2015 A Year in Review

Wow. 2015 has come and gone so quickly. It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of the year only our closest friends and family knew I was pregnant and now we have a happy, healthy 5 month old girl. 2015 was definitely an amazing year for my little family. It had it’s ups and downs, but man, the ups outweighed the downs! Now let’s take a look back at what happened in 2015…

January

We rung in the New Year with our best friends. JP and I ran the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. We announced to everyone that we were expecting!

February

I started my {bi}weekly bump dates. I severely sprained my ankle while running. 5th annual Disney World Girls trip. I walked the Frozen 5K and part of the Princess Half Marathon. We found out we’re having a baby girl!

March

I made it to the halfway mark in my pregnancy. Went to the Shell Houston Open. Had a relatively relaxing month.
April

We had our Babymoon! London. Paris. Vienna. Salzburg. My baby sister got engaged!

May

We went to Denver. My brother graduated from college. One of my closest friends got married. I hosted Caitlin’s bachelorette party. I made it to the third trimester.

June

I had my 10 year high school reunion. My best friends hosted our couples baby shower. We drove to North Carolina for one of my best friend’s wedding! My in laws threw me a 2nd baby shower.

July

We spent the 4th of July at my parents house. We had our “trial run” to the hospital when I had back labor. I gave birth to the most precious baby girl in the whole world!

August

Chloe had her first photo shoot. I shared Chloe’s birth story. We took Chloe to College Station. Chloe turned 1 month old!

September

Chloe went to her Uncle Matt’s football game as his tiniest fan. Chloe went to her first tailgate at her grandparents’ house. We went on a road trip to Dallas. I turned 28 years old.

October

We went to Hogwarts for Rachael’s Harry Potter birthday party. I really started running again. We went to Aggie football games. Chloe turned 3 months old, visited her first pumpkin patch and spent her first Halloween in College Station.

November

Chloe got her ears pierced. We road tripped to Nashville with the girls. Maggie turned 5 years old. Chloe had her first Thanksgiving with her cousin Camden and she turned 4 months old.



December

We went to Disney World as our Christmas present from JP!!! Emily graduated from Physical Therapy school. We went to holiday parties. Chloe visited Santa Claus, had her first Christmas and turned 5 months old…and I still haven’t blogged about it oooops!


2015 was pretty amazing, but I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store. I’m excited to continue on this adventure called life with my wonderful husband, perfect baby girl, and the most amazing family and friends a girl could ask for!

HAPPY NEW YEAR Y’ALL!

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Chloe’s First Christmas

To say that Christmas this year was magical would be an understatement. Christmas with your child is the most amazing thing in the world. Even though Chloe is only 5 months old and she doesn’t understand Christmas, the holidays with her are better than ever. I think I’m not only speaking for myself, but for my whole family.

Chloe’s grandparents spoiled her rotten with adorable outfits, new toys and things to help mommy and daddy like a foam puzzle for our floor! She’s also lucky enough to have 3 aunts and 3 uncles that made sure she had presents to open on Christmas day. It’s safe to say that Chloe had the most presents by far!

This Christmas we were able to see everyone! We started on Christmas Eve Eve at our house. Chloe opened her presents from mommy and daddy and we opened our presents from Chloe!

She’s so excited to open her presents! 

Then Christmas Eve and Christmas morning we spent at my parents. Christmas Eve festivities included chainsawing firewood, baking cookies and hot tubbing before we woke up at 6:00am Christmas morning. We still wake up bright and early like little kids. It’s just tradition! Then we go to mass at 8:00am and come home for breakfast.

After clean up, we drove to College Station for Christmas with the Gouglers! We had a delicious dinner, opened presents and just spent time together. We actually stayed the whole weekend and enjoyed relaxing with the family!

