it’s monday again + non-toy gifts.

This is going to get old, but wow, last week was crazy!  It just keeps happening.  Some how, the older Jack gets, the more we’re involved in, the busier we get.  And fall makes it that much worse!  Fall is my very favorite season — and yesterday felt like fall!  It was cool.  It was 59 degrees when we got dressed for church.  Jack wore a light sweater with elbow patches — ahhh!!  I wore boots and light sweater.  LOVELY.  I love fall!  All of that to say, we have been running around like crazy it feels like.  Last week was a blur, but we are good and had many good things happen.

Friday evening Jack and Tommy spent some time together — it was sweet!  Tommy has started taking Jack golfing.  Jack loves it!  It’s fun for them to spend time together, and I think Tommy has been waiting for this for awhile.  Saturday morning we woke up early to head downtown for a 5K.  It was the Sprint for the Prints 5K for Precious Prints.  A really great cause — they help provide comfort to families like ours who lose a child, so we were happy to support them.  It definitely is something that we would have loved to have for Gabriel.  Our friends the Parrishes, who we met last year after they lost their baby, did a video for Precious Prints [I shared on my facebook page a couple of weeks ago] and are a family who has a charm of their daughter’s thumbprint.  Jack rode in his stroller and then ran through the finish line with us.  He loved the 5K!  It’s right up his alley.  Afterwards, he checked out the food and had a bag of Cheetos, an orange, 2 donuts, and a water bottle.  Gotta refuel.

weekend 5k

Then we headed home to set up for Tommy’s sister and brother in law’s going away party that we hosted.  They move to Nebraska today, so we had a fun time Saturday afternoon celebrating them with all their people.  Then we went to mom and dad’s for burgers and came home, put Jack to bed and watched the Tennessee game.  It was a full day!  And so fun.  We will really miss Molly and Drew but are so happy for them and this big move in their lives.

weekend going away weekend molly and drew weekend party

So we had a great weekend, lots of fun celebrating and hanging out, and resting and playing on Sunday.  A great weekend!  Now on to a new week.  Today I’m over at the Knoxville Moms Blog sharing one of my very favorite list posts to date — 25 non-toy gifts for kids.  I’m ALL about this.  Head on over there and check it out!

non-toy gifts for kids

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Did it feel like fall where you are??

good reads for your monday.

I had this post 3/4 of the way written and it got deleted.  So this is version 2.0 and I can basically guarantee you it won’t be as good.  Fair warning.

 

cardinals fan happy Monday from the cutest Cardinals fan!

 

Happy Monday morning!  I already know this is going to be a better week because our little guy went to bed at a normal time last night.  His sleep has been very off between summer, turning 3 and dropping naps, and then starting back to school.  His little body can’t tell if he’s exhausted or rested, which I can tell his little body that he’s exhausted but that doesn’t seem to help.  So his scattered sleep habits have left us all walking around like sleep zombies for the better part of 3 weeks.  After being up from 11 pm to 3 am on Saturday night and realizing that that was not unusual, we decided things had to change.  I googled my little heart out looking for sleep tips and ways to help him.  Tommy and I sat down yesterday and hashed out a plan and then later shared it with Jack.  He thought it sounded like a good plan for Tommy and me, but wasn’t 100% on board with it himself.  We think he’ll come around ;)   The little man went down at 7:30 and it was celebration worthy!  Sure I had to go back up a bunch to settle him when he woke but progress is progress.

 

My first draft of this lovely Monday post had a whole bunch of other stuff about reading and how I’m not awesome at it.  It was long and drawn out, so I will eliminate it from version 2.  The summary is that I’m not awesome at reading but wish I was.  Which segued quite nicely into this section of stuff I read over the weekend that I hope you enjoy on this lovely Monday …

 

 

There’s been a lot of talk about extroverts and introverts lately.  All of this talk led to my discovery of my own vert.  I never know whether I was an extrovert or introvert because I wasn’t shy but I also wasn’t really social.  I have always liked being around people and doing things with my friends but have also needed time at home, alone.  Low and behold twenty something years later I learned I’m a bit of a mix with but with a little more introvert.  I was kind of surprised but not when I learned that it’s where you get your energy from.  If I’ve been super social [for me], it wears me out and I just have to be home to recover.  I used to think that was so silly, but I’m glad to know it’s just introvercy [?? not a real word].  This post is good.  I can relate to several things — specifically the phone, the down time, and avoiding shows that call for audience participation — I mean really, is there anything worse than that??

 

The Vols are back!  Watch out.  Will it be a perfect season?  No.  Of course not.  But it’s so fun to have exciting football Saturdays again.  Our team is exciting, we have a great coach, and he is a genius with the whole “brick by brick” stuff.  Go Vols!!

