Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings

I just got back from a sisters weekend in Portland.  Some people like to make fun of the fact that my sisters and I dedicate  one weekend each year to spending time together, but it’s one of my favorite traditions (besides cousin’s weekend…hello!) and something I truly cherish.

This year was special because my little sister was running the Portland marathon and we decided to make our weekend out of it.  The food in Portland….oh em gee…the food.  Let’s just say my paleo lifestyle was out the window for a few days as we dined on made-from-scratch breakfasts at Mothers, wine and tapas at Andina, and multiple desserts at Papa Haydns.   And it was soooo worth it.   But of course the biggest news was the marathon and I couldn’t be more proud of my sister.

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But let me just be completely honest for one hot minute.  Cheering someone on at a marathon is NO JOKE.  We ran our little butts all over that town just trying to make it to the next check-point and wave our sparkly pom poms.  In retrospect…I should have trained for this.  My other sister and I made a pact that we wouldn’t let on how extremely tired we were after the race because dude…..she just ran a marathon.   Who are we to complain?  But duuuuuuuuude.  I was  kind of dying.  We took our job so seriously that at one point we thought she passed by us (thanks to the not-so-accurate tracking provided by the race website) so we started sprinting down the course trying to catch her.  Yeah, I don’t know what we were thinking either.   Then all of a sudden, we hear this yelling from behind us….”I’m back here!  Wait!”  Turns out she hadn’t passed us and she totally saw us running down the course and wondering what in the H-E-double-toothpick we were doing.

At least she witnessed our dedication.  Right?

Well curiosity got the best of me and when I got back to Missoula I mapped our run/walk around the Marathon course that day.  ELELVEN miles.  Yep.  ELEVEN.  I do not feel bad for feeling tired.  Or for the dessert that night.

So note to self:  The O’Connell girls don’t half ass anything.  You ask us to cheer you on in a marathon?  Sure.  And we’ll run a damn near a Half while we do it.

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Did you know that it’s common practice these days to only put ONE space after a period?  ONE.  I don’t know when this happened and why I wasn’t informed, but I’m still the dinosaur putting TWO spaces.  And I don’t really want to stop!  I feel like I just got slapped across the face because my mind. is. blown.  ONE space?  What the hell!

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I’m officially declaring myself coocoo for coconuts.  I haven’t really met one variation that I didn’t like (except coconut water, that stuff tastes like armpits).   Coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flakes, toasted coconut flakes, coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut meat, coconut oil.  Yep.  I want all the coconuts.   My favorite little treat lately is peaches, cinnamon, canned coconut milk and coconut flakes:

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Also, I’ve been using coconut oil as face moisturizer for over a year now.  I feel that’s long enough to finally admit that I love it, and that it works just as well as the super expensive stuff (probably full of chemicals) that I was using.  I feel like my skin is well balanced now (not too dry, and not too oily).  There are only two drawbacks I would warn you about if you want to try this:

  1. The first time you put it on your face, you will be hesitant.  It felt very very wrong and weird.  You get over it eventually.
  2. If you cook a lot with coconut oil (I pretty much use it and avocado oil exclusively), sometimes in the summer when you put it on your face you’ll run to the kitchen to see what’s burning.   Or so I’ve heard….

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My official stance on hunting season is that it’s freeing, it’s productive, it’s welcomed….but it’s lonely.

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These boots.  I must have them.

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I don’t talk about my job a lot here….it’s not the most interesting topic (Deploying Wireless Solutions?  Upgrading User Interfaces?  Anyone, anyone?  Bueller?)  and I know people from work read this.  But I just have to say that lately I’ve been feeling like I need more.  I’m so incredibly lucky to get to work part-time at a job within my chosen career path – a part-time project manager position is rare, mostly because projects aren’t part-time.  They are moving forward and changing every day.  So much can happen while I’m gone that if I don’t stay connected on my days off then I can be behind when I get back.  It’s a double-edged sword I guess.  The root of the comment here, however, is that I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to spend time on things that aren’t necessarily fulfilling.  Lately I’ve been feeling a little unfulfilled with my work and I’m trying to figure out if it’s a phase or if I need to explore other opportunities.   Life is just too dang short to spend your days doing something that you’re not passionate about…even if it’s only on a part-time basis.   Maybe it’s just a phase.  I’ll just have to see.

dividerEach morning Abby asks “where goin today momma?”  And if I don’t say “Momma’s going to work” she asks me the following questions (always in this order):

We goin to park?

