some random schtuff

31 August 2015

31 August 2015
Sorry the blogging around here has been sporadic (at best) and pretty fluffy. I used to get all riled up and plan a bunch of posts and write things that I felt had actual content...and then I don't know what happened, but the writing energy kinda went right outta me.

Instead of whining or worrying about it though, I'm gonna just keep on keepin' on, blogging fluff and memories and stories of my kiddo and Instagram photos because that seems to be the only way I know how, at least right now.

Toddlers can be pretty fun sometimes. The other day Kate and I needed some fresh air, so we went outside during the witching hour (aka every mother's worst nightmare time) and played in the yard. Have I mentioned how much I now appreciate having a yard? with a fence? and a swingset - that came with the house?? Because I do.

Kate spent her time running this way and that way, exploring every corner of the yard, saying "pu pu" when the neighbor dog came out and barked at us. Then she decided to sit down in the mulched garden bed (with no plants in it, mind you) and just throw mulch everywhere.

I decided to just let her. And although it doesn't maybe sound like it, it was a big deal for me. I've gotten into this habit of not letting her do things that get her messy, because I get tired of vacuuming/changing her clothes/doing extra laundry. But this time, I just let her be. Because guys? she was SO HAPPY. Just sitting there. Throwing mulch in the air and letting it fall on her. It was just the cutest. And I couldn't bring myself to stop her and take that joy away.

Then I said a quick prayer to Mama Mary asking her to please let me be like this more often as a mom. I'm nervous if I don't pay attention, I'll grow into a way-too-controlling mom who never lets her kids just be kids, and I hate that. So I'm looking out for it more, and saying some prayers it doesn't happen.

Kate's turning into her own real, little person. I mean, she's always been her own person - but her personality is developing, and it's equal parts hilarious and overwhelming (for all of us).

Right now it involves a lot of screaming when she wants things, and then (opposites) cuddles when she realizes she did something wrong - and/or fell to the ground, injuring herself because she was running too fast.

It's quite an adjustment period. Her vocabulary isn't growing a lot, but she understands a lot more each day. I'll ask her to do things, and she'll understand and do them - it's crazy!!!

If you haven't heard Ben Rector's new single, Paris - I highly recommend it. The music video is the best kind of adorable, too.

I've played it way too many times in the last couple weeks.

Okay, y'all, I neeeeeed some style advice. Since last year I finally found the perfect denim jacket (still love it!), it's my next style goal to find the perfect chambray shirt. I had one from a few years ago from Target, and the longer I own it, the more I hate it. With every wash it gets stiffer and more worn-out (but not in a good way) looking, and I'm ready to commit to something new.

Where's the best place to buy one? How much should I be willing to fork over for it? This one above from Gap looks nice but is maybe too light - I'm thinking I want a darker colored one. And pockets - yay or nay? I want something sort of stretchy, but that doesn't wrinkle easily, can be washed without a lot of fuss, and is somewhat timeless. Got any tips for me?

Also, in anticipation of our family photos this week (eek! first ones ever!), we're getting some things hung and cleaned up around the house. Including this lovely ($30) mirror from Home Depot! I know it looks off kilter with the dresser in the photo because of our tilted floors, but I promise it's level in real life. So yay! Stay tuned because you best believe I'll be posting some photos from our shoot when we get them. (How could I not?)


20 questions

25 August 2015

25 August 2015

I saw Laura from WigDiggity post these today and realized I really wanted to join in! So here are some random facts you've probably ALWAYS wanted to know about me.

1. Favorite food?
Currently would be Raising Cane's, although my old stand-by is a burger from pretty much anywhere, but best from Lazlo's (in Lincoln). You just can't go wrong with a burger!

2. Flip flops or high heels?
Hmm. I used to love flip flops, but now they just make my feet hurt. (Old person alert.) And I've been enjoying wearing heels more than usual this year - so I'll go with heels, even though most of the time you can find me in Birks.

3. Favorite places to shop for yourself?
Gap, hands down. I'm pretty sure like 80% of my wardrobe is from there right now! I have their CC so that doesn't help...or does it? Otherwise I love the ever-cheap Target for things I don't want to invest in.

4. Standard coffee order?
My usual right now at Starbucks is a caramel iced coffee with cream - yummy. Cheap, standard, with just a bit of flavor added to make it exciting. I don't drink much coffee at home unless I make a big pot and put it in the fridge to have iced coffee in the afternoon for a pick-me-up.

