Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A sunshine, shorts, and swings afternoon

Work has been stressful. I am starting to feel overwhelmed and over worked. 
I walked outside today after a trying phone call and the sun warmed my soul. 
 And yes, I mean literally. This morning started out cold and foggy. A lack of coffee and a massive to-so list kept the fog over me all day. I felt a little bit like Eeyore. Once I walked out of the double doors and toward my car I felt the stress melt away. I drove home with the windows down and my radio loud. I walked in the door and declared today a shorts and swings afternoon. We went to the park by our house and we swung. Feet pumping, heads thrown back, wind in our hair, Piper squealing and laughing. It was wonderful. Spring I am so HAPPY to see you!

A Baby Shower for Lillian

(and Mama-to-be Allison)
 Allison is a co-worker who is a soon to be Mama.  
The shower theme was "Ready to Pop!", we served popcorn, popcorn chicken, doughnut holes, dips with various chips, mini layered brownies and a gorgeous cake.
I know this might sound odd, but this party was one of my most favorite to plan. I think not having a close relationship with the guest of honor allows me to get more creative, enjoy the planning process, and not stress over the whole event having to be PERFECT. When I throw a party for someone I love, I get a little crazy about details and making sure the party will be "the BEST EVER!" It also showed me that putting my list aside and enjoying the process is good for my soul. My creative juices were a-flowing and even though a few details slipped through the cracks it was a great afternoon. And Allison sure felt the love. 

  This shower also made me think about where I was one year ago. One year ago this March I was attending a virtual shower thrown by my friends and family in NJ. I was rubbing my growing belly, imaging what Miss Pip would be like, and dreaming of finally being able to meet my little girl. I am so excited that in a few short weeks Allison will get to meet her bundle of joy. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

A typical Monday...

Mr. R. has Piper to himself on Mondays. 
 I head to work at 7 and return at 3:30 and Mr. R. participates in an at-home take your daughter to work day. He logs in from home at 8 and watches Piper while he works.
 He is responsible for her three naps, two bottles, a mid morning snack and her lunch. When I arrive home, Mr. R. takes calls, finishes emailing clients, and closes shop around 5:00 PM. 
  I love that Piper gets one and one time with her Dad. I love the relationship they are building and I love that she has stolen her Daddy's heart.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A look at my meal plan: Sunday 2/26

Breakfast: 1/2 cup cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 cup yogurt & Green Monster Smoothie
1 protein: cottage cheese
1 dairy: greek yogurt
1 fruit: banana & pineapple in smoothie
1 veg (raw): spinach in smoothie

Lunch: Buffalo chicken with blue cheese cabbage & celery/apple slices
I made this exact wrap, just without the tortilla.
1 protein:  chicken
3 raw veggies or one small salad without dressing: shredded cabbage (the coleslaw kind) 
1 cooked or roasted veg: subbed in celery & apple instead

Dinner: Taco Soup with avocado slices and cheese
1 protein: ground beef
1 raw vegetable: avocado
1 cooked vegetable: onion, pinto beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes
1 starchy vegetable or whole grain: corn

Post Dinner: clementines & sugar free j-ello pudding
1 fruit: clementines
dairy: pudding

Don't worry this isn't becoming a food blog. Recipes and daily recaps of our eating will not become a daily thing. However, I do want to spend a little time each week reflecting on what we ate, what worked, what didn't, and how we felt. After all this little blog is about our journey and hopefully this plan will be a positive step in the right direction.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A new start:

Mr. R. and I had a heart to heart this week.
It was one of those conversations that you have with your spouse where you aren't happy during this talk, but after you have it you are grateful for the honesty and having moved forward.
Our talk was about our overall health and wellness.
You see in our house, Mr. R. is addicted to soda. He cannot go a day without sugared soda. While I can pride myself on not caring one lick about soda, I am addicted to coffee. I drink at least two sometimes three cups a day. If I miss a cup of coffee my head hearts and I feel sick. I am also addicted to crackers, cheezits, and snack foods. When I should be reaching for fresh fruit or a vegetable I find myself longing for an empty calorie carbohydrate. I think my need for coffee is due to a lack of energy. And that stems from my poor eating habits.

