Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours.

Thanksgiving 2013.

Thanksgiving 2013.

I hope you have an abundant of things to be thankful for and I hope you have a spectacular day celebrating all those things you’re thankful for with you family.

I know that I’m extremely thankful for many things this year – my family, my husband, my daughter, my friends, new opportunities, second chances, and life in general.

 

Thirty-two things.

I’m continuing my birthday week theme with thirty-two random things about me.

(some of these pictures only mildly go with these facts but I didn’t want to just go on-and-on-and-on without including some pictures because long blogs without pictures are boring!)

One. I’m a born and raised in Northern Virginia. I love this state because it has so much wonderful history, sites, scenery, and culture to offer that there’s always something to do if you’re looking for something to do.

Two. I never thought I would live my whole life in Virginia, but now I don’t think I would want to live anywhere else.

Three. I enjoy living in “way out here” but lately it’s just been hard living so far away from our family and we’re ready to get back. That’s what all the purging has been about… we’re gearing up to move.

Four. I have one brother and two sisters(in law).

Old friends turned sisters.

Old friends turned sisters.

Five. My husbands sister is married to one of my oldest friends. When they first got together I wasn’t quite excited about the arrangement, but I eventually got over that (& over being a bitch) and love having one of my best friends actually be my sister. It’s awesome.

Six. A few months ago my family discovered that my cousin had a child when he was much younger (the mom told him that it wasn’t his baby & never bothered him about the little boy). He found us this year and he’s 2 years younger than me and I’m kind of sad that we didn’t actually grow up together because he’s actually the closest (in age) cousin I have and I think that would have been really cool to have him growing up.

Seven. My oldest cousin on my dads side is 17 years older than I am & most of my cousins were teenagers when I was born. I’m closer in age to my 2nd cousins then I am to my 1st cousins on my dads side. I’m closer in age to the cousins on my mom’s side but my cousin Tracey is still 5 years older than me.

My baby & my oldest cousin.

My baby & my oldest cousin.

Eight. I ran track in high school (as a sprinter) and was a terrible distance runner but lately I’ve been running (for fun!) and have managed to get my run up to 3 miles. I want to run a 5k this spring & now my goal is to bring my time down a bit.

Nine. I never was a good distance runner because I was a long time smoker. I’ve tried several times to give it up and the only time I was actually successful with longevity was when I was pregnant. Until seven months ago when I gave it up and I really believe I have quit smoking for the last time. And I feel great about it.

Ten. I used to hate wine. It just wasn’t something I enjoyed. I would rather enjoy some fruity concoction any day of the week. Until I got a little bit older and I have found a new love for wine. White. Red. Fruity. Sweet. Dry. I love a good glass of wine.

Wine visits.

Wine visits.

Eleven. When I was little I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated college with a BA in English and had every intention of going back and getting my Master’s in Education… but I haven’t. At least not yet.

Twelve. I love so very much being a mother. Don’t get me wrong, it is so very hard, but oh my it is the best and most rewarding hard I have ever experienced.

I'm a mom.

I’m a mom.

Thirteen. When I was pregnant all I could ever think about was eating Oreos. They were my favorite (& daily) afternoon snack. Now? Sydney seems to have my same love for Oreos. All types of them (currently she’s obsessed with the fall Caramel Apple flavor and she has no reason not to love it because it’s delicious)

Baby bump & Oreos.

Baby bump & Oreos.

Fourteen. I enjoy crafting and making things but I never really make the time to do that.

Fifteen. I tried to teach myself to knit… it was a huge failure. I’m not ready to give up, but I haven’t picked up my knitting needles since my last (& first!) attempt so I’m not sure how successful I’ll end up being at that.

Sixteen. A couple years ago I asked for a sewing machine for my birthday because I was going to sew stuff… and I’ve been as successful at that as I was with knitting. I know how to sew so it’s not something I need to learn it’s more about making the time (& space) to actually get some sewing projects done.

Sixteen. My husband & I graduated from the same high school – 1 year apart – but we were quite the opposite of friends back then. Most of our mutual friends that knew us then were really surprised when we got together in our twenties.

Seventeen. I feel like I’m going to be purging my house forever. I also feel really ashamed at how much crap we have in our house that we really and truly do not need.

Eighteen. I’ve always really enjoyed working out and being fit but earlier this year I found Beachbody and fell in love with their exercises. From T25 to 21 Day Fix to PiYo I have found something for any mood I’m in. I feel so much better about myself and I am in so much better shape than I’ve ever been.

Nineteen. I didn’t really enjoy being pregnant – from the beginning I was constantly sick; I had awful heartburn; I became anemic so I never felt like I had any energy; and I just felt H-U-G-E by the end of the whole thing. But? I miss it. I never thought I would actually miss being pregnant but I really do.

I miss napping with my baby.

I miss napping with my baby.

