Last month, I talked about goals and such for January and the whole of 2016. Time to check in on my progress thus far!

Towards the goal of reading 100 books this year, I read eight books in January, which puts me on track to my goal, assuming I keep up the pace. I also read one non-fiction book, another part of my reading goal. A post a favorite books should be coming soon.

I sort of crashed and burned on writing scripture daily. I made it sixteen days – and that was with doubling up in an attempt to get caught up. But, February is a new month, and I’m not looking at it as the days I missed, but choosing to see that I’ve written down sixteen more passages of scripture than I did last year.

In terms of staying active, I ran just under twenty miles for the month, which I thought was an achievable goal since I only run at the gym and the kids have to be healthy, I have to be healthy, and the weather has to be good to get there, so consistency is a problem sometimes! I added in a few weight lifting days, and did cardio at home when we were snowed in, since I couldn’t run. My nutrition could use a little fine-tuning, but I’m feeling good about where I am right now!

For February, I plan on attempting to make my bed every day. I’ve been doing this fairly well for the last two weeks, but I’d like to take the month to focus on really making it a daily habit. Not only does our room look neater when I do, but I’ve also found it helps keep my room neater in general, as I can use the bed for various sorting projects during the day, but have to put them away before I go to bed! Definitely a good habit to cultivate and keep up.


So apparently its been a year since I’ve blogged. Whoops.

If anyone happens to still read here (which is doubtful), I’d like dust things off and blog a bit more this year.

So to sum up the last year: the kids grew leaps and bounds, I lost all of my three-babies weight thanks to the 21 Day Fix and got back into running a 5K distance. Jillian continued to be my exclusively breast-fed miracle baby, and learned to crawl, walk, and talk. Nathan started school and we decided to wait a year before sending Colton to kindergarten. We bought a house and Colton spent several days in the hospital before we discovered his paralyzed eye was due to migraines and not a brain tumor (yay!). We embarked on a new diet for Colton to help with a whole host of things, and are seeing some great improvements there.

So the past year was packed with all sorts of wonderful, and crazy, things.

As far as the new year goes, I have a few things I’d like to focus on.

Reading more. I want to read 100 books this year. The only other time I’ve done this, that I know of, was in 2009, before I had any kids.

Along with that, I’d like to read more non-fiction books and books about faith. Pretty much all of my reading is centered around fiction, and since I’m trying to increase reading time, I’d like to use it more intentionally to learn more and grow more in my faith. I have a few books on my list, but if you have recommendations, I am looking for some!

Write scripture daily. I intended to do this in December, and I think I spent about ten days following the plan. Whoops. Since I don’t have a ton of time, this is a great way for me to spend time in the Word daily, which I would like to ideally do. Here’s hoping I can make it longer than ten days this time…

Stay active. I have been having trouble with my hip as I try to increase my running speed towards a goal of running a 5K in under 30 minutes. My chiropractor has said I need to strengthen my core and my hip, so a steady regiment of running is probably not the best for my situation right now, even though I’d love to be running more, faster, and longer.

Hopefully I will check back in here as to the progress of my goals, and other random things (my favorite books of 2015, perhaps? Our new house?) before 2017…

Another month has come and gone, and I’m trying to stay on top of both kids’ monthly updates.

The hardest part of Nathan at 19 months has been teething. At one point, Nathan was getting a top tooth, two bottom teeth, and at least two molars. Understandably, he was really cranky. So cranky that one day he decided to attempt to throw himself down the stairs. I would pick him up, move him off the stairs, and he would climb back up and resume trying to kill himself. A little ibuprofen and Pooh Bear soon had him back to his happy self.

Speaking of Pooh Bear, Nathan has become quite the little TV watcher since Jillian’s birth. His favorites include: Thomas, Pooh Bear, the Curious George Christmas movie (NOT regular George episodes), and Mickey Mouse. I’m not exactly proud of his extensive TV likes, but it is what it is right now, and I’m working on limiting it much more now that I’m starting to not be a walking zombie.

Christmas was this month, and I think Nathan was very confused as to what was going on, but he was more than happy to get some new toys! I think his favorite things were a talking Gordon train (from us) and a turtle pull-toy (from my grandparents).

The most interesting part of this pas month has been seeing Nathan’s vocabulary expand. He went from saying only about 20 words to well over doubling that. And it seems that every day he adds several new words to his vocabulary; this morning it was “quack.”


DSC03970I’m pretty sure Jillian was just born yesterday, but the calendar says she’s two months old! She is a precious little thing; she is now a ready smiler, which just makes me melt. She also smiles for her brothers, which is one of the cutest things ever!

We don’t have a set schedule at the moment, though she has somewhat consistent patterns. However, since she is currently exclusively  breastfed (!!!!!), I don’t mind the variations in routine. And sometimes I need to force changes in the routine based on what time she woke up and what we need to do that day. For example, some days I need her to eat earlier because of preschool drop off. Sometimes she has to eat later because of a well-check, Because of our schedule, hers needs to be flexible. Thankfully she hasn’t had a problem with that yet!