We are both turning 30 this year. We are both not happy with the state of our midsections and the number the scale displays daily. It is time for a change and together we are moving forward.

From now until Mr. R.'s birthday on April 22, we will be giving up sugar, flour, and aspartame. Please pray for us, bear with us, and encourage us these next 54 days. It's going to be a long tough road, but I think it will be worth it.

It's 81 degrees today!

We took the pups for a 2 mile walk.
I have opened every window & door in the house.
Piper and I are rocking shorts and bare feet.
Dinner tonight will be guacamole, chips and sangria.
We started dreaming of our spring/summer bucket list.
3 weeks until Spring break and on;y 12 more in my school year!  Time is literally flying by :)

1. Memorial Day concert in the plaza
2. Music by the sea
3. Beach sunrise
4. Beach sunset
5. Deliver lemonade to the neighbors
6. Make ice cream
7. Have an outdoor game night
8. Go to and host an outdoor movie
9. go mini golfing
10. late night swim
11. build a sand castle
12. have a water fight
13. go to sonic happy hour
14. run through sprinklers
15. go to the zoo
16. go to the aquarium
17. pick blueberries
18. driveway sidewalk chalk
19. hyppo popsicles
20.  roast smores
21. go to Savannah
22. brunch @ Cafe 11
23. coffee and people watching at the fort
24. host a BBQ
25. sonic happy hour ices and a sunday afternoon drive
26. Riverside Arts Market
27. go paddleboarding
28. go kayaking
29. Rita's Water Ice
30. Learn lyrics to Bennie & the Jets
31. Play ping pong
32. Find and purchase our summer anthem CD (the one we will play incessantly until the neighbors complain)
33. Explore Aviles Street
34. Host Piper's 1st Birthday!
35. Birthday for Mr. R.
36. Visit the Northeast
37. Finish the play kitchen
38. Learn to use a sewing machine
39. Get a library card and GO!
40. Go to the splash park

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I decided to give up shopping. Recently I have been craving material things. I have wanted to gain significance, importance, and praise through things... new clothes, shoes, accessories, or even just the trill of a great deal. My purchases haven't been extravagant, our bank account hasn't even noticed the hit. But I notice the hit. I notice that I am focusing more on my appearance than my devotions. I am spending more time agonizing over my jean size and the new j.crew catalogue than I spend in the word. For the next 40 days I will be putting away the debit card and focusing on gaining my significance as a daughter of the King. I will still be buying food, necessary toiletries, and household products. And if you happen to see me in Target, having a weak moment in the shoe section, hold a sister accountable.

I have a nine month old? What?!?

Dear Piper, 
I cannot believe that Piper turned 9 months old on 2/12. It is official you have now been on the outside for as long as you were in. You have stolen my heart this month. My cuddly, chubby baby has turned into an exploring, jumping, dancing, singing, clapping, crawling girl. 
 In one month you went from belly scooting across the floor to crawling on all fours and pulling yourself up. You comfortably play on your knees and will stand for as long as your Dad and I are willing to provide hands for you to lean on. You are measuring 29 inches and are in the 90th percentile on the infant growth chart.  Dr. B predicts you will be between 5'9" and 5'10" tall.  In the past week you went through this CRAZY growth spurt and all of a sudden all of your pants and sleepers were too short. You were walking crawling around in flood pants. I am sorry for making you complete this fashion faux pas, next time we will be better prepared.
Pip you are going to have some LONG legs. You have also learned how to use those legs to butterfly kick in your bath tub. You love the splash you make and of course Dad and I get soaked as we attempt to bathe you. 
Pip, you love to test your vocal range, if you happen to be hanging around our house in the early morning or mid-afternoon hours Pip will squeal, scream, and growl (like the incredible hulk). You love to mimic and will imitate sounds and short syllables. You say "da-da" non-stop and cry for "ba-ba". Ba-ba does not mean bottle in your world so we aren't sure what or who ba-ba stands for. 
Simon and Sophie have become fascinating to you. You follow them from room to room and like to sit near them at all times. Your new thing is to clank their food bowls together and to splash in the water bowl. I can say from experience that the clean-up after said splashing is not awesome. 
Pip you currently weigh 20 pounds. You are an awesome eater and are willing to try new foods. Your favorite foods are still sweet potato, acorn and butternut squash, bananas, and carrots. We introduced cheerios this month and you love to feed yourself now. The pups are also big fans of this seeing as you drop more food on the floors than actually goes in your mouth. 
I know I say this every month, but by far this month is my favorite. As you become more autonomous we can do more things. This month has brought coffee dates, trips to Barnes and Noble, dance parties in the living room, another roadtrip, and dinners out with friends. 
I cannot wait to see what your 10th month will bring!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Right now I'm...

