Thriving in January

Hiking in January = giant icicles!

Hiking in January = giant icicles!

Month #1 of 2015 is in the books.  And you know what?  2015 has been pretty good to me so far.  I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer today to talk about what made my month great.

Raspberry oatmeal cookie bars.  It’s one of those desserts that I love to eat but I’d never actually made.  I needed a quick dessert for a small group Bible study at my house and they couldn’t have been easier.  Any jam will work, but the tartness of raspberry balances out the sweetness of the cookie part the best.  (Why yes I’ve made this recipe twice in one month.  I didn’t eat them ALL myself, I promise!)

Sleep (more specifically, enforcing a bedtime on myself!)  Since my word for the year is Steady, I’ve been doing some brainstorming about things that make me feel steady vs unsteady in various situations.  I’ve come to the conclusion that almost everything in life is more manageable after a good night’s sleep.  My baby still wakes up once a night most nights, and I have to wake up around 5:30am on the days I commute, so it really is essential for me to go to bed at a decent hour.  My goal is 10:30, and I’ve made it most nights, even when I’d rather stay up and watch another episode of Friends!

Moisturize moisturize moisturize.  Fingers crossed, knock on wood, no whammies no whammies no whammies… I think I’ve managed to avoid the horrible dry skin and never-healing cracked knuckles that plagued me last winter.  Earth Science Almond Aloe SPF 15 face lotion + argan oil for the dry patches on my face + Aveeno body lotion + Made On hard lotion for my knuckles and cuticles + eos Sweet Mint lip balm is my winning combination.  (Wow… that’s a lot of stuff.  I swear I’m not really that high maintenance!)

Temperate Vortex.  I don’t think the warm streak we had mid-January has an official name, but 50s and 60s in January is AMAZING.  What a difference from last year!

Emergen-C.  Even with the warmer temperatures, there seem to be lots of colds going around.  It’s probably just in my head, but I’m convinced that a daily dose of Emergen-C makes a difference in staying well.

Cocoa almonds.  I bought a big bag of them in the Christmas clearance aisle, and they’re so good for a chocolate fix!  I know I probably eat more of them than I should, but it’s better than a handful of chocolate chips.

A Million Mutu Mama Workouts app.  I’ve written before about my diastasis recti, but I didn’t realize what a long road it would be to heal it.  I’ve been working on it for almost a year now, and at this point I’m convinced that there are certain exercises I will probably never be able to do again.  Even though I won’t miss doing crunches, it can be hard to come up with good modifications when I’m working out, which is why I love this app.  It’s pricey for an app ($8.99) but cheap compared to the cost of the full Mutu video system ($50-100 depending if you catch a sale) and it contains a lot of the same information, plus even more workouts and ideas for safe ab strengthening exercises.  Anyone who really wants to focus on core strength could benefit from this app, but especially postpartum moms who just can’t seem to get rid of the pooch.

Knitting.  I have a renewed love of knitting these days… it’s just so relaxing to hang out on the couch with a good TV show and knit a few stitches at the end of a long day, and I love seeing the steady progress and having a completed project at the end of it.  I feel like so many things in my life have to be done over and over (laundry, cooking, cleaning the kitchen, etc) or never have a clear end point (most of my work projects), so I love the fact that with knitting, when you’re done, you’re DONE — plus I have a new pair of cozy socks to wear!

Instagram.  You guys… I’m SO over facebook but I can’t completely quit it.  There are just a few groups and a few friends that make it worth it to stay.  But Instagram I just love.  Everyone I follow is friendly and positive and real.  (My username is skerner if you want to follow me — I’ll follow you back as long as you promise no political rants and links to depressing news stories.)

Snow day make-up days.  I get not one, but TWO holidays this winter (MLK Jr Day and Presidents Day) that my son has to go to school to make up snow days.  WOO HOO!  You’ll find me knitting and watching Downton Abbey.  And hopefully taking a nap.

The sun.  Have you noticed?  It’s staying light a teensy bit longer each night, and it’s making me so happy.  I know we have a lot of winter days ahead, but just seeing the sun stick around a few extra minutes at the end of each day gives me a lot of encouragement.

Gas prices. I won’t torture you with a picture of a gas station sign or a gas pump, but for someone who drives over 300 miles a week, gas below $2 has made a huge difference in my budget.

