words to describe my life

Catching you up on things since December of 2012 would not only take too long but it would also make you feel awful about yourself. Unless of course you’re also living with two kids under 4 in your in-laws home with a full-time job and a full-time desire to crawl in your bed and sleep for days and/or binge watch reality tv. If that’s also your life, then virtual high five to you, my friend. In the words of the illustrious pre-Kimye Kanye West, “welcome to the good life.”

If you aren’t, well, then I’m sorry. You can’t begin to imagine what you’re missing out on.

I’m currently obsessed with Jason Good. You probably read his post listing the reasons his 3-year old might be freaking out. It’s hilarious, and if you haven’t read it, go read it, but preferably after you finish my post so you still think I’m quasi-funny. If you go read any of his posts, and then come back here, it’ll be a major bummer as you realize I don’t hold a candle to his level of hilarity.

In the spirit of his new book, This Is Ridiculous, This Is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists, I decided I’d update you on my happenings with a list of things that describe my life since my last blog post.

Side note: nobody knows me on the interwebs and I won’t make a dime if you click on any of those links. I just really like funny people.

Words that describe me right now:

  1. over-scheduled
  2. chaotic
  3. “me,” “mine,” “no”
  4. indecisive
  5. unorganized
  6. good at pinning articles about organzing on Pinterest
  7. no free space
  8. no free time
  9. procrastination (per usual…)
  10. bear hugs
  11. potty words
  12. Elsa
  13. movies in the car…and not just on long trips (after saying I wouldn’t let my kids watch movies in the car unless it was on a long trip)
  14. eating my own words
  15. re-writing song lyrics for my co-workers
  16. is this list just supposed to have single words?
  17. distracted
  18. putting books on my Amazon wish list
  19. starting books and not finishing them
  20. obsessing over Elizabeth Gilbert
  21. HIIT workouts
  22. lists
  23. loss
  24. self-discovery
  25. toddler’s picking out their own clothes
  26. being told I have RBF (resting bitch face)
  27. six word memoirs (go check this out! such a cool site)
  28. MY six word memoir: Frozen knows best: let it go.
  29. working on letting it go
  30. working on figuring out why my car smells every other week
  31. forgetting to pack SOMETHING for daycare
  32. wine
  33. missing writing

 What words describe your life right now? 

our holiday newsletter

So with the holidays upon us, we’re starting to have all those holiday newsletters rolling in. People’s “best of’s” and highlight reels that shows the pretty and polished side to their otherwise messy and chaotic life.  I devour every word of every newsletter we receive, even when they are extended relatives of my husband’s that I’ve never met. I want to hear about every luxury box seat they bought and Caribbean vacation they took. I finish them and tell J all about where our next vacation should be until he reminds me that we’ve had three major appliances break that needed to be 100% replaced in the last 6 months and our definition of “exotic” will be to go to a sushi restaurant where they don’t have BOGO rolls. Living L-A-R-G-E.

If I had to give you my family’s polished and pretty yearly update, it would simply say the following:

Our biggest news is we added to our family! Ashlyn Lora was born on July 4th. Rebecca’s adjusting to being a mom of 2 beautifully. Jason hit the big 3-0 this year and we celebrated with lots of his closest friends. Carter turned 2 and was so pleased to receive lots of trains. He is really into Thomas the Tank Engine and the Cars movie. We vacationed in TWO different parts of North Carolina and visited our family in Georgia and Virginia several times. Rebecca is still coaching swimming and Jason is enjoying his work-at-home job in the clinical research industry. We’re healthy and happy and excited for what 2013 has in store for us!

In reality, our year went something like this…

Rebecca spent the first half of 2012 pregnant. She really hates being pregnant. During this pregnancy, she ran a half marathon, did a lot of eating and DD-ing, and gained a crapload of weight (again). She also introduced her not quite 2-year old to tv, something she feels not the slightest bit guilty about. Jason turned 30 and celebrated by acting like he was turning 21. His friends also didn’t get the memo that he’s been buying his own liquor for 9 years and NOT taking shots of Goldshlagger for at least 5 years as they fully stocked our bar with “birthday presents.” We spent a long weekend with our best friends and J’s parents in Oak Island, North Carolina where we all contracted a stomach virus and Carter puked in the car for the first time in his short life.

