10 Things about Sophie

1. When she answers in the affirmative, she either enthusiastically says, "YEAH!" or pronounces yes as "yesh."

2. However, her favorite word is "no."

3. She loves her hair, especially when I put a ponytail on the top, and will spend the day playing with it, especially when she's trying to fall asleep.

4. Speaking of what she does when trying to fall asleep, she prefers to rub my arm to settle down. Which is okay for a minute or so, but gets old very fast. Her sister used to do the same thing.

5. She loves to read books, and we can frequently go through upwards of 10 in a single setting.

6. She thinks her big sister is the coolest person in the entire world.

7. She is way more into potty training than we are at this point; we're following her lead.

8. She has been eating us out of house and home lately. I'm guessing she'll grow out of all her pants any day now.

9. She is the best cuddler and gives the best kisses in the entire world.

10. She is just the sweetest child I have ever met, and I hope she never, ever changes.

Bonus, number 11: She is going to be 2 in just over a month. How did that happen?


Listening: To ghost story podcasts in celebration of Halloween. My favorites are Jim Harold's Campfire and Anything Ghost. It's no secret that I'm a fan of paranormal TV shows; this is how I get my fix when I don't have time to catch up via my DVR.

Eating: I'm going out for Ethiopian food for lunch today for the first time ever, and I'm SUPER excited. Injera here I come!
Drinking: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee, please! I'm super addicted lately, and should cut back. There was half a second last week when I thought I might be pregnant (it was a stomach bug), and the thought of having to cut back again nearly made me cry (that was mostly likely PMS).
Wearing: Except for today, it's been sweater weather lately. While I'm not wearing it today (because I wore it on Monday), I love my new sweatshirt from Target (I have it in "Nightfall Blue" because I love navy stripes), and wish I could wear it everyday.

Feeling: Cozy. That's my favorite feeling in the fall. I'd love to be sitting under a blanket with Aaron, in front of a fire. That would be perfection.

Weather: Today it's going to be 72 and sunny. The rest of the week, before and after, it's been in the 40s or 50s and rainy, which makes me crave the cuddling in front of a fire even more.

Wanting: A vacation. I could use a couple of weeks away from my crazy busy reality.

Needing: More sick days. Everyone in my family, except for me (knock on wood!) has been sick for pretty much this entire month. Gabbie is home sick today with Aaron, and while I will probably have to head home for the afternoon to fill in, I may be short on hours to cover it. This happened in February, too!

Thinking: About babies. It seems like babies are happening everywhere around me, and both Aaron and I have serious baby fever. My best friend is due next weekend, and I can't wait to go see and snuggle on her sure-to-be-adorable baby boy!

Enjoying: The peace and quiet that's happening here today. Everyone is super busy, which is stressful for sure, but the quiet is pretty heavenly. Back to it!

And just because it's been a while, my girls at the zoo:


Things I don't want to forget

The way Sophie says, "No," with her lips pursed.

How absolutely adorable Sophie is these days. Everything she does is just so cute, and Aaron and I aren't the only ones that think this. Everyone who spends time with her comments on how adorable/cute she is these days. It's pretty amazing. I was joking with my sister that Soph has my looks and Aaron's charisma, so she's going to be unstoppable.

Sophie also thinks that Gabbie is the best, coolest person in the whole wide world and wants to be exactly like her and do everything that Gabbie does. Aaron and I joke that we just have to do a good job raising Gabbie, and Sophie will follow suit.

Gabbie has had a rough month, getting anxious about leaving her daycare and heading to school at the beginning of September. Some of her friends are headed to the year-round school we have in our district, and so their last day is today. She is so, so much like me it's scary sometimes: equally excited and worried about every change. She's also home sick for the second day in a row, and so she's missing her best friend's last day, and I am broken hearted about this. So many changes are happening so quickly for her, and she's really starting on her school journey and leaving behind all thing toddler. How did this happen already?!?

We had an absolutely excellent day at the lake with my family this weekend, and were all sad to leave on Sunday afternoon. (Gabbie cried quite a bit when we had to go, because she was just having so! much! fun!)

