Tuesday, December 30, 2014

150 Calorie Banana Pancakes

Matthew and I entered our relationship with me bringing in a DVD player that I have had for 12 years now, and him a VCR that I am pretty sure he had his whole life. We don't have cable, so our kids watch{a lot of}movies and they had mastered the art of working both systems. Well their tiny worlds were flipped upside down when we received a Blu Ray player for Christmas this year, which replaced both of our old systems. I set it up after they had gone to bed for the night and the next morning when Mason got up and snuck downstairs to watch a movie, he couldn't figure out where everything had gone and how to work the new contraption. After explaining multiple times now what it is and how to use it, he still keeps stealing the old DVD remote from our bedroom and bringing it downstairs to try to use with the Blu Ray player. It makes me laugh every time.

On a completely separate note, I have discovered the Holy Grail of breakfast foods. I mean seriously.
I finally made banana pancakes this morning after seeing the idea on Pinterest months ago. I am kicking myself for waiting so long to try this healthy and DELICIOUS breakfast treat. If I had a list of life regrets, not making these sooner would be number 1. Plus, these are easy. I mean, I whipped these up while my toddlers each held onto a leg and screamed how hungry they were, that easy.  

My dearest friends, stop whatever you are doing and IMMEDIATELY make these pancakes. 
Only one pancake is shown because I couldn't wait to finish cooking the second one. Whoops.

150 Calorie Banana Pancakes:

1 banana
2 egg whites
toppings of choice

Mash your banana, mix in two egg whites. Heat a nonstick pan sprayed with nonstick spray of your choice(I used coconut oil spray). Pour half of your "batter" into the heated pan. When edges look light and fluffy, flip carefully with a spatula, cook for another minute. Take out of pan, cover with toppings of choice, I picked a handful of blueberries and a tiny bit of sugar free syrup, and proceed to stuffing your face with these delicious pancakes.

All My Love,

Monday, December 29, 2014

Goals for the New Year

Can we just talk about the fact that Christmas has come and gone?? What happened? It was Halloween yesterday..
My Littles really got into the Christmas spirit this year. Mason has told me repeatedly that he is sad Christmas is over, and trying to explain the idea of keeping our Christmas hope alive throughout the year confuses him, so I have just stuck to agreeing that yes, it is really sad.
We had an absolutely packed Christmas season. With our growing family, there are A LOT of people to see and accommodate, but it was a fun and faithful Christmas!

Now that we are approaching the New Year, I have been reflecting on this past year and I have to say that 2014 was pretty amazing. From changing my lifestyle, to my first Half Marathon, there were so many new and amazing experiences. I am really looking forward to 2015. I have recommitted to my healthy eating(look for new recipes coming soon!), I will be ordained as a Deacon in January and our family of 4 will grow to a family of five. There will be so many new experiences and challenges and I am so excited to see how this next year unfolds!

I am really horrible about keeping "resolutions", but I do have goals for this year.
1. Eat more mindfully.
2. Pray more mindfully.
3. Parent more mindfully.
4. Be a more mindful wife.

This year my goal is to be present in all things I do. As the years pass, time seems to move faster and faster and I don't want to be so busy just getting through that I miss all of the little moments.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Our Kindness Elf

If everyone else's Thanksgivings were anything like mine, you are probably rolling around on the floor like the Blueberry girl from Willy Wonka. We had so much good food and so much fun family time!

Yesterday was our Church's 180th Birthday celebration! First Presbyterian Church has been around a long time and it was so neat to hear so much about our Church home. My great, great grandpa, A.B. Jackson, was the Pastor at First Presbyterian for 26 years. I am the 5th generation, making Mason and Ellie the 6th generation, which is pretty awesome. I was asked to speak a little about my great, great grandpa, which was a little tough because he was a pretty extraordinary man. He wrote a journal of sorts and I had the opportunity to read it in preparation for the celebration. If he was half as funny in life as he was on paper, we would have been good friends.

