Happy Halloween... I'm a Mom-bie

I finally had a weekend that didn't feel like it was over in a blink of an eye. Crazy, right? I just soaked in a lot of time with my boys and enjoyed the (mostly) gorgeous weather we had all weekend. Who cares that's it's almost November?! I wore shorts on Saturday to run errands and enjoyed every second of it.

Some of you long-time readers might remember that most years we go to Jared's cousin's house for a huuuge Halloween bash every year. Sadly, they were unable to host one this year and we will miss all the fun, games and treats they are known for! So tonight I'll be snuggling my little pumpkin who will only be awake for about 15 minutes of Trick-or-Treat and then just enjoy passing out candy with my family.
Halloween 2014

No costume for me this year- unless you count a "mom-bie/zombie" as a costume. Little man has been waking up more often lately -I'm thinking growth spurt or teeth or both- so I have been extra tired these past couple of weeks. I saw someone share this on Facebook and thought it was so hilarious and clever. The little girl wanted to dress up as a mom so she's rocking the sweats, babies hanging off of her, dark circles and even spit up! She nailed it.
Full article here

Hope everyone had a great weekend, I'm sure I'll see lots of your fabulous costumes soon. I can't wait! :) 

Things I Never Want to Forget

The cool thing about blogging is feeling like I have friends all over the country. Katie and I had due dates within a few days of each other so it was fun sharing "notes" while pregnant. Even though T came early and our babies are actually about a month apart, we can now continue to chat and compare and talk through all the new momma stuff we have going on. She posted a beautiful post recently that inspired me to write these things down. Time truly goes so fast and I don't want to ever forget...

How happy and smiley you are when I come to get you up in the morning. I know one day you'll be a smelly teenager and I'll be dragging you out of bed every day. (Say it ain't so!)

How funny all your sounds and squeals are. It seems like every few days you discover a new noise to make and that's all we hear nonstop until the next one comes along.

How no matter what way I put you down in your crib, you end up the opposite way in the morning. You are a little ninja in there, I swear.

How adorable your pouty little lip is right before you start to cry. You don't cry too often, so I gotta' admit it's stinkin' cute.

How you will really only be snuggly as we put you to bed. You finally give in to my snuggling and seem to love my singing as you drift off into dreamland.

How you love to look at yourself in the mirror. You must know you're pretty cute because you always smile and never get tired of checking yourself out.

How big your eyes get when there is something new to look at. A toy, a face... you take it ALL in.

How the most random things make you laugh out loud. The other day I started reading a book and was only a few words in and you laughed bigger than ever!

How much we LOVE YOU!!

Momma Gets Fit

I mentioned it last month at some point, but Jared and I recently signed up and completed another DietBet together. We'd participated in these challenges a couple years ago and decided it was a great time to get motivated again. Post-baby me was finally ready to take control of my health and fitness once and for all. I'm happy to say we WON our DietBet. I even lost a little more weight than required which felt awesome. It wast seriously just what I needed to start feeling better about myself again. 
If you've never done one before, you essentially just put money into a "pot" and if you reach your goal (Lose 4% in 1 month) you get your money back plus a little bit of winnings. The winnings come in from anyone who didn't meet their goal. That money gets divided up among winners. So while it's not likely you'll get rich doing DietBet, having money on the line is a motivator for me. I definitely don't want to lose my money... and if I make an extra $10-15 that's great too! 

Once we started our month-long DietBet it really motivated us to get movin' more and also to say no to treats and sweets too. Month after month I kept using the excuse of, "Well, we have a new baby! It's okay to eat out or not exercise..." Sure, that's okay to some extent, but if I kept doing that I was going to end up at 500 pounds ;) Our DietBet helped us slap those step counters back on and helped us get excited about healthy meal options again.

I still have a ways to go to meet my ultimate fitness goals so we decided to sign up for another challenge this month too. If you want to join me in the challenge you can sign up for the game I'm doing here. You still have time to weigh-in and the final weigh-in is right before Thanksgiving. Perfect timing if you ask me ;) By the way, I get absolutely nothing for sharing about this- I just believe in the game and it makes losing weight a little more fun. I also love following them on Instagram for awesome success stories and fun/funny motivational posts.

