7QT #30: 8 months, Modcloth, & recipe asks

30 January 2015

30 January 2015
Well, the weather's back to cold and dreary, and I've already worked over 40 hours this week, so that means blog time, right? Let us see if I can come up with 7 things to write about...

1.
Little Kate is officially 8 months old today. Some days it feels like she just popped out, and other days it feels like she's 5 years old. I'm planning on getting around to her 8 month photos this afternoon sometime, but you know me and my track record of being on time...not so fabulous. So in case I miss it, happy month-day to you little girlie!



So far my favorite things about 8 month olds: confused looks about puffs (I couldn't not try them, Theresa!), standing up by herself whilst holding onto things, and lots of babbling. I won't give away more because what else will I write my recap on, but it's a glorious baby age.

2.
I finally finished the last couple seasons of Gilmore Girls, and don't get me wrong - I love the show, but the last couple seasons were just sort of a drag. I mean, I get that it's an important time in a young woman's life but, blah blah blah college graduation oh no everyone has jobs except me blah blah blah poor me Yale graduate.

That was meaner than I intended it to be.



Now that I'm finished, I'm dying to watch the last season of Parenthood, but our internet is the most stubborn thing in the world and takes forever to load so I'm waiting probably until it goes onto Netflix. so NO SPOILERS, please. (I'm already scrolling on Facebook with my eyes half closed in fear of them.)

3.
If anyone else is a fan of the band The Decemberists, I just discovered that their new album is on Spotify! (It's called What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World and it's fantastic.)

I went to see them perform in Omaha back (way baaack) in college, and I consider it one of the only real concerts I've ever been to. (That tall gangly guy with legs that go on for miles, Justin Townes Earle, opened for them, and it was a dream.) I went with Caitlin and another good friend of ours, Katie, and it was a magical night of a thousand instruments and head-banging to folk music.

Now all I have to do is see Nickel Creek in concert (since they are no longer broken up, yay!) and my life will be musically-complete. For now, at least.

4.
Last week when Modcloth was having a 40-50% off sale, I got myself this dress for a few weddings we have coming up.

LADYBUG PRINT. so nectar.


I was afraid it would be closed at the front but it's open all the way down to the waistline (yay nursing friendly!!) and beautiful. It's back up to regular price but they have tons of sales all the time at Modcloth, and if you're a new customer I'm pretty sure you get $10 off a $75 purchase. (And sign up for their emails, they send out deals all the time. It's tempting at times, but worth it for the deals you can snag.)

Where else have you found nursing-friendly dresses? I probably don't have a ton of time left where I'll need them, but I'm always looking out for my future-self. Also, more shopping news: Gap is having a final-sale off their winter clothes, 50% off their final sale items which are all about 50% off or more already! There are some adorable baby clothes in there, but mostly I love this shirt (I already have one and I'm drooling over #2, maybe the gray?) for literally $4.50 right now. Yep, you read that right. Just hop on over there quick, I'll be waiting. (BTW, none of this is sponsored, I just like a good deal when I see it and I want to share.)

5.
We're making slow progress on the update from Wednesday. I've done more loads of laundry, and actually folded them, and the dishes are getting done today -- hopefully, anyway. I finally vacuumed the living room, and David cleared off the dining room table. And we went grocery shopping. Whew.

But I'm in a rut when it comes to recipes to make. Tell me, what are your winter stand-bys? I just get so lazy when it's cold, and I can't resort to "throw something on the grill" like I can during the summer. (Even though we did that twice last week because it was so beautiful out.) What are your go-to meals? I'm not a very ambitious cook so nothing too complicated if you can help it! :)

6.
Like I said, the weather around here has decided that now it's going to be February, it better go back to being cold. There is a chance for snow both tonight and tomorrow, and it looks like we aren't getting back to this nice weather anytime soon. Which is boo when I think about not being able to run or take walks outside for another, what, probably 3 months. (I really don't know how you Canadians do it!)

And let's be honest, watching the Super Bowl this weekend in 60° weather would just be weird. To that effect, here's a hilarious SNL video about "DeflateGate." (Funny even if you don't like pro football, or even understand what all the hoopla is about...)


7.
Some posts from this week you should read:



(and much, much more, of course.)


Linking up with Kelly! Head over there for more takes, and have a grrrreat weekend!


HG

Not much new around here.

28 January 2015

28 January 2015
Some facts about us recently:

1. We haven't gone grocery shopping in approximately...2 and a half weeks.
2. I just did our first load of laundry since the 15th. Oops. (Mind you - put through washer and dryer, not folded or anything like that.)
3. The dinner plates from my FIL and SIL coming to dinner on Monday are still on the dining room table.
4. I haven't cooked a real meal for us (besides boxed & frozen goods) in about 6 days.
5. I can't remember the last time we broke out the vacuum, or a dust rag for that matter.
6. There are 5+ days worth of dishes monopolizing our kitchen counters.
7. The project to get our tub plugging again has now stretched to 4 nights, instead of what should have been a maybe 20 minute project.

