Christmas already??

21 December 2015

21 December 2015
It's been real quiet around these parts lately. Sorry if you (ahem David) came here every day in the past week or two expecting riveting content and I severely disappointed you.

Heck, Theresa just had a baby and she's been posting more than I have. (Also, she's superwoman because she wrote the birth story still in the hospital. Amazing, right?)

Anyway. I could make a lot of excuses for my lack of posting...including trying to avoid the dreaded pre-Christmas work slump, extra freelance projects, a head cold traveling between the 3 of us, the last-minute Christmas shopping I swore I'd avoid this year (umm, major fail), the fact that I'm engrossed in Storm of Swords (no spoilers plzzz), etc. etc.

But it's primarily laziness, let's be real. The mental energy I'm expelling to comprehend that Christmas is on Friday is taking up 99.9% of all of the brain space I have, and so the usual .2% I use for blogging has been taken over and I've been too lazy to try and reclaim it. Apologies. :)

How about a photo dump post? Yes???


On Friday night we went out to eat at Red Robin (we had a giftcard from David's bday, thanks honey!). It was Kate's first real experience with the magic that is the crayons + kids menu, and she was pretty darn enthralled with it.

I've tried coloring with her before, but she never seemed to get the concept - it was more a game of "let's just move these crayons around for a long time" rather than putting pen to paper, as it were. But she definitely got some coloring in this time and it was super cute! The fact that she was in a booster next to Dad instead of banished to a high chair helped the cause, I think. 


On Saturday morning, David's sister's fiancé graduated from college. I was hesitant about Kate's behavior going in, because college graduations are not known for their brevity, but she actually did a great job. (I brought snacks and juice which never hurts when Kitty's involved...food usually fixes any ail she has.) Although I don't think it would have gone as well without 5 of us adults looking after her (the bulk of it going to her grandma and her aunt).

Plus she snuggled with me at the end which really never gets old.

Also, #instagramhusband.


Just a cute photo post-nap. :)



This morning, Kate's been wrapping up her baby doll in first a baby washcloth (no idea where she got it but I'm not arguing) and then mama helped her find a big blanket to swaddle her in. She's proceeded to then kiss her baby multiple times, sway back and forth to the music with her in her arms, and lay down next to her for "naptime." Heart. Melted.

I have a feeling it's going to be relatively quiet around these parts for the next few weeks. We're doing a bit of traveling over the holiday, and I don't plan on blogging. But there will be plenty of catch-up when I get back, don't you worry!

Merry (early) Christmas to all, and to all a good...day. :)
HG

a tour of our neighborhood & etc.

15 December 2015

15 December 2015
On probably the last warm-warm day we'll have this year (ahem, last week, yes in the middle of December), Kate and I took a few walks around the neighborhood to get some fresh air and to savor the last moments we could outside without 8,000 layers of clothing and a white layer of snow on the ground.

While we were walking, I decided to take a few photos of some of the cute little houses around the neighborhood. We live in a really great area - lots of small houses, friendly people, beautiful yards, and a sense of peace and quiet even though we're about smack dab in the middle of Lincoln. (Okay, okay, Lincoln is no bustling metropolis, but still - it's quieter than it seems it would be.)

The weather was a gorgeous 65, the sun was setting (at 4:00, yayyyy winter), and it was one of the most refreshing things I've done in a long time. I was silently kicking myself for not getting out of the house to do it more when the weather was nice so many days in a row in the past few months. Nothing like the onset of winter to kick your butt in gear, am I right?

I love taking walks, and this one was so beautiful that I had to share some of it with you all. There are a few houses (pictured below) that are some of my favorites, and I love to walk the same routes to get to see them every time. So I thought I'd share!

There are a few for sale around our house too, so if you're looking to move to the greatest city/area/neighborhood in the world, feel free to look them up. (This one is my favorite but there aren't any pictures of the inside, and I don't understand why so...take with a grain of salt. :))

anyway! to the house tour.

David and I are convinced this house is an identical copy of our house, because it's the same year built and exact same layout from the outside. We've been working up the courage to ask the owners to go inside and peek into how they're using the house, because our layout presents some...challenges, let's say. 

The brickwork on this house is swoon-worthy. I love the white grout/mortar and the wreath just pops on that door.

This house is somewhat unassuming but the shutters are beauties. 

This little house is probably my favorite in our whole neighborhood. The two trees close in front flank the sidewalk, and they're gorgeous Japanese flowering trees so in the spring it's just awash with white flowery leaves and the smell is heavenly. Also I love the teal door and the simplicity of it all.

Just writing this post makes me want to go take a walk and get some more sunlight, but we've been treated with a load of wet spitting overcast skies and some biting wind today, so that's not in the forecast (weather puns! only the best around here).

Switching gears slightly...

