Nine Whole Years

Nine years. That's how long ago Jared and I made ourselves 'Facebook official' on February 28th. It's truly hard to believe we've been together close to a decade. I don't feel old enough to have been with someone for nine years! ;) Just kidding, I'm almost 30... but that's a post for another day. While we of course have an actual wedding anniversary we truly celebrate, I can't help but smile on this day each year.

There is no one I'd rather be on this journey of life with than Jared. Graduating college together. Searching for jobs in 2008 (ouch). Getting engaged at our favorite place. Planning a wedding. Buying our first home. Job successes and job failures. Traveling as often as we could. Welcoming our little boy. Selling our house and building a dream house. And all those things in between. All the little things that add up to lots and lots of big memories and big love.

Many days I don't feel like I deserve this man. He absolutely is my better half and I mean that. He's so much better than me at most things ;) So excuse me today while I feel a little bit sappy. I've been looking through old photos as I work on my never-ending photobook projects and wow, we've had some good times in these past 9 years, Jared. Cheers to the next nine and many, many more! xo

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

2 - Amazing meals I made this weekend. Pizza Casserole (actually healthy!) and this Pot Roast. They are both recipes off Dr Axe's website- I'm a fan!!

9 - Hours T stayed awake and didn't nap on Saturday. Holy moly... that was a long day y'all.

312 - Approximate number of times Jared and I checked our email waiting on the home inspection results. Hoping we get them today- fingers crossed.

0 - Number of movies nominated for Best Picture that I've seen. Whoops. I really want to see Hidden Figures though!!! I haven't been to a movie since T was born.

3 - Boxes packed and taped up. Little by little!

2.5 - Hours spent playing a geography game on Friday night. Explore the World was actually super fun and educational! It might say ages 7 and up, but there are some challenging questions! Nerd alert, I know.

10 - Episodes of American Crime Story watched. Jared and I totally binge watched the OJ Simpson series... we could.not.stop!!!

150 - Pictures taken of T yesterday to celebrate him turning 9 months old.

12 - Things I have in my Amazon cart that I want to buy T for his first Easter. Easter is my FAVORITE holiday and it's taking all my willpower not to buy him one of everything. Clothes, toys, books, a personalized basket--- ahh!!

55 - Number of blog emails I had in my inbox that I needed to respond to. That is unheard of for my OCD mail checking/responding but now I'm down to 2 which feels much better.

Happy Monday, everyone!! What did your weekend look like in terms of numbers?

Let's Relax

If I've ever been looking forward to a weekend- it's been this one. As of right now (unless anything falls through) we are done showing our house, our home inspection is done and Jared and I have nothing house-related on the agenda for a few days. Wahoo!! So for the time being, we can just continue slowly packing as our closing won't be until mid-April.

Although this past week was nuts in every way, T and I made the best of all the random trips out of the house during the showings. With this amazing weather I was happy to hit up every park and trail in town with him. He's finally big enough to be somewhat stable in the baby swings which was just adorable to watch. Oh, and remember my post yesterday? I wasn't kidding and I totally creeped on all other moms with kids close to T's age at the parks. No BFF yet, I'll keep y'all posted ;)

We've also driven by our new property an obscene amount of times already- but it's exciting to pop by and see it change so quickly. This picture was from Wednesday. I'm assuming the foundation is done? I really couldn't tell you what stage this is, or even what's going on, but I know it's more than a pile of dirt that it was last week- so, yay!

So this weekend I see a lot of sweatpants and staying in since it's supposed to drop back down to the 40s- brr! But mainly just being able to be a family and relax together and marvel over the fact that T will be 9 months old on Sunday (WHAT?!) I hope everyone has a weekend full of rest, relaxation and whatever adventures your heart desires!

Beware, the SAHM

Since becoming a stay-at-home mother, I have realized how desperate I come off for adult conversation now. It was a slow, gradual realization I had. Like when I scheduled a girls night out for the first time since T was born and then I completely monopolized the conversation all night without realizing it. I just had so much to say! I was sitting in a restaurant with real clothes on, no diaper bag or baby on my hip with two other female adults. Hello, world.... I'm Erin and I'm out on the town!!!

Then there's the other moms I feel the need to cling to whenever they are around. The moms at the grocery store pushing their kids around in strollers. We smile or make a passing comment to each other about how our babies are looking at each other and then move on our way. But I have that 'missed connection' feeling. Wait! Come back! Be my friend and stand in Kroger's produce section for another 20 minutes (or until one of our babies cries- whichever comes first) and talk to me! I don't care what we talk about, it just feels good not to be reading The Pout Pout Fish for the 12th time today.

