Monday, October 25, 2010

Watch out 30, I'm coming for you

As I approach my 30th birthday, I am so happy to say that I don’t feel dread or sadness over getting older. When I really take the time to look at my life, I am so overwhelmed by the blessings God has given me.

1) I have the most amazing husband, and although like many marriages, we had a rough spot, we have put God in the center of our lives and he has renewed us. I couldn’t ask for a better partner and friend.

2) After years of wondering if I would be able to have a baby, I now have the sweetest little girlie to call my own. She has definitely changed us for the better and fills our lives with joy.

3) I have the best family ever! They are each so supportive, generous and special. I look forward to every minute I get to spend with them.

4) God has lead me to three different careers and I have found fulfillment in each one. I absolutely loved being a teacher and will always consider myself one. Recruiting came along right at the perfect time and it helped me learn so many skills that I use in my new job of Volunteer Coordinator.

5) I have some of the loveliest and most beautiful friends around, inside and out!

One of my friends from college, Misty, is taking part in a 1001 days project. This is a list of things that you try to complete in 1001 days. Some of them are relatively easy and super fun, and some of them take a lot of work and really require some planning. I was inspired by her list, and although I am not going to put a date on it, because some of the things I am choosing are a little more abstract, I am all in. I really want to look back on my life and feel like I’ve lived it to the fullest. So, look out 30, here I come!

1. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
2. Be more adventurous

3. Sleep under the stars

4. Read to Monroe more often and more books

5. Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find

6. Tell at least one person a day I will pray for them, and then do.

7. Make a quilt for a random friend or friend’s baby and send it to them for no reason

8. Make a new friend at work each month

9. Introduce myself to a new person at work every week

10. Write a message to every friend I have on FB

11. Call one of my friends every week

12. Be a better listener (I think there is a lot to be learned from things that are not said. I want to take the time to really listen to people…not just their words, but the way they say it and their actions)

13. Improve my posture

14. Find a way to make extra money to use for fun things

15. Actually complete Rosetta Stone (Spanish) this time

16. Have another baby

17. Fly a kite

18. Learn a new skill

19. Go to 5 different museums

20. Get better at sending “thank you” notes

21. Host a dinner party

22. Sing a solo

23. Create a house cleaning schedule

24. Learn a poem by heart

25. Spend time in God’s word every day

26. Make a custom recipe book

27. Seduce my husband a lot (TMI, I know and I’m sorry)

28. Buy another house

29. Make a birthday cake for someone

30. Expand my vocabulary by 100 words

31. Run a 5K

32. Have dinner by candlelight

33. Make dinner for another family for no reason

34. Spend a day at the beach

35. Get up early and run at least 3 times a week

36. Go camping

37. Do something fun/go on an outing with Monroe at least once a week

38. Become an expert on one of the past presidents

39. Don't complain about anything for a week

40. Buy a piano

41. Learn to use Aperture (my mac photo editing program)

42. See a drive-in movie

43. Start bird watching

44. Surprise someone

45. Take an exercise class

46. Learn a new recipe every month

47. Get a promotion or raise at work

48. Ride the train

49. Design a dress and make it

50. Visit New York City

51. Bake an apple pie from scratch

52. Add another soup tureen to my collection

53. Create a budget and stick to it

54. Eat at 5 new restaurants

55. Paint some pottery

56. Get a library card here in Chicago

57. Host a game night

58. Plant a vegetable garden

59. Paint a picture to be hung in my home

60. Watch less TV

61. Update my blog at least once a week for a month

62. Invite my neighbors over

63. Tell my hubby everyday how much I love him and why (either by word or action)

64. Write a book

65. Take my multivitamin every day

66. Reach my ideal weight

67. Exercise (weight train or video) for 20 min., 3 times a week

68. Don't throw away any produce for one month

69. Read at least 1 book a month (I know that sounds ridiculous, but since having Rosie, there isn’t the time for reading that I once had)

70. Try a new hairstyle

71. Be more adventurous with my clothing, without buying a lot of new things

72. Make a blogging friend

73. Create a craft tutorial of something I’ve made for my blog

74. Visit two new states

75. Work on being less sensitive (I am horrible at taking criticism and I really want to be better)

76. Get a puppy

77. Have a date night with my husband once a week

78. Jump in a pile of leaves

79. Go to a pumpkin patch

80. Find ways to make my fun job, even more fun

81. Give a 100% tip

82. Send an anonymous gift or flowers to someone who is having a tough day

83. Send Christmas cards to family and friends

84. Let things go

85. Get in touch with an old friend

86. Visit a craft fair

87. Be in a parade

88. Learn 50 words in American Sign Language

89. Visit a nursing home

90. Become active in church again (We really got burned out after living in Tulsa and took on limited responsibilities in Florida and we just recently decided on a church here in Chicago. I miss feeling like I have a church family, I know that I am going to have to take the initiative in this new area)

