October Goals // 2014

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You know the drill…..

September Goals

- Ride my bike to work 4 days a week! Other than driving for class on Monday, I want to try and ride this beautiful shiny new thing every day. Except today because like, 96 degrees. Ok, so, this didn’t happen. Because I had a very intense fear of my bike being stolen and didn’t want to leave it anywhere with a sad little chain to keep it safe. However, I bought a real bike lock this weekend and rode my bike to work today and yesterday!!

- Speaking of my bike, buy a basket or crate for the back of it, gotta transport those groceries. Couldn’t justify spending this money without getting into a good bike groove first, maybe this month.

- Exercise 20 days this month–do it. Do it. Do it. I’m working on being able to consistently run a 5k–and have been working on this for two years. Now is the time to finally actually accomplish this, Turkey Trot, I will take you down this year. I ended up working out 17 days this past month, but that is a huge improvement from 10 days last month!

- Order and frame the last Sevenly picture for my living room. Nope.

- Finish organizing the categories in my archives. Yes! I finished this last week, everything has a home now.

- Finish my picture wall.  Yes! I busted this out a few weekends ago. It is a little crooked by hey, character, right? Pictures to come next week.

- Hang my state plates on the wall in my bedroom. This also means first attaching hangers to the back of the plates. Done! But I hung them in my tiny little nook beside my bathroom instead of in my bedroom.

- Read Jesus > Religion, Happier at Home, and From Black High Heels to Tractor Wheels and write blog reviews for them (and for the three other books I recently finished). I didn’t read all of these or review all of them but I have been cranking out reviews for the other books, so we’ll call this done. 

I just looked at my calendar for October and whew, it is going to be a busy month. I’m babysitting almost every weekend, have visitors coming, am traveling to RVA, not to mention work and school. It’s going to be a tad bit crazy, but also super fun.

October Goals

- Exercise 20 days this month. Continue running and doing Pilates (I’m recently obsessed with these videos). Travel is what always throws me off my exercise game so I’m working hard to schedule workouts in beforehand–giving me no excuse to skip them.

- Take advantage of Columbus Day sales to buy a few outfits for a teaching conference I’m attending in November.

- Order Sevenly print as well as buying/hanging a frame.

- Ride my bike to work three days a week.

- Purchases two Christmas presents–trying to get a head start on this!

- Start checking books out from the library and only purchasing them to add to my collection if I absolutely love them–I’ve spent too much money on books I’ll never reread.

- Reserve dress from Rent the Runway for Brit’s wedding!

I hope you have a great October! I’m missing summer more than usual this year but I’m really looking forward to the coming months.

Magical Majesty

I’ve been trying to write a poetic piece about the beauty and magic of flying for over two weeks. I have these beautiful sentences somewhere up in my brain about how fascinating it is to be up in the sky. There was a moment on my flight to Boston when we broke through the highest layer of clouds and were surrounded by this beautiful ombre blue sky. It was so magical and astonishing that it made me tear up. Granted, I am a huge sap, so most things make me tear up, but this was special. This was a moment of staring in awe and wonder at the beauty and majesty of the world the Lord created for us. It is a beauty we truly don’t deserve to marvel at on a daily basis and one that I try to be thankful for as often as possible.

So there, that was slightly poetic, but really, my words could never compete with these images.

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Monday Musings

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Some random thoughts on this Monday.

I’m exhausted. I am officially an old person who cannot go to bed later than 10PM and still wake up at 6AM and be ready for a full work/school day.

Mom and I saw Eric Church this weekend and it was amazing. He certainly knows how to put on a good show.

I can genuinely say I’m looking forward to school tonight, which wasn’t always the case in undergrad.

I have Friday off from work and I’ve already scheduled a date with the monuments for an early morning run.

Be on the look out for some book reviews this week, I’m way behind.

Really though, I’m so sleepy. Is it 9:30PM yet?