Some pictures of our fun:

Gabbie and I, waking up in the cabin under an open window, with the sun rising and the birds singing.

Our early-morning view from the porch swing (moments before Gabbie bit it and started crying, and I was afraid she was going to wake up everyone).

In the water. Gabbie was a little tentative at first, while Sophie is a total fish and loved the water.

 The next day, at about 12:00. I tried to keep her awake, and it was literally not possible. Also, hilarious.

Being Away

This week I have a long trip for work. I am mostly dreading it, but there are some parts I'm looking forward to, like:
  • A quiet hotel room, all to myself
  • Going out to a nice restaurant without kids/worrying if they'll have anything my kids will eat
  • Evening cocktails
  • Time to read books (I'm planning on reading Gone Girl, and The Night Circus)
  • A quiet hotel room, all to myself
I'm not looking to the 5+ hour flight, two days of sitting in conference sessions, public speaking, and then another 5+ hour flight. Plus, my presentation is at the end of the day on the first day. You know, 4:00 PM, Pacific time. Not when I'm typically at my best, for sure.

It's so hot....

It is currently 97 degrees here. Tomorrow's high is predicted to be over 100 degrees.

Here are the reasons I know it is far too hot, up here in the great white north:

Random afternoon thunderstorms are popping up, a la Florida where my in-laws claim it rains every afternoon because of the heat.

Any and all makeup and deodorant I applied this morning were negated by the 20 yard walk to my car at lunch.

And my favorite: Last night at dinner, Gabbie announced that her butt crack was all sweaty and gross.

It's so hot that I almost fell out of my chair laughing at my 4-year-old.

That'll Teach Me to Stay On the Couch*

Back in January, Aaron joined a local running group in an effort to get in better shape and to train for a 10K. He did such an awesome job, and surpassed his goal, running a half-marathon distance a couple of times (and planning to sign up for a half sometime soon). I am super proud of him, and also super impressed. He did so great, and runs regularly at an under 9 minutes per mile pace, no matter the distance. He ran a 10K at the end of May and killed it!

So, following his lead, and wanting to get in better shape, too, I signed up for the running group, and official training starts Saturday morning. However, there were some unofficial training events this week, including a promotional trail run that Aaron was also interested in, so we decided to go for that run on Tuesday night.

We got to the park, and I was super excited and motivated to do this thing! Aaron had the girls in the stroller, so he was walking/jogging while I ran on ahead. I was making great time and was a half mile into the trail, when disaster/a tree root struck, and I sprained my ankle. Bad. Excuse the grossness of this (and the picture below), but there was a crunching sound. I thought for sure I had broken my ankle.

Thankfully, there is an x-ray equipped redi-med right outside the park where we were running so, after walking that 1/2 mile back out of the woods (OUCH!) Aaron drove me right there. In the picture (again, sorry for the grossness) the top-left picture is how my ankle looked immediately after the fall. Not too promising for a minor injury, right? The doctor said he was impressed by the swelling, and that it's not good to impress a doctor. They took x-rays and determined that the bones look fine, but I definitely have a bad sprain. I'm on the RICE (Rest - Ice - Compression - Elevation) plan, and have an air cast and crutches (if I need them), and it's starting to look better (the other three shots are how it looked yesterday - the swelling isn't completely gone, but it's much better). The bruising was new as of yesterday.

So, my plans for training are on hold for the time-being. I can't believe I did this a half-mile into my first run, and I'm super mad at myself, even though I know it was an accident. Aaron keeps telling me not to beat myself up about it, but I can't help it. I'm feeling a little depressed because, not only can I not run, I really can't do anything right now, and I feel helpless, which I totally hate. Aaron is being super awesome about running the house, but I can also tell he's stressed, so between the stress and the self-pity we both have short tempers right now, which sucks.

I'm already plotting how to make this up to him, and so far my ideas include sending him up to hang out with his brother and go fishing or something. Or perhaps buy him a nice 6 pack of beer and take the girls out so he can play video games for an afternoon or evening. Whatever it is, I owe him a huge debt.