BUT.
We've hung out with my family. We've hung out with David's family. I've caught up on a lot of work projects (January and February deadlines are icky.) We actually went to a night-time event – a concert! – with Kate, and didn't explode from sleepiness or crankiness. We spent time with good friends, playing games, making delicious pizza and laughing about babies and home improvement projects. We went on a mini-road trip and survived. We celebrated a baptism of a beloved little girl. We took naps, went on runs and walks outside in the gloriously nice weather, worked out, and had fun. (Oh, and watched plenty of episodes of Shark Tank and Property Brothers. Priorities, after all.)

I've also made sure to have taken tons of cute pictures of Kate on my cell phone lately, so that's what you're getting today - a good dose of cute and a kick-in-the-pants to myself, to try and someday catch up to the mundane things that make living life a little easier. {After I finish blogging, of course.}

January, you're winning the battle right now, but someday I will win the war. Someday.

related much?

come on girl, it's not time for pushups, it's naptime!

cheeks on cheeks on cheeks

spelling lessons at age 8 months

Obviously, this one's throwback from quite awhile ago...
Tell me I'm not alone?
HG

7QT #29: TV, new jeans, and Galentine's Day

23 January 2015

23 January 2015
Another week gone by, another round of quick takes. Look at this year's energy, I've gotten now 4 posts in during the same week! Woot woot, look at me tooting my own horn. Anywho, linking up with Kelly as the week draws to a close.

1.
Obviously, I totally jinxed myself when it comes to Kate napping without a pacifier.
(Gosh darn you, internet braggy karma!)



She got off her nap schedule yesterday due to a work meeting I had to bring her to, and so everything was pretty much shot after that. Too tired, and more crying - and I may have accidentally made her bite her tongue at one point, so the pacifier was given to soothe that little injury.

BUT, I'm still counting it as a parenting win because she's definitely still able to go down for a nap without a pacifier (just 2 min 30 sec of crying this a.m. to get her down! and it was a weak cry, not really upset) AND she hasn't woken up at night for one in the last two days. Sleeping from 8:00 to 7:30 is great for her and for us, so this qualifies for the "win" category.

It might not be up to some standards of "win" but for me, it does. (Does that say more about me than I'd like it to? Probably. Whoops.)

2.
You know what is a great feeling?



Going to Target, finding jeans for buy one get one 50% off, and then getting to purchase 2 (two!) pairs of jeans in a size smaller than your previous pairs. It's just nice to know your efforts aren't wasted, you know?

(I'm super humble today, aren't I? Yeesh Hannah.)

3.
I'm very excited, because one of my favorite holidays is just around the corner.
Nope, not Australia Day - which is January 26.
Nope, not Groundhog Day - February 2.
And not Valentine's Day, February 14 - although I do like that one, especially when I get flowers. (Hint hint, David!)

It's...
Galentine's Day - February 13!



If you don't watch Parks and Recreation, first of all go start watching it, and then recall the episode(s) in which Leslie Knope celebrates Galentine's Day with her favorite ladies every year on February 13.
It's become a bit of tradition in my friend group to celebrate each other on Galentine's Day. I'm going all out this year and it makes me excited!

4.
I just realized that if I don't add an image to my quick take #1, the main image that will appear with this post is one of my rear end...
excuse me while I go fix that quick...

5.
(Did that count as a take? I'm running out of things to talk about so we're gonna go with it.)

I'm currently in the midst of watching Death Comes to Pemberley (which is now on Netflix, hooray!) and I have a lot of thoughts:
I can't keep track of these characters, because it's been too long since I've watched or read P&P.
Jenna Coleman is the PERFECT Lydia. Holy-cow-perfect-casting-BBC.
I just watched the episodes of Downton with Matthew Goode who is now Wickham, and it's making my brain hurt trying to transition between the two.
I love Darcy and Elizabeth. Fantastic and beautiful.
I forgot that people wore wigs at this point! Weird. Even servants/footmen. Weird weird.
And most importantly....whodunnit???
I can't wait to finish it. If you like period dramas, this is 100% for you.

6.
More TV-takes. David and I are in the midst of watching now 3 different shows...

Arrow - on Netflix, based on the DC comic Green Arrow. It's a CW show so obviously, everyone is beyond beautiful, but if you can look past that it's soooo good. We're on the edge of our seats during every episode, and I mean that literally because we want to get closer to the screen we're watching it on. We're taking it slow though, so that means just one episode per night when we get around to it, so we don't burn through it too quickly.

Property Brothers - obviously, David and I are old married people so we love HGTV, and now that Netflix has a bunch of HGTV and Food Network shows we are taking major advantage of it. We've seen some of the episodes before but we went back to the beginning. I really like the show because it's a combo of the two "types" of shows on HGTV, the finding of houses and the fixing of houses. Also, we can't stop noticing the Canadian accents. :)

Shark Tank - I just finally downloaded the ABC app to watch Shark Tank on my Kindle! I didn't know I could do this so now I'm also tempted to watch The Bachelor, and I'll be able to watch OUAT episodes when they come out quicker than before...but that's besides the point. Shark Tank is great. We saw a few episodes over Christmas at his parents' house, and I've been itching to watch it more since then.

