Clean Eating Challenge

If you follow along with me on Instagram, then you saw this awesome haul I bought at the grocery store yesterday! Today I’m starting a 5 day clean eating challenge. I’m trying to cut the processed crap and added sugar out of my diet because I know it’s bringing me down. As with most things in life, my eating is cyclical. I’m really good for a long time, then kind of bad, then I’m good, then my sweet tooth rears its evil head. Right now I’m constantly craving sweets. All. The. Time. No good y’all. I have my Disney trip and Glass Slipper Challenge races coming up in less than a month, so I figured this is as good of a time as any to kick my booty into gear!


Naturally I’ve been perusing Pinterest to see what I can cook up for dinner! I’ve got my whole week meal planned. Here’s our menu:
Monday: Crockpot Pot Roast with sweet potatoes and carrots
Tuesday: See pin above!
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken with roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes
Thursday: Ground turkey spaghetti with zoodles
Friday: Left overs or I’ll find something I can whip up with the food we still have!
I know I need more whole fruits and veggies in my diet after the holidays, so I’m ready to tackle this challenge. Anyone want to join me?
If you have any great clean eating recipes that I need to try, shoot them my way! I’m starting to get pretty good at this cooking thing!
Happy Monday y’all!
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Chloe Grace: 18 Months Old

It’s been 6 months since Chloe’s last monthly update! I can’t believe that on Sunday she’ll be 18 months old. It’s going to be my baby’s half birthday. More importantly, she’s really not a baby anymore. Of course she’ll always be my baby, but we are in full blown toddler mode.

Speaking of babies, Chloe is obsessed. Many of my close friends have babies or are about to have a baby or two! Luke and Olivia are 2 month old twins that Chloe can’t get enough of. She’s constantly wanting to touch and love on them. We’re working on gentle hands and not trying to touch their faces. For the most part she does great though. Below you can she her doting over Luke. He was sleeping in his carseat before Chloe found him and had to give him love! She also love Renee who is only 10 months younger than her. She does get a bit confused when Renee crawls around and pulls up on things. I can see her thinking, “Why doesn’t she just walk mom?” She loves to pet Renee and say baby! Meanwhile I’m just thinking, you’re a baby little girl!

Not only is she obsessed with human babies, but baby dolls are her FAVORITE. At least one of her babies has to go everywhere with us. If she doesn’t have a baby at the store and then sees one, she thinks that she needs another. I think we’re up to almost 10 baby dolls. She certainly doesn’t need another. At nap and bedtime, Cinderella and Bitty Baby have to go to sleep with her. I’m not kidding. One time, I put her down for a nap with only Cinderella, and she lost her mind. Screaming bloody murder. I thought something was wrong until I realized those screams were actually words…baby…BABY…BABYYYYY! I rushed Bitty Baby up to her and she laid down like it was no big deal. I’m telling you, this girl wears me out.

My little mommy is all about helping us out. She likes to sweep, vacuum, pick up dog poop, paint, you name it. If only all the “work” she was doing actually helped get things done, instead of making it take longer. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have her “help” me every single day. She like to follow behind me with her broom or mop when I’m sweeping, and her vacuum is one of her favorite toys. If only it actually worked!

She is definitely my mini me. My little shadow watching everything I do. She follows me everywhere and wants to be just like me. I love that about her. It makes me so aware of my actions and words because I know I’m setting an example and she’s learning from me. Lately she’s been super interested in everything I do in the bathroom. One time, she waltz right in, spread my legs and almost stuck her hand in the toilet. She’s done that to my mom too! Now I’m trying to take her in with me and explain to her that mommy goes pee-pee in the potty, so on and so forth. She’s not ready to potty train, but I figured a little early prep couldn’t hurt! I bought her this potty this week and she loves it. Mostly she tries to stand in it, but she’ll figure it out soon enough!

