The meh-ness of February



Gosh, this little tiny month is really taking it out of me, blog-wise.

Usually I tend to blog less when either we're super busy or when we're totally not busy and life is just kind of boring. Seeings as it's February, and I've spent the last basically entire month kind of drifting, I think this blog quiet-ness falls halfway in between there.

Work life for both David and me has been pretty darn busy. I'm taking on more projects and more responsibility, including training, at my job, and David's been traveling like crazy (and doing so so well) which means he's been home past 8 every night this week, and will be again tonight and tomorrow.

Kate has been an absolute trooper helping me work more, because she's loving playing by herself even more, and she's pretty much completely mobile at this point! Have I said that on the blog yet? Spoilers for next week's 9 month recap post, but yep - she's crawling! It's slow, and it looks like a worm sliding on the floor rather than a real crawl, but she's doing it. It's really adorable, and makes her able to play and be self-entertained on the floor while I'm at my desk a whole lot easier. (Lots of her movement still relies on turning over, and over, and over until she gets to her destination, but there's definitely crawling in between there.)

and sleeping on her side - so cute!
But February is still kicking my butt.

Everyone says it because it's true: February is by far and away the worst month of the year. It's not the new-ness of January and the promise of the new year, and it's not the hope and maybe glimmer of spring that March can be, either. It's just meh.

I've been trying to combat that with some proactive-ness, in an attempt to beat the bleh. We spent last Saturday cleaning and rearranging our living room, basically deep-cleaned our entire house, organized some of my books, and spent some quality time together on a date to a new restaurant (big deal for us) without Kate. She and I took a walk yesterday because it was a whole 43°, and it was amazing to go outside without having to completely bundle up and hurry out of the cold.



I gave up some food stuff for Lent because it's a big weakness of mine, which means I've been having to get more creative with my meals during the week rather than stick to the same old same old. I'm drinking lemon water which totally makes me feel fancy and awesome, making smoothies, and trying to eat more fruits and vegetables. It's kind of rough to switch so drastically but I think it's good for me.



I've been reading like crazy, trying to spend more time in prayer (the BIS Lenten journal has been awesome in that regard) and just in general trying to distract myself from this yucky month. And even though there's only 4 more days in February, I'm afraid my winter doldrums won't go away once the calendar changes. What do you do during the winter to beat the blues? Got any fun ideas for me? I'm up for pretty much anything at this point!

HG

P.S. Sorry this has been a whiny post, but hey - it's my blog, I get to do with it what I want, right? :)

Saturday bits and bobs

I don't usually blog on Saturdays.

Most times we're too busy for me to take a break, go up to my computer, and work on a post. My mind is also pretty jumbled on the weekends - thinking of chores that need to get done, places we need to be, weather I'd like to be having instead of another dreary day...Okay, so that last one is just the past few weeks (months!) but still.

So this occurrence is a rare one.
But, both other members of my household are sleeping right now - one was a little more excited for a nap than the other (I'll let you guess that one), so I figured I'd write out a quick post.



After I took a bunch of selfies in our bedroom, waiting for napper #1 to decide she was going to actually fall asleep instead of banging her head/arms/legs on the sides of her crib, and turning her sound machine on and off for the thousandth time.

Also, we were pretty productive today - i.e. I even worked out AND mopped the bathroom floor, quite possibly for the first time since we moved in that wasn't necessitated by a remodeling project (I know, I know, take away my mom/homeowner card right this instant), so a blogging break was necessary. Also also, I'm burning my way through The Shoemaker's Wife and I already don't want it to end, so I don't want to pick it up because that means the end is near(er).

So. How about some link love?

If you haven't seen this yet, and you're a fan of vintage SNL skits of the very best variety, watch the 40th anniversary's remake of Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek on Celebrity Jeopardy, right here. My roommates and I would watch reruns of SNL on Netflix, and lots of times fast forwarded to the Celebrity Jeopardy ones on purpose because they are just so. darn. funny. Often times not quite appropriate, but still! worth the watch.

So, I've been totally sucked into this season of the Bachelor, mostly because being from Nebraska means that I have to watch an Iowa boy on a show that features lots of hoity-toity, made-up men from time to time. ("Will you escept dis rose?" --I'm looking at you, JP.) Since Iowa is basically the less awesome version of Nebraska (true story!), Chris could be a little better - but it's still a refreshing change of pace. I'm definitely emotionally involved and at this point, Becca is my fave, but I do like Whitney too. And if you need a catch-up, I'm always dying of laughter whenever Ashley posts her recaps, because hello! screencaps of gold and hilarious nicknames. She's awesome.