7.
I am officially out of things to talk about. Head to Kelly's to find more takes this week!


HG

That fateful day.

22 January 2015

22 January 2015
Hallelujah, praise the Lord.
The day has come -
that fateful day,
the day we've all (or at least, I've) been waiting for...

Kate just went down for a nap happy as a clam!



No whining.
No crying.
No desperate eyes, pleading for me to pick her back up and not submit her to the hell that is a nap.
And most importantly -
no. pacifier.

(excuse me while I dance a quick jig!!!)


We were just much too dependent on those little suckers (pun very much intended), and looks like the breakthrough finally came - let's hope it sticks, anyway. I'm probably jinxing the heck out of it by writing this post, but I couldn't help shouting it from the rooftops!

It's the little things, y'all.
HG

Relishing this stage

20 January 2015

20 January 2015

Right now, I'm listening to Kate cry (and cry, and cry) on the baby monitor while I attempt to spend some down time with myself before the next batch of work comes in. (We're cutting out the pacifier cold turkey, hence the crying, but that's another post for another day.)

I have this (horrible, no good, very bad) tendency to always be looking forward to the next, better thing in my life. When Kate goes down for a nap, I'll be able to be productive. When I'm done with this work project, I'll be able to relax. When Kate's a few months older, everything will be so much easier. When I stop working, I'll be able to cook more. When we can afford to move, I'll be more organized. When I have more time, I'll work on my spiritual life. 

And on and on. For much too long, I've lived my life looking forward into some better tomorrow I've imagined.

When I was in college, I dreamt about being married and having babies. Now that I'm in that stage of my life, I'm looking forward to the next - when I can talk and play with my kids, when I can have a few more than a few hours alone to myself, etc. etc.

As I was watching Kate play last night, I realized I needed to take a lesson from a baby - my baby. Kate doesn't know what's coming in the future - and she really can't remember the past. She lives moment to moment, relishing in what the present has for her. Good or bad, she takes it in stride, and literally cannot compare it to anything else she's experienced because she doesn't know how.

I need to be more like her.
I need to relish in where I am, right now.
I know that someday I'm going to miss these days, when I've just got one baby to care for and a job that I love.
I need to appreciate what I have right here, right now - and stop procrastinating my dreams and goals in hope of some greater or easier tomorrow.

Here's to living in the days that we have, without regret, and to learning to love and appreciate the times in our lives the way they are right this very moment.



HG

Bits and bobs

19 January 2015

19 January 2015
I feel like blogging has taken a bit of a back seat so far in 2015, so how about a quick updates post about bits and bobs, as Caitlin would say?

(one)
Want a really catchy song that will get stuck in your head and never leave?
Try this one.


Cheeky and terribly boring lyrics but so. darn. catchy. Seriously, it hasn't left my head in about 2 months.

(two)
How about another music video, this time a really really cute Maroon 5 video? It's been making its way around the internet but if you haven't stopped to watch it, now's your chance.


Confession: I've cried every time I've watched it...which is more than I can count, at this point. I might be a little emotional right now but still, it's adorably cute.

(three)
I'm about halfway through Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather as my second book for 2015. I'm doing pretty well for my goal of 25 books for the year!

What have you been reading? I'm on Goodreads, if you want to be my friend - I'm always looking for book recommendations.

(four)
We spent a lovely weekend in Des Moines, Iowa with our good friends Ashley and Zach. They have a little girl who was born 3 weeks after Kate, and moved away in August so it was great to catch up and see how much baby Cecilia had changed!



Of course I forgot my camera, but these two are cute together no matter what the medium.

Kate wasn't very happy to leave her friend behind, and was fussy pretty much from 4:00 to bedtime on Sunday once we got home. Guess that means we will have to go back soon!

(five)
We're trying something new today (and last night, I suppose) - getting Kate to quit the pacifier cold turkey. We've been doing well on not giving it to her when she goes to sleep at bedtime, but during her ear infection were pretty reliant on it in the middle of the night to get her back to sleep. And then after she got better it was just a habit for all 3 of us.

Now that she's all better, we decided to cut cold turkey. I'm curious to see how it works for the long term. Last night wasn't terrible - she cried for about 15 minutes at 4:45 this morning, and then when I put her down for her first nap at 10:00 a.m. today she cried again for about 10 minutes.

I have a feeling we'll keep it around for times like fussing during church and as a last-resort meal postponing, but other than that I'm hoping she won't need it for sleeping. Any tips for me?



That's all for now, folks. Catcha later!
HG

A Day in My Life

15 January 2015

15 January 2015
I've been meaning to get around to writing one of these for awhile now. Being finally pushed enough to motivate me to do it was Rosie's post, so here goes nothing. I can't promise you that you'll enjoy this, or even find it remotely interesting, but so be it...I've committed and there's no backing out now! (Especially since I already designed this fancy blog header image. Aren't you impressed? Canva.com does it again.)


