Weekly Lessons

I figured I'd wait around until Wednesday to get rollin' in the blog world this week. Aka- my days somehow go so quickly and I don't pause long enough to sit and write. I was really excited to see that Mattie and Lex were starting a brand new link-up today called "Weekly Lessons" though, so it was perfect timing to try and actually post today. Here are my incredibly deep, thought-provoking life lessons this week...

I truly am a night owl and that's when I can get the most things done. I love my sleep... like, a lot- but sometimes it needs to be sacrificed in order to accomplish a few things. I just work better in the late evening. Be it writing, working on my Etsy shop or occasionally cleaning, I function better at night.

Coffee isn't ALL that bad. I have never been a coffee drinker, unless you count the occasional sugary-fancy beverage at Starbucks that doesn't taste like coffee. But late nights and new babies mean caffeine in a more pure form is necessary at times. I'm trying to make myself like good ol' fashioned coffee.
It's an illusion! That's just a hot chocolate in there!! ;)

Clorox wipes are awesome. Sometimes you don't have all the time in the world to scrub things down, but these have been lifesavers and time-savers lately.

If you try to plan a fun, date night at home- that will be the night your child decides he wants to stay awake 2 hours later than normal. True story, this has happened twice to us now. T apparently doesn't like missing out on anything fun.

If I want to get something done, I have to write it down. This isn't necessarily a new lesson for me, but it's just becoming more and more true with a baby now. I live by lists!

Speaking of lists, meal planning is so important. It's something else I've slacked on in the past few months, but after reading Amanda's post I feel so motivated again. Jared and I have revamped our budget due to all our life changes and cutting back on our food budget is a must.

Fall is going to be the.best.ever. I love fall every year, but I am just beyond thrilled it's almost here this year. Cooler temperatures mean more walks with T, beautiful colors and all the festivities beginning. I'm so excited to get out as a family more as it gets easier to be out and about with him.

Even the right decisions are hard to swallow sometimes. I'm thrilled that I'm able to be home with T, truly I am... I just never imagined how difficult it would be to not have my job. I find myself thinking about my boss and coworkers all the time and wondering how things are going at the office! With football season starting I feel so out of the loop, and it's a strange feeling. While I don't miss the long hours and the drunk fans, there are certain things that are tough not to miss. I'm sure it'll get easier as time goes on but with football kicking off there's a little piece of me longing to still be a part of the team.

Loving this link-up and definitely plan to join in the fun more often. Thanks for hosting, gals!

3 Months Old!

Today I feel like I've reached the biggest milestone yet of motherhood. My little man is THREE months old! Everyone always said the first 12(ish) weeks are the toughest so the fact that we've made it past that mark makes me feel relieved almost. It has been hard... so hard! But also so incredibly rewarding and awesome. It's amazing to watch a tiny little human grow and learn new things- literally overnight at times. I don't plan on always doing monthly updates on T but I figured a 3-month check in was worthy of a blog post.

According to my unofficial weigh-in's at home he is around 13.5 pounds. He is getting so chunky and I love it. It makes me proud to know I can feed him and he's growing because of ME and what my body can provide! T is wearing mostly 3 month clothes, although sizes are SO weird, so he wears some 0-3 still too. If it's Carter's brand (and the majority of his clothes are!) the 3 month stuff fits perfectly right now.

As of last week T is SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. I repeat, SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. I'm talking 10-11 hour stretches. It's incredible. I've probably completely jinxed myself by typing that and telling the world, but right now it is glorious. He goes to bed around 7:30 and is down for the night. Praise the good Lord! Naps during the day still aren't consistent which can be frustrating, but I will happily take the night sleeping and be on my merry way for now :)

His hair is starting to come in more and more which I love. He's got a funny little patch of it in the back, and then some fuzzy stuff going all directions on top. His eyes are still super blue like momma's- and I'm hoping they stay that way. Our doctor commented on them and said even though it's still possible for them to change color, he doesn't see that happening with how incredibly blue T's are.

T is smiley 99% of the time, but I love his serious faces too. We are getting some sounds that are super close to actual laughs. He loves to coo and talk, I've captured some "conversations" on camera that are just the cutest ever. I'm that crazy mom that looks at all her pictures and videos of her kid once he goes to bed for the night. I'm exhausted and so ready for a 'break' and then I instantly miss him when he's sleeping.
I'm sure every stage with a child is so fun but I'm definitely loving the stage we're in now...getting into a groove, being able to predict his needs/moods more, watching him learn, etc. Even if I do look at his newborn pictures and want to cry just a little bit sometimes... Time truly goes SO fast!