Today I'm featured as part of a group of "brides who've been there" at Captive the Heart, the hard work of Stephanie who runs a Catholic brides/wedding planning blog. She's on maternity leave with her daughter Lily Grace and had a brilliant idea to ask brides who've been there what they did for their own weddings to fill the time while she's snuggling her new little one!

The post today talks about stretching your budget, something David and I talked a lot about during our wedding planning process. I could have probably written a novel about my advice for stretching your budget during wedding planning (ahem, English major with a financial advisor for a husband),  but I kept it to my top bits of advice for this post. Head over there and check it out, and keep your eye out for future posts in the series!




Poor Kitty is either teething something fierce or has the onset of a cold, because she has been crabby as all get out with a faucet for a nose, so we're trying to take it somewhat slow today. Plus, tonight is long-awaited saint peg doll exchange, so I'm sure I'll be writing more about that later this week!

Have a sparkling Tuesday, friends.
HG

Some recent bookmarks

09 December 2015

09 December 2015
...and other gems from around the internet.

This song, which is a great play on the old Mr. Sandman song and turns it into Señor Santa and makes it super fun. The album I found it on is one of my Christmas classics: Holidays Rule, also on Spotify. Very indie, very mellow, perfect Christmas music.

Jolie at Brim Papery wrote this amazing post today about being a work-at-home mom. It's spot on and thought-provoking (like she always is!) and I encourage you to check it out. As someone who works from home it really got me thinking.

I've been browsing online for unique and pretty fabric, daydreaming for quilts and baby projects and all sorts of fun things, and I came across this great list by Emily Henderson. So far I'm absolutely in love with all her suggestions but primarily Fabric Bubb and Drygoods Design. Someone take my credit card away from me so I don't buy them all right now. (Ahem. David.)

I made this THM Broccoli Cheese soup a few weeks ago (tweaked a little bit by just dumping all of the ingredients minus the bacon into a crockpot on high for 4 hours bc I am lazy) and it was seriously delicious. The perfect mix of creamy and broccoli-y and a huge hit in my opinion. (David's not a soup person so he wasn't a fan but it's killer, I promise.)

I bought a few of these air sole inserts by AirPuf last year at Audrey from Putting Me Together's recommendation. I realized I never sang their praises on the blog when I was talking to someone about them a few weeks ago. They are small and seem like their promise can't hold up to reality but...seriously guys these changed my heels-wearing game. I'm not big on heels in the winter because I'm pretty ice-falling-prone, but I stuck these in my shoes for now three different weddings I was a bridesmaid in during the past year and every heel wearing since and they are magic. If your heels don't give you any other complaint besides tiredness from, well, wearing heels, these will solve all your problems. Seriously. I don't know how they do it but they do.

Kate's been wearing out her beloved bunny Lola (a Jellycat bunny, here on Amazon) to no end. She's been washed over 5 times now and the smell never quite leaves, no matter how vigorously she's washed or how hot of water I use. I'm wondering if I can find a sturdier version to replace her with, or if I should just give up and buy a few more of these to sustain her for a long long time. (Also, I can't tell if that means Kate is just slobbier/gives more enthusiastic kisses than most average kids, or if she's really just destructive in general.)


Happy Wednesday, y'all.
HG

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Christmas decorating

08 December 2015

08 December 2015
Life has been c-r-a-z-y around here lately. I meant to write this post sometime last week, and then realized an additional freelance project I need to finish had a deadline about a week closer than I had imagined, and that I thought I was super far ahead on my Christmas gift buying but really was like, not even halfway through. Add into that the super exciting plumbing problems and a Christmas party and like, zero blogging got done. So I'm finally writing it today! Yay!

Each year I get really excited to decorate our house for Christmas (well, the last 3 years, not a super long time) and then I get kinda bummed because it's never quite as gorgeous as I predict it will be in my head. I keep forgetting that we don't have the years and years of built up Christmas decorations like our parents, so I have to kind of sigh and accept it's not going to be as great as I imagined.

But during our Christmas party on Saturday, we got a ton of compliments on our Christmas decorations - and it totally threw me off. I just have too high of standards for myself, I suppose - but then again, I have a feeling everyone does. So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I decided I'd write a post so I can remember what we did this year for decorations AND to remind myself to be grateful that we even have the opportunity and the budget to decorate for Christmas every year - not everyone has a beautifully cozy home or the disposable income to buy decorations.

So! House Christmas-y tour, here we go!


First of all, my favorite part of the house right now - the token chalkboard "merry and bright" sign I chalked last year with Kate's nativity from her uncle Michael nestled right in front. I have grand plans and some sketches outlined to redo the chalk again this year, but we'll see if I squeeze that in at any point. The gold leaf branches (from David's grandma) are in old quart-sized mason jars, and the garland is the 50 ft, $10 bunch from Target. Pinecones from...outside, maybe my parents' house last year? Not sure.