*This has been our running joke, but rest assured: I will get back off the couch as soon as I can.

Little Ballerina

Gabbie had her first ballet recital this weekend, and did wonderfully. The best part was when her class took the stage, and the entire audience went, "Awwww...." Their costumes were by far the cutest, and they were all so super sweet.

It was a long day, but she did great all day, and was rewarded with a giant cookie and whatever she wanted for dinner (to go out for dinner and eat meatballs (she didn't actually eat the meatballs)). So far, four is extra adorable and fun.

The Amazing Gabbie

Dearest Bitty,

This photo so perfectly sums up how you are these days. You are absolutely, perfectly 4!

You turned four nearly a week ago now, and it's a testament to how busy you and your sister keep us that I am just now getting to post this. You are the most beautiful, smart, hilarious, active, talkative, loud, adorable, loving, amazing four-year-old I have ever met. You never stop talking or singing, and although, I admit, it wears on me from time to time, I still absolutely love hearing everything you have to say.

I have to tell you that you are perfectly what I thought any daughter of mine would be like, and it could go without saying (although it won't), that I love you more everyday than the day before. I am so glad that you are the person that made me a mom.

I hope you never stop being yourself, because who you are is amazing.

(Looking back: Gabbie at three, two, one, zero)

Homework, Part 1

Since we don't have nearly enough stuff keeping us busy lately, we've decided to do some major work on our yard this summer. This is our third summer living in our house, and it's definitely way past time for us to put our mark on the yard.

We decided to do one of the biggest jobs first; taking out a couple of trees and trimming branches on a couple of others. There is a huge honey locust right behind our house that was fine, and healthy, but that also has tiny leaves that build up in our gutters, clogging them and causing water to pour over the gutters and into our basement on more than one occasion. You know, not one of our favorite occurrences.

I guess I should have said, there WAS a huge honey locust right behind our house, because it's no longer there. They were there and done by noon today when Aaron stopped home for lunch. The difference is amazing, no?

We also had some branches trimmed on the tree that's just off to the right in the photo, and a diseased oak taken out in front so that the blight in that tree didn't spread to the two other oaks we have in our yard, and one branch that was brushing our house taken off the maple on the side of our house.

We'll miss out on some shade, but I like a house that feels light and airy, and I think we'll definitely have even more of that feeling now.

Still on our list of yard to-dos (and I doubt we'll get them all done this summer, but that won't be for lack of trying):

(Here's an old picture of the front of our house for reference:

  • Tear out all of the overgrown bushes in the front yard (and the decorative tree that is even more overgrown and blocks our porch).
  • Trim down the lilac bush so we can see out our front window.
  • Add window boxes along our porch railing, filled with red geraniums
  • Add back in some new bushes, grasses, and colorful flowers in front
  • Paint the front door
  • Put house numbers above the garage
  • Replace the lights
  • Replace the mailbox
  • Clean up the porch, and add a couple of chairs where an old pile of wood, left by the previous owners, currently sits


Right next to my parent's house, where I grew up, is a large park. During the summers especially, I spent a lot of time playing in the park, on each and every piece of play equipment that was there. One of the best things in the park is a giant metal slide.

My mom emailed my brother, sister, and I early last month to let us know that they had started to take out the old, metal, apparently dangerous (although we all survived childhood just fine), equipment, and the slide wasn't long for the world. Right before we got there on Easter weekend, they had taken out the swings! Seriously, right before Easter, on a spring break weekend, they took all of the swings out of a park.

We decided that Gabbie had to try out the slide just once before it was gone. It's pretty tall and intimidating, and she had never even gone near it before (there's some newer, plastic play equipment that she uses). I tagged along, with the camera to capture a few images for posterity.

She had a great time! Sophie even tried it once or twice from a third of the way up.

