Thursday, December 18, 2014

ONE MONTH until Disney

Yes, you read that correctly. ONE MONTH from today I (& Lucy & our good friend Suzi) will be on our way to Walt Disney World. Yes, this means I am going to Walt Disney World twice in the same calendar year. This trip has been in the works for less than a month and it happening in a month.

It all sort of fell together randomly and by chance. With using 100% of my 2014 vacation on maternity leave (which I would do again in a heartbeat) I have been ITCHING to go on some type of vacation, to get out of town, to chill, to not work, and to relax a bit. Sooooooo Suzi and I were talking about where we could go for cheapish (she is on sabbatical until February and has some time to travel), and some how she mentioned Disney, and my first gut reaction was: that's not cheap.

HOWEVER, we scored killer deals (think less than $175 per person) for direct flights to Orlando, she is a DVC member and has points to use up (read no cost to me for housing), we are opting to not do the meal plan (I haven't not done the meal plan in many trips, so you will see a report on that when I return), and because we are going again in November (I am running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon) it makes sense for me to buy an annual pass this year (not cheap up front but over the two trips it will pay for itself).

So, long story short, Lucy is going to Disney with me. Yes, I have heard the countless warnings that it isn't worth it to take your kid to WDW until they can remember it, and frankly I don't care, she's coming along anyways. So she won't remember it, we'll have fun spending a few days in the warmth and soaking up the vitamin d. I know this trip will take on a different feel than trips in the past, but that is okay too. I am excited none the less.

Feel free to brace yourselves for copious amounts of Disney related posts in the next few months and really this next year, there will be a lot.

Any tips for traveling with a six month old?
Anyone else planning trips?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Recap

What a great weekend. It was a little low key and a bit unstructured. Lots of time with Lucy, Marc, and Dakota, and a little time Friday with some friends. This weekend we attempted some photos with Lucy and Dakota some of them turned out okay, I will be interested to see how they look after a little bit of editing. These ones are just off of my phone and I have some actual ones on my real camera but I need to get them uploaded and edited. 

We also spent quite a bit of time biking and running in the basement after Lucy went to sleep. 

The major success of the weekend is in the basement: WE HAVE DOORS AND HANDLES.
Five of the six doors are hung and two of the six handles are on.
Really Marc does about 95% of the work and I keep Lucy out of the way and happy.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter Bucket List

My winter to do list in no particular order:
  • Finish my 2014 photo book by mid-January
  • Start my 2015 photo book
    • and keep it up to date
  • Keep up to date w/ Lucy's First Year photo book
  • Snow shoe as often as the weather allows
  • Read the Discovery Series by Wanda E. Brunstetter
    • Goodbye to Yesterday
    • The Silence of Winter
    • The Hope of Spring
    • The Pieces of Summer
    • A revelation in Autumn
    • A Vow for Always
  • Go winter hiking
  • Go winter camping
    • if weather permits
  • Finish my mother's blanket
  • become a cupcake master
    • I want to learn to how to frost cupcakes really well and I have a wonderful woman teaching me how to do it
    • I want to make homemade frosting and bake from the cupcakes from scratch
  • Sew a dress for Lucy
    • I have a pillowcase dress pattern that I would like to attempt to sew
    • I also have a "brown paper bag" pattern pinned on pintrest I want to attempt as well
  • Embroider
    • I would like to work on my embroidery skills
      • my current skills are pretty low - I would like to keep improve
  • Crochet Hats
    • lots and lots of hats
    • I have a secret project that will be revealed at some point but it involves lots of hats
    • try 12 new hat patterns
  • Get back in shape - Lucy was rough on my body
    • with an upcoming triathlon and several road races I really need to focus on running and biking
      • swimming comes ridiculously naturally for me - and the swim is short for the triathlon I am doing soooooooooo I will worry about that come spring - plus I haul 30 to 70 pound weights, I mean children, around the pool for swimming lessons for a couple hours every week - trust me this is more of a work out than I give it credit for
    • go to cycling class at least once a week
  • keep up on Lucy's monthly pictures
  • grow my photography skills
    • learn how to use my camera more, learn more of the features, learn about white balance, learn about focus, learn about editing photos
  • Keep up on once a month cooking
    • I LOVE cooking only once a month, I hate it while I am doing it but after its done and during the month I LOVE IT!
What is on your winter to-do list?
How do you feel about to-do lists?
  • I am a list addict and LOVE having goals and the ability to cross things off of a list is ridiculously gratifying
    • I have been known to put something on my list just to be able to cross it off