This month, in addition to the changes we made last month, I am going to TRULY make a huge effort to cut out most sugar from my diet. Just typing that makes me scared because this girl loves her sweets- but I know it'll be worth it if I can do it! What are your fitness goals over the next month or so? Anyone else trying to shed some pounds before the pumpkin pie starts rolling out?? :)

A New Opportunity

Hey, remember me? The gal who went totally missing from blogland all last week? I don't even know what happened. Time just went flying by and I couldn't find the time (or motivation) to sit down at the computer and blog at all. Don't worry- you didn't miss too much. Last week was fairly uneventful until FRIDAY because. . . drumroll, please.

I got a job! Yes, you read that correctly and I am just thrilled! It's a very part-time role right now that I will be able to do mostly from home which completely blows my mind. When I left my job at the Bengals I'd hoped that eventually something part-time would work out somewhere. I'd honestly been browsing part-time positions or jobs that I could do remotely but it never seemed like I was qualified or that it would work for me whenever I'd see a job posting. Until this gig came along. I saw the posting, immediately applied and said my prayers that this was meant to be.

After a casual interview at an adorable coffee shop, I was offered the job a couple days later and have already done a few hours of training. I don't need to go into all the details right now but I'll essentially be an assistant for someone and their business. Handling emails and some customer service type of matters to start, and then potentially growing the role into other things as I learn the ropes and take on more.

I seriously can't put into words how excited I am for this opportunity. Since leaving my full-time job there have been SO many days I doubted my decision, or worried about what the future would hold for me and my family. While we were financially prepared for me not to work, it wasn't initially what we had in mind just a few short months ago. And other than the financial side of things, I was having trouble feeling like I was "just" a stay-at-home-mom. I knew I wanted to continue to use my talents and abilities and I knew something would work out one day- I just didn't know when.

So I'll be working from home for the first time this week, just a handful of hours but I cannot wait to get started. I have no doubts that this is where I'm supposed to be right now :) Happy, Happy Monday!

A Fabulous Weekend

What a FABULOUS weekend!! Isn't it great when a weekend doesn't necessarily hold some special event or some epic happening, but it's still awesome?? Jared and I truly soaked in every ounce of this weekend with each other and with T and it couldn't have gone better.

Friday I had a couple errands to run so while my boys held down the fort I was out and about for a few hours. I had a package to pick up from my old office so I swung by there to grab it while I was out. It was nice to see my boss and the familiar faces that I worked with for so long. As cheesy as this might sound... it feels like home when I go there. I'm comfortable, I'm welcomed with open arms and it's like I never left. Me staying home is the best option for our family, but it's nice to be in touch with my work peeps here and there. There were talks of a "reunion" happy hour so I hope someone puts those plans into action.

After meeting with a contractor first thing Saturday morning, we hit up a tiny, local Halloween/Fall fest in our area. Obviously T is too young to enjoy or appreciate these things, but it was a beautiful day to get out and enjoy the festivities. We got him his own little mini pumpkin which he was totally unimpressed with. 

That night Jared and I entertained ourselves with Snapchat filters and tried out the Halo ice cream everyone has been raving about. Our verdict is that we liked it, but we didn't LOVE it. After awhile, I felt like I really noticed that artificial sweetener after-taste that some of you might be familiar with. It's a nice treat to have when you're trying not to indulge too much, but I didn't go completely ga-ga over it.

My Bengals lost horribly on Sunday. That makes two weeks of ugly losses in a row. While it's brutal and I hate it- I must admit something. It's WAY easier to get over a team loss when I'm not going into work there the very next day. I mean, WOW! I knew it would be different going from an employee to a fan, but I never imagined it would feel this different. I like being a fan, I'll tell you that much! It's much less emotional, no matter the outcome.

I'm excited about this week and all it could hold for me. Cheers to a fresh start!

Bring on the Weekend

One of my Home Goods finds the other day.

Happy Friday, everyone! After surviving a miserable migraine last night I am SO ready for this weekend. I really don't get migraines very often, maybe a couple times a year but last night's was brutal. It started coming on around 3pm and I finally felt better around 8pm. Let me just say this- it's bad enough to have your head hurt, but trying to take care of a little baby while your head hurts? OMG. Here's to hoping I don't have to deal with that again for a very long time. 