We goin to gym?

We goin to brewery?

Um……I guess you know where I spend my time.  Busted.

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After several conversations with my girlfriends regarding the Diva Cup , I decided to take the plunge and purchase one.  I wish I could tell you the story of my first cycle using this new contraption but it’s probably not appropriate.  But I will say this.  The first three days are a freak show.  The last few days are a slightly less freaky freak show.

Unsurprisingly, I am still undecided about the longevity of the Diva Cup in my life.

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The hardest part about trying to stick to a Whole30 lifestyle is giving up sweets and chocolate.  I don’t do very well at it because damnit I like chocolate.   But lately I’ve been making a treat that I don’t feel too guilty about and I thought you might like it too.

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Banana Smoothie

  • 1 ripe banana (the riper it is, the sweeter it is)
  • 1 cup coconut almond milk (this is my favorite cuz it’s sweetened with coconut cream instead of sugar like most non-dairy milk). But you could use any form of non-dairy milk.
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • ice

Throw it all in a blender and you’ve got a cold, frothy treat that’s also pretty darn good for you.

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We’ve kinda been all over the place today, eh?  Marathons, coconuts, diva cups, deep thoughts, and smoothies.  As always, thanks for reading all of this nonsense.

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Xoxo,

Janna

random ramblings

I started writing random ramblings awhile ago to talk about a bunch of, well, random things all at once.  They typically have no rhyme or reason and reflect whatever I’m thinking about that week.   Sometimes they’re long, sometimes they’re short (uh hem, that’s what she said), but they are always fun to write and hopefully read.   So sit back, grab your cup ‘o coffee and let’s chat.

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First up:  Taylor Swift.

I’ll be damned if that little pop star isn’t keeping me up at night.   Seriously.  It’s 11:30 p.m. and all I can think is:  “players gunna play play play play play…..haters gunna hate hate hate hate hate.”

{here, dad}:

I can’t explain it.  Maybe I like the cross-over version of Taylor Swift?  Maybe it’s the Oula dance?  Who knows.  All I know is that I can’t shake it off.   (see what I did right there?)

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I come from a long line of clean-car freaks fanatics.  Growing up I was never allowed to eat in the car.  Ever.  No gas-station-treat-stops on road trips.  No snacks around town (although I wonder if my mom secretly let us when my dad wasn’t there, because HELLO.  How can you have THREE kids and NOT let them eat in the car?!).  As teenagers we were required to keep the cars clean, and wash them or vacuum them if we made a mess.  To this day, I bet my dad washes his cars once a week, if not more (you know if they maybe it sprinkled rain or they accidently drove down a dirt road).   I still notice my dad picking crumbs or little specs of debris out of the car after we’ve ridden with him.   His cars are immaculate and he keeps them forever (because why wouldn’t you keep a car forever if it looked brand new?).

Anyways, a small portion of the clean-car gene definitely got passed on to me.  I prefer to wash my vehicle by-hand (although I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had that luxury).   I like the inside dust, crumb, dirt and dog-hair free.  I don’t like any items left in my car after we go somewhere…even if it’s just around town.  That stuff needs to exit the vehicle.  Pre-child I could spend a good 2 hours cleaning my car to perfection.  Post-child, I get as much time as it takes Abby to eat a sucker.  It’s not perfect, but I’ll take it.  I’ve learned to live with a few cheddar bunnies here or there, and I’ve resigned to the fact that my car won’t always shine like the top of the Chrysler building.  But I have my limits, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Let’s talk about the Hubs.   I’m pretttttty sure the last time his truck was cleaned out was in 2011 when I cleaned it out for his birthday.   He drives his truck like a truck should be driven:  mostly on dirt, in puddles, through bushes….basically wherever he wants.   He’s got a good collection of Montana Racing Stripes (scratches) along the side of it.  The inside has dirt, rocks, gear, dust, stains and garbage.  All of this used to bother me but I acknowledge the fact that not everyone cares about that stuff.  And that’s cool.  Now I just climb on up in the cab, sit indian-style and don’t sweat it.  But what does drive me nuts?  Is how he uses the passenger floor as his garbage.  Done with that wrapper?  Sweet, just crinkle it up and toss it on the floor.   Water gone?  Crush that bottle and throw it on over.  And, nope, it doesn’t matter if I’m sitting right there in that seat or not.  Seriously.

So last week when Abby inhaled a juice box, crushed it, and threw it on the floor of MY car?  ohhellno.