5. Road trip must-have snack?
Going on road trips with my family growing up I always got the same thing: Chex Mix and a Cherry Pepsi. We'd have one rest stop where we were allowed to get a snack and I never deviated from that tried-and-true plan. Nowadays it's just making sure I have water because I get a little panicky when I get thirsty!

6. DIY or hire it out?
Ohh, well, if I had all the money in the world I'd hire it out. But as that's not the case, DIY all the way. David and I have pretty much no experience doing anything technical (well, besides helping our families do things) but we really love experimenting and trying not to mess things up. YouTube has been a big help in that area (we saved like $200 last winter fixing our heater ourselves by looking it up on YouTube!).

7. Top 5 TV shows?
Talk about the hardest question ever!! How are you supposed to narrow it down to just 5? Mine fluctuates every month or so but right now I'd say: Doctor Who, The Office, The West Wing, Parks and Recreation, and Arrow. Right now I'm watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which I thoroughly enjoy, and David and I are slowly working through Arrow because it's amazing and we don't want to binge it all and then feel sad when it's over!

8. Favorite book?
Persuasion by Jane Austen has been the answer to that question since I read it over 10 years ago (wowza). It's so underrated and just so fantastic. The best one I've read this year has to be Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. SO GOOD. I can't stop raving/thinking about it.

9. Favorite form of exercising?
Well, I'm doing P90X3 right now which I really like because it's only 30 minutes. But I wouldn't qualify it as my favorite type of exercising. I wish my knees were still high-school age so I could run outside - I hated cross country, but I loved it, you know?

10. How tall are you?
5' 6", but probably shrinking...

11. Do you try something new at restaurants or stick to your favorites?
I usually stick with my favorites, but I've been trying to be more adventurous lately so I'm trying new things. Except for when we go to Cane's, because there's only one thing to order there. :)

12. One makeup item you can't live without?
Mascara. Seeing as most days all I use is mascara and under-eye concealer, I'd pick mascara over concealer.

13. What's on your nightstand?
Umm, currently just a lamp. Because it's right next to my work desk, and Kate spends a lot of time wandering in and out of our bedroom during the work "day," so if I leave anything there permanently it's guaranteed to be either lost under the bed or destroyed.

14. What's one thing motherhood has taught you?
The importance of patience. I am not a patient person naturally. When I start things, I want them to be immediately completed, or it drives me crazy. Being a mom has made me slow down and realize that some things take patience, and a whole lot of it - nursing, sleep training, babies changing, the whole works.

15. Music that reminds you of high school?
Stronger by Kanye West always reminds me of high school - just a classic.

16. If you could live anywhere in the world besides your current city, where would you live?
Oh gosh. Recently I've had this dream of uprooting our whole family and just moving to the countryside of Ireland and like, raising sheep or something. More realistically I'd move to a tiny town in Colorado or Wyoming with a view of the mountains and a lake. Or maybe Seattle. I really love rain, so I think the Pacific Northwest would be my idea of heaven.

17. Tell me something about you we might not know?
Hmm. I have a phobia of socks that aren't black. Like, literally, 99% of my sock drawer is black socks. Something about white socks just really grosses me out.

18. Websites you read/browse?
Facebook & Pinterest are my top contenders. Sometimes Tumblr or Reddit if I'm really bored, Amazon to go window shopping, and any online shopping site.

19. Morning person or night owl?
Night owl, but I'm really trying to become more of a morning person. It isn't working well so far.

20. Favorite breakfast meal?
Chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter & syrup, bacon, hashbrowns. Yummmm.

Join in! I'd love to see your answers.

7QT #39: food, naptimes, & ladylike eating.

21 August 2015

21 August 2015
I've got some free time this lovely Friday morning (hooray for working longer days during the week so Fridays can be relaxing!!) so I figured I'd blog some more nonsense into the vastness of the internet. You okay with that?

I've eaten this for dinner 3 (or 4? I can't remember) times this week. It's delicious and I highly recommend:

Recipe (short and sweet, I promise, I'm no food blogger!)
-Grill some chicken to your preference
-Toss together with salad (pre-bagged like us lazy folk like), small pinch of cheese, craisins, unsalted sunflower seeds, croutons, and Lite Thousand Island dressing
-Rejoice with your tastebuds!
Obviously this is nothing new to you salad eaters, but I've been trying to eat healthier and this salad thing has been helping. Gradually - as you can see, I don't necessarily skimp on the dressing. (But it's lite! aka healthy, right? ;))

Also, La Croix is my life right now. Jump on that bandwagon, you won't be disappointed.

This girl.