 

Whenever I start to feel like I’m a stuff manager, I immediately get rid of all the stuff.  We don’t need stuff.  We have plenty of it.  I don’t want to spend my life managing stuff.  I want to live and be in relationships and grow with others.  Not manage stuff.  Love this post.  **If you only have time to read one thing today, read this.  It makes me feel like taking a deep breath, looking around and saying it’s ok.  And now I’m going to go get rid of more stuff.

 

Check out my post from last Monday over on Knoxville Moms Blog.  I shared about UT game day traditions — it’s football time in Tennessee!

 

Thanks so much for sharing about your summers.  I really enjoyed reading what you were up to and some of the high points.  What I want to know today is — are you an introvert or an extrovert??

blog post needs to be a blog post baby.

I couldn’t think of a post title today, so I asked Jack.  Today’s post title is brought to you by my favorite little 3 year old.  He should probably start doing marketing for Project Gabriel — cause he is good.  

 

Today has been a long day.  Yesterday was a long day.  We are in a more challenging season.  Three is hard, but not in an attitude defiant way, but more in a sleep challenges, and earlier fears recurring way.  Not sure if that’s a three year old thing or other things, but I’m learning a lot about our little kiddo and us and parenting.  

 

The holiday on Monday really threw me off course.  I don’t know what day of the week it is and between that and the sleep deprivation, I’m lucky I’ve showed up anywhere I’m supposed to be this week.  This will be one of those weeks when I’m happy it’s over.  Come on weekend!  Two more days this week and then we get another weekend.  We are doing lots of work around our house right now, so our weekends are looking more like working on the house time and less like hanging out doing what we want time.  But since we enjoy working on our house, that works out OK!  

 

Before I ramble on anymore tonight, I’m going to wrap this post up.  I hope you are having a good week and don’t feel as disoriented as I do.  And for some awesomeness today, here’s what my Timehop picture from 3 years ago was the other day.  I love this little guy and his adorableness so much!  

IMG_4318

back in action.

I can’t believe it’s been a whole summer already.  A packed full, active, adventurous summer has gone by, and I haven’t shared much of any of it here.  It’s been a good break.  At first I missed writing posts so much that something would happen and I would immediately think I need to blog about this!  But as the summer went on that quickly slipped my mind, and here were are on September 2nd [!!!!] and I’m all like here we go back to blogging.  It’s good though.  I definitely missed being active on the blog, but mostly just missed you all!  

 

JT at the beach
 
One of my favorite pictures of Jack from this summer.  My sweet boy!  

 

I want to share some of the stuff we were up to this summer — I won’t bore you with every detail — but some of our more fun things.  Plus we’ve been busy working on our house.  We’ve been making it a little more us and a little less standard, which we always love to do.  So I have plenty to share from that.  But first I want to hear how your summer was!!  What was the biggest thing that happened for you this summer?  The most fun that you had?  Your best adventure?  Or most disgusting moment — like the time I dropped my phone in the hazardous waste basket at the doctors office after just having a procedure done.  Not even kidding.  

 

 

I would love to hear from you all!  Share in the comments below, email me, or share on facebook.  Can’t wait to catch up with you!  Happy fall is on the way to you!  

happy labor day

Happy Labor Day friends!

 

It’s been a good summer.  One filled with plenty of sun, time outdoors, playing, resting, and enjoying all of the easiness that summer brings.  Today marks the end of summer.  The end of our last summer weekend.  It’s on to fall and the great things that come with it!  School has started, football is underway, and hopefully cooler temperatures are coming.

 

I hope you have a great, fun Labor Day!  Enjoy it and I will see you back here tomorrow.

 

happy Labor Day!

why i don’t care about the prince’s birthday.

I hope I’m not kicked out of America for this.  Because Americans love them some Royal family news.  But I don’t care that it’s Prince George’s first birthday.  In fact, I am going to proclaim to the inter webs that I’m not celebrating it.  I don’t wish against him or his family.  They’re lovely people, I’m sure, and I mean, who doesn’t look on admiringly at that family wondering just for a moment what life is like to be royalty.  However, we focus on them and this baby way too much.  We are obsessed and following his moves and pointing things out and so focused.

But I think our focus is on the wrong things.  Did you know that 1 in 4 women have a miscarriage.  Next time you’re in a room with women, look around know how many around you have lost a baby.  The last girls’ night I went to there were 5 women and 2 out of the 5 have had miscarriages and I lost my baby after birth.  This is a real thing, and women all around us are hurting, grieving, and not holding their babies.