I pulled the car over.

She looked at me like I was crazy but I knew I had to nip that in the bud right then and there.   We don’t have too many rules; I’m a pretty laid back parent.  But that sh&t ain’t gunna fly in momma’s car.

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I don’t care how big of a diva you are, kid.  You won’t throw trash in my car!

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So, we’ve been looking for a house.  And looking, and looking and looking.

Turns out house hunting isn’t as much fun as I thought it might be.  I was convinced that Missoula just didn’t have the type of house that I needed wanted.  Then one day I got a little frisky and searched for houses that were almost twice our budget.

Yep.  Missoula has those houses.

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In other news, I’ve started playing the lottery.

Just kidding.

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I think I need an intervention because I actually had this thought today:

“You know, it’d be really cool if I built a fridge to go with Abby’s play kitchen for her Christmas present this year.”

Am I nuts?  Have I blocked out the chaos of last year?  I think I need to re-read this post, or someone, please talk some sense into me.  The sanding…my god the sanding….

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Ok, so Abby has been watching Daniel Tiger (which I actually think is pretty cute because it’s like the “new” Mr. Rogers).   Any clue what I’m talking about?  No?  Ok.

Well Daniel Tiger does this thing where he rubs noses with his mom/dad/the screen/whoever, while saying ugga mugga.  Just as a way to show affection or hug I guess.  Anyways…..Abby has been saying, “Momma, Ugga Mugga!” and then getting really close, rubbing our noses, while saying really softly, “ugga mugga.”  It is THE.  SWEETEST.  THING.  It melts my heart every single time.

Kinda like this (without all of the really weird stuff edited in):

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And with that clip, my friends, we may have hit an all-time low here on twsst.  (I hope you didn’t watch the whole thing, it was extremely weird….but it was the only thing I could find with an ugga mugga in it!).

Thanks for reading all of this nonsense, I’m always amazed that anyone reads this blog, but I’m so grateful that you do.

Ugga Mugga,

Janna

(shake it off, shake it off!)

currently

I’ve decided to quit acknowledging the fact that my posts are so few and far between.  It makes me feel guilty and question whether or not I should just call it quits.  In fact, there have been a few times over the course of these past few months that I’ve actually “written” my “it’s not you, it’s me” post in my head.  But.  I’m not ready to be done.  So if you’re reading this, thanks for coming back and putting up with my absence; that was certainly quite a doozy, wasn’t it?

The problem with being gone for so long is that there’s just so much to say.  I feel weird just jumping back into a big ‘ol post (surprisingly I have a few waiting to be published….but it just felt weird posting those first).  So I thought I’d catch you up.  And since I don’t know where to start, I’m going to steal an idea from one of my favorite little bloggers that allows her to just write.  Sorta like a random ramblings but with a bit more purpose so that hopefully I can get back into the groove of writing more often.    So here goes.

Currently I am…

drinking approximately 1 inch of wine that I left in the bottle.  Seriously.  1 inch.  I want to go back in time and punch myself in the arm for being so rude.   Come on, at least leave a three-inch pour for the next poor sap!

<<disclaimer>> I wrote this last night…so no….I’m not drinking leftover wine at 9:00 in the morning.  At least not today.

watching Modern Family.  What I would do without that show, I’m not sure.  But I certainly wouldn’t laugh as much.  Seriously….d.i.e.

not watching:  Parenthood.  Gah.  So I joined Amazon Prime back in October and thought it would be a good idea to start watching Parenthood from the beginning.  I didn’t start watching the show at all until Season 4, so there were three whole seasons of drama I has missed out on.  So yeah.  Every freaking episode was at my fingertips and I apparently have no self-control when it comes to TV shows.  It can be 11:00 p.m., I can be drooling out of the corner of my mouth and barely awake, but I think….one more….just one more!  I have to find out if Julia gets the baby!   Ugh.  So now that I’ve finally caught up I vowed to NEVER, never watch another TV show like that again.  So that’s why I am NOT watching Parenthood (or Dexter, or Downton Abby or anything else for that matter!).  Until of course the new Parenthood airs on February 27th.  I can handle being spoon-fed one at a time.

loving the snow dumping outside.

feeling frustrated that I can’t go skiing.