January 14, 2015


6:57: I wake up to the sound of the shower turning on. Usually David's not up and about this early, but he's got a long and busy day ahead of him so he's going to work early. I know, I know - "early" is relative - but he works late into the night 4/5 days a week, so his normal start time is 8:30. I turn over and try to go back to sleep.

7:04: David kisses me goodbye, and I hear the faint sounds of Kate rustling in her crib but decide to ignore them in hopes she'll go back to sleep.

7:37: Hooray! It worked because now I wake up to the sound of her scream-talking in her crib. I go get her and bring her and a pacifier back to our bed and plop her down next to me. She mumbles a little bit and I think she might go back to sleep, so I turn over and shut my eyes.



7:49: Yeah, not happening. She decides it's time to wake up so I agree! I head to the bathroom to put my contacts in, because little miss has turned into a grabber while nursing, so there's no more of that while I still have my glasses in. I take my time because she's cooing in bed and I'm not in any hurry since we're up a little earlier than normal.

7:57: I sit down to feed her and she attacks like she always does in the morning, with arms and legs pumping as she eats as fast as baby-ily possible. Seriously, she's like a very strong puppy that can't stop wagging its tail while it eats. It's super cute - and also painful sometimes. I spend the time reading and replying to emails on my phone, and try to get through the Blessed Is She readings and devotion. Success today, which is more than I can say for most days.

8:08: We head to her room to get her changed and dressed for the day. She's still got some residual diarrhea (sorry, TMI) from the meds she was taking for her ear infection, so her diaper is especially gross this morning. Lately she won't stay still or be content with us changing her diaper unless she's got something in her hands, which has been diaper cream tubes and other diapers. Here it is in its blurry glory.


8:15: I text David about a funny-looking maybe rash on her skin. Yesterday it was on her thighs and today it's moved from there to her sides and up her back. She doesn't seem to be in any pain so I put some lotion on it and hope it goes away by the end of the day. Might mean a trip back to the doctor for us but we'll have to wait and see.

8:18: I hop in the shower with Kate set up on the floor in the bathroom with me.


After I'm dressed in my oh-so-glamorous yoga pants and sweatshirt, I come back into the bathroom to find this:


I try to ignore the mess because she's happy while I brush my teeth and put makeup on. I don't always dress like a slob, but David won't be home from work til about 11 tonight, after I'm already in my PJs, and we only have one car so I'm not going anywhere...so leggings & sweatshirt it is. Don't judge me too harshly for it.

8:42: I bring Kate upstairs to my office and put her in her exersaucer. I head downstairs to make the glamorous breakfast of yogurt with cereal for myself with a big jug of water. I go back upstairs to find her babbling away: dadadadada all the live-long day. There's an occasional "mama" thrown in when I coach her very closely, but nothing that sticks.

8:51: She starts to get a little fussy in there, so I take her out and put her on the ground behind my desk. This is how the work-at-home and watch-the-baby magic happens, people. Inundate child with toys, keep close to desk, and make barrier between space heater and child with pillows. Check often, and take lots of breaks. I go back to my computer and send some emails.


9:11: Kate's fussing on the ground, so I sit and play with her for a minute. Lately she's been wanting more attention from me when she's playing, so a good 2-minute break to set her up with new toys and reposition her so she can see me fixes it most of the time. Back to my desk I go.

9:15: Answer work emails, get started on corrections to a project, get 12 more emails that need to be answered by this afternoon. hooray.

9:30: She's fussing again - this time because she's ended up all the way at the wall scooching backwards on her stomach. Not a surprise. I reposition her and stick a pacifier in to try and push off her morning nap a little bit.

9:42: As she's still upset talking, I decide it's time for nap #1. This is probably a mistake putting her down this early, but she's obviously tired and isn't going to take no for an answer. We head downstairs, I put her in her crib and pop a pacifier in, and she looks like she immediately zonks out. Yay! Back to work.

10:10: I get a couple more projects looked at, and more emails sent, and then I hear something suspicious on the baby monitor. Uh oh. She's rustling, never a good sign only 25 minutes into her nap. I wait a few minutes, and then go down to put her pacifier back in, hoping she'll go straight back to sleep.

10:16: Still noise on the monitor.

10:28: Still talking on the monitor, but not crying so I decide to see if she'll put herself back to sleep.

10:45: Nope, still talking. I go down and find her with her pacifier in her hands, the sound machine turned back on, and a huge grin on her face. I leave her for a minute while I go to the bathroom, and come back. Turns out she had a big poop which seems to have ruined this nap for her. Great.

11:05: After a severe clean-up and rescue program, in which I really decide that today is going to have to be laundry day because that's the like 10th day in a row she's ruined at least one outfit or pair of pajamas, I debate between trying to put her back down for a nap or giving it up. I decide to try for a minute, and that is obviously a fail because she's laughing and giggling as I put her down. Oh well.

11:20: I nurse her for a little bit, although she's not too hungry so there's more flailing and less actual eating than normal.



11:29: We head back upstairs, me to start writing this blog post and her to play some more. Surprise surprise, after a large poop she's much more pleasant and herself!

