A photo dump post

27 January 2016

27 January 2016

Naptime yesterday had a beautiful color scheme. It has NOTHING to do with the fact that I happen to sort laundry by colors (like we adults do) and that I like cran-raspberry LaCroix. NOTHING.

Started this gem of a book last night. So far I'm intrigued...who wouldn't like something by Aziz? Even though I'm probably not the intended target, I still like it.

My Christmas present to myself was these Lucky boots. I've only worn them once and I already am in love with them. So comfy, so neutrally perfect, so useful. Especially since my only other booties are green (not super neutral) and dress-up black.

She likes to lounge around with me on the couch, but if I dare to pull my phone out she needs a selfie STAT. Usually I happily oblige. :)

A little sneak peak of what I've been quilting lately. I started with a pattern drawn up and that was like 2 months ago...so obviously I lost it and I'm kind of winging it from here. Hopefully it turns out okay.

Picture of today's meltdown. Sometimes it's hard to explain to an almost two year old that you do, indeed, have to work at your job sometimes instead of read her every book she wants exactly when she wants it.

Logic + toddlers not understanding = craziness ensuing.

Luckily she got over it quickly and is now voluntarily spinning around right next to my desk, making herself dizzy on purpose until she falls over laughing. (So I decided to type this blog post while she's still happy.)

(She'll probably see this picture, remember how upset she was, and demand a book. Guess I don't have a good excuse for not reading to her now.)

How's your Wednesday?

7QT#46: GoT, bluegrass, and Mindy Kaling

22 January 2016

22 January 2016
I don't have a lot to say this week but...that's never stopped me from blogging before! How about a quick takes post? What say you?

I finished A Dance With Dragons (the final released installment of A Song of Ice and Fire, the Game of Thrones series) this week. It left a weirdly gaping hole in my life because I've been reading the 5 books for the last 2 solid months, so it feels weird to not have another one to read. Plus the series isn't finished! I know, I know I'm late to the game but it is very strange not knowing the ending of a bazillion characters and also not know when I'm going to know their endings -- because there's still no release date in sight. 

It's like if the final Harry Potter book wasn't released for 3 or 4 years after book 6, but J.K. kept pushing the release date back for no apparent reason. Except with like, a lot more gore and, umm, non-kid-friendly scenes thrown in. Also a lot more pages.

Because it was on my list from last year, and I got around to putting it on hold at the library, I finally got a copy of Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin. 

In short summary, it's a woman's experience moving to the Upper East Side in Manhattan and her attempts to understand motherhood, women, and the social expectations in the richest part of the richest city in the world.

Let me tell you, this book is CRAZY. I knew the Upper East Side was like, a rich place but until this book I didn't know to what extent. Her experiences are almost unbelievable and I've been super enjoying it. I highly recommend it if you're looking to feel inadequate about how non-put-together you are.

Also on a whim I looked up some apartments on the Upper East Side and this one's my favorite. It's only $9,000 a month. For a TWO-BEDROOM APARTMENT. Guys. The sticker shock. I just can't.


Right now, this cutie pie is taking a nap. We're desperately holding onto two naps a day, even though the chances of those two naps actually happening dwindles more and more every day. Lots of times it's more like: put her in the crib, hear her talking to her animal friends/throwing her pillow on the ground/random screaming for half an hour to maybe longer finished by finally falling asleep. Repeat each day at 10:45 and 3:30. 

I am going to be really really sad when she goes to one nap.

Like, guys. How am I going to get anything done?? I WON'T. Oh well.

This article from the New Yorker perfectly explains why I'm seriously in love with Mindy Kaling's show, The Mindy Project. She's willing to break norms and really talk about things that are sometimes uncomfortable and hard to portray on TV.

If you don't watch her show, I highly recommend it! It's quirky, funny, loud, and everything you'd expect from a Kaling show. She's one of my all-time favorite celebrities and will continue to be so for a long time if she keeps genius like this up. :)

This is the song on repeat for me this morning:

Summer Camp by the Infamous Stringdusters -- here on Spotify if you're curious!

Sometimes I just really love bluegrass, what can I say? Also first time I've ever seen a lead singer who's a bassist so that's cool.

And another link for you. 

Long but 100% worth the read. I promise.

Welp. I thought I would have 7 takes but...nope, just 6 for you today. Pray for babies today (and all days)! Head over to Kelly's for more!

Stitch Fix...

21 January 2016

21 January 2016
I got a Stitch Fix box for the first time ever (eep!) this week because I got an email for a free credit...aka a free trial so I could decide if it was actually worth it or not in the future. So I decided to blog about it. YAY.