On another note, we've had a lot of people coming into our house lately due to some updates, repairs and inspections that come with selling a house. Typically these are men working on such projects, but that doesn't stop me. I welcome them in with exuberance which, come to think of it, might be why they work so quickly and get things done in less time than estimated. I just thought they were efficient. Occasionally one of them will give me a small nugget of real life which I hungrily accept. The guy working in our basement this week saw T and said, "Cute kid. My wife is 5 months pregnant." So I took that as my cue to congratulate him, ask him if they knew if it was a boy or girl, recite any and all baby names I've ever liked, gave him the pros and cons of registering at Target and was sure to let him know what the best diaper brand is.

The UPS man, bank tellers, neighbors out for a walk or the woman at the deli counter... none of them are safe! Beware, the SAHM does not discriminate. You have been warned.

Reconnecting the Community

I've been working with my blog friend Steph for awhile on this idea that we are excited to finally share today. We've watched the blog world transition quite a bit in the last few years and we both miss the funny, real, inspiring posts that have seemed to dwindle. We want YOUR help.

Many of you reacted to my post about what's changed in the blog world, and Steph wrote an awesome post similar to that topic. We wanted to reconnect with those out there who still love writing and still want to be part of this awesome community.

I would love to share a few of my favorite posts recently, but we want you to do the same. Share something you've read recently that you loved. It could be something funny, something serious, a challenging topic whatever it may be- as long as you loved it :)

Please take a few minutes and share something! We thought it would be cool to have one big place to go read some awesome stuff and also hopefully find some new bloggers. We'll put together all the responses and share them with everyone once we have a good conglomeration of them. No real rules to this, and feel free to share something you've written if you want!

We're really excited to see what you all submit and what you think of this idea. Please share with others you know so this post can hopefully reach far and wide! :)

**Since I'm too dumb to figure out how to embed the google form just click HERE to submit your stuff :) 

Under Contract

We showed our house a total of 7 times over this past weekend. SEVEN. And ending up declining two other showings. Why, you might ask? Oh- because we're already under contract.

Holyyyyy moly! The housing market is crazy right now. I don't know if it's this insane everywhere or just in our area, but things are happening fast. Obviously nothing is official until it's all said and done, but we do have a buyer! They gave us a pretty low offer so when we countered we didn't think they were going to come up that much on their price. After some back and forth overnight on Friday, the buyer woke up Saturday and knew they still wanted to make a deal so they met us exactly where we wanted price-wise.

Now comes all the fun of an inspection and what not, but hopefully that goes well and we continue to keep things moving. We are excited to be one step closer to being in our new home, and it's also kinda' cool to think about a new, young family moving into this home and making it their own. Jared and I have lived here for 6 years and while I'm not sad to say goodbye to it, it was a wonderful first home together.
The night we got the keys!

We bought it just a couple of months before we got married and over the years have made it our own. We have hosted countless parties and game nights here. We've decorated for the holidays and made snow angels in the yard. We made our final student loan payment while we lived here. We've laughed and cried, but mostly laughed in this house :) We've painted rooms and updated appliances. We welcomed our little boy home to this place.

We didn't have a clue what we were doing the first time we bought a house, and looking back now- maybe we should have rented for awhile- hehe. But now? I wouldn't change a thing. I'm getting so excited about all the new fun to be had once we move and cannot wait to have our next place to make memories in. Now, to just keep my sanity until then!!

One Crazy Week

What a crazy week it's been! Our house officially went on the market yesterday morning and within a couple of hours we had our first showing. And two more today. And another one scheduled for Saturday. Holy moly! When they said the market was hot right now around here, they weren't kidding.

They also broke ground at our new home this week so Jared and I have already driven by twice to watch the progress. Right now it's still a lot of dirt being dug up and moved around but I know things are happening fast. We can't wait to stop by and see the framing actually going up! Hopefully starting next week I can blog about the process as we go through it. We are building what I guess you'd call a "semi-custom" home. Meaning, there is a developer/home builder that we are going through and while we get to customize the things we want within the house, it's not like we are starting totally from scratch and designing our own blueprints or anything. In all my blog stalking I haven't found as much about that process as those who fully customize- so I plan on sharing our experience :)

It's going to be in the 60s for the next week or so starting today and I swear I'm about to put on shorts and flip flops I'm that excited! Since we have to get out of the house a lot for the showings I'm thrilled we'll be able to be out and about, hit up some parks for long walks and maybe even do something fun like the zoo if we're really feeling adventurous. I truly hope winter just never shows up... but I worry this crazy weather will come back to haunt us and and it'll be snowing in April. Which is not allowed.