cooking lots of good food.  In fact I made not one, but two batches of soup today.   I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut lately so it feels good to be back.  On a related note:  can I just give a shout out to Gwyneth Paltrow?  Yeah weird.  But I got her cookbook (yes, a real, physical, hug-it-in-your-arms book) for Christmas and it’s amazing.  Both soups I made were from there and they’re delicious.   There isn’t a trace of sugar, dairy or gluten in the book…if you care about that stuff.  I really don’t (except dairy)…but I will.  Read on….

eating all of the dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts and gluten that I can before it’s taken away from me.  Kidding.  Kind of.  This is a whole post in it’s own (and one I think I’ll really take the time to write about).  But I’ve been going to a naturopath and after some blood work/food allergy testing, I’ve been told I need to do an elimination diet.  Apparently I may be sensitive to dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, almonds and corn.  I’m totally on board with doing this, but please, praytell…..what am I supposed to eat?!?!  Specifically for breakfast.  I think that’s the meal I’m struggling with the most.  No eggs, toast, yogurt, granola, cereal, pancakes, waffles.  Hello!  Ugh.    So yeah,  I kinda want to just put an IV of cheese into my system right now until this elimination business starts.  That’s a thing, right?

seriously considering trying to tackle the  Whole30 thing for my month of elimination.  I mean why NOT just go ahead an eliminate sugar while I’m at it.   Have any of you done/tried that before?  I’m accepting all advice at this point.  i.e. how do you live without cheeeeeese?

crafting a little Valentine’s Day gift for Abby and my nieces and nephews.

DIY-ing some rolling-baskets to contain the toy clutter in our living room.  I’m kind of dying from the clutter.   You know how there are blogs and blogs about IKEA-hacks?  Do you think Target-hacking is a thing?  Cuz that’s what I’m doing.  Maybe I’ll post about it.

missing this place:  (and those tiny pigtails!!  They are like twice that long now)

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reading nothing.  I’ve got a bad case of the I-can’t-read-bug.

obsessing about Oula.  Still!  I absolutely love this class…I seriously get angry if I have to miss it.  It’s my outlet and I neeeeeed it.

starting a new blog with a group of friends that I’ll be a contributor to.  More to come on that later.

planning a ski trip this month.  A child-less ski trip.  Watch.  out.  world.

remembering I’m halfway through Abby’s laundry and have at least another hours-worth before I can go to bed.  Ughhhhhh……dang it.

counting down the days until World Market opens it’s doors less than a mile from my house.

hoping that I really will make time to blog more.  I want to.  I’m ready.  I need it.  I have so many projects to tell you about, and Lord knows I’ll need some support during my elimination business.   I am hoping that I can really make writing a priority again.  I just feel better when I do it.   Plus….that little quiz on Facebook (what career should you have) told me I should be a writer.  So clearly this is my calling.

Obviously I have some laundry to tend to…so I best be leaving.  Annnnnd my wine is gone (1 inch equals two sips…for future reference).

Here’s to chatting again soon….

random non-ramblings

Oh hi!  Me again for my monthly blog post.

I actually took pictures of all my “wood-working” projects (I’m using that term extremely lightly; it’s not like I’m building bridges or anything), but when I sat down to write it I realized I felt more like writing some randomness.   Maybe because The Hubs has been in the woods for 7 days now and I’m feeling chatty.

So what does that mean for you?  Well it means that you’ll probably get TWO posts from me this month.  I’m on a roll baby.

I’m going to try a new format for this random rambling….short and to the point.  And ya’ll know this will be hard for me cuz I’m quite wordy in the written form.    So here goes…