Christmas 2015 was pure perfection. I couldn’t imagine it any other way. We’re so lucky to be able to see all of our family on Christmas day! I’m pretty sure that Christmas from here on out is going to just keep getting better! Last year, we were able to share the news of our pregnancy with family, and this year we got to share Chloe! I wonder what next Christmas has in store…

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Merry Christmas!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The past 5 months have been quite the whirlwind. They have been the craziest, busiest days of our lives, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. One thing I know for sure is that we couldn’t have done it ourselves. We have the best family and friends that anyone could ask for. Thank you all for the love, support, tips & tricks and extra set of hands while we started on this journey of parenthood. JP, Chloe and I are beyond blessed and thankful for each and every one of you. 
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas full of love and family. 
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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P.S. I know you’re cracking up at Chloe’s Santa picture. It’s okay, I still can’t look at it without giggling!

Winter Wear: The Fashionable, The Cute and The Ugly

Merry Christmas Week Y’all! It’s only 3 days until Christmas…can you believe it? I can’t. Today I’m enjoying a relaxing day at home with my two favorite people and my two favorite pups! It doesn’t get much better than that. We’re looking forward to having daddy at home with us all week long! We may get a little crazy and try to get some things done around the house. But ehhhh…better not. In fact, we may stay in our jams all day long. Maybe, just maybe. Unless we go on a walk with the aforementioned pups. Then we may go all out and put on athletic shorts since it will be 80 degrees today.

We’re pretty used to warm winter temps here in Houston, but every once in a while we get a few cool days in a row. I love fall and wintry clothes. Leggings, tights, jeans, boots, sweaters, all my favorites. Since I’m a personal trainer and mom, the majority of my life is spent in spandex and tennis shoes. When I get the chance to dress up a little, I try to take full advantage of my closet. This fall was a warm and wet one, so I didn’t get to wear my boots too often, but I was able to use some of my fall/winter pieces to create warmer, winter outfits.

Left: (Me) Black jeggings, gray sweater, gray suede booties – (Chloe) Sweater, leggings, bow
Top Right: Leggings, sweatshirt dress – (Chloe) Sweater, leggings
Bottom Right: dress, tights – (Chloe) Dress, tights, bow
Of course, this year’s fashion is really all about Chloe. Dressing her up is way more fun than dressing me up!
Reindeer, penguins, moose and candy canes, oh my! She has so many cute Christmas sleepers and outfits. Most of December has been spent in holiday attire, and we’re perfectly okay with that. There is no such thing as ugly when it comes to baby clothes. But if you ask me, it isn’t Christmas without an ugly swear or pajama party!
Here are some of our ugly sweater and pajama parties over the past 5 years! As you can see, JP likes to wear the same sweater every year. We found it in his dad’s closet back in college and it’s a hit each year. I’ve got two solid staples as far as Christmas sweater outfits go. One was my mom’s from the 90’s and the other I bought at Wal-mart in college. An excellent purchase indeed. I actually want to go back and get a new one this year. You can’t have too many really! In past years, we’ve done pajama parties which are always a blast and you know you’ll be comfy all night long! This year we went to a Grinch party at Rachael’s house (remember her Harry Potter Party?) and we dressed up as Whos in Whoville!
This is truly my favorite time of year and for so many reasons! Happy Christmas week y’all. Enjoy every moment you can with your loved ones and be safe!
What is your favorite type of winter wear? I have to go with Christmas sweaters. They just make me so happy. And yes, I wear them to all Christmas functions, not just tacky sweater parties.
BONUS! Just to make you smile…

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Holiday Traditions: Zoo Lights

Happy Friday y’all! Exciting news…I slept in! I stayed in bed until 7:45am and I’m quite proud of myself. This rarely happens anymore thanks to a special little someone. She may be that smiling face in the picture above. Since JP works from home on Fridays, I’m letting him tend to her early morning “I’m awake and don’t want to sleep” sessions. Let’s just say, we’re looking forward to the sleep regression being over. Whenever that may be.
Anywho, last night, we went to the Houston Zoo Lights! It was such a blast and a great way to get into the holiday spirit. I’m actually a member of the Houston Zoo and last night was the last discount night, so tickets were only $10 for us. In case you’re wondering on discount nights members are $10 and non-members are $15. On regular nights, members are $15 and non-members $20! It’s really not a bad price for 1.5-2 hours of holiday entertainment!