Jared and I have a free weekend, but also have some exciting things on the calendar for the next few days. Our neighborhood has a little Halloween fest that we plan to check out tomorrow. Am I a terrible person if we don't put T in a costume this year? I thought about getting him one but they are honestly too expensive for something he'll likely have on for a couple of hours this year. Heck, he goes to bed before Trick-or-Treating even starts and we don't have any parties to go to this year. If I see a cute pair of Halloween pj's I might snag those for him to wear but that's about it.

We also are having a contractor come out to the house to do some measurements for one of the house projects I mentioned we were getting started on. I am super pumped about the changes and updates that are to come! Other than those couple of things though, we are hoping for time to get some fall yardwork done, drop off more donation boxes (YES!) and do some major meal prepping. By the way, I made these baked chicken tenders this week and they were phenomenal.

Are the temperatures jumping back up again where you live? We've had temperatures down in the 60s all week but the next few days we're going right back up to 80. Ohio, you are so weird. ;) Today's post is short and sweet because I've got a squishy little boy to play with and then a coffee date to get to. Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Blog Posts I Haven't Hit Publish On

Alyssa has a fun link-up going now through November 11th and it's one of the most unique ones out there! She calls it a non-challenge challenge :) She gave 10 prompts and you can post about any of them anytime you want in that time frame. Less pressure to get them all in, or write them on certain days- but great blogging inspiration and great topic ideas. I'm snagging one off her list today... all the things I want to write a blog post about but haven't been able to hit publish on them yet.

A hair tutorial. I'll admit that I'm not that awesome at hair, but mainly due to a lack of trying to be awesome at hair. However, I did a really cute style months ago, took photos and everything but when I started writing about it everything seemed too hard to explain. Tutorials are apparently not my thing.

Detailed budget posts. If you've been reading for awhile you know about our alter egos Sallie & Perkins and I'd say we've been pretty open about how much debt we had and paid off. There is still more I'd like to share, but I struggle with where to draw the line with public finance stuff. Often I feel like people have gotten the wrong impression re: these posts so sometimes I just want to be completely transparent and put ALL the numbers out there. And then I quickly change my mind ;)

The Presidential election. Okay, I actually really don't want to give my opinion but sometimes I just wanna hammer away on a keyboard and let the world hear it. Because that would do a lot of good. (That's my sarcastic font in case you can't tell.) 

How I REALLY feel about my son's birth and the way it happened. Now, I know what you're thinking... Erin you wrote THREE posts about it how could you have more to say?! Trust me, I do. And it's in a messy, emotional post that will likely never see the light of day.

Pet peeves of mine. This post is 100% written and edited, but it feels too mean to actually post. I didn't intend for it to sound that mean so it needs some work, obviously. Maybe I can soften it up so as not to offend anyone. I mean, everyone has pet peeves, right?!

Adoption. My niece was adopted at birth and she is one of my favorite little people in the world :) She's almost 3 1/2 now, by the way. (!!) Adoption is such an incredible thing and I wish I had the words to share more about it. Recently, Jared's cousin and her husband became foster parents with hopes of fostering to adopt. They have already welcomed multiple kids into their home and it's so cool to know what an impact they're having on these children. My hope is that Jared and I could foster or adopt one day as well.

SAHM Life: Reality vs Perception. I'm still adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom. It was only a couple of months ago that I decided to leave my job and many days that is still difficult to grasp. Being at home is wonderful but definitely has it's challenges.

How amazing Jared is. Sometimes I really want to write all these mushy, gushy posts about him because he is seriously THE.BEST. But I know many things are best kept to ourselves and I always want to respect his privacy as well. Just know that I'm pretty fond of my husband ;)

I think I'll stop there. What have you always wanted to post about but haven't yet??