Our biggest news is we added to our family! Ashlyn Lora was born on July 4th, of course, since Rebecca said upon receiving a July 7th due date that the only day she DIDN’T want the baby coming was on Independence Day. She looks forward to explaining to Carter why he doesn’t get fireworks for his birthday every year. Rebecca had a successful, all-natural VBAC thanks in large part to the f-word and waiting till it was almost too late to get to the hospital. Rebecca thinks being a mom of 2 that are 22 months apart is about as easy as her drug-free labor was.

first family pic as 4

Carter talks a mile a minute and has a new catch phrase every couple of weeks. Mom’s favorite is “no” and Dad prefers “stop it,” but hearing him say, “I love you” is one of the coolest things J and I have both ever experienced. He is 100mph from the moment he wakes up till he falls asleep and sometimes asks for time-outs himself, likely because he’s used to spending so much time there. Disciplining him has gone over as well as a fart in church, and I mainly used that metaphor because he giggles when he farts and Jason really likes fart jokes. We’re all maturing quite nicely over here.

carter as thomas

Ashlyn hates sleeping, growing hair and anything that involves leaving Mom’s arms. She likes to watch her brother be his normal crazy self and spends a lot of time laughing and smiling at him. I’m trying to enjoy these moments now because I’m certain they won’t always be so loving to each other.

We vacationed with Becca’s family to the Outer Banks this summer and will never again attempt a beach trip 6 weeks after having a baby. Otherwise, it was awesome. Carter and Levi, at only 3 weeks apart, get along beautifully and we spend lots of time talking about the trouble they will be getting into together one day.

levi, carter and town

The fall holidays came and went, along with Rebecca’s sanity, and here we are again in December…where we begin the season of sending our relatives their birthday presents late.

We have so much to look forward to in 2013!

Jason is hoping to not have to replace another expensive household appliance while Rebecca is hoping to stop drowning in her sea of messy hair and dirty laundry and maybe get around to seriously training for the really long triathlon she stupidly signed up for. We both hope to continue being gainfully employed at our current jobs…J to pay the bills and Becca to keep being able to shop the sale page on 30% off your total purchase days at Gap.com.

Ashlyn will be on the move soon and one day in 2013 we hope to only have 1 kid in diapers. Our only other hope for Carter is that he doesn’t break any bones or say any curse words in front of the wrong crowd.

And that they both stay healthy and so stinkin’ adorable!

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From our (crazy and chaotic) family to yours…happy holidays!

oct2012

why i blog

It’s been yet another long gap of time since I’ve posted anything on the blog, mainly because I’ve been adjusting to life as a mother of one crazy two year old and a newborn baby. I have a tendency to get hella distracted when I have to do anything on the computer. I may need to hop on to check on a check depositing and all of a sudden I know my husband’s friend is pregnant, my GAP shopping cart has over $300 in it, I’ve pinned all sorts of “projects” for my toddler and 2 hours have gone by.

Meanwhile we have no clean sleepers for the baby and our kitchen floor looks like our dog gave herself a haircut on it. Speaking of hair, lord only knows what’s going on up there on any given day. It’s a hot mess. Hot. Mess.

I asked myself, again, if I wanted to return to blogging. I definately do NOT have the time for it right now, but I also don’t know how long the shred of sanity I’m still clinging to will remain should I have to keep all this motherhood-related snarkiness and general ridiculousness that takes place on a daily basis when it’s just the kids and I inside.

I blog for these reasons:

  • It’s cheaper than therapy – seriously though, when you blog true things, sometimes it’s scary, but you will inevitably find someone else on the internets who has not only gone through what you’ve been through, but probably worse. So that helps. Plus I know my husband already thinks I talk too much as it is. Blogging helps me get some words out without him wanting to go all Picasso on his ears.
  • My kids are ridiculous, and those of you with ridiculous kids need to know there are others out there dealing with the same completely ridiculous things you are. Yes, even my 2-month old is ridiculous. I swear she says more with those sassy eyes of hers than I care to even hear spoken out loud. I already think we’re going to have our hands full with this one.
  • It allows me to play on the internets while I convince myself I’m compiling content for future posts.
  • It’s something to do that isn’t cleaning, laundry-ing, pinning DIY projects I’ll never complete AND, most importantly, doesn’t involve diapers or anything that may or may not be contained in them.