The Stroller Diaries // 36

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Right now:

Age: 18 months (him), 18 months (her)

Favorite food: sweet potatoes and cheerios (him), raisins (her)

Favorite book: A, B, C (him), Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? (her)

Most loved activity: swinging (him), climbing up the steps and going down the slide, all by herself (her)

Tickle spot: inner thighs, belly, underarms, chin (him), collarbone, inner thighs (her)

Preferred snack: cheerios (him), raisins (her)

Favorite song: Shake It Off (him), Shake If Off (her)

New words: Shoe, beach, helicopter (or some variation), plane, Elmo (him), baby, I love you (sort of), Minnie Mouse (her)

Loves: books, swinging, giving hugs (him), books, dancing, giving kisses (her)

Hates: having his face wiped (him), sharing toys (her) — I don’t think these things will ever change.

How much I love them: to infinity and beyond–times a million.

Monday Morning Musings

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Here we are again, Monday morning, and the first full week of fall. It’s a busy work week followed by a quick trip to NC this weekend for me. Mom and I are going to see Eric Church, hip hip hooray!

How was your weekend? Mine was so incredibly productive. I declined all social invitations and worked diligently on finishing both my to-do list and all the episodes of Newsroom on HBO Go.

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As you can see, the apartment was a wreck when the weekend started. The good news is that it is in pristine condition as I write this. I’ve got clean floors, clean sheets, and a yummy candle burning. And my fears of the candle catching the apartment on fire are fairly minimal.

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I also managed to go for a run both days of the weekend and did some pilates. Humble bragging left and right over here. I’m actually really looking forward to this week. The babies and I are starting to have more and more fun each day and I miss them more and more each weekend!

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Cheers to a beautiful, autumnal, productive week ahead. I hope yours is absolutely glorious.

A Plan Free Weekend, At Last

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I feel ya, babes.

Friends, I’m pooped. Thank goodness it’s Friday. I’m not sure why I’m so incredibly tired, it has been a really good week, and an exceptionally good day, but man I’m just feelin’ it this afternoon.

Today really has been marvelous. Think 2.5 hours at our favorite park this morning, with a glorious breeze and sunshine, followed by lunch at one of my favorite restaurants with Kate (hooray!!!!) while the babies snoozed peacefully, then a trip to a different park, a peaceful walk home, and now the babies are snoozing again. Well, Chicken is snoozing, Chickadee is having quiet time in her crib–she requires much less sleep than he does.

This weekend is going to be a good one. I’m taking it off. And by off I mean I’m not making a lot of plans, I’m cutting myself lots of slack, and I’m going to enjoy every second of it. Tonight is going to consist of a run, leftovers for dinner, and finishing up my picture wall in the living room. All while watching my new favorite show, Newsroom. Tomorrow will start with a run, then a trip to the grocery store (on my bicycle!), cleaning and laundry during the day, and then baby-sitting for Kate’s former nanny family at night. Then I will #letitbesunday with morning church, Eastern Market lunch, a little homework, and the Panthers game.

It sounds busy when I type it all out but compared to every other weekend in my life, it’s going to be a slow one.

I hope your weekend is fast or slow, full or empty, whatever it is you’re craving right now. Have a good one, chickies, I’ll see you Monday!

Bossypants // Book Review

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Short and sweet today, chickies.

Last summer, I read Mindy Kaling’s book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and I nearly peed my pants laughing throughout the entire thing. I’ve since read it twice and to say I’m excited about her new book would be an understatement. So, I decided if I loved Kaling’s book so much, I better jump on it and read Tina Fey’s book–it’s only been out for……almost two years.

I originally bought this book to balance out the devastation caused by Me Before You but ended up reading it before that one because I needed a pep in my step. And I got one! Fey writes about her career and her personal life and manages to make almost every paragraph funny. While I didn’t love this book as much as I loved Kaling’s, it was a quick and funny read that I would definitely recommend!

The Stroller Diaries // 34

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A few weeks ago, after meeting Taylor downtown for breakfast, Chicken and I stumbled upon the downtown library. We don’t go in libraries very often, actually, we never go to libraries. Not because I don’t want to foster a love of reading in these babes, I do, trust me, we read all the books all the time. No, we don’t go in because I have this fear of the chaos that will erupt inside. I picture babies screaming, throwing books, ripping pages, hitting each other, hitting other kids, and scary librarians glaring down at us. So, we don’t go.