Yesterday also marked the beginning of Advent. I love this time of year. There is so much joy and hope. Since Advent started yesterday, Elfie, our Kindness Elf arrived today.
I love the general idea of the Elf of the Shelf, but I hate that there is usually a mess or some kind of mischief involved. I am trying to get my Littles to NOT play with toilet paper or cover my kitchen in flour. We chose to have our elf encourage acts of kindness to others instead.

Today we had a special welcome breakfast for Elfie.

Elfie also brought Mason and Ellie an ornament to hang on our tree. Mason's was a train and Ellie's was a cupcake. 

This afternoon we are going to pick out some toys to donate as our act of kindness for today. 

Mason is really starting to understand this whole Christmas thing and it is so exciting to watch his eyes light up. He LOVES Christmas songs. They have been practicing new twists on classic carols at school and we have his Christmas program December 19th. 

I am so excited to continue our acts of kindness and countdown this Christmas season with these nuggets!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Geese and things.

You know you live in Missouri when on Monday it is 70 degrees and sunny and Tuesday it is 35 degrees and rainy. Pick a season already dear state of mine! 

Yesterday since it was beautiful, we went to play at the park and feed the geese. Fun fact: migratory birds are super hungry in November. We ran out of bread at an alarming rate and had to flee as geese started swarming us like a terrifying bird gang. 
We had fun on the playground though.

Mason also had a dentist appointment yesterday morning. He did awesome and got a fabulous report! I was a proud mama. 

I had a doctor appointment this morning and afterward, my mom in law came over to hang out with Ellie so I could finish up the Littles Christmas shopping! We have really been working with Ellie on potty training lately and Lucy called while I was out so Ellie could tell me that she used the potty. She's getting so big! Thanks Lucy for watching Ellie today! 

Mason had his weekly lunch date with my mom after preschool. He is a lucky boy to get so much time with his grandparents. Thanks mom for taking him to "chick a leg" wven if it's the 89th time! 

We have a busy week ahead of us. Matt is going out of town tomorrow until Friday and deer season opens this weekend. I am ready! 

I want to wish all of our service men and women a huge thank you for sacrificing so much of yourselves and your families so my family can be free. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 
I hope you all have a warm, safe, joyful week friends. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Exciting Announcement!

My friends, it has been a long time since I have blogged. I don't have a real reason to give you for my absence, but it has been glorious, I'm not going to lie. I have stepped back a lot from my "obligations" online. Between this little bloggy and social media, I was spending too much time glued to my computer and not enough time playing trains and tea party with my Littles. I will still be here, just more along the lines of once a week blogging, especially with our very exciting announcement..
Baby W#3 will be here in early May!! My official due date is May 8th, but since this baby will be my third c-section, Little will be here a week or so before. We are terrified and ecstatic and nervous and joyful. Mason and Ellie both think this bundle will be a "boy baby". In fact Mason is adamant that Little #3 is a boy and if Little is in fact not a boy, he will be a very heartbroken kid. We will see next month!  

Matt and I have become very active in our Church and a few weeks ago I was nominated for a Deacon seat. I was so, so honored. I am very excited to serve in stewardship with First Presbyterian Church. I have also accepted a seat on the Strategic Planning Committee and we have our first meeting tonight.

It has been such a blessing being back in my hometown. I have been given opportunities that I would not have otherwise received. Back in August I ran into my favorite teacher in all my years of school. Mrs. Stuckenschneider was my music teacher from 2nd to 8th grade and she was, and is, my favorite lady. She let me be who I was without judgement, even in all of my awkward 7th grade glory and she embraced my entire 8th grade class love for classic rock in our choice of Styx Come Sail Away as our farewell song during graduation. In fact when I saw her she said, "well there's my classic rock queen," and I don't think I have ever been so excited to see someone in my entire life. I asked her how her school year was going so far and she expressed concern for not having enough adult helpers in organizing the yearly Fall Concert since a few of the kiddos with available parents had graduated the last year, I felt God right there in the Aldi parking lot and I immediately offered my assistance. The last few weeks I have been helping with a couple of 3rd and 4th grade acts and our big performance is this evening! I loved participating in the Fall Concerts and it's so awesome to still be a part of something I loved so much. The kiddos have been really great also!