Happy weekend everyone :) 

Crappy vs. Happy

Sometimes crappy things just happen. Little, big... it doesn't really matter. I like to focus on the positive side of things but sometimes you just need to vent about the not so awesome things that happened before you can move on, amiright? So today I'm telling you the crappy stuff from the week, followed by the happy thing that makes it okay. Like...

Crappy:  Jared's super long days right now. Coaching, even at the junior high level, takes up a ton of time. Me and T are missing Jared a lot these days- and vice versa, I hope ;)
Happy: Jared is working with kids in a sport that he loves and making a little extra money in the meantime. Plus, it's a short season in the grand scheme of things. They only play about 8 games and I'm looking forward to watching him coach a couple games this year!
He's the best :)

Crappy:  Living so far from people you love. My parents and grandparents are an hour away, one of my best friends lives an hour away and my only sister is about 9 hours away from me. I wish I could visit those people all the time but I don't know how people do that with babies. Seriously, you people who take long car rides and flights and such?! Mind blown.
Happy: Technology that let's me stay in touch with those people. As much as social media and technology can get annoying (hello, political rants/opinions EVERYWHERE!) I'm thankful for things like Facebook and Skype to talk to those I can't see in person.

Crappy:  Not feeling like there are enough hours in the day to get everything done. Aka- my house never seems to be fully cleaned.
Happy: I'm busy filling my days with my little boy and that is truly all that matters.

Crappy:  Switching insurance plans. With me leaving my job we are having to change all of our insurance which means lots of annoying paperwork and phone calls.
Happy: Thank goodness for Jared's ability to work and the blessing of having medical insurance. It might be a hassle but I'm thankful for it.

Crappy:  Being sore in all kinds of strange places. I started working out last week and whew... It's going to be a challenge to whip this body back into any kind of shape.
Happy: Being sore in all kinds of strange places. Yep! It means I'm moving and doing the right things!

What's the crappy/happy in your week right now??

The Last 10

I saw someone else post about recent photos on their camera roll last week and since I am constantly lacking inspiration for posts lately, I hijacked their idea today! Now, I'm cheating just a tad because if we're being honest here, probably the last 32 pictures on my phone are of my kid with only a couple other things sprinkled in. Since I don't care to post 32 photos (maybe taken in one day... just saying) of T, I figured I'd share the last 10 non-baby pictures on my phone ;)

1 // A fun mural in Cincinnati. I haven't been downtown much at all since going on maternity leave but I happened upon this on my last stop down there.

2 // Kayla's 25th Birthday Surprise. A couple weeks ago my brother-in-law organized a fun little surprise dinner and I somehow made it out of my house with T so I could be there! Okay, okay... I missed the actual "SURPRISE!" part but I still made it there and even showered that day. #bigdeal

3 // Snapchat fun with Jared. I don't use Snapchat to narrate my day or do anything remotely interesting, but I do love seeing what filters they'll come up with next.

4 // Goodbye, Bengals. The last photo I snapped in my office on the day I cleaned it out and said bye to everyone. Still makes me a little sad to look at it, I won't lie. Never thought it would have been as hard as it was to leave that place.

5 // A Halloween Puzzle. Jared and I love puzzles and do them all the time, especially now that date nights are mostly at home for the time being. We have a ton of Disney puzzles we love but decided to mix it up and grab a festive one we found on Amazon. I cannot wait to bust this one out!

6 // Share 4 Adoption. Wendy's donates $5 toward adoption anytime someone makes the heart with their cup and shares it. Done and done! I love adoption.

7 // We are So Cool! If we aren't doing jigsaw puzzles, you can probably find us nerding out over some Wii games. We have a 3D Toy Story Mania game that we love :)

8 // Best Caeser Chicken Ever. I always screenshot recipes/ingredients on my phone. Anyone else do this? This is my favorite way to make a big batch of caeser chicken in the crockpot. So easy and delicious.
9 // Little clothes! We have the sweetest family and friends. They are always thinking of our little man and always spoiling him. At this rate, Jared and I may not have to buy him clothes until he goes to Kindergarten.

10 // My Buddy. Okay, okay, you knew I couldn't resist sneaking in ONE pic of my little buddy. The day we found out he was a "he" I started referring to him as my little buddy and I still call him that now. I vividly remember how amazing it felt to know "who" was in there kicking around! 

Football Friday {Link-Up!}

Today might be my most favorite day of the blogging year so far. I get to talk about football - not like I don't do that weekly anyway- but I get to read everyone else's posts on the topic too! Today it doesn't matter who you root for, we are all fans. :) If you've been to my blog even one time, it's pretty obvious I'm a Cincinnati Bengals fan through and through. But just in case you're new here, I figured I would clarify. While I love watching college football, the NFL has always been #1 in my heart.