If I could get paid to blog, that’d be fantastic, but I really don’t have the attention span or the time to do what it takes to make my blog anything more than something my family, close friends and the people who want to keep tabs on how amazingly glamorous my life is take a peek at from time to time when they are putting off doing something more important on the internet…like their job.

And I’m ok with that.

I like to rant and vent. I like to tell you my opinion on things related to parenting and being a mom. I like to tell you stories about my life that are probably TMI. Sorry in advance.

I like all those things…like genuinely like to do them almost as much as I like to drink wine and sleep (two activities I haven’t gotten to do nearly enough as of late…). So I blog.

I blog because I think my amazing VBAC birth story could inspire someone to consider going for a natural birth one day. I blog because who else am I going to talk to about teaching my son to say “mama, you beautiful” and it being the most awesome thing I’ve ever heard? On the same note, he says “dammit” with more frequency than I care to admit.

I blog because on some days at home I’ve actually been a productive parent and come up with fun and creative things for Carter to do, so why not share them? I also find some really funny blogs and websites to read from time to time and like to share those, too. I blog because it’s sometimes easier than posting pictures on Facebook.

And speaking of Facebook, I blog because I know no one really wants to read a status update that goes something like this:

“I wasted the first 8 minutes of Ashlyn’s 12 minute nap shopping for things online that I won’t end up buying and the second I walked my ass in the kitchen to clean, she woke up. It’s like she said without saying, “you don’t REALLY want to wash those dishes or vacuum that floor without a 12 pound baby strapped to your body, do you, crazy?!” Meanwhile, I suck at building train tracks for my son and if I hear the theme song for Thomas the Train one more time I might throw myself out of my living room window. I’m passive aggressively mad at my husband for getting to go spend 2 days with his friends doing something cool like Tough Mudder without a diapered butt anywhere in sight. It’s not cool, and I won’t act on it, but the fact that I’m thinking about the bitterness makes me feel guilty. I really need coffee. I HATE this presidential election crap.”

You know what happens to people who post shit like that on Facebook? I make fun of them to Jason. But I bet if you’re still reading this post, you read that paragraph and, at the very least, totally agreed with me about how annoying the Thomas the Train song AND the presidential election both are.

So that’s why I blog. What do you do that helps maintain your sanity?

 

 

 

 

that time my son peed in a restaurant

To set the tone of this story, I need to let you know how much I hate taking Carter to restaurants these days. As much as I love going out to eat, taking him with me is just not worth the delicious food. Especially since I’m pregnant and can’t even indulge in a glass of wine (or a shot of Jack…which sounds much more appealing these days…).

It’s not that I don’t love taking him places. I just need those places to be the types of locations that don’t frown upon running, yelling, screaming, throwing and/or climbing. I love taking him to playgrounds and parks – generally any large outdoor place. He’s as boy as they come and even story time at the library is considered a success if he only beelines away from me a handful of times.

I consider myself lucky every day I get through that he doesn’t run into the street or jeopardize his life in one way or another.

So after a bright and early 6am wake-up and an hour of play outside in ridiculous Virginia humidity, we made our way to my favorite breakfast spot in my hometown. As much as I bitched about what a bad idea this whole taking C out to eat thing was,  I was admittedly pretty stoked to get my fill of blueberry pancakes.

Anything blueberry has really hit the spot with me this pregnancy, and did during my pregnancy with C, too.

In an attempt to look moderately stylish, I’ve put my huge, black leather diaper bag away for the summer and have opted for a more casual, brightly colored crossbody style bag that I paid a whopping $25 for at Target. The only problem with this bag is it doesn’t have the million and one pockets of my diaper bag and therefore can’t store all of my out of the house must haves for emergency situations.