Enough of how shallow I am. I'm currently surpassing (!) my goal of reading 25 books this year, so that's exciting. My brother gave me The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein for Christmas, and I zoomed through it (and cried - good cried - at the end), which I highly recommend. As previously mentioned I'm loving The Shoemaker's Wife and I'm still working my way through Death Comes for the Archbishop (on my second rental now, oops). What else should I be reading? Compared to my college reading lists, I kind of love the freedom to read new up-and-comers. Hit me with 'em.

I'm seriously crushing this lace-front maillot from Anthro as my maybe-next swimpiece. I don't know, the thought of summer at this point seems miles and miles away, but gosh, could that be any prettier? If you have other sites I should be trolling that might be a tad cheaper (my wallet will thank you) for gorgeous one-pieces, I'd love to hear.

This is an oldie: Taylor Swift lip-syncing in the car, with I think some BBC radio guy? Not curious enough to find out because it's cuuute cute cute as it is.

K, I've probably bored you enough.
Happy weekend to you all!
HG

Didja know?

Lent starts tomorrow.


my blog is so culturally relevant...
Well, if you're not aware, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. (Get your ash at Mass!...haha)
That means the start of Lent. And though every Catholic blogger and her Catholic friends and mom and husband and brother are talking about it, I thought I'd take the time to document what I'm doing for Lent 2015.

This is partially because I am a huge flake, and I'm pretty terrible at keeping Lenten resolutions. It's also partially so I can look back next year and decide whether or not my sacrifices were good and I should repeat them, or if I need to alter them somehow.

I've done a lot of different things for Lent in the past. After my reversion to the faith in college, I've gravitated toward the more intense or unique sacrifices. One year I gave up my pillow - which turned out to be not that much of a sacrifice after about 10 days, because I grew to like sleeping without a pillow. One year I completely fasted (minus water) every Friday, which was totally intense but didn't seem to help me grow in graces, and just instead made me really crabby and probably pretty annoying for 24 hours.

This year I'm attacking my weaknesses on a two-fold level.

First: 

I ordered the Blessed Is She Lenten reflection journal, so I am resolving to read the daily readings every day of Lent and to journal - at least a sentence or two, at the minimum - about them every. darn. day. The BIS emails definitely have improved my Scripture-reading-habit, but I usually read them quick while I'm nursing Kate, and don't spend any time in mental prayer meditating on them or anything like that. So this journal is a God-send. (Literally.)(My puns are so terrible today.) I'm perty stoked about this one. Hopefully I'll have the motivation to get up every morning before Kate does and sit and do them, but I'm not going to be too picky about the time it gets done, as long as it gets. done.

Second:

I'm attacking the biggest weakness in my everyday life - food. Guys, everybody says it, but I really love food. Like, I have an unhealthy obsession with it that probably borders on gluttony, if I'm being really self-aware and painfully honest with all of you. I count the hours between meals, and snack waayyyyy too much. I thought about doing a Lent40 (like Jenny), but since I'm still nursing, I'm not quite ready for that yet. So I'm cutting out a lot of other things: sweets, drinks besides water + tea, chips, potato "products" (fries, etc.), and snacking in between meals. It's a lot of things, but I am mentally legitimately prepared for it this year. I'm not pregnant (yikes, last year's Lent went terrible because of pregnancy), Kate's going to be just about weaned by the time Easter hits (give or take a month), and I have no excuse to not do it. I'm striving towards being more aware all the time of what I'm eating and why I'm eating it - hopefully this will lead towards a more permanent awareness in my life.

too many Ryan Gosling memes? maybe...

HAHA

So, here you go, future Hannah. This is what Lent looks like for me right now. How did I/you do?
Pray for me, y'all. I'm praying for you, too.
HG

7QT #31: baby pics & parenting thoughts

If I had written a Quick Takes post every day for a stretch of time, I'd have written them for a full month now. 31 posts! Crazy talk. To commemorate, I'm going to include a lot of unrelated selfies/cell phone pictures and some random motherhood thoughts. Gear up, y'all.

1.
Headaches from babies scream/talking are real. At least, for me.
In that same vein, a baby's "scream" for attention can easily turn back into a full-blown belly laugh if you make a goofy face and distract them from whatever made them scream in the first place.



2.
Even if a bottle says that it is childproof, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS CHILDPROOF.
I forgot to take a picture of it, but pretend Exhibit A is before you of a recently emptied bottle of (thank goodness) Homeopathic Teething Tablets. Dumped unceremoniously on the carpet.
That's my girl.