Styling wand. I have stick-straight hair. I know people who straighten their hair every day would kill for that, but honestly it gets kind of boring. I bought a styling wand for myself recently after consulting with some younger friends and my hairdresser about how it works. I am still learning how to use it, but it’s really fun to have some curls every once in a while!

How did January treat you?  Do you have any secrets for avoiding getting sick in the winter?

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What I’m Into, September 2014

 

This month, I was into SHIPS!

This month, I was into SHIPS!

Goodbye September, hello “What I’m Into”!  I love reading everyone’s post in this link-up hosted by Leigh Kramer.

Reading…so much!  Between listening to audiobooks while I drive and staying up too late to read just one more chapter, I’ve read so many great books lately.  I know I’m late to the party, but I loved The Invention of Wings.  And JK Rowling’s second mystery in the Cormoran Strike series, The Silkworm, was even better than her first.  I could listen to Jim Dale read anything, but The Night Circus was a great story, too, although the end seemed a little unsatisfying.

Watching…I didn’t watch too much of anything in September, but I’m excited about the new fall shows!  Looking forward to old favorites Parenthood, The Mindy Project, Scandal, and Parks and Rec, and interested in checking out

Listening…to Spotify playlists while I work.  They have some good instrumental ones for when I really need to concentrate, but I have to admit I’ve been rocking out to Welcome to the 90s!  Takes me right back to my high school and college days.

Fitness-ing…I’ll talk more about this in my monthly goals update in a couple of days, but my motivation is still at a nearly all-time low.  I think if I had more than a handful of full night’s sleeps in the last 14 months, I might be more excited about getting up early to run.

Thankful for…the mile loops that’s recently been mowed around the perimeter of the church property where I live.  It’s been great for going on walks by myself and with the family.  The local cross-country team practices on it once a week, so they’re inspiring me to get out there for a run, too.

Planning…summer vacation for next year.  Yes, it’s a long time off still, but my parents want to do a trip with the whole extended family, so we’ve been having some epic group text conversations about locations, condos, and the logistics of traveling with 6 adults and 5 kids.  (Right now we’re thinking about a beach vacation near Gulf Shores, AL.)

Wearing…not too many fall clothes yet.  Each day starts out cool, foggy, and fall-like, but by after it’s nearly 80 degrees and jeans and boots just make me feel gross and sweaty.  So I’m sticking with summer clothes for just a little longer.

Traveling…to Baltimore!  I love traveling (especially sorrynotsorry traveling without kids.  Love them to death, but they’re creatures of routine and travel is like the anti-routine.)  I’ll be back to the East Coast next spring on a trip with my husband to the Q Conference.  Yippee!

Cooking…ALL PUMPKIN EVERYTHING.  (Check out these dried pumpkin chips from Gigi Eats Celebrities!)  Also, fall=chili season!  I love regular beef chili (with sour cream and crumbled up tortilla chips, please, hold the Fritos) but I think my absolute favorite chili these days is this Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili.  I’m taking it for my office Soup Day today, and I bought double of everything to make a freezer meal too.  (Dump all the ingredients in a freezer bag and freezer flat.  When you’re ready to cook, thaw overnight in the fridge then put in crockpot all day.)

Looking forward to…seeing my 4 year old play in his first soccer game.  I don’t think he’s clear on the point of the game, and just knows he’s not supposed to touch the ball with his hands, so it should be interesting.

Excited about…a Southwest Missouri blogger meet-up later this month, and hearing what’s coming next for Missouri Women Bloggers.

Have you ever been to Gulf Shores?  What do you do when your motivation is low?  What should I read next?

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What I’m Into, August 2014

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer today to talk about what I’m into these days.  I’ve found a lot of great blogs through this link-up, so I’d really encourage you to check out some of the other links, too.  August – don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.  Here’s how I’ve been muddling through:

Wearing…my pjs for half the day on my work-at-home days!  I look like a total scrub, but it’s awesome to get up and get some work or blog stuff done early in the mornings instead of spending time getting ready.