My ItWorks team has grown and continues to grow and I am so thankful to be a part of a company that WANTS you to succeed. ItWorks has extended the $10,000 Diamond bonus to ALL distributors and we are all ready to run with this opportunity. ItWorks is paying for Christmas this year. Thanks be to God!

Speaking of Christmas, Santa has already been hard at work this year. He has to get going now because we are BOOKED through the first of the year already.. That makes me need a nap just typing it. We have 8 separate Christmas's to attend. That's insane. I am thinking next year, we will have to squash that craziness and limit things.
We implemented the Rule of 4 last year and it was the best decision we have ever made. The Littles each get 4 gifts, 1 thing they want, 1 thing they need, 1 thing to wear, 1 thing to read. Christmas isn't about the amount of gifts you receive and things were getting out of control. We want Christmas to be about service and love to others. This year we will have an elf on the shelf, but instead of crazy antics, he will be a kindness elf with ideas for stewardship and praise.

I am pretty sure I have rambled enough. If you made it this far, you are a brave soul and I love you for reading this all the way through.

All My Love,

Monday, September 8, 2014

Grateful Heart Monday

Happy Monday friends!! I am currently feeling pretty guilty for being on my laptop and not helping with the tile that is being installed{as I type in fact} in our shower, so this will be short and sweet.

Thank you to my sweet friend Emily over at Ember Grey Blog for hosting on of my VERY favorite link ups evah!
Grateful Heart linkup w/ Ember Grey

Today I am thankful for exceptionally talented men in my life. Matt, my dad, my father in laws,  my brother and my uncles are all so gifted with different talents and I am blessed to have them all in my life!! Thank you all for everything you do for me {and my home, cars, lawn, and all around well being}. I am a lucky, lucky lady. 

I am also thankful for hardwood flooring, which is keeping me busy with all of the construction dust, but at least it isn't soaking into carpet! 

What are you grateful for today??

All My Love, 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thrift Store Saturday #8

We had an absolutely gorgeous day today. It was mostly sunny and 72 degrees. Perfection. We opened the windows, I put Fall scents in my Scentsy burners and I made a giant pot of chili for dinner. The Fall decor is coming out this week. I just can't wait a minute longer. PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!
This is my very favorite scent for Fall. 

I thought that I would take a break this weekend from blogging while this was happening
but I just couldn't stay away!

This morning Matt and my dad were working really hard on the bathroom, so I got the Littles ready and we went on an adventure to try to find a bathroom mirror to redo. We went to Salvation Army and Goodwill and although I didn't find the mirror{I actually found no mirrors at all, womp womp}, I found a ton of other goodies! We tried SA first. I found an adorable pair of glittery shoes for Princess Baby, a cute pair of shoes for myself, a rustic fabric pumpkin decoration and two espresso wall shelves in perfect condition!

I spent $10.
Our next stop was Goodwill, which was packed. We had to park in the alley behind the store. At this point Mason and Ellie were getting tired and hungry, so I was a little pressed for time. I ended up finding a pair of Steve Madden oxford flats, the exact Target bag I have been eyeing for two weeks, a beautiful red tote, an adorable sit around about Gratitude, two rustic brooms for my front porch Halloween decor, and a witch's hat for my costume this year.
This is perfect for our playroom!

I have been looking for simple shelves for our downstairs bathroom, so these are perfect!

My beautiful bags! The beige bag is my Target bargain!
I LOVE these. I have a pair just like this in a cream color. These are PERFECT for Fall!

I spent $21 at Goodwill.
My Target bag still has the tags on it. It retailed for $39.99. I picked this baby up for $3!!
One more shot of my bag. Please ignore the vacuum in the background, I was attempting to clean up the layer of brick dust that has formed on every surface of my home. 

Tomorrow brings church, breakfast and an enormous amount of chores, including painting our front door.. One of these days we will have our home exactly how we want it, but for now, we forge on with home improvement projects.

How have you been thrifty this week?
What was your biggest home improvement adventure?

All My Love,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beginning our Shower Remodel.