I've hesitated signing up previously because let's be honest, some of the only down time I enjoy by myself is out shopping, or like I mentioned in my previous post...online shopping has become a great way for me to stay connected with the mail lady in our neighborhood. :)

But everyone raves about Stitch Fix! And I needed some new dress options to look for a wedding we have coming up so I just went for it.

Guys, fashion blogging is HARD. Mad props to anyone who does this on a regular basis. I am not, nor will I ever be, a fashion blogger. This was sincerely hard to get good photos of everything and I failed on more than one account, as you will see below. Also I couldn't find my good camera so they're iPhone photos which is never a recipe for success. I seemed to cut out my face in all but one of them (oops), there's a basket of unfolded laundry on our bed behind me, and any time I stepped in front of the only full-length mirror in the house, Kate also wanted to be in it...so she's in some of these. #momlife

Onto the clothes!

Item #1: Odell Textured V-Neck Dress, London Times, $118.

Okay, so I have to admit...I liked this the best out of any item in my fix. The dress was unique, classy, and even somewhat okay for winter weddings because of the sleeves (which I asked for in the notes to my stylist ahead of time). But for some reason this dress and I just didn't click. I like to fall in love with dresses when I buy them -- and somehow this one didn't hit me right. The color appears lighter in the photo than in real life, and the neck was just a tad bit low to be comfortable. Also, that's a lot of money for a dress that I don't really love! Verdict: returned.

Item #2: Mavi Freida Skinny Jean, $98

Okay, I'm sorry but these were a TOTAL fail. I asked my stylist for a good pair of jeans for postpartum tummies and these were pretty much a huge disappointment. They felt super cheap material-wise AND they were too big on me (even though it's the size I wear in every other brand of jeans out there) -- too big in weird places too, like my ankles and behind/underneath my butt. You can't see it in the photos but they're baggy in all sorts of weird places! To be fair, they were a nice cut height-wise (mid-rise that actually felt like mid-rise) and I liked the color. But $98 for a pair of jeans that feel like they're from Forever21? Nuh uh sister. Verdict: returned.

Item #3: Pixley Faria Split Back Pullover Sweater, $78

Again, another disappointment of a piece of clothing. This is one of those open-back sweaters that kind of swooshes open in two directions, and I just can't get behind that trend. I wear sweaters to be warm in the dead of freaking-cold winter in Nebraska, and something that purposefully drafts up my lower back is not a good fit for me. David seemed to think he would like it when I described it, but he never saw it on me in person so he doesn't get a final say. Plus this one again was too big for me...which isn't a terrible problem to have, I guess? But seems strange since they asked for so many measurements. Verdict: returned.

I attempted to get a picture of the back myself but failed miserably. Sorry.

Item #4: Renee C Melisa Mixed Geo Print Pencil Skirt, $48

I actually may keep this one, guys! I pulled it out of the box and thought: when the hell am I ever going to wear this? I used to wear pencil skirts all the time to work at my internship in college, and I haven't put one back on since then. But then I tried it on...and my mind may have been changed! This was super comfy, very stretchy, and could easily work for pregnancy too if that becomes necessary. It also feels like it would work for both summer and winter because the material's not too thick or thin. I have to show David and see what he thinks but it's a definite maybe. Plus it's way more my price range than the other things! Verdict: unsure.

aaand finally, the last item!

Item #5: Renee C Renay Dress, $68

Umm, NO. Big fat resounding no on this one, y'all. It looks about 1000x better in the photo than in real life, but it's just not for me. I hate the shoulder cutout trend -- stupid, especially on a dress. Drop waist is NOT a flattering look on me, especially from the side (*shudder*). Weird cutout to specifically show my cleavage? Nope. And to top it off, it was weirdly tight across the top of my butt in the back (but not the middle? idk, like I said it was weird). I was really excited about this print when I pulled it out of the box and it's still the only thing I like about it, but nope. Verdict: returned.


So. My first Stitch Fix was...pretty disappointing. I had high hopes and was pretty much basically disappointed with all of it. I may still keep the skirt, depending on what David says, but for now I'm going to go back to my tried-and-true online shopping and stick with what I know. (Ahem, Gap credit card rewards!)

If you have any interest in trying it for yourself and proving that I'm just the anomaly, feel free to click through my referral link right here to sign up for your own Fix and I'll try it again. Otherwise don't hold your breath that I'll ever do one of these again!

I love USPS.