However, this day I was feeling brave. We walked in to find that this library has an entire children’s FLOOR complete with a play room, a huge book selection, and a special story time room. This particular day we arrived a little late for story time, but after confirming that it was for toddlers 12-24 months, I made a plan to go back the next week.

So, go back we did. I was confident that it would go well. We would be surrounded by other kids our age, the librarian would be expecting toddler behavior. It was going to be good, I just knew it. It needed to be good because I’m trying to stock pile winter time activities and right now our stock pile is completely empty.

We strapped into our stroller, hopped on the metro where both babies yelled weeeeee and choooo chooooo over and over again, and went to Cosi for a breakfast treat. And it was great! The babies sat nicely and ate their muffin together, I had a smoothie and a bagel, the staff was very kind about the mess we made, I was so pumped for this day!!!

And then we went to the library. We arrived a few minutes early to find that all the other babies waiting were just that, babies. I know I still call Chicken and Chickadee babies but lets face it, they are toddlers. Straight up, toddlers. They were running circles around, babbling over, and generally making these other babies look like they had just popped out of their mamas. No worries, it was still going to be fine, there must be some other kids around our age coming.

The sweet librarian ushered us into the room where we were instructed to sit on the rainbow mat. Chicken and Chickadee both screamed hysterically when we had to leave the playroom to go to story time, so I’m sure the sight of me dragging them both in promising that this is going to be FUN was not a welcome sight to our fellow story mates. But I was still feeling good.

We sat our little bums down on the rainbow mat and the librarian started to explain the guidelines. The babies are not expected to sit still but she asked that if they were to touch the felt board (at this exact moment Chicken pulled all the felt off the felt board), walk behind her (he then proceeded to run behind her), or grab the books off the shelf (thanks Chickadee for rounding that out) then to please come get the child. I grab them both, sit down to listen to the story, and they scream about being constrained.

But wait! Now we are going to sing a song! What a great distraction. And it was, until Chicken became frightened of the large group singing and came running into my arms. Oh yes, what a sweet hug, I thought. And then he sank his teeth, all ten of them, into my neck. I did my best to hide my agonized expression and grab Chickadee, who was running away again. The next thing I knew, the song was over, Chicken was running laps around the room, and the sweet librarian was repeating the rules again and encouraging anyone who needed to to step out of the room. Mind you, Chicken and Chickadee were the only ones not sitting on that rainbow mat.

As you can imagine, we stepped out of the room. We lasted a whopping 12 minutes. But don’t fret, we need this story time to survive the winter months so we will be back week after week, until we can last the entire 30 minutes without being asked to leave. I wonder how long until I stop referring to the librarian as sweet.”

Oi.

Real Reads Round Up

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There are a lot of really hard things going on in the world right now. I’ve written about them before, in between my posts about babies growing up and how much I love to travel. Sometimes, I think that the hard things are all I should write about. All I want to write about. Because I don’t really know how to think about the frivolous things the internet throws at us when there are people still dying of Ebola, brave journalists being beheaded, entire ethnic groups being prosecuted for simply being themselves. I know there is still a place for the frivolous, for the happy, for smiling–because otherwise the hard things win.

But today I want to take a minute to round-up some of the important, real life things I’ve read recently. Not all hard things, some motivational and uplifting, but none focused on recipes or DIYs or babies.

First there is this piece, The Falling Man, from Esquire. Written in 2003 about the controversy surrounding a photograph of a man jumping from the Twin Towers, this piece was rereleased with a new foreword in the wake of James Foley’s murder. Esquire is asking that you donate to the James Foley Memorial Fund before reading the piece, every dollar helps to keep Foley’s memory alive and pave the way for more brave journalists like him.

A Cup of Jo posted a fantastic round up of quotes from smart women today, Tina Fey is always killin’ it and I love Ariana Huffington’s quote as well.