Wednesdays are usually slow days for me when it comes to work - the University I work for has a department-wide meeting every Wednesday afternoon, so a lot of the rest of the day is focused on other things. Luckily that means an easy day for me almost every week in the middle of the week.

12:05: After a solid half-hour of work, Kate's clamoring for some attention. We play a few rounds of my favorite game - fake biting her cheek until she can't stop giggling - and then we take some very blurry selfies. You're welcome, Internet.


12:15: I try putting her to play by herself for a little bit, to no avail. Naptime it is - since she's basically had maybe half of a full nap so far today, I'm hoping it's not too early. Back downstairs we go. She's upset to be put in her crib (who isn't?) but then falls right to sleep.

12:20: I make myself some lunch and head back to work. I'm waiting on a few emails and feedback from editors before I keep going, so I put on an episode of Downton Abbey (Season 5 episode 2, yes, I'm finally caught up!) and eat in peace. The quiet from the monitor is the most beautiful music to my ears.

12:35: Finished eating, so I leave the episode of Downton on in the background and try to do some makeup, less time-sensitive work to fill some time. I organize some files, attempt to pare down the pile of notes on my desk, and clean out my inbox a little bit. Voila, another email pings and I'm back to editing another ebook.

2:35: Wow, she's still sleeping as I look back at my computer clock after a really productive 2 hours of work. These naps are the ones I live by. Of course as soon as I think it, I hear rustling on the monitor and somebody's awake and ready to play.

2:46: I finish up a couple more tasks while Kate babbles in her crib, and then I go down to feed her. She's pretty ecstatic to see me as usual, which is always a good feeling. We take our time eating, then changing another diaper and practicing her clapping and waving.

3:15: I decide to finally start some laundry today and throw all the dirty laundry down the laundry chute and do a quick clean-up of the house while she plays on her blanket in the living room. We misplaced Sophie (the teether) for a few weeks and she's happy to have her back - she immediately starts chomping on her head voraciously so I sneak downstairs to the washer and dryer.

3:30: I come back upstairs after starting a load and sorting the rest, to find she's turned all the way around on her butt, still sitting. This is a new skill! I'm not sure if she just scooted around slowly, or if she sat back up after falling down? Interesting development to the day. I'll have to keep an eye out.

3:33: My eyes and head are still killing me from the cold/flu that will just not leave us alone, so I lay down on the couch next to Kate playing and close my eyes for a bit.



3:50: I must have somewhat fallen asleep because when Kate talk-cries loud enough for me to hear again, 20 minutes have passed. Doesn't seem to have made my symptoms much better, but my eyes aren't watering anymore at least.

4:05: We spend some time playing together on the floor, including patty-cake and me making voices for stuffed animals. She's not having much of it - must be the missed nap syndrome. Worst. We decide to walk around the house some more and do some light, one-handed cleaning while we're at it. She's not much of a help, but it's fun anyway. I check her diaper - nothing. Really must be tired. We play in front of the mirror attached to her changing table and then...

4:29: Nap time. She's usually not this tired under 2 hours since her last nap, but this morning messed her up bad!

4:31: I dress in my workout clothes (haha, in compared to my "regular" clothes...) and head down to our elliptical (Christmas present!) to work out. I'm not expecting anything good since I feel so crappy, but anything's better than nothing.

4:56: I finish running and debate lifting weights. I decide against it, wanting to shower before Kate gets up from her nap. I do switch the load of laundry before I head back upstairs.

5:10: I hop in the shower, trying to be as quiet as I can because our shower shares the same wall as her crib, and there's always the risk of waking her up. I go as fast as I can and hop out - yay, no crying sounds coming from her room. Good sign.



5:19: I dress back in yoga pants and a tshirt and head up to my office to do some more work - emails have been coming in since I stopped working this afternoon, so I've got more to do now. I first type up a bit of this here blog post and then set to work. (Also, I take that makeup-less selfie above, and put a filter on it because voila, instant makeup.)

6:15: Oh, there's a little rustle on the monitor. Good, that means I probably won't have to wake her up at 6:30, which is our nap cut-off point. But no noise yet, so I'll work a little longer.

6:27: Someone is awake! I go down to get her and she's happy as a clam.  This is either her happiest or most-upset time of the day, depending on the weather (I have no idea what causes it actually, that's a guess) and today is happy.



6:35: I head to the basement to switch the laundry again, and bring some back upstairs while she plays happily on the carpet. I turn on NPR on my phone app and I fold while she eats Sophie like crazy again. (She also spends a lot of time in the position photographed above, fascinated by me folding. Silly little thing.)

7:15: Bedtime for Miss Kate. I fill her bathtub and her humidifer while I let her play a little longer, and then strip her down for a bath. She LOVES being naked, so she giggles and babbles like crazy whenever I do this. Looks like the rash is mostly gone - or at least, moved a little bit to the backs of her arms. Weird. It feels like dry skin, so I'm going to leave it another day or two and then decide if it's anything serious.



7:20: We're in the bath! Best thing ever.