91. Introduce myself to one person at church every week

92. Find a favorite restaurant, frequent it, so everyone knows my name

93. Keep in touch with all of my old students

94. Carve a pumpkin

95. Create a comprehensive family calendar (events, work stuff, birthdays, dr. appts, etc)

96. Make friends with my mailman/mailwoman (it’s sad that I don’t know which)

97. Become a better cook (I don’t know how, but I will work on it)

98. Work on finding cool free things to do around town (festivals, parks, events)

99. Go downtown more often

100. Develop a menu to follow for a month

101. Start a women’s bible study group

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hide your food

Seriously, Monroe is going to eat us out of house and home.  She is literally eating everything in sight.  This is a look at her Sunday Breakfast, which I can't hate on because I love a big Sunday breakfast myself...

1- 6 oz bottle of soy milk
6- mini pancakes
2- pieces of banana bread
1- bowl of grapes, raspberries & strawberries
2- morningstar breakfast links
1- banana

For the last few days, I can't seem to keep her full.  I feel like I am constantly feeding her and I'm starting to  worry that she's eating too much.   There have been a few times now that she has eaten more than me!  I don't want to be that mom on Maury Povich with the 200lb toddler!!!

Hopefully, this is just a growth spurt!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Done and Done

So, I have been working on a quilt for Monroe for a very, very long time.  Yes, you may recall that I started long before she was even born.  Well today, two months after her first birthday, I have finally finished!  I can't believe it took me this long.  It's a tie quilt so it really should have only taken me a few days.  Why is it, when you are doing something for yourself, it always gets put on the back burner?

When I gave it to Monroe today, I wasn't expecting much of a reaction, but to my surprise, she got so excited.  She kept laughing at the birdies and rolling all around on it.  She really seemed to love it:)  It was so sweet.   Here are a few pictures:

The Quilt

One of the little birdies that she loves so much

Enjoying her new blankie:) 

 Cuddling with daddy
My little chick

It's been a while since I last wrote.  Mark was in Florida all last week and I had my big event at work, so I was beyond busy being a working mommy.  I truly don't know how single parents do it.  I know I've said it before, but it's so nice having a partner who contributes so much.  I am sooo lucky and I become even more aware of it when he's gone.  

Yesterday, I somehow convinced Mark to go with me to Joann's.  I just had to run in and get something to finish up Monroe's quilt, but, like always, I ended up finding more than I had planned on.   I got some great seersucker to make Mark a scarf.  Here he is a picture of my handsome hubby sporting it... 

Well, I better run.  I've got laundry to fold and I have work tomorrow.  Love to you all! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Falling into Fall

I'm a huge lover of all things Fall...the leaves, the pumpkins, the briskness, pumpkin spice lattes, all of it.   You can count on me to have my fall decor up as soon as the leaves start to change.  (Maybe even a few days/weeks early)  

For me, Fall has become a time of reflection and thanksgiving. I just can't get over what an incredible God I serve.  A God that has brought me through the toughest of times and blessed me with the most amazing family and friends.  I'm just so very happy.

Why is it then, that I still struggle with contentment?  For example, I have a ALOT of shoes, I mean ALOT.  It's actually too embarrassing to say how many I have.  But, I swear, if I go shopping I see a dozen other pairs that I feel that I absolutely need.  Luckily, I've learned to restrain myself, but I still find this troubling.  I live in a lovely home, but I am always looking for something bigger and better.  WHY?!  My new prayer is for contentment.  I have been blessed with so much.  I am going to strive to enjoy each and every thing I have and stop always wanting more.  

So, a few years ago, Mark and I invested in bikes.  Since Monroe was born, they haven't even been touched!  Well, that's not exactly true, I moved mine out the way the other day when I was getting my fall decor out of the garage:)  Periodically, I look on craigslist for a bike stroller and this afternoon I hit the jackpot!  Some people were selling theirs in the next town over for a very fair price.  I offered even less, and they accepted.  We picked it up earlier and I am so excited to take Monroe on her first bike ride tomorrow.  Yay!  I'll be sure to post some pictures.

Mom Murrill dropped in for the night last night!  She was on her way to her 40 year high school reunion and needed a place to crash.   It was great to see her, even if only for a few hours.  