This last month we started gymnastics at The Little Gym! The first few classes Chloe was pretty timid. It was a new environment, new people, new things, so I can see that it was intimidating. She clinged to me for the first 20-30 minutes of the 45 minute class, then opened up at the end. This week she did awesome from the get go! She played all the games, gave her teacher a high five and participated in all the skills. She did such an awesome job on the bar. This girl has great grip strength! I hope she continues to enjoy the class and starts to interact with her classmates as she becomes even more comfortable. I love the class. I love watching her run around and experiment with the equipment. The former cheerleader/gymnast in me loves seeing her do things that once made my world go round!

This is when I usually go over all the firsts from the last month. Not sure if I’ll get them all, but I’ll hit on the highlights of the last few months!

The last few month’s firsts:

It’s hard to believe my baby is truly a toddler. The more I look at her, the less baby I see. I love watching her grow and change, but man I wish time would slow down. I feel like I’m allowed to be excited for things in the future while still wanting her to stay little. This little girl is my greatest joy. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring. All I know is that it will be wonderful. As long as she’s with us, everything is wonderful. I love you Chloe Grace!

Did you miss an update?
birth story 1 | birth story 2 | one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve

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We Bought a Home

On December 19, 2016, JP and I closed on our second home. We didn’t just buy a house. We bought a home. We packed everything up and on December 27th we moved in. Home. The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. Home. Where the heart is. Home. The place where something is discovered, founded, developed, or promoted. Home. If there is one global thing we all share, no matter our race, income, religion or beliefs; it is that we all want a place to call home. Home. The meaning of home cannot be expressed in just one sentence for it is different to us all. Home. We’re taking this house and turning it into our forever home. {Unless oil & gas decides to move us.}
Tomorrow we will have been living here for 1 month. I realized that other than the first picture of the outside of our home, I haven’t shared anything! Now I don’t have that much to show y’all. We still have boxes strewn about. We still don’t have enough furniture to fill all the rooms. I’m still hanging, decorating and rearranging, but I figured I could show y’all what I have so far!
Downstairs Guest Bath
Almost all of the decor was from the bathroom in my old house. To complete this bathroom all I needed was a shelf over the toilet. I found this beauty on Jane.com. It’s made from recycled barn wood and I love it. This piece comes and goes on Jane {wait for it if you want a good deal}, but you can find similar looks here and here
The towels and other decor pieces are all from Target!

JP’s Office
Across from the downstairs guest bathroom is the office. Since JP works from home 70% of the time, this is his daily headquarters. It’s not complete, but I wanted to show y’all what we have so far.

This map was a Christmas gift from Auntie Annie & Uncle Steve. We have pins to mark places we’ve visited and lived individually as well as pins for the places we’ve been and lived together! Putting the pins in was so much fun because we were able to remember all the amazing trips we’ve been on together. We’re planning to put 4×6 frames all around the map with pictures from all of our adventures!

As you can see, JP was hard at work when I snapped a picture really quick. We hung our diplomas and our Aggie Ring picture by Benjamin Knox over this desk. The desk is a work in progress. I need to beautify it for him!

Living Room
For the most part, our living room is done. I ordered this rug and will share a picture of it as soon as it comes in! My friend told me about Rugs USA and it’s awesome. I got an 8×10 with a rug pad and shipping for $300!

Here are some pictures of the living room. Starting up close and then zooming out.

Yes, Chloe is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. No she wouldn’t let me turn it off or move her to take these pictures. #toddlerlife

This bookshelf is from Ikea {Billy Bookcase} and used to sit behind our TV stand at the old house. I’ve redone all the shelves with fun knick knacks that we’ve collected over the years. Plates from Pittsburgh. Sangria from Spain. Wine bottles from friends’ home made wine collections. Harry Potter book collection. So on and so forth. I love how it turned out. Since the TV is no longer in front of it, Chloe has reign over the bottom 3 shelves. Her books usually go on the second to bottom shelf, but they’re currently scattered all over the floor.

When JP got his promotion back in September, we bought this couch from Bassett Furniture and I am still obsessed. I’ll probably go to them next time I need a long lasting furniture piece. They were so easy to work with and their products are great quality.