I hope everyone has had a good week- and maybe some of you are getting a long weekend? I never got President's Day off while I was working, but it seems a lot of places do. All the schools around us are off today and Monday- sheesh! What's everyone getting into this weekend? Anyone want to entertain us while people traipse through our house and fall in love with it ;)

A Quick Exchange

I have a pretty cool story to share today. Since the "for sale" sign is officially up in our yard, we've been chatting with quite a few of our neighbors and sharing the news with them about our upcoming plans. We weren't besties with them or anything- but they were always good to us; just friendly and we made the neighborly chit-cat when we saw them outside. Two of them even brought over gifts when T was born which was so unexpected, but incredibly thoughtful.

While we were all friendly with one another, we just didn't know much more other than the basics. So when one of our neighbors stopped by this week as we were out working in the yard and announced "I have to let you know that you probably saved my life!" we were pretty stunned. She'd written out her story on paper in case she couldn't get through it all so let me share her words with you all:

"A few years back we were decorating our front apple tree for Christmas and I remember you two commenting on how great it looked as you got out of your car one day. I believe it was you, Jared, that made a comment to Bill like, "Wow- that's a tree of awesomeness!" Bill told me and I loved that phrase so much!

Well that next year, I didn't do the tree with Bill and quite frankly he did a poor job of it. I teased him and said, 'This is not a tree of awesomeness!' So I said I was going to go decorate it the right way. I worked hard on it and even bought a stick-like thing to help me reach the higher branches. I loved the idea that my neighbors enjoyed the tree so much each year..

Soon after decorating the outside tree I noticed my shoulder hurting. Makes sense, I was using it a lot. I started to rub it and as I was I felt a lump under my arm pit - near my right breast. I don't know if I ever would have found it had I not been working so hard on "the tree of awesomeness" :) 

And sure enough, after a mammogram and ultrasound they told me I did indeed have cancer and it was in at least 2 lymph nodes, grade 3, stage 2. This means it could have spread very fast. I am very lucky and blessed that I found that lump as it easily could have spread to other organs before we caught anything.

So thank you for complimenting us on our tree that year. I truly believe that quick exchange probably saved my life."

WOW- right?! She has now been in remission for over a year! While it was just a small comment of Jared's that led to her getting something checked out, it really makes you stop and think. You just never know what impact you might have on someone's life. I'm thankful for the neighbors we've had for the past six years and I only hope there are other ways we've impacted or blessed or encouraged them along the way that we might not even know about. And I also hope to be more purposeful in interacting with new neighbors, strangers at the grocery, old acquaintances you bump into... everyone! You truly never know the impact a friendly exchange can have.

To My Valentine(s)

I feel pretty darn lucky to have not one but TWO valentine's that have my heart this year. I've been blogging for long time now, so in case there are some newer readers around here I thought I'd share a little bit about each of my guys :) 

Jared is the most fun-loving guy you'll ever meet. He makes me laugh I feel like a lot of people might say that about their significant other but I'm telling you... it's true for us. We can be so silly together and Jared always knows how to make light of any situation. When my Type-A craziness tries to take over, his Type-B personality brings me back down to earth- thank goodness ;) He's such a hard-worker and will do anything for his family. He's so, SO smart and I love that despite lots of our silliness we can also sit down at dinner and talk about politics, sports, books, a recent documentary... anything at all! He's a leader by nature and my absolute best friend and rock. I love that man!

T is the cutest 8.5 month old I've ever seen. Babies change SO FAST, y'all! I know that's not news, but until your own child is changing before your very eyes, it's hard to grasp. He's got 2 teeth with more on the way (oy!) and is babbling new things every week. We are hearing lots of "da-da-da" but I don't know if he's fully connected it with Jared yet or not. He has never been a big snuggler, but at night when we put him to bed I get a few cuddles and 'hugs' from him and they pretty much melt my heart over and over again. I want to soak him in and enjoy every single stage, but I often find myself dreaming of all the things we'll share and experience with him as he grows up. It's so hard not to spoil him and it's hard to know if you're ever doing anything right, but all I can do is love that little guy and pray over him daily.

Happy Valentine's Day from me and my crew to you and yours!

One Glorious Weekend

After being sick all week long with a nasty cold I think I deserved a few wonderful days and I absolutely got them! It had been a long time since a weekend has felt like a true weekend and it was glorious.