Well, I better get to sleep.  Sadly, I don't have any new pictures to share.  I need to charge my camera battery, but for some reason it has been an impossible task for me to complete.  Maybe I will go do that now.   Have a relaxing night!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Something from Nothing

I've had a hard time coming up with something for Monroe to wear for Halloween.  I really didn't want to spend much money, so I decided to give myself a challenge.  I had to come up with a costume for her without going to the store at all.  I looked through magazines and tried to get ideas.  I found one that I thought was so cute and very doable with what I had around the house...a fifties girl.

Last night I got started and made her a poodle skirt and a little belt.  I am pairing it with a black long sleeved shirt, a little scarf of mine and her black mary-janes.  I tried it on her tonight and it fits perfectly.  I am so excited because it is so cute!  I think she will look adorable at the Hinsdale Church Fall Festival and it didn't cost me a thing!

Things have been tough around our house.  Mark and Monroe have both had some severe stomach issues.  I've been pumping Rosie full of liquids and she seems to be feeling better.  She has a horrible diaper rash, though.  She's never had a problem with diaper rash before, so this is very new to me.  She cries and cries when I change her diaper.  My mom recommended using a warm washcloth instead of wipes and that seems to be better.  Tonight I gave her a warm bath with baking soda and let her play without her diaper on for over an our (both things prescribed by the internet).  Hopefully, that gets the healing process started.  I just feel so bad seeing her in pain.  On a happier note, she LOVED not wearing a diaper.  It was so funny to see her naked little bootie wandering all of the house.  So cute, but I have to admit, a little nerve wracking.  I just knew I would find little puddles around, but luckily she had no accidents...whew. 

My poor Mark, on the other hand.  He is super sick.  He looks really pale and has very little energy.  I feel so horrible for him.  

Tonight I was able to chat with one of my besties, Tasha.  It was so WONDERFUL to talk with her.  I had almost forgotten how much fun we have when we talk.  Our parenting ideas are very much the same, as well as our personalities, so we always have tons to talk about.  Oh, how I miss her!!!!!!

Mark is leaving next week for Florida.  I wanted to go with him SOOO bad, but it just happened to fall on the main event I am helping with for the hospital, the Fall Festival of Flavors.  I really am just going to have to figure out a time to fly down there soon.  There are at least four babies that I really want to hold and kiss on down there!

Well, I better run.  Love you all.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Nights Make Me Happy

Ah, to be home in my jammies with my family on a cool Friday night in October.  Does it get any better?  I think not.

We've had a busy last few days.  I worked on Thursday and it was NUTS!  I am helping with an event that has been consuming all of my time, to say the very least.  I am so glad that our new assistant started when she did.  She is getting done a lot of the little things that I just don't have time for right now.

As soon as work was done, I had to rush home and change and head to Maria's for Jen's baby shower.  It was so much fun.  Melissa, Maria and Yvonne hosted it and it was so great.  The decorations were ADORABLE!  It definitely had Melissa's touch.  That girl has mad decorating skills.  If you haven't read her blog, you should.  Here's a link.  Hope you don't mind me sharing, Sis:)  The food was so yummy (they ordered in from Maggiano's) and the cake was incredible.  The same girl that made Monroe's smash cake made it.

I have to admit something very sad...I hate three pieces of chocolate cake yesterday!  I had some at lunch, then my boss brought me some Portillo's cake and then I had a piece at the shower.  I really have to watch it.  I am definitely going to take a break from sweets for awhile.  They really don't even sound good to me right now.  I am sure they will in a few minutes, but right now, I could go without.

This morning I was awoken by the mix of Monroe crying and the worst smell ever.  When I entered her room, I was greeted by not only a very unpleasant odor, but an unpleasant sight.  Poor thing had had the biggest blowout of all time.  It had traveled up her back and into her hair!!!!  It was major.  After a good cleaning, she came to sleep with us.  She is the biggest bed hog of all time.  She usually uses my face as a pillow and Mark's head as a foot rest.  You gotta love her:)

Today we ran errands and cleaned the house.  Mark played golf with Kenneth, Mike, and Brandon.  They seemed to have a great time and we all met for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes.  It is a perfect place for all of us with our kiddos.  They can be loud and make a huge mess and no one seems the wiser.

Now, I am home and I really just want to sleep.  But before I go, I had to show you something that totally and utterly made my Friday...

Yes, that is another surprise box from my mom!  This time Monroe hit the jackpot.  Nana and Papa went nuts in Branson and got her lots of adorable goodies!  So cute.  

We loved every last item, but were most excited about the replacement skinny jeans.  I have been squeezing Rosie into a size 6-9 months pair, just because they are just so darn cute.  It is great to have some that actually fit her again!  Thanks Mom and Dad for thinking of us.  Your generosity is truly a blessing.