Emergency situations like having to take Carter out to eat.

I managed to find one book and one toy car shoved to the bottom of my bag. They entertained him for about 2 seconds before he was reaching for any and everything he could get his grubby little paws on.

As luck would have it, we had horrible service and everything was taking a super long time. I had distracted C with creamers, jelly packets (which his buddy Noah had somehow figured out how to bust open…), pieces of biscuit, some milk and some oddly sounding nursery rhymes when I looked down and panicked.

“Omg who’s water did he spill everywhere?!” I asked frantically, as “water” seemed to gush down his highchair.

My mom, who was on the other side of him, looked at me, and then at her full glass of water, and then at MY full glass of water, and then back at me before it hit me.

That wasn’t water gushing down his highchair.

Carter was peeing down the highchair. At a restaurant where people eat food.

In public.

As is the norm for me in awkward and uncomfortable situations, I burst out laughing.

I waited for him to finish, as I certainly wasn’t going to parade him through the restaurant to the car while he was in the middle of making more of a mess, on both of us, calling attention to the increasingly wetter kid and mom bouncing out and leaving people wondering what kind of mother laughs at her son peeing in a restaurant. (Answer: this kind of mom).

We walked out, changed both his diaper and his shorts and returned back to breakfast at which, upon getting back to the table, I hear my mom telling the waiter how clumsy she is and how the spilled water just went everywhere.

Water everywhere, ma?

The rest of the breakfast was only the moderate clusterfuck I’ve come to expect from these kinds of outings and the pancakes were delicious.

Worth the trip? The laugh certainly was.

Has this ever happened to you? What kind of embarrassing things have your kids accidentally done in public?

 

welcome back!

So another writing hiatus has come and gone and while you probably haven’t known what to do with yourself without the snarky commentary on my life and adorable pictures of my son, I trust that you have all managed to get by somehow.

Thank you, my dear readers, for your patience!

As you can see, things are looking pretty different around here! I’ve been working pretty hard on a blog re-design and have been working on an editorial calendar of sorts to keep my posts more consistent and to get all this garbage out of my head in a more timely manner.

Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, I never get tired of my mom telling me how funny I am and how great I write, and, as I approach 8 months of pregnancy, I’ll take every single compliment I can get!

Since I’ve been gone, we’ve all been bombarded by the mommy wars thanks to that pesky TIME article, and as I refrained from writing about it and chose, much to my husband’s dismay, to simply rant to him, I will share one of my favorite responses to the article.

My belly AND my toddler have gone on a major growth spurt and I’ve almost managed to complete one entire project on my sewing machine while my kid’s rooms lay in a perpetual state of half-way done and my “things to buy” list grows and grows and grows along with the scowl on Jason’s face.

All jokes aside, he’s been such a rock star transforming Carter’s nursery into a new space for our daughter! Painting, framing, shelf-building…all done. The pretty, decorative things that I’m responsible for? Not done.

Carter continues to grow like a weed, similar to my weight, and has now become quite independent with a touch of sass. I wonder who he gets that from…

Here’s a pic of us from our second mother’s day together. He doesn’t really like sitting still, so our pictures like this don’t always turn out the best, but you can see how he’s certainly not a baby anymore. 21 months have gone by entirely too fast.

carter and i

And as he calls for me over the baby monitor after blessing me with a sleep-in till 8:45am (gasp!!!!), I’ll leave you with a promise to not be such a stranger.

Drop a comment and let me know how you’ve been!

life lately, according to my phone

On Friday, I talked about my love for The Rockstar Diaries blog. My love affair is continuing, my friends.

One of the reoccurring posts I’ve been really enjoying are her “life lately, according to my iphone pictures” ones.

I was inspired to browse through my phone (and Jason’s!) and compile a similar summary. Here’s our life lately, according to one Galaxy and one iPhone (and a little playing in Instagram on the iPad!):

We love stripes, bath time, playing outside and each other.

MY rundown of a perpetually exhausted procrastinator’s days

An assignment in my blogging internship for the Moms Talk Network involved making a list of 50 blogs with similar themes to mine.