7:37: I start nursing Kate for the last time today (boy how I love not feeding her at night) and she's instantly ready for bed - sleepy but still hungry. We read a story together when she's done, I sing her lullaby, and then turn the sound machine on and put her in the crib and she's out.

7:59: I stand in the kitchen and try to decide what to have for dinner. I decide on spinach pasta with chicken and cheese, so I whip that up quick.

8:19: I take dinner upstairs, answer another email, and then eat and finish another episode of Downton Abbey. David calls and says he'll be home sooner than expected - 9:15! - which is very exciting since we both thought it'd be around 11:00.

8:35: I do some embroidery after I finish eating while I watch some more Downton (I'm obsessed, obviously). Kate coughs once on the monitor but then falls right back to sleep.

9:15: David walks in the door as I come downstairs, and we talk for awhile while he starts on dinner for him. (If I had known he was going to be home early, I would have made enough for both of us. Whoops.)

10:17: After an episode of New Girl and a piece of pizza for me (and 7/8 of a pizza for David), we head to bed. My cold/flu is flaring up again so I take some NyQuil and hope that I don't have more coughing fits like I've had the past couple nights.

10:49: I'm off my phone and turning the light off by 10:49 - pretty good time for me.

Whew, if you made it to the end of that extremely boring day I am impressed. I barely made it through writing it myself, and it's my own (boring) life I'm writing about!
But I do love Day-in-the-Life posts, so now it's your turn. How does your day differ? Write a post up of your day and I'll definitely be reading it!
HG

7 months

13 January 2015

13 January 2015




Guess who is 7 (and a half...) months old? Yep, a lot of other babies and also Kate! I am obviously a little behind on her updates, because she was pretty sick around the 30th. So I kept putting off her pictures, and putting them off, and putting them off. So yeah, I took them last night on the 12th. Whoops.

Anyway, how about some stats?

Weight: 16 lbs 15 oz, at the least - she was around there when we went into the doctor's on the 3rd.

Height: 30 in? Not quite sure.

Firsts this month: rocking back and forth on all fours, but not quite crawling yet, clapping, giving kisses, waving, using her pouty face to try and get her way.

Nicknames: nothing new

Other things to note:
- She's trying to decide (still!) if she wants to take 2 or 3 naps during the day. She'll get into a really good rhythm of 2 long (3-3.5 hour) naps during the week, and then the weekend is just TOO exciting with Dad home and so many things going on that it'll mess it all up. But I'm not complaining too much - it's super nice either way, really.
- She's a total camera ham. She knows exactly what we're doing when we pull out the camera or phone, and cheeses for the camera pretty well on command.
- Nighttime sleep has been off and on this month. Her ear infection really messed things up, because she was waking up with diarrhea/coughs/in pain every 3 hours or so, and now that she's better we're back to trying to get her to sleep through the night. So far no good, but we're being patient.
- I took like, zero photos of her first Christmas. first-time mom fail. I feel really bad because, hello this was a big milestone! But one of my resolutions is to break out my camera more often, so you all can look forward to more photo dumps coming very soon.



"reading" in her chair

We love you, darling girl. 
HG

Whole30...day 8

08 January 2015

08 January 2015
So in case you hadn't heard, I started a Whole30 on January 1. Nothing like the start of a new year to kick your butt into gear and make some lofty goals, right? So Day 1 of Whole30 it was for me.

Let me preface this by saying, I've tried a Whole30 before. It was a few months ago - maybe like, September? and I didn't finish. My milk supply tanked WAYYY down and it was a no-go. I wasn't very prepared that time either, so I spent the majority of the 3-4 days on it trying to come up with something to eat.

So, now to this go-round. Guys, I knew this would be rough. But man this is rough. I know I'm a big fat wimp and that eating good, healthy food for 30 days is like...minuscule on the grand scale of suffering there is in the world. But yikes am I struggling with it. #firstworldproblems



I'm on Day 8 right now. So far meals have been largely good - I've spent more time in the kitchen chopping and sauteeing foods and cooking eggs in every single form ever than I have in the previous year of our marriage combined. (I am so sick of eggs I could scream.) But the Whole30 is no wimpy program. It is a difficult thing to do for someone who really REALLY loves food. And caffeine. And doesn't really like vegetables, unless they're dipped in lots of ranch dressing.

The first couple days were fine. I even managed to eat Paleo while my mom's delicious lasagne stared me in the face. Granted, that was the first day, but still. The next few days were experiments and a few pretty expensive trips to the grocery store, which is never very fun. (I really don't know how people afford to eat like this all the time, to be quite frank. It was approximately twice as much money on my grocery bill than our usual trip - and that's with David not really participating but only occasionally eating what I'm eating.)

Days 3, 4,  and 5 were alright too. Now, don't get me wrong - I had major cravings. Like, I had multiple dreams about sweets already, and REALLY wanted a hamburger, fries, & a Coke.  They were horrible, no-good, very bad cravings. I also had two different severely fail batches of homemade Paleo mayonnaise. Like, they were really bad. Anyone else tried to make mayo and come up with some soupy terrible egg-like water? I don't know what I did wrong but...yikes.