In case you missed it on FB, she's decided that morning naps are no longer her thing. Meanwhile, you could find me this week huddling in a heap at my computer, trying to get a full day's work in with only one nap in which to work in peace.

It's been...interesting.

I'm still hoping some days she will succumb to a morning nap, at least for a few more weeks (please please please) so I can soak them in while they last, but that's probably wishful thinking. Sigh. Where did my baby go and who is this toddler in her place?

Here's a fun couple of links for you:

A rationality test, in case you're like me and are always seeking ways to validate your intelligence. Orrrrr prove how much you just like taking tests. (Aka no, I didn't do all that well. But it was still fun!)

A GQ interview about Stephen Colbert, which has been making its rounds on the internet but is definitely worth the read.

An excerpt from Mindy Kaling's new book (which I am so so stoked for because she's my girl crush) about girls and confidence. She's my hero and says everything I'm thinking, before I realize it.

A question for all you thrifty moms out there...where do you buy little girl/little kid shoes? Kate's going to need something more substantial than the classic $1 Old Navy flip flops she's been living in this summer, once fall weather hits us.

I've looked on eBay (via Grace's advice) but maybe I'm just not looking in the right places but it's kind of been a dud. I've also looked on Zulily, but I'm a little nervous about spending bigger amounts of $$ for shoes she's going to quickly outgrow.

Thoughts? Tips? Commiseration? I'm all ears.

How about a cute pic for no reason? :)

Earlier this week, I caught myself licking some salt off the side of my mouth in a very un-ladylike way. Then all I could think about was this quote from one of the best movies of all time:

The epitome of class & grace, that's me. 

In a few hours, we're helping my baby sister move into college (how is that possible, Gnat??), then heading out for some fun at a piano bar with one of David's best high school friends after that. (Look at us, being social and all!)

The rest of the weekend looks pretty chill - I'm hoping to get some cleaning done at some point because, well, it's a complete mess around here right now.

Linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes - head there for more, as she's a pretty great hostess every darn week and deserves some love!

Rough day

18 August 2015

18 August 2015

Contrary to the picture above (from the super fun wedding this weekend), we're all having kind of a rough day around here.

I woke up sore from my workout and with an unexplained headache. Kate just plain woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

We've been alternating crying sessions (just kidding)(mostly), throwing our food on the floor, refusing to do anything whatsoever resembling playing by ourselves, cutting our very vital naps short, and just been all around in a bad funk of a day since the moment we woke up. [Ahem, we being mostly Kate.]

Don't you just hate those days? They sneak up on you. I had high, productive hopes for today too - seeing that the weather isn't going to top 72° this afternoon, combined with a cloudy & rainy day, made me think we'd have a nice, peaceful, productive day. Womp womp.

I'm writing this to all you other moms having a similar day today - yep, they happen. And it's sometimes really hard and sucky to get through them. But eventually we will and they'll fade in our least, I'm praying they do.

Until then, I'll be holed up outside the nap-fighting-toddler's bedroom door, whispering silent prayers pleading the angels to magically make her wake up in a better mood, and dreaming of a cold margarita and a warm sandy beach. Or maybe a solo trip to Target -- whichever comes first.

WIWS: solo parenting & comfy Mass clothes

16 August 2015

16 August 2015
Since David's away this weekend at an alumni fraternity event ("this weekend" meaning for approximately 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday, but hey, the solo parent in me demands I call it a full weekend), Kate and I have been having a lot of quality girl time. Aka we went to Target yesterday together, spent some time at my parents' house, and then went through the Starbucks drive through this morning after church. #wefancy

I took her to Mass this morning by myself and wowza - props to all you moms who consistently take kids to church by yourself! I was exhausted by the end of the Mass, both physically from wrangling her and emotionally, too, from feeling all the pressure. Luckily our normal Mass time is baby-filled -- I counted 4 babies within a 3-row span from us, but it's still different than having a co-parent along with you there.

I recently got my Brass Clothing Band Dress from their Kickstarter campaign, and so I wore it to a wedding Friday night, fully planning on wearing it again on Sunday morning so I could get a photo of it. (I love love love it, so expect another post featuring it soon.) Unfortunately I did not account for Kate's sticky fingers during dinner at the wedding, so it was in the wash today. So I went with this instead!

Shirt: Target (exact)
Skirt: Target, old
Sandals: Target, clearance
{{sense a theme??}}

I still can't decide if I like wearing maxi skirts/dresses. When I bother to wear heels, I don't mind how I look in them. But I think I'm on the border of being too short to really pull them off with flats, which makes me a little self conscious in them. But this is undeniably one of my most comfortable Mass combos, even if it's not super dressy - the comfort factor makes the trade-off worth it.