Coffee Bar
Since our kitchen and living room essentially act as one big space, we put our coffee bar in between to kind of merge the two rooms. I love it so much! Plus when we have people stay with us, there will be plenty of room for everyone to have access to their daily dose of caffeine.

The coffee bar itself is from Target. They still have it in stock. Same with the shelf we’ve turned into a mug holder! Artwork is by yours truly at Pinot’s Palette and mugs are from Starbucks around the world!

Kitchen Dining
Just to the right of the coffee bar is our kitchen dining area. We bought this table and chair set from Rooms To Go 5 years ago and it’s still in excellent condition.

My sister helped me start my collage wall with 5 pieces originally. I was able to pick and choose pieces from my old collage wall to reuse and I love how it turned out. I’m working on my hand lettering skills and the “The Gouglers” sign was my first stab at it.

Kitchen
Since my kitchen was kind of a mess, I only have one actual shot for y’all. The second picture is from the house listing with just the staging furniture. It gives you an idea of the overall look though!

Here is the back wall of the kitchen with all my stuff. I didn’t have the best lighting, but this will do for now!

Here is the listing picture of the kitchen. My island currently has stuff all over it. Finding a home for everything is hard! We’re currently on the hunt for the perfect barstools. I want some comfy counter height ones with backs. Then they can just turn around and work as seating for the living room as well!

There you have it! This is probably about half of the down stairs. I don’t have furniture in the formal dining yet and there are boxes all over the space. We’re working on decorating the master bedroom. You can see the door to it in the picture above! Once I get our space decorated, I can show y’all the master suite. Slowly but surely it’s coming along. If you know of any good furniture/decor stores or any great sales that are going on, please let me know! I’m on the hunt!

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A Love Letter to the Green Bay Packers

To all of my Packer boys:

It’s true, I’ve loved you from the start. I grew up brainwashed wearing Packers onesies and baby cheeseheads. I’ve watched the men of the Green Bay Packers almost every Sunday of football season for the last 29 years. No, I’ve never lived in Wisconsin or even the midwest, but my dad did. He’s the one who taught me to love football after all. I’ve been sure to raise my daughter the same way.

Growing up a Packers fan wasn’t always easy. People like to hate on you and ask why and how your a fan. They generally assume you’re a fraud or a bandwagon fan as the season is ending. For the majority of my life the Packers have been pretty good. I was only 5 when the Brett Favre era began and that led straight into Aaron’s reign! Don’t get me wrong, I know that every year wasn’t that wonderful. There were a few years that playoffs didn’t happen or didn’t go well at all. For the most part though, I’ve had the privilege of supporting a pretty great team.

In 2011 y’all went to the Super Bowl and played the Steelers. Oh my goodness how awesome was that? It was even better because the month before I had just moved to Pittsburgh. You want to talk about people hating on me? Yeah, it was pretty intimidating, but I wore my Packers gear with pride. After I made it into the bar that is. I don’t think I would have gotten in without some Steelers gear! I did end up making it through the evening with only one really negative interaction when I was cornered in the bathroom. The dirty looks were so worth it when we came out champions!

I’ve managed to make it up to Lambeau twice in my adult life. Both trips were the greatest experiences in their own way. I’m lucky to say that I’ve been there in the sunshine and the snow storm. It’s not the Frozen Tundra without freezing temps and snow falling!

Now the season has come to an end. Yesterday was rough. It definitely didn’t start out the way that you wanted it to, but hey you definitely won the third quarter. Not sure if that counts for anything. The way I see it, you didn’t give up. Even though the Falcons came to dominate their last game in their current home stadium, you didn’t quit. You still managed to score 22 points which is better than nothing! The best part is that a majority of teams can’t even say they made it that far this season. 2nd place in the conference isn’t too bad. There’s always next season!