A close-up of our Christmas tree. It's a Hobby Lobby tree, decorated primarily with the jumbo pack of ornaments from Target we bought our first year of marriage. The little fluff ball is actually an owl on a stick which doesn't gel at all with the general "theme" of this tree but they were so cute, I couldn't pass them up. I'll share a full-shot of the tree sometime later when it's not super bright outside -- Christmas tree pics are just way better in the dark.


This stair-step cabinet (a hand-me-down from David's grandpa) is one of my favorite pieces of furniture, and one of the most fun to decorate. Problem is, these Ho-Ho-Ho signs keep falling off, so then it just says "Ho"......not the most Christmas-y of sentiments. But we don't have another good place for em, so here they'll stay.


Our liquor & glassware cabinet (which we got at a steal for $50 on Craigslist, and was one of the first pieces of furniture we had in the house) decorated simply by a red bow. I kind of threw it up there on a whim because I didn't know where else to put it, and now I really really love it -- we hardly ever open the doors so it is very festive and suuuper easy (I'm pretty sure I bought the bow itself for $1 at Menards last year).


Advent wreath (gold solid wreath underneath from Amazon here) and mini gold Christmas tree from Target for $8. When the dining room table is clear, the wreath is in the middle there, but right now it's about the only place Kate can't reach so it's a catch-all for junk/current projects...see below...


Very messy non-Christmasy dining room table including: laundry to be folded, fabric for some quilts that needs to be ironed and cut, a random fox I started embroidering like two months ago, Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, the contents of my purse and Kate's shoes that all got soaked with juice last night during Mass, my sewing basket, fabric for the stockings David and I are working on...you get the picture.

Just wanted to keep it real around here.

How are you decorating for Christmas? Do you have more willpower than me and wait longer to get it all set up? (David was clamoring for us to put it all up before Thanksgiving and I just cannot get on board with that.)
HG

7QT #45: plumbing, quilts, and the Presidents

04 December 2015

04 December 2015
Last night before bed, David asked me, "Are you doing 7 for 7 tomorrow?" After a few moments of confusion we realized he meant 7 quick takes (told you, he's a really avid blog reader) and I admitted that yeah, I probably was. Because why not? :)

1.

A napping baby just because.

2.
This was a crazy week.
We had doctor's appointments on Monday (luckily no issues, just a checkup for Kate and David), another doctor's appointment for me yesterday, and a mess of a plumbing issue that kind of put a damper on the whole week.

I did a load of laundry on Wednesday, trying to prep for the fact that we're having a Christmas party on Saturday night and I wanted most of the laundry out of the basement. Cue a giant puddle of water in the basement NOT draining down the drain like it was supposed to when you do laundry. Then we flushed and...I won't go into details but you can imagine what happened. YUCK.

Called the plumber, who came over the next morning and gave us basically the worst-case scenario news: there are tree roots growing all throughout our sewer line in the backyard (able to be cracked because they're the original clay pipes), and we either have to replace ALL of the pipe in our backyard, most of it, or every 6 months have a plumber come and snake the sewer line until it finally bursts all the way (anywhere from 3 to 10 years from now).

As you can imagine, that's not going to be a cheap project -- no matter which option we choose. :( Home ownership, am I right?

So keep us in your prayers, would you?

3.
Onto happier things...some music recommendations!

Feeling Electric by Parade of Lights
and a throwback,
Little Secrets by Passion Pit

(I have not watched either youtube video, a fair warning, it's just the easiest to link to here.)

4.
source
I'm still daydreaming/slowly thinking/hoping for my Etsy quilt shop to eventually open up, which this week has manifested into drawing patterns and researching things on patterns, fabrics, and all that jazz. I found this seriously gorgeous Rainy Day Quilt Pattern on Craftsy, after sketching out a raincloud/rain drops quilt pattern for myself.

I have a hard time deciding which direction I want to go with my quilts. On one hand I love super-modern looking quilts that leave no doubt they were sewn in the 21st century, but I also love super intricate old-fashioned ones. And my passion is baby quilts so that's probably where I'll start...if I ever get up the nerve/inventory to do so... ;)

Also, if you want to drool over some gorgeous quilts and baby products, Little Wife Power House is my quilting muse.

5.
I know I said I'd be posting a tour of our new bathroom but, as you can imagine, the whole plumbing situation kind of pushed everything on our to-do list back quite a ways. Also I realized that if I was going to get pictures of the entire space in the daylight, it was going to have to be during the weekend when David was home because it gets dark before then most nights now.

So. Sorry about that. Next week maybe??

6.
Something to make you laugh on a Friday:

source
I was crying I was laughing so hard! Pretty sure my favorites are: JJ Abrams, Rose Bowl, Minivan Bureau, Tombo Jeffs, and Herbie Fully Loaded.

Ohh, the dumb but hilarious things you can find on the internet. Worth a good laugh at the very least.

