twenty-fifteen

Here I am, one month shy of an entire year since I’ve posted here. How sad is that! I love coming here, sharing my thoughts and photos, not only with you, but for myself and for my daughter to look back on years from now.

Being absent here for almost a year can only mean one thing — 2015 was complete craziness. Not only was I absent on my blog, but in a way, from my own life. My days were spent sitting at my desk in an office, working my full time job, and the majority of my evenings were a precise routine of picking up Finley from daycare, making dinner, being a mommy, and then parking my rear end on the couch to work again, this time on freelance projects, the minute Finley went to bed. It was all I could do to keep up. Nothing else mattered. It wasn’t unusual for me to have up to 20 ongoing projects at all times. Everything else seemed to had to  get pushed to the back burner. I would often tell myself that there would be no way I could maintain that lifestyle forever, especially as Finley got older and would have more “activities” in the evenings or when we, God-willingly, bring another child into this world. Plus, I just know there is so much more to life than only doing things to make extra cash.

Here’s the thing, I LOVE my freelance work, I really do. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do so much of it. But it’s still work, and it’s still taking away from the other things that fill my heart with joy. Freelance work has slowly started to make even my passions feel like too much work — because doing something for “fun” would take up the precious time I had so little of to get my money-paying freelance work done. Even coloring (and I LOVE coloring!) seemed to cause anxiety because I couldn’t finish it fast enough and I’d always feel like I wasn’t using my time wisely enough. That is no way to live, my friends! We only have one life to do all the things that make us the happiest and bring us the most joy.

So, moving forward in 2016, it’s my goal to be more intentional about what work I add to my plate, to focus a whole lot more on me (hello, exercising and making time for eating clean!) and my family (hello, toddler swimming lessons+dance class and date nights with my hubby again!), and doing the fun things that don’t necessarily put money in my pocket. Expect to see more personal photo projects of my two favorite subjects this year too!

With that, before Finley’s third birthday in 19 days (howwwww!?), here’s what her second birthday looked like! Wait til you see how much she’s changed since then…!

2nd Birthday Theme: Vizslas+Sprinkles
“Colorful sprinkles, vizlsa kisses,  & a little girl’s wishes — Finley is turning two!”

2nd Birthday Collage

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mommy {grapefruit} margarita

Ok, fellow mommies… who need an alcoholic beverage after dealing with a teething baby or perhaps a crappy winter, or both. If you like margaritas, you may want to join me in making this your official summer drink of 2014! This is no regular margarita.. it’s a grapefruit margarita! Made entirely with freshly squeezed fruits. Well, that, and liquor. It’s been such a hellish winter here in Minnesnowta, that I decided it was time for a margarita in hopes of feeling one step closer to hot summer evenings, grilling on the deck and sipping an icy cold drink. Since making it, I think we’ve had like seventeen more snowstorms and temps in the 20s.

But it’s Friday and it’s suppose to be 60°… So this is totally necessary tonight.

Check out Pretty Plain Janes blog for the recipe! Happy Weekend!

poppy-designs

poppy-designs

one year.

One year ago today…

One year ago today, I went to work and moved all my stuff into a new office. An office with a gigantic window two feet from my face.

One year ago today, Cory had to pick me up from work early because I had a migraine with an aura in my vision so couldn’t drive (or look at a computer screen). I blamed my migraine on the adjustment to the extreme brightness from the window in my new office.

One year ago today, we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. A Mexican restaurant where the food was in front of us just five minutes after ordering. (in other words, it was disgusting.)

One year ago today, I stayed up late to lay on the couch and watch Perks of Being a Wallflower and I just felt “off”.

One year ago today, I took the photo on the left… And 12 hours later, began having contractions.

One year ago today, was the last day of my “old normal” life. 😉

Exactly one year later, I took the photo on the right…

FEB 13 2013 & 2014

If there was only one quote I believed in, it would be this:

“The days are long, but the years fly by.”

