Sunday, February 10, 2019

7/52: Why we never gave up

Every now and then, I'll see a picture that reminds me of all the reasons Georgia and I never gave up trying for another baby. We knew that Gracie was meant to be a big sister and we knew that when it did happen, it would be better than anything we could possibly imagine. 

This pictures is one of those photos that stopped me in my tracks, and made me take pause to give thanks. These two. What did we ever do without them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

My Annual Christmas Catch-up // 2018

So here we are, at the start of February, and I'm behind on the sharing of our holiday adventures... shocker. Haha! I did manage to get most of my thoughts and feelings regarding this Christmas written down (in the month of January), so that's impressive if you ask me! What catching up on all of the things we did in December to celebrate Jesus, Santa and all that other festive stuff has shown me, is this - we do way to much shit during the holidays. Like, way.too.much.shit. It's exhausting just reflecting on all of it, so how we manage to make it to everything we're invited to... how us mamas throw so many outfits together, constantly running out the door and crafting and baking and making... and, and, and... is beyond me. Yet, so many parents just like us, do it every year. I've concluded that we're all goddamn superheros and we deserve capes! 

When I think about what the holidays, especially Christmas required pre-kids, it's insane to see just how much our lives have changed. Our pre-kid Decembers required that we go out and party (A LOT) and then show up at a family members house, hungover on Christmas Eve, only to then make a follow up appearance on Christmas day at another relatives house. That's it. This is all that was required of us. So again - things have changed and they've gotten harder so... give us our capes! It is fun though, isn't it. The magic of Christmas. The making of time to still see friends and still have fun and do our best to make the holidays enjoyable for both the little humans and the big humans. We did manage to do a bit of that this year, so I guess G and I are still cool. Thank goodness.

Our #momsquad all got together for a night at a brewery + gift exchange in early December and it was such a fun night. This group of moms is something else and I just love each and every one of them. We range from super hippy, organic living with dreadlocks, to proper blondes who don't curse in public, to moms like me, who fall somewhere in-between. And I'm telling y'all, for as diverse as our group is, we have an absolute blast together and just laugh our asses off, regardless of what we're doing! 

We were of course, the loudest group at the brewery and were some of the last to leave. We chatted about all the stuff our kiddos have been up to, as some now go to different schools. There was the usual spouse talk, which is always funny considering G and I are two women, both present for these spouse-bitch sessions, lol! We enjoyed flights of local brew and good food. Twas' a great night, all around!  

G and I actually finagled our way into an overnight "moms night out" at a fancy hotel, without our little stinkers and it was glorious! As I've mentioned here before, G's company is super fancy and really goes all out for their employees for everything, including the annual holiday party. They most certainly did this again this Christmas, hosting a bash at the nicest hotel in town. They wined and dined us with a 3 course meal, drinks for all, entertainment and then gave away all sorts of TVs, trips, iPads and who knows what else. We didn't win anything, but it was the perfect night out for us. The company offered to pay for half the cost of renting a suite, so we jumped at that and loved having a reason to get all gussied up and pack an overnight bag.

Our bestie, who you know here as Gracie and Will's "uncle A", also works with Georgia, so he and his boyfriend uncle B, went with us! I had honestly forgotten how much fun double dates could be! We didn't talk about the kids once. No talk of what we needed to get done at home, in prep for Christmas. There were zero conversations of, where we need to have the kids tomorrow and who we need to bathe and feed, lol. There was none of that and getting the chance to decompress and have fun together, is something I don't think we even realized we so desperately needed.

G purchased the sexiest little white and black coat for the occasion and looked fine as hell! She's been doing so amazing with her workouts, increased weightlifting and healthy eating, that I wanted to tackle that little hottie to the ground, Ha! It also helped that the lighting in the ballroom was a dream and made us all look like we were in our 20's. God bless good lightening! 

My little sis flew in from Vancouver BC this same evening with her boyfriend, who we were meeting for the first time, so that was an added bonus! She met us at the hotel after her flight got in and had a few drinks with us before heading to my mom's for a nightcap. That and our room service buffet was the best end to such a fun night! I still have dreams about those street tacos... drool...

We rounded out our pre-Christmas holiday festivities with Nani's philanthropy, Operation Santa's Child! This was like the 20th year that she's had this community event and this year's was bigger and brighter than ever!