7.
Well, off to a weekend of partying and cleaning and snack-making and Christmas cheer come early! Head to Kelly's for more quick takes!

love,
HG

JOY. (catching up from Thanksgiving)

01 December 2015

01 December 2015
I hardly took any pictures on Thanksgiving, and my camera is being annoying and not downloading them onto my computer, so here are some mostly-unrelated catch up things from Thanksgiving. I spent most of it taking naps, doing some reading, and pretending like all the responsibilities I had were imaginary (which is why it's going to take me 18 loads of laundry to catch up...sigh).


^^^ is how I feel every time I walk into our bathroom now. So I took a picture of it as a sneak peek for you all. ;)

After spending many hours this weekend working on it, our bathroom new-floor-plus-new-sink-and-vanity is this close to being done. We need to do some final touch-ups and actually wash the floor once the grout sets permanently and it'll be done. Major props to David for all the hard work he and his dad did. With such a small area, there wasn't room for many more of us helping actually inside the bathroom so they did 99% of the work. (I ran a couple errands to the hardware store and that was about the extent of my contribution...haha.)

It looks fantastic and it feels like a whole new room! I seriously can't wait to show you all how good of a job they did.


I convinced David last night during bedtime to finally hang up the St. Kateri print Kate got from his parents for her birthday, umm, 6 months ago and it looks really killer. (The artist is local, Sue Kouma Johnson, and she's on Etsy!) The icon is from her godfather, Michael, and is also so gorgeous that I thought about putting it up in our living room but figured it was meant for her so decided on her room instead.


Not related to anything but I took this photo of Kate watching the snow in Columbus and she looks so grown up in it I can't believe it. Growing pains and all, I wouldn't change her for the world. (Over 33" tall now, aka she's grown more than a foot since she was born!)

Today is the first day of December. (WHAT. HOW.) I'm super close to being done with Christmas shopping, I actually managed to purchase an Advent wreath and candles this year, Christmas cards are super close to being done, and the weather's getting colder and gloomier... I don't know how it happened but another year has passed by and Christmas is coming! Hooooooray.

Keep your eyes peeled later this week for a full bathroom reveal (and process photos, too) because there's nothing quite like living vicariously through someone else's renovation process...am I right? ;)
HG

Happy Thanksgiving!

26 November 2015

26 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful readers. I don't say it enough, but I am thankful for each and every one of you. You make writing here worth it! And I want to sincerely thank you for that.

Hope your turkey day is full of good food, laughter, and a hugging family!
love,
HG

The annual thankful list (2015)

24 November 2015

24 November 2015
Every year around Thanksgiving I'm prompted to write down things I'm thankful for. In the age prior to the internet, I'd keep lists in my "journal," or make projects at school dedicated to things I was thankful for. But now that the internet is here, I can make them and look back on them from year to year, and never lose any of it...duh duh duh!

I'm thankful for a lot of things each year, so I decided to make it an official tradition on the blog. I even made a fancy graphic for it with my free trial of Picmonkey Royale! So you know it's legit.


If you're so inclined to join me, feel free to steal the image right from here (you should be able to copy and save it, if not email me and I can zip it on over to you quick-like) and make a list yourself! Nothing fancy, just a good old-fashioned list of things you're thankful for.

Here's last year's edition, which I should beef up with this fancy photo now, if you're so inclined.

And now onto the list!

Things I'm thankful for...

Kateri "Kitty" Amelia Gokie
margaritas
David, the best husband ever
my work from home job
the ability to exercise
my cellular telephone
pictures of Kate when she was little (she's still little!)
the Internet
blogging
old friends who are still amazingly great friends
my faith
the wonder that is the Mass
making dinner
shelter above my head, shoes on my feet
online shopping
pretzels and hummus
motherhood! above lots else, motherhood
friends who pray for me
my mom, dad, and siblings
my in-laws and sister and brother-in-law
unprompted kisses and hugs from Kate
the spoiling my husband does of me
food on the table
Kate wanting me when she falls down or gets scared
Diet Coke
a great education
the changing of seasons
Netflix...oh, Netflix
good books to read
my health
friends to do saint peg doll exchanges with
blogging friends
peace and quiet during naptimes
naps in general, they're great
a really good gin and tonic
legging jeans and comfy sweaters
some baller saints in my corner
hope
board games
love.

super throwback picture because I'm blogging from David's laptop...babies!
Taken one year ago today. She was CHUNKY. (heart eye emoji)
Such a cutie patootie who will have my heart forever.
Please do join me in this if you want - it always fills my heart with joy to reread my lists from years past, and I think you'll feel the same!
HG

Bigs and littles

23 November 2015

23 November 2015
There are some big and little things going on around here, so I thought I'd smash them up all into one conglomerate of a post.

BIG:

Redoing the bathroom floor!

in all its unfiltered iphone glory...Amy, can you spot the bunny? ;)
 I should have taken a better "before" photo, but I did not because...umm..our bathroom is usually disgusting, covered with dirty clothes and a whole lot of dust.