Something I'm pretty excited about this year is the potential to GO to a home game as a fan since I'll no longer be working game days. The last time Jared and I got to see a game in Cincinnati together was in 2008! A very, cold December game during a season the Bengals only won 4 games. Ouch!

We've been able to get away to a couple of away games over the past few years though and those are still some of my favorite memories with Jared. I've been to games in Cleveland, Indianapolis and Nashville... hoping to keep crossing stadiums off my list! It's fun to be an away fan, too.

We are so crazy about the Bengals that we got engaged on the field and also announced our pregnancy on the field! I wanted to bring T home from the hospital in a Bengals outfit but they were SO big on him it was pointless to try to put it on him. He's all set for this season though and truly, my heart might explode when I get to put a little jersey on him for the first time.

This season will be so different for me and I truly am excited about sitting on my couch with my little family every Sunday afternoon (and night.. and Monday night... And Thursday night! ;)) Maybe football isn't your thing but it's certainly ours. All of my favorite times seem to revolve around either football or a holiday- sometimes both! I love having a house full of people cheering on our favorite team and stuffing ourselves with chips and dip. My favorite cookbook for this time of year is even Bengals-themed!

Family, friends, loads of food and football- what else could a girl need?!
Anyone remember this Super Bowl commercial from last year??

I hope you'll link-up your football related post below and join in the fun. I just ask that you use please good link-up etiquette and link back to my blog/post :) Be sure to hop around and meet some other football lovin' bloggers! As always- WHODEY!

It's Time...

...To get back into shape! I knew this day was coming, and to be honest it's probably been looming for awhile, but I can't put it off any longer. I need to be healthier and get back into shape finally. And not just pre-baby shape. Better. Let's crunch some brutally honest numbers and see what we're working with, shall we?

Total weight gain from pregnancy:  40 pounds
10 days postpartum:  Down 20 pounds
3 weeks postpartum:  Down 30 pounds

Today? I'm still hanging around at that 'down 30' mark. Meaning I've got 10 pounds to lose to be back where I was before T was born. However, I was a good 15-20 pounds overweight when I got pregnant. Womp, womp womp. There's no more time to sulk about this weight gain and the work I've got to do though... now is the time to actually get up and DO something about it.

My incision is still healing, goodness that's a slow process so I'll be gradually getting back into the swing of things. I'm definitely able to do brisk walks and some light weights at this point, but anything involving a lot of jumping or quick moves (Zumba, plyometrics, etc) will still be out for awhile longer. Those are the only things that cause me some pain around my incision, but every day that gets a little bit easier

I'm also hoping to clean up our eating as well. The first crazy couple of months with T were too easy to just grab fast food, accept unhealthy (but delicious!) meals from friends and family or just not even make time to eat enough throughout the day (guilty!) because we were so occupied with our new baby. Jared and I are determined to make our meal plans and stick with them going forward.
Looking back at the ups and downs of my fitness levels has motivated me to really step it up and stick with it. I was looking back at all the various photos of fitness achievements I've done over the years and I want to get back to those feelings. It's been a long time since I got in some good, sweaty workouts and I'm more than ready. I'm a little bit scared of how difficult I know this will all be. Hello, I had a baby and haven't truly exercised in months, yikes!

I think I'm going to start the Couch to 5K program, because sure I've ran a couple half-marathons but I truly feel like I'm starting from scratch now. I figured that program would be an easy way to get back into things and I can still add in other works outs when I can.

Anyone else starting a training plan or have any new fitness goals they're working on? I'd love some motivation :) 

Mommin' is Hard

Oh hey! Long time no chat. The last week or so has been absolute chaos for me, so I'm extra appreciative of all the sweet comments you left on last Friday's post. While I never, ever want to complain about my new role I will quickly admit that it's HARD. Well, just being a mom in general is hard whether you work in the home, outside the home, whether your baby is 3 weeks old or 3 years old or probably even 13 years old ;) It ain't easy, I know that much. Over the weekend Jared was gone for 2 nights at football camp and I didn't know if I was going to survive on my own. Spoiler alert- I did, but it wasn't pretty.

So besides being completely sleep-deprived, forgetting to shower and obsessively watching the Olympics I have nothing else going on. Someone told me that as soon as you feel like you're getting in a routine with your baby they will totally change it up and throw you for a loop and that's exactly what's going on for us. T is fighting naps these days and/or only taking short catnaps which makes us both want to cry. He's sleeping great at night though so I'm hanging onto the hope that eventually we'll get both down pat.