It's always a challenge to share photos of this special event, while still respecting the privacy of the families who are adopted. I wish so much that I could share all the pictures of the huge smiles and happy tears shed by parents watching Christmas coming to life for their kiddos, but I also know that without their permission, that wouldn't be right. So instead, I'll share some favorite photos of my sweet family, our awesome float and Santa!

This was the first year that my mom and stepdad were completely settled in their new house and with the tent they rented for the backyard, there were people everywhere. We played boardgames and this meme game that was hilarious! We also ate, way too much and opened presents from auntie M, since she couldn't come back for Christmas day! Will discovered Grandpa K's music room and drum set for the first time every and then blew everyones mind with his mad skills on the drums! It was adorable! 

And the kiddos had a blast! 

Next up, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Goal: finish Christmas posts before Valentine's Day, haha! We'll see... ;)

Monday, February 4, 2019

6|52 N I N J A

Our boy got this Ninja Turtle mask in a kid's meal last summer and he's still completely obsessed with it. He'll walk around the house wearing it for hours, even in the bath and it just cracks us up! The Super Bowl was a total snooze-fest this year, so we ditched the game and had a balloon bath instead. 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

5/52: New do, who dis?

How cute is this big boy of mine?! We almost always wait way too long to take him in to see Uncle D at his barbershop and every time we finally make it in, we swoon at how handsome he looks and vow that we will not wait so long the next time! *but then we always do...

I just can't believe that my baby's going to be TWO years old in just over 2 months. I guess I better get started on the party planning! Bet you can't guess the theme??

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Twinkle Toes Elf | Year Five

Our beloved Twinkle Toes made her glorious return to our home this past December; only this year she brought another little elf! Yes my friends, TT has a brother who has yet to be named. Initially G called him Jose, but that's only because he looks much more Hispanic than Twinkle Toes does, hehe! Like we did with TT, William will be the one to name his new little elf, once he's old enough to do so and so until then, Jose it is! ;)

This was TT's 5th year visiting us, (6th if you include the Christmas that Gracie was given her sweet little elf from Auntie Missy). With this being the first year that there were 2 elves crashing at our pad every evening, it was a busy month for all of us! 

Mama was afraid that after all these years, our visitors may run out of places to play and while it did require much creativity and thinking outside the box to surprise our kiddos with new places to visit every morning, (places that they hadn't visited before) - they managed to do it. These are some very talented elves, if you ask me! I think it did help that there's a fairly new outer space themed nursery that they were able to explore.

They had so much fun playing with all of the Bean's holiday school projects she brought home, like the little elves she made in her weekly art course. It worked out perfectly that there just happened to be a little Gracie elf happy to hang from the chandeliers with our trouble makers!

One of their absolute favorite visits of the year was the night they got to go fishing in the kitchen! They worked together for over an hour to get the water just right for Gracie and Will, because it just had to be the perfect color of blue! That next morning, Gracie came running to her Mamas screaming, "Moms! I found our elves and they're fishing in Diet Coke"! LOL! Thankfully TT and her little brother elf were fast asleep at this point, so they didn't have to hear that the water they worked so hard on, didn't end up looking like water at all! Ha!

The outfits these two sported every day didn't disappoint either, because as you can see, this duo is quite fashionable. Will's little elf dressed as a solider on day one and then insisted on wearing his royal blue shorts the remainder of the month, while TT changed outfits on almost a daily basis. Gracie got such a kick out of that! Unlike previous years, these guys scaled down the gifts they brought from the North Pole for their humans, mostly because there's two of them now, but they still got some cool little gifts! There was candy left for our stinkers, along with Christmas socks, more decorations for Gracie's bedroom Tree Lot and lots of stickers.

Sister Bear will turn SEVEN this March and her Mamas' only wish for next Christmas, is that she continue to believe in the magic of her special little elf; because while it may be a lot of work preparing for our elf visits every year, it's something us Mamas absolutely treasure.

Here's a few favorites from visits in years past ~

Twinkle Toes | Year Four
Twinkle Toes | Year Three
Twinkle Toes | Year Two
Twinkle Toes | Year One

Until next year, you two. 💝

4/52: Check her out!

Sister Bear learned how to tie her shoes this past weekend, so G took her out and let her pick a brand new pair of kicks, with big girl laces! No more velcro for this almost-seven year old!

When I asked if she was excited to tell all her friends at school what she learned to do, she replied, "No Mama, I should have learned last year"! In response to this statement, I asked our Google Home Smart Speaker, to which it responded: According to Parenting Magazine, the average age that a child learns to dress themselves is 5 years old. The average age they learn to tie their shoes, is between 6 and 7 years old.