Twenty. Sometimes I feel like an old lady. One night I slept in a ball or with my leg bent somehow and I woke up and basically couldn’t walk because SLEEPING hurt my knee. I hurt myself sleeping. It was really baffling and it made me feel very much like an old lady.

Twenty-one. I wish Friends was still on TV. It really was a great show and I have seen every episode probably a dozen or more times but they never get old and there’s always a Friends reference for any occasion.

Twenty-two. I’ve always wanted to write a book and I have an idea that I think is really good (because why would I think otherwise) but I think I’m finally going to buckle down and write the book I have always wanted to.

Twenty-three. I love reading but sometimes I’m way too tired to actually get any reading done at the end of the night. Sometimes I can fly through a book and sometimes it can take me forever to read me a book. It all depends on how I’m feeling.

Twenty-four. I love taking naps. Naps are basically the best thing ever. Sometimes I try to actually get stuff done when Sydney is napping… but most of the time I just nap right along with her. But not actually with her because then she wouldn’t nap and we would both be cranky and that is never a good thing.

I love this guy.

I love this guy.

Twenty-five. I was married at 25.

Twenty-six. I really hate winter and snow and being cold. I also don’t enjoy the super hot summers we have. I used to love spring for the newness of it all but I the last few years fall has really become my favorite season of all.

Twenty-eight. We bought our first home in 2010 which was the year we turned twenty-eight.

Twenty-nine. Growing up my mom was always 29 so I always had a hard time really remembering how old she was.

Mom & I.

Mom & I.

Thirty. I used to celebrate my birthday for an entire month. And then I had a November baby and well… now I’m celebrating birthday week.

My 29th Birthday

My 29th Birthday

Thirty-one. I hate it when my birthday falls on Thanksgiving day. I was born the Saturday after Thanksgiving and every couple years my birthday happens to be Thanksgiving. My birthday gets overlooked a lot because of it’s general closeness to Thanksgiving but it really gets overlooked when it falls on an actual holiday.

Thirty-two. I can’t even believe I came up with 32 random facts. It felt much harder than I think it should have.

 

My favorite years.

I turn 32 on Thursday and I’m kind of mind blown by that. I feel like just yesterday I was a child with my whole life ahead of me and then I blinked and now I’m living that life. It’s crazy, really, just how fast life goes. I thought in honor of my birthday I would relive some of my favorite years.

Thirty.

Happy birthday to me.

Happy birthday to me.

This is probably the most obvious year for me to love because it’s the year I became a mother. (ok, really I was 29 when I had Sydney but she was born three weeks before my birthday so most of my first year of motherhood was spent at 30). I learned a lot about myself this year. I learned just how much love a heart could hold and I’m so glad I did. I learned a new definition of “all nighter” and I loved (almost) every second of those late night feedings and cuddle sessions. I learned what hard is and I learned what amazing is. I have always known that I wanted to be a mother, and she showed me the absolutely joy that is being the mother I’ve always wanted to be.

Twenty-One.

Twenty-One years young.

Twenty-one years young.

It isn’t what you think. This year ranks high up on my list of favorite years because it’s the year I met Steve and I found the one my heart wants. We had an incredible first year because we were young and in love and whenever our lives get hard I think back to how little we had and how we still survived. Young love. It’s a beautiful thing.

Twenty-Five.

Husband and Wife.

Husband and Wife.

The year that Steve and I enjoyed a wonderful wedding day and became man and wife. We had a wonderful wedding filled with love, our family, and closest friends. We were at the start of the rest of our lives and we had no idea how it would play out but we did know that we loved each other to find out how it would go.

Sixteen.

My first car.

My first car.

The year I got my first taste of freedom. My drivers license. I was the first of my friends with both a license and a car. A 1992 Buick LeSabre. Boy was that thing huge and it fit a TON of my friends. I’m glad there weren’t the laws about how many passengers we were allowed to stuff in to one vehicle because I wouldn’t have nearly as many fun memories of crusin’ around town with my friends as I have if I had only been allowed 1 passenger.

Eighteen.

EIGHTEEN! YAY!

EIGHTEEN! YAY!

The year I became an adult. When I thought that I knew everything there ever was to know about being an adult but I didn’t have any real adult responsibilities. Life was still simple but I felt so grown up. I had no idea what real adult life was all about and I didn’t much care because all I knew was I was finally 18 and there would be college – anywhere but here – and then there would be time to figure out life. Too bad what I didn’t know was that not only would I not leave this town but I wouldn’t want to leave it either.

Here we go thirty-two. I’m ready for whatever this year has to offer. I don’t know what this year will hold for me and I know enough to know that I’m just going to go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

Oh Hey Friday.

WHAT IS UP FRIDAY!

Man am I glad to see you. I don’t know why this week has felt so long but it has and I’m glad for this weekend. It could also have something to do with next week being my birthday week and who doesn’t love celebrating their birthday!? I definitely do.

Anyway. Lately I’ve been all about changing up my wardrobe and this Friday’s five things revolve around some new outfit looks that I’m digging on lately.