Last minute, my mom asked me to go to this one-night women's conference at a local church. Somehow, I was free and (finally!) healthy enough to meet her there on a whim and it was an awesome Friday night. It was night of music and multiple speakers that really challenged and inspired me. I hadn't been able to do something fun with just my mom in awhile so I'm glad it all worked out :) Even though I was out way past my bedtime, it was worth it.

Saturday, Jared and I were SO thrilled to feel like there weren't any major house things that needed done that day. Friday afternoon we had our realtor photos taken and that was one of the last 'big' things before listing our house for sale. We were exhausted from the cleaning, decluttering and staging that went into that- so lounging around Saturday morning was amazing. Of course, we were up at 6am with little T as usual, but I snuck off on a donut and and iced coffee run thanks to some gift cards we'd forgotten about.

And then? On another whim, we decided we were well past-due for a date night so after T went to bed my in-laws came over to hold down the fort. Jared and I were like a couple of kids headed to prom, I swear. We were so excited to just be out of the house with no diaper bag/bottles :) We grabbed dinner at a new Mexican restaurant and window shopped at a few local places just for fun. While we were out, we decided it was essentially our Valentine's Day date so as typical tightwads that we are- we picked out cards for each other. And then showed each other which card we could have given each other. And then put the cards back and didn't buy them. HA!

Sunday was an equally laid back day with church and a trip to the mall. The whole weekend just rocked my face. The weather was warm enough for long walks through the neighborhood and it was incredible not having any plans or obligations. With all the house craziness life has been a blur, so we needed a slower weekend of hanging out and just being a family. It was just what I needed and I'm ready to rock this week ahead. Let's go! :)

Out of Sorts

Well, I've crawled out from under a rock known as illness to show my face around here again today. I knew it was coming on Sunday night. I hadn't felt great all day, but was chalking it up to the fact that we have been going non-stop lately and I was probably just tired. I knew I probably shouldn't have went anywhere for the Super Bowl, but pizza was calling my name and I went out for a little bit anyway. 

By the time Monday morning rolled around I had that 'hit by a bus' feeling. Ugh. Some nasty combination of a cold/sinus infection/occasional chills rocked me for a few days but thankfully I think I am past the bulk of it. There is truly nothing worse than having to take care of a baby while you're sick. Oh, wait- yes, there is. Taking care of a baby who is also grumpy and teething while you're sick. Have I said  UGH yet?!

Okay, I know there really are worse things in life... much worse. But hey, I think I'm entitled to a rant session from time to time ;) I had high expectations for this week and now it just feels like another wasted one. Hoping to get back on track with everything verrrryy soon. I just feel behind on LIFE in general. Anyone else ever get that way? Like you need a reset day (or three) to just get things in order? The only thing I've accomplished this week has been going through tissues at a ridiculous speed.

I think life just feels out of sorts as we prepare to sell our current house and as we deal with all that comes with building a new one at the same time. My brain is constantly thinking about house-related things. Hopefully that will translate into some good post ideas eventually, right?! In the meantime, I'm going to catch up with all of you this week. I need some food, outfit posts and lighthearted updates from y'all right now :) Hope you've been having a healthier week than me!!

Super Bowl Rundown

Another Super Bowl has come and gone. Unbelievable, really. Even though I left my job in the NFL world last year it still feels like it's a part of my life. During the game yesterday I kept thinking about how crazy it would feel to have MY Bengals in that game one day. I still believe, I do! I do! :) 

Since I'm pretty sure most of us are completely exhausted and wishing that today was a national holiday, I just wanted to break things down in an easy manner today. So here's my Super Bowl recap in a nutshell.

Food: Thank you in-laws for a pre-game pizza bar. We knew we couldn't stay out anywhere and watch the game because of our little one, but we stopped by Jared's parents for an early dinner for about an hour. The build-your-own-pizza bar did not disappoint. After we stuffed ourselves silly we headed home, put little T to bed and planted it on the couch for the game.

Overtime: Can you all believe it took this long for a Super Bowl game to go into overtime?! WHAT. A. GAME!!!!!!!!!! As a girl who lives and breathes football I could not have asked for a crazier, better game.

Atlanta Falcons: I was rooting for y'all, I really was. I like Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu (former Bengal!) and it would have been awesome to see a new team win. Also, I couldn't help but feel bad for the owners of the team that went down on the field at the start of the 3rd quarter... only to be so SO disappointed in the game's outcome. I feel your pain, guys.

