Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 in Review

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I went to a professional conference alone (I normally go with colleagues or take students)...and actually did this twice.  The first was a HUGE deal with big, important people from schools like Harvard and Yale.  And, I didn't make a fool of myself.  In fact, I think that I sounded intelligent in most conversations!  

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My biggest New Years Resolution was to lose weight...and I started off well.  I will say that at this point, I actually weigh less than I did when I started the year...and I am nearly 23 weeks pregnant.  So, while I didn't hit that goal of losing 30 pounds this year, I have made progress, and will get back at it.  I don't know if I will make New Years Resolutions this year or not.  If I do, I think they will just have to do with loving my family and spending as much time with them and my friends as possible.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My best friend had a baby girl in April.  Another friend just gave birth to a little boy 10 days ago...he was early and very tiny but is doing amazingly well.  My sister in law also had a baby girl in October--her sixth!  Wowza!  

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.  It was a quiet year...which my family desperately needed after the last few years we have had.

5. What countries did you visit?
Absolutely none.  Although I did have to fly through Atlanta...and I'm pretty sure that airport can count as it's own country.  

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn’t have in 2011?
This is really hard.  I feel like I have so much and have had so many blessings.  I would like to have more time with my family and friends.  As my friends all start their families, it is even harder to make time for each other...but I know how amazing just a little time with them can be.  

I guess that better control of my finances would be another one.  This seems to haunt me from year to year.  

7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
August 7--the day I found out I was going to be a mommy again.  October 24--my 30th birthday.  November 7--the day that it was confirmed that I will be taking on a new job in July 2012 that will utterly change my career and probably in some ways, change my life (and I haven't been able to really talk about it much, but hope that is about to change after the start of the new year).  December 8--the day it was confirmed that baby number 2 is a boy (and appears healthy)

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I guess that I have a personal one and a professional one.  In my personal life, it would be that we decided to have a second child and were able to conceive this little guy.  Professionally, it would be sticking up for myself and asking for what I know I deserve. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting my finances in order.  And not thoroughly enjoying all of my time with my son.  I love him, but two years old is hard...and sometimes mama is very excited when bedtime rolls around.  

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new iphone (hello love).  Also bought a new car (lower payment, brand it).  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Probably my husband who put up with my complete neurotic mindset through most of the year--and he didn't kill me (pretty sure he wanted to on multiple occasions).  

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I can't think of an individual...more like groups of people.  Sometimes students drove me crazy this year.  Celebrities are insane for the most part.  Politicians in general.  The Obama-bashing people who think that the world is coming to an end.  

14. Where did most of your money go?
You know, mortgage, car, diapers (please let me get boy #1 pottytrained before boy #2 arrives).  Probably too many trips to restaurants.  

15. What did you get really excited about?
Learning I was pregnant (though that also scared the crap out of me), my new iphone (yup, I'm pathetic), and the prospect of new job responsibilities.  

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Probably something by Adele

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I would like to say happier, but I'm probably about the same
Thinner by the scale, fatter by the maternity pants I'm currently sporting
Probably about the same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading to my son.  Reading for myself.  Gotten more alone time (an hour a, that would be amazing).  Date nights with my husband (it's only going to get harder as we add to our family, but we really have to make a conscious effort to do this.  We went almost an entire year without a date night (that didn't involve attending a wedding).  

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How will you spend Christmas?
Running all over the place to see family.  But to me, that is Christmas.  

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I fell in love with my unborn child.  It is amazing how you can love something so much that you have haven't even met.  

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I watch way too much TV...but my favorites are Dexter (woah season finale last night), Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Glee (I'm still on board), and I recently discovered a love for The Big Bang Theory.  

23. What was the best book you read?
Honestly, I can't even remember.  Which is pathetic.  I have been doing so much research for work that my free time isn't spent reading for fun.  I have big plans to read over the holiday break though!  

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I love Adele.  