  • This song.  I love it!  It’s soooo my jam.  Which begs the question:  who am I?  When did I turn into a tween?
  • Oh, right.  Oula.  It keeps me young.  (Coincidence?  It’s my favorite Oula dance of the moment).
  • I’m worried about Freckles Chick.  She lives in Boulder, CO and hasn’t posted on her blog since the floods.  I hope everything is ok with her and her family.
  • These fish tacos are da bomb.  Seriously.  Make them now and thank me later.
  • And I can’t stop eating this  Thai Quinoa Salad.  Make this too.
  • Clearly I’m still stalking Ambitious Kitchen….
  • I fell in love this summer.  In love with mangoes.  I was one crazy woman when I thought they were gross.  I’m guessing I alone devoured half of Costco’s mango shipment to Missoula…and I still want more.
  • Oh!  Hey hey hey!  The river trip!  Yeah, it was great.  I stopped taking pictures because someone else on the trip was taking them like a paparazzi…so as soon as he shares them I’ll do an update.
  • I’m a fan of #hastags.  I know not everyone is (*cough* #sisterinlaw).  But I have to admit, this video with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon is hilarious.  I’m not that bad.  #yet
  • Confession:  at 20 months, Abby still gets a bottle at bedtime (and in the morning).   Ah.  Gawd.  There.  It’s out there.  Sorry Dr. Hall…I’m working on it, I promise.
  • I officially made my first infomercial purchase.   For years I’ve been able to pass-up knives that will cut my shoe in two, the magic screen, and sham-wow….but I couldn’t resist Wen anymore.  In a month’s time I’ll look like Jennie Garth.  Right?   Just like I transformed my body after P90X.
  • I have been getting my craft ON this fall.  Creativity is flowing like  summer mangoes.  Follow me on Instagram to get sneak peaks.
  • This article.  Be.  Happy.  Now.  You can be.  Chose to be.  #Illtrytoo
  • I just bought these boots.
  • It feels like The Hubs has been gone for a month.  It’s only been a week but dang.  This solo-parenting thing is exhausting (and apparently drives me to purchase things off TV.  Come to think of it….I don’t think any of my knives could cut my shoes in half…)
  • According to my FB timeline, it’s been 1 year and 3 days since I watched Season 4 of Dexter.  Now that I can sleep again, I think I’m finally, finally, finally ready to talk about Season 5.  Damn you Trinity Killer.

Let’s not talk about how I read all of the spoilers online about the Series Finale’ of Dexter that aired this past Sunday.

What?

I can’t have another Season 4 ending awaiting me.  I might be scared for life.    I can’t even look at John Lithgow anymore.

So there goes.  Short-and-sweet.  I’m hoping to post a bit more this month since I’ve got some time on my hands.  But if you don’t hear from me I’m likely glued to the couch, hiding halfway under a blanket watching Season 5.

random ramblings

I think the only way to recap the musings in my head these days is a random ramblings.  There is no rhyme or reason to these thoughts…some are inconsequential and some are not.   Such is life.

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Let’s start with the most critical update:  I’ve started curling my hair on a regular basis.  Mostly because it hides the fact that I haven’t showered in a day or so.  Whoops…secret is out.  Curly-haired-Janna = unshowered-Janna.

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I found though, that a wee bit ‘o dry shampoo and a curl almost looks better than my straight hair on shower day.  Who knew?

So let’s talk dry shampoo.  If you don’t use it I would beg you to tell me WHY.  This shit is bananas!  My favorite is the TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret that sometimes, if the stars align correctly on the random day that I actually go there,  is available at TJ Maxx.

Seriously, I can pretty much pull a 3-day-no-shower thing when I’m using this.

Second….I’ve found that using a flat iron to curl my hair works WAY better than a curling iron.  Ironic?  Perhaps.  Check out the tutorial here.

Lastly…am I the last to know that you curl AWAY from your face?   For years, and I mean YEARS (since high school) I’ve been curling towards my face.  Well, I started twisting the other way and my hair is simply stunning if I do say so myself.  Try it.  Or really, am I the last to know?

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So this happened:  I came to work, put my lunch in the fridge, and sat at my desk.  Around noon I thought my frittata was sounding pretty good so I went to go heat it up.

I open the fridge and there is my frittata container sitting front-and-center on the middle shelf….with a tampon sitting on top of it.

Yep.  The tampon I had thrown in my lunch bag last minute as I ran out the door.

Just chillin there.  In the prime lunch-finding-location spot, in a fridge that roughly 50 people share.

Let’s just declare to the world that I’m menstruating.  Or that I like my tampons chilled.

#mortifying

But Lord help the first person that cracks a PMS joke at me…

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Speaking of, have I mentioned I’m back at work?  I mean, permanently, not just temporarily?  Yep.

I’m a permanent part-time employee back at my old job.  Which has been super deja-vuish but also really good for me at the same time (well, most weeks anyways.  If you asked me this week I would think it was good for me).

This is a whole post in itself that I’ll probably never write.   So I’ll just leave it at that for now.

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If you’ve been here awhile you know how I feel about birds.  If you’re new, let’s just recap by telling you I am not a fan of birds.  They creep me out….especially big ones.

So why, you ask, would I think it’s a good idea to feed ducks with Abby?

Well, I don’t know.  But hindsight is 20/20 and my hindsight confirms it was an absolutely terrible idea.