So let’s celebrate life and celebrate a birthday — it’s a big deal, and life should always be appreciate and celebrated!  But let’s not spend all of our energy wishing a prince in another country a happy 1st birthday, when we could spend that time writing a quick note to a woman who needs a pick-me-up.  A woman who on this day is probably a little extra sad that she doesn’t have her baby, because all around her is talk of babies and a gorgeous, healthy one year old boy that isn’t hers.

 

Thanks for listening.  Let’s love on the women around us a little more.

blog tour, my friend LJ, + my process.

Hi friends!

I hope your summer is going well and has been so fun so far.  I’ve been loving this summer.  We have been having a blast!  My time away from the blog and the computer has been so good.  It’s been very life giving to step away from the regular and the driving things, and just enjoy the life in front of me.

 

This weekend we were gone to Kingsport to see my mom’s family for a family reunion.  We had a great trip!  Lots of fun and good times at parks, playgrounds, the farm, the golf course, the hotel, and “reunioning”.  Now it’s back at it.  Laundry, cleaning out the van after a long trip [and yes, I said van.  Last week we traded in my SUV for a van!!  Yikes!  And exciting!], back to work, back to chores, back to child training and potty training.

 

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour my friend Lindsey asked me to do.  Lindsey is one of my favorite dietitians ever!  We went through our nutrition classes together and then went to different universities for our dietetic internship to get our RDs.  She is super intelligent, super fun, and is an excellent dietitian because she thinks outside the box.  I learn new things from Lindsey, who I call LJ, all the time and love seeing how she makes nutrition and dietetics fun.  Check out Lindsey’s blog — she’s the DIY Dietitian.  You will enjoy reading posts from LJ!

 

blog tour

 

Now on to the questions about my writing process ::

1.  What am I working on?

A:  This summer I’m taking a break from all things blogging, so while I’m not working on anything blog related right now, I do have some ideas to work on starting in the fall to improve my blog.  My BIG focus this summer work-wise is Project Gabriel.  I’m focusing on ramping up what we can do, trying to make dreams come to reality.

 

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

A:  What I love about blogging is that everyone has a perspective.  I’m not a professional blogger by any means, so I’m not competing with fellow food bloggers or DIY bloggers or photography bloggers.  I just write about what inspires me and to try to share along the way.  I love talking about nutrition, sharing about a healthy lifestyle, as well as easy recipes.  I’m most happy with the transformation and growth of the depth of my blog through the last year and a half as our life was rocked and changed forever.  My hope is that women will find my writings and see that they aren’t alone as they go through something really hard.

 

3.  Why do I write what I do?

A:  I kind of answered this above.  My nutrition background and that I’m a Registered Dietitian inspire the nutrition, my love for good food inspires the recipes, my need and excitement for organization inspire the organized living, my excitement for DIY and wanting to DIY our whole house keeps my mind thinking about that, my love for my family keeps me journaling our lives in the form of this blog, and most importantly, the nudging I feel to share our baby G’s story through this little blog keeps me honest, open, and sharing about life, death, loss, grief, and so importantly hope.

 

4.  How does your writing process work?

A:  It depends.  Ideas come to me at weird times, so I keep a notebook where I write them down or make sure to make a note on my phone so I can get blog about it later.  When I’m blogging about something specific I will mostly write a post and then come back later to edit and add pictures and schedule it to post.  Sometimes I just write straight from my heart not knowing what is going to come out.  That usually happens at night after Jack and Tommy have gone to bed.  I sit on the couch and just write my heart onto this piece of the inter webs.  Then I will find pictures that work, edit them, add them, and post.  In theory I like scheduling my posts ahead of time, but in actuality, I really love the honesty that comes from a late night post, so I try to remain flexible for those posts.

 

 

Thanks so much LJ for inviting me to join this tour!  Friends, be sure to check out Lindsey the DIY Dietitian.  Her recent post on Popsugar 4 tips for your most confident bikini season is fantastic, motivating, + confidence inspiring!

 

summer break and just going with it.

It is summer, and we are having a lot of fun.  We’ve been crossing things off our list and just going with the flow that summer naturally brings with it.  It’s been kind of wonderful.  For some reason I have always fought the easy-going spirit of summer.  Perhaps it’s in my personality.  I never found it very good to just sit and read instead of doing something that could accomplish things.  I never understood the fun in neglecting daily responsibilities to go explore something.  I’m sure some of you must find this so tightly wound and ridiculous.  It’s just how I am.  I prefer the structure of days and the schedule of things.  Spontaneously exploring a new area or just taking an afternoon off to read is so foreign to me.  But being a mom is changing me.  In so many ways — including this.