We took some tips from online forums and got their right at 6:00pm when Zoo Lights starts. We were able to get parking in the Zoo lot with ease. We also purchased our tickets online before hand which saved us another 15-20 minutes!

The lights themselves are awesome. There is a distinct path that you follow around the park with different areas set up like “under the sea” or “the watering hole”.

 Chloe was such a good girl! It was actually quite chilly compared to the usual 70 degree evenings we’ve been having, so Chloe was all bundled up. She was completely mesmerized by the lights and just stared at everything as we walked around.

I love watching the awe in her eyes! It was the same when we went to the Disney Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights a few weeks ago.

We also got to see a few of the animals! The giraffes were in their home. Look in the middle and you can see the baby! They also had part of the elephant area open to see the gorgeous giants. I just love the zoo.

It was a great date night and our first family Christmas tradition! We tried going to the Zoo Lights last year and failed pretty miserably. {See my tips below to avoid this!} I’m so glad we went this year and I can’t wait to take Chloe every year as she gets older. I know that it will become more challenging to get her around, but she’ll enjoy it more and more as she gets older!

Interested in going to Houston Zoo Lights? Here are some tips and tricks to making your trip much easier!

  • If you can, go on a value/discount night. Here’s the calendar. Monday-Thursday nights excluding Christmas week are value nights!
  • Buy your tickets online before you go. There was a line even right when they opened. This line was much longer by the time we got there! Buy your tickets here.
  • Get there when it opens. 6:00pm! We arrived at 6:05 and the parking lot was getting pretty full already.
  • You can bring your own food and drinks! Save money by bringing dinner and having a picnic at the zoo. There are plenty of seating areas to use.
  • The food and drink stands are also open. During the lights, they sell hot chocolate, apple cider and coffee. You can also add a little splash of Bailey’s, Jameson or Peppermint Schnopps if you’re wanting an extra something 🙂
  • They sell tons of light up toys and necklaces. If you know your kids will want to get one, bring glow sticks/necklaces from the dollar store to save money and not go crazy.
These are just a few things I gathered from our first Zoo Lights trip that I’ll be sure to remember in the future! 
Have a wonderful weekend before Christmas!
What holiday traditions do you have with your family?
Have you ever been to lights at the zoo?

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12 Days of Christmas Workout

Hey did y’all know today is the 3rd day of Christmas? I posted my first day of Christmas on Instagram a day early. I guess I got a little overeager and forgot how to properly do math. Don’t worry I’m back on track now. In case you’re wondering, my true love has given me a sweet, little baby Chloe and two playful pups! Stay tuned this evening to see what I get three of!

To make workout Wednesday a little interesting, I thought I’d give you a Christmas inspired workout. Let’s take the 12 days of Christmas and turn them into a little something your trainer gives you. On the first day of Christmas my trainer gave to me…

Let’s jump ahead to the 12th day and go from there!

For the record, rev. stands for reverse, but reverse had too many syllables. I know you’re singing this workout in your head! If you’re feeling a little crazy, go ahead and repeat this for 2-3 rounds to get in a good calorie burn before or after one of your many holiday parties!

Here are demos of a few of the moves we may not have done before!
Row to reverse fly
Bicep press out
Man makers

Don’t know some of the other exercises? Just reach out to me! And don’t forget that mile run! Not in running shape or looking for a different type of cardio? Grab your favorite cardio machine and go for 10 minutes. You can bike, elliptical, climb stairs, jump rope, power walk, anything that gets you up and moving!