Trying to clean and organize a house with 3 toddlers is a funny joke. I have picked up the TV room 3 times today and there is already a pile of toys forming. And I don't even want to think about the bar in the kitchen which is a catchall for our entire lives. No matter how many times I put the clutter away, it's back within the day.

Speaking of messes, tonight we begin demo on our shower... I am absolutely freaking out.
Thank you Jesus that my husband, father and great uncle are all super capable men. My dad will be here tonight to start ripping off the old tile and taking out the sopping wet sheet rock underneath and if all goes well we will start rebuilding the walls tomorrow. I will be MIA for the next few days, but when I return I am sure I will have a few stories and definitely some before and after photos!

What are your weekend plans?
Do you have any good remodeling stories?

All My Love,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Easy Baked Chicken and Onions + Wednesday Wishes

So, I finally caved and signed up for Ipsy! I am pumped to receive my first glam bag! I can't wait to share my goodies with you all. 

The weather this week has been exceptionally Fall-y. It has been raining everyday. I bought Pumpkin Spice creamer at Aldi yesterday and all of the ingredients for making chili this weekend.
I am trying so, so hard to hold off until after Ellie's Birthday party, next weekend, to put up Fall decor, but it is taking every ounce of willpower I have to wait.

Last night, I made the BEST and easiest chicken recipe. I am a horrible blogger and forgot to take pictures, but I am giving you the recipe anyway.

Easy Baked Chicken and Onions:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 medium yellow onions
your favorite seasoning - I used Cavenders Greek Seasoning{It was fantastic}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9X13 pan with nonstick spray. Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces. Cut onion into bite size pieces. Toss onion and chicken together in pan, spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is golden and the onions are soft. We ate this with pita pieces and a dollop of light sour cream. It was fantastic and I will be making this again soon. Next time I might use taco seasoning.

Ellie will be two years old in 8 days. This makes me so happy and so nauseous. Where did that two years go?? She has become such a fun, silly, spirited, headstrong and brave little girl. I am awfully proud of both of my Littles. 

Love the Here and Now
Today, thanks to the lovely Anne @ Love the Here and Now, my wish is that my Ellie knows just how much she is cherished as she continues to grow and amaze me each and every day. My wish is that Mason grows up to be a gentleman and he knows how much I love him. My wish is that my Littles know the depth of my love for them and that I don't royally screw up somewhere along the winding and confusing parenting road.

What do you wish for?

All My Love,

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Grateful Heart Tuesday- My Favorite Book

Grateful Heart Linkup w/ Ember Grey

I missed Grateful Heart Monday, but I'm carrying the gratitude over into Tuesday. Thanks Emily @ Ember Grey Blog, for keeping my heart so full and appreciative :)

Today, I am grateful for long weekends and good books. 
I love to read. I will literally read anything, except Nicholas Sparks. Sorry world, I just can't. 
I become completely absorbed{like, ignore the entire world around me} in whatever book I am reading. 
Poor Matt will ask me the same question 8 times before I even register that he's speaking. I don't have a lot of extra time to read, so the little time I do get, I cherish. 

My favorite book that I have ever read is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

I first read this book at 14 years old and it is the first book I read that absolutely touched my soul. 

When I heard that my beloved book was being turned into a movie I cringed. Movies rarely do justice to the books they are supposed to be bringing to life.  
If you have seen this movie{which wasn't actually too terrible, even if Emma Watson kind of disappointed me}, please read the book anyway. And if you haven't seen the movie, read the book anyway. Wherever you are, stop everything and read this book. 

I am so grateful for my love of reading, and the time{as short and far between as it may be} that I have to read. 

What is your favorite book?

All My Love,

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Faves

I don't think I have ever been so glad to see a Friday before!! Matt has been out of town all week and I am so, so, glad he's home. 
Since today is Friday, I am going to give you a few Friday Faves! 

This girl in her new Hello Kitty snow boots. She is obsessed and I love it! 
I am so thankful for my cousin in law, Tiffany, who graciously passes on her Chloe's well loved hand me downs to Ellie. Thanks Tiff!!!! 