Once she heard this, her face lit up and she began jumping around shouting that she couldn't wait to tell everyone at school... So the question here is, should I be concerned that my kid trusts the word of an electronic device over her own parents?! 

Meh, oh well. At least she's proud of herself! ;)    

Monday, January 28, 2019

Brace for Impact...

I can't believe that I'm sharing this picture... but alas, I am. When I started this journey to a healthier me, 8+ months ago, I promised myself and you guys that I would be 100% transparent about where the journey took me. This means sharing the good and the bad. It means showing what it really looks like to lose a significant amount of weight and for someone like myself (who was living 100+ pounds heavier than I should), that makes for a slow transformation, but that's ok. My motto from the beginning has been - slow and steady wins the race and I'm happy to report that as I near month 9, I'm finally seeing some results and so is Georgia! My results definitely show progress and not perfection and that's something that I continue to remind myself is 100% ok. 

One very frustrating thing for me has been that my bo.obs have remained just as gigantic as they were in June of last year (hence my ugggggghhhh face in that second pic)... and now that my waist is a bit smaller, they look even bigger! Grrrrrr. A friend had to remind me that I wore a C cup in middle school and was a DD cup by high school, during a time that I was quite thin... so giant bo.obs may just be what I'm genetically destined to have. I wish this wasn't the case, but it is what it is and G doesn't want them going anywhere, so there you have it. Ha! 

If I could turn back time, I WOULD NOT have taken my before pictures in underwear... but I honestly didn't think that any of this would work out, or that I would be in a position to share a photo of my progress at any point, so underwear pics are what I'm stuck with. I edited out the bottom half these horrific und.ies (even though it's basically the same as wearing bathing suit bottoms) because I felt like I needed to. With me being a wife and mom and considering this photo will live forever on the interwebs, editing was a must... still, I feel proud sharing this, here in this space.

I had a friend recently post on IG about how bad it is to take progress pictures like this, stating that it's self defeating and an unhealthy thing to do, emotionally. If I'm just being honest, I would have to completely disagree with her views on the topic. When I look at this comparison picture, the first of what I'm sure will be many progress pics, I don't see weight loss. What I see is hard work. I see that keeping it Keto-ish has resulted in less water retention and swelling for me, overall. I see progress and strength in my arms, sides and legs from pushing myself to do cardio 5-6 times a week - these past 34 weeks. I see much clearer skin that's been the result of clean(er) eating and massive water consumption! Most of all though, I see a much less swollen belly and that's a HUGE deal for me. Heart disease runs in my family and took the life of my dad at just 39 years old. If you know anything about heart disease, you know that a swollen belly is a clear indication of an overworked and unhealthy heart. It's dangerous and had become a scary thing for me, as I turned 37 years old.  

On Friday I ran my first 5k in 12 YEARS and I did it with yoga pants falling off my butt the whole time and a sore knee! I know that a 3+ miles run is a stroll in the park for many of you, but when I began this journey 8 months ago, I couldn't run 5 minutes without getting winded and dizzy - so this is a big deal!

I didn't used to be a fan of posts like this, because they always made me evaluate my own health and that was uncomfortable for me. So if you're still reading this and something in the back of your mind is saying, it's time to get healthy, I'm here to tell you that you CAN DO THIS! You CAN set goals. You CAN start small. You can meal prep and have cheat meals. You can push yourself, one workout at a time and have rest days. You can celebrate every fitness victory, no matter how small. You can lift weights and choose to not weigh yourself and you can do it without pills or magic shakes or special wraps. You can make this journey whatever YOU want it to be and I'll be here to cheer you on! 

On to month 9.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Falalalala Lala La La!

Tis' the season for holiday school events, falalalalala lala la la! We almost went broke, 
buy-ing things for them, falalalala lala la la! 

Ha, I'm kidding, but not about being broke though, falala lalala la la la! Tis' the life of 2 moms with 2 kids, Falalalala Lala La La! :) 

  Bet you didn't know that I have a talent for rewriting songs, did ya! 
In all honesty though, we really did love every minute of our holiday fun at the Bean's school this year, even though there were a lot of activities. Like, a lot. The school went all out again, just like last year. There were holiday concerts, cookie decorating days, Christmas pajama days, a themed week of fun, a holiday book fair and a book exchange. There were gifts picked for teachers and Christmas goodies sent for school buds and new dresses and Christmas accessories and a big happy (and slightly exhausted) family there to watch every minute of it. Here's some cute pics of what our gal was up to in December. ~  

* 2018 Winter Holiday Music Concert *

Is there anything more heartwarming than watching your beautiful baby perform on stage?! Answer: no way because it's the cutest! I love that Gracie has zero stage fright and actually really enjoys performing for others. Notice how she towers over everyone but her friend C? He's the tallest of the 1st graders and our gal is the 2nd tallest! 