Summer was kindof a wash for me. With a brand new baby I wasn't out and about at ALL and I've been hesitant still to take him to overly crowded places. It's been so incredibly hot and humid that lugging a baby and a carseat and/or stroller anywhere just sounded miserable for everyone. So you best believe I am looking forward to fall. Bring on the cooler temperatures, the football (obviously) and the fact that I feel like Jared and I will be able to get out more with T in the coming months. He's getting older (12 weeks tomorrow!) and I'm looking forward to enjoying the fall season with our squishy little boy.

I realized this post turned into just a giant diary entry, but I'm okay with that. Sometimes we just need to catch up on life and the post isn't pretty, you don't have Pinterest-worthy photos... the post just is what it is. Happy Wednesday :)

PS- Even though my blog has been stinking as of late, I'm still hosting the Football Friday link-up this Friday so I hope you'll join in. Any football topic goes!!

This Season will be Different

It all begins again tonight. The Cincinnati Bengals will take the field for the first time of the 2016 season and I am SO excited!! I feel like time goes so slow when there is no football, but then I blink my eyes and we're back at it all over again. Although it's just preseason for a few more weeks, there is nothing better than seeing the orange and black uniforms back out on the field again. I am SO ready for football, although this season? It's going to look just a little bit different for me.

While I should be running around the stadium like a crazy person today, sweating my tail off, dealing with confused season ticket members and just general chaos... I won't be. I'll be sitting at home with my family, in my comfy Bengals attire instead of business clothes. This will be the first season in seven years that I'll be "just a fan" because I've decided to stay home full-time with our little boy.

Maybe I should type that again for some clarification, or maybe just for my own sake. I've decided to stay home full-time. I quit my job. I'm so thankful for the ability and option to stay home with T, but it's definitely not what we had in mind just a couple of months ago so I'm still coming to terms with it all. My boss was incredibly supportive and happy for us but of course sad to let me go- which meant a lot. It's a bittersweet time in my life for sure. I definitely won't miss a lot of crazy/crappy things about my job- but I'm going to miss the people I've shared so much of life with over the span of seven years. 

Last week I officially cleaned out my office and said some really hard good-byes to so many wonderful people. It's tough when you know you're making the right decision but you're letting go of something you also loved. When I started maternity leave the plan was always to come back to work but once Jared and I sat down and really thought about the logistics of it all, we started to doubt our decision. After many long talks, countless prayers and a zillion tears we came to decide that what makes the most sense right now for our family is for me to be at home.

This job was my first real job after college and I never imagined how long I'd stay there or all I'd get to experience as a result of the organization. It's hard to "give up" something I've put countless hours into and something I thought would always be a part of my life. I'm so thankful for my time there and closing this chapter of my life is terrifying yet exciting. So this is my new life adventure! I'm a SAHM for right now and I don't have a clue what life without working a football season is like but I'm ready to find out.

Let's Grab Coffee

Today is one of those days where nothing going on in life warrants an entire post, but I have a lot of little things that just need dumped in one space. Think of this post as the conversation we'd have and the topics we'd cover if you came over to hang out one evening. Or if I actually escaped my house for a couple of hours to grab dinner or coffee or something. Any takers??

So the post office is new to me. Yes, the post office. At work I've always had the convenience of mailing things right from our offices. I'd always pay for my own postage of course, but I could use the scale, postage machine, and then it got picked up right there daily. Since being on maternity leave I've had to make 3 trips to our local post office and I'm starting to feel like a regular there now. They are always so nice and didn't laugh (at least to my face) about how clueless I was the first time I went in.

Jared is coaching junior high football again this year and that started back up last week. That guy is a trooper. Works 10-hour days then goes straight to evening practices every night of the week right now. Once school actually starts it won't be nearly as tough of a grind, but it's a lot of dedication, especially at the beginning. I'm excited to watch him coach again and this season I'll have a little sidekick with me cheering him on. Speaking of that sidekick...

He is now 10 weeks old and weighing in a little over 12 pounds! He had to get a few shots this past week at his check-up which was pretty much the saddest thing ever. They really made him kinda crabby, sad and extra sleepy for most of the weekend but luckily he's his happy little self again. And I'm happy we don't have to go back to the doctor until October now- whew! I think I need the break more than he does ;)

I have a credit to StitchFix that I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on soon. I've only done one of these, way back when it was first brand new- but through my referral link I've had a credit sitting around waiting on me for awhile. I figured maybe now was a good time to try a few new things, although I'm a little clueless on what size I wear these days. May as well just give it a whirl and see if I get any winners, right? To you friends that use them all the time- am I supposed to make a Pinterest board for my stylist? I didn't do that the first time but I've noticed a lot of people mention it in their posts/reviews.

