October 17, 2014

Five On Friday

It's been a hot minute since I've participated in a link-up {even my own} and this one is fun and easy and quick.  Just like I like em.

1.  Coffee.  We had a Keurig fancy pants coffee maker a while back but something happened and it stopped making a full cup of coffee.  After de-scaling, calling Keurig for advice, trying every Pinterest trick out there we finally gave up and went back to our trusty ole Bunn coffee maker.  At first we LOVED having a full pot again {months of a teaspoon of coffee will do that to you} but it grew old really quickly.  Last week I bit the bullet and bought another Keurig and I'm so glad that I did. I know, first world problems for sure, but this has seriously made my mornings so much better and easier.  Here's hoping this one doesn't crap out on us.

2.  Coordinating PJs. I am never one to match my kids.  Hell, I'm lucky if they both get dressed on a daily basis. But PJs?  I'm all over coordinating PJs.  I just love it.  I love new PJs in general but coordinating ones take it to a whole new level.  Kendall kinda loves it too.

3.  PiYo.  I'm not going to harp on this program, you all know how much I love it.  I love it so much that I'm getting PiYo certified this month!  Actually, next weekend!  I also have a "job" already, starting the Monday following.  I'm nervous beyond belief.  I don't think I'm awesome enough to teach this but I'm going to try my hardest.  I really believe in PiYo and so I'm happy to be able to bring it to people who might not otherwise try it.  Fingers crossed that I don't puke on my first day.

4.  Birthdays.  We have had 7 birthday parties since the beginning of September.  I'm tired.  I'm birthday-d out.  I feel like I've bought every boy and every girl toy imaginable and shopping for things that your kid likes while your kid is with you but you're not buying for her is HARD!  Did you follow that?  I love this season of life and celebrating but I'm ready for a nice relaxing weekend at home too. Also, what is your budget for birthdays for kids?

5.  Purging.  Don't worry, I don't have an eating disorder.  I just cleaned the playroom and my closet and loaded up the Expedition with TONS of stuff.  Jumperoo, infant toys, playmat, bumbo seat, boppy, inflatable duck tub, clothes, shoes, you name it!  It's gone!  It felt good to do a little "spring cleaning" in the fall.  Basically I just made room for more/new but whatever.

October 3, 2014


Today is my five year wedding anniversary.  

This relationship is the reason I started this blog in the first place.  It was the reason I choose the title of my blog. I was a newly engaged twenty-something and I was just so excited about our upcoming wedding.  I wanted a place where I could share my wedding planning and keep my bridal party on the same page.  Over the past five years this blog has grown into something I never dreamed of but my marriage has grown even more. 

In five years we've lived in two different homes, gone through three different vehicles, had two babies, four different "jobs", gone on two husband-wife only vacations, and countless other memories.  We've had our ups and downs but no matter what we always come back to each other and remain a solid partnership.  

You know when you get married you never think about the life stuff that's going to take place down the road.  You don't think about the sleepless nights when your babies are small.  You don't worry about the possibility of your pipes freezing in the dead of winter.  You don't wonder how you'll pay next months mortgage.  But you also don't think about how much more in love you will be in the coming years.  

On my wedding day I was for certain that there was no way I could love my husband more than I did in that moment.  He was everything I loved about a man and damn he looked handsome standing at the alter.  He had a all the qualities I dreamed my husband would have.  He's artistic, he's hard-working, he plays the guitar {major swoon}, he was sensitive but still manly, he gets along with everyone, he is a provider in every sense of the word, and did I mention he's handsome?  

And then I've seen his role change from boyfriend, to fiance, to husband, to father and my oh my has my love grown stronger with each of those changes.  As a boyfriend he was fun, the life of the party. I never had that kind of fun until I met Jimmy Dew.  He was a little bit of a party boy and I had never partied a day in my life, not like that.  He taught me how to just relax and have fun and I loved that about him.  As a fiance he showed me patience.  Wedding planning is no joke and something that can make a lot of us girls go crazy over.  I know I had my share of "OMG wedding emergency" moments but throughout all of my freak outs he was calm.  He always knew that everything would work out and taught me how to just take a deep breath.  As a husband he has been the provider in all areas of our lives.  He will do whatever he has to to make sure his families needs are met.  He's the hardest working man I know and while some times it drives me crazy I know that he does it for us and I cannot argue with that.  Dad Jimmy is all encompassing.  He's fun, he reminds me to not take everything so seriously and he teaches me patience every day. 