25. What did you want and get?
Pregnant.  A new car.  An iphone.  

26. What did you want and not get?
For my husband to get a new job with set hours that don't involve working most evenings and weekends. 

27. What was your favorite film of 2011?
Pretty sure that the only movie I saw in theaters was Harry Potter.  We don't get out much.  

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30!  And for the first time in two years, I stayed at home alone during the day!  My son went to school that day and I got to enjoy some time at a pedicure...went to lunch with a friend...laid in my bed for an hour.  It was blissful!  I got to have dinner with my family...and then a few days later went out to dinner with some friends.  

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Honestly, I'm not sure.  

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011 ?
Ugh.  I have none.  Right now it is "does it fit?  Yes?  Put it on"

31. What kept you sane?
My husband, my friends, my sons hysterical laugh, Dr. Pepper

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Obviously the economy is on everyone's minds right now.  I have already started to worry about the election next year.  Getting all of our troops out of Iraq this past weekend was "baby" cousin just got home from Iraq and another has been before.  I would really like for our troops in Afghanistan to be removed as well before my cousin is sent there this summer.  Occupy Wall Street has kind of annoyed me more than anything. I get it...but sometimes I just want to tell people to get a job (any job).  I kind of lost it when a local TV station was interviewing one of the "occupiers" and they were complaining about how the only job they could get with their bachelor's degree was working at McDonalds. at McDonalds.  My husband has a master's degree and works at a luggage store because he hasn't found a job in his field and he needs to help support our family.  You have to do what you have to do.  It sucks, but sometimes you do it.  (and I completely understand that there are people out there who can't even get jobs at McDonalds...but I think that many people could find SOMETHING if they stopped complaining...or even tried).  Okay, tirade over.  

33. Who did you miss?
I probably miss my best friend the most of all.  Since she had a baby in April, I haven't been able to see her much.  Actually, I haven't been able to see her since June.  Fortunately, we talk via email most days.  But, I still miss her face!  

I'm also missing my grandma terribly.  It hit me early in my pregnancy that my grandma would never meet this baby.  That was devastating to me.  She passed away 10 days after my oldest son was born...but she met him, and held him, and kissed his sweet cheeks.  I won't have that photo with this baby.  I miss her more than I thought...I think part of that has to do with the fact that I didn't properly grieve when she passed away because I was trying to survive with a newborn.  

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
That people are generally good and will help out when they can.  That there are always people that have so much less to be thankful for than you do.  

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I'm going to have to come back to this one...I'm lame and can't think of anything right now.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stationery card

This Year Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.

We love our Christmas card this year! It is colorful and fun! We can't wait to design a new one next year to share photos of our TWO boys!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I love living in the Midwest, but one thing that I hate is the bipolar nature of the weather. While yesterday was kind of rainy, it was 70 degrees. Today, it's 40. I realize that it is November 9 and we have been extremely spoiled with good weather...and that winter is inevitable, but couldn't we have a gradual change?

In other news, I am really excited about Christmas this year! Jack is going to get a train table, which we know he will love! I can't wait to see what he thinks when he gets up on Christmas morning and sees it! I have had to stop myself from buying it already because I know that I will just want to set it up now and play with it! I even asked my lovely husband if I could put up the Christmas tree (that's a no). So, to quench my thirst for all things Christmas, I have been listening to Christmas music in the car and pondering when I can sit down and watch my favorite Christmas movie...Love Actually (yes, that is my favorite Christmas movie of all time).

I'm also trying to pick out a Christmas card for our family. We got some decent family pictures taken so I definitely want a photo card, but the options are just to hard to chose from! I love them all!

Alright, I'm trying to be a better blogger and blog more, so this is my first (albeit boring) post in that hopefully long stretch of interesting pieces! I promise the next one will at least have pictures or something!

