our week.

This week was awesome.  Busy.  Crazy.  Full of newness and changes.  Good week.

Delightfully cool outside!  Hello 60 degree days.  Hello fall.

My boys are best friends.  It’s the best.  PS- check out Jack’s eyelashes.  Ohhh I love them!

I gave Jack a chocolate donut to each in the car while we were driving home the other day.  When we got home I opened his door to get him out to find this mess.  I figured with donut all over him he’d at least be happy.  Apparently not.

Lunch date with daddy thanks to some downtown training.  This never happens.  Ya for special occasions!

Jack LOVES the people who play music on Market Square [or anywhere really], but he is totally amazed by people standing and playing their instruments.  He feels the beat in his whole body and he demands to be near it.  After we had lunch with daddy, he took off running towards to music men.  We’d like to have never dragged him away from there 20 minutes later.

We survived day 1 of preschool!  I took this pic as soon as we got home from preschool.  He was so happy!  He seemed to have a great time and things went really well with his first day.  So proud of my big boy.

Piggy-back ride to wrap up the evening play time.  Jack’s favorite way to ride.

Winning lunch at Tomato Head.  Delicious salad… great company.

Playin, playin with Aunt Lindsay.  So much fun.  We’re thankful for family time on the weekends.

linkin’ up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged.
life rearranged

our old house.

This time last year I wrote a blog post on my old blog about the work we had done on our house.  At that time we had no idea that we would be moving in a month and a half and going on the journey of selling that house.

Now we are so happy to be in Tennessee.  We love our house and neighbors and community and couldn’t have imagined how our lives would be just one year after I wrote that post.  That old house– Pine St– will always hold a special place in our hearts.  It was our foundation in Maryland.  Our distraction from being far from family and friends.  Our never-ending project.  Our chance to grow in our confidence in ourselves– our abilities to be confident in our decisions, trust our guts, be proud of where we came from and where we were.

Big changes happened in our hearts in that house.  We learned not to worry what others thought.  Not too many people had positive words for our house, and that was OK with us.  We grew in that.  We grew when we made decisions about renovations — how to manage money as young newlyweds, what to agree on, what to do first, how to figure it out.

In honor of that first house and all it held for us I want to spend a little time remembering it.


The first major thing we did in that house was a kitchen renovation.  The house was not exactly up to our living standards when we bought it, so before we even moved in we worked on the kitchen, making it liveable.  It was about 2 months before we wrapped that project up since we were both working full-time jobs and could only do work on nights and weekends.

Starting at the top left:  Tommy starts taking out the first cabinet.  Goodbye old, ugly wooden cabinets!  He removed all of the doors from the upper cabinets and removed the upper cabinets above the stove.  He also wore knee pads, a lot, and wore those things down.  The original hinges were so awful.  The knobs were pretty but weren’t going to work with our look.  Hello, view of the old kitchen.  And yes, it was just as long and narrow as it looks here.  And ugly.

Bottom left:  More views of the original kitchen.  We actually moved the fridge over to the other side to help open the kitchen up.  We moved the fridge to right behind where I’m standing looking like a total goofball.  That was the day we did our home inspection.  I was pretty excited.

And the after shots.  [Too bad I didn’t understand that I should pick up before I took these shiny after pics, so please excuse the junk laying around.]

And a couple of before & afters.  I LOVE looking at this!  I LOVE how our kitchen turned out and was so so pleased with it.

Here are the details:

The kitchen is small so we knew we needed to brighten it up with lighter cabinets.  We also knew we needed better countertops, flooring, and appliances.

The old details:
–  Tommy brought down the nasty hood over the stove.  NASTY.  That’s all I have to say about that.
–  Next he started disassembling the kitchen.  Doors off, taking out the old countertops, the sink, etc.
–  The knobs on the cabinets really weren’t so bad, I suppose, but at the time I really hated them.  They definitely weren’t modern.
–  The floors were nasty!  It’s disgusting to even look at pictures.
–  We felt the need to put in a dishwasher so we had to move the fridge as the dishwasher had to go by the sink.  Plus moving the fridge to the other side of the kitchen opened up the kitchen and helped it to not feel so small.
–  When we moved the fridge we could see all the different colors this kitchen has been over time.  It was built in 1948 after all.
–  Regret:  in that dorky picture of me, I  wish I had kept the light hanging right over my head.  Not in that spot because it hung way too low, but I have several spots where I would have put it.  Oh well.