I made the mistake of going into Target today and I am in LOVE with their colored handbags for Fall. 
So cute!!

All. Things. Halloween. 
I am waiting until after Ellie's Birthday Party to put up the Halloween decor, but as of September 14th, game on. 

This stuff is magic. I don't leave the house without this on my face and some mascara on my lashes. It's super quick to apply and makes my skin look flawless. 

What are a few of your favorite things? 

All My Love,

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why can't my son be a Princess for Halloween?

What is it about being alone that makes my house suddenly start making noises like a poltergeist has been lurking in it undetected for the last year? Matt is out of town for the next few days and last night was night 1 of his trip. My house decided to come alive with creaks, groans and banging piano keys{I forgot to close the piano lid and my lovely kitties decided to jump onto the keys with gusto}. Thanks to my overactive imagination, the absence of my love lying next to me and the piano serenade that haunted my dreams, I slept very little last night. 

Today, I am participating in Wednesday Wishes with the lovely Anne @ Love the Here and Now.

Love the Here and Now
We have been asking both Littles for the last few weeks what they would like to be for Halloween.

Every.single.time. that I ask, Mason tells me that he wants to be Elsa and that Ellie can be Anna{from Frozen. Both of my Littles are OBSESSED with all things Frozen.}
This was something I wasn't ready for as a parent. I don't mind that Mason wants to dress up as Elsa for Halloween. There are so many parts of me that want him to dress exactly how he wants. I want him to be exactly who he wants to be and if that means dressing in a Malibu blue dress and trick or treating in a tiara, then I want him to feel comfortable and supported. In fact Ellie gets to wear superhero capes, play with trains and cars, get dirty in the mud and scrape her knees racing her brother to get first dibs on the blocks at the library. This doesn't make her any less of a "girl" Why can't Mason put on a princess crown, make necklaces and bracelets, take care of a baby doll, or walk around the neighborhood with a plastic pumpkin in a Frozen costume? Why does this immediately make him less of a "boy"?
He is free by all means to do so, but how can I prepare him for the looks, the stares, the jeers, the comments about his costume of choice? How can I prepare myself for the same? I don't mind his costume of choice, but others are not quite so gracious or understanding.
He is only three after all, so I am ultimately in control of what I buy, make or allow. As a parent, I know that it is my job to mold and shape him, but that doesn't give me license to ignore who he is so that he will fit into who I think he should be. Where is the line? There is no easy part of parenting. If I don't allow him to be Queen Elsa, will this be the moment in his life that he remembers that I stifled his individuality and made him be something he didn't want to be? If I do allow him to be Queen Elsa, how will I handle the judgement as a parent? There is no easy choice. 

My wish for today is that we make a graceful choice. I also wish that there was some sort of Parenting Instruction Booklet we could refer to right about now. 

How do you deal with difficult parenting choices?

All My Love, 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Quick Living Room Full Body Workout

I have been holding onto this post for a long time now and I am super excited to finally share it with you guys!!
My good friend Dane is kind of a bad ass and offered to put together a workout for me for the days when I don't run but still need a full body workout. Also, Dane just recently completed the Alcatraz Shark Swim in under 58 minutes which is pretty awesome. You can read a short recap of his swim here.  So without further ado, take it away Dane!

Hey hey hey. I’m Megan’s friend Dane. I have no fitness certifications or degrees. However, I’ve been working out for quite a while, and I’ve picked up a few things along the way. I’ve been reading Megan’s blog since she started it, and have sometimes browsed her followers’ blogs (I don’t even know if that’s the right term). It seemed to me that sometimes folks don’t know what to do if they can’t go run outside. That led me to ask Megan if she’d be interested in having some quick workouts that can be done in the living room using bodyweight and occasionally household items. So… here I am. I know that if you’re not sure how to do bodyweight types of workouts, it can be daunting. Then you google “living room workout” and are directed to a webpage with a workout, but no directions on how to do the movements. I’ll make it simple for you. YOUTUBE. I’ll post links to the videos. I am really going to break it down Barney style for you.
Basically, I want you to have a few full body workouts that you can do in your home. I also want them leaving you gasping for breath.
A few of the very best bodyweight exercises that there are include pushups, pullups, burpees (which I hate!), and squats.
Being able to do a pushup is important to a bodyweight routine. However, if you can’t do a normal pushup, no big whoop. Do them on your knees. Seriously. It’s better to do them on your knees then not do them at all. Eventually, you’ll get to where you can do them without your knees being on the ground.
We are going to put pullups in the more advanced category, and we’ll get to that some other month.
If there is one body weight exercise that was thought up by satan, I think it is the burpee. However, they work so many different parts of your body, and when done to for conditioning, they will wear your ass out.
I’m going to level with you: You want to do squats. They are not pleasant, but you want to do them. Most of Megan’s readers are ladies. If you’re interested in fitness enough to be reading this right now, you’re most likely interested in having nice legs and a nice ass. (Meet squats).

