Monday, June 27, 2016

A Birthday Weekend Recap

We had quite the weekend, starting on Friday celebrating my birthday.  My husband, kids, family and friends made it special and it really was a perfect blend of my favorite things.  Except the sleepless night, hence the mug in the picture below.  The kids were doing SO well with sleeping, but we appear to be going through another "phase" with Audrey.  It was great while it lasted :).  But, that meant we had extra time to spend together in the early morning hours, ha!  After some playing with their "sand boxes" we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's so the kids could play and I could have some alone time.  That may be an odd birthday request, but it was wonderful.  I did some shopping, ate lunch by myself and knocked a few things off of my to-do list.  I even got a double nap (that never happens), which meant reading in bed and after nap snuggles.  We ended the day with Mexican food, bookstore browsing and delicious cake.  

Saturday we were up bright and early to go to A Day Out with Thomas!  Both of our kids love trains and to see their faces when they saw Thomas and the other trains was priceless.  After our ride and some playing, we ate lunch at a small BBQ diner and then headed home.  After a busy day, bedtime snuggles in new jammies was a great ending to the fun. 

Sunday Audrey and I were invited to a wedding shower and we had so much fun catching up with family!  Fueled by coffee, we went to another party after - a birthday party of a very sweet two year old!  It was so nice to hang out with friends we don't often get to see and the kids had a blast playing outside.  

Weekends like this are a blast, memorable...and exhausting.  We are all feeling it today and may just have a "case of the Mondays."  I hope you all had a wonderful stuff planned for the blog this week! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Lovin'

In honor of the official start to summer (yesterday), I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and think back on summers BC.  Before Children.  Summer has always been my favorite and I am so lucky to have some amazing memories from this season.  As I looked back through old photo albums, I got a little teary eyed thinking back on these days, but I also couldn't help but hope that my own kids make these kind of memories as they grow up.  

Thanks to my amazing high school (and parents), I was able to travel to Italy after my Sophomore year of high school.  I want to go back so badly and really appreciate it.  Such a beautiful part of this world!

My favorite week of summer in high school was church camp in Lakeside, Ohio.  The memories and experiences from those weeks could fill a book (now there's an idea! ;)).

My other favorite camp.  Don't knock it till you've been there :).  

And mission trips!  I grew up with amazing friends from church, who I remain close to today!

We would often visit our friends from church camp during the summer.  They lived on farms and it was such a novelty to us!  Thinking back on those visits makes me want my own farm (but maybe someone else to do all of the work!)

Back at church camp, this time about ready to head to college....

Remember picture albums?!  I made one for each summer as a teenager.  Complete with a hand drawn cover page :).

My most favorite summertime job!  Lifeguarding at a city pool was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.  We had so. much. fun.  And I still think about those kids (who are now adults) all of the time. 

Okay, so don't we all have a picture like this? haha... It's a right of passage to attend a Jimmy Buffet concert in Cincy in the summer.  Check that off my list!

I have a summer birthday (this Friday!) and we always had a good time celebrating!

Andrew and I celebrated 6 months of dating with a trip to Gatlinburg in July.  

I competed in a sprint triathlon that summer....and hope to again soon!

Family vacation in Hilton Head.  Back when vacations really were vacations ;).

Labor Day weekend fireworks at the best viewing spot we ever had!

Boating in the summer was a favorite activity!  

And the summer before Aiden was born.  I was pregnant here and no one knew but us :). 

Summer is a time for making memories and I love that we are making them now with our kids.  Looking back at these pictures is also a reminder of how far I've come with my health and weight loss.  I plan on a post focusing on that soon!  Happy summer to all of you, make it count! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Greatest Wish

I remember sitting at my desk in elementary school when my teacher would ask one of those tough questions, the ones that were supposed to stump us.  Every once in awhile, I would know the answer. I'd raise my hand and tap my toes in anticipation of being called on and showing everyone that I was smart.  I had the answer.

Another tragedy has occurred.  These acts should shock us to our core and evoke change in some way.  Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case.  Yet.  This time, as before, I pray for those affected and I cry for our world.  I worry about the world we are leaving our children.  And I worry about the hate that remains.  I worry and I also think.  I dig down deep and try to think of how we can solve this problem.  I try to come up with the answer.

More guns, less guns, no guns.  More government, less government, different government.  Easier access to health care, more regulation on healthcare, better healthcare.  Mental healthcare. Education.  Politicians that are opinionated, politicians that are caring, politicians that have answers.  Are there any?  I don't know, maybe they are smarter than me, because right now I do not have any of the answers to these questions.  And neither does America - isn't that the problem?

I am trying to do what I can.  I am raising my kids to be kind, loving and productive.  I try to set an example for them by showing love to all, no matter our differences.  As they get older, I will try to explain to them why these things happen.  But I'm afraid I won't be able to tell them how to stop it.  I'm even more afraid it will still be happening.

The bottom line is, hate isn't going anywhere.  That's a depressing thought, yes, but it's true.  However (and that's a big however), that doesn't mean it has to win.  Love conquers all, does it not?  When we don't have the answers, we can reach for love.  We can lean on each other as a world, a country and has a people.  We can see the good, feel the hope and look forward to the future.  Because my greatest wish is that we will find an answer.  It may not be in my lifetime, or even in my children's, but I have to believe that there IS an answer.  For now, I will confidently raise my hand and answer the way I know how - with love.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Favorites - Protein Packed

I'm not going to lie, it's been a tough week.  Today was extra rough as there were some issues getting my wound vac put back on (it gets changed every Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and I am just not feeling as "back to normal" as I'd like or expected.  But, there were definitely some favorites this week and it's good to think back on the positive.  And hopefully next week will be less painful so we can get back to our regularly scheduled summer :).

Audrey's hair is adorable and her curls get comments daily.  I think she'd get the same amount of comments if she headed out like this.  Her bed head is my favorite!

This week I painted my nails and both kids were fascinated.  Audrey got her fingers and toes painted and a certain little man didn't want to be left out.  So he wasn't.  His pink toes are his favorite...although already rubbed off by sand and dirt ;).

Wednesday I took the kids to Skyline for lunch and they got to enjoy their cookie in the back of the car.  Aiden loves to hug Audrey.  Audrey is easily annoyed by Aiden.  I think that's how this brother/sister thing is supposed to work, but the sweet smile on Aiden's face is my favorite. 

I was SO lucky to have some wonderful friends bring us food this week.  It was healthy and delicious and a huge help!  I've been trying to stick to a high protein/low carb diet without being able to work out and our meals this week were definitely favorites. 

A delicious quiche filled with spinach and mushrooms brought over by a sweet friend.  

A high protein dinner made my yours truly. 

This kids didn't like the high protein dinner, so they ate peanut butter like this. 

A friend recommended this and it is now a favorite meal!  Quinoa, avocado and fried eggs!  YUM!

I tell you what, these ladies can COOK!  This was a delicious Greek chicken recipe that my mom and I got to enjoy.

Last but not least, my favorite moment of the week.  The first time we brought Aiden here to get his hair cut, he puked.  Like all over the chair and the barber.  This man is a saint and stuck with it and today Aiden did not shed a tear.  He smiled and hasn't stopped talking about his big boy haircut and his buddy Trent. 

It's going to be hot this weekend, so you'll find me inside in the air conditioning, trying not to sweat thanks to my doctor's orders.  We are going to give potty training a go...hopefully next Friday my favorite will be having only ONE kid in diapers!! 

Have a wonderful weekend!