20 January 2016

20 January 2016

Anyone who knows me in real life probably knows the extent of this post. But for those of you who don't, or haven't yet been exposed to it: I really really love the postal system.

No joke -- I wait excitedly every day for the sound of the mail truck coming up our street. I doodle cards (like the one above) when I'm in need of a pick-me-up. I send lots of bills by mail just because I can, and want to. I stalk the stamp releases on the USPS website. I'm friendly with our very sweet mail lady, who always is careful not to ring the doorbell if she thinks Kate might be asleep. (Isn't that the cutest thing ever?) I do a LOT of online shopping just because I love getting surprised by the package delivered on my doorstep a few weeks later.

Yesterday was a really cold day, and snowy all day. I needed to put one of the Christmas cards we had the wrong address on (grrrrrr) back out in the mail, so I took a selfie (of my feet, so a sort of selfie? feetsie? footsie? nope, not footsie) to commemorate my determination and dedication to the USPS.

Here, I'll pull from Instagram just for you:

(also, I'm behind the game -- just now figured out how to do that! Look at me, small-time mommy blogger that I am!)

The cold and biting snow that flew into my eyes was totally worth it. There's something so exciting about sending and receiving mail -- for this INFP, at least, it's a great way to communicate without having to actually speak words out of my mouth (oops), and it removes a lot of awkwardness that I try to avoid at all costs in my daily life.

The joy (pure, unadulterated joy) that is finding a note or a thank you or even a friendly ad never gets old for me. I have a feeling I'll develop carpal tunnel sooner than most because of the amount of typing and letter-writing I do on a monthly basis.

I already found this super-cute idea online: Snail Mail My Email, which I've signed up to be a part of this year in November. I'm looking forward to it...11 months in advance.


This randomness of a post is all to say: if you'd like to be my pen pal, please send me an email! Christmas card season is the best, but now that's over I'm back to my normal letter-writing and I need some more pen pals. I'd love to exchange letters with you, mostly crafted at my desk between ebook projects and whiny toddler needs. No promises here that they'll be edifying or filled with any sort of wisdom, but they will be stamped with cute stamps and hand-written with love.

Tell me I'm not the only one who loves the mail! (David sure seems to think I'm a big anomaly...he's wrong, right??)

Walking (in) sunshine

14 January 2016

14 January 2016
Have I already titled a post with a "Walking on Sunshine" pun? It seems familiar now that I've written it out but could be mom brain just messing me up.

The weather yesterday and today has been glorious. 45° and sunny.
45-50° in January in Nebraska is nothing to sneeze at - and is really nothing short of a miracle.

Especially since last week we had a day where the high was 4°. Fahrenheit. (I'm not sure it actually even made it up to that number...probably not.)

So Kate and I have been getting in some LISS (for all you non-BBG girls, low intensity steady state exercise) and taking some walks.

gosh my wrist looks fat in this picture...what the hell, watches???
I'm trying to soak it up as much as I can because tomorrow is turning cold again (forecast for a low Saturday night of -2° so that's super fun) and I want to get as much vitamin D on my skin while I can stand to be outside for more than 2 seconds at a time.

I have a feeling not a lot of those days are in our immediate future, either, so I need to remind Kate of what it's like to be outside while I get the chance. Oh, the beauty of Nebraska living.

Also we took my current favorite picture together yesterday so I here's my blog-post-about-nothing excuse to post it:

I turned the camera towards us, said "say cheese!" and she gave me this gem of a toothy sideways grin. Gosh I love her a lot sometimes.

This sunglasses one isn't half bad, either.

I hope your Thursday was warm and sunny and full of sassy toddler-ness if it could be!

Just a regular old mom blog

11 January 2016

11 January 2016

Life lately has been...good. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing too exciting, just good.

Kate has been alternating really really cute days with really really hellish days. We went to a wedding on Saturday, and boy was it just a complete disaster. She fell asleep for her one nap of the day for 45 minutes on the way there, and then screamed through the wedding, screamed while we tried to drive around and put her to sleep in the break between wedding and reception, screamed EXTRA loud during the prayer before meals at the reception...you get the picture. It was a nice, healthy dose of humility for David and me, at the very least. She's sometimes really great at public events and sometimes really horrible, and you never know which one you're going to get until the event has already started and it's too late to back out or find a babysitter last-minute.