My husband is an all around great guy and I'm lucky to be his wife.  He's my voice of reason, my biggest supporter and my best friend.  Not only am I thankful to be married to such a gem but also that my babies get to call him their dad.  

I may not know everything but I do know that I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend, lucky to have been where we have been. 

September 30, 2014

Let's Talk PiYo...

Lately I've been using Instagram as a mini blog for me.  It's easy, it's fast, it's instant and THAT I have time for.  Until I share things on there that I wish to elaborate on, here, and never get around to it.  That's when it dawned on me, the other day, that I never shared my results from PiYo with my blog readers.  

I know the suspense has been killing you.  ::sarcasm font::

OK so here's the deal.  Prior to starting PiYo I had done three rounds {alpha, beta, and gamma} of T25.  I was feeling really good but I was excited to see what PiYo would do for my body.  It promise to give you a long, lean look with no jumps and no weights.  After gamma T25 I was ready for something a little more low impact.  

I had never done a Chalene Johnson program before so I had no idea what to expect from her.  I big, pink, puffy heat love Shaun T so I was worried Chalene wouldn't live up.  Well I am happy to report that I was wrong.  She is awesome.  No, she's extraordinary.  She's got such an amazing, positive, inspiring, attitude and you can tell that she's just a happy person.  When I grow up I want to be Chalene.  

So about the program.  It starts out slow with 20 minute, beginner type workouts.  After a couple of weeks you build up to the "harder" workouts that will seriously make you sweat!  The workouts range from 20-45 minutes and the 45 minute ones will leave your whole body feeling like Jell-O {in a good way}.  The program lasts 8 weeks and then, if you're like me, you'll start over because it's THAT good.  If you're thinking, "but yoga is too slow for me..." think again.  Yes this program combines elements of yoga but it's anything but slow.  

This was after I finished gamma T25 and then PiYo...

I'm pretty happy my results.  Heck I'm hella happy with these results!  Don't ask why but I didn't take a side pic this time and I'm kicking myself for it.  I feel like I got more muscles with PiYo than with T25- which still boggles my mind because of all the weights in T25.  I also feel stronger after PiYo.  I'm noticing muscles in my arms/shoulders that I didn't know where there before.  As for my stomach, it's still a work in progress but hot damn if it's not getting tighter- finally!

I loved this program so much that I'm getting PiYo certified next month!  Hopefully I'll be able to teach it at a studio here or around Columbus very soon.  I'm very excited about this new venture and I can't wait to see where it takes me.

If you've been considering PiYo I highly, highly recommend it.  It's low impact so it's great for people who have injuries or aren't quite ready for something like T25.  It still delivers great results {obviously} and no weights and no jumping no extra equipment required.  Chalene is such a great motivator and has a positive attitude throughout which just makes me happy.  

September 18, 2014

Fall Family Photo Outfits

I love having our family pictures taken.  It usually only happens once a year and it's always in the fall.  That is the only time I am actually guaranteed to get professional pictures taken.  It's mostly for Christmas card purposes, if I'm being honest, but I do love to change out our pictures in our house every once in a while too.

I do not, however, like trying to find coordinating outfits for us all {families bigger than four are laughing at me right now}.  In this day and age the idea is to all wear outfits that coordinate but don't "match".  Gone are the days of everyone wearing jeans and a white top.  Today we want to look more casual as if we just happened to look this cute while we were at a park and stumbled across a professional photographer.  Right?  Wrong.  

The whole coordinating but not matching thing is cute, looks great in pictures but boy oh boy doesn't it cause me a lot of sleepless nights.  I know, I know {hashtag: firstworldproblems}.  I mean I didn't literally lose sleep over it but I did have many text conversations with my friend over it {I'm lucky she still speaks to me after that debacle}.  It just stresses me out.  

I knew I wanted to wear THAT dress. I got it a few days before, fell in love with it, loved the fit, it was perfect.  I was able to coordinate Jimmy and baby James with no troubles but Kendall?  She had nothing in the orange, olive, black/white department.  I was struggling.  Again hashtag: firstworldproblems.  I'll say this, if you are looking for something black and white for a little girl, think again.  It basically doesn't exist, I looked everywhere.  So I had to figure out a new way to tie us all together, because I was wearing that dress, damnit. 

Enter the denim vest.  Seriously people, what did I do before this 1990s throwback?  I am obsessed.  I wear it pretty much every day that I get dressed in real clothes.  I love it.  So throw that on and all I needed was a denim dress for Kendall, some orange accents and a pair of brown boots and we're good as coordinated.  