A quick slide story:

When we were little, and feeling pretty daring, we three kids would each take a piece of wax paper with us to the park. We then would proceed to go down the slide, sitting on the wax paper. And when I say, "go down the slide," I really mean, "fly down the slide with increasing speed each time." Waxing up the slide was so much fun! For us, at least. Now I kind of feel sorry for the next, unsuspecting kids who would likely fly off the end of the slide when they thought they'd just slip down at it's usual, leisurely pace (it was typically covered with sap from the tree right above, so it sometimes took a little effort to get down).

It's Baby Day!

That title may be a teensy bit misleading, but rest assured, I am NOT PREGNANT, nor have we made any decisions about whether I will ever be pregnant again.

However, the baby in question will be related to me, and today we find out, hopefully, about the baby's health and sex, as it's Big Ultrasound day for my brother and sister-in-law. I now understand how my sister felt when I was pregnant. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. Technically, I am already an aunt, as Aaron's brother has two girls, but this is different. My baby brother is going to have a baby!

And so, it's April

The other day Gabbie and I were doing a kid's yoga routine, and we were doing child's pose. Sophie had been playing on the other side of the room, but chose that moment to come over and sit on my head. I couldn't stop laughing for about ten minutes after that.

Then, this past weekend, I was explaining something to Gabbie, and when I was done, she responded, "Okay. Gotcha." It was just so grown up, and it caught me off guard, and I was off to chuckling once again.

The story continues on as it has, work is crazy, and I'm now convinced that the slow period following the craziness that I used to get has disappeared forever. I took on this role, not quite realizing the scope and the national recognition and that I now had to be much more careful, serious, and political. I don't mind it so much, but I'm also not quite sure how I got here. I went into my Masters program because it was kinda sorta related to what I liked in undergrad, and then I got an internship at my company, and now, nearly 9 years later, I have a career. Not a job, but an honest-to-God career. It feels pretty amazing to be here, but I wouldn't mind slowing down sometime.

Most days, though, I leave the work at the office, and shed that skin through a chat with my mom (hands free, of course) on the drive from work to school, and arrive, refreshed and simultaneously exhausted, with a smile on my face to greet my girls. The last three hours at work are spent missing them like crazy, and I can't hide the glee when they run up and hug my legs. They are, of course, the reason that I put up with the work craziness, so I can give them the best life possible.

Yesterday Sophie had to stay home for some gross, illness related issues, of which I'll spare you the details. I gave Gabbie the choice of whether or not to go to school, and she chose to stay home with us. We ate breakfast, played, ran errands, ate lunch, played, napped, planted some wheat grass for Easter decorating, ran another errand, and played some more. It was the kind of day where I could pretend that I was nobody other than a mom to these sweet girls, and it was rejuvinating and fantastic, and something that I desperately want to do more often.

Bits and Pieces

This is what happens when I ask each of my girls to smile for the camera:

I think goofy is the default setting for 3.5 year olds.


You know how you go along in life thinking this one thing, and then find out you're actually wrong, and it's all kinds of embarrassing? Yeah. That. So.

Some examples:

The Secretary of Defense has a name, and it's not Lee Onpanetta. It's Leon Panetta. Where you put the break in those two words does, in fact, make a big difference, and will also probably cause your partner to laugh at you when you say something about what you heard Onpanetta say on NPR, and he's all confused, and then you clarify.

Also: my mom had a hearty laugh at my expense one day when I was much younger (I believe I was in high school at the time), and I said something about Nat King Cole's daughter, Carole King. (His daughter is actually Natalie Cole - at least I knew his daughter was also a famous singer, right?)

My favorite one of these is not mine, but my sister's. One day when she was being an annoying little kid, my brother and I told her that if you ring the doorbell too many times the basement would flood. See, she was ringing the doorbell repeatedly, and my parents had just had a very stressful time dealing with a flooded basement, so this made an impression. So much so that she still believed this to be true until one day, when she was about 15, she panicked when her friend started ringing the doorbell repeatedly. She started to tell her why she shouldn't do it, when halfway through her sentence, it clicked that we were full of crap, and had tricked her.

Ahhh, good times.