David and I have so far avoided the craze that is Making a Murderer on Netflix...mostly because I'm forcing him to rewatch Once Upon a Time with me and I like to not get distracted when I'm making him enjoy something that I've already seen. ;) No but in reality it sounds fascinating and all, but I'm wondering how it could beat Serial season 1 (I'm listening to season 2 right now), because I honestly don't think it can.

The lottery (as you've probably heard) is expected to be over $1.3 billion dollars by the time they draw the next winners so I had David cash in some gifted lottery tickets from last-last Christmas and buy a few for ourselves -- the first lottery tickets we've ever bought, by the way, so I think that gives us beginner's luck, right? (Well, I bought two scratch tickets after my 19th birthday but I don't count that.) I have big plans for the money including paying off debts (so adult and exciting), a second car for us all and a fun car like a Tesla (I'm pretty much for anything Elon Musk has to offer), and a mall trip or two. With plenty leftover for charitable giving and gifts for family and friends.

I finished knitting my first newborn hat and I'm worried that I either goofed up the gauge really badly or I just have zero memory of what a baby's head looks like. I'm thinking it's the first but hoping it's the second. Next up is a headband for Kate, because hello frigid temperatures, and maybe some more work on the blanket I started years ago (literally years ago, I think I started it in December of 2014. Or maybe even before, I don't remember.)

Oh, and I got to try my new sewing machine finally yesterday! There are a bunch of crazy stitches and it doesn't sound like it's going to clunk 5 times and die every time you turn it on, so that's super exciting. Plus it has options for free motion quilting which I'm very excited for! #oldlady

As a break, I'm off to read some Dance with Dragons and then start week 2 of BBG while Kate naps (if I can tear myself away from Westeros, that is). Not too shabby for a Monday, right?

Reading, 2016 style

06 January 2016

06 January 2016

If you haven't noticed around these parts yet, I'm a big reader. Always have been, and provided my eyes don't go out from overuse early, always will be.

2015 saw me read over my goal of 25 books. From my Goodreads account, I have a fairly accurate picture of all I read last year, so I thought I'd detail it out, before I get to my 2016 goals. Because I'm crazy, I gave each book a grade. My favorite favorites of the year are marked with bold.

(The links to each book below are to their listing on Amazon (affiliate), but I found most of them at the library -- which I will always 100% recommend. :))

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
B. Amy is fascinating on TV but her book came off a little too mismatched, too crazy, and actually kind of made me like her a little less. But it was hilarious. 
Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
C, maybe a D+. Quick easy read with nothing but fluff. Actually not risque contrary to what the title might imply.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
B+. Got this for Christmas last year from my brother and really enjoyed it. Books about dogs are always sad though, you know?
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
A-. Thrilling, exciting, everything you'd want from a Moriarty novel (this was my first of hers). 
The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
A-. Great plot and idea, but drug on just a tad too long for me to give it any higher than an A-. Nonetheless definitely worth the read.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
A. Gladwell killed it again with this one. If you've not read any of them, I highly recommend him.
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
B. I thought this was the worst of the Cather novels I've read -- and I took a class on her in college (yes just her) so I've read a lot of them. Maybe it deserves a reread because I hear a lot of praise for it, but it just didn't grab me like her others have.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
C+. I understand why this won the Pulitzer, but gosh the ending was just so bad. It couldn't redeem the rest of the book for me, that's how bad the ending was. So I would not recommend it.
Harry Potter #1-7 by J.K. Rowling (obviously a re-read)
A+. Just as magical this time around...which by the way is probably my 10th time all the way through the series, although most of those other 10 were not with the 7th book included so it was nice to read start to finish without waiting for a book release.
Roses by Leila Meacham
A-. Great historial novel a la Gone with the Wind, about the south and plantations and family drama. Really compelling, I finished it very very quickly.
Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
B+. All of Picoult's novels have this tendency to grab me within 5 pages of the beginning, and then when I'm done I'm emotionally exhausted but don't feel like I read anything all *that* great. This was the same, but I couldn't put it down once I started.
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
B-. Depressing subject matter but see explanation for Picoult novels above. ;)
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
A+. Great novel by Rowell -- who's from Nebraska! Highly recommend. Simple, elegant, normal -- all the things I love in a good novel.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
B. The book everyone talked about in 2014 that I finally read in 2015. Great plot but the writing left a little to be desired.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
A. Always a good one to revisit - and this is probably the 6th or 7th time reading Anne. She is just one of those characters that sticks with a girl, and I love remembering her and watching her grow up again and again. 
The Stranger by Harlan Coben
A. SO GOOD. I don't want to say anything about the plot to not spoil it for you but definitely read it. 
Kristin Lavransdatter, The Wreath and The Wife by Sigrid Undset (one and two in the series of the GOOD translation)
A+. I haven't finished the series yet -- I got caught up in Game of Thrones -- but these are some of the best novels I've read in a very very long time. It's nice to read quality literature once in awhile (ahem, look at my year of low-brow chick lit and rereads, ahem).
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
A-. Another great Moriarty, one I finished in about 4 hours one afternoon.
Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery
A. Couldn't stop reading Anne once I got started, you feel me?
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
B. After reading blog post after blog post about this book (who didn't?), I thought I needed to read the book to get the full effect. And I did. And then...I don't know, it didn't grab me like I thought it would? I don't know. I might need to revisit next time I get in a cleaning mood but overall I wasn't too impressed and could have gotten her method without reading the actual book. (But disclaimer, we didn't actually try her methods so maybe that's the flipping switch?)
The Martian by Andy Weir
A+. So so SO much better than the movie. The movie was great (Matt Damon and space are just a natural fit, I guess?) but the book is so much more dramatic, so much funnier, so much more everything. As they usually are, right?
Trim Healthy Mama by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison
A...? I have a hard time grading a health book like this one. But this was super informative and I'm back on the THM bandwagon after Christmas right now so obviously it's sticking somewhat?
The Thyroid Diet Revolution by Mary J. Shomon
B...? Again, hard to judge. A lot of this book was just reaffirming things that people who suffer with thyroid problems go through so it was kind of a waste of time. But it was interesting at certain parts.
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
A. I'm ashamed of myself a little of how much I grew to become obsessed with Game of Thrones in the last few months. I try to skip over the racy bits as much as I can but it is definitely NOT reading for the faint of heart. Lots of violence, cursing, etc. -- which is why I had avoided it for so long but once I started the plot just got to me and I couldn't stop!
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
A+. Mindy is a queen and I'm pretty much in love with her. Her last book was hilarious and this was equally so -- so good, so funny, so relatable. Highly recommend. 
A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
A-. Not as good as GoT, but still good. See previous description.
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
A. Again, see previous descriptions about GoT. This one had some great twists!!
35 books in total, and over 16,000 pages according to Goodreads! Which translates to a lot of late nights reading that I mostly regretted in the morning buuuuut also didn't. A pretty good year, looking back on it now.