One.

I am a classic jeans and a t-shirt kind of girl so this jeans and sweater outfit makes the perfect fall/winter combo for me.

Two.

This would be great for work. It looks comfortable but still professional. I actually found quite a bit of work-style inspiration from that site. I got lost there for just a little bit, but in a good way.

Three.

Ok so I wouldn’t ever wear those heels because I don’t really enjoy falling on my face which is what they would make me do but that skirt and that cardigan are right up my alley. It’s cute and definitely something I’m hoping I can re-create one day (when its warm, because I also don’t care for tights so this is definitely not a cold weather outfit for me haha)

Four.

Source.

Source.

This I am pretty sure I could actually pull off based on what is in my closet. I should probably be focusing on looking for outfits I can pull together with what I have since I’m always “I have nothing to wear” but that isn’t nearly as fun as pretend shopping on Pinterest haha.

As a note, I have no idea where this picture really comes from because I got it from Pinterest but it takes me to an Etsy shop for a scarf…which isn’t even pictured in this picture so I have no idea who to give credit for it so if you do then please let me know so I can give appropriate credit.

Five.

And then there is this wonderfully comfortable looking outfit. I have basically been living in leggings since the weather turned cooler and since the weather is basically running towards cold I’m pairing them with sweaters and boots now. Which is sad. Because it’s November. But I don’t care because I look adorable and comfortable.

And there you have it. There are 5 outfits I’m hoping to be able to re-create with some pieces I already own now that I’ve gone through my closet and know that everything in it actually fits, I like, and looks good on me.

The Great Purge. Part 5.

Wow has it been a while since I’ve had a purging post. That’s because it’s been a while since I’ve done much in the way of purging around our house but recently I’ve gotten back in to purging because we’re hoping to move soon and purging our stuff will help me when it comes to packing.

If you’re curious you can catch up on my purges here.

Part 1. Part 2.  Part 3. Part 4.

(and yes, I have a problem. I know. You don’t have to tell me. I have WAY too much stuff but that’s the whole point of this effort – to get rid of all the extra crap I don’t want or need).

I went back and attacked my closet with some full force. I’ve been really “meh” with my wardrobe and decided that what I really needed to do is get rid of all the things that I’m finding so “meh” and also really “ehhhh” and all of the “wow that looks like crap.” Turns out there was quite a bit of excess in my closet.

This was my closet before.

Closet before.

Closet before.

I’ve made a lot of progress and so far I’ve managed a pretty good pile of clothes for donation, but I do feel like I have a lot of work left to do.

Ready to donate.

Ready to donate.

I also have a dresser that I want (need!) to go through but I haven’t quite done that yet. It’s next on my list but I’m already ready to avoid that just like I keep avoiding the poor office room that I started this purge project on.

I’m sure there will be a dozen parts to this Great Purge because I’ve got a lot left to do but I know I’ll feel so much better when I get it all done.

Hi there.

It’s been a few days since I managed to squeeze out a post and I’m not really sure why. Right before Sydney’s birthday I met the unfortunate fate of being part of a “reduction in force” so I’ve been home for a little over a week at this point. I’m hoping to be back in the world of the employed soon, but until then basically all my computer time has been spent focusing on getting a new job.

This isn’t a great thing, being laid off, but I’m trying to look at it in the positive light that I get to spend lots of extra time with Sydney. I’m also trying not to nap every day (for 2 hours!) with her and get stuff done around the house. I’m only mildly successful with that because naps are my jam.

I have made some progress in my efforts to purge this house so I’ll be showing off that and I’ve been trying to get better in the kitchen so I’ll have some recipes to share. And there are some other randoms that I’ve been meaning to share so I’m going to try to get some serious blogging time in here today during nap time but for now this update will have to do. I hope everyone is doing well!

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Because whats a post without a picture and she just makes this picture adorable 🙂

Sydney’s Birthday Party.

Happy birthday, baby.

Happy birthday, baby.

We celebrated Sydney’s birthday surrounded by our family and friends. It was a truly wonderful day and I couldn’t have wished for anything more. My hope was for a low stress (for me) but fun (for her) day and we pretty much nailed it. Sydney definitely enjoyed her day (& her presents!) and I enjoyed the low-key-ness of her party which allowed me to actually visit with our family and friends.

I made several of the decorations using these printable from How to Nest for Less but I didn’t go all Pinterest on this party because I simply did not have the drive to do that.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday!

Cupcakes!

Cupcakes!

I think it all turned out to be pretty cute and I’m really happy with the way it all turned out. So, for your viewing pleasure and for my memory keeping here are some pictures of Sydney’s day.

Presents.

Opening presents with Mama.

Opening presents with Grammie

Opening presents with Grammie

She loves her new baby and carrier.

She loves her new baby and carrier.

Playing with Aunt Heather.

Playing with Aunt Heather.

Singing Happy Birthday.

Singing Happy Birthday.