Fifty is a lot, and as someone who is constantly overwhelmed by my Google Reader and could consistently, nap after nap, night after night, get lost in catching up with any one of the blogs I follow, was obviously a little intimidated by this project.

For starters, what is my blog’s theme?

I like making people laugh. I like talking about parenting and motherhood and my crazy child. I enjoy dishing about pregnancy and being real about my opinions.

I love having a place to share pictures and tidbits of my life with family and friends that aren’t subjected to my daily text message onslaught while they are working or trying to take care of two toddler boys.

I enjoy introducing my readers to other women that write more beautifully or more humorously or more poignantly than I could ever hope to.

I’m still really defining who I am in the blogging world and working, hard I might add, at building a network of women (and a few men!) in which to reference as I attempt to make a space for myself here.

Till then, I am adding daily to my list of 50 blogs that I try to read and interact with on a weekly basis. The beauty of this project is that I get to spend time reading, tweeting, commenting and otherwise playing on the internet.

This must be the biggest distraction of all bloggers – at least all bloggers that I can relate to.

You work on the internet. The internet is your playground. You work on your playground. Every day.

Yikes.

Last night I stumbled upon Jill of BabyRabies. I fell in love with her immediately, specifically when I stumbled upon this post. I geek out when I read posts that I feel like I could insert my life into perfectly – or when they capture my thoughts or sentiments on an issue to perfection.

The Rundown of A Perpetually Exhausted Procrastinator’s Days.

It was worthy of another mention, with the full title, just in case you weren’t intrigued by the random “this post” link.

I read through Jill’s day and was both laughing and shaking my head in agreement. Yes, yes and yes.

So I wanted to throw in my two cents. Give you a peek into this perpetually exhausted procrastinator’s day.

5:07am – Like clockwork, bladder, like clockwork. <gets up and pees with eyes shut so that I can hopefully immediately fall back asleep and pretend this didn’t happen>

6:33am – Why can’t my 30-year old husband set and respond to his own alarm clock?! J – wake up.

6:43am – J – wake up.

6:53am – J…….it’s almost 7. Wake up. Please god let Carter sleep till 7:30. That’s all. 7:30.

7:03am – <overheard on monitor> “Mama?” Greeeeat. Jason, WAKE UP.

8-ish am – I really shouldn’t make coffee. The stupid Skinny Bitch authors say it’s the devil. The caffeine really is horrible for my baking baby girl. I’ll go with tea. Yep, tea. And carbs. Lots of carbs.

30 minutes later – OKKKKKKKK, one cup of coffee.

For the next 2 hours I’m chasing C around the house, fervently cleaning my kitchen, destroying laundry, disinfecting everything in site, reading 8 million books, playing airplane, making dinosaur noises and pretty much being the world’s most awesome multi-tasker in the history of ever.

10:30am – Carter’s down, I’m wide awake (kind of…) and I can conquer the world. That to-do list is mine. But first, let me check out a blog lesson for my internship and plan a post for tomorrow.

1:30pm – Oh crap…Carter’s awake, 3 hours went by, I’ve blogged, tweeted, read and peed through an entire 3 hour nap. But I didn’t finish a lesson for my internship in its entirety. And I only really got one real post written, accompanied by a lot of pinning and a lot of online shopping.

2:00pm – What can we do that will get us outside? Is it nice enough to go outside? I wish Carter was old enough to watch a movie so I could kinda nap. I’m exhausted. Okkkk…let’s get in the stroller and go run/walk to the park. I’ll workout, get more exhausted, struggle through coaching and go to bed early tonight. I swear to god I’ll go to bed early tonight.

5:00pm – Ah, chlorine and a hot pool deck…heaven…

sometime between 8 and 9pm – I’m so effing tired. Lemme shovel dinner and dessert (oohh, just a little more dessert) into my mouth and then I’m going to bed. (DVR begins magically, telepathically speaking to me…) It’s Mon/Tues/Wed/Thur/Friday! <insert any smutty tv show on any given night> is on! I’ll just sit on the couch and watch just one show, catch up on some email, read a few blogs and then go to bed in an hour.

11:00pm – Dammit, it’s getting late.