Monday, October 24, 2011


So, today I turn 30. I realize that I haven't posted on here in forever, but I want to start again. So, last year, right after i turned 29 I created a 30 before 30 list. I decided that I better update it...I needed to see what I have done this past year. So, here it is:

1. Lose 20 pounds.
Well, I have lost over 10 pounds, but since I am pregnant, I have had to put this goal on hold, but I will start back up after the baby is born in April.
2. Have a weekend getaway with my husband...alone.
This didn't happen.
3. Pay off my remaining credit card debt.
This didn't happen, but I'm working on it.
4. Paint my living room.
Again, hasn't happened...but some other rooms in my house are about to get painted!
5. Exercise three times a week.
This one just makes me laugh
6. Take Jack to the park as often as the weather allows.
Jack loves the park and being outside more than anything in the world, so we go all the time.
7. Read to Jack every night before many books as he wants.
I would say that books are one of Jack's favorite things. We read all the time...even if I read the same book 10 times in a row. I will read as much as he wants.
8. Be a better wife to my husband. Make sure he knows how wonderful he is every single day.
I think this is something that I will work on every day for the rest of my life. Marriage is hard, but we have to keep working at it.
9. Cook more meals for my family.
Our schedules are crazy, but I cooks when I can and when we are all home. I'm not ashamed to feed Jack a bowl of cereal and fruit for dinner every now and then...he loves it and I love the lack of time spent in the kitchen.
10. Take a week off of work and don't check my email or voice mail the entire week.
HA HA HA HA HA. That is hilarious. Some day this might happen.
11. Finally put all of the photos I have taken and printed of Jack into photo albums.
Again, still working on that.
12. Get one evening with my friends each month.
It didn't happen every month, but it has happened and those days make me very happy.
13. Visit my best friend at her new house for a weekend.
Nope...and this makes me the saddest of everything. I miss her so much.
14. Read one book a month for fun.
I only read five books for fun this year.
15. Clean my office at work and purge all of the old files that are cluttering my life!
HA HA HA HA HA. This is a work in progress.
16. Bake more tasty treats for my family and friends
I have baked a ton of cinnamon rolls, cookies, and banana bread. Looking forward to trying out some new recipes this holiday season.
17. Visit the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Science Center, and the Zoo.
Didn't visit any of these places, but we took Jack to Grant's Farm which he absolutely loved. I hadn't been there since I was a kid, so it was great for me too.
18. Go to Chicago for a fun weekend of shopping and museums.
19. Go to at least two new restaurants in St. Louis.
I went to Copia Urban winery in February and had the best meal of my life in February. I have been a few other places...and am looking forward to a new restaurant this Saturday for my birthday dinner.
20. Try a new food
I don't know if I tried anything new
21. Publish an article
Done! My article was published in Campus Programming Magazine last spring about Retreat Planning and Officer Transitions for programming boards.
22. Help Ryan get a job that he will love.
Still working on this
23. Run a 5K
Not happening until after baby
24. Get my wisdom teeth taken out (no, this isn't fun...but it needs to be done!)
Was scheduled for this and then got pregnant, so it will wait until after baby
25. Spend more time with my mom and sister
I try to see them at least once a week.
26. Enroll Jack in day care two days a week so that he can socialize with other kids.
Done. He went to day care in February and then moved to the Early Childhood Center on campus in August. He seems to really love it there and I'm so happy that he got in.
27. Be a better friend to the great people in my life
I am in no way a great friend, but I try to be there for the people that I love when they need me. We have had some great highs and some sad lows this year, but I will always love them!
28. Drink more water every day
Continue to work on this. Right now, water makes me gag, so I am drinking more juice then I would like, but it's okay.
29. Make sure Jack feels unconditional love every day of his life
I know that he knows he is loved. I can't even express how much I love this kid. Mommy is his favorite person right now...
30. Find the perfect outfit to wear for my 30th birthday
I feel very pregnant right now...but I found an adorable shirt to wear that I love.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two Years...

