Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Resolutions Update

With February well underway I figured now would be a good time to check in and see how I'm doing on my 2017 resolutions. In my original resolutions post, I told you that I chose the word EMBRACE for this year and boy has it turned out to be a good one.

one. Travel. Near, far, and everywhere in between. Especially just with our little family of four.
After a December full of traveling, we didn't go anywhere in January, but we do have lots of fun things on the books including a little getaway for Spring Break and J and I are taking a trip for our anniversary in April.

two. Build up our savings. Last year we paid off a lot of our student loans and this year I want to focus on our savings account. And even retirement. 
We moved some of our retirement into better performing investments and I'm finally getting a new car so we'll be saving as much as we can for that. 

three. More one-on-one/family time with the boys. Real time, not them playing and me doing laundry or cleaning. Really focusing on them and giving them my full attention.
We've been setting aside special time after dinner to play games or do learning activities and it's been fun for everyone. Spot-It, Go Fish, and Duck Duck Goose have been the favorites so far. 

four. Take an anniversary trip in May.
Due to a work obligation for J we're going in early April now instead of May, but Washington D.C. here we come! Hotel is booked, restaurants are reserved, and all that's left is plane tickets. 

five. Finish decorating our house. We'll have been here two years in May so it's about time.
The main floor and upstairs are completely painted and I've picked out some artwork and new light fixtures. Progress is definitely being made.   

six. Be more conscious about my food choices and increase my work outs.
One thing I've really been trying to focus on is everything in moderation. I've definitely been more mindful about what I'm eating and with the random warm weather we've been having I've been getting outside and walking or hiking with the boys. I've also slipped in a few early morning workouts and boy are those rough.

seven. Daily time with the Word and doing bible stories with the boys.
I started off strong with She Reads Truth and then I couldn't get into the new lesson for February. I need to find a book bible study so if you have any recommendations let me know. I've found lots of cute bible story ideas on Pinterest for the kids so now I just need to do them. Jack has been really into saying the prayer every time we eat which has encouraged all of us to get back into this routine. 

eight. Continue to set a budget each month and stick to it. This includes cooking more at home and eating out way less.
January budget was okay but I'm determined to stick to February's. This is the first month I'm trying out monthly meal planning and so far so good. It's helped us cut back on the eating out and I love knowing I already have an entire month's worth of meals planned.

nine. Be more on top of all things cleaning/organizing. Morning time can be rough, so having everything organized and ready to go the night before really helps.
I'm packing lunches at night and making sure Ben's backpack has everything he needs so he can just grab it in the morning. Not every morning is perfect, but I feel like they're way less stressful now. 

ten. Blog more regularly. I love that blogging allows me to look back on what was happening in our lives.
If you're reading this then I think you know posts have been sporadic. The truth is, I don't want blogging to become a chore and it has it's way of becoming that. Instead of forcing myself to get posts up, I'm choosing to spend that time with my family or having a little me time and watching a mindless reality show. But hang in there, new posts are coming. I also hope to do a few vlogs as well.

eleven. Continue dating my husband. 
We've haven't had much alone time so far this year, but we did manage to sneak away to a movie. We're having a late Valentine's dinner this weekend and we're both super excited for D.C. in April.

twelve. Teach the boys to give back and help out around the house more.
I've slacked a little on this one. They do a good job of helping out when asked, but I need to be more consistent about them doing the same chores every day.

thirteen. Figure out a great night time skincare routine because my face ain't getting any younger.
Haven't done a dang thing with this one and I'm feeling overwhelmed with all the products out here. Help!

fourteen. Check in on these resolutions every month and post updates on how it's going.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weekend Recap

Ever have one of those weekends where you're just in a funk? I found myself to be extra grouchy and easily annoyed but the weather was gorgeous so I tried to snap out of it before I completely lost my shit. 

This was my uniform pretty much all weekend. The top is thrifted and was just one of the many things I got in a huge thrifting haul a few weeks ago. I love the quilted shoulders and it's so comfortable. 

It was 75 degrees on Saturday and the boys were begging to go outside the minute they got up. Jack got this car for Christmas and it's nice because both boys can ride in it at the same time. 

We went to a park with a small lake and then walked the trail around it before getting some lunch.

We ran by the house before lunch so the boys could change into shorts since we were eating outside and they were sweating. In the middle of winter. Is he not the cutest :)

Ben had some birthday money left and wanted to get a Fitbit so J took him to Best Buy while Jack and I put together his Valentine's for his school party.

On Sunday morning I realized that the playroom was pretty clean so I decided to finally take pictures for a room reveal post. Here's a little sneak peak. 

It wasn't as warm on Sunday but I'll take 55 degrees in February any day. We headed to a new trail and all was well until we ran into this skull right in our path. I think the teeth freaked the kids out the most :) Ben had a great time and he's definitely my hiking buddy. Jack not so much. 

I promised Jack some ice cream when he finished the trail. Blueberry for him and strawberry for Ben.

I had Nutella Cookie and just thinking about it is making me drool.