11:30pm – At least I know, thank god, who Bachelor Ben picked and what happened to those Pretty Little Liars this week. I swear I’ll go to bed as soon as I get home from work tomorrow night…

Rinse and repeat, my friends, rinse and repeat.

one of those moments

I’ve been at this mom gig for 18 months now. Certainly not very long, and certainly not long enough to not still get hit with these overwhelmingly powerful moments of realization of where my life is right now.

I am a mother.

What I used to be was an athlete, a swimmer, to be more specific. During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, I made a scrapbook that included daily newspaper articles and pictures of my favorite swimmers and how they did. I was 12. At that time, the Olympics were something that still seemed like a possibility.

I got older and distracted and never fully realized my athletic potential. I look back and wish I had dedicated a year or two to pursuing this sport that I had spent so much of my time participating and competing in without letting the distractions of college get to me, but you can’t change the past. I used to watch commercials for the Olympics and feel a pang of longing…maybe that couldn’t have been me winning a gold medal, but it sure felt good just beating a heat of fast girls at a conference championship, and I missed it.

I would really miss swimming and my identification as an athlete. As a swimmer.

NBC has started to air commercials for the 2012 Summer Olympics coming up this summer in London. During those commercials, Michael Phelps is featured quite heavily, but rather than the clips of him competing, it is the quick shot of his mother’s reaction to one of his record-setting, by-a-fingernail gold medals that stopped me in my tracks this time around.

phelps and mom

For the first time, I watched something related to swimming and, rather than thinking, “I can’t even fathom how good it would feel to personally be in his shoes, winning a gold medal for my country,” I instead thought, immediately, “I can’t even fathom how good it would feel to watch my son accomplish such a spectacular feat.”

I’ve noticed ways that being a mother has made me less selfish, but it’s moments like this that make me sit back and truly appreciate everything my son has done for me.

I may still “compete” with myself and complete half-marathons and, hopefully in the near future, some triathlons, too…but I trust my personal accomplishments will never compare to the feeling I’ll get when my kids start accomplishing great things.

Even if they aren’t gold medals and world records, if any accomplishment feels half as good as watching those first steps felt, then I have a lot of amazing moments to look forward to.

Image source

some random things

Last week I was tagged by a blogging friend, Monica, in a little game called 11 Random Things.

I had read a similar post over on my friend Dina’s blog, Honey & Fitz, and had a really good time learning a little more about her. Same happened with Monica’s post, and I’m glad I was tagged so I could share some tidbits about myself with all of you!

Feels so self-indulgent, but I guess most of my blog is, so here it goes!

The Rules:

  1. Post these rules.
  2. Post 11 random things about yourself.
  3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.

11 Random Things:

1.  I check books out at the library. I take Carter to a weekly story time and we frequently check out a variety of books for both of us (and sometimes J, too!) to take home and read.

2. I’m currently reading about organic pregnancies and greener living. I’m trying to take steps to making my family’s life a little more natural.

3. I try to keep up with way too many tv shows – smutty reality, comedies, dramas, you name it. Same with blogs. My DVR and Google Reader are constantly in need of a good, long catch-up. My husband mocks me for both of these things.

4. I changed my major in college 6 or 7 times. My original major was journalism, and I wish I had stuck to it as writing is something I’ve always loved.

5. I workout hard to maintain both my body and my lifestyle – a lifestyle that, when not pregnant, involves alcohol and a lot of good tasting food. Just saying that makes me miss long runs in Harrisonburg followed by grilling out and making drinks in the springtime with 2 of my favorite ladies.

6. Speaking of, I don’t think anywhere beats the beauty of JMU in the springtime.

7. I have a constant, ridiculous fear of something super tragic happening to people I love.

8. I get distracted easily.

9. I twist my hair constantly and I think it’s one of the most annoying things about me.

10. I most want to travel to the Greek Isles, followed closely by Prague and anywhere in Italy.

11. One of my favorite sounds in the world is hearing my son, niece and nephew laugh while playing together. I can’t wait to hear that sound for many, many years to come.