Summer 2014 rocking chairs

 

For the first time I am appreciating the slowness of summer.  The permission for a break.  The allowance of taking it slow.  It’s fantastic!  It’s like we’re given this season where responsibilities can be delayed or set aside for a few hours or few days and why wouldn’t I want to take advantage of that.  So this summer I am spending a little bit more time being open to those things.  Being open to taking the long way home.  Being open to jumping out of the car to explore somewhere we haven’t before.  Being open to sitting on my front porch and reading instead of heading to my laptop to be in the inter webs world.

Summer 2014 reading

 

That explains my absence lately and will explain my scarcity for the rest of the summer.  I have many things I want to share — recipes, weight loss, nutrition information, Jack, Gabriel, home life, other blogs — so much that I want to jump on here and share with you.  But each time I do it takes time away from my boys and time away from our freedom to take it easy this summer.  So I’m not saying that I won’t be blogging this summer, and I’m not saying that I will be.  How amazingly ambiguous, right?  But after spending several weeks stressing out over whether I will continue blogging this summer or whether I will take a break, I realized the stress was unnecessary and I would just allow myself the permission to be here as little as I want to be.

Summer 2014 fun

 

I think the break will be refreshing for me, and I hope it will allow me to come back as a stronger writer and blogger in the fall.  It also frees up some time and brain space to think through other areas like Project Gabriel.  And most importantly to focus on Tommy and Jack and our home.

Summer 2014

I wanted to share my thoughts with you and wish you a relaxing and easy going summer as well!  Here’s to taking advantage of enjoying the long days of summer.

snacks for 100 calories or less.

I don’t know about you but in the summertime we are snacking a lot!  We snack at the pool, at the park, in the car, and even at home.  It seems too hot to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, so we do a lot of snacking throughout the day.  Sometimes we even have larger snacks for meals.

 

I don’t want to be absent-minded about the snacks we are eating.  I want to feed my son, my husband, and myself wholesome food — even in the lazy days of summer.  I compiled a list of 12 snacks under 100 calories.  Today I’m sharing it over on the Knoxville Moms Blog.  I hope you will head over there and read it!  Let me know what your favorite snacks are.  We aren’t the only snacking family are we??

 

You can find my post with healthy snack options over here.

 

12 snacks under 100 cals.jpg

weight loss update.

It’s time for another weight loss update.  If you missed before, here’s the run down.  I hit my breaking point, I started trying to lose weight, I got really serious about my exercising and my food intake, and here I am.

 

I am really happy to share that I have lost 3 pounds since my starting weight.  Since my last update, that is a healthy weight loss.  Not an awesome or impressive weight loss, but it equates to about a pound a week.  However, from the point I started I went up and have been coming back down.  So I’ve lost 6 pounds total — but gained 3 before losing any.  Yikes.  It feels good to be actually losing weight now.  I feel like I’m making steps in the right direction.  And that definitely helps fuel the fire and keeps me going on my weight loss adventure.

 

A few things that have been helping me:

1.  A food journal.  So super important!  I didn’t start doing this at first because I thought I knew what I was eating.  But once I wasn’t losing weight, I started keeping a journal of what I was eating — and WOW!  Since I started this is when I started losing weight.  I always told patients and clients how important it was, but I am definitely learning for myself now.

 

2.  Cutting out Coke.  I love Coke.  Confessions of a dietitian.  I just do.  I know it’s bad for me.  I know all the stuff.  But it’s sweet, sugary taste is my favorite.  I cut it out and am just drinking Diet Coke.  It’s not the same, but it’s 0 calories.  I cannot lose weight while drinking an empty calorie beverage on a regular basis.

 

3.  Making water taste better.  I plan to expand on this one in a post soon.  But drinking water is so important, and I like when it has good flavor.

 

4.  Not being too strict.  I don’t do well when on a super strict diet.  That’s why I am always an advocate or having a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to dieting.  Part of a healthy lifestyle for me means chocolate.  I love chocolate, so if I deny myself of it, I go crazy catching up.  I have to allow it in small amounts on a regular basis.

 

5.  Pedometer.  I’m wearing a pedometer as much as I can to track how much I’m moving.  I’m aiming for 10,000 steps a day.  Wearing a pedometer motivates me to keep moving and be less lazy.  It also makes me appreciate chores like vacuuming — which can me to take lots of steps!

pedometer

 

I will touch up on some of these things in more detail to come.  Just happy to see changes happening in my body.  I feel so much better, my muscles are getting stronger, and I am a much healthier person now than I was 2 1/2 months ago.  And that’s the whole idea!

 

Hope you’re having a good week and it’s going by quickly — can’t believe it’s Thursday already!

 

pedometer reading