“Reading”…audiobooks!  They are God’s gift to commuters.  I’m just finishing up The Book of Unknown Americans and getting ready to start The Night Circus.  If you’ve listened to one recently that you liked, let me know!

unknown americans

Watching…my sad streak of having no time to watch TV continues, but my son’s latest obsession is Octonauts.  I secretly love it.  He has requested that I address him as Captain Barnacles, which is just ridiculous enough to make me laugh every time.  The “Creature report, creature report!” song at the end of each episode is awfully catchy, and anthromorphized turnips are way too cute.  (See that little yellow guy on the left side?)

octonauts

Listening…to Time for Three, a classical trio that plays non-classical music.  I don’t normally listen to music while I work, but I’ve found that I need a little background noise when I’m working at home and this instrumental stuff does the trick.

Fitness-ing…I’ve been really hit-or-miss with working out lately, but I ran a 5K a couple of weeks ago and did pretty well!  It just goes to show that you can’t judge yourself as a newbie against someone who’s been doing something for a long time.  I’ve been running on and off since I was in 7th grade, so it comes pretty naturally to me even when I haven’t been doing it too often.  Lifting weights on the other hand, is very new to me, so it’s really easy to get discouraged when I feel like I lose all my progress just by taking a few weeks off.

Thankful for…the teenage girls at our new church who love to play with my kids.  (The benefits of going to a church without too many small children — we’re quite a novelty!)  I’m pretty sure I’ll never have trouble finding a babysitter in this town.

Planning…how to fit in exercise and blogging to my new schedule.

Cooking…well, can I brag on my husband’s cooking a little bit?  He’s a really great cook but he hasn’t done much of the cooking for the family in the past few years.  Now that I’m getting home from work later, he has really stepped up and taken over cooking dinner (in addition to kid wrangling), so most nights that I commute, I walk in to the house and dinner is ready to eat!  Now if I could just get him to have a cocktail ready for me, I’d really be living the dream.

June & Ward we're not -- and that's a good thing!

June & Ward we’re not — and that’s a good thing!

Drinking…no, it is NOT pumpkin spice latte time yet! It’s been crazy hot this month (so many 100 degree days, ugh) so I’ve been drinking lots of water, nuun, and lemonade.

No PSL

Looking forward to…fall!  It’s my favorite season.  Pretty leaves, cool evenings, football tailgate parties, jeans and boots, I love it all.

Excited about…a work trip to Baltimore coming up next month.  This means three things: 1.  SLEEP!  Sweet, sweet uninterrupted sleep, how I covet thee.  2.  Mmm… seafood.  3.  I’m also hoping to meet up with at least one blogger friend while I’m there.  (And, oh yeah, 4.  I’ll learn tons about municipal law while I’m there, too, of course!)

Do you love fall, too?  What’s your favorite part about traveling for work?

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What I’m Into, July 2014

wpid-IMG_3529.jpg

It’s the end of July… what a busy month for me: we moved and my baby turned one!  (I’ll have a birthday party post soon, I promise.)  Just to lighten things up around here, I thought I’d join in on the What I’m Into fun.  To see other posts like this, check out Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into link-up.

Wearing…my summer capsule wardrobe, inspired by the blogs Unfancy and Kapachino.  I created it almost exclusively out of clothes I already owned, and it is making it exceedingly clear to me that I need to go shopping!  But I’m trying to be good and hold out until fall.  (That’s part of the capsule wardrobe concept — you only shop 4 times a year.)  I really want to blog about it, because there isn’t a lot out there about capsule wardrobes for people who work in a business environment, but I haven’t quite figured out how to photograph everything.  I’ll work on it.

ListeningShazammed recently: Come Get It Bae, Pharrell Williams, I’m Ready, AJR. Favorite new podcast: Marriage Start-up.  Favorite radio show: Old School Lunch Hour…90’s rap and hip hop, need I say more?

Watching…When do people find time to watch TV?  Seriously… I’m not one of those no-TV snobs, I actually like TV!  I miss it.  Other than my beloved SYTYCD, I haven’t watched anything in weeks.  I never even finished Season 2 of Orange is the New Black!

Reading…Shotgun Lovesongs by Nikolas Butler and Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.  Everyone raves about Crossing to Safety, but can I admit that I’m enjoying the other book more?  It just has a more compelling storyline.

Fitness-ing…I started Mutu recently to work on my diastasis recti (ab separation) problem.  It’s slow going, but I think it is helping.  I’ve also been taking advantage of the beautifully cool weather we’ve been having, and running a couple days a week on my lunch break.