Why I Don't Go Shopping

You might have seen me mention it on Instagram over the weekend, but a very wonderful thing happened to me. A wonderful thing for me, potentially a very bad thing for Jared. Let me start by saying that I'm not a big shopper. When I go out to a store, I am on a specific mission. Perhaps my black flats finally fell apart and it's time to replace them. I set out in search of replacement shoes, find the shoes, purchase, leave the store. Or maybe I'm shopping for a gift for someone else. Nine times out of ten I shop online for that gift but if I go looking for a gift in person, I am pretty confident I already know exactly what I'm buying.

There were days long ago that I wasn't like this. Days where I loved a good session at the mall. In fact, I once wrote a paper in 4th grade about how the mall was my favorite place to go. I kid you not, that paper existed and it was multiple pages long about each of my favorite stores and which flavor of Dippin' Dots I usually purchase. But those were the days where I didn't have bills, I did have an allowance and my favorite shirts at American Eagle were probably like, $8.99 at the time.

But let's get back to why this weekend was so monumental. You see, I stumbled upon the Home Goods store that opened up in our area over the summer. I hadn't been out that way in awhile and I mentioned to Jared that I'd been meaning to check it out. Bless his heart he told me to go for it while he and T held down the fort so off I went!

And you guys... I FELL IN LOVE. Fell in love right then and there with that store. I had been in the store maybe 5 minutes before I texted Jared that I was ready to redecorate our whole house. I now understand the obsession. So many cute things at good prices... holy cow I was in trouble. My cart was filled up in no time at all. Of course, me still being the non-shopper shopper I'd add a few things to the cart, put a few back; add something else into the mix, decide to let one thing go. It was a very back and forth trip- thank goodness for the "back" because otherwise I might have drained our bank account.

I am now convinced that Home Goods has magical powers. I saw things like this giant acorn and suddenly I was racking my brain for where I could put it in our tiny tri-level. I grabbed every notebook that I remotely liked and had them in my cart before I let myself think of how many I already had at home. 

And don't get me started on the holiday stuff floating around... Of course I needed every Halloween candy dish, every Thanksgiving-related wooden sign and I'll for sure be back soon for the Christmas penguin salt and pepper shakers that will never be used. Sidenote- does anyone else think their shopping carts need to be larger or is that just me... ?

My friends... this is why I don't go shopping.

And That's Life {Volume 2}

Last week I did a post in this format and a couple of you mentioned you liked it (thanks!) so I thought I'd do it again this week. It's a nice way to sum up my week, I think, and the categories don't always have to be the same of course. If you're looking for a way to write your Friday posts feel free to do the same. :)

Football Life: Since the Bengals had the Thursday night game last week, it feels like it's been a month since they've played! I read this article yesterday about how the NFL's ratings were dropping and found it fairly interesting. They mention a few possible explanations for the lower ratings but I feel like a lot of it might have to do with the over-saturated market; while I love football, it's true that three nights a week of NFL is a lot. Thoughts??

Home Life: I mentioned earlier this week that we are starting some home projects and I'm pretty excited about them. Updating our bathrooms is one of the top things on our list so I've been on Pinterest a LOT more lately looking for ideas and styles that we like. It made me realize 1) I missed Pinterest! 2) I need to reorganize/update those boards and 3) You should follow me on there!

Blog Life: I seem to be settling into a routine of 3 blog posts a week and I'm okay with that. When I was working full-time it was easy for me to type up a blog post or respond to comments over my lunch break but now that I'm home all day I find it harder to sit down at the computer. I really have a lot of posts in the works and things I'm excited about writing but I need to figure out how to manage my free time better!

Health/Fitness Life: Jared and I have been doing a DietBet for the past few weeks and it has definitely been the kick in the pants I needed. I'm eating healthier and eating more often, which is a good thing. Another thing about being home all day with a baby is that I realized I'd go half the day without eating anything or skipping lunch, etc. And then come dinner I'd be starving and just want to eat EVERYTHING. Having healthy foods I can snack on during the day has definitely helped; even if I don't feel like I can sit down and make a full meal I have lots of 'grab and go' options.

Momma Life: We've definitely got some teething going on in this house. No signs of teeth yet but the drool has amped up and T is always cramming his fingers into his mouth. We have a few teethers that I've offered him but they seem too big/awkward for him to actually hold and use. Suggestions?