The new details:
–  Painted the upper cabinets white and the lower blue.
–  Dark countertops — stock countertops from Home Depot, and my amazing husband installed them 100% by himself.  He says he’ll never do that again.  I tell him he did a great job.
–  Mounted a microwave above the stove.
–  New sink and faucet.
–  New dishwasher — first time this house had ever seen a dishwasher.
–  Hung my pots and pans where the fridge used to be to try and conceal that custom fridge-containing cabinetry.  I think it works pretty well.  At least I’m pleased with it.  [Sorry I couldn’t clean off the counters before I took that picture.  That picture is from 2 years ago and apparently I didn’t feel the need to clean up back in my pre-kids days since I was so busy and all]
–  Moved the fridge to the other side of the kitchen to make it feel bigger.
–  Painted everything with a nice, crisp, clean coat of white paint.
–  New hardware on the cabinets.
–  New floors.  The floors alone took the hubs about a week and a half to do because there were 4 layers of old flooring he had to pull up.  You used to have to step up into the kitchen because there was so much old floor piled up.  It took him forever, and he lost a lot of blood but he took care of it.  And I love our kitchen floors — hides dirt so well!
***Memory over***

16 months and counting.

Jack Thomas, you are 16 months old!  We can hardly believe the time has passed so quickly and how much of a little boy you are now.

You are so fun.  Every day, every week, you get to be more fun.  You are full of life and make our hearts swell and our mouths explode with smiles so many times a day.  We love you so so much dearest boy!

Your favorite things:

–  Playing outside

–  Being on the go

–  Eating, especially holding something and taking bites out of it

–  Watching big kids play & you’re starting to want to play with them

–  You’ve started interacting with kids your age more- it’s fun to watch you play with little friends

–  Being a little helper around the house — you love to bring us your shoes, put clothes in the hamper, throw things away.

–  Seeing people playing instruments on the street.  You ALWAYS stop to dance.

What you say a lot:

–  Go, go, go

–  This? [When you want us to tell you what something is]

–  Car [a lot, you LOVE cars!]  Airplanes and helicopters are cars, too, to you

–  Cracker

–  Juice

–  And of course Dada and Mama
When you are ready to go somewhere you run to the door and bang your hands on it saying “go, go, go”.

When we ask you if you’re ready to go you take off running.  You love to go shopping and sit in the cart.  You love when people say hi to you.

When we ask for a kiss you put your hand to your mouth and say “muah”.  It melts me EVERY.TIME.

Happy 16 months sweet boy.  All our love,

Mama & Dada

why i write.

Today I saw a patient who I had been consulted for to give a heart healthy diet education.  As I was talking to him, he said some words that stuck with me:

“I think everybody knows what to do, it’s knowing how and the doing it that’s the hard part.”

That right there is one of the big reasons why I write this blog.  Obviously I love sharing about my sweet family, too, but I hope to share more than that.  I hope to share with people that it is possible to live a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy it.  It is possible to eat well and still eat things you like.  It is possible to have your health in mind and be focused on caring for your body, while still doing the day-to-day of life.  It is realistic to be passionate about what you’re putting in your body.

I hope to share those things here.  I hope to share ways to get good nutrition in a way that works with your lifestyle.

No fads.  Nothing flashy.  I’m not about flashy here.  Just plain old, eat right and exercise.  It actually works.  But I hope to help along the way.  I’m constantly learning more about life and nutrition in life as my family changes and grows, and I like to share those things.  Isn’t it always better to be on a journey with someone who knows what it’s like than to walk it alone?

So I thank you for reading.  Thanks for hanging around and reading about health, nutrition, meals, my baby, randomness, all while looking at mostly poor quality pictures.  Maybe one day I’ll learn how to use a camera, but until then I’m just glad I’m capturing moments to remember and share.

this week.