How have two years passed already? It is absolutely not possible that this little baby

turn into this little boy

It hardly seems possible.

Jack, you have changed my life in so many ways. You have taught me what pure joy is. I now understand what people mean when they say that having a child is like having your heart outside your body. Sometimes I look you and just want to cry because I love you so much. I hope that you know how much your daddy and I love you. You are an amazing little person and I can't wait to watch as you grow into an awesome little man!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


It's been a while since I have posted anything here. Something has been on my mind this week and I really need to write it down so I can just let it go. Please excuse me as I ramble.

I realize that life is not supposed to be easy. If it was easy, it would be boring. But, I kind of thought it was going to be a little easier.

I remember an episode of The West Wing. Toby, Josh, and Donna had been left behind by the motorcade in Indiana. They got stuck trying to get to the airport. Then a massive storm hit and their flight was delayed. Toby and Josh were sitting at a hotel bar when they started talking to a guy who was in town to visit Notre Dame with his daughter. He told Toby and Josh that he didn't expect life to be easy, he just wished it were a little easier. He didn't mind working hard, he just wanted to be able to send his daughter to the college of her choice.

Obviously I am not preparing to send my child to college...heck, we aren't even to preschool yet (yes, I realize that before I blink he will be driving...blah blah). But, you know, I worked hard and got a Master's Degree. My husband did the same. I worked hard and got a job that I really love. My husband has faced a lot of difficulties. He has not been able to find a job doing what he wants to do. I feel horrible about that. I know how frustrated he is.

I just wish that I didn't have to struggle financially. I don't need millions and millions, but I would love to not live paycheck to paycheck. I would like to not have to worry about how to provide for my family. I just want it to be a little easier...that's all.

I want to buy a bigger house. I want to move to Edwardsville to be closer to my family. I want to have another baby sooner rather than later. I want to be able to buy my son everything that he needs in life.

I realize that I have so much to be thankful for. My son is beautiful and healthy. My husband makes me laugh every day. Sometimes it is just easier to think of all the things you wish you had than to be thankful for the things you already have. I'll work on that.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

10 Things About Me

Here are 10 things about me that you don't know...and probably didn't want to know!

1. I can pretty much recite every word to the movie "The American President". I can also recite parts of episodes of "The West Wing". I guess I'm an Aaron Sorkin weirdo!

2. I have a major sweet tooth. I love pretty much all sweet things. I also love to bake. If I could, I would open up a bakery...but I don't have the patience or dedication for that!

3. I'm a St. Louis Cardinals fanatic. I usually start to get a twitch for baseball in December and then am in full on withdrawal by February. I can't wait for Jack to start playing little league. His first compound word was baseball...I think it's a sign!

4. I have an illness called Sjogren's Syndrome. It's an autoimmune disorder that affects the moisture producing glands of the body. Mine specifically seems to affect the salutatory glands and the tear ducts. My eyes are often dry and my mouth is dry sometimes. This also causes me to have a ridiculous number of cavities, no matter how much I brush my teeth, floss, etc. Honestly, if I had the money, I would get dental implants because my teeth will be a never ending battle and it would actually be cheaper to just do this. Unfortunately, because I am not independently wealthy, I usually have constant mouth pain that I try to ignore because there is always something going on in there that I can't afford to fix.


Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year...New me

So, it's been almost two weeks since I started my diet. I'm hanging in there. My scale isn't necessarily showing me the great numbers that I hoped during my first couple weeks, but slow and steady wins the race, right? The number is lower than it was 11 days ago when I really started, so that's a good thing. Hopefully it will only continue to get lower. My fear is that I won't be able to stick with this. It truly is a change of lifestyle, not just in what I eat.

I have to really think about what I'm going to eat each day ahead of time. With a busy toddler, that is really hard. I'm probably not eating the best things that I could, but I'm eating things that are pretty easy for me to get ready and to prepare. It is working for now, so I will stick with it.