You don’t get to go to the Super Bowl or Disney World, but you get to relax without the pressure now. Your fans still love you and we’re ready to support you and cheer you on next season. Just come back ready to fight. A few weeks ago no one thought you could have made it this far. We weren’t even guaranteed a spot in the playoffs until 2 weeks before. So keep your spirits up and start thinking about getting to the Super Bowl next year…because you will. I can feel it.

Go Pack Go! I love you boys!
xoxo,

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Friday Five

Happy FriYAY! Friday is here and the work week is ending! Time to kick back and relax. If you don’t work, or don’t work often like me, then that means you get your partner back to help you with the kiddos. There isn’t really any relaxing once the babes arrives. Unless you count after their bedtime!

Here are my five favorite moments from this week…

one. yogurt face
We’re working on using utensils. Keyword…working. Most of the time I give her a spoon or a fork, she holds it in one hand and then digs into her food with the other hand. At some point, she just drops it an digs in. We’ll get there one day! Until then, it makes for super cute and super messy pictures!

two. Harry Potter workout shirts
Something that every Harry Potter and brunch fan needs in their life…this shirt. It’s mimOsa not mimosA! Ashley got these for me and Ali for Christmas and I’m kind of obsessed. Obsessed enough to take this fabulous sweaty selfie.

three. my class peeps
When we decided to move out to the burbs, I had to decide whether or not to keep working at the gym downtown. I started working there 3 years ago and it’s hard to part with people you care about. I thought a good way to make it work was to keep my Monday classes! Now I’m just teaching my back to back cycle and Tabata classes. It’s a win win for me! I still get to see my work family and my awesome students, I get to do what I love and help people, plus I still get paid to workout. It’s also a nice bit of alone time for me when I’m driving back and forth. Some days I wonder if it’s worth it as I’m driving in, on the way home I realize that it definitely is.

four. home decor
I’ve been working hard on trying to get my new house decorated! Slowly but surely it’s coming together. We definitely have quite a way to go and some more furniture to buy to make everything complete. I’m hoping to get a post up on the blog soon to show the house and where we’re at now. Until then, here’s a sign that I made the other day while my momma whisked Chloe away! I need to work on the “The” but I’m a big fan of the “Gouglers.” 🙂

five. go Pack go!
Okay this picture didn’t actually happen this week, but the Packers beat the Cowboys this past Sunday and we’re all super jazzed up about the game this coming Sunday! Plus, she’s so incredibly cute that I can’t even stand it! So here’s to the game on Sunday…Go Pack Go!

Have a wonderful weekend y’all! If you don’t care about any of the teams left in the playoffs, go ahead and cheer on the Packers with me. They could use a little love! You could also cheer me on a little while I spend my Saturday painting and scrubbing base boards at my old house. I’m ready to get that sucker on the market ASAP!

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Boho Floral Baby Shower

This past weekend I had the pleasure of teaming up with another wonderful woman, Logan, to throw a gorgeous baby shower for my dear friend Chandra and her twin baby girls! Chandra had a sort of floral theme in mind to go along with her girls’ bedroom. Logan took charge with the decorations while I followed up with all the food! It was the easiest shower to throw and so much fun.

I thought it would be fun to go through the different parts of the shower and share with y’all!

The Mom-to-be


Chandra is our mom-to-be in the middle. You would NEVER guess that she was in her third trimester with TWINS! Chandra and I met through our running club in in 2012 when we were training for the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon. On the day of our first group run, we were told to find someone and introduce ourselves. I found Chandra walked up to her and told her that we were going to be best friends. I’m lucky she didn’t think that I was a psycho. Unfortunately injury kept Chandra from running the marathon that year, but we ran together in January 2014 and then I was a bridesmaid in her wedding in May 2014. {Logan was too!} And the rest is history. She’s an amazing friend and person. I’m so blessed to have her in my life. Logan and I would do anything for this girl! Okay, enough sap, let’s get to the details!

The Desserts

Every good shower needs an awesome dessert table. Since Chandra and I share a deep love of sweets, we knew that this party needed a little sugar!