Starting off the weekly recap with this picture just sums up our awesome week.  I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with Jack this week, and it’s been so fun.  He is seriously the funnest, sweetest, most easy-going, happiest little guy ever.  He is a true joy to be around.  Before I had Jack I never could have imagined actually having fun spending the day with a toddler.  Now I can’t imagine spending my days any other way.  These are the funnest days I’ve ever had.

Little people portions make me smile.

“Mama, please let me outsiiiidddeeee!”

Playground date with my favorite little man on an evening when Daddy’s working late.

Me in heaven.  He sat in my lap and we watched Wheel of Fortune– one of his favorite shows, seriously.  So cuddly.

New tub toys to turn our tub into a jungle.

The perfect view – I was sitting on the couch watching the boys chase each other and rough house and looked up to see this view of the moon.

Linking up this post with Life Rearranged for her InstaFriday.

life rearranged


I read this blog every chance I get.  It’s beautiful and encouraging and full of truth.


I gave Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, to my mom, Granny, and mother-in-law for mother’s day.  One day I will steal borrow one of their copies so I can read it.


I love that she makes a point of counting our blessings, of what we’re thankful for.  Today I am so thankful.  Here are 10 things:


1.  A sweet neighbor who watched my precious boy when I was in a bind and had to go to work.  So thankful for her giving heart and how it blessed us.


2.  Chocolate chip cookies.  I made a winning batch the other day and they are delicious.


3.  Fall.  I have written about my fall excitement and readiness and it just keeps getting better and better.  It’s been chilly outside in the mornings and evenings.  Chilly.  I’ve been waking up cold during the night.  It is awesome.  So thankful.


4.  Thankful for our jobs.  Tommy’s that supports us and mine that is enjoyable and also a blessing.


5.  Thankful that God always provides.


6.  Playing outside in this glorious weather.  Tommy’s been working late this week and we have been running around on the street or at the playground having fun, enjoying the weather, and getting energy out.


7.  A husband who brings home IceDream for me at the end of a long, stressful day.



8.  A little boy who looks up at me and smiles when I catch him by surprise.




9.  A baby boy who is no longer a baby but rather a little boy who’s favorite game is to be chased.


10.  The sweetest giggle I’ve ever heard and it’s increasing frequency.

random wednesday.

Several random thoughts running together for today’s post.  So much randomness.

First — my very.favorite.show.by.far. is Parenthood.  I’ve been hooked since the beginning.  I’ve seen every episode multiple times.  You know how people say things like this so that you know that they like the show more than anyone else and are a super fan?  Yes, that’s why I’m saying this.  I’m hardcore.

So back to this new season.  Oh my.  Last night’s episode brought tears again.  EVERY WEEK, I tell ya.  Here’s what I love about the show.  It’s real.  People aren’t just happy living dreamy, tv lives.  It’s real.  It’s hard.  It’s joyful.  It’s got conflict, resolution and all in between.  People talk over each other like crazy.  It’s real.

If any of you are fans here are  my questions—  did you cry last night?  Isn’t the Julia/Victor relationship shaping up beautifully?  But the bigger, looming question — How can this be?  I feel like Christina is my best friend and I’m in shock that this is happening.  Anyone else?  Am I crazy?

B.  Ever been really sure about something and then realize it’s not the perfect plan you came up with?  Besides that happening often, it really smacked me hard in the face this week.

#3.  Tonight felt like FALL Y’ALL.  I recently wrote about my fall is coming excitement showing my new fall door decoration.  Tonight I’m a step further to my fall excitement.  We played outside for an awesome while tonight enjoying the amazing weather.  Think COOL, breezy, and slightly chilly.  That’s right.  Hello low of 48!

#4.  Little man and I had a sweet, sweet day together.  Most days are sweet but this one was especially so.  When Jack was a newborn we would be up and down throughout the night and as the typical day started out I would do all I could to just stay above water.  But around 4 pm each day, I would realize that the day was winding down and so was my time with him for that day.  I would treasure those evening hours, trying to get each moment out of them.  Then as I laid him down to sleep at night, I would thank him and God for such a sweet day, and be caught up in a moment of both intense joy and a slight saddened tug on my heart that I had to say goodnight to him.  Even though I knew I’d see him in 2-3 hours.  That’s newborn love.