If you want time to be put into perspective, have a baby. I still can’t fully believe the baby that was in my belly exactly a year ago, will be ONE tomorrow. It’s so weird, exciting, and even sad all at the same time! She will always be my “baby” no matter how big she gets, no matter how sassy she is, or how old she is. There’s just something special about your first baby…

 

FASHION FRIDAY.

Every morning I wake up pregnant and a little bit bigger, deciding what to wear is a challenge. I will start thinking about it the minute my alarm goes off. The best is when I pick out my outfit the night before so don’t have to put any thought into it in the morning or end up with one of those I-didn’t-know-what-to-wear-so-tried-everything-on-and-now-my-room-is-a-disaster-moments! I’ve discovered that wearing jeans to work is just not possible preferred more than 1-2 times per week. I haven’t found comfort in the pair of maternity jeans I have, as every time I wear them, I feel like I constantly have to hike them up. Plus, having that stretchy material covering my belly under my shirt might be one of the most annoying things ever. I do have one pair of skinny jeans that are low enough that I can still wear and button them (that doesn’t mean they aren’t unbuttoned when I sit at my desk!). Stretchy leggings are definitely my go-to pants and I could honestly wear them every. single. day. if I didn’t find it necessary to change it up once in awhile. I’ve been digging through my closet and getting creative where I can, but have had to purchase a few longer and/or maternity shirts as well to expand the pregnancy wardrobe a bit. Other favorites and go-to items:

• Boots! I LOVE BOOTS!

• Scarves. Again, love love love. Who’s with me?

• Fun jewelry — earrings or a necklace (because sometimes I should need to take a break from the same old, favorite [leopard print] scarf every day!)

• Flats. If I’m not wearing boots, I’m wearing flats. Heels are out of the question, but I learned that long before I was pregnant. (Too many years of torturing myself in uncomfortable heels! What was I thinking?) Fun fact: Other than on Halloween for my costume, I have not worn heels to work ONCE since I started my job on August 6. I don’t foresee that number changing anytime soon. (Another random fact: I also have not worn a pair of dress pants in probably three years.)

Lulu Cool Racerback. I have this is purple, blue, black and hot pink and wear them under almost everything! I really want the grey/white striped one asap.

Lulu Wunder Unders. The leggings of choice. These things are ah-mazing. My next color purchase: red!

Here’s a glimpse into my maternity fashion wardrobe this week... (please pay no attention to the disaster of clothes behind me in my closet!)

 

Are my top stores to shop obvious at all?? 🙂 And maybe my go-to colors are also a dead giveaway. I think it’s time to invest in those red Wunder Unders and some other fun items to spice things up in the next few months! Some items on my I-could-really-benefit-from-these-practical-items I-really-want-these-things-now list…

On another fashion note: hair. Not that mine is anything to write home about, but check out this chick in the latest Anthropologie catalog. I love Anthropologie and I’m all for a messy hair style [done in a classy way], but really? What are the stylists thinking with this??

that’s just ugly & weird.

I think hairstyle is a huge part of a person’s style and overall appearance. So Cory’s occasional frustration with how long it takes me to get ready will never stop me from caring about making sure my hair looks acceptable, even if it’s messy but in a cute way. When I’m at home, not planning to leave or see anybody, my hair is another story. High, messy ponytail love!

What are your go-to, favorite items in your closet? Favorite colors to wear?

Happy Friday, everyone!

 

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

In the spirit of the Halloween season, before we turn our calendars to November (how can that be!?), a post of Halloweenish (Halloween-y? Halloweiny?) things. Like this suuuuper scary ghost photo:

ghost dog.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Now, I know we all have a thing or two that freak us out, even if it’s embarrassing to admit. So, without further adieu, here’s my scare list:

• Does anyone else feel like your about to be the lead character in a horror movie while showering at night when you’re home alone? Anyone? No? Well, I lock the door to the bathroom and even that doesn’t stop me from thinking that while I am scrubbing the make-up off my eyes, that when I open them, there will be a creepy man standing inches outside the glass shower door … wearing all black… staring at me… with a knife… or something equally as far fetched. Gets me every time and I have to open my eyes mid way through just to make sure it’s not really happening.

