!  Have a wonderful week :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Stitch Fix #4 - My Fix Reviewed

My fix came yesterday and I was oh so excited!! I usually sit and watch my tracking number online, my front door, and wait for Fed Ex to arrive... well yesterday I wasn't quite on my game because my Fix arrived and I didn't even know it! Yay!

What is Stitch Fix? 
Stitch Fix is a monthly or as you request clothing service that's delivered to your door. You sign up, fill out their Style Profile, and then pay $20 as a styling fee. They send you clothes that match up with your profile. If you purchase something, the $20 is applied against your purchase. If you do not purchase anything, then the $20 is forfeited as a "styling fee."  

A very BIG thank you to Judy for taking photos for me! These turned out so much better than my DIY photos from last month :)   

          Henry Embroidery Detail Tie-Neck Top
(Under Skies)

I had pinned this one to my "Stitch Fix Inspiration" Page for the stylist to see. I definitely liked this top right when I pulled it out of the box.  As soon as I tried it on, I knew that I would definitely be keeping this item. It's a sheer top and is very light weight. The flutter sleeves fit perfect but don't make my broad shoulders look any bigger than they already are.  I'm not quite sure yet about the tassels esp having a little one that will very likely find them exciting to pull on.  Plus the strings remind me of embroidery floss that separate very easily.  I might have to remove them but the shirt will be unaffected if I do.

Verdict:  Keep!

 Mico Burnout Trim Knit Tank 
        (Skies are Blue)

This was a very soft burnout tank.  (Material is very thin and you need to wear a cami underneath it).  The tank had very pretty detailing that was on the bottom part of the tank and it was also on the upper part of the back giving it a little flair.  I LOVED the color of this tank!  The fit was a little big and unfortunately it didn't do much for me.  It would have been cute with a scarf or something to dress it up a little bit.  However the price was $48 and I simply couldn't justify paying that for a glorified sleeveless t-shirt.  

Verdict: Returned  

Spencer Striped Jersey Dress
(Market and Spruce)

When I first put this dress on, I noticed how absolutely comfortable it was. It was very lightweight and would be perfect for summer.  However, I then looked in the mirror and to my horror saw those awful horizontal stripes hanging on ever so tightly to my belly and hips.  Yikes!  I think if this dress would have been in a solid color I might have been more pleased with it.  The way that the pattern landed on me, it made my belly and hips look even bigger than they are, which is hard when you're trying to lose weight.  

Verdict: Returned

Bradshaw Carved Clover Layering Necklace

I knew without even taking this out of the box this wasn't for me.  I don't wear much metallic jewelry, definitely not gold, and this was not going to work with a little one.  It was an easy "no."  

Verdict: Returned.

Francis Striped Fit & Flare Dress

Oh where to begin with this dress?  Looking at this photo it doesn't look nearly as awful as it did in person.  The material was a bit thick to feel comfortable with this in the heat.  The zipper was very low-quality and made it difficult to zip up.  I didn't care again for the horizontal striping across my mid-section.  And since this photo wasn't taken straight on, you can't see it, but my goodness it made my already large chest look even bigger with the way it fit (striping in the middle and black on the sides adds volume!).  So for those who are petite and do not have much up top, this is perfect for you!  Unfortunately for me, it looked outrageous and slightly inappropriate!  

Verdict: Returned

While I returned all but one of the items, I still love getting my monthly fix!  It's great to have someone else pick out items for you that you might not normally pick for yourself.  Also, you are getting clothes that likely no one else is going to have, which to me is a good thing!! 

It seems in talking to a few friends the length of time to get your first fix is rather quick!  (My first time I requested mine was Feb and got it in April... so it took a while.)  I still enjoy the service and think you might too!  They have sizes from XS-XL and 0-14.  It's not age or body specific, they do try to meet your tastes and likes!  If you're interested, here is my referral link.  I receive a $25 credit for you signing up and once you are a member, you can have other friends sign up under your personal link.  (The credit isn't applied until the first box ships!)

 Hope you enjoyed this month's fix!! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Finish This - Week #31

This game is called "Finish This," and all you have to do is finish the following prompts and link up your post below! You can also visit the other hosts of this party on their fun blogs: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, Jen {The Arizona Russums} and Becky {The Java Mama}

OOOOOOH!  My favorite time of year - Back to School!  (insert Billy Madison song here).  I love seeing the back to school stuff at Target (just wish they would put it out in August, not July).  I still buy a fresh box of markers every single year.  I love having new markers and school supplies. What is wrong with me?!  Some day I will realize I'm a grown up and don't need school supplies. 

If I went back to school, I would study.... I just finished grad school in 2010 and am currently working on an insurance designation, so I can honestly say I have ZERO desire to go back to school.

My favorite subject in school... to teach: Math (not common core) and to learn:  History.  I love coming up with fun lessons for kids to learn math.  

I wish I had paid more attention... to Science When I was doing my student teaching/learning that was one of my most favorite classes to learn how to teach.. 

The dumbest thing I did in high school was... dress poorly.  I wore sweatpants and seriously had ZERO fashion sense even though my mom worked in retail.  I wish I would have tried a little harder with my appearance.  (I was a pretty straight arrow in school so this is about the dumbest thing I could come up with!)

In high school, I thought I knew... where I was going in the world.  I thought I was going to move to Arizona (I did) and eventually teach school (I have my license, but do not teach).  Obviously I'm back in Wisconsin now...

Now it’s your turn. Answer these prompts in a post on your own blog and join the link up! Come back next Wednesday for another round of Finish This where we’ll answer the prompt(s) below!

Prompt for WEEK 32 (August 13) is:
13 Things To Know About Me

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weekend in Review

Ahh, it's Monday and back to the grind... My mind is always on the weekend... I'm pretty sure unless you work weekends, you feel the same as I do!! 

This weekend was HOT!  H-O-T hot!!   Adam golfed in a tournament on Sat/Sun so that left me some play time with the boy!  We had a pretty low-key weekend although I managed to snap a few pictures :) 

George went running with me on Sunday morning.. My goodness it was unbearable. I thought at 72 degrees it would be fine, but the humidity was wicked and we were both dying after the 4th mile. He's so patient with me while we are out and about.  Although when we finished all he wanted to do was be held.. Seriously, boy.. your mama is a sweaty mess and you want me to hold you?!  Ahh, the love of a child knows no bounds.

 Little boy got a new toy this weekend!! Our friend Jack has one just like it and he LOVES it. George is still trying to figure it all out.  He hasn't quite figured out how to jump in it just yet, but I'm sure that time is coming!!  He did enjoy all the new little gadgets on the Jumperoo!
...and boy does he love cooking with his mama! We put the Bumbo seat on the counter so that he can sit up and see what's going on when I'm cooking. I had some pot holders that fit over the handles of the pan and put them on his feet. They are silicone so he loved playing with them once he figured out what was actually on his feet. So darn cute!!

So nothing too special going on with our weekend!  Pretty quiet, which is nice since we have been out of town and so busy much of the summer.  We took out George's pool for a nice little dip on Saturday afternoon (you can see it on our partially completed deck in the background!).  Looking forward to more quiet weekends like this one :)

Have a wonderful week!