Thankful for…my sister, who I can call or text about anything from figuring out what to make for dinner to major life-stress-freakouts.  She is awesome, and always calms me down with some practical and funny advice.

Planning…to move more of our stuff and get more permanently situated in our new home very soon, since my son will be starting preschool there in mid-August.

Cooking…lots of food on the grill, still loving my freezer meals, and these apple muffins!

Drinking…Mount Hagen Organic Cafe instant coffee.  Yes, I said instant.  Because of the two-house living situation that my husband and I are in right now, there are a lot of mornings when I’m the only coffee drinker in the house and it just seems like a waste to make a whole pot of coffee.  This stuff is amazingly good for instant coffee.  And it’s awesome for iced coffee, too.  I also started brewing kombucha again.  I need to get some juice to flavor it — it’s pretty strong straight up!

Looking forward to…working from home a couple of days a week starting very soon!  I think I’ll be super productive without so many interruptions at the office, and it will be awesome not to have to commute every single day.

What have you been into lately?

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I’ll have tea with no sugar and a wardrobe intervention, please

The end of another month is here already, and its time to talk about what I’ve been up to this month!  To see other posts like this (or to join in the fun!), check out Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into link-up.

Wearing…the same things over and over. Yawn! I seriously need a spring/summer wardrobe update, since I was exclusively in maternity clothes last spring and summer.  What is even in style these days?  Lace?  Big oversized tops?  I’m so clueless.  And how in the heck do you dress stylishly for summer in a business casual office?  Even Pinterest doesn’t know!  (I think I need a cardigan intervention.) I’ve got a Stitch Fix coming soon and Banana Republic gift card burning a hole in my pocket!  To be continued…

Listening…Shazammed recently: Tree to Grow by The Lone Bellow, All of Me by John Legend, and Down to You by Session Americana.

Watching…season finales of a few shows. Oh my goodness, the Scandal finale was good! It almost seemed like it could be a series finale, which would make me sad.

Reading…mostly kids books (Penguin in Peril and Brimsby’s Hats — whoever recommended these on their blog, you win), but I just started Found by Micha Boyett after winning it in a blog giveaway and we’re reading The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller for my church small group.  I also got The Nesting Place decorating book for myself, which I’m looking forward to diving into.

Fitness-ing…I’ve been running a couple days a week and doing some physical therapy work for my core. I have a separate post coming about this soon, but for now let’s just say that I am in full-on attack mode against the baby belly. Because of that focus, I haven’t been able to do a lot of my normal workout stuff. I miss it! Hopefully I will be back soon.

Thankful for… finally getting a (very positive!) resolution to my husband’s job situation.  We’ve known a change was coming for a while, but we didn’t know what it would be, so it is wonderful to finally just know.

Planning…what we need to set up a second household! I am a minimalist at heart, so I love the idea of having only half our stuff left in our house.  We will have to get some extra beds, though.  =)

Cooking…lots of veggies and rice as I participate in the Spring Reset (a three week elimination diet, but my main concern is getting my sugar consumption under control. So far it’s going really well, but oh my, the cravings are strong!)  Chicken coconut curry, chopped salad with lemon tahini dressing (I could drink this stuff!), and an improvised veggie noodle stir fry with Gado Gado (Thai peanut) sauce have been favorites.

Drinking…tea! We broke the glass carafe to our coffee maker recently, and haven’t replaced it yet. In the meantime, I’ve switched to drinking hot tea in the mornings and I’m really enjoying it. I will never fully give up my beloved coffee, though.

Looking forward to…my husband graduating from his masters program. He won’t actually finish classes until August at the earliest, so we’re still trying to figure out if he will be able to walk in the May graduation ceremony.  He’s been slowly chipping away at his degree for 8 years, so I can barely even remember what it’s like to have a spouse who isn’t working full time and taking 1-2 classes a semester.  (Yes, it is the Bataan Death March of masters degrees — 96 hours!)

What are you looking forward to in May? What’s your favorite part of your spring/summer wardrobe?

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February: a month of good friends, dry skin, bluegrass and swimming goggles

Thankful for…good friends in real life and online who are there for me in good times and bad. Seriously, you guys are the best.