Aaaaand then I got sick. Yesterday, to be precise, was the first day of my worst symptoms. Kate and David have been sick for awhile - we stayed home New Year's Eve because of a nasty ear infection on Kate's end and a debilitating cold on David's. And it looks like just now I'm catching the worst of those too. (I'd had a sore throat off and on since David got sick, but nothing like yesterday and today.)

So in an attempt to convince myself out of falling off the bandwagon, I thought I'd gripe about it to you all instead. Perhaps my little remaining self-esteem and respect will force me to continue on after admitting wholeheartedly that all I want to do is eat a loaf of bread with butter and drink a Diet Coke like there's no tomorrow.

Have any of you tried a Whole30? How did you do it? I've admitted to myself that I have a really weak will, and just in admitting that have been able to cope a little better than last time. But it's still hard, and challenging, and frankly doesn't seem quite worth it at this point. (Especially battling this cold, which makes every craving heightened by a million, or so it seems.)

To be fair, I should mention that I have cheated a little bit and weighed myself the other day. It might be a fluke of our notoriously-terrible bathroom scale, but it looks like I'm down (already!) about 5 lbs. So that is definitely a point in the Whole30 column, but I'm afraid it's either a mistake or about to be very short-lived because it was due to my cold.

Anywho. This has been a rather whiny post about very little, so I apologize for that. But I did need to write it out and publish it in hopes it will redeem my sorry little butt into sticking with it.
Ahh, but that's another riveting post for another day, I suppose. :)
HG

Reading list {{2015}}

06 January 2015

06 January 2015

Once upon a time, I was an English major.
That meant I spent the majority of my time reading. And writing. And writing about reading. And also, surprisingly enough, reading about writing.
In short, a lot of words went in and out of my brain waves for 4 solid years.

The photo above is from one of my literature-intensive semesters. Those books were what I read for one semester - and most of them, if my old Instagram caption is correct, not even all of them. (I was taking 3 English literature courses, a French literature course in French, and a French literature course in English.)

I do truly miss the days where 90% of my "free" time was spent curled up with a good book. Of course, there were some I hated (ahem, Frankenstein, ahem) and some that bored me (anything William Faulkner). But I loved it.

I've decided to read a lot more in 2015, as part of my goals for the year. I don't have specific goals on types of books except I want to read 25 books this year. (To be completely honest, I wanted to shoot for 50. But I'm going to be realistic with the amount of free time I have and only go for 25. If I go over, that's fine!)

Want to see what's on my to-read list? it's your lucky day!
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green by Joshua Braff
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone by Mark Zwonitzer
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
11/22/63 by Stephen King
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
Someone by Alice McDermott
Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James

So yeah, that's only 23 books, but that leaves me the occasional library-browsing pickup and the inevitable recommendations I'll get from others.
Tell me - what should be on my list? What are you reading in 2015??
HG

Goals for 2015

05 January 2015

05 January 2015
So, when I was blithely typing in the title of my post, I definitely put 2014 at first. Yep, still living in the past over here. It just goes to show you how very very shocked my system still is that it is the year of our Lord two-thousand-and-fifteen. (But let's be honest. I'll be writing 2014 for quite awhile still.)

Don't get me wrong, 2014 was a fantastic year. One of the best of my life, for sure. (How can you beat having your first baby??) But when I was looking back through my photos for Dwija's linkup, I felt like my life was...well, somewhat directionless. To be fair, the first half of the year was spent growing a human inside me and then birthing that human, which is no small feat. And then the second half was adjusting to life with a tiny human around all the time.

Like I said, it was beautiful and perfect and I wouldn't change it for the world.
But.
I need some more structure in my life.
I need goals.
I need to feel like I'm going in the right direction.
I need my spiritual life to feel central, not an afterthought.
I need to spend less time just vegging out in front of the TV (although, to be fair, recently that's been because we're all down with a nasty cold/ear infection).

So I've come up with some things I want to do for 2015. I don't want to call them "resolutions," per se, because resolutions are statistically proven to fail. But I have goals. And an idea of what I want the year 2015 to look like.


In 2015 I want to...


  • Do a Whole30 in January (so far so good...although wow, I really want a hamburger and fries)
  • Take lots of photos of Kateri
  • Print and organize photos
  • Read at least 25 books (another post for another day)
  • Exercise regularly with new elliptical! best Christmas present ever
  • Weight & resistance train once a week
  • Throw Kate a first birthday party (so many Pinterest ideas already)
  • Start on another quilt
  • Make phone dates with out-of-town friends
  • Cook real food (see #1) on a more regular basis
  • Look into copyediting certification
  • See friends in person
  • Read more books to Kate
  • Go to a live production of something in Lincoln (play, musical, etc.) 
  • Be present
  • Work on my embroidery
  • Spend time actually writing
  • Stay organized & on top of things at work
  • Go to the library more often
  • Drink more water
  • Read Scripture more (hello, Blessed is She!)
  • Less social media...won't be the end of the world

What are your goals for 2015?
Stay tuned for my 2015 reading list and for a so-far recap of my Whole30, coming soon to a blog right here.
HG

12 in 2014

03 January 2015

03 January 2015
I've finally got a free minute to stop here and post (since the baby is down for the night and the hubs is out with friends) so here I am! Sorry there was such an unexplained break there. What can I say, when I'm not procrastinating work my blogging goes wayyyyy down. Plus, family, friends, Christmas, New Year's, etc. etc.