Way back in September, the Bean began singing Christmas carols in the evenings after school, indicating to us that Winter Concert prep was in full effect. You would think that hearing the same 4 holiday songs being sung at full volume for months on end would drive any parent nuts - but no, it was just really cute. If you ask Will this same question, he would NOT agree with this statement, ha! He got to the point with his sister's singing that he would yell, "STOP IT, STOP IT" any time she would get going with the Christmas songs, especially when she would sing in the car on the way to school. It was torturous for him, but super funny for us. ;)

I was so happy to hear that the Bean's school rented a hall from the University for this year's concert because the cafeteria was bursting at the seems last Christmas. The venue was gorgeous and Gracie looked just as cute as ever. 

I don't have many pictures of her concert (which made me sad) because it was a bit of a chaotic scene. The student families once again completely filled the concert hall, so finding enough seats for us + both sets of grandparents was a feet in itself. I arrived early with Gracie, as she had to attend a 20 minute rehearsal prior to the concert and when we arrived, she ran off to see her friends before I could take a single picture of her. Then I met up with the fam, we finally got seats and the concert began. When it was over, people were everywhere trying to pick up their kiddos and get the heck out of dodge, so there weren't any places open to take pictures, but I did get video of our beautiful performer! She did so great and so did her buddies.

* Chocolate Making for the Best Teachers Ever *

Our gal adores her teacher and teacher's aide and is always thinking of sweet things she can do for them. This year, I was gifted a kit for making chocolate molds and Grace decided that she wanted to make her teachers chocolates as a gift and so we did our best to make that happen. We ended up failing - like epic fail! Ha! The chocolate didn't melt like it was supposed to. We didn't have enough chocolates for the molds we started using and we ended up burning the hell out of everything! I chalked it up to quality time and a good learning experience. That's what counts, right?! ;) 

* Making Christmas Cookies for Friends *

It's safe to say that Gracie and I made more cookies together with G and Will this Christmas than we ever have before. We were a bunch of cookie makin' fools and Grace did most of the work herself! She can now crack eggs with no shells left behind and can read and measure ingredients, which makes the whole process all the more fun!

Last Christmas G ordered these super cute Star Wars cookie cutters and this year was the first we got to use them. Our first batch was made for Gracie's USA Girls Swim holiday party and the kids LOVED them, which Gracie got a kick out of! She was so excited watching the kids attack her batch of cookies first before grabbing for any others and kept tugging on our arms to say, "look mom, they love our cookies most"! 

I hope our gal grows up always loving to bake. :)

* It's a Christmas Classroom Pajama Party *

In my previous career, I had 7 weeks of PTO per year, so I never missed a thing when it came to the holidays. In my current career/position, I only have 3 weeks + a few holidays, so it's been quite the adjustment these past couple of years. The thing that's been hardest for me is that I've been unable to make it to all of Gracie's school events and it really does kill me when I can't go to something. Last year I had to miss her classroom cookie making party, due to my lack of pre-planning, but not this year!  

This December, Mama was not only front and center for our gal's classroom party, but I was the designated volunteer parent, so I got to participate in all the activities with the kiddos and take pictures for the teachers - Gracie just LOVED that! 

We decorated cookies and as you can see by Gracie's batch, some kids went just a bit overboard with with the frosting and sprinkles... The kids also participated in a book exchange, which was just the funniest. Think White Elephant Game + 6 and 7 year olds. It was chaos, but the giggles could be heard from the school hall and everyone had a blast! Grace ended up negotiating her way into taking home the very book she brought. It's what she wanted, so girlfriend made it happen. 


They all wore their favorite pajamas, watched Christmas movies and had so much fun!

And the highlight of the month for both Gracie and us, was that once again she was selected as student of the month - this year for December! Each month there are 4 kiddos selected for each grade, so the fact that she's managed to make the cut 2 years in a row, has her mamas feeling all those happy and proud feels! 

These kids. They're something else. :)

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