I want to point out a few things before we get to the workout.
1. Nothing that I write will make you look like a female bodybuilder. If you are doing body weight exercises regularly (3 or 4 times a week), you will see a difference. Your legs could become more muscular and your butt could tighten, and yes, perhaps even get a bit bigger. I PROMISE you… it’s bigger in the good way. Your fellas or ladies (I don’t judge!) will love it.
2. You make the decision of how little or much you want to do. Listen to your body. Don’t overdo it. But don’t underdo it, either.
3. You’ll need to know a few terms.
Rep- short for repetition. If the       workout calls for 10 reps that’s the same as 10 pushups.
Round- the same as a set in gym terminology. If the workout calls for 3 rounds then you repeat the circuit three times.

Workout 1
What we are going for in this first workout is to alert your muscles (you have them) that they’re about to start working and getting tougher. We are also shooting for you to break a sweat (even in the air conditioning) and be breathing heavy.


25 jumping jacks
Then stretch out on your own. Make sure you’re really getting all those muscles and joints loosened up.

The circuit-

3 rounds (at your own pace)

8 pushups (on your knees is okay)
15 crunches
8 squats
5 burpees

Cool down- 
Stretch on your own.

If that workout was too easy… awesome. And see below. If it was too hard, then cut the reps in half and only do two rounds.
Want to make that workout more difficult? If you have a dumbbell or kettlebell at home, use that for the squats. That exercise is called a goblet squat. If you don’t but still want to make the squats harder, either do 16 reps per round or get an $0.89 gallon of water when you do your grocery shopping. Hold that in both hands as you do your squats. Damn water is heeeeavy.
That brings me to my next point… if you can afford it, get a kettlebell (like this http://www.amazon.com/Body-Solid-5-lb-Kettlebell/dp/B0012XIUP6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1403927977&sr=8-3&keywords=kettlebell or this http://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Vinyl-Coated-Kettle-10-Pound/dp/B003XFRGR4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1403927977&sr=8-5&keywords=kettlebell). They are not very expensive, especially the ones for beginners (5-20 pounds). They carry them at Target or Amazon. A kettlebell is the single most versatile piece of equipment that anyone can own. AND… they take up almost no space. ANNND… you can take them with you when you travel and get a good workout in away from home.
*At Target, most of the kettlebells have a DVD workout program with them, which makes them more expensive. I’m sure that the programs are just fine.
Also... I'm posting this from my phone. It's not fancy and I can't embed links in here. Phhhhhhhhh. Dumb. 
Video examples of the movements-

Thank you Dane for keeping my butt in such good shape! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grateful Heart Monday

Ember Grey

Oh Grateful Heart Monday, I have missed you...
Thank you to the beautiful Emily @ Ember Grey Blog for this fantastic link up. Let's start our week with a grateful and happy heart.

This weekend was full of fun, a dash of shenanigans, and sprinkled with an ER visit. 
My dear friend, and hostess, Liz, dislocated her shoulder getting into the lake on Saturday, but rallied harder than anyone I've ever met. She was back at Girls Weekend within a few hours and came out dancing with us at Franky and Louie's Saturday night! 
I had so much fun! I have never been more grateful for great friends! I have had two weekends worth of my favorite ladies and it was just what my soul needed.