I have a goal this year to read 35 books, which now seeing that I actually read 35 in 2015 when shooting for 25 sounds less impressive. Oh well, I can always top my goal by 10 books again if I need to.

My to-read list for 2016 looks like this:
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness by Warren Carroll
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Something Other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler
A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
I'm not setting any more rigorous lists than that, because I like to read where the wind takes me...or get distracted by epically long fantasy series, for example...I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Tell me -- what did you read in 2015 that I need to add to my list?? What are you reading in 2016? I would really love to hear if I'm missing any great ones!

Resolutions, end of year review, you know the drill.

04 January 2016

04 January 2016

Oh, the intentional blog-silence over the Christmas/New Year's holidays. How I both loved you and loathed you. It was nice to take a break from blogging (not that my blogging has ever been accused of being consistent or prolific -- I had only 6 posts in December, whoops) but I'm ready to catch back up and be more consistent this year.

Yep, I'm one of those saps who still makes New Year's resolutions and goals and picks a word for the year and a saint and all that jazz. The prospect of the new year with a blank slate staring ahead of me just is one of those things I will never tire of. So let's write them all down in one blog post just for remembrance's sake, why not??

1. Go to Confession once a month. 

I fell off the going-to-Confession-regularly bandwagon pretty hard this last year. It was a lot more convenient to go during college, when I could walk to church and there were many hours per week I could fit it into my schedule. This last year being at home, with only one car between the two of us, put Confession on the back burner. Anytime I was out and about by myself it was for necessary (and sometimes not necessary) grocery & Target runs, and never at a time for Confession. And I realized I really need it for the health & well-being of my spiritual life. So I'm committed! Once a month!