Last night one of those moments caught me by surprise.  Jack’s still so sweet, but with a toddler those moments are more few and far between than they used to be.  Tommy was working late, so there was no evening diversion for Jack.  [He loves seein his daddy in the evenings for some serious play and love time].  Jack was especially tired, so we headed outside for some fun.  Somewhere in between there and bathtime, pjs, stories, and bedtime that moment of intense joy and a saddened heart returned.  I am blessed by that.

So here are my thoughts to leave you with today:

I hope the weather is just as beautiful where you are.

Please tell me someone else is hooked on Parenthood, too??  And by hooked, I mean sitting on the couch, compulsively rewinding over and over, shoving cookies in your mouth, and crying.  Just me?

in a pinch.

Now that I have started working a little bit again I’m having more of those “in a pinch” moments.  You know those ones where you had big ideas for dinner but it just won’t work.  Or maybe you have no ideas for dinner, it’s already 5:30, baby is hungry, husband walks in hungry, and there’s no way you’re going to pull together something decent for dinner.  Yeah, that’s more like my “in a pinch” moment.


We ended up going with a frozen pizza on one of those nights.  I try to add something of healthy value when we have pizza night.  Maybe it comes from my mom who would always make us eat salad with our pizza whenever we ordered pizza when we were little.  This time I took the approach of adding healthy value to the pizza.  We had an awesome tomato from the farmers market that I cut up and put on the pizza before I baked it.



Hello color.  Hello nutrients.  Hello delicious.


It does nothing to take away fat and calories but at least we got some good nutrients in with our pizza.  Better than nothing!

we did it.

We survived BACK TO WORK week.  I have taken a position at a local hospital working just as needed.  It will be good for me to stay current in the field of nutrition but won’t take me away from my sweet little boy too much.  Last week I started training and we all survived the new transition.  We ate out 2 out of those 3 nights, despite my best efforts to plan ahead, and had a mini-meltdown on Friday night [Jack and me].  I wasn’t sure I’d survive the days without my little sidekick but I did.  Who knew everything would be ok without me here running it?  🙂  Guess the world doesn’t revolve around me after all.


We had a fun weekend hanging out.  We were all pumped for the big Tennessee/Florida game.  Jack was wearing his Little Vol shirt, doing his Big Orange cheers.  My mom, sister, and I checked out some of the downtown excitement on Saturday morning.  We were pumped.  First half went well and then it all fell apart.  Disappointing.



In other news, I’ve had some technical difficulties with the blog lately, so I apologize for weird posts that pop up and then come down.  And half written posts.  I will get it taken care of.



Thanks for being here.  Thanks for reading.  Happy Monday to you!



what we did this week.

So many pictures ahead.  Consider this fair warning.

I’m linking up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged for her InstaFriday again this week.  I love love recording our weeks through pictures.  It’s so fun to look back and see what’s been going on based on our weekly pictures.  Thanks for following with us!

We’ve officially welcomed fall at our house.  I took down our summer wreath and replaced it with this festive fall one.  Come on, fall!

The little man has his own little rocker at his Nan and Pops.  It was my mom’s when she was little, then mine, my sister and brother’s, and now sweet Jack Jack is enjoying reading in it, too.

It’s all in a day’s work.  He takes his work very seriously.

Isn’t my sister gorgeous?  That hair!  She’s a great aunt, Jack loves her.  I do, too.

My little boy and his favorite ride and one of his best doggie friends.

Sweet reading time before bed.

This is so fuzzy but I kept trying to get one last shot of Jack’s long curls right before we got his haircut.  Love those curls!

He wasn’t too sure what to think of the whole haircut thing.

And the stud right after his haircut.  So precious!  I wrote a whole post about his haircut because it was really tugging on my mama heart.  It’s been a big week around here for our family, specifically with me and Jack, so I’ve been kind of emotional about it all.

Ohh the dimples…

This is my favorite picture of us ever!  It’s been months since the little man has really wanted to snuggle with me- really since he was teeny.  One day this week he kept snuggling up to me on the couch and was lovin it.  He even loved when I took our picture.

Found this guy here on the couch at 6:30 the other night.  Long week.

Happy happy Friday!

Check out my past Instagram weekly photos here, where I captured our week, here, here, where I posted on a Saturday our weekly photos, here, and the very first one.

life rearranged