Last, but certainly not least- Happy 25th Birthday to my SIL, Kayla!! I hope today is filled with lots of sweet tea and marshmallow fluff, as much as you want ;) And I hope that you feel special and loved because YOU ARE! I'm lucky to call you family!

Football Date: The Brandon Burlsworth Story

I don't know about you all, but I am a sucker for a good underdog story. In just about any circumstance, be it at the Olympic games or some contestant on The Voice- I just love hearing a story about someone coming from behind to achieve something in life. GREATER is a new football-based movie that focuses on always pursuing what you want to do with perseverance, dedication, and faith. This movie inspired Jared and I's most recent at-home date night.

Since we had so much fun with our Christmas in July theme date, we used this movie as an excuse to have a football-themed night. We decided to try out some new recipes for our football parties and of course we made a couple of our old favorites as well. Hello, Crack Dip. 
We found a copycat wing recipe from one of our favorite Disney restaurants and decided to give it a whirl. With just a tiny bit of tweaking we think we nailed it- they were SO delicious. Honey-Ginger Coriander wings. We will definitely be serving these up to our friends and family for game days this season.

T even crashed our football date night for a little bit- but since his onesie was "on theme" we allowed it ;)

The movie we watched comes out August 26th but I was given the opportunity to prescreen it; this is the first time I've ever heard the Brandon Burlsworth story. The movie is a must-see for any football loving fan, especially any of you diehard Razorback fans, I know you're out there! ;) I'm pretty confident there are no sports movies out there that I don't love. GREATER the movie left me feeling both inspired and inadequate. Inadequate, what?! I know, I know- but hear me out.

Brandon Burlsworth essentially proves everyone wrong in this movie. He had one focus, one dream and he went after it no matter how many people laughed at him and no matter how many personal obstacles stood in his way. How many times in life have we said we want to do something, accomplish something, create something... but have yet to actually put our all into it? I know it's something I'm guilty of constantly. The sad reality is that I haven't tried. Not truly given my biggest, best effort to something I'm passionate about- but why? Because my dreams are too big? too scary? too daunting? There are no excuses. None. This movie was a wonderful reminder that I'm the only person standing in the way of those dreams.

Below is a sneak peek of the trailer for those of you who are interested. Football fans- I'm telling you it's a must-see movie. Check out GREATER The Movie, in select theaters (be sure to check your local ones for availability and showtimes!) August 26th.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and GREATER Productions. but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #GREATERMovie #GreaterTheMovie  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Currently: August Edition

Linking up with Anne (and her guest cohost Dana!) today for the "Currently" series :)

Hearting: That it's August and that means football is here! The Bengals first preseason game is next week which absolutely blows my mind. If you are as excited about football as I am, be it NFL, college, high school, peewee... be sure to save the date for August 19th! I'll be hosting a one-time Football Friday link-up to post about all your favorite football stuff. Each year I find more and more football fans in the blog world and I LOVE it.

Watching: Last Chance U. Well, sadly- we finished the whole season in one weekend. Has anyone else watched it? It's a 6 episode documentary on Netflix featuring the East Mississippi Community College football team. Jared and I were hooked right away and absolutely loved it. If you're a football fan you will love it too. Heads up, not safe for kiddos... lots of language, as to be expected in the world of football.

Exploring: Hmm, I'm not sure this really counts but I've been exploring real estate online. I am obsessed with looking at houses, I always have been. Pretty sure I should have been a real estate agent because I never get tired of comparing comps, seeing what's recently sold in certain areas, etc. Plus, I always have to check and see what dreamy beach houses are for sale on Hilton Head Island.

Creating: All kinds of fun things in our Etsy shop. My problem is that I have too many ideas and not enough hours in the day to make them all happen! ;) We still regularly release new items and right now the back to school stuff and the glitter items are my favorite.

Eating: Anything that's quick! Since adjusting to life with a new baby isn't exactly easy I have kept the fridge stocked with easy grab-and-go types of foods. I feel like during the day I rarely find or make the time to sit down and eat a full meal so I just grab snacks when I can. It's worked for now but I really need to get back on the meal planning again. Too many hodge-podge meals going on at our house these days.

I hope everyone's having a good week so far. 
Hoping this is the month I finally catch up in the blogworld. I'm trying!! :)