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Cookie-Palooza

I love this time of year.
I love Christmas.
I love Christmas cookies.
I even love baking Christmas cookies - but not every night and all the time.
I love having a random assortment of Christmas cookies to bring to parties and to have out when people come to visit.
I hate taking multiple nights and multiple days to bake and to clean up 12 times.

One of my friends works at a camp and offered to have us all out to camp (BIG KITCHEN & LOTS of ovens) to have a Christmas cookie baking palooza.

  • to make copious amounts of Christmas cookies
  • to only have to clean up a kitchen once
  • to hang out with friends

We each planned a couple of Christmas cookies and brought the supplies we needed. We purchased as a group: flour, sugar, etc....... and we met up at Camp.

I had premade my dough because it all said that it needed to chill for several hours before using it. I made a pinwheel cookie as well as spritz cookies. My problem for the day was that my dough got "too cold" and was hard to work with so I had to let it warm up a bit before I could bake mine. It was fine because I got to help other folks make their cookies.

It was a marvelous morning. I now have several dozen cookies of a variety of flavors and I am thankful to be done with my holiday baking (although I am a little nervous my husband is going to eat a large portion of the cookies and cut down on the amount that I have to share with others- I suppose worse case when mom comes up in a week and a half I can bake more and she can snuggle Lucy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Lucy at a mere five months really just loves to be held and frankly doesn't overly care who is holding her, I would like to think that she cares when Marc and I hold her, however, I am not even 100% certain that is always true - she just loves to be held and loves to watch people. Last night I got the opportunity to work at the Spaghetti with Santa dinner for my local Lions club. While setting up and the crowds began to stream in and eat dinner I was chatting with Santa (who by the way was an AMAZING Santa - check out that beard, plus he was OUTSTANDING with the kids, they all loved him) and he and I were talking about how he has 79 visits to make during the month of December alone (although if I were looking for a Santa at an event this guy would be on the top of my list) and then he was making faces at Lucy. At one point he exclaimed - "do I get to hold her or do I just have to stare at her cuteness" - so I placed her down in his arms. Lucy while, the pictures don't necessarily capture it, blew spit bubbles at Santa, babbled, and snuggled right in and nearly fell asleep in his arms as she sat there for about twenty minutes. It wasn't until I had to leave to go clear the tables that I thought I should probably snap a picture (oops) and so hence her photos look like she is half asleep - because she is.
I was excited to be able to get a couple pictures with Santa  and not have to pay an arm and a leg in order to get them. While I don't know that I would have intentionally gone to seek out a Santa (at the mall or somewhere) to take Lucy's pictures with, I think I will be thrilled to have some pictures a few years from now. Being unprepared I am thankful she was in a bit of a neutral outfit yesterday as I didn't even think to pack an outfit in order to get her pictures with Santa. It will be fun to have a series of photos each year of her with Santa, hopefully next year she isn't afraid of him.

Have you been doing anything Christmasy lately?
Any plans to visit Santa?
Have you found a rockstar Santa?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Eighteen Months as a MRS

I seriously can hardly believe that we have been married for 18 months and only 18 months.
It has been great.

We have learned more about ourselves and each other since the arrival of Lucy.