New England Patriots: What an incredible comeback. I can't even hate on this team. You guys came back and BROUGHT IT the second half. Tom Brady, I think you should retire now. You've got a ring for every finger/thumb on one hand and you and Giselle are worth close to $600 million. What else do ya need?! ;)

Lady Gaga: Enjoyed her halftime show! She sang some of her best songs, was entertaining and I LOVED the drones in the sky- seriously cool. I was honestly glad that there was no real political statements and no "surprise" guests in her show. She just got out there and rocked out and did her thing- I liked it!

Commercials: I think the hyper over Super Bowl commercials might be gone! Maybe it's because half of them are viewed online before the game even starts? I did enjoy the Bai commercial simply because I got to squeal like a 7th grader and sing #baibaibai for a few seconds. And I liked the Super Bowl babies commercial too, since Jared and I were rapid-fire naming off who they were dressed like.

Snapchat: You guys rocked with the filters. And they looked way cuter on my kid than on me ;)

Hope everyone is surviving the post-superbowl Monday at work!! Let's do this!!

Stay Positive

While we definitely have a lot of great things going for us right now, it's been a pretty tough week for me. Emotionally, physically, mentally... ugh, just a lot going on "behind the scenes" I guess you could say. It's difficult sometimes to show up to this space and write about the things I had planned when you're just plain grumpy, for lack of a better word. I don't feel like snapping photos and editing them for the new dinner recipe I hoped you all would pin and it would go viral and make my blog zillions of dollars ;)

And you know what? That's okay. You don't always have to be "on" in blogworld, if you ask me. The blogs I enjoy most are the ones that just write when they want to, about whatever they want to. And when you don't want to write? That's okay too. Just come back to us blog readers when you're ready.

So I'm semi-ready to pull myself together today. Since it's Friday and all, we can at least celebrate that, right?! We've got an incredibly busy weekend ahead of us, but sadly I think that's going to be our lives for the foreseeable future. Moving and selling and building is taking over right now, so just pray we can hold onto our sanity. If there's any left...

But in an effort to stay positive here are some highlights right now:

 - Girls night midweek was the perfect pick me up. Jared's cousin is getting married in a few months and is having an intimate, immediately-family-only wedding. So while I won't be there on the big day, I am happy to be celebrating with her until then ;) We went out for mexican food, got all the details and pictures of her gorgeous dress, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over her ring and just enjoyed girl talk for a couple of hours.

- The Super Bowl!! I am really pumped for this match up on Sunday. I'm rooting for the Falcons because they're the NFC team, Julio Jones rocks and Mohamed Sanu deserves a SB win after playing for the Bengals for the past few years. I got to meet him a handful of times and I love that dude... Happy to see him playing in this game and would love for him to get a W!

- Finding out the date they're breaking ground at our new house. It's going to be sooner than we anticipated which is SUPER exciting. I'm going to be that crazy person driving over every day to see what looks different ;)

-And last but not least, my adorable Mamaw's birthday is this weekend. This beauty is turning 83 and I'm so thankful for her presence in my life. Love her!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Currently: February Edition

Wahoo for a new month. Good riddance, January! It's time for the "Currently" link-up of February with my girl Anne and her lovely co-host Erin. Great name, by the way ;) And can I just say that February is one of those words that the longer you look at it/write it, the weirder it looks. I kept spell checking it every time I typed it because it just didn't seem correct.

Packing: How relevant is this prompt right now?! I'm already packing up my house in preparation for the move, even though it's months away. We've packed up a lot of things we won't need for awhile and also boxed up any extra "clutter" that we know we don't want out once we list and start showing the house.

Jonesing: for some chocolate chip cookies and a snow day. I've been craving a good, melty cookie and they taste so much better if you get snowed in with your family while you enjoy them ;)

Texting: My friend Cassie! She is a mom to 2 with a 3rd on the way and I love having someone I can bounce mom questions off of whenever I want. We live about an hour from each other so it's not realistic to see each other too often, but I'm always thankful for our text conversations. 

Wearing: All the comfy stuff because I'm a SAHM and it's cold out and I'm in a constant state of cleaning/packing. Why would I have anything else on?! Actually, that reminds me. I've got dinner with friends tonight... might want to start searching for something acceptable to put on.
**Update, totally wrote down the wrong prompt here, oops! I was supposed to tell you what I'm reading. Well, it's Jodi Picoult's "Small Great Things" and I plan on finishing it tonight. IT IS SO GOOD!!!

Hearting: The month of February! I weirdly always enjoy this month since it's so short. It's like I think once these little 28 days are over it will instantly be Spring. HA- Not typically the case in Ohio, but a girl can dream right? February is also the month that Jared and I started officially dating...NINE years ago! Holy moly.

Link-up and enjoy the fun today. And of course, Happy February to all! :)