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Lately…December 2015

I’m trying to figure out how this year is really coming to an end. It has gone by so fast and so slow all at the same time. I know I’ve been blogging less this year then I have in the past, but I still love blogging as much as I always have. Life is just ever changing and evolving. Right now, my focus is on giving my attention to this tiny little human who has changed my world in the best ways imaginable! This month, I’ve told you all about our Disney travels and Chloe’s 4 month update, but here’s what we’ve really been doing lately!

Lately we’ve been…
…trying to give these puppies as much ATTENTION as possible!
Of course we always give them attention, but since Chloe has arrived, it’s harder for me to get them on walks! Not to mention it seems like it’s always raining! They’ve been getting lots of time in Nonna and Grandpa’s backyard and walks to the Bayou Dog Park when the weather is nice!
Maggie turned 5 in November and is nosy and crazy as ever! She still loves her baby so much, but tries to get in on Chloe snuggle time.
Moose will be 3 in March and would run and fetch and swim all day if we let him. He’s entertaining the idea of Chloe a little more and will lay by her from time to time.

LEARNING. A lot!
Like all about poosplosions and how to quickly clean up!

We’ve been learning about new toys and trying new things! The exersaucer is becoming more than a place where she can sit. She’s learning there are toys attached that make sounds and what not. I get a lot of silly pics in here.

We’re also learning how to sit up unsupported! We have a lot of topples which is why practicing on the couch and bed are perfect.
CELEBRATING!
Emily graduated with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from St. Augustine University at Austin last Friday. My whole family was there to cheer her on and celebrate all of her accomplishments. We couldn’t be more proud.
I’m excited that now my sister is moving home and we can focus on wedding planning! After she passes the boards in January of course!
READING!
Chloe gets lots of stories read to her while snuggling mommy in our glider. It’s our favorite form of quiet time. We’ve been blessed with so many different books from lots of people, so story time is always exciting.
Believe it or not, I’m also reading some grown up books around here. Well some are grown up. Here’s what I’ve read the past few months.
The Uglies Series: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras
Under the Banner of Heaven
The Cinder Series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter
I’m currently reading Winter! I read the other three while traveling around Europe. It kind of a scyfy fairytale type series.
CHRISTMASING!
We’ve been busy peeping for Chloe’s first Christmas! The decorations are up, presents are wrapped and we attempted a salt dough ornament. That was a huge fail, so we bought a kit instead. That’s on the agenda for this week 🙂 We’re all looking forward to Christmas with Chloe. She may not understand it this year, but she’s already making the experience more exciting for everyone. I can’t wait to take pictures on Christmas day!

That’s what’s going on at the Gougler house lately! JP is working hard to support our little family and we appreciate him so much! I’m at the gym 2 days a week and starting another little business venture to help bring in a little extra spending money! I’ll share more on that soon! As for now, life is good. 2015 was an exciting but pretty difficult year for us. Only 16 more days left this year and then the slate is wiped clean once again!

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A Quick Brag Post

Since I’m a scatterbrained, don’t quite have it together, haven’t slept through the night in 4+ months new momma, I still haven’t quite managed to get my posts on track with scheduling and what not. I don’t have much time this morning, but I couldn’t get on with my day with out a quick brag post. I’m not bragging about myself, my husband, my pups or even Miss Chloe. Today I am bragging about this girl.

My forever best friend. My partner in crime. My shoulder to cry on. My confidant. My maid of honor. My amazing sister.

Today she graduates from St. Augustine University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She’s a physical therapist y’all! I couldn’t be more proud of what this amazing woman has accomplished. She’s spent the last 2 1/2 years constantly studying to reach her goal, so she can pursue her dreams. I admire her determination and dedication. I’m so proud of her I can barely stand it.

Austin Photographer: Loryn Gregory Photography

Today is about you Emma Roo. I love you and words cannot express how proud I am. How proud your entire family is of you. You’re a rockstar!

And I couldn’t end this post without also congratulating these girls above: Shannon, Brandie and Meena! I’m so happy that y’all found each other through PT school. Y’all helped each other through thick and thin. Thanks for taking care of my girl and also thanks for becoming friends with me! I love you girls and I’m so proud of you!