I also knew I wanted to get some pictures of just Jimmy and I because the last REAL pictures we have together are from our wedding, everything since has been family.  So then our outfits had to look good together but also with the whole family.  You guys I think way too much about this stuff.

Our pictures were a bit different from last year.  Last year James was just a tiny baby.  We didn't have to worry about him looking at the camera because, who cares, he's a baby!  He also wasn't mobile at the time either.  Now he's mobile in the sense that he does whatever he wants and also is too young to listen so that's fun.  But my sweet friend Sarah was so great with my kids.  She knew what to do to get them to look at her, made them smile at the same time and when she shot this picture I knew it was going to make my heart melt.

It's safe to say I want to start a gallery wall with just canvases from this shoot because I am in love!  When Sarah sent me my slideshow I cried, literally.  So beautiful.  I didn't even care what the outfits looked like together anymore.  This is my family and my whole heart.  I know that the days seem long but the years are short and these photos reminded me of that.  Kendall is four and James is one and I can remember the day each of them was born as if it were yesterday.  I am so incredibly lucky to be their mama {or "mom" as Kendall calls me these days}.  As for Jimmy?  He's stolen my heart all over again.  He's the one who keeps me sane, the one I can be silly with and the one who has my back no matter what.  I don't know where I'd be without him.

Outfit details:
Jimmy- Shirt//Jeans {similar}//Boots {similar}
Shannon- Dress//Vest//Boots {similar}
Kendall- Dress//Bow//Boots
James- Shirt//Pants//Shoes

September 17, 2014

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...

I am not that emotional mom who cries on her child's first day of preschool.

For the past few weeks my IG and Facebook feeds have been full of back to school/first day of school pictures. I LOVE seeing these, seriously.  I love side by sides of the previous year vs this year and how these babies have grown.  Most of the people I follow on social media are people I have followed via blogging from years back. A lot of them had babies at the same time that I had Kendall and so it's like watching our babies grow up together.  It's cool, really.

Normally when I see said pictures pop up on my feed they're accompanied by, "cue the waterworks" type captions.  A lot of parents cried on the first day, or so they said.  Even at our own drop off there were lots of lingering parents, hanging out in the annex down the hall "just in case", with camera in tow.  

And I thought, "maybe there's something wrong with me?".  

I was not that mom.  I hugged and kissed my girl at the classroom door, told her to have a good day, and off she went with a huge smile on her face.  James and I did not hang around to have coffee while we made sure Sister was going to be OK.  I took her picture before we left the house, obviously, but there were no send off pictures.  There were definitely no tears {from either of us}.

Call me crazy but I was excited for the first day of school.  

You're probably thinking I'm selfish, that I was happy because I "got rid" of one of my kids for 2.5 hrs/3 days a week, but that is not the case.  Last year?  In the throes of The Terrible Threes with an epic "threenager"?  That would have absolutely been my reason. But not this year.

I was excited because Kendall was excited.  She loves school and her teacher {she has the same teacher as last year}.  She likes seeing her friends again.  She couldn't wait to play on the playground at school and have a snack, four-year-old priorities.  I'm happy that she likes school {for now} and, so, if she's excited, I'm excited.

Also, I was looking forward to her doing some things that we haven't really been doing much at home lately, like painting, cutting, Play-Doh, kinetic sand- basically anything messy.  James is still putting EVERYTHING in his mouth.  He's walking now so he gets into whatever he wants.  If there is a piece of confetti on the ground, he will find it and eat it, guaranteed.  So a lot of that has been put on hold because, OMG it freaks me out.  Instead we do less messy, more quiet things like puzzles, reading, and board games.  So to know that at least three days a week she's getting to let her creativity flow, makes me happy.

So, no, I was not sad on the first day of preschool and I realized there is nothing "wrong" with me for that.  When my child is happy, I am happy.  Now, come first day of kindergarten I might be singing a different tune...

September 15, 2014

Sweet September

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that September is the new black.  No?  How about September is the new January? 

I feel like September is a fresh start.  Just like you make New Years Resolutions in January, September is a time for renewal too.  Sure the ease of summer is over but there's something refreshing about getting into a routine.  I kind of like knowing that x, y, and z are happening and by that I mean I like that preschool is happening and therefore so are early bedtimes.  I kid, I kid.  Kind of. 