Creepy old dolls and clowns. I think I saw a scene from Chucky when I was little and will forever be damaged. So creepy!

Previews for scary movies and just scary movies in general. If I am home alone (and likely when I am not), and a preview comes on TV for a scary movie, I will close my eyes and plug my ears (or quickly change the channel if the remote is within reach!). If I so much as see or hear any of it, that will be the first thing I think of when it’s dark and I am alone and my mind starts wandering. And to actually watch a scary movie (think Chucky again, Exorcist, etc)—absolutely not. It won’t even cross my mind for a split second to actually watch that crap.

Oiji Boards. Thanks to some experimenting in middle+high school, this has scarred me for life (I think I have my bff, Kim, to back me on this!). And to think it was on my Christmas Wish List and my parents actually bought it for me! Christmas/Oiji Board? Aren’t they basically opposites? I don’t know where it is now but I hope I never see it again. I have a fear that it will end up on my doorstep someday. Don’t get any ideas!  I will never buy one of those for our children, no matter how much they may beg for one.

Woodticks. Ew. Ew. Ew. They are teeny tiny, but if there is one on me [or on Lucy], I would rather wait for someone else to get rid of it before I will, especially if it’s attached. If it’s crawling, I can muster up the courage to at least flick it or grab it with about 13 paper towels, ensuring it won’t touch me. I don’t know when I became such a sissy.. when I was little, I would catch frogs and salamanders, or bait a fishing hook with a worm or minnow without getting squeamish at all. Not anymore.

The Dark. (don’t judge me.) And it’s only if I’m alone (and really only if it’s nighttime—there’s just something about the night when the world is quiet that makes you feel so alone and vulnerable, and scary things might happen). I make sure to have a light on everywhere I go in the house. Even if I’m turning off lights for the night to go up to bed. I will make sure there is a light to lead me up there, and before turning that one off, I will walk the extra 10 feet to the bedroom to turn a light on in there first. And I fall asleep with the TV on, practically on mute, for the light (unless Cory is home). I don’t know what I think will happen in the dark when I am alone.. kinda goes back to the shower thing. If I can’t see what might be in front of me, I get panicky.

• Not gonna lie, this sorta freaks me out and you will not see me taking advantage of being pregnant this Halloween by doing this:

no.

Ok, now that you know how big of a scaredy cat I am… time to fess up, what creeps you out and gets your heart racing!?

This year for Halloween, I haven’t and won’t be participating in any big parties. Drunk, barely-dressed playboy bunnies at a crowded bar + sober, big-bellied preggo self = not my idea of a good time. However, I did dress up for work last Friday! Halloween is a big event here at the Anytime Fitness HQ. Our Marketing team dressed up as a group — Mad Men style. (how fitting, right?) I was Megan Draper… The dress I had in mind no longer fit over the baby bump so I had to improvise using other clothes in my closet. Best part about my “costume” this year — didn’t cost a penny! Check us out… (we even had fake cigarettes that blew “smoke” [aka: powder].)

The Ladies.

Also on Friday morning, the little kiddos at the daycare next door came Trick-or-Treating around our offices. They were so cute! I am already excited to dress up our little girl next Halloween. She will be such a cute age for it (7 months).

I can’t forget about Lucy either. She lucked out and got to dress up early this year as a ghost (well, maaaaaybe she didn’t consider herself a lucky dog), but I will probably get her dressed up again for a quick photo shoot later. I really want her to be a lion with a big lion mane. She’s such a ferocious animal (what, no?), it will be fitting for her. 😉

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? What about your kids and/or dog?

Here’s a little recap of some of our past Halloweens…

halloween 2011 | black swan, hood rat, and lucy

annie+i | halloween 2011 | black+white swan

halloween 2010 or 11? | lucy the lobster

halloween 2010 | “walk of shame” & a rugby player (last minute, i-don’t-know-what-to-be costumes)

halloween 2009 | june carter+johnny cash

Happy Halloween, everyone! Don’t eat too much candy. 🙂