Can you guys forgive me that most of my posts don't have photos these days? #bloggerprobz ;) I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend ahead of them!

Currently: October Edition

Another fabulous edition of the Currently link-up is happening today. This is always one of my favorites to participate in so you should check it out!  Anne and her cohost Jacqui would be happy to have you join in, so hop on over to their blogs already! ;)

Currently I'm...

Cheers-ing: That football season is almost over for Jared and his junior high team. I love that he coaches and he really enjoys it, but it's still a huge time commitment! I will look forward to having our evenings together again in just a couple of short weeks.

Organizing: My life. Ehh, it needs it anyway! Luckily the more things we declutter and donate, the easier it to organize the stuff we actually like! I've also been trying to keep up with alllll the digital photo organization. I wrote a post back in March about how I do it, so I need to stay on top of it to keep my system flowing. I couldn't even guess how many pictures I've taken of T in his 4 months of life already.

Dreaming: Of how much I'd like to be dreaming. Why is it that even though my kiddo sleeps relatively well overnight I'm still tired every single second of my life? Apparently babies are exhausting... who knew?! ;)

Buying: A few things for our house. Jared and I are finally trying to get some house projects rolling. Since living here we have always struggled with what we wanted to spend money on and what we could "make do" with for the time being. Originally we hadn't planned on living in this home for as long as we have, but while we're here we might as well make the best of it and spruce up the things that need sprucing. Looking forward to sharing our projects and progress soon!

Listening: To music all the time! I love having our radio/record/cd combination player in the main area of our house. I think the first couple of months after T was born I forgot what music was.  I forgot about the morning radio show I always listened to on my commute and it was like a lightbulb went off when I turned it on one morning and heard familiar voices. Hey! My radio friends! They are still doing their thing even though I stopped listening to them in my car- surprise, surprise! 

What are you currently up to??

Part of Society Again

This weekend made me feel like I was actually a functioning part of society again. It was pretty busy and for once it felt natural to just be doing things as a family of three. That might sound odd but up until now most functions, obligations and plans have felt stressful for me. It was the constant thoughts of how long we could be somewhere, what time T would need to eat/sleep/be changed, how far something was from the house, etc. And don't get me wrong, I still had those feelings over the weekend but with all the fun we had it just felt more "normal" and second-natured.

Friday we had a brutal doctor's appointment with a tired baby and LOTS of shots. I've done fine at all his previous appointments but this one was by far the worst. T was already getting fussy and starting to cry during the examination so by the time all those mean ol' needles came out it was OVER. He screamed and cried more than he ever has and I barely held it together myself. Okay, a tear or two might have come from me. He was such a little trooper afterwards even though he looked so pitiful. At least he got cool bandaids this time- last time they gave him girly ones ;)

After we all recovered and T was in bed extra early for the night our BIL/SIL came over again for dinner and games and randomness. Babies going to bed early can really make evenings with friends doable and fun. Waking up SUPER early isn't always ideal, but I'll take it.

Saturday was another test of our parenthood as we loaded up the car to drive an hour to my grandparents' house. T hadn't been in the car this long before but he did fantastic. Once we arrived he was the star of the party as the only baby there. It was so nice to see my grandparents and see how happy they were to love on their great-grandson. He's a lucky little boy! Typically he can only stay awake for 90 minutes at a time but he stretched that just a little bit and lasted almost 2 hours before he let us know it was time to go. I don't think we were even out of their neighborhood before he fell asleep... he partied hard! 

Since the Bengals didn't play Sunday we had a nice afternoon at home getting things done around the house. I officially swapped out all our summery candles/soaps for fall ones and I'm ready for the festivities. It was a perfect weather day so it was nice to have all the windows open as we cleaned and organized. Everything always feels cleaner when you have fresh air coming inside. I loaded up another batch of things to donate and get out of the house which is still one of my favorite things in the world. The more stuff T brings in, the more stuff I feel the need to immediately purge from the house.
FYI- Diaper boxes make great donation boxes. And yes, we've tried a LOT of brands of diapers.

Jared has a random extra day off work today so we are going to enjoy every second of it together before he leaves for football practice this evening. I hope everyone has a happy Monday!