Cookies: Logan ordered cookies from her “cookie lady” and they were pretty much gorgeous. Yes, that first picture in this post is of beautiful cookies. And to top it off, they taste great too! If you need a cookie person and live in the Houston area, let me know!

Cupcakes: I ordered cupcakes from my go to cupcake bakery in Houston…Crave Cupcakes! I have them at pretty much every party I throw. This time I did 3 dozen mini cupcakes in strawberry, cookie ‘n cream and red velvet! You can customize the toppers with different colors and designs to match your party.

It’s a Girl Muddy Buddies: Thank you Pinterest! This was a super easy muddy buddy recipe with white chocolate instead of milk chocolate, and I added pink pearlized Sixlets to make it girly!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: Trader Joe’s for the win! When your mom-to-be loves peanut butter more than anything, you NEED these at your party.

Pink Swirly Lollipops: These are from a local party store and I bought them simply because they were fun and pretty. Apparently toddlers think they’re delicious because Chloe may have stolen one and she’s obsessed.

 The Drinks

Water: Baby showers tend to have other pregnant mommas-to-be plus let’s be honest, we all need to hydrate! We bought mini water bottles and Logan had labels made!

Red Wine Sangria: This is my go-to sangria recipe. My boss’ girlfriend made it at a company Christmas a few years ago, and now it’s what I make whenever I host a party.

Caramel Apple Sangria: This one is so easy…1 bottle pino gregio, 1/2 cup carmel apple vodka, 3 cups of apple cider. Add a bunch of apples, let it sit over night and serve! Feel free to up the vodka if you’re feeling a little crazy.


The Food

Chips & Guacamole

Veggie Tray & Ranch Dip: baby carrots, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes, green bell pepper. Ranch dip is light sour cream and a ranch dip packet poured into a green bell pepper

Summer Sausage, Cheese & Cracker Tray

Fruit Tray & Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip: apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries.
PB Dip was another win for Pinterest. This one is easy and you can even just make it for a regular day lunch or snack at home.

Meatballs: The classic crockpot combo, meatballs + grape jelly + chili sauce = awesomeness.

Babies in a Blanket: A fun twist on the common brunch favorite pigs in a blanket, but with a twist. Instead of the wrapping the cresent roll around the smokie sausage, swaddle it! You can even add little eyes with food coloring if you’re up to it!

Popcorn: As a little to-go treat, we had bags of “ready to pop” popcorn! 
The Decor

Logan was on point with the decor for this shower! She found a great lady on Etsy that did all the paper products for the shower. She sent Logan the files for the invites, signs, banners, labels, etc. All Logan had to do was take the files to Kinkos and have them printed. HA. All she had to do. That takes so much time and effort. I know because I’ve done it before. She had so many adorable touches that she went out of her way for…popcorn bags, water bottle labels, signs and everything!

I made these special onesies with my Cricut! Avery and Ellyson were prayed for for a long time. I can’t wait to see their little faces in March.

We chose not to do any games and just have a mix & mingle type couples shower. We did want to set up a fun diaper station to write some funny saying for mom & dad during those midnight changes. No one likes waking up at 3am to change a poopy diaper, so reading something silly or encouraging from a loved one is always a pick me up!

Beautiful banners celebrating the twins. Another one of Logan’s projects!

If you look back at the food pictures and the onesie pictures, you’ll notice lots of flowers on all of the tables! We wanted to make sure there were tons of flowers everywhere. We used fake flowers instead of real ones and I think it was a great idea. They were set up the night before and didn’t get the least bit wilted. We were also able to handle them a lot while trying to get them to stay in balloon bouquets and other odd places. Plus they can be used again!

Logan thought of everything for the decorations! While I did help with the actual decorating, all of the ideas were Logan’s. It has definitely given me some ideas for future showers and parties though!

The Presents

No party is complete without presents! Michael, Chandra, Avery and Ellyson were showered with so many gifts. It’s hard to believe that they’ll be using everything in just 2 months.