It started out fine.  We showed up to the duck pond with a mere two hot dog buns to keep it short.  I was showing Abby how to rip up the bun and toss small pieces into the pond.  There were probably 2-3 ducks at that time, but Abby didn’t really understand why SHE couldn’t eat the bun.  And she really wasn’t as fascinated with the ducks as I thought she would be (maybe because they didn’t look like a rubber ducky?)

Anyways, the ducks at the duck pond must have sonar capabilities to know when a piece of bread hits the water, because I was seriously 5 throws in when I notice about 10 more ducks swimming our way.  Now it’s a competition to get the bread crumb the fastest and they are fighting over each toss.  And not a little polite “oh, that’s yours?  Ok I’ll get the next one.”   More like “DUDE, get the F away from that bread or I’ll peck your eyes out!”

This is when I notice at least (and I promise, I’m not exaggerating), at least 30 more ducks swimming towards us.

At this point I pick up Abby, who is still just wanting to eat the dang bun, while I keep throwing pieces to keep the freaking ducks from coming on shore towards us.   I don’t know how I could have ripped bread any faster.

It’s when the 30 ducks started that “flying across the water” thing that ducks do, that I threw the last of the bun (a giant piece) into the water and backed away slowly.  Ok, not really.  I pretty much ran while I heard the ducks fighting over that last huge piece.

Seriously.

Is this normal??!  It’s terrifying.  We will not be going back.  Probably ever.

So we left and went to a park where Abby got to eat the stale roll like she wanted to in the first place.

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Oh oh oh!

I finished the Half Marathon and got a PR!  So excited about this.  Really.  Ya’ll know I’ve had  long love/hate relationship with running that has been lingering on the hate side for a bit too long.  So to complete this race and do so well….it really feels good!

I was shooting to break 2 hours and crossed the line in 1:52:10.

Now I just need to keep running….but it’s hard when Oula is just so dang fun.

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about renaming my blog and giving it a facelift.  You know, just a small task that I’m sure I can handle since I manage to post so much these days.  Where’s the sarcasm font when you need it??

Anyhoo, any suggestions for a name?  And don’t say Janna’s Journal, Hubs.

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So, we’re getting ready to leave on a 7 day river trip.  Without Abby.   I’m 98% nervous about this, 2% excited.

Some days vice versa.

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Mostly I just feel guilty for leaving her, which probably explains why I’m writing a blog post when there is a shit ton to do right now.  Do you know how much work goes into floating down a river for 7 days?  A lot.   I mean, imagine trying to fit everything you could possibly need in a space the size of a couple of couches pushed together.  That’s going to get super hot and potentially soaking wet.   Yeah, it takes a lot of planning which you think would be my bag (baby), being a Project Manager and all, but it mostly just stresses me out.  What if I forget something and neeeeeeeed it?  What if I don’t feel like eating an apple and want a chip?  What if there are no chips?!?

At any rate…my hope is that the guilt subsides after a day or two and I can enjoy myself.  I’m sure it will.

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I have some serious DIY updating for ya’ll.  I’ve been building things….things with wood.  And I am STOKED about it.  If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen some pictures already.  So follow me, and you’ll get the inside scoop.   Otherwise you’ll have to wait for a post because they truly deserve a post of their own.

Speaking of Instagram – I just have to say I love it.  Probably even more than Facebook (which, I would never say I loved).  In a way it feels like a mini blog post.  I mean, who needs to write about something when you can post a fun picture about it?   Right?

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Follow me and I promise it won’t feel like eons between postings.

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So, this girl?

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I am so in love with her.

Can I just be a gushing mom for a minute?  Because my daughter is so fun.  She is happy and she let’s you know it.  She screams at the top of her lungs for no reason other than she thinks it’s funny.   She’s sassy and independent – which honestly drives me crazy but I know is a good thing.  No one is ever going to walk all over my girl.  And she’s smart.  Ok I know every mom says that but she is!  I’m amazed every day at the things she’ll do and I think….who is teaching her this stuff??  hahaha.

And man, how is she growing up so fast?  I mean pig tails?  Really?

We obviously still have our moments…but this age?  18 months?  This is it.  This is my favorite.

And I promise I haven’t been one of those parents who says that about every age.  This is the first time I’ve said it because I mean it.   I love it.   I love watching her learn and grow and I’m learning to be ok with messes and chaos.  Because well, you have to be.

Yeah, so this girl?  She’s pretty special and I’m pretty lucky to be her momma.