This project started literally months ago when our faucet started leaking in the bathroom. We have a wall-mounted sink in there, and it's old and gross so we thought, "well, might as well buy a whole new vanity, sink, faucet combo" rather than pay a plumber to fix it or spend the energy ourselves to fix it because it's just not worth it.

So we purchased a vanity with sink included at Home Depot when it was on mega-clearance, bought a faucet at Menards, and then...did nothing for a few months. All this time wasted was due to nothing but laziness on our part, and busyness too I suppose. After a few months of the vanity sitting in the garage, we started talking about it - what's the point of putting everything else nice in there and leaving the disgusting linoleum? If we redo everything else right now, we might as well do the floor or we'll never do it. (At least, that was my thought process, and David just had to go along with it.)

So we decided we'd redo the floor, and then spent months trying to find a tile we liked in our price range and a weekend where David's family could come help us tile the floor. Then we bought a new toilet because why not! (Also our toilet works pretty much perfectly except for 1 out of every 10 flushes it'll leave a small piece of toilet paper because the suction isn't quite high enough to get non-heavy things down the drain.)

Finally this weekend David did the demo part of the project, and we're going to tile next weekend after Thanksgiving! Exciting stuff, I know.

Step one above was pretty easy, aka the first layer of linoleum and subfloor. Then we found this:


A gloriously disgusting second layer of linoleum that was even worse than the previous layer! Very 70's, very gross. Along with it came some serious mold/nastiness nearer the toilet and bathtub (this corner above by the door was in the best shape).


Yuck.

David spent a LOT of time taking this layer off, because apparently the glue was pretty nasty. (I spent the time he was working in the bathroom finishing my saint peg dolls, but that's another post!)

After that layer was gone, lo and behold we found the original flooring!


Wood floors just like the rest of our house (at least first floor).

Again this corner by the door was in the best shape, having the least moisture exposure and the least traffic too. I didn't even take a picture of the rest of it because it was/is pretty rotten and not super fun to look at. I know in theory why they put wood floor in the bathroom in 1930, because it matches seamlessly with the rest of the house, but I also know now why they don't put wood floor in bathrooms anymore. Because it turns gross and gets water when wood floors aren't meant to do that.

Anywho! So that was the journey of discovery we went on this weekend in our house. David prepped all the cement board for next weekend and did some plywood-repairs to strengthen the subfloor so we should be set to just jump right in on Saturday! The tile we bought is here if you want a sneak peek before we install it next weekend.

LITTLE:

What I wore Sunday, first really cold morning edition!


The lighting was terrible in this photo so I had to up the brightness pretty bad and in the meantime washed out my shoes. Oops. But my outfit is as follows - dress from Francesca's two years ago while pregnant (and I fit into it again, super big victory for me!!), black tights probably accidentally stolen from Caitlin, faux-suade booties from Target two or three years ago. I also wore my $4 leopard-print Forever21 scarf because I'm a pattern mixer/risk taker and my old North Face brown fleece because it was c-o-l-d.

I'm probably going to repeat this outfit for Mass on Thanksgiving morning because it is very comfortable and it's supposed to be cold again.

Also PSA: if you hate wearing just tights and boots like I do, be daring and double up with a pair of socks over your tights! I don't know why it took me so many years of NOT doing this to finally figure it out. It doesn't work with some of my tighter pairs of boots, but when I can get away with it I always wear a pair of low-cut black socks on top of my tights in the winter. Tights by themselves are just not warm enough, especially when you're walking through snow or ice or near-freezing water!

BIG:

I'm trying to decide if it's worth the time, energy, and money to open that quilting Etsy store I talked about in my last post. (Btw, thank you to every single one of you who commented in support of my not-knowing-what-I'm-doing rant. I mean it. It warms a girl's heart to hear I'm not the only one floundering in adulthood!!)

I love quilting, and I have since I sewed my first one in high school. I've made t-shirt quilts, sweatshirt quilts, wedding gift quilts, baby quilts, and just-for-fun quilts, and I've loved the process every single time. It's a lot of energy expended but something more rewarding than anything else I do, and I've thought for a long time about doing it "professionally." Baby quilts especially are my jam because they're so adorable and so useful for kiddos who always need bundling and warmth. Plus they're sentimental and something that can be kept for a very long time!

I'd love love love to quilt for a living. But the costs, time and energy, and pressure just might be too much for me to add on to my load of responsibilities right now. I'm praying about it a lot and trying to do some research and just generally discerning it all right now, so keep me in your prayers.

