Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Little Thanksgiving Break

I've been taking a few breaks lately; some planned and some not-so-planned. This next one is planned for the Thanksgiving Holiday! I'm off until next week. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! You'll hear back from me soon.

Oh - and in case you need a last minute dessert idea for Thanksgiving, these are a couple of my favorite crowd-pleasers:


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Little Bit of Life

Please don't tell me that I'm the only one who takes a bunch of pictures with their phone and the pictures just sit there, and sit there, and sit there?!

I am trying to not let those pictures just sit there as much these days. I want to share them, here specifically, because this is a place where I will definitely go back and see them for years to come.

So, here's a little bit of life lately, from my iPhone photo collection.

Friday Faces!

10 months old!

Papa makes Piper giggle.

Piper loves to listen to "dada" play guitar after work.

Visiting the alpaca farm!

Waving "hi" while riding around her little toy.

Everyone wants to see what dada's cookin'.

Running around at nana and papas.

"SO big!"

Target shopping on a Saturday.

A new book from nana and papa.

PJ party!

I'll leave you with this quote: "Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize those were the big things." - K.V.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Summer in November has Ended

Last week (Nov. 19th), my husband and I celebrated 12 years of being together. 12 years ago, our love story began. Nick and I couldn't be more thankful that God decided to add a new chapter to our love story this year; our sweet Piper Grace.

This year has been the most amazing year, yet. We are so incredibly blessed!

This weekend, our little "summer in November" officially ended. I was surprised Sunday morning when I woke up and saw a whole lot of white outside our windows!

There's just something about waking up early to a quiet house with snow covering everything outside. I think I'll go out on a limb and say that I kind of like winter. Actually, now that I don't have to travel in the snow (being a work-at-home/stay-at-home mom and all) I'll retract my statement and say that I downright love winter!

The snow inspired me to start writing out our Christmas cards and also got me in the mood to bake (about 10 dozen) cookies. After baking all day, my husband and I made a lasagna together for dinner. Let's just say, Sunday was a great, treat-filled day!

After eating too many cookies and some very not-good-for-you-at-all lasagna for dinner, I was surprised this morning to see that I am down two pounds from my highest weight of the month (248 lbs down to 246 lbs.) I took last week off from Jazzercise classes since I was on antibiotics but, I'll be starting back up tonight or tomorrow! Hopefully with the added exercise and watching what I eat, I can maintain this two pound loss throughout Thanksgiving weekend!

Readers, how was your weekend? Did you get any snow?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Piper's Summer in November

The weather this past week has been a-maz-ing! Getting outside with my baby girl in mid-November has been such a blessing. Piper and I have spent a part of almost every day this week, outside; going for walks or playing at the park. We have been calling this our summer in November, 'round here.


You can see more of our adventures by using the hashtag: #piperssummerinnovember on Instagram.

I almost forgot to mention that we celebrated my grandma's 80th birthday with a surprise party this past weekend! At one point, all of Piper's aunts and uncles were on the floor, in a circle around her, and Piper was having such a blast with them! She also had fun riding on Grandma Pat's knee like I use to when I was a baby.

Also - I finally joined the cool kids crowd and got an iPhone 6. Actually, I couldn't care less about what kind of phone I have, I was still toting around the 4, after all. I just want a cell phone that works, and this one works very well! 

As I'm writing this, it's nearing the end of Piper's nap so I will let the rest of the pictures do most of the talking. Here are almost all of pictures from my new phone, so far:

Piper and Uncle Evan

Made a big batch of freezer breakfast burritos.

Been binging on "Jane the Virgin" - I love that show!

Piper's been eating a lot of green beans and pasta this week.

I can't get over that lip.

The Piper Crawl consists of using one foot and a knee to get around.

Walking circles (or rectangles) in her playpen.

Been sneaking her out of the crib for night time snuggles when "dada" has night class.

This has been a great week! I am feeling 100% back to normal after fighting an infection (read: here) and I'm excited for this weekend with my family!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Trip to the ER

This week is kind of a bummer week when it comes to working out - I needed to take a little time off. I'm not too happy about it, either.

Trust me - I didn't want to take time off. I finally LOVE working out now that I joined Jazzercise. It's my "me time" and it's so much FUN! However, I needed to give my body a break.

Last Friday night, I went on a date night with my husband. I felt normal at the time. We went out to a local sports bar where I had a harvest beer (oh my - it was so good!) and we shared some wings. We watched hockey, we talked, we laughed - it was a really good time! 

After our date night, sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up and could tell my body was fighting something tough. I had the chills, a fever (of 103 at one point) and my muscles were aching. Despite those flu-like symptoms, it didn't feel like the flu but, something was definitely wrong. 

When I woke up for the day on Saturday, I could barely walk I was so sick, so my husband took me in to the ER while my mother-in-law watched Piper (and helped clean our house - bless her heart). 

After a few hours and tests at the ER, I left with antibiotics for a bacterial infection. It's a good thing we caught it when we did. I haven't had a fever since Saturday morning and I actually started feeling right back to myself on Sunday. Crazy how fast an infection can take you down, and how quickly modern medicine and some rest can bring you back up. I'm thankful!