Overall, my impression of her is that she is sweet, even-keeled, but happy to make her displeasure known. We laugh at her because she has already developed an excellent stink eye. If she cried and you fail to pick her up in an appropriate time, when you do, she will stop crying but look at with disdain and seem to say, “you have failed me, You are dead to me.”

Well, I missed two of Nathan’s monthly updates (I actually wrote them, but then wordpress ate them and I never re-wrote), but to sum up: he was cute, happy, conquered big brother-hood like a champ, and continued to delight everyone he met.

One of the funniest, yet most frustrating things Nathan does currently is to throw himself on the floor in front of the cabinet where we keep food pouches and cry when he’s hungry. I don’t understand why as I’m usually in the room with him and he knows how to sign eat. I suppose he has a flair for the dramatic, which I’m sure he doesn’t get from me.

He also knows the meaning of hot. If I am cooking, he walk over to the stove, say “hot-hot,” and then blow to try and cool the stove off. He loves to go outside and will climb into the umbrella stroller we keep by the door and declare “side! side!” until someone either takes him or sufficiently distracts him. Another favorite activity is to go to the basement to play choo-choos. I try to take him down when Colton is at school, and he plays really well by himself when I feed Jillian. It is so cute to watch him climb into a chair and sit in front of the train table moving his trains back and forth. He’s recently graduated to walking around the table, but conducting from the chair was so cute.

He is not nearly as verbal at this age as Colton was, but he is more into everything; climbing chairs, tables, onto the sofa, getting into pots and pans, and those sorts of things. He’s also very socially aware and really wants to do what everyone else does. He has given up bib wearing (he will either pull it off himself, or try to until he chokes), and prefers to stand in a chair at mealtimes rather than sit in his booster seat.

As always, Nathan is a happy, social little guy!


Jillian Margaret was born October 16th at 4:09 am. She weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 20 1/4 inches long. And she’s now a month old. Terrible blogger!


At any rate, I wanted to share her birth story so I can get to her one month update.


I woke up at about 1:45 am feeling a little wet. Since it was still hot out and I was humongously pregnant, I figured I was sweating and rolled over to go back to sleep. But then I noticed my pregnancy pillow was also wet, which seems suspicious. So, I got up to go to the bathroom to check things out, and sure enough, my water had broken.


I quickly woke up my husband to have him call his aunt, who was going to watch the boys for us. She lives about an hour and a half away, so letting her know was important to do first. I called the midwife on call to let her know my water had broken and I was coming in. It was about 2am, and I wasn’t really having much in the way of contractions.


We got the boys out of bed, loaded them into the van, grabbed our hospital bag, and headed over to the hospital. I noticed on the ride over I was having contractions, but they weren’t crazy painful and were still fairly far apart.


When we got there, I carried Nathan in while my husband got Colton. I beat them inside, and got an odd look and was asked what I was doing there. Apparently people don’t think you’re in labor if you come in carrying your 16 month old.


I was taken to a triage room, where they confirmed my water really did break, and I was six centimeters and a zero station. Shortly after, I started needing to concentrate to get through contractions, but everything still felt manageable. I did ask my husband and kids to leave the room, since the kids were making it harder to concentrate.


They moved me to a labor room, where they suggested I try to tub. I was all for it, until I got in the room and felt like things were going super quickly. Sure enough, I was 9 centimeters, a negative one station, and the midwife told me I could start doing some pushing if I wanted. And my husband was in the waiting area with the kids. I asked someone to go check on him; he was thankfully handing off the kids and came back to the room shortly.


Twenty minutes later, we had a baby! From start to finish, it took about two hours. Of course, the end part was no fun, but was short lived. Otherwise, I thought it was a pretty easy labor; contractions were intense, but even in transition were manageable and not terribly close together. And of course, all the work was well worth it to meet our sweet girl!


How Far Along: 38 weeks.

Size of Baby: Baby probably weighs close to seven pounds now. 

Gender: Girl!

Weight Gain: Closing in on 25 lbs. Not sure exactly how much. Math is hard yo.

Symptoms: Heartburn (maybe this baby will break the mold and have hair!?). Much more pelvic pain/pressure and low back pain than I had been experiencing, but again, nothing crazy.

Exercise: Not much at this point. Everything seems hard. But I am picking it up in the housework department, can that count?

Clothes: All maternity.

Cravings/Aversions: Craving cake. And frozen yogurt.

Movement: Pretty active. Baby girl seems to really like songs from Frozen and goes crazy for those.

Worries: None specifically.

Milestones: Full term! And we are officially in baby month!

Best Moment This Week:

How Far Along: 36 weeks.

Size of Baby: Baby is the size of a cantaloupe, weighing in around 6 pounds. Lengths vary at this point, but I’m guessing baby girl is around 19 inches, based on her brothers’ birth lengths.

Gender: Girl!

Weight Gain: Right around 21 lbs I think.

Symptoms: Tiredness, low cramping, and some contractions.