So, Dwija is hosting a beautiful linkup of 12 photos in 2014 which was incidentally enough one of the first linkups I joined last year about this time, right after I started blogging. So I'm excited to revisit an old friend of mine called iPhoto and document this year pic by pic.

Hold on to your hats, folks.

January




January of '14 was a busy month. I finally started blogging after talking about it for so long, and we spent all of our free time starting in on the nursery renovation...which ended up taking us until after Easter, sometime in late April or early May. Yikes. This picture reminds me of how far we've come, and how many stinkin' hours we spent in that little tiny room to get it ready for baby. We were young and naive at this point, thinking "oh, we'll get it done by March at the latest." hahahHA

February


I spent the majority of  February taking a loooot of bump photos. Man, there are a lot of them on my computer. But in this one I was 24.5 weeks along and I was feeling great (that second trimester was AWESOME), so I felt need to document it. A bazillion times. Anywho. February is such a short month that nothing else exciting really happened, except we finished Kate's baby quilt and I blogged about "style" a whole lot.

March



March saw a lot more bump photos, this one fueled by the arrival of our crib and a fresh paint job in the baby's room. (We still had the windows to replace so this was a brief respite of cleanliness in the project as a whole.) I looked at this photo when David took it and said to myself, I can not get any bigger. HAHA. (Spoiler: I got bigger. a lot bigger.) March meant we still had plenty of people go crazy asking us why we didn't find out the gender and I got my new camera.

April



This month was full of greatness. Getting EVEN bigger, a beautiful baby shower, and this photo - the aftermath of David getting appendicitis and then his appendix removed. I will never forget taking him to the ER and having every single nurse/doctor look at me like, "Are you in labor?" because I was large & in charge at that point. Anywho. Not a lot of blogging happened in April besides this post on our epic failed April Fool's Day prank.

May

May was a blur of swollen feet, sciatic pain, thunderstorms, and a passed due date until the lovely day of May 30th 2014 when Kateri Amelia Gokie was born and changed our lives forever. Wow, just looking at this picture makes me tear up in wonder & awe that we were so blessed - and are still so blessed - to call this girl our own!! She was the best newborn ever after a hell of a labor so yeah, nothing else really mattered (except finished nursery! yay!).

June




A month of beautiful firsts. Kate's baptism, a visit from her godfather Michael, a work conference for David, and lots of sweet newborn snuggles. The rest of the month didn't really matter except I did get a chance to blog her birth story, parts uno and dos.

July




July saw me back at work full-time at home, even though I started working partially at 3 weeks pp because miracle baby. We spent a lot of time getting to know our baby and trying not to die of infernal heat, and also went to a wedding or two and a trip up to tube down a river over 4th of July weekend. I also blogged about how everyone should watch Parenthood, and 5 parenting rules I break on the daily.

August



August was a hot month. Too hot. We traveled to Colorado to get away from the heat and climbed up some awesome sand dunes. My sister, Kate's godmother, got to meet her for the first time too, which was awesome and tear-jerking as well. Husker football started (always an important fact) and we tried to stay cool the rest of the time.

September



September was a relaxing month. I spent a lot of time experimenting with my camera because it was broken - and forced me to learn how to use Manual mode, because that was the only setting that worked. We spent a lot of time enjoying the outdoors - I have lots of feet pictures during runs from this month, but they just aren't as cute as this one of Kate so I picked her.

October




I had a really hard time picking between this adorable photo of Kate's penguin costume and the one of all 3 of us visiting our missionary friends at University of North Dakota for this month, because they were both highlights of October. We may never do that again (16 hours of driving in 3 days with 7 people squeezed into one car) but it was a really fun time. Kate started to be really fun this month too, being able to giggle & engage more than ever before. Super cute.


November




November was Caitlin's wedding! And a whole lot of busy weekends the rest of the month too, I guess. Including replacing our bathroom window with glass block and going to some parties. I blogged about things I'm thankful for, because I don't take stock of them enough, and a relatively in-depth how-to of the window process, if you're curious.

December




As it always does, December flew by in a flash of Advent and parties and Christmas and family engagements and lots and lots of down time. Oh, and cold weather - finally, after Christmas, we got some snow that stuck around. This photo is after Christmas Eve Mass which Kate yelled throughout and made everyone laugh because of it. (Oh, and I blogged about how we do Christmas spirit.)

Looking back at this year makes me so unbelievably grateful for this lovely life I've been given. A big thank you goes to all of you, my readers - because it's nice to know once in awhile that your voice,  your words do matter.



I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year, and I will be back soon with new resolutions, a saga of great proportions (ear infection!) and lots more! promise promise.
HG

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