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Adventure is out there!

Happy Friday Eve! I’ve already been up and at ’em, taught a class, ran by Whole Foods and I’m finally sitting at my computer eating my oatmeal and sipping on my iced coffee. Yes, iced because the high is 77 degrees here today. I’m not convinced that Christmas is in two weeks based on this weather! Luckily today I’m talking about another warm and wonderful place, Orlando! I’m excited to share the rest of the pictures from Chloe’s first trip to Disney World!

After our adventures at Magic Kingdom on Friday, we had Hollywood Studios plans for Saturday. But first, Julie had to run a half marathon! Yes, she’s awesome, I know. The course was just a few blocks from her house, so I loaded Chloe into her stroller and put her dog Buck on his leash and set out to watch her.

At mile 6 she looked like a champion and was going strong. She ended up finishing in 2:33! Watch out Disney Marathon, Julie’s coming for ya!

After she got cleaned up, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to Hollywood Studios! First stop…Minnie Mouse!

My little Minnie Cheerleader was just staring around at everything taking it all in! It was actually really warm for December with the sun shining bright and beaming down on us, so we jumped in line for the Great Movie Ride since it’s long, we could rest Julie’s legs and it was inside! Yay air conditioning.

Then we went and saw the Frozen Sing Along, followed by Beauty and the Beast then the Little Mermaid! Chloe was great during most of them. I tried to feed her during Frozen and she started screaming. Turns out, she just wanted to see the show and she wasn’t hungry yet! I did end up feeding her during the Little Mermaid which put her right to sleep. You know what that means…dinner for us!

We were able to snag a table outside at The Brown Derby which is first come first serve and usually crazy crowded. Since I was there on an off season weekend, it was nice to have short waits for everything. We both had their cobb salad and a glass of holiday sangria!

As soon as we were done eating, it was time for our fast pass to the Toy Story Mania game! It’s one of our favorites for sure. Chloe and I kind of crushed it! Then we had to go meet Buzz and Woody of course!

We ended the day visiting the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! This family originally started decorating their home in Arkansas with lights and each year it got bigger and bigger. Jennings Osborne, the father, ended up buying two adjacent properties to his to make the show even bigger. In 1995, Disney approached Osborne about setting up the lights at MGM {now Hollywood} Studios. This year is the last year they’ll be there! It was awesome actually get to see the lights before they move onto their new home.

Chloe was mesmerized by the lights. It was amazing to see her so engaged.

Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast and went to Animal Kingdom for a few hours!
First we met Dug and Russell! Dug was waiting very patiently while Russell was saying hi to Chloe. Puppies just seem to love her…and she loves them too! I’m not sure she was given a chance to not like dogs with our crazy hooligans.
Then we went and found Pocahontas. Chloe LOVED her! She giggled and smiled the whole time which was the most magical experience.
Next we rode on the African Safari and all the animals were out in full force. It was one of the best safari rides we’ve been on! Then we had to take a trip to the baby room to feed Chloe. She had a melt down while we were there which took a little longer to get her calmed down. We needed up taking our time to eat lunch and grab some Dole Whip instead of going to the Festival of the Lion King because Chloe wasn’t having it. She eventually fell asleep and we just walked around the park. I ended up jumping in the single rider line for Everest since I didn’t get to ride it last year! Then we headed to Dinoland where Chloe woke up, so we went on the triceratops ride which is kind of like Dumbo. 
Then we had to wrap up our trip with a visit to Mickey and Minnie. We were so excited to see them dressed up in their Christmas gear! Chloe was done and crying when we saw them, but calmed down after they played with her for a minute.
Overall, Chloe did a great job! She was pooped by the end of the trip and had a few melt downs by Sunday, but I was so proud of her. We had a lot of fun riding the smaller rides, watching the shows and meeting all the characters!
Next time we go to Disney, daddy will be coming with us and we’re going to run a half marathon! Well, not Chloe, but she’ll be there to support us!
Did you miss our day at Magic Kingdom, check it out!
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Dreams do come true!