Leave it to little Chloe to make her way into the pictures! She had a blast running around and playing with all the kiddos. She can’t wait until her new friends arrive. I mean she does love her baby dolls after all!

Michael and Chandra,
I’m beyond excited for this journey you’re embarking on. I know that you’ll both be wonderful parents. The road to parenthood wasn’t exactly what you planned, but your journey is your own and brought you these two precious gifts. Always know that I am here for you whenever you need me! I know having an infant isn’t easy, so I can only imagine how crazy it will be with two! I love you both so much and can’t wait to watch you grow together as a family over the next few months and all the years to follow!

xoxo,
Amy

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Man Crush Monday

Happy Monday y’all! Yesterday I made a proposition. A pretty awesome one and I think y’all may agree. I think we should all take a vote and have Monday become second Sunday. Then we can all stay home with our families for another day. Good idea? Okay great, let’s do it! Weekends are my favorite because we have that handsome guy up there with us most of the time! It’s so nice to have our whole family together. It’s been a long time since I’ve bragged on JP, so I figured Man Crush Monday was the perfect opportunity for me to just say how awesome he is and how much we appreciate everything he does for us!

For starters JP is the greatest Daddy! Chloe is absolutely in love with him and she has him wrapped all around her finger. He’s so great about working hard all day, coming home (or out of his office) and going into dad mode for the next few hours until Chloe’s bedtime. I love the way she looks at him, the way he sings to her as he puts her to bed every night, the way he reads her the same book for the 5th time in a row and the way they interact. I’m so lucky that he’s her daddy.

I’m so thankful for this hard working man. It’s because of him that 3 1/2 years ago I was able to quit my corporate job and pursue a career following my passion for fitness. It’s because of him that I am able to only work 1-2 days a week and take care of our girl the rest of the time.  He’s such a hard worker and overachiever. His persistence on perfection is what got him where he is today. He’s a young leader at his company, and people are impressed at his ability to “climb the corporate ladder.” I’m super biased of course, but I think he’s just the greatest.

I love the way he puts up with my crazy antics. I’m constantly asking him to take pictures of me “for the blog” or “for Instagram.” He’s become a pretty good photographer I must say! So often he’s the man behind the camera for me. Every once in a while I can get him in the picture! Of course we can rarely make it too serious. He knows that I’m a little weird and kind of cooky. More importantly, he like it. I’d go as far as to say that he loves it. And I love him for loving it and loving me completely for who I am.

It’s hard to believe that he’s been my main squeeze for over 10 years. Last October it’s been 10 years since my last first kiss. In April we’ll celebrate 7 years of marriage. It hasn’t always been easy. We haven’t always gotten along perfectly, but we love each other and we’re willing to work to make it through everything. That’s what makes our relationship so special. We’ve grown, changed and accomplished so much over the last 10 years. I can’t wait to see what the future brings us.

So here’s to my Man Crush. The man who is usually behind the camera. The man who works hard so that I can be at home with our daughter. The man who is the most present daddy. Thanks for being mine.

And before I go, a shout out to some of my other man crushes THE GREEN BAY PACKERS!!! Anyone who’s been following me or knows me, knows my love of the Packers. I’m a born and raised, brainwashed Packers fan thanks to my Daddy. It was such an awesome game and the Cowboys put up a great fight! Here’s to hoping we can beat the Falcons next weekend!

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Happy Houston Marathon Weekend!

I can’t believe it’s marathon weekend in Houston! Every year for the past 6 years I have been 1 of thousands standing outside George R. Brown Convention Center in the dark waiting for the start gun to go off. This Sunday, for the first time in 6 years, I’m not running the half marathon or the marathon.

2011 Half Marathon

I made the executive decision not to run in the spring. It was a tough one, but a good decision nonetheless. I spent a good part of my pregnancy injured, and of course, it was because of running. Then once I was able to work on healing my ankle injury, other injuries sprouted up because of the original one. The main problem was that my sacroiliac joint {it feels like your low, low, low back to the point it’s practically your butt} was twisted out of alignment and would slip back out of alignment every time it was fixed. My loose ligaments from pregnancy hadn’t quite healed back to normal postpartum. It took several months to heal.