And then I made Chicken Pad Thai for dinner and no one ate it except me. So that added to my good mood. I usually use fettuccini noodles but was out. 

I'm off to watch the new Walking Dead episode and hoping tomorrow is a better day! 

Linking up with Biana for Weekending. 


Monday, February 6, 2017

Weekend Recap

Like everyone else, I can't write about our weekend without first mentioning the Super Bowl. We're not huge sports fans and honestly I wasn't that into the game until the 4th quarter when things started to get close. By OT I was on the edge of the couch. What a comeback from the Patriots. Of course Lady Gaga rocked the halftime show and unlike some artists, she can seriously sing. 

Backing up a little bit, Thursday I ate lunch with Ben at school since he was Star Student that week. We love little brother, but it was nice to eat an uninterrupted meal and focus on just him.

 I had the best sushi lunch on Friday from our University's student center of all places. Teaching on campus has it's perks and this sushi is some of the best I've ever had.

That night I went to a trivia fundraiser with some colleagues from work and J joined me since we needed another person last minute. We got 7th place out of 30+ teams so not too bad.

And it wouldn't be the weekend without dancing to the Soundtrack of Trolls. Again.

Saturday morning I took the boys to Home Depot for a kid's building workshop. They built and painted Valentine Picture Boxes and I was so proud of Ben who pretty much built his box completely on his own. And only managed to hit his finger with the hammer once :)

After Home Depot we picked up a few groceries and I whipped up some jalapeƱo twice baked potatoes for lunches this week. Recipe coming soon!

We went to an early dinner to celebrate my MIL's birthday. Jack fell asleep at 6:00pm on the way home and he managed to stay asleep snuggled right next to me on the couch until I finally went to bed. And for all of you wondering if he stayed asleep all night, no. He woke up around midnight and stayed up with J until 4am and then finally fell back asleep until 8:30am. So obviously no more 6:00 naps.

Sunday involved loads of laundry and the boys cleaned not only their rooms but surprisingly the playroom as well without much fussing. We finally saw Moana that afternoon and it was so cute. Now I know why everyone is so obsessed with the soundtrack.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and here's to a productive week!

Linking up with Biana for Weekending.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Month of Love

Happy first day of February! This month is all about l-o-v-e which I think we can all agree our country needs a little more of. I've really been struggling with everything happening in our country lately and how divided we all seem to be. Regardless of who you voted for or what your political affiliation may be, it's important to remember that people just want to feel loved, valued, and respected. 

So, instead of complaining, crying, or sitting back and doing nothing, I've decided to make the most of this month and focus on loving others. Whether it's my own family or a stranger, I'm vowing to do at least one act of kindness for the entire month of February. This can look like giving grace to your child when they're having a bad day, paying for the person behind you in the drive thru line, or donating unused items to a women's or refugee shelter. Big or little, just one thing a day to show someone else, that despite what's out of our control, we can choose to spread love and kindness. 

Who wants to join me? I'll be posting updates here as well as Instagram so follow along or tag me in your acts of kindness.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday!

If you saw my post yesterday you know Ben turned 8 on Sunday. It's becoming harder and harder to remember him as this sweet little baby and not a handsome young man with thoughts, feelings, and opinions of his own. I know it seems weird, but I've really seen the most growth this year in the past month. He's becoming more mature, taking on more responsibility, and every once in awhile he will say something so profound and compassionate that I  know were doing at least something right with this whole parenting thing. 

Ben loves his little brother so much and although they can fight like brothers, they also have the best bond. This past year he's started reading chapter books, wants to do math for fun, and loves playing games as a family or having a good nerf gun fight. He's also become very into his looks :) He fixes his hair every morning and is super particular about what he wears. Gone are the days of rolling out of bed and getting ready or having mom pick out your clothes. Even though he's almost too big to fit on my lap, I'm trying to make an extra effort to cuddle with him and give lots of hugs and kisses while he'll still let me.  

I'm so excited to see what this next year holds and to watch him continue to develop into his own person. Last year I had Ben answer these questions and I did it again this year. Some of the answers are the same, but overall I'd say this year's answers were more accurate. Number 1 made me laugh.

1. What is something mom always says to you? Stop
2. What makes mom happy? When I listen
3. What makes mom sad?  When I don't listen
4. How does your mom make you laugh? When you tickle me
5. What was your mom like as a child? Playful
6. How old is your mom? 30 
7. How tall is your mom? 21 inches
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Take pictures
9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? Watch t.v.
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? singing
11. What is your mom really good at? Can we come back to this 
12. What is your mom not very good at? Riding the hover board 
13. What does your mom do for a job? Help kids
14. What is your mom’s favorite food? Grandma Debbie's lasagna
15. If your mom were a character, who would she be? Phoebe from The Thundermans
16. What do you and your mom do together? Cuddle 
17. How are you and your mom different? We have different eye colors
18. How do you know your mom loves you? Cause you give me kisses at night and tuck me in
19. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? Disney
20. How old was your Mom when you were born? In your 20's...23
Happy Birthday Ben! We love you so so much.