Cooking…many many freezer meals. They are saving my sanity these days! I’m planning a mini freezer meal making party with a friend in a few weeks to restock.

Planning…on making March a #monthofscarves. It’s a thing — if Kelli says so, then it must be true! I’ll see you and your scarves on Instagram.

Enjoying…a few warm days!  February brought a brief respite from the polar vortex — thank goodness! Of course, it’s cold again, but it gave me hope that spring is coming.

Listening…a new playlist of local artists that I made recently.  I’m not normally a country music fan, but I am enjoying the bluegrassy vibe in the songs from “classic” Springfield artists like Big Smith and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, as well as discovering some really cool new music that’s being made right here in Springfield. (Tip: search for your city on Noisetrade)

Watching…umm…do Paw Patrol and Team Umizoomi count? I rarely turn on the TV these days — I’m usually reading blogs or a book instead.

Reading…speaking of books, I had to abandon The Shadow of the Wind. It was taking me forever to read and was kinda weird/creepy.  I just couldn’t get excited about reading it, so I quit about 2/3rds of the way through.  I picked up A Thousand Splendid Suns again, but I am having such a hard time remembering who is who — so many characters with so many unfamiliar names! (I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude though, so this really shouldn’t be an issue for me.)  It may not be the best book to read when I just want to relax at the end of the day.

Fitness-ingin the pool! My running buddy hurt her knee, so we’ve been swimming for cardio instead of running or taking spinning classes. I forgot what a good workout it is! I just wish the chlorine weren’t so drying and the googles didn’t leave big rings around my eyes. (I’ve got rings under my eyes covered without any help!)

Wearing…argan oil, Aquaphor, beeswax & coconut oil hard lotion, chapstick chapstick chapstick… my poor skin has really suffered this winter!  I am doing everything I can to keep it moisturized but it seems like a losing battle.  If you’ve found a good solution (preferably a non-greasy one) please let me know!

Drinking…lots of hot tea.  I’ve been trying to take a “tea break” in the afternoons instead of a cookie/chocolate break, although sometimes I end up having both. My favorites these days are honey vanilla chamomile, vanilla rooibos, lemon, and decaf chai. (I can’t do caffeine after lunch or it keeps me up all night.)

Looking forward to…MARCH!  Even though I love fall, I think March might be my favorite month.  March, how I love thee…let me count the ways:

  1. It’s my birthday month.
  2. St. Patrick’s Day is so fun.  Green everything!
  3. March Madness = my whole office “adjourning” to a sports bar for the afternoon.
  4. My older son is turning 4 in March.  Does that mean the tantrums of 3 1/2 be will be behind us?  I can only hope.

What is your favorite… local-to-you band or musician? Tea? Moisturizer of choice?  Or whatever other random thing you feel like telling me.   Woo hoo it’s almost March!

What I'm Into
Linking up with Leigh Kramer.
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How I’m Surviving the Polar Vortex

 What I'm Into January 2014

I just couldn’t resist this title…here are the things that have been keeping me sane and healthy during this crazy-cold month!

Thankful for…every hand-knit item I’ve ever made, especially the wool socks.  I’m so happy I’m a knitter when the weather is cold!

Cooking…freezer meals!  (The irony of this is not lost on me.)  I went to a freezer-meal-making party last weekend and I thought it was such a great concept.  I’m going to cook a few of the meals we made and I’ll report back soon!  I’ve also been doing my own version of freezer cooking by making double batches of casseroles and crockpot meals and stocking one in the freezer for later.  Weekday evenings go so much more smoothly to already have the main dish taken care of.

Planning…my son’s 4th birthday party. We had to cancel it last year because it was supposed to be outside at a park and we had a freak late spring snowstorm, so I’m trying to come up with something fun for him this year that won’t break the bank. I just found free Paw Patrol party printables, so that’s exciting!  (P.S.  If your child is asking to watch “Papa Troll” — it’s really Paw Patrol.  It took me a while to figure that out!)

Enjoying…getting to know some new bloggers in the SITS Tribe Building Challenge last week.  My “tribe” included these lovely ladies!

Listening…to Safe and Sound (Capitol Cities) Radio on Spotify.  (Hat tip to Tamara for bringing the awesomeness of that song to my attention.)