Answers to Monica’s Questions:

Do you use a spoon or a fork to eat macaroni and cheese? I would gravitate towards a fork, but would use a spoon if that’s all that was available…unless it was boxed mac and cheese with powder cheese, then I’d just pass altogether because powder cheese creeps me out.

How many candles were on your last birthday cake? 28. Read about the 28 things I’ve learned in those 28 years!

Do you have any pets?  If so what? I have 2 dogs that drive me super crazy but are really good dogs. Macey is amazing with Carter and let’s him crawl, stand, pull or hit her whenever he wants. She also sheds a lot, which I despise. Jonas is afraid of everything and is a giant attention whore. He’s also really skinny, despite the fact that we feed him regularly (coughmomcough…). We also have an outdoor cat named Frank. She’s a female cat and was named after Frank the Tank from Old School. I kid you not.

What is your natural hair color? dirty blonde

What color are your eyes? bluish-green, but they change colors based on my clothing choice

Have you ever gone toilet papering? no…

Ever been in a car accident? yes, when I was 16, 6 short months after getting my license. It was my fault, and the lady I hit threatened to kill me because there was a baby in the car. The baby ended up being 110% ok, but I was scared shitless.

What’s your favorite sport (to watch and/or play)? I love to run. I used to be a swimmer and that’s honestly the only sport I ever played in my entire life. I love watching baseball and college football.

How many times did you fail your driver’s test? None. I think I failed my permit test once, but I got my license on the first go. Not sure how, because I sucked at driving for several years, as evidenced by my accidents and multiple tickets.

What’s your favorite sports team? I’m a Yankees fan, thanks to my Nana. I think it’s super cute that she went on her first date with my grandfather to a double header at Yankee stadium, and she loves them. I admittedly haven’t been a very good fan as of late, since the things I have to keep up with are like a mile long. I cheer for the ECU Pirates as my husband is an alum and I’ll always have love for my JMU Dukes.

Who’s your favorite band? Honestly, I am forever in love with the Dave Matthews Band. I feel like that’s a really cliche response, but I could listen to their early CDs for hours and hours and hours and there’s nothing like hearing them live – jamming out on their instruments for 10 minutes at a time. They are so musically talented, even if their newer stuff hasn’t been as amazing as when they started.

My other taste in music ranges from really awesome to really awful, but I love singing loudly in the car to anything I know the words to.

I swear I intended to include more pictures…but there weren’t a ton of questions I could appropriately illustrate. So here are a few random fun ones I haven’t enjoyed in awhile.

A happy, happy day!

phone shot with my beautiful sister

happy 1st birthday, wild child!

college halloweens - paris and nicole

My Questions for You:

  1. What is your favorite room in your home and why?
  2. What tv show do you watch that you’re most embarrassed about?
  3. What is your middle name?
  4. What would your “last meal” be?
  5. What is your favorite season and why?
  6. What would you most like to get paid to do?
  7. It’s a perfect, sunny afternoon in the mid-60′s. You’re responsibility-free. How do you spend your day?
  8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  9. What’s your favorite blog for an instant pick-me-up?
  10. What’s your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?
  11. Are you a coffee drinker? Why or why not?

Now go check out the 10 ladies I’m tagging!

Ten felt like a rounder number than 11, and I like to be different, so there. They are funny, soulful, inspiring, fashionable and very fun to read! Some are new blogs I recently discovered, others I’ve been a long time fan of.

They are all fabulous, so go check them out.

Do it.

Brooke – Playing Grown Up (I can’t get enough of the pics of her baby girl, Evie! How adorable is that name, too?)

Rebekah – a bit of sunshine

Mandi – Harpers Happening

Meredith – The Mom of the Year

Amber – The Daily Doty

Kate – Oberjuerge

Summer – The True Religion Project

Chelsea – Red Dirt Revival

Carrie – Ruby

Rachel – Grasping for Objectivity

28 things in 28 years

Last week I celebrated my 28th birthday.

It began with my husband bringing me french toast in bed and continued on to include our weekly play gym class and a surprise Chubby’s quesadilla with my son…and lots of love from various friends and family.

Food and adoration – the keys to my heart.