I didn't get a chance to snap many photos, plus what happens at Girls Weekend stays at Girls Weekend, but here are a few that I did manage to capture.
My view on Saturday. It was the perfect weekend to be at the lake!

My friend Sheri and I post dance break and wearing our Girls Weekend shirts. 

A shot from last weekends winery trip.

Mason and Ellie with her Godmother.

I am also grateful for a husband who is such a fun daddy. Matt and the Littles had a fun weekend eating pizza and corndogs, exploring the nature center, going to Church, having breakfast with my Grandparents and visiting Papa Toby at his meat shop. Mason went on and on about his fun weekend with daddy when I got home yesterday. 

My last bit of gratefulness is for Fall's pending arrival. It is my favorite time of year and I am already counting down the minutes until our apple picking trip, decorating the house, pumpkin patches, hayrides and Halloween costume prep. Our neighborhood does Halloween in style. Last year we had almost 400 trick or treaters... This year we know what to expect and it will be even more fun than last year.
Sheri and I did a little shopping on our way home from the lake and I picked up a few more pieces for our Haunted Halloween Home. 
I am ready! Bring it on Autumn! 

How was your weekend?
Are you prepared for all things pumpkin?

All My Love, 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shotty wireless has been defeated!

Ah, my dear blog land, I have missed you so very dearly! We finally have {decent}internet!! It has only taken us 3 months to get it figured out, but here I sit comfortably across the room and not huddled next to the router to get any type of signal. Summer has absolutely FLOWN by and I have been so disconnected from all of you. I have so much to catch up on!

I must first confess to you all that this summer has been rough on my diet. We have been dealing with a lot of negativity and personal issues within our extended family and it has really caused an enormous amount of stress. I haven't gained any weight(thank you Dane Brown-for keeping my workouts going and inspiring me not to be a total lazy jerk, ThermoFit and Fat Fighters!), but I just feel gross. This last week I finally decided that my health and happiness, as well as the health and happiness of my familiy, is so much more important than trying to fix something that is permanently broken. Having accepted that I can only control my own behavior and no one elses and deciding that I care very little for what these particular individuals think of me, I have kicked my eating back into gear and I am feeling so.much.better. already. It is amazing to me how much eating well can make such a HUGE difference.

That being said, I have so much to share with you!! We have done so many things this summer and since I don't think I can possibly squeeze it all in, I will give you the short version - It was awesome.
We vacationed in Chicago, celebrated a wedding, went floating, camping, swimming, played outside, enjoyed the fabulous and uncharacteristically cool weather, reconnected, grilled, and spent so much time together making memories.

Mason has started Preschool and he LOVES it. We were so concerned about his listening skills, but he only has a few other kiddos in his class and we have heard nothing but awesome reports from both of his teachers! He loves helping his teacher, Mrs. Mandy, and his favorite activities so far have been playing in shaving cream, painting and playing in the gym. I am so thankful!
Ellie is following in her headstrong brothers footsteps and is definitely declaring her independence. My sweet buggy has moved on to bigger and better things, like jumping from the ottoman to the couch, having full conversations with me about kitties and singing and dancing exceptionally well to Frozen's Let It Go. My snuggles are becoming rare. The baby itch has started.

Matt has had a busy summer at work and he is looking to have a busy Fall as well. I am so thankful to have a husband who makes time for us, regardless of how many hours he has put in at work. I probably don't tell him that enough, so Matty, thanks for being a kick ass provider, father, and husband!

In July, Addy joined us during the day, so I have my hands full during the day with a three year old and two almost two year olds. I also have my friend Sheri's oldest, Addison, before and after school. We are two weeks into our new schedule and everyone is adjusting pretty well so far.

Last weekend, my two best friends were both in town for the first time since Christmas and we got to spend an ENTIRE day together. We consumed a gross amount of calories and burned it all off laughing. I never laugh as much as I do when we're together. It was definitely needed.
This weekend I am headed to the Lake for a Girls Weekend with a huge group of super fun ladies, including my bestie Sheri, and I am pretty excited. Two weekends in a row filled with laughter and friends is just what the doctor ordered for my soul.