Also, Kenzie's post today was a much-needed reminder that my first thought should be how He wants me to use my artistic abilities to create. Check it out.

~~~~~

Whew.
That was a doozy of a post, thanks for hanging in there! I probably won't be on here much the next few days (yay for Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays) but I hope you and yours have a wonderfully relaxing and food-filled Thanksgiving!
HG

Not everything's always heart eye emojis.

18 November 2015

18 November 2015
Do you ever get the feeling like you want to change anything and everything about you?

I've been feeling that way lately, especially "career"-wise. Don't get me wrong, I realize how much of a blessing it is to be able to work and stay home with Kate. I really, really do. I am in awe of mothers who work outside the home and blog and have kids and make dinner and do all the things because I do very little in addition to working and keeping Kate [barely] alive during the hours of 8:00-5:00.



For example, the above photos show how much of a disaster our house is on a daily basis, and I didn't even take pictures of the worst parts because I was too embarrassed to put them on the internet (ahem, our tiny kitchen full of dirty dishes and an unswept floor, ahem). I also am terrible about meal-planning, staying on top of calendar things & appointments, doing anything remotely constructive with Kate, leaving the house to preserve my sanity, cooking good meals, etc. etc. You get the picture.

I'm not sure if it's the weather, or the slow realization that another year has gone by, but I've just felt dissatisfied with a lot of things in my life the last couple weeks, my job being the primary thing.

Haley wrote this great post awhile ago about feeling like losing your identity when you become a stay at home mom (which of course I can't find now! grrr, sorry). And I get that. I do. But I feel like I'm in this awful in-between place, where I'm not totally abandoning my education because I'm still working, but I feel the pressures of being a stay-at-home-mom because I am home all day with Kate.

It's not like my "career" is fulfilling, either. It's glorified typing and coding at a very basic level. Almost every project is the same, and there are few challenges to keep me motivated. I'm lucky to have it because it's very flexible, good money for the work, and I mostly enjoy the company I work for. But it's not fulfilling.

It's necessary for me to keep working at this point, because frankly we need the money. I'd like to consider getting a different job, something outside our house where I could interact with other adults and be somewhat more engaged, but then I think about how much I'd miss Kate during the day and what it would be like if we're blessed with baby #2 (and so on...) someday, and my heart aches at even the thought of it.

I have all these other side project ideas - like quitting my job to open a quilting shop on Etsy, because few things fulfill me like crafting and I really love creating quilts and patterns of quilts. Like subbing my ebook work for copyediting, which is something I've always loved to do (for free!) but haven't yet.

I've been trying to pray about it, but my heart is so conflicted on what I want that I'm not making much headway. One of those prayer-equivalents of a neon flashing light saying THIS WAY HANNAH would be super appreciated right now, but I'm getting the feeling that's not going to happen.

Perhaps that's what I'm supposed to be learning from this dissatisfied feeling I've been having. Periods of growth sometimes hurt. Not everything is easy-peasy-amazing-heart eye emojis all the time. Motherhood is hard, working from home is hard, lots of things are hard. I'm still learning about who I am, what He's calling me to, where I fit in, and maybe that's going to have to just be okay for now.

While I'm still figuring it all out, say a prayer for me, would you?
HG

Christmas shopping para mi

17 November 2015

17 November 2015
Or, also known as everything I want for Christmas.

I feel a bit silly talking about something as frivolous as a gift wishlist when such horrible things are going on in the world, but I can't bring myself to talk about them either, so it's either this or radio silence from me...Take your pick!

Anyway.

If you're so inclined, and feeling generous, feel free to purchase any and all of these way-too-expensive gifts for me this year! Or maybe for your sister/mom/wife/girlfriend/coworker. That works too, probably.

On to the list, mes amis!

1. Keurig Rivo, $169


This is so far from happening for Christmas that it's kind of laughably hilarious for me to put it on this list, but this is a dream Christmas wishlist, so I guess I do what I want!

I'd love this Keurig Rivo 2.0 (considerably cheaper on Amazon than anywhere else, btw) because I am a stickler for really really good coffee (aka espresso, not brewed coffee) and my Starbucks addiction is kind of bad. Just ask David. I've never made an espresso drink in my life but I would be super motivated to learn if I had one of these babies.

Supposedly they have pretty good reviews, and it's not too much more than a regular Keurig, so if you've got a snobby coffee lover like me in your family, consider all coming together and splitting the cost of this baby!

2. New Balance tennis shoes, $85 at JCrew



Or as Colleen argued...sneakers! ;)

I've been drooling over NB tennies for a long time now, and Christmas would be the perfect excuse to buy them for me! They're not very practical for Nebraska winters but just forget about that. They're gorgeous and would get plenty of use the rest of the year.

3. Mindy Kaling's new book, $15


In recent years, Mindy Kaling has quickly risen to one of my all-time favorite celebrities. She is just one of those people that seems would be a great friend, and I sometimes have dreams about being friends with her. (That's real life.)

I read her other book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? in the span of about 4 hours when it was released last year. It was hilarious. I've been on the wait list for this book for at least a month now, and I'm growing impatient! It keeps taunting me from the Target best-sellers shelf every time I walk by...

4. A puppy



Can anyone really be disappointed if they open up a cute little puppy on Christmas morning? The answer is NO. (Even if you have allergies, I'd still think the actually opening of a box-with-a-puppy-in-it would still be AMAZING.) Every year I keep hinting to David that this is really what I want...and so far there have been zero puppies under the tree.

But a girl can dream, right?

5. Instax camera, $69



This is another one of those things that I don't REALLY want for Christmas, but I kind of do...you know what I mean, right?

These little Instax cameras just look like so much fun. I was born too late to use actual Polaroids, which sincerely disappointed me when I figured that out, so this next-generation version is okay by me. Imagine how much fun this would be at a party!

6. J.Crew Chateau parka, $365



Guys. I know. $365 is an insane price for a parka. Especially because even if I did get it, I'd be so afraid of ruining a $400 coat that I'd hardly ever wear it, and then wouldn't even get the proper amount of use out of it, and revert back to my cheap thrift store coats.

But just look at it. It is the most beautiful coat I have ever seen. I've been drooling over it and secretly adding and deleting it from my Pinterest wishlist board because I feel so guilty wanting it. But I do.

So I'll put it on this crazy list and then pretend like I didn't.

7. The Chelsea Boot from Everlane, $235



Another insane on my list. I'm just going for it at this point. As you can probably guess my taste far outweighs my actual budget!

But guys, these boots are freaking gorgeous. They're equally gorgeous in grey and black and burgundy. They are just classically beautiful.

Sigh.

8. A Lily Jade bag (preferably the Elizabeth in Camel), $295


This is the diaper bag to end all diaper bags. No, that's not a pregnancy announcement, just drool-induced wishful thinking for whenever next time comes.

These bags are gorgeous, the company is small and very involved and amazing, basically there's no downside except for the price tag. 