The next two are stories I had never heard regarding 9/11. The first, an interview with the first female F-16 fighter pilot who was tasked with taking the fourth flight down on 9/11 (before they knew it had crashed in PA). It’s the tale of an incredibly brave and selfless patriot.

The second is a video, narrated by Tom Hanks, about the evacuation of people from lower Manhattan, by boat, after the towers fell. It had me ugly crying about how beautiful humanity really can be.

And that’s all for today, friends. If you want more round ups of honest, real stories like these–Joy the Baker always has the best links on her Let It Be Sunday posts.

Chickens Take Boston

Oh boy, happy Monday, friends! What a good weekend it was, don’t you think? I was lucky enough to fly away to Boston for two days to visit two people I love dearly with one of my best girls. And it was good, so good. And it wasn’t so good just because Jacqui and Jake are incredible hosts, or because we ate and drank all the best things in the town, or because Boston is stunning and chock full of history. No, all those things made it wonderful but the best part was just getting to spend time with my people. I was telling my mom a while ago that I have trouble making friends because I don’t often meet people who I think are my people. I’m talkative and blunt and weirdly passionate about most things, I’m a strange bird (in the mostly good way, I think) but I can tell when I meet people if they just don’t…..get it. Anywho, this isn’t making much sense. Just know that Jacqui and Jake and Leah are some of my people, and some of my favorite people at that.

And with that, our trip in pictures. Brace yourself, I couldn’t pick my favorites.

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I woke up earlier than I would have liked to on Friday, but it totally paid off to arrive to the airport with this as my view. Flying is my favorite. Like really, my favorite. And I haven’t been able to fly in over a year so this was a very exciting trip.

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Hey Boston! I’m comin’ at ya! And I’m in a cute dress! #airportbathroomselfie

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HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE FLYING?!

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We arrived in Boston right before lunch time and went straight into eating and drinking, as you do. First, there was a beautiful sushi lunch overlooking the water (I don’t have pictures from this, shockingly). And yeah, you read that right, I ate sushi. No big deal. JUST KIDDING HUGE DEAL. Then we headed to Harpoon Brewery which will now be referred to as my favorite place ever. Leah and I shared this flight (spoiler alert, we loved them all) and there were also giant pretzels that we ate too quickly to photograph.

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Aside from the great beer and pretzels, I loved this place because the natural light was unreal, thus, my new favorite picture. I may or may not have cropped Jake and James out to make it the background on my phone. #sorrynotsorry boys.

The rest of Friday was spent wandering Boston, having drinks at the oldest bar in the country. IN THE COUNTRY, GUYS. It is older than our country. I cannot wrap my head around that, but if you know me at all you know I was geeking out hardcore.

At this point things took a turn with Leah developing the migraine to end all migraines, but she was a trooper and we all enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner before heading home for the night.

It was supposed to rain on Saturday but! We were lucky enough to get out early enough to see literally all of Boston before the rain started.

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Here is a shot from what will go down as the worst brunch of all brunches. The food was terrible, the service was worse, it was bad. We literally ran people off that were attempting to come in after us. But, it was a good story!

Next Jacqui and Jake took us down Newbury Street, where Leah picked out new frames! I  WISH I NEEDED GLASSES.

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We took a bathroom break in the most beautiful Restoration Hardware ever, ever. Walked some more, went to the graveyard where Sam Adams is buried. Ben Franklin’s parents are also there, try and wrap your head around how old that place is. Boston was so spectacular, I just loved every bit of it.

After going home to rest and freshen up we headed out to dinner and went to a great Asian place with huge bowls of rum, Scorpion Bowls they call them.

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Then out to the bars around Fenway we went, and it was so much fun.

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It was so good to be back with this girl, it had been too long since we last squeezed each other.

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And I flew home early Sunday, the flight wasn’t quite as wonderful as my flight there due to having had a bit too much fun the night before, but it was worth it.

All in all, a great weekend. Let’s hope the memories of it help me push through my first 50 hour work week with both babies in the last two months. It’s gonna be a doozy.