Watching…the new season of Downton Abbey. I know it’s basically just a soap opera with English accents, but I love it so.  Also, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how much I have been enjoying Grimm.  It’s just the right amount of scary to be exciting but not give me nightmares.  In less awesome TV news, is anyone else totally over New Girl?

Fitness-ingit’s been a bit hit or miss around here lately, but the (free!) Nike Training Club app always has a good workout for me when I’m feeling uninspired.  Also, my gym has started offering a new class that combines spinning and bodyweight strength training that’s really fun.

WearingCurvy Skinny jeans from Ann Taylor Loft. They finally solved the skinny-jean/plumber’s-butt problem that plagues so many of us pear-shaped ladies. These jeans actually fit around the waist! Plus, you get to buy a size smaller than normal, so that’s always fun.

Praying…for a family member and a co-worker both dealing with cancer. Cancer sucks.

Reading…The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  It’s a mystery novel set in Barcelona during the Franco years, which I’m really enjoying so far — the mystery, not the dictatorship!  (Although it’s a little bit scary/suspenseful, and I’ve started hearing strange creaks and noises around the house, which is never a good sign.)

Drinking…lots and lots of Emergen-C (pink lemonade flavor).  I haven’t gotten sick yet!  (Well, I got a stomach bug, but no flu or colds — knock on wood!)

What’s been getting you through this crazy winter?  Arizonans and Floridians, feel free to gloat.

Linking up with Leigh Kramer.

What I'm Into
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What I’m Into, November 2013

Think I can finish it by Christmas?

I’m into sneaking in some knitting time whenever I can!  Think I can finish it by Christmas?

Excited for…all right, we’re past Thanksgiving, so I can say it — CHRISTMAS!!! I love this time of year, and I especially love seeing it through the eyes of my kids.

Enjoying…my new gift-buying strategy of getting the same thing for as many people as possible. For years I’ve driven myself crazy trying to get a perfect, unique gift for each individual on my list.  And you know what?  Except for a few people, it’s not worth it.  So when I find something good, I’m buying it for lots of people.  I found a really great deal on a pretty vase from DaySpring’s Super Deals earlier this month — I bought seven.

Planning…some exciting blog stuff — a big multi-blogger giveaway (come back on Monday!), an end of the year series, and maybe a few more design tweaks to go with my new blog header.

Cooking…(well, really meal planning) has gotten a lot easier since I started doing theme nights!

Watching…same ol’, same ol’… Parenthood, Parks & Rec, Go Diego Go!  That last one is not by my choice.  =)  Are Joel and Julia really going to get divorced?  Argh….

Wearing…hand-knit everything!  Scarves and socks, especially.  I don’t have much time to knit these days, but every year when the weather gets cold, I am very thankful that I was such a prolific knitter once upon a time.

Praying…my sister gets some answers from some medical tests she had done earlier this week.  It’s nothing life-threatening, but I’d sure love for the doctors to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it.

Reading…Yes!  After a bit of a lull, I’ve finally gotten excited about reading again!  (Here’s a great post about breaking out of a reading rut, if you’re suffering from one too.)  I’ve read a mystery, a book of essays, and I just started a novel.

Snapping… Christmas card photos.  We took a million pictures over Thanksgiving, so I hope at least one of them is Christmas card-worthy.

Linking up with HopefulLeigh.

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What I’m Into, October 2013

I'm NOT into birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese, but he had a good time!

I’m NOT into birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese, but he had a good time!

Enjoying…running and working out with my friend/co-worker/running buddy on our lunch break.  It’s so nice to work with people you like to spend time with!

Planningoh so many things!  What’s my next fitness goal after the 5K?  What I am serving for Thanksgiving?  (I’m hosting — eek!)  Maybe a little blog facelift?  (Do people even look at blogs anymore or just read through blog readers?)

Excited for…a Monday holiday in November (thank you, veterans!) that is going to let me make an extended visit to my hometown to see my mom and dad and my newest niece.

Cooking…quick, easy, and healthy dinners.  As much as I love to branch out and try interesting, complex new recipes, I’m having to restrain myself lately.  Next up?  Skillet lasagna.  I’ve never made it before, but I’ve been assured that it is easy, weeknight-dinner-quick, and family-approved.