~~~~~

I think that's probably enough materialism for one blog post, don't you think? Tell me what other super expensive things are on your wish list for Christmas this year! I'm all (greedy) ears.
HG

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Rosary confession time

14 November 2015

14 November 2015
True life? I'm terrible about praying the rosary on a consistent basis.

I was a lot better about it during college - when I had free and scheduled prayer time, oh man, I miss those days! - I'd show up to daily Mass 20 minutes early and squeeze one in. Maybe 12 minutes if I really rushed through it.

I even led our pre-Mass rosary a few times at the Newman Center, which was nerve-wracking and sometimes I got halfway through the Apostles' Creed and realized I had literally no idea what the second half of it was. (Please tell me it's not just me that gets them all confused when under pressure?)

Nowadays my primary rosary time is while falling asleep. Especially when my (thryoid-induced and/or caffeine-induced) insomnia rears its head. I think maybe once in my life I've gotten through a complete rosary while lying in bed? But most of the time it's a great and prayerful sleep aid. ;) Luckily my guardian angel keeps finishing them for me because otherwise I'd be in big trouble.

Anyway! Long embarrassing preamble to say that Peanut Butter & Grace Publishers contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if I'd like to review one of their books. I clicked over to their website and saw these beeeautiful pray-along books for each of the Mysteries of the Rosary, called their Illuminated Rosary series.


If these don't get my butt in gear to pray the rosary on a more consistent basis I don't know what will! I picked the Sorrowful Mysteries book because I just love the Sorrowful Mysteries - always have, always will. These books have everything you'd want in a pray-along book -- the prayers on each page, a beautiful painting or depiction on the following page, and the exact right number so that the whole book is an entire rosary.



The art in them is really incredible and very diverse, too, from all sorts of places but all relating to the mystery you're praying with.

If you're looking for a great religious Christmas gift, I highly recommend these - they're something simple but can be used so easily to instill a love of the rosary. I'm hoping to use them with Kate here soon, and I know the pictures will be helpful for concentration and the words so we can help her learn the prayers more quickly!

Head on over to PB&Grace.com to check out the rest of their selection!
HG

I received this book from PB&Grace Publishers to review for free, but all opinions are my own. Thanks! 

7QT #44: nothing much new

13 November 2015

13 November 2015
As the title of this post suggests, I have TONS of VERY INTERESTING THINGS to talk about in this edition of quick takes...because my life is so exciting and I feel it necessary to share on the regular all about it.

Orrrrrr not. But I'm gonna plug on anyway!

1.
Winter is coming.

First of all, I just started reading Game of Thrones (not for the faint of heart, btw, a fair warning to you all) and I finally get that reference. So I was pretty nerdily excited about that.

via
Also, winter is actually coming. We had the slightest dusting of snow on Wednesday night, and western Nebraska has actually had snow-that-sticks-on-the-ground, so I'm getting pretty stoked. There's not much better feeling in the world than curling up with a good book, under a blanket, with a pretty candle lit, watching the snow and wind outside.

I love me some good weather stuff - I'm kind of secretly sad I didn't major in meteorology in college. (I took a few classes with Caitlin and Meghan but never anything past entry level.)