2016 Half Marathon Expo

In true Amy fashion, I couldn’t let my already registered races just go. I had to run them. I was dealing with pain and injuries for the majority of fall/winter 2015/2016. I was registered for back to back half marathon weekends at Disney and Houston in January 2016. Well, I did it. And I did pretty awesome I must say. I haven’t run a race since.

2013 Marathon Finisher!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not done running! I just knew I needed to listen to my body. I needed a break! Listening to your body can be one of the hardest things to do for an athlete. Over this past year, I took a break from running. I would run 3-4 miles every now and again, but nothing crazy. I started truly running again in October to start training for the Disney Princess Glass Slipper Challenge which is coming up next month!

2014 Houston Marathon

I think I’m just being long winded about all of this. What I’m really trying to say is that I’m bummed that my 6 year Houston marathon weekend race streak is coming to an end. I know it was all for the best, but I still wish that I was going to be out there.

Enough about me! Now to all my running friends out there getting amped for the race this Sunday…let me know! I’ll be out on Allen Parkway and Montrose. It’s mile 11 for the half marathon and mile 24 for the full marathon! I’m really loud and I promise to cheer you on if I know you’ll be there! I can’t wait to give back to the running community after all it’s given me over the past 6 years! Go runners and happy marathon weekend!

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#momlife

Over the years, we’ve all seen the hilarity behind the hashtag momlife. Social media has helped to show us what is going on in other moms’ lives to show that we really aren’t alone. The best thing about #momlife is that everyone’s story is similar but different in so many ways. We can relate to one another. Pick each other up. Empathize. Share similar incidents. But when it comes down to it, we’re all different moms, living different lives with different needs and parenting styles. And that’s OKAY! That’s the beauty of #momlife. We can band together through our crazy stories because let’s be honest, some of this we can’t make up!

I thought it may be fun to share some of my stories. Here’s a quick look into my #momlife…

When you wake up early thinking that you will be able to just sit in silence and drink your coffee in peace. Then as soon as your coffee is made and your bootie hits the couch, the crying commences. So long coffee, I guess I’ll just have to reheat you about 3-4 times to get through this cup like usual!

When you finally make the half mile walk to your neighborhood’s park and realize after 5 minutes of being there that someone smells like poop. It’s only you and your toddler there, and you’re pretty darn sure you don’t smell like poop…and of course you brought nothing but a stroller, your toddler and her baby. Looks like it’s going to be a quick park day and a loud (screaming) walk home.

When you get to go to the new grocery store all by yourself, and you’re so excited that you snap a selfie in the wine aisle. Enough said.

When the day you say you’re going to shower actually gets here and you find another reason to just wait until tomorrow. I mean, I did take a bath with the baby yesterday after all. Give me some dry shampoo and my hair will make it another day! {That may or may not have happened this morning. I’ll leave you to ponder that.}

When your toddler grabs the pooper scooper while playing in the backyard, and instead of taking it away and saying “yucky,” you show her how it works in hopes that she’ll figure it out on her own one day soon.

When you have some food that you REALLY want to eat and don’t want to share, you hide and eat it. Because we all know that mom’s food is the best food in the house.

When you’re trying to get a workout in with the dogs and toddler around and you feel so judged. Everyone is staring at you probably thinking that you’re sweating and breathing too hard based on what you’re doing. Then the toddler tries to mock you. Not cool baby, not cool. Just kidding, I love when she tries to do what I’m doing, but I really do feel super judged when they’re all staring at me! Just look at Maggie’s judging eyes!

When you’re attempting to unpack your new house and you get excited about emptying a box just to realize that the contents of that box are either on the counter top without a home or being carried all over the house by your toddler. She’s the best little helper after all! If only she knew a bit about interior design. Then her playroom would be flawless!