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Ahhhh.  Ok I feel better.  Nothing like a little writing to relieve the stress of packing.

So, I’m off to manhandle six pounds of chicken.  Wish me luck.

random ramblings

I knew it had been awhile since I wrote….but wow. Two months? I DO apologize. I’ve had several posts running through my head so let’s just catch up in a random ramblings, shall we?

But first, this.

After (finally) remembering my logon to WordPress, I checked out my site stats (fully realizing they were going to be dismal. Is anyone even still there?). Annnnnnyways….one of the cool features WordPress offers is a list of all the search terms people have used to get to your site. You know, if they entered a search term in Google, TWSST came up as a result and they ultimately came to my blog because of it. Let’s just say there were some interesting search terms in there…

20 people stumbled upon TWSST by searching for “ugly boob”

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3 people because of “scary things”

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2 while looking for “insane deer mounts”  (and even stranger, two lines above that, 2 people for “borrowing a kid.”  Why are people searching that term on the internet in the first place?!)

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Finally, and my personal favorite, one lucky visitor found me by searching for “light ugly with three nipples.” 

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I mean…what?! I guess maybe I can understand ONE person getting here searching for ugly boobs…but TWENTY? Did I miss the memo about surfing the web for ugly boobs?? What in the world. Hahaha. I had a nice chuckle out of it. Hope you do too. (psssst….they probably landed on this post…)

Like every other facebook friend of mine, we went to a pumpkin patch this year. However, unlike anyone else, MY patch at a pumpkin pillow.

Pumpkin pillow? What is that you ask?

Observe:

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SO much fun.  I basically spent 20 minutes laughing like a school girl with my sisters.

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And then there was this….

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Oh, yeah Abby had fun at the patch too. Hahaha. 

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Speaking of pumpkins – we had a great first Halloween with Abs. She wanted to be Dorothy this year, so I obliged (what? I’m sure she mentioned it).

Here she is, thrilled with the homemade costume (as most kids are with homemade costumes I assume).

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I got sick and wasn’t able to finish her outfit the way I had envisioned, but you get the idea. The ruby red slippers are too cute. I’m going to have to keep those for sure!  

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I’ve actually been working on a few projects around the house (re-arranging, crafting, nursery updates, a painting project or two, and even some building projects)….so you know what that means? Blogging material! Nothing too big and exciting, but something nonetheless.  I’ve been going through some serious project withdrawal! Hopefully I’ll get to share some of that soon.

(This is how I keep you coming back, with the promise of non-baby-related posts that may or may not ever come to fruition. Tricky, eh?)

The biggest thing happening in my life right now is that I’m back at work part-time. What what? Yep, Yep. It all happened really fast, and it’s probably the most boring topic so I’ll give you the short story.

Boss asks me to come back to work part-time. I’m not sure. He says it’s temporary. I’m not sure. He says I can set my own hours. I’m curious.

Basically, I decided it was a good way for me to test the waters (with something I’m already comfortable doing) and see what working feels like. Because, if I’m honest, I’ve kind of been missing that part of me. You know, the part that utilizes my education and makes me feel smart, useful and challenged. So…I decided to give it a go. If I hate it, it’s over in 3 months. If I like it….well then I know a little bit more than I did before about what some of my own needs might be.

Abby is doing daycare for 2.5 days a week (I only work Tuesday/Wednesday and ½ day Thursday) and she is loooooving it. So much that I worry I’m not stimulating her enough anymore on the other days of the week. Ha.

As for me? I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing yet. I like my old job.  But I don’t love it. 

I told myself it’s too early to make any judgments about it. It’s only been two weeks and right now I kinda just miss being with Abbers during the day.  Le Sigh.  It seems as though I’m never pleased, eh?  Stay at home, go to work, some of each. Ugh. It’s exhausting trying to figure it all out! But I’m not giving up!   Awhile ago I printed out this quote from Steve Jobs and put it by my craft desk.  I keep reading it and try to remain hopeful that someday I’ll find something I’m truly, truly passionate about.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

(and that’s the short story you say?!?!)  Yes, yes it is.  Sorry.

Turns out being a hunting widow with a baby is toooooootally different than being just a lonely ‘ol hunting widow. AKA, it’s MUCH MUCH harder now to have the Hubs gone every weekend and I’m MUCH MUCH happier when he returns!

Only two more weeks. 

Two more weeks.

Two more weeks.

I feel like there is so much more to say.  But I can’t take up all my blogging material in one post, right? 