Gabbie had a tough day yesterday, starting with excitement due to preschool happenings (it was green day, our snack day, show and tell day, and I was coming in to read a book to her class), and then went into a nose dive when she realized I was going to leave her at school when I left after reading the book. She starting hysterically sobbing, and was crying on and off for the next three hours, upsetting her friends and disturbing some other kids' nap time. I feel horrible about it all - about having to go back to work and leaving her there, about the teachers having to deal with the crying, about how sensitive she is (and that's all my fault, I was the same way). When she gets like this I can feel it in my heart, because I have so been there.

I explained that I have to work so that we can have a house, and clothes, and toys, and food, and I know she gets it, but she still wants me, and that doesn't change. So, Friday, because she's feeling attention-starved and because she got an awesome report card last night, I'm taking the day off and we're having a day to ourselves. We're thinking about going to the zoo, meeting up with Aaron for lunch, and perhaps some shopping. It should be fabulous.

And now I should go back to working so that I can get everything done and can actually take the day off.

February Details

Here's what ate my February (and most of why I'm so glad it's March):

Sicknesses (diagnosed by doctors): 4 sinus infections (3 for Aaron, 1 for Sophie), 4 ear infections (all Sophie), pink eye (Sophie again)

Sicknesses (not diagnosed by doctors): stomach flu (me and Sophie), random 2-day cold (Gabbie)

Prescriptions: 6 antibiotics (3 each, Aaron and Sophie), eye drops, ear drops, a steroid inhaler and spacer (Aaron)

Number of sick days left, cumulative, entire family (including daycare sick coupons): A Big Fat Zero

It has now been decreed: No one is allowed to get sick for an entire two months at least!

Also, 2 birthday parties (out of four invitations: two overlapped, so we had to choose, and one was at Chuck E. Cheese, and with our run of illnesses, no way was I taking my one healthy child at the time into that house of germs), an impromptu trip up to my parents' house (because we were sick of our four walls), and all the other things that go into making a 4-week month seem like it lasts a year.

I'm not going to comment on how everyone is doing now, because I don't want to jinx anything. However, I will comment that I'm going home for lunch today because I feel like I've been punched in the face, so I've scheduled a lunch date with my neti pot. (Dammit.)

Dubious Superpowers and Two Other Fun Things

1. I'm convinced that everybody has a superpower of some sort. I have two, but they're not the best superpowers to have. They are always chosing the seat at a table that is right in front of the table leg (I often come away from conferences/meetings and formal events with a bruised shin) and the ability to travel down any road that the pothole filling truck has just visited. My car suffers greatly from that second one - I'm always having to take it through the carwash to rinse off the tar and rocks.

2. Sophie has started saying hi, and it's adorable. It's especially adorable because she likes to walk around the house and say hi every time she enters a room, occupied or not. Since our house is arranged in a loop, she walks around in circles saying hi repeatedly, while waving and smiling. I love having little kids for reasons like this one.

3. Aaron has been training for a 10K, which takes place in one of my very favorite places on earth (Traverse City, MI) on Memorial Day weekend. This is a pretty big race, so hotels have, of course, raised their rates for that weekend accordingly. We've stayed at a couple bed and breakfasts up there, and with the hotel rates being even higher than the B&B rates, we booked a room at our favorite for the weekend. This is also a weekend that is proceeded by me attending a meeting in New Orleans during the early part of the week. Gabbie turns four (!!!) that Friday, and then we have the following Monday off work. This is shaping up to be the best week ever, for serious.

Two? Three?

Ever since Sophie hit the one year mark, and started being more toddler than baby, Aaron and I have been having "the talk." The "are we good with two" talk. As we put away baby toys, and baby gear that she has outgrown (or set it aside for my brother's baby due this summer), we are experiencing all sorts of feelings and thoughts. I think, if we're just going with feelings, we would like to have another kid. I mean, our family, as it is, would feel fine and complete to me, but there's always room in my heart for more.

Back in November, we were pretty set on trying for another in a couple years. As of right now (and the whining, obnoxious child-filled weekend we just had), two seems to fit us just fine. Babies are a lot of money and time, and we're about at our limit on the availability of both of those things. But, then I see a friend with her nine-week-old, or I finally put away some of Sophie's newborn clothes (and completely tear up over several different tiny oufits), and I'm not so sure.