3.
Parenting is really, really fun, especially when you can get your daughter to laugh uncontrollably for a solid 5 minutes because of a crinkling package.



4.
Sometimes, your kid won't nap.
And sometimes, it will make you want to pull your f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g hair out.
Because naps are vital, incredibly important, and really the basis of every mom's happy day.

But, you can survive without them. Unhappily, but you can survive.



5.
Baby colds are no fun. They require lots of extra cuddling, a good amount of cheering up, and sometimes can turn your nose red and your eyes puffy.


6.
Bedtime is a glorious, lovely time. And it sometimes it feels wrong to relish it, or look forward to it, but hey - babies need to sleep, right? It's not a bad thing to want that...


7.
Parenting is so much easier with a partner.
After now 8 months of this parenting gig, I am so grateful and appreciative that I have a willing and fantastic partner to do it with. On nights when David works late, which have been often recently, I wonder how single moms do it. The emotional drain by itself is crazy - I can't imagine that plus all of the work, all the time, with no one to lean on for support, or send crazed text messages to in the middle of the day. I'm so grateful David is an awesome co-parent with me.



 I'm feeling the love today, if you can't tell.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Linking up with Kelly for 7QT.
HG

Valentine's Day goodies

So, I'm a bit of a flake when it comes to Valentine's Day.
I used to tell David that I didn't like Valentine's Day, mostly when we started dating, because I really wanted him to like me and I didn't want to seem needy. (I am never, ever going to live that down. Really, I won't.)

But secretly, I really like it.
I'm not necessarily a fan of how commercialized and money-centric everything is now, but I see nothing wrong with taking a day (or two - including Galentine's Day) to tell people that you love them.
It's a good thing.
St. Valentine would approve, I just know it.

So, how about some Valentine's-Day themed gifts, for anyone still looking for some ideas? (No affiliate links, just things I've been curating from around the internet and thought you might like.)



{1} thebouqs.com
$50 for regular bouquet - but 10% off your first order + free shipping if you register!
So, obviously $50 is kind of expensive for a bouquet of flowers, but these are freaking gorgeous, are grown ethically, and I've heard (from multiple friends) that they are a huge bouquet and they last forever. So, worth it? maybe.

{2} Raising Cane's
Well, let's say it straight up here: probably no one in the world has the obsession David and I do with Raising Cane's. But, the point still stands: Valentine's Day doesn't have to be about fancy food. It can be about the fast food you both crave and want to eat all the time no matter time or day. (or is that just us?) Cheaper, easier, and you don't even need a babysitter!

{3} J. Crew robe
I think I might be turning into a grandma, or at least someone who values comfort above all else, because I'll be darned if I don't really want a robe recently. This one from J. Crew looks super comfy and adorable at the same time. Cute and practical gift, right? (maybe more of a girly gift than the others, but oh well)

{4} a favorite coffee drink
I've been on a coffee kick recently - by which I mean I've been craving it like crazy and I am thinking about it all day, every day. Anyone you love might appreciate their favorite coffee drink - or any type of drink or treat, really. Plus it's cheap, and is always a nice surprise.

{5} hugs & kisses
So, physical affection is not one of my love languages. Lots of times I put it in the back part of my mind, especially since I'm touched out with Kate all day. But it's a good thing and I need to remember it - so I thought I'd pass along the advice. Give your loved ones a hug and kiss for Valentine's Day, or perhaps do some cuddling and hand-holding.

What do you do for Valentine's Day? Got any secret tips for me?
I love YOU all. Happy Valentine's/Galentine's Day. <3 <3 <3
HG

In My Bag

Can I say how excited I am that Katrina and Nell (plus others!) are hosting a Lily Jade link-up/giveaway that involves the insides of peoples' bags?? It brings back fantastic memories of Kendra's link up last year, which still remains as one of my all-time favorite link ups.

What can I say - besides being an avid people-watcher, and a lover of day-in-the-life posts, I can't resist the opportunity to peek inside other women's purses. (Does that make me a creep? I sincerely hope not.)

In case you're curious, here's what was in my bag last year almost exactly at this time. My life has obviously changed a little bit since them (ahem, Kateri, ahem) but lots are constants. Including that Starbucks gift card, which now has like $1.50 on it. I'm a hoarder, obvs. And, it looks like I'll have to turn this into a yearly thing! 


Bag: Target purse turned diaper bag
Wallet: Target
Diapers: Target
Wipes: Target
...
sensing a theme here?

Onto the nitty-gritty. 