Kate wore her trusty Old Navy sandals, which she wears everywhere because they're the only pair of shoes that fit her right now, and an adorable Old Navy dress I got a few months ago on clearance online. This is the best picture I could get of her after Mass...

It really is no wonder she eats like a person twice her size, because she just does not. stop. moving. Like, ever.

Anywho, we're in for a rather relaxing rest of our Sunday. I need to catch up on some laundry, David has to mow once he gets home, and I think if it gets hot we might break out the kiddie pool for Kate so we (ahem, me) can get some sun before summer's officially over.

Hope you're in for a relaxing Sunday, wherever you are! Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple - go check 'em out!

7QT #38: Arrow, wedding season, & HP funnies

14 August 2015

14 August 2015
Another week gone by, another weekend to look forward to. Yes, I still get excited about those. Don't you?? {{linking up with Kelly}}

Kate slept in this morning.
Read that sentence again quick and then realize how blessed I am on this beautiful Friday morning.

Although we put her to bed at her normal bedtime last night (7:30) and she had a full day yesterday (grocery shopping! spinning in circles until she got dizzy!), I didn't think it was overly tiring. Apparently I was incorrect because she slept in til 8:30 this morning! Miraculous, I tell you.

Of course now I'm worried about getting two naps in at a somewhat normal time today, but c'est la vie of a boring mama life, eh?

running (and running, and running) at the park the other night while dada played frisbee

Speaking of cute daughters, I just ran across this the other day on the internet, and had to share with someone besides David and my younger sister.

courtesy @amellywood aka Stephen Amell on Twitter
David and I are watching Arrow right now (still, yes) because we're trying to not rush through every single episode and then be upset when we've run out of episodes. Therefore I started to follow Stephen Amell on Twitter, and wow, he's an awesome celebrity. (Do people still say that?)

Also, watch Arrow if you haven't yet. It really is as good as everyone says it is. And it's on Netflix. (Please try to ignore the first few episodes that are uber-CW-ish, aka filled with only beautiful people...It gets so so much better.)

This weekend marks the end of wedding season for us! Norah, a girl I've been friends with since before high school, gets married this afternoon. Out of the 10 girls I was closest with in high school, she's the 9th one to get married. Yes, truly.

Norah and I when we used to student manage the cross country team in high school. #babies

We're super excited to celebrate her and Mitch (her future husband) this afternoon with a night of good fun. After this we have a quick break before football season starts up and our weekends get consumed with that! Story of every (Nebraskan's) life.

I've only got about two weeks left of P90x3 and I'm trying to decide what to do after I've finished. I really love working out every day - and I've heard really awesome things about Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guides. Has anyone used them/enjoyed them? I got a copy of her guides off eBay (shhhhh) but trying to decide if that's the route I want to go, or if I need a different direction.

The transformations she puts on her blog really are incredible, and the workouts seem like something I could totally do. But - am I going to miss lifting weights? I used to hate it, and now I kind of love it.

Thoughts? Advice? Recommendations? I am subscribing to Beachbody's On Demand program, which I can cancel at any point but I could also start another one of their programs...too many choices.

Another fun/funny Internet link for you today. Fan of Harry Potter? Want to imagine what it would be like if the characters had iPhones and unlimited text messaging plans??

Look no further past this awesome Tumblr series called "iPotter."

I keep crying from laughter each time a new one is released. (Fair warning on language, just FYI.) Some gems:

Excuse the wonky formatting, I still can't get the hang of aligning photos on this new theme.

But seriously. Very very funny, highly recommend. Same level as Drunk J. Crew.

We've had some seriously stellar clouds, sunsets, and general sky prettiness around here lately. It's making me look forward to fall even more. Also, I'm tired of sweating the minute I step outside. (I know, I know, first world problems!)

But seriously. I took this from right in front of our house, with my phone. #blessed

I'm redoubling my efforts to be more healthy this week, including joining Jenna's Huset Fitness group on Facebook. If you're so inclined, join up! The challenges and encouragement is super helpful to an outside-pressure-motivated type person. :)

Head to Kelly's for more weekend gloriousness!

motherhood lately

10 August 2015

10 August 2015

I realized the other day that I haven't been talking much about mothering on the blog anymore, ever since Kate finished up her monthly photos (a few months ago, seeing as I didn't remember to do a 12 month photo, oops). 