2. Do the full 12 weeks of BBG, and make it one month consistently on THM at 90%.

I purchased Kayla Itsines' BBG last year on a whim, while I was in the midst of Insanity. Well, my 3 months of Beachbody on Demand ran out, and I started BBG afterwards sort of half-heartedly 5 weeks before Christmas. This year I'm committed to doing the 12 weeks solid with no breaks and no excuses! I'm excited because it's definitely a different challenge in comparison to the P90X3 and Insanity I completed in 2015 -- lots more body weight exercises, more long-distances, different things I wouldn't normally do. I also have been doing THM on and off for a few months now, and after the holidays I need a reset on my health -- but I'm not overly confident so I'm shooting for a month straight at 90%. ;)

3. Read 35 books, 5 of them religious/spiritual reading.

I read a little more than 25 books in 2015, but I wasn't really challenged to read that amount, although setting that number in January of last year sure felt like a lot. Then I remembered that I used to read upwards of 20 novels per semester for school during college and I checked myself back into reality. (A post coming up this week about the books I read this year, don't fret.) So this year I'm looking to read 35 books! I'd like to add some more spiritual reading in this year, because I think I read solely novels/non-fiction this year and I missed it.

4. Sew more. Quilt more. Knit more. Embroider more.

I've missed crafting lately. The cold weather has finally hit around here, which always gets my creative fingers itching, but I lacked the motivation the last few months. I don't know what it was but it wasn't there for me. Now I'm ready to get back into it! I might as well be doing something with my hands as David and I binge-watch a lot more TV this year... (we should probably cut back on that too...) Plus I got a new sewing machine for Christmas from David and I'm seriously itching to try it out!

My one little word for the year is: grateful. I spent a few weeks contemplating if I'd pick a word this year, and I finally landed on one I can really get behind. I have a bad habit (don't we all?) of flying through life without looking around me and appreciating all that I have. I'm going to try to spend time each week listing off things I'm grateful for (whether or not that makes it to the blog has yet to be determined) so that by the end of 2016 I can really feel like I noticed and was grateful for everything that happened the whole year. (Lofty goals! I know! But I can try!)

My saint of the year is St. Hilary of Poitiers. When I clicked on Jen's saint generator, I thought he was a woman...but I was mistaken! St. Hilary was a bishop in the 4th century who dealt with Arian heretics, and was named a doctor of the church in the 1800s. His nickname was the Hammer against Arianism (so cool!). He's the patron saint of snake bites, mothers, and sick people (dear Lord please let there not be a snake bite in my future for 2016 -- mothers/mothering I can handle, snake bites NO.)

This Christmas was a whirlwind as they always are. I'm going to photo dump to try and remember what we did this year!

Christmas Eve and day were spent on my side, including a beautifully easy Christmas Eve Mass at 7 p.m. that Kate was an angel throughout. She was teething and cranky so we gave her a little Tylenol ahead of time and wow, best idea we've ever had as parents. She got an A+ for her behavior that night and earned the 5 cookies and 2 pieces of chocolate she had the next day at Christmas dinner.

(P.S. This Old Navy swing dress I'm wearing has been the best $12 I've spent on a dress in a very very long time. I can't find it online anymore but there are probably some left in stores...GO BUY IT NOW.)

Kate's adorable Christmas dress is from Target, and her leopard print booties are BabyGap. Cute pigtails courtesy of her still-short hair which can finally sort of fit into a ponytail but then never stays in one for very long, so pigtails it is.

Blocks on blocks on blocks at Granny and Grandfather's house, wearing some stinking adorable elf slippers from her Uncle Sam. I have memories at Christmastime of my mom breaking out these same blocks for us to play with!

All dolled up to go pick up Aunt Lucy from the airport. I made the mistake after this wearing (and very very dirtying) of her cute sweatshirt of washing and then drying it, and the fur around the hood looks ruined...anyone have any tips on how to restore it??? I haven't tried washing it again but maybe washing and line-drying? Combing it out??

After our extended family reunion, which I have no pictures of, we traipsed over to Columbus to spend time with David's family. We played upwards of 6 games of Catan (evidenced in the photo above) and unfortunately I didn't win any of them. Kate was most of the time happy to play with an incomplete set of regular cards while we played, which was super nice.

Nothing quite like a sleeping baby at church underneath a handsome husband's chin. ;)

Watching the puppy and kitten playing outside in the cold with Uncle Michael in Atkinson.

Asleep in Atkinson. Let me tell you, I am happy to be back home again in our own separate rooms. Sleeping in the same room as Kate is nice for the pictures but hell when she mumbles and turns over constantly throughout the night, waking you (me) up.

Yikes, that was a long enough post I think so Il'l end it there. I'll be back later with a wishlist book list for the year as well as a recap of my last year in reading...and maybe a post in pictures about our year as a whole. By the way, how is it already 2016???

Have a great Monday everyone. I'll be bingeing the new Parenthood season on Netflix (FIN-A-LLY) and probably starting to put away Christmas decorations tonight.

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