It was also 80 degrees outside, which is amazing, and while C napped and I blogged a bit, the wind was blowing through the open windows and I indulged in some laziness and smutty tv. I tried to take a nap, but was unsuccessful, like most of my sleeping attempts as of late.

28 isn’t a particularly noteworthy age, with the very big exception that at 28 I will be birthing my first daughter. I’ll become a mother of 2 and life will, again, readjust and shake out into a new normal. It’s crazy to think how different things will be when I sit here and write about 29.

I think it’s going to be a great year.

I’m not afraid of the ever-looming 30′s the way some people are. Maybe it’s because I’m generally the youngest in my various “crowds” here in my hometown and I see women I admire, respect and adore living awesome lives into their 30s. Or maybe it’s because all the stupid crap I did in the first half of my 20s mean that my 30s can’t possibly be any, oh I don’t know, worse?

I look forward to more life experience, for a deeper appreciation of myself and the ones I love and the fact that another year older means I’ve made another year of priceless memories…all things of which come with age.

With some reflection, I’ve thought of 28 important lessons I’ve learned in my 28 short years. In no particular order…

1. That gut feeling you get before you’re about to make a decision is a really useful tool. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.

2. One of the greatest blessings in life is having friends who knew you when you were young and stupid.

3. Being stupid is part of growing up…and sometimes make the best stories to tell later.

4. You’ll never appreciate just how hard your mother worked until you become a mother yourself.

5. Very little beats the feeling after a long, hard workout.

6. If you are truthful to everyone but yourself, you are still a liar.

7. Nothing ever goes to plan – and sometimes that results in the greatest gifts that life can give you, like the opportunity to attend a different school…or your first child.

8. Give others a chance to change themselves for the better, but don’t expect you to be the one to change them.

9. Start taking care of and appreciating your body as young as you can. That includes what you put in it, how you work it out and taking care of your skin.

10. Don’t be afraid to try new foods. It’s fascinating how much my tastes have changed just in the last 10 years.

11. There is so much to learn  – be a sponge for knowledge of all kinds and never be afraid to ask questions.

12. You are so much stronger than you think.

13. You meet people in the strangest of places, and the ones you never imagined being important to you will be the ones you can’t live without. They will be the ones that move work commitments around to be at your wedding, the ones you end up sharing apartments with and the ones that you’ll always make the effort to stay in touch with – even if you’re closeness isn’t the same as it once was, they will always be some of the most important people in your life.

14. Cherish your family.

15. Most people deserve a second chance. Maybe even a third, but probably not.

16. Naps in a hammock are amazing. Naps in general are pretty awesome.

17. Take every opportunity you have to travel.

18. Nothing on the internet goes away…but the afternoon you spend reading blogs and celebrity gossip will fly by with a quickness.

19. White wine and sushi makes any day a little bit better.

20. Take time to appreciate all the blessings in your life. Even the ones you take for granted.

21. Realize that not everyone’s lives are going to go down the same path as yours. Appreciate that people have to make decisions (and mistakes…) for themselves.

22. Take time for yourself.  Whether it’s a workout, coffee with a girlfriend or even a long shower accompanied with some deep breaths. It’s easy, especially once children come along, to let taking time for yourself move to the back burner. Don’t let it.

23. Take lots of road trips and see a lot of concerts. As many long drives and as much live music as you can.

24. Marriage is beautiful and hard. A wedding is a super fun thing to plan and celebrate, and my wedding day is one of the happiest days of my life. But not every day is a party with all of your family and closest friends.

25. On that note, parenting is also beautiful and hard. Not always on the same day…and sometimes at the exact same time.  See #4.

26. Haters gonna hate. Not everyone’s going to like you, your ideas, what you stand for, your personality, your clothes, what you blog about, your life choices, etc etc etc. It’s ok. Keep doing your thing and let it roll off your shoulders.

27. Laugh as often as possible – so hard your belly hurts and your mascara runs.

28. The best is yet to come.

Coincidentally, today over on Babble, Ali Worthington posted the 35 lessons she’s learned at 35. Hers are great, too!

At any age, you certainly have learned some lessons worth sharing. What are some of your favorites?