I think part of my problem is that I’m a perfectionist.  I think all of my posts need to be of a certain quality, a certain length and reviewed time and time again before they’re posted.   And while I certainly don’t want to be posting garbage, I think I could alleviate some pressure if I realized not every post has to be a project or a novel.  It can just be a check-in, a story, a thought. 

So I’m going to work on that.  As long as Abby keeps working on her naps (when I wrote this she was in the middle of a 1.5 hour snooze!)

I miss you blog and blog friends.  I hope to be back soon.  Real soon.

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random ramblings

I have so many post ideas running through my head, but no time to actually write them!   So instead of prolonging a post, I thought a random ramblings was in order.

Queue angels singing:  I have finally found a green smoothie recipe that tastes good! 

You know…like how Addison on Private Practice is always drinking something green that looks super healthy?  And you think “gosh, if I just had a green smoothie I’d be as hot and beautiful as her.” 

Well folks, here you go.  Courtesy of Freckles Chick:

1 tsp flaxseed
1 spoonful peanut butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 heaping handfuls spinach
1 sliced frozen banana
2-3 sliced strawberries

Freckles Chick makes hers dairy-free, but I used greek yogurt instead of coconut and almond milk instead of rice.  I must say these are just fabulous!  Oh, and I bet you’re wondering if you really need a frozen banana.  Well, I tried it both ways and definitely prefer the frozen because it makes it ice cold (a bit more smoothie-like I guess).   I really like this drink.  It’s healthy, filling, not super sweet and totally doable with a baby.  You should give it a try!  And then check out FC’s blog…she’s quite funny and witty.

So let the Addison transformation begin.   I wonder what I’ll look like with red hair….

I’m working on a post about going back to work, but long-story-short….I quit my job.   Now I spend my days with the cutest cheeky baby around.

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Funny how fast the days go by now. 

But more on that later!

I miss the days when I could sit down and actually enjoy a meal.  You know, where you savor each bite and take your time finishing?  Perhaps over a bottle of wine? 

With a baby?  That doesn’t happen. 

Instead, it’s a race to see if you can get your meal down before the baby cries.   Because like clockwork, as soon as dinner is ready…baby is over it.  And it doesn’t even matter what “it” is.  Sitting in her bouncy chair, playing on a play mat, taking a snooze, being held in my arms.  When the dinner bell chimes, she decides to get fussy. 

I’ve adjusted to eating cold meals hours after they’re done.  Or reheating them in the microwave (which is never the same).   And sometimes skipping the meal all together.   But more often than not…it’s me in a race against a 3 month old.   I’ve never eaten so fast in my life, and I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever truly enjoy a meal again. 

Have you ever experienced any of the following while driving?

  • Excessing tailgating
  • Cars that stop prematurely at a stoplight or stop sign and slowly creep forward by taping their brakes?
  • Cars running yellow lights
  • Friends taking the longest possible route somewhere, just because there are no stoplights?

Of course you have.  We all have.  It’s just that up until now, I thought these people were jackasses.  Half of these people probably truly are jackasses.  The other half?  Turns out they’re all mom’s with babies in the car who are desperately trying to keep the car in motion to keep their baby from screaming. 

Cut them some slack.

In exchange, I’ll try to get my road rage back under control.

So…my friend Stephanie took me to a workout class called Oula for my birthday.  It’s a fitness dance workout to Top 40 hits. 

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Ya’ll….I’m a country-girl.  I like to jitterbug, line dance and stand in a circle of girls while we dance and sing together.   But Oula?  It’s a full-on coordinated 8-count dance routine with hip-hop moves. 

I’m a fish out of water.  But holy hell…it’s SO MUCH FUN!  I think I’m in love.  I’ve even changed my go-to station on XM Radio to “Hit’s 1” instead of “Prime Country.”    Crazy, right? 

Yeah, I’m no good at it yet.  And I’ve only been once.  But I pretty much laughed the entire time WHILE sweating my ass off.  So I’d say that’s a good thing.   I may have to start playing “Just Dance” on my Xbox during Abby’s naps. 

I’m kidding. 

Kind of.

Anyhoo…that’s enough from me for today.  I swear, I’m still working on Abby’s birth story post, and I really do have so many more floating around in my head.   I’m dying to get back here more often, so I will really be trying to figure out how to fit it in.   Seriously, the days go by so fast anymore…you know…after a green smoothie, some tailgating and dance hour…I’m pretty much exhausted.