We are also planning to re-tile our shower in the next few weeks, so home reno tips are so appreciated! I'm looking at you Lindsay @ Broke and Bougie.

I cannot wait for next week! I have new posts planned, including a workout from my friend Dane Brown, some new recipes to share, and a recap of our Girls Weekend. I am so glad to be back!
All My Love, 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Small Update

I promise I'm not ignoring you and we are all alive and doing so well!! I miss all of my bloggy friends and I can't wait to reconnect with all of you :) Summer is winding down, Mason starts preschool on Tuesday and we are pricing new internet providers to ensure quality internet instead of this hit or miss nonsense we currently have, which has deleted more blog posts than I can handle. I have so many things I want to share with all of you and I am hoping to be back full time very soon.  We have had a lot on our plates this summer. Don't give up on me yet!
All My Love,

Monday, July 7, 2014

(An almost bursting) Grateful Heart

It has been the craziest two weeks of my life. We have been going nonstop and we have welcomed both a sweet toddler and a puppy into our lives the last two weeks. Addysin will be with us Wednesday-Friday and sometimes full weeks. She is just precious! She is 19 months and I know her and Ellie will be good friends. At the park last week a sweet lady kept insisting they were twins.

This past weekend while we were camping we stumbled upon this sweet girl. This is Hattie!
She's a 10 week old lab mix and she is incredibly smart already, but like everyone else in this family, she is stubborn. 
We were not in the market for a puppy and I have never trained a puppy so help please!!????!!! She is so sweet, but she is a whiner at night and this mama is exhausted already. 

I am so thankful today for all of our opportunities!! We spent last weekend in Chicago which was amazing. 
We had amazing weather! We went to Shedd Aquarium and then walked to Navy Pier for lunch. We had an amazing time! The kiddos did fantastic! Very little napping happened, but they were troopers. The wedding was beautiful! I will have a full recap soon! 

I am so thankful for my family. We had a great camping trip this weekend and I could not love them any more than I already do. We went swimming, roasted marshmallows and day drank. Those are just a few of my favorite things. I even squeezed a run in! Plus I got to talk wedding plans with my soon to be sister-in-law. Who doesn't love all things wedding?!? 
This weekend we are dress shopping for her and I cannot wait! 

My heart is so grateful this morning! We have been so busy, but I wouldn't trade any of these memories. Thank you to Emily at Ember Grey blog for reminding me weekly that I am so, so lucky.

Ember Grey
What are you grateful for today?! 
Do you have any puppy training tips?!

All My Love, 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Y'all, things are CRAZY round here right now. I have a vacation recap post planned and a post introducing you to a very good friend of mine, but they are taking the backseat to putting my house in order, getting to know our new toddler friend who will be joining us during the week, working my ItWorks business and prepping for a Fourth of July camping trip Friday-Sunday. 
I am grateful for being so busy and so surrounded by love!! 
I will be back soon!! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Procrastination Station

I have laundry, packing and cleaning to finish, so naturally I am blogging instead. Thanks Liz @Fitness Blondie for being a beautiful enabler to my procrastination today <3 
The Hump Day Blog Hop
Last night my dear friend Sheri gave me a beautiful new haircut!
I also had some pretty fantastic almond milk ice cream and I still ended the day with unused calories! And I am also wearing a cat shirt in this photo.. So many favorite things!

This morning I ran again at 6:30. That might be my sweet spot time. It's not so early that I'm dying and not too late to where the humidity chokes me like I'm jogging through a swimming pool. Y'all, Missouri heat is awful.

I am finally drinking my coffee and trying to gear myself up to finish the 17 things left on my list. Why is it easier to motivate myself to run than to do the laundry?!

There are only 5 days left to join my ItWorks team for a chance to earn the $10,000 g.o.o.d (get out of debt) bonus. I am loving my team so far!! We are bound for great things!!! If you have been thinking about this opportunity, now is the time. Let's do this together!
I am also running low on my "crazy wrap things". I can't keep them on hand! I am ordering more today. 

All My Love,