So I think we're officially on the no-plan plan. If we do ever have another kid, it won't be until Gabbie is in grade school (there's no way in hell we can afford three in daycare), which is a little later than we'd like to have kids. But, oh, another tiny baby would be so awesome.

How does anyone ever make this decision?

Suddenly, Toddlerhood

So. Last week was a rough one. There were a lot of things going on, including my special monthly visitor, that really didn't help the situation, which ultimately was this: my baby is not so much a baby anymore and it kind of hit me all at once and really hard.

Last week was her first full week in the toddler room at daycare. She loves it there and is truly thriving, trying to catch up with the bigger kids. What this also meant, though, is that she went from taking two to three bottles per day to zero, pretty much overnight. So I went from nursing/pumping from six to eight times a day (usually eight) to three or four overnight and the resulting hormone mess was a nightmare. I had zero patience with anyone and I couldn't stop crying over every single thing.

And then there was Thursday morning, when I realized I was out of bottles to pump into because I was still pumping but Sophie wasn't eating any of it. That's when I went back to bed, and stayed there most of the day.

Sophie is so great. Much more challenging in many ways than her quiet, compliant older sister, but really great. She is a cuddly, smily, fun girl. It just seems like she went from being a baby to a toddler within a month. No gradual transition at all, just BAM! Toddler. A walking, getting into things, eating real people food, signing and using words, responding to questions, toddler.

I knew this day would come, I just didn't know I would have such a hard time with it.

In my defense: I did fold one (small) load of laundry

Since yesterday was MLK day, my office was closed in observation of the holiday. Aaron's office, however, was not, and daycare was open, and since we still would have had to pay for the day whether we sent the girls or not, I chose to send them to school and take the day to do whatever I wanted.

And whatever I wanted included eating snack foods without having to share, finishing a crochet project (that I started 3 years ago), and watching some shows without distraction. I accomplished basically nothing else, but I did eat an entire bag of popcorn without a three year old scolding me to not eat it all. I also watched the entire first season of Downton Abbey. That crochet project is very nearly finished - I only have about a foot of the border left to do and I plan to accomplish that tonight after putting the girls to bed and starting up the first episode of Downton Abbey season two.

I think that Aaron was a little annoyed that I didn't get anything done - the house really needs some picking up, and while I did load the dishwasher, I apparently forgot to actually push the button to start it. However, a day all to myself was sorely needed (insert some slightly whiny statement about Sophie weaning a bit during the same week I'm about to get my monthly visitor, resulting wacky hormones), and greatly appreciated.

As an aside: I totally recommend Downton Abbey, if you couldn't gather that from the above paragraphs. (Very slightly spoilerish information ahead.) The only problem is I can't decide if I like or dislike most of the characters. I mean some (Thomas and O'Brien) are easy to dislike, while others (Sybil) are mostly likeable). However, I kind of feel sorry for the otherwise mostly unlikeable Edith, and Mary is a brat but I want her to get what she wants. Also, Matthew's blue eyes are second only in awesomeness to my husband's.

In sum, it was an awesome day. The only thing that would have made it better was a house staff even a fraction of the size of that in Downton Abbey. (A cook and a house maid would be fantastic.)

The Things We're Doing These Days

I was sick last week with some sort of weird bug that had me down for the count with a headache, light-headedness, a little bit of congestion, and a whole lot of exhaustion. I am feeling better for the most part, save for still having a headache and now with the added fun of constant heartburn. So what I'm saying is, I kind of feel like crap still and planning to have tomato soup for dinner tonight was not my smartest idea ever. What proves to be even a less smart idea is that I'm still totally going to eat that tomato soup because it sounds really damn delicious.

Not feeling well, of course, put me in an excellent mood over the weekend. Aaron caught the bug, too, coming down with it on Friday (which actually made me a little better, because the symptoms are so weird I thought maybe it was just me, but no! Confirmation!). So we shared that excellent mood. The girls fed off of our bad moods, so it was really fun to be in our house this weekend, I'm sure.