When you just let your toddler run around outside in shoes and a diaper. Let’s be honest, fall is hot and winter has only poked its head out for about a week around here. If she doesn’t want to wear clothes, then why make her. I’m learning to pick my battles. No need to cover up that toddler belly…it’s perfect. Plus she’s working on her abs with mom! I mean she’s pretty much mastered plank.

There you have it. Just a little glimpse into my #momlife. I hope you enjoyed and didn’t take me TOO seriously. This is all real life. Full of coffee, dry shampoo, snot, poop, hugs and smiles. I wouldn’t trade a single day for anything in the world. I’m beyond lucky to live this #momlife and to be momma to this crazy, little girl.

Now for the fun part…I want to her YOUR #momlife stories. Leave me a comment here or on Facebook or Instagram. And GO!

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New Year, Same Me!

We’re already 9 days into the new year and here I am finally showing up after almost a month away! Life has been pretty crazy around here. The last few months were amazing, but crazy nonetheless. It all started in September when I went to visit my bestie Julie and go to Disney World for my birthday. Then I went to Cancun followed by London and then Green Bay! In between my travels JP and I were busy looking for a new home!

I told you it was awesome, but crazy! While we were traveling, I was constantly online searching for houses, favoriting and sending them to my rockstar realtor. {Shout out to Mary Lewis! If you’re looking for a home in the Houston area, let me know and I can send you Mary’s way. She did such an amazing job helping us. She took me out looking for homes countless times and didn’t stop until we know I found “the one.”} When we were in Houston, I was constantly out looking at homes. We went out at least once a week, sometimes more, and saw 6-9 houses each time. We looked at several different neighborhoods trying to find our perfect fit. After a few months of searching, we found it! The perfect house, in the perfect neighborhood, on the coolest street! We were able to close on the house on December 19th in just 30 days, and officially moved in 2 days after Christmas.

So what did we do between closing and moving in you ask? A TON!

We celebrated Christmas in College Station with JP’s parent’s, Kate and Nathan. We visiting JP’s Mimi & Papa, saw the lights at Central Park and just hung out with family!

We had Baby Christmas with Chloe’s girlfriends! Brunch, presents and playtime for the win.

We went to Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo with my friend Dominic! They never fail to disappoint.

We went on a final Whole Foods coffee stop and long walk on the Bayou before moving! We had planned to do our usual 2.5 mile loop, but were enjoying our time so much that we did 4 miles. The pups were exhausted.

 We sent out our beautiful Christmas cards designed by Meeker Pictures. They shot the pictures for Emily’s wedding and we HAD to do their Christmas mini shoot. They’re so detailed and amazing.

We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Day! Unfortunately I have very few pictures because I was sick, sick, sick! I caught some sort of stomach bug and was up all night the night before and all of Christmas morning running to the bathroom. Luckily we were at my parents’ house and I was well taken care of. That evening I had to skip out on Christmas with JP’s extended family, so I laid in bed and watched Elf instead.

On December 27th, we moved in! Chloe and the dogs have a backyard to run around in and we’ve spent SOOOOO much time outside. It’s been pretty amazing.

While I’m at it, let’s just finish out the year…

I went to see The Nutcracker put on by the Houston Ballet. Our cousin Claire dances with the Houston Ballet Academy and was one of Clara’s friends and a Sugar Plum Fairy this year! She was elegant, graceful and nothing short of amazing to watch.

We celebrated Best Friend Christmas with the Waites and Crowsons! Two years ago, it was just the 6 of us and I told the girls that I was pregnant. This year there were 10 of us!!! We all have babies and it was the best Christmas yet!

 We rung in the New Year with a pajama party at Rachel’s house! We ate lots of food, shot off tons of fireworks and drank a little (or maybe more than a little) champagne.

Whew! There you have it, the rest of the year is as condensed of a version as I could possible manage. For the record, things have finally calmed down a bit around these parts and I plan to be back to blogging as usual! Stay tuned for more life, Chloe, dogs, workouts, recipes, new home decorating, travel and so much more!

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