Watching…(or wishing I was watching) new fall TV shows (oh Scandal, you are so scandalous!  Nashville, you’re piling up in my DVR but I don’t have enough time for all these hour-long dramas… so sad.)  I was really bummed to hear that Parks & Rec is going on hiatus, which I think is TV-code for quietly getting cancelled.  Treat Yo Self day, DJ Roomba, and a vast number of Ron Swanson-isms will live on in my pop-culture vocabulary for many years to come.

Listening…to the wonderful mix old hymns and new indie-folk worship songs at Wesley Downtown.  You can follow on Spotifyhere, but here are a couple of songs I’m currently loving:  You Have Won Me and Oceans.

Reading…not much, sadly.  I have a stack of books on my nightstand that I’d really like to read, but I’ve been choosing sleep over reading these days.  I have found a couple of good new-to-me blogs, though!  Putting Me Together is a fashion blog by someone who shops at the same kind of stores I do (Target, Loft, etc.), not just expensive designers or boutique brands.  The Mother Company is a parenting blog (motto: “Helping Parents Raise Good People”) that recently ran a good series on teaching kids about safety in a non-scary, non-creepy way.

Fitness-ing…I’ve been all about getting back into running this month as I prepare for my first post-baby 5K this weekend!

Snapping… pics of my 3 year old in his Halloween costume!  He’s dressing up as a cowboy and he’ll be riding a stick horse between houses for trick-or-treating tomorrow.  Too fun.  (And of course, I’ve been working on my photos for the One Community link-up on November 5. The words for November are gratitude, fun, blue and home. You’re joining us, right?)

Linking up with HopefulLeigh.

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What I’m Into, September 2013

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September sunset over the Ozarks.

Enjoying…my sweet baby.  Even though sometimes I’m up at ungodly hours of the morning feeding and/or rocking him, I know how fast the baby stage really does go (as I look at my 3 yr old who seems to get taller and more independent by the day), so I’m loving these snuggly baby days while they last.

Planning…how to get all the little things in life done that have to be done (like laundry, cooking, errands, etc) without losing my mind. I’m a list-maker/schedule kind of person, so if I can get a good plan or system in place, actually doing the tasks doesn’t bother me too much. It’s when it’s all unplanned and chaotic that I feel totally overwhelmed.

Excited for…our annual alma mater pilgrimage to Columbia, MO next month to go to a football game. check out the new buildings on campus, eat some delicious Shakespeare’s Pizza, and hopefully get some cute family pictures in our Mizzou gear.

Cooking…massive quantities of steel-cut oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, and healthy snacks like these Apple Pie Bites. I am a ravenous beast lately, and trying to eat healthy when you want to eat all the time is a challenge. Feeding myself AND a baby takes a lot of calories!

Watching… all my favorite shows that are back on the air — Parks & Rec, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Parenthood!!! — and checking out a few new ones. Brooklyn 9-9 looks like goofy fun.

Listening…to NPR on my drive to & from work (it’s the only thing that keeps me from being completely uninformed about the world events, since I can’t stand TV news), and some new Rock My Run mixes while exercising. (Have you heard of this website? Really fun workout music!)

Hoping…that I remember something about litigation, since that’s my new assignment at work, after 6+ years of transactional work (non-court stuff, like drafting contracts, legal opinions, etc.)  Even though it’s a little nerve-wracking to step outside my comfort zone, I think it will be good to stretch my brain in a new direction.  Plus, if my first case is any indication, I should get some really good stories out of it!

Reading…a little bit of this and that right now, without anything exactly catching my fancy. I started reading Bread and Wine quite a while back and put it down to read waiting-list library books that I finally got, so maybe I’ll go back to that.

Fitness-ing…I am trying to get back into running, since I (stupidly?) agreed to run a 5k leg of the Bass Pro marathon relay in early November. I’m pretty sure I can cover the distance, but I’d like to do it without walk breaks and without feeling like I’m going to collapse.  I’ve also been doing the Fit Healthy Moms Pregnancy Weight Loss program… if you can call not following the diet very well and doing about half the weekly workout videos “doing the program.”

Snapping… photos of my older son doing tummy time with his baby brother and touching his soft hair.  (“Gently! Gently!”)  It’s so sweet to see the brotherly love developing.  (And of course, I’ve been working on my photos for the One Community link-up this Saturday. You’re joining us, right?)

Linking up with HopefulLeigh.

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