Despite our household-wide surliness, we did have some fun this weekend. Gabbie got to go to the neighborhood park and play with the neighborhood kids. Reportedly they played some sort of tag (Aaron went along and also played tag, while Sophie and I napped), which sounds like a lot of fun. There aren't many kids Gabbie's age in the neighborhood, but there are a lot of girls, who have adopted Gabbie as one of their own, and if she's around they include her in their games. It's pretty fantastic.

Sophie is working really hard at walking. She can actually walk, but lacks the confidence to do so. She'll walk halfway across the room, stop when she realizes what she's doing, and then she'll drop and crawl. Alternately, she'll wait until we're all watching, take a few steps, then stand there and clap for herself. She's pretty darn adorable, overall.

I'm really excited for Aaron, who started with a running group last night through a local shoe store. I think this will be really good for him and it sounds like a great group. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous, because I totally am. This will definitely be an adjustment, as he'll be out of the house for runs two nights a week and on Saturday mornings until his 10K in May. However, I'm all about it given his family history and my desire to keep him around for a long time. One of his grandpas died in his forties from a sudden and massive heart attack, and I'd like to avoid that happening to him if at all possible. So, support for excersize it is! I can't wait to go cheer him on in his sure-to-be many races in the future!

As for me, well, I'm working on things. I need to get out of the house more too. I feel kind of bad that my hermit-tendencies make Aaron feel bad for wanting to go out and do things with other people. I need to make more friends and find time for the friends I already have. I'm sure once Sophie is a little less dependent on me due to nursing, I'll be more likely to feel like I can go out. I meant to sign up for a cake decorating class at Joann's this month, but forgot to do it on Saturday, which ended up being the first day of the month-long class. Hopefully they'll offer it again soon! We're also talking about finding a church we can all agree on, with families with young kids, and then possibly we can make some friends there. I'm still in that being-a-mom-is-lonely phase of babyhood and I'm starting to get itchy to get out of it.

2012, Here I come!

I don't know if it was the time off over the holidays, finishing two big soul-sucking projects, or what it was, but I feel absolutely restored to my full self here at the beginning of 2012. We'll see if that feeling lasts, now that I'm back to the daily grind. (I really hope it does, and I'm working to make it so!) I feel like I have the energy to take on this year and make it my best yet, which is saying something, because I have had some pretty great years!

Aaron and I have both felt like we've put ourselves on the backburner in recent years. Two kids in 2.5 years will do that to you, I guess! Anyway, we talked about our resolutions this year (something we've never really done before) and they center on taking better care of ourselves, our relationship, our family, and our home. Here are my resolutions for 2012!

1. Read more - 26 books at least!
2. Be a better friend - that means go out with friends, make new ones, and call or write people more often.
3. Get in better shape - I am going to do that couch to 5k program this year. I'm going to!
4. Do something new - this is starting out with a cake decorating class. I can bake delicious cakes, but they sure are ugly. It's time to do something about that (and perhaps make new friends in the process?).
5. Spend at least 15 minutes a day cleaning the house - I tend to procrastinate, and save it all for the weekend, and then on the weekend I'm so exhausted from the week that half the stuff I want to get done
6. Read more to the kids - we have a ton of books, and while I read to them nearly every day, I want to start a bedtime routine of reading a book or two before they go to sleep every night.
7. Be present when I'm at home - no playing on my phone or the computer until after the kids are in bed and my chores are done!
8. Communicate with my husband - I know this is last on the list, but it should be number one as far as priorities go. Far too often we expect each other to just intuit what we need, but that obviously is not the best method for keeping a relationship going. We are going to work on using our words this year.

Now She Is One

I don't have enough time in the world to do justice to describing Sophie and her first year. She is my soul, and I can't imagine life without her. It's not surprising that the second child gets her happy birthday post more than a week late, but that's mostly because I've spent the past week playing and snuggling with she and her sister, time that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

Here she is a year ago:

And now:

Happy, happy, happy Birthday my sweet girl. I love you to the moon and back!
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