Exercise: I’ve petered on on this. Theoretically I’d like to get back on it, but I’m not optimistic at this point.

Clothes: All maternity.

Cravings/Aversions: Pumpkin cheesecake ice cream – yuuuuuuuum!

Movement: Slow and poking. Some of the movements have gotten quite painful!

Worries: Well, I thought there was a 30% chance my water had broken Thursday night. I kept an eye on the situation, didn’t see any other signs that my water had broken after the initial incident, but then started having cramping. I called, made the decision to go in, and while I was on the way there telling my mother “I’m sure its nothing,” I felt a gush, just like what I felt when my water had broken with Nathan and I was walking the halls of the hospital, but smaller. And the cramping intensified. When I finally got a room, got on the monitors, and saw the midwife, I was having fairly regular contractions and was pretty sure THIS. WAS. IT. The midwife did two tests at the same time to see if my water had broken because I wasn’t leaking. One came back negative, one came back positive, and I was having some bleeding. At this point, there was talk of a possible ultrasound and if they would stop my labor because I was about an hour and a half from being 36 weeks. Fortunately, the contractions didn’t become more regular, and seemed to decrease as time went on, and the third test for amniotic fluid came back negative. The final verdict was that I lost my plug, which was what triggered the cramping and accounts for the gush. I’ve still had some contractions off and on, which is highly annoying. Also, I’m taking all of this as a sure sign that I’ll go two weeks over my due date.

Milestones: Less than a month until my due date. Less. Than. A. Month. This baby will be here before we know it! Also, all of baby’s systems should be fully formed at this point, which means she stands a good chance of not needing extra support should she be born early.

Best Moment This Week: Hearing baby’s heartbeat on the monitor at the hospital. I don’t usually get all worked up about it, but with having a surprise pregnancy, I sometimes forget that this is really happening, so it was sweet to sit there and listen to confirmation that this other person exists and that I’ll meet her very soon.



How Far Along: 34 weeks.

Size of Baby: Baby is the size of a pineapple, weighing in at about 4.5 lbs.

Gender: Girl! 

Weight Gain: Just under 20 lbs I think. I might end up just over my 25 lb “goal,” but that’ll be okay. 

Symptoms: Nothing too bad. Starting to experience the “end of the road” tiredness and having some heartburn at night, but nothing really to complain about. 

Exercise: Some run/walking and walks with the kids. Nothing crazy and slowing down with my activity level in general due to my increased tiredness. 

Clothes: All maternity.

Cravings/Aversions: Cereal.

Movement: Movement patterns changed this past week, but lately have been back to where they were, thanks to the slight increase of sugar in my diet. 

Worries: I mentioned the change in movement to my midwife just because it was such a 180 from what it had been (morning was her most active time, and for several days I didn’t feel her move in the morning AT ALL. She still moved, just not then.) So I had a quick NST and all looked well (after I ate, of course. Apparently this child was hungry), so no real worries there now. And, I found out I can take the boys with me to the hospital when I go into labor so long as I have a second person with me and someone else to come get them. Whew! Now I don’t have to worry because no matter what happens I won’t have to leave my kids at home alone. 

Milestones: I can now say I’m having a baby NEXT MONTH. Holy. Cow.

Best Moment This Week: Ordering one of baby’s first outfits, with her monogram on it. Eeeep!

How Far Along: 32 weeks. Umm….holy cow!

Size of Baby: Baby weighs in around 4 pounds or so, and is about 19 inches long.

Gender: Girl – sugar and spice, probably a lot of spice!

Weight Gain: 18 pounds. 7 more pounds till I hit my “target” weight. 8 weeks of pregnancy left…I can do it!

Symptoms: Some hip pain, but I’ve been seeing a chiropractor, so on the whole my usual pregnancy-pain complaints are really few and far between. 

Exercise: Slowed down a little this week due to life-craziness, mostly walking with the kids. I think I’m going to hang up my running hat and stick with walking until this baby comes. My last run/walk left me feeling pretty gross and tired for two days, so I’m thinking walking is in order, and perfectly okay. 

Clothes: All maternity.

Cravings/Aversions: Ice cream. And fruit. I am eating peaches and blueberries like I’ll never eat them again. 

Movement: Still pretty consistent. Getting into bigger movements, like rolls or pushing various appendages out. 

Worries: Baby was head down at my last appointment, so I’m not worried about that. But, I am starting to stress about not knowing anyone to watch my other kids while I have this baby. Sure, we have some people who could drive and take care of the kids, but that’s looking at an hour and a half. So, we need to at least find someone who will watch them for a few hours until someone else can come…

Milestones: Baby is almost at her birth length, and is continuing to gain weight and work on practice breathing and swallowing. Also, less than two months left until we have a baby!

Best Moment This Week: We are finally starting on some preparations for this baby. We ordered a crib, mattress, and dresser (for Nathan’s clothes in the closet), and the crib has come! Its not put together, its sitting right in our entry area, but we have it. 

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

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Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.