But there's something about the cooler air, the windows open, the new fall clothes, the thrill of going apple picking and hayride riding, and earlier nights that make me feel like a new person.  September is usually still warm enough to wear your maxi dresses by day but chilly enough to snuggle up in a hoodie come nightfall.  It's pretty much having your cake and eating it too, the best of both worlds. 

I know it's only been September for 12 days but in less than two weeks I almost feel like I've become a new person. I feel like I've become more laid back.  Which is weird considering we are actually on a schedule now.  We now have preschool three days a week {up one day from last year} and Jimmy teaches two nights a week on top of working 40+ hours.  We have a lot of birthdays, family events and not to mention holidays but something about all of this makes me feel calm.  I like knowing what's coming up and I like having things to do. Call me crazy,

I feel like, come September, I'm ready for change.  Whether it be fall fashion, a darker hair color, new recipes, different scents, I get excited for it all.  Fall is a time to try new things and, in a way, feels like the new year again.  I'm not going to go all crazy and make a resolution or anything BUT I might change up a few things, to keep it fresh.

As much as I love summer I do welcome fall with open arms.  While we have more to do on a day to day basis we also slow down a bit.  We snuggle more.  We talk more.  We listen more. We are more intentional with our time.  And that will always make me love fall, just a little more.

September has been good to us so far.  We've gone apple picking, made cider, had our fall family pictures taken, had a bonfire with s'smores, and we've already eaten LOTS of chili.  So I guess, maybe that whole thing about fall slowing us down isn't true.  But one thing is for sure and that's that we've spent a lot of time together, as a family, and it doesn't get much better than that.

September 10, 2014

My Sweet Summer Is Gone

As I sit here and type this post I'm greeted by the cool autumn breeze blowing through my kitchen window, which has been closed for far too long due to the summers heat.  I'm wearing fleece pants, a hoodie, and "at home" socks-you know the super-thick, cozy ones with the grippy things on the bottom?

I'm equally happy and sad about this.

I love summer.  The hotter the better.  I love the sunshine, going to the pool, eating ice cream for dinner, the beach, wearing shorts, going to the park, the easiness of life that takes place for three months out of the year.  Yes, summer is my favorite season. 

But, I also love fall.  Who doesn't?  If I needed further proof that fall is everyone's favorite, I can just look at Instagram.  It's already full of Pumpkin Spice Lattes {bleh}, fall candles {guilty as charged}, and people digging out there riding boots.  I get it, it's exciting to open the windows, snuggle up in a hoodie, and smell all the things pumpkin.  But it also means that winter, dreaded white-death, is upon us and after the winter that nearly killed the moms I am not looking forward to what's next.  

Kendall starts PreK-4 today.  Or preschool as I like to call it.  While I'm looking forward to this for her, the schedule, learning, being around other kids her age, not having to limit her activities because of a certain one-year-old, I am going to miss the laziness of our summer days.  Yesterday we were casually swimming, soaking up our last pool day of the year, and today we will be on a time crunch to get breakfast in our tummies, hair brushed, bodies dressed and out the door on time. 

Friday was our last week day of summer and I really had nothing planned.  I had things that I wanted/needed to do but for the most part was unscheduled.  We had preschool open house from 9-10 and that went just as I figured.  Kendall was shy the first 55 minutes and then opened up and became more herself for the last five.  It's fine, she'll be fine today {that's what I keep telling myself}.  

We had been invited to an Eric Carle event at our local Gymboree* the same day and, being as her preschool theme is also Eric Carle this year, I wanted to go.  I love Eric Carle books, Kendall's favorite is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I knew it'd be fun for her.  She had a blast!  It was a simple event but perfectly age appropriate and I even got to do some shopping for our fall family pictures while she painted a caterpillar and listened to story time.

We threw money in the fountains, made wishes, shopped a little more, ran through the splash pad and topped our morning with a little bit of ice cream for lunch.  Nothing was scheduled, I wasn't worried about naps or being anywhere on time.  We just went with the flow and it was exactly as the last day of summer should be, carefree and easy.  It's amazing, when I let go my kids are happier and we have such a better day.  I need to remember this when we are stuck in the house this winter.

Now our days are going to be scheduled.  Teeth will need to be brushed by 8 o'clock.  There will be no more staying up a little late catching fireflies.  No more ice cream for dinner.  While part of me likes the idea of a routine the other, bigger part of me is sad to see the easy breezy summer days go away. 

Maybe I can convince Jimmy to move to California...

“This is a sponsored blog post. I received compensation from Gymboree. The opinions and text are all mine.”