I'm going to tackle my biggest challenge...finding time to work out. I'm going to try to start working out during my lunch break next week a couple days and see how it goes. I'm worried that I will get really smelly and sweaty and that I won't be comfortable for the rest of the afternoon. Watch out afternoon meetings! You might smell me coming! Hopefully I will be able to come up with a system and stick with it. By the time I get off work, I just want to get home and spend a couple hours with Jack before he goes to bed. But, he doesn't go to bed until 8:30 or 9, so that's a little late to start a workout (I'm just exhausted by that time). So, I'm going to try the lunchtime thing. I'm going to start with two days a week next week and see how it goes!

I've made the decision to run a 5K at the end of April, so I'm going to be training for that. I've had the Couch to 5K program on my Ipod for months and months but just haven't done it. So, I'm going to start that now and get prepared. I really want to prove that I can do it! I've never been a runner...I've never enjoyed it. Even when I played field hockey in high school and had to run one or two miles a day at the start of practice, I never enjoyed it (and I was in much better shape back then!). So, we will see how it goes. I'm committing to run the 5K in April. If I hate it, I won't do another one. But, I'm going to prove that I can do it at least once!

More to come!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Writer's Block

I'm supposed to be working on an article right now...but clearly I am not! About five months ago I submitted a proposal for an article to my professional association. It was accepted and I pushed it aside. Well, my deadline is next week and I am no closer to starting in that I was five months ago! Ugh. I honestly hate the topic that I chose and just can't figure out where I want to go with it!

I really need to get my act together and work on it, but I somehow just can't make myself do it. It is the first week of the spring semester at my university, so it's quite busy! Once I finally get Jack into bed, I'm exhausted and don't want to do anything. I am really hoping for a snow day tomorrow so I can get my thoughts together during nap time and hopefully make some progress!

Procrastination is my middle name. What did I say all through grad school? I work best under pressure. Yeah right!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Hardest Thing

Like many people, I started a diet at the first of the year. It's cliche, but I needed to do it. I look at my beautiful little boy and I know that I need to get healthy for him. Some friends of mine and I started an online support group on Facebook to help each other along. It's definitely been a great thing during this first week.

Losing weight is the hardest thing ever. I will say one thing...I've been the same weight for approximately five years, give or take 10 pounds. When I was pregnant with Jack, I gained 18 pounds, which was right on target. He was nearly eight pounds and I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes a week after he was born. My problem is losing the weight. But, I need to do it, so I'm working on it.

This week has been rough. The first two days I was hungry ALL THE TIME. OH MY GAAAHH. Get in my belly food!! But, the past two days have been a little better. I decided to do Weight Watchers Online for a few months so I can get a handle on things. It's a lot of work. I plan meals and take lunch and snacks to work. But, it will be okay. I can have anything I want...just in moderation. I get my flex points every week that I can use to have some french fries if I want them...or a milk shake...or a big, juicy, cheeseburger (which is my current craving...hello Red Robin!).

So, tomorrow is our first weigh in. We are weighing in every Friday. It's only been four days since I started, so I don't expect to lose much...but I'm afraid that I won't have lost anything and that I'm going to get frustrated. I'm hoping to have lost a half a pound at least. That would be a start.

My initial goal is to lose 10 pounds. It's attainable and I can see the light at the end of that tunnel. If I were to look at the total amount that I need to lose, it would be completely overwhelming. So, 10 pounds it is. And when I reach that, I will reward myself with a pedicure! And then I will look at another 10 pounds. I hope that by the time Jack's birthday rolls around in a little over five months (how is it possible that I will have a two year old in a little over five months???), I won't be ashamed of the photos that are taken. I don't know how much weight I will have lost by then, but I can guarantee I will at least weigh a little less than I do now!

My little weight loss group all shared photos of ourselves as a "before". So, here are mine...for posterity sake. All I can say is UGH!