Even though I am feeling better, I decided to take this week off from working out. I don't want to wear out my body when it's working on fighting an infection, or, at least that's what I need to continue telling myself. I keep hearing some of the songs I dance to at Jazzercise on the radio and I just want to go dance! I must be crazy - I love my workouts! I can't wait to get back in there!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Holiday Season Denial

Ho Ho Ho - the holiday season is upon us. Wait - say what?!

Ho Ho Ho - $14.50 on Etsy

I am kind of in denial about this holiday season. It doesn't seem like it's November, let alone the fact that Christmas is about 5 weeks away. Eek!

Despite my holiday-season denial, this past weekend, I made some holiday banners for our Etsy shop, "Anything Rustic", and I updated our stock at The Light in the Woods, too.

Be Merry - $14.50 on Etsy

Making the holiday themed banners (while listening to Christmas music) really got me feeling the good ole' Christmas spirit. I think I'm ready to go out (or stay in - online) and buy the first Christmas gifts of the season. Maybe. I'm almost ready. I'm getting there. It'll happen; it has to happen!

Let it Snow - $16 on Etsy

Readers, are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet? 
When do you usually start Christmas shopping?
Have you started Christmas shopping, yet?

If you're interested - check out our Etsy shop, here: Anything Rustic.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Piper Grace: Nine Months

I'm a little late on this update (Piper is now 9 1/2 months old) but - better late than never!

These nine months have been the best of my life. These nine months have gone too fast! I long for the days when my baby would fall asleep in my arms; this has only happened on three occasions since she was about 4 or 5 months old. I remember each instance of this because there is nothing I love more than having her sleep in my arms.

Our Piper Grace is independent, smart, funny, strong, determined and... did I mention independent? If she could crawl or walk, I think we'd never get the chance to hold her again. That would be part of the reason why I haven't encouraged her too much. Don't worry though, she's so determined, she'll figure it all out soon enough. Then she'll be off and we'll be running!

This past month, Piper has grown so much. Her hair is thick, soft and beautiful. She has two bottom teeth and she has four top teeth coming in, one of which has broken through the gums. Piper pulls up with ease and loves to climb all over us. She is so proud when she stands and walks (with our help or while holding onto the couch).

Piper is afraid of people that approach her with sunglasses on or those who have a lot of facial hair. At this rate, meeting Santa this Christmas may be terrifying for her. We'll see how long this fear of beards will last. I was also curious to see how she reacts to people dressed up for Halloween but as it turns out, she did just fine with that!

Piper loves her puppies! Every morning when we walk down the stairs, she leans out to look all around for Max and Topher. Once she finds them, she smiles and giggles. It's the cutest thing! We have pictures of Max and Topher hanging in her room, which also make her really happy. When we walk past the pictures, she reaches her hand out and smiles. This has started the routine of us stopping so she can touch the photos every time we pass them. We point at the pictures together and I say "puppies!" and she giggles.

Around the time Piper turned 9 months old, we moved her crib from beside our bed to against the wall across the room. For a little over a month, Piper was sleeping in the crib with the front detached and the mattress pushed flush against our mattress. This was a wonderful, wonderful time for us all! It was like she was sleeping in bed with us, but within the safety of her own crib. I loved to watch her sleep next to me! With her being an arms reach away, it made reassuring her much easier throughout the night, too.

The first week we all had trouble getting use to the new sleeping arrangements. There were nights when Piper would wake up every couple hours to every 20 minutes. That was a rough night! Mostly, I think the waking up has to do with some hard teething. My husband and I were talking about moving her crib back next to our bed until she is finished teething with these (terrible) top teeth, but we've almost made it through!

Piper says momma and dada and has been saying those two words for some time, now. Piper loves to whisper "dada", almost under her breath. Nick and I think it's the funniest thing! She'll whisper "da da da" when he goes in to get her out of the crib; when she sees him pull up the driveway in his work van, and; when we talk to him on speaker phone while he's away at work. She knows who her "dada" is, that's for sure! The reason why she loves to whisper "dada" is unknown to us (but totally cracks us up)!

Piper also says "mo" when she wants more food. I'd like to consider that her third word.

Speaking of food, Piper LOVES it; all of it! Okay, not quite all of it. She doesn't like fruits too much, which is surprising to me. She tolerates bananas and we're getting her warmed up to applesauce. Piper is just a meat and potatoes kind of girl (except she hasn't tried meat yet -- maybe soon).

Some of her favorite foods of the moment are sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, pasta, scones, mashed potatoes, avocado, black beans and carrots. Her favorite meal of the moment is frozen "smashed" peas with homemade pasta.

Here are some more pictures of Piper's ninth month with us:

Piper - I love you so much! You make me laugh every single day. You are so funny! Your laugh is my favorite. When I see and hear you laugh, my heart lights up with joy! You are my biggest blessing; my greatest joy.

I love you, Piper Grace.