The Wonderful Things:
    • adjusting to life as parents has been interesting for sure - there is a ridiculously sharp learning curve (which we knew but the reality is always harder than what people warn you about)
    • Lucy is ridiculously amazing
    • Marc is a phenomenal father
  • We are back to working on our basement now that winter has arrived yet again
    • we intended on getting it done before Lucy was born, however, with her early arrival we got setback

The Things No One Ever Tells You About:
  • Balancing three schedules is even harder than balancing two - while Lucy really doesn't have that much of a schedule yet (or things she has to be at other than doctors appointments and day care) it still is a bit of a challenge to figure it all out
    • this requires more communication than we ever thought
    • it's hard figuring out whose picking up Lucy and dropping her off
  • It is sometimes hard to remember at random places (dentist, eye doctor, places that you don't go often) which name you are listed as
    • I called to check if my contacts were in at the eye doctor and they kept telling me they didn't have me listed or that I didn't have any contacts ordered
        • Mind you I had an appointment two weeks earlier so I KNEW they had me in the system
The Miscellaneous Things:
  • We are in full vacation planning mode
    • Hopefully Arizona in April, Okoboji in August, and Walt Disney World in November (for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon)
  • We bought a treadmill
    • makes life in the winter months WAAAYYYYY easier than trying to find time to get to the YMCA to run
    • I still hate treadmills but I refuse to run on ice
    • triathlons still scare the crap out of me but I am jazzed to be running one this summer
  • I STILL haven't gotten my name changed at the library
    • WHY OH WHY is the library the worst of all places to get my name changed, it seriously isn't that complicated - but apparently it is
    • Hopefully the ridiculousness will pass and they will just change my name

Friday, December 5, 2014

Five Months

Five Months Old.
I can't hardly believe it and almost find it hard to remember what life was life was like before we had Lucy. If memory serves me correctly: there was more sleep, less laundry, and a little less chaos (emphasis on the word little). However, we also lacked: the ability to stare at ten pounds of love for hours on end, sweet baby snuggles, the wonderful aroma of baby, the baby coos, the smile that melts our heart, the desire to capture every second on camera to not miss a thing, and our lives were not as rich as they are now.

This past month Lucy:
  • became a rock star at holding her own head
  • really is engaging whoever is around her, and really wants to be able to talk to everyone
    • however, she hasn't quite yet mastered how to make noise
    • I am predicting a never ending talker when she figures it out
    • when she does figure out how to babble she really goes to town with it and babbles for long stretches of time and we have several videos of her babbling for us
  • wakes up a two or three times a night to eat
  • LOVES watching fans
  • LOVES blowing spit bubbles and thinks that it is THE FUNNIEST thing on earth
  • can sit in the bumbo for quite some time without becoming overly frustrated
  • is sleeping less during the day
    • she still takes two or three naps a day but her wakeful periods are much more awake, interactive, and attentive
  • LOVES Dakota
  • hates riding in her car seat - I am pretty certain she things this is her version of hell on earth
    • Lucy has the ability to scream what feels like endlessly while forced to ride in her car seat for any amount of time
  • loves taking a bath and will play in the tub until the water starts to get cold
    • she screams and cries big crocodile tears when we take her out of the tub
    • here is hoping she likes swimming since she loves the tub so much
  • continues to wear clothes ranging from newborn to three months and I think she has a couple pairs of pants that are 6 months, however, I think that particular brand runs a little small
    • I would be soon she will jump to also including her six month clothes in her rotation and some of the newborn stuff will get tucked away
  • continues to only drink milk for nutrition - we haven't introduced her to any solid/semi-solid food yet
    • I don't think she is ready for real food yet and is still completely satisfied with milk
  • First night at home with Dad without mom
  • First time at the Middle School Gathering with mom
    • swimming with some of her favorite people: Linnea, Vicki, Stacy, & Bachman
  • traveled to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving
    • met a TON of people including several of her second cousins
    • snuggled grandma, grandpa, uncle as well as great-grandma & great-grandpa and many great-aunts & uncles