The bag: On a grading scale, this bag probably gets a solid B. It's not perfect, but it's definitely above average. I love the adjustable straps, the fact that it has a handbag handle in addition to the shoulder strap (so helpful when juggling a carseat/baby/etc), and that it closes. However, the inside pockets are pretty much useless because they flop around and don't hold anything, and the storage is somewhat limited because it's not very big. Plus, I'd love a bag that's this size and ALSO zips across the top. Nearly impossible to find.


Deets: wallet, checkbook, blinged out sunglasses that I'm pretty sure I found somewhere? or someone gave to me?, Burt's Bees chapstick (always!), natural teething tablets, a necklace, old movie ticket stubs to the Hobbit, a ticket to my sister's high school choir concert, and...a lone sock. Wah wah.


Diapery-things: Wipes, 7 diapers, and Kleenex. I don't foresee ever needing 7 diapers when we're out, but I'm super paranoid about not having enough. So I always add one or two when we're leaving for more than a quick trip, which is why they pile up. 


Bebe clothes: extra onesie, pair of jeggings that don't fit, and a dress, plus pacifier and bib. Not sure exactly why I have that bib in there but it might come in handy! 

To be honest, usually there's a baby toy or 3 in there, as well as some used Kleenex, a burp cloth, a random snack, old receipts, a pack of gum, and my keys also in there, but I recently cleaned out my purse of the junk on a long car trip so it's not as messy as usual. Also: don't know where my keys are. Oh well, we only have one car anyway and David took his keys with his car this morning, so I'm not too worried.

Tell me...what's in your bag that I'm missing? I'd love you to do a post of your own because like I said...certifiable creeper.
HG



February = Winter. What?

Looks like Lady (Mr.?) Winter finally decided to descend on Nebraska this week...once the calendar turned to February, obviously.

See, January in Nebraska is this tricky thing. Some days, it's frigidly cold and biting and you can't even bear to make the 10 second walk from your house to your car. The next week, it'll be 65° and sunny and the cold is a long-distant memory as you prance about the neighborhood exclaiming how much you love being outdoors.



And then February rears its ugly, cold, miserable head.
It's difficult every time. Even when I love the snow (and I do, occasionally), it's still rough sometimes to be stuck inside after such a taste of the nice weather.



I've never met a February I liked. It's the worst month of the year - sorry, but it's true. It's cold, and dark, and the only holiday is alright but doesn't break up the monotony enough to redeem it.

No matter how fabulous January may appear to be at times, (I know, I know, it sounds backwards) February is always a let down. It's always cold and dreary, and usually is accompanied by feet of snow and lots of dangerous road conditions. In the past, they were somewhat redeemed (for me, at least) by the hope of a snow day or two. Now that I'm past that lovely, scholarly world -- snow days are just distant memories.

To beat the heat cold, Kate and I are taking selfies and spending lots of time staring at the neighbors scooping their snow, or rather she is while I hold her and try to prevent her from banging her head on the glass of our front door.

wow, our bedroom is messy. yikes.
(Oh, and I'm watching plenty of episodes of Elementary, my newest obsession, to distract myself. Totally worth it.)

to sunnier days -
HG

8 months




Baby Kate is 8 months old, can you believe it?
(I can't. I really can't.)
We'll get right to it...how about an update post to keep up?!

Weight: 17.8 lbs, which is comforting to me after the weight loss she experienced during her ear infection (grow baby, grow!)

Height: still around 30 inches? I haven't measured recently so I'm thinking it's the same

Firsts this month: not much new in this area but lots more movement, rolling back and forth, and a ton of rocking on hands and knees, can balance standing up if she's holding on to something

Nicknames: nothing new

Other things to note:
- Okay, I know I've said this in every update post for the last like, 4 months. But I swear this month she is really going to start crawling in a real way. She wants it SO bad and she is so close - she can even do a plank when she tries but doesn't get the forward part yet. But it'll happen. Just you wait.
- Kate's been a much happier baby this month after getting over her illness. Her naps have sort of taken a nosedive, but I think that's just from growing out of them rather than anything serious. But she's been mostly happy, which is awesome.
- She LOVES baby food. I should really start investigating making our own, because it's expensive to buy evne when it's on sale, but she would seriously eat probably 8 packs a day if we let her. (Her poop on the otherhand has been g-r-o-s-s, sorry if that's TMI. But it's real life.) She gets so excited when we stick her in her high chair, and is very upset when the food runs out. She's her mama's girl, after all.
- She's doing a lot better at night sleeping. I don't think she's woken up once in the last week between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 7:15 a.m., which is fantastic! I'm totally jinxing it but I had to brag a little bit.




We love you, darling girl.
HG