2.
Kate has been pretty crazy fun and crazy crazy recently.


DST, teething, and growing out of a nap all kind of coincided on one week/weekend while we were of course out of town so it's been a little bit of a learning curve for all of us involved.

She's been saying SO many more sounds though that it's worth the hilarity that brings - babbling on about no one knows what, and it's super duper cute.

3.
She's also been peeing through her diaper every night for the past week, which means that I think as of last night she's out of clean pajamas. I'm due for some laundry catch-up to cope, obviously. But I'm wondering if anyone has advice? Do I double-layer a diaper? Move her up to the next size? Put a smaller one inside and a larger one outside? Splurge for those overnight diapers? She's in size 4s and doesn't seem to be outgrowing them in any other area except for the consistent peeing.

It's never enough to get the sheets really wet but her pajamas are always soaked and that's a super fun thing to wake up to. (For all involved.)

4.
I bought this purse as my reward for losing some weight and oh my heavens it is gorgeous. And only $30! I'm still holding out that one of these days I'll win the thousands of giveaways I enter for a Lily Jade but until then, I think this will tide me over.

Riley Cognac from Sole Society, $29.98

5.
Speaking of losing weight, I only have 2 workouts and a fit test left until I am done with Insanity! It is a darn good thing too because I am super burnt out. 

Don't get me wrong, I've really liked Insanity. It's tougher than anything I've done before and makes me feel super B.A. after every workout, but it's a lot of the same thing and I'm ready for a change. I think after it's done I might take a few days off orrrr I might start right away into Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide.

Yes, it's a dumb name for a program but she has a huge Instagram following and the results from her programs are incredible. 

6.
My St. Kateris are getting further and further along!


When I came home last night from painting them with a group of girls that are doing the exchange with me, I told David that I was getting close to done and was pretty excited! David took one look at them and said, "Uhh...you're almost done?" So apparently I still have some work to do. But I'm still getting excited as they look more and more like people and not faceless blobs. (No offense, St. Kateri.)

7.
This weekend is going to be pretty chill for us (hopefully). Tile buying for our bathroom reno, football game, painting peg dolls, watching The Blacklist, doing laundry, the works. It'll be nice before the onslaught of crazy weekends in December come hurtling towards us!

Have a great weekend, y'all, and head to Kelly's for more quick takers.
HG

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Bits and bobs and a sleepy baby

10 November 2015

10 November 2015






David and I spent a long weekend in Columbus and Atkinson, visiting his side of the family to help out at his grandma's store, which has an open house every first Saturday in November. David had some work to do on the days before in Columbus, so Kate and I hung out for awhile all around Columbus. She liked the aisles and aisles of mirrors in Hobby Lobby the best out of all the places we went to (no surprise, she's her mother's daughter - every time I go into Hobby Lobby I'm convinced we need like 17 more mirrors!).

As you have already seen, traveling gives us (ahem, me) an opportunity to get a bunch of sleeping baby pictures. I can't help myself. When we stay at David's parents' house, she sleeps in a separate room but at his grandma's we were all in the same room so pack n' play pictures galore!! Luckily, if we put a sound machine under her mattress -- an old iPhone with a "rain" app on it -- she'll stay mostly asleep when we go to bed later in the evening after she's already asleep. 

And because of the traveling, and not as much sleep as normal (ahem, she woke up at 5:30 each morning we were gone, grrrrr), she fell asleep during Sunday morning Mass which was g.l.o.r.i.o.u.s. I can't remember the last time she fell asleep actually during Mass -- although my guess would be at least 10 lbs ago, because holy heck my arms were totally wasted after holding her! She fell asleep on me right before the Gospel and I had to pass her to David before the closing prayer because my left arm was completely asleep and I was genuinely starting to think I might drop her. That wouldn't have been a good scene at an unfamiliar parish with a previously-super ornery toddler.

The weekend was full of good food, visiting family we hadn't seen in awhile, helping out, and watching football -- as all good weekends are. We just got back late last night, and although we both agreed it was a good weekend there's just something comforting about being home, especially now that the sun sets so early and I just want to curl up and watch some Netflix. That's the plan tonight, with some THM broccoli soup already in the crockpot and making the house smell super cozy.

After some convincing by a friend, I'm starting in on the Game of Thrones book series tonight (or soon). I'm trying to be a little more prudent this time around and not read way past my bedtime, so it might take me a bit longer to finish than normal. But I'm excited! Supposedly you get hooked and can't stop, so we'll see if I agree with most people!

I also finally (literally, 4 months later) got my ebook rental of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I'm speeding my way through it and can't wait to dig into our house. David's more skeptical than I am but I'm going to try to convince him to go for it -- especially before Christmas comes.

This skit from SNL this week has just made me laugh like crazy every time I watch it (and I've watched it quite a few times now). Doesn't hurt that I've loved that song since it came out...there's something so awesome about it. The parody of the Drake song wasn't too shabby either.

How was your weekend?
HG

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