listening to whirl of Pip's white-noise machine, if I listen extra closely I can here her little sleep sighs too
sitting on the chaise with my computer on my lap, iphone uploading pictures by my side
drinking diet cherry coke
thinking about my 30th birthday coming all to quickly
wanting to have a date night with dinner and tickets to Kiss Me Kate (sounds like a pretty good b-day present if you ask me)
needing more sleep, my bed (with clean sheets) is whispering my name
thankful for a 2.5 mile run, an amazing baby sitter, and a healthy 9 month check-up for Miss Pip
wearing pj bottoms, my princeton t-shirt, and a green fleece (the house is a chilly 72 degrees)
praying to crave more of the Lord and less things (ie new clothes, new accessories, sweets) I think I might impose a shopping ban during Lent. 
feeling content
dreaming spring break is only 5 weeks away!
wondering what to do for this weekend's date night
hoping to make time for spin class tomorrow
loving the birthday box my Mom sent. I need to post pictures of her amazing-ness, but until then, just know my Mom is seriously the most thoughtful person on earth!

**blog list stolen borrowed from Kimberlee of the driveway of Life

Made my Monday:

A three day weekend was exactly what the doctor ordered. After hours of cleaning and laundering on Sunday I was beyond grateful for a chance to sleep in, relax, and leisurely start my work week. Monday started with coffee and a visit to my Grandparents house. 
Piper is all about showing off when my Grandparents are present. There was much crawling, ball rolling, pulling up on the furniture, clapping, and as usual she said "da-da" non-stop. Seriously, can't a I get one "ma-ma" up in here?
We left my grandparents and headed home for mid-morning naps. Pip went down easy and Mr. R. and I crept off to our own bed for a siesta. It feels funny to admit that I took a morning nap after sleeping for a solid eight hours, but what can I say, we are napping people :)
 The afternoon rolled in and we headed out for a coffee date and some book stalking. Barnes and Nobel is at least #3 or 4 on Piper's favorite place list. She loves all the picture books and I love that she is so into reading. We found two new books and I think that they will soon become part of her collection either as an Easter or birthday gift. If you have a bright and imaginative little girl in your life, she NEEDS these books. Isabella is my kind of heroine and I love that she is teaching my daughter that real women are smart, thoughtful, well-spoken, loving, and can  be anything they want to be. 
I made dinner in the crock (chicken cordon blue), put off my two mile run, made time for a long shower and mini DIY facial, I  slipped into pajamas early and fell asleep reading a new book. It was the perfect day off. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Sunday I did not expect...

I think the title should be followed by the inevitable dun..dun..dun...
Sunday morning Mr. R. took the first shift with Pip. What that means is he woke up with Pip at 5:30, while I got to sleep. Only I didn't get to sleep in, Mr. found a flea on our bathroom rug. This prompted me to check Simon for fleas, I found 5!

This resulted in a 7:00 AM trip to Walmart for flea shampoo, carpet cleaner, more laundry detergent, oxy clean, and while we were at it, a new vacuum. 

Luckily most of our furniture is of the IKEA variety and is slipcovered. While I put Piper down for her morning nap, Mr. R. removed slipcovers. For two hours we vacuumed, scrubbed floors, and scrubbed the dogs. Then we started on the laundry, seven loads later we had clean furniture and clothes. 

I can now declare our house flea free and now that it's over, I can put a positive spin on spending 10 hours cleaning and doing laundry.  Our house smells spring cleaning amazing and we could almost invite you over to eat off the floor. Not a great Sunday, not the Sunday I have expected, but at least my spring cleaning is finished!