Hello and happy Tuesday! Chloe Grace and I just got back from the most magical adventure and best Christmas present two girls could ask for! We spent the past few days visiting with one of my very best friends in Orlando!!! You know what else is in Orlando? That’s right, my favorite place, Disney World. For Christmas, the husband gifted me with a trip to visit Julie and a Disney World annual pass. Since we’re already going next month for marathon weekend and I wanted to go for food and wine around my birthday, we decided to just go it. Next year is Julie’s last full year living in Orlando, so I want to make sure I get to spend lots of time with her there. Then hopefully she’ll be back in Texas and within driving distance!

Enough chatter, I know y’all just want to see adorable pictures of Chloe on her very first trip to Disney! I’ll keep the blabbing to a minimum and the pictures at max capacity.

Since it was Chloe’s first Disney trip, you know what that means. It was also her first flight! And it was Momma’s first flight with Chloe solo. I was moderately terrified and super anxious about the whole endeavor. Luckily she was just a little fussy while waiting to board, but good on the plane. Once we found a seat, I got her situated and she nursed and slept for the first hour. She woke up for a bit and was a little chatty, but wanted to nurse again, so I let her. At the end of the flight she let out a very big and wet sounding fart which of course resulted in a poosplosion. I’m so glad it was at the end of the flight though! We high tailed it to the bathroom once off the plane and luckily, I always have an extra sleeper in the diaper bag for emergencies!

Chloe and I arrived on Wednesday evening because tickets on Wednesday were significantly cheaper than coming Thursday evening. I didn’t want Julie to take an additional day off work, so on Thursday Chloe and I relaxed, watched TV, took a bath and just rested for pretty much the first time in forever. Friday morning we took our time getting ready, went to brunch in Winter Park, then headed out to Magic Kingdom! First stop, getting little Snow White a chance to meet the real Snow White!

As you can see, she even got her first princess kiss from Snow White! Then the cast member helped us save her kiss by putting a card on the kiss and transferring some of it. Then Snow signed it as well. We seemed to get extra time with all of the characters which was such a blast for us. Snow White was the best though since they were dressed alike. I almost lost it, but was able to keep it together.

Since Julie and I have an annual pass, we also have photo pass! That means we get all the pictures that the photographers take while meeting the characters and in the photo stops for free! Okay, not really free, but it was paid for with our annual pass so it feels free. We got to save time and confusion by not handing our cameras to the cast members. Instead we could spend more time getting autographs in Chloe’s story book! We met so many characters which was a blast, and some of them we hadn’t met ever before, like Merida! Fun fact: Merida and Chloe have something in common, crazy hair!

We went on lots of fun rides like Buzz Lightyear, It’s a Small World, Flying Carpets, Haunted Mansion and Pirates! I love that we were able to take Chloe on so many rides. She did great on all of them. At 7:00pm the park closed for general admission and was only open for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Tickets to the party was Julie’s Christmas present to Chloe and me, and it was such a great gift.

We were able to meet more characters like Peter Pan and Wendy {we’ve NEVER even seen them out before!} and all the Pooh characters together.
We also went on Dumbo with absolutely NO wait. That never happens. It’s usually an hour plus to ride Dumbo, so we were super excited. As you can see below, Chloe was fascinated by the water and lights.
We also got to see the laser light show and fireworks at the Castle!

We wrapped up our day watching the Very Merry Parade! Most of my pictures were a bit blurry, but I was able to snap one of Minnie and one of Anna and Elsa right as they turned and looked our way!
We made so many memories for Chloe’s first day at Disney. Needless to say, she was completely wiped out and so were we. But this was just day one of our Disney adventure with two more to go!

I’ll be back tomorrow to share our pictures from Hollywood Studios, the Osborn Family Spectacle of Lights and Animal Kingdom!

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