I think this comes in part with feeling like I've got some experience under my belt, as well as just moving past the inevitable little baby obsession I used to have. Not that I don't still love Kate just as much as before! But parenting a toddler is vastly different from parenting a newborn/baby. I didn't realize the transition was going to happen til it already had come and gone.

Parenting now revolves mostly around keeping Kate from destroying things, cutting up food for her 3x a day (never ending! wowza!), and laughing at the antics she gets up to. Some days I miss the quietness that was before - when she was little, and would just sit or lay and be content. She's barely still for more than 30 seconds nowadays, unless she's deep asleep.

I suppose some things don't change. I still worry about her eating. Before it was worrying about what I'm eating, how much she's nursing, and the inevitable physicality of the whole breastfeeding gig. It was visceral to me, holding her upwards of 6 times a day while she nursed. Now I plop her in the high chair and debate how many days in a row I can give her the same foods without her complaining. (My mom's convinced my adult dislike of bananas is because she fed me them all the time when I was a kid.)

But I'm altogether more laid back. I realize that naps sometimes don't happen, and that's okay. I realize that sometimes grandparents will treat her with sweets, and it's okay. I realize that she's growing and more things have to be taught than did before, and it's okay.

It's a continual transition.

She is still as much of a doll as she ever was as a baby - but just with a healthy dose of sassiness. I claim that most of it comes from David's genetics, but it's fun nonetheless. She has some words under her belt - most of them sound the same, but she's got ball, puppy, baby, mama, dada, Lola (her bunny in the above photo), that (as in, What's that?), bye (with a wave! socuuute!), and can make animal noises for puppy (woowoo), birdie (eeeep! really high pitched), cow (oooo, sometimes with an "m" beforehand), and we're working on "meow" for cat.

She wakes up every morning in a great mood, giving kisses freely and kicking us in the face while we try to corral a few more moments of sleep after freeing her from the crib.

She's real close to running, and does this cute walk/gallop right now when she tries to find some speed. She tilts her head back to laugh when we do something silly, or to get our attention. Hats and headbands don't stay on for very long, or become a missile to throw at someone. She loves strangers and exploring, and every time we see a dog in person she immediately says puppy woof woof!

We're having fun growing & learning together, how about we leave it at that? :)

yarn along {#1}

05 August 2015

05 August 2015
I've been reading Ginny's blog for years (literally! years!), but I've never joined in on her weekly Yarn Along posts, mostly because I'm usually not consistent enough in my knitting to be knitting and reading something at the very same time. Mostly it's one or the other for me, in my spare time, because I get obsessive about one of them and forget the other.

This week I've been shirking all the piles of laundry around the house that are just begging to be put away, the floors that need to be vacuumed, the packing that needs to happen between now and tomorrow at noon, and focusing my "free" time on both knitting and reading.

I'm still dogging away at my baby blanket, which was supposed to be a gift for a friend's baby who is due at the end of August. I'm thinking it won't be finished in time for that, unless I become miraculously fast at knitting between now and then, or give up everything else I'm doing and concentrate on it alone. Luckily I know plenty of other babies being born in the next few months so I'll be able to find somebaby to give it to. (No pattern to link to, just straight garter stitch and I cast on until I couldn't imagine casting on anymore, I'm not a fancy knitter!)

I'm just a few chapters into Kristin Lavransdatter (the first part, The Wreath), and I'm really liking it so far. I've been mostly reading newer fiction this year, so the change in writing is a nice reprieve and reminds me a lot of my college reading assignments. (As an English major, most works I read were pre-1900, and I lovedddd it.) It's a nice relaxed pace and I've been putting off reading it for a long while now, so it feels even like an accomplishment to be reading it.

What are you crafting/reading these days? Head to Ginny's to see more + better books and yarn projects!

right now

04 August 2015

04 August 2015

listening to Kate's hiccups and laughing at her inwardly because she'll go, "Bababa HICCUP bababa" without so much as a beat inbetween

relishing the last 2 episodes of The West Wing and wondering what in the world I'm going to watch next?

drinking lots of water & La Croix and trying not to die of this stupidly persistent cough/cold I've got going on

feeling nostalgic as the school year ramps up around us and I have nothing to do with it - David and I drove through campus the other day and laughed to ourselves, saying "remember when we thought being in college was hard? lol"

hoping the rain from this morning (last picture) comes back tonight

eating salads and wraps and some delicious store-bought brownies

noticing that my manicure from the wedding I was in 2 weeks ago is finally going downhill, always a sad time

needing some new tunes to get me through the work week, any suggestions?

thanking everyone that comes to this space to read my random and not usually edifying thoughts. y'all are the real MVPs


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