Sweet Saturday:

Saturday Mr. R. and I had high hopes for a trip to the zoo with Pip. We awoke to cloudy skies and a 60% chance of rain. We traded in our zoo plans for window shopping at some of our favorite stores in Jacksonville. We hit up TJ Maxx, Marshalls, & Steinmart. I tried on tons of cute shoes, made friends with a few purses that my wardrobe would love for Spring, and Mr. R. searched for the perfect straw fedora. We came home with a $5.00 puzzle for Pip. She loves it! 
While walking from store to store we stumbled upon Krispy Kreme. Mr. R. and had never been to one and I haven't seen one since I worked on a project for my old job in Alexandria, VA. 
 There is one cardinal rule with Krispy Kreme, if the sign is on and the doughnuts are fresh you have to buy one.
  Mr. R. treated me to a coffee and a plain glazed and we sat at a little table in the corner with Pip. She watched the doughnut conveyor belt and made friends with the workers. 
It was the perfect $3.00 date. :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

These two...

 They constantly steal my heart.
My friend Gwen said that if I was lucky enough to be the mother of a daughter, the relationship she would have with her dad would either melt or break my heart. 
Mr. R. is a fantastic father. His relationship with Pippa is one of laughter, lessons, and silliness. She looks at him with awe and reaches for him for hugs and kisses when he is near. Pip spends her Friday mornings in the company of Mr. R. and she relishes in her one on one time. He reads her stories, feeds her breakfast, plays toys, and introduces her to the Star Wars movies. I think she likes the lasers.
I am so thankful I married a man who works so hard to be a good father.
It makes me fall in love with him all over again. 

Go Wildcats!

Last night Piper and I cheered on the wildcats as they played for the district championship title. We sat in he stands amongst fellow teachers, parents, and students. We clapped along with the cheerleaders, sang our school song with the band, and Miss Pip enjoyed every second of the attention she got. 
The game was a heartbreaker. Our boys gave 100% and they played as a team. Unfortunately the other team was just better. When the final score flashed 25 to 23, we cried out in sadness. But we recovered quickly. The boys had a fantastic season, our best season in the 5 years my school has been open. I am so proud to be a wildcat, to work with such awesome people, and to cheer on my amazing students. It was a GREAT night to be a teacher. 
Also, I need to include that Miss Pip was beyond smitten with Ashley and her lovely locks. I think Pippa is going to be a long hair girl :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Workout Wednesday:

I have come to the conclusion that there will never be a good time to workout. I want to believe that one day I will just wake-up and love working out, that I will crave a good run like I crave a Starbucks mocha. But in my 29, almost 30 years, of life it has never happened. 

Instead I keep setting my alarm for 5:45, pulling on sweats and struggling through a pinterest workout before work. I have been doing this routine for over a week now and while I don't love the early morning wake-up call, I LOVE the added energy I am getting sans a double-shot of caffeine.

Last week I started back at the gym with an addition of spin class. And tonight on a whim Mr. R. and I took Pip out for a run. She loves the jogging stroller and I love the runner's high I get after our 3 miles are completed. Plus my new sneakers look even better with fresh dirt in the soles. 

All You Need is Love

I know it is not very popular to like Valentine's Day. It seems that all the cool kids walk around with a hatred for "love day". There is much talk about over commercialization, greed, and consumerism. I have facebook friends who insist that Hallmark invented the holiday as marketing ploy.
To the nay sayers and love haters I say hooey! I LOVE Valentine's Day. As a kid my mom decorated the house, made a special breakfast, and gave me a card or small gift as a reminder of how much I am loved. As I got older my dad would bring home flowers to remind me that he would always be my biggest fan. In middle-school and high school I had my fair share of heartbreaks and Valentine's spent alone. But that didn't make me hate or renounce the holiday. I am all about showing the love. An entire day to love on your parents, acquaintances, girlfriends, boyfriend, husband or child? Sign me up! 
Add in a few presents, chocolate, and hugs and you have my favorite day of the year, right after Christmas that is :)
My Valentine's Day was wonderful. I received three homemade valentine's, candy grams and chocolates from my students, a coffee and doughnut from my administration, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Mr. R. and the Pip. In return I called my Mom to tell her I loved her, gave Pip extra kisses, and made Mr. R. a pan of cakebatter rice krispie treats.
 I may not be a cool kid, but I sure felt the love!