Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Don't Hold Your Breath

Well, it's the last day of January, which naturally brings to mind BATHING SUIT SEASON.
Am I right?
Bathing Beauty: Exhibit A

I'm signed up for all of those deal sites, so my email inbox is constantly flooded with can't-possibly-pass-them-up offers like 2 for 1 racks of ribs, half price lipo and 10% off the fruit of the month club.

Bathing Beauty: Exhibit B

But every once in a while an actual deal pops up that I can really use, and yesterday was the day. A local swim school had half price tuition for baby swim classes, and the enrollment fee was waived. Sign us up! This is great for us for a few reasons:

1. Evie and I get out of the house twice a week for more than just a daily trip to Target and jaunt around the block.
2. Physical activity. Not just for the wee one. Let's just say I'm sorely lacking in that department.
3. My MIL has a pool, so come summer it's our second home. Some real skills for our girl will be great for everyone's peace of mind.
4. And finally, the proof is in the pudding. I fully expect Evie to do one of these numbers after our 6 class stint. The video is totally worth watching. Mucho impressed, Manny. (And Sarah!)

Bathing Beauty / Hot Daddy: Exhibit D12

So we're excited! Searched Target high and low yesterday for the little swim diaper she needed (not the disposable ones, grrr). And sister still fits in her swimsuits from last summer, teeny little thing that she is, so that's nice. 

Buuuutt... then there's mama. It didn't really dawn on me that I would also have to break out a suit for these classes until last night. Awesome.

Bathing Beauty: Exhibit C

And this takes me right on back to my dilemma of last spring: is a two piece Mom Appropriate? Gah. All modesty and missing six-pack business aside, I'm thinking for the swim class, a bikini might not make sense. There's just too much movement and activity involved when chasing a now very mobile little babe around. Don't want any wardrobe malfunctions. **shudder**

SO. Back to High Ho Target O I go.

Wish me luck.

Attack of Mama Bear: Exhibit 36

Friday, January 27, 2012

Evie Time {Amen}

Wednesday night we went out to a friends birthday dinner and so bedtime was a little late. Evie and I did an abbreviated bedtime routine and after I had nursed her in the dark and started to put her up on my shoulder to cuddle, I realized we hadn't said our bedtime prayers. So I whispered "Dear Jesus, thank you for this day. Thank you for my sweet baby girl.." I could feel Evie lift her head up at the sound of my voice and touch her cheek to mine. "Bless us while we sleep and watch over us. In Jesus name, amen."

"Amin" a teeny voice whispered back in the dark.


I don't ever want to forget that precious little moment.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Project 52:4 {Health}

thankful for...

This past week has been rough around our house.
Our first bout of real sickness hit Evie first and then two nights later it was our turn. We were all pretty puny and pitiful, but thankful that it didn't stick around for long.

It's times like this that really remind me to be thankful for a healthy child. I can't really fathom what it must be like for parents and families with sweet babies who are sick or don't feel good most of their days. Thank you Jesus.

We did make sure and enjoy all the extra cuddle time in our big, new bed. Evie has made herself right at home and all but taken it over. Fine by me.

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with:

Friday, January 20, 2012


My sweet little baby isn't feeling great today. Last night I hadn't been asleep long when I heard her soft cries for mama.. mama.. mama. :(  I waited a bit, thinking she would resettle and go back to sleep, but it kept up, softer and a little more pitiful than usual. When I picked her up she grabbed on to me tight and I could feel something wet. After a quick, blind feel of her crib, I knew she had gotten sick. So I took her into daddy and went to clean up. My poor little baby. Throw up all over the mattress. Everywhere. I almost started to cry, thinking she had been sitting in there for any length of time while I lay in bed hoping she would go back to sleep.

For the next three hours I held her and rocked her and tried to soothe her to sleep. Every 20 minutes or so she would start to squirm and start to cry mama, mama, mama, even while I held her. Then the heaving. We both smelled of vomit after long and I changed my shirt twice. And kept on holding her. My sweet little babe.

This is our first experience with this kind of sickness. Not fun. Surprisingly, the gross factor really didn't faze me when my baby needed me. Mama, mama, mama.

It's humbling that a little person can need you so much. That you are all they want, all they need.. the only thing or person that will do when they feel the worst.

She woke up today feeling better and happy and is now taking a long, long nap. Praying the little bug is gone and her tummy feels much better from here on out. And if not, well, I don't think there's anything more important on my to-do list today than holding her, rocking her, soothing her. My baby.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project 52:3 {Reflection}

thankful for...

30 years. Three decades.
I've come a long way, baby.

Looking back over this first third of my life, I am thankful, amazed and humbled. There is not much I regret, thankfully, and I can definitely look on the tough times for what they are- seasons of life. Opportunities to grow. Reasons to change. Chances to love more and be better.
I hope in another 30 years I can look back with the same sense of accomplishment and the lingering desire to grow and stretch and see and experience all that God has offered us in this life.

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

.:: 30 ::.

In honor of the big 3-0, I thought I would share 30 random things with you today. 

In no particular order.

1. I was born with a head full of thick, black hair. My first real hair cut was at 8 months, complete with bangs. My uncle commented that I looked like a page boy. That's the only time short hair has ever looked good on me.

2. I really think that hand sanitizer might be a myth.

3. I seriously, deeply, madly want laser hair removal for about 85% of my body. Shaving blows. So much time wasted.

4. In 3rd grade, I stood up at a school-wide assembly and recited the ABC's backwards. And won my little side bet with my classmate, Frank. This is still my best party trick.

5. I am sort of hoping for twin boys.

6. I am the only one who knows how to properly load our dishwasher. I have to rearrange it any time hubby puts something in there. I don't think he minds. Also? My dad is the exact same way.

7. One of my legs is slightly longer than the other.

8. My grandma and grandpa met on a blind date. Legend has it she was engaged (or at least pretty serious) to someone else at the time, and dropped him like a hot potato. :) They've been married for over 55 years.

9. All of my child's toys are named with alliteration. For example, Hans Hippo, Estaban the Elephant, Cleo the Cat.. and on it goes. It's an unspoken agreement between hubby and I. What does that say about us?? I may do an entire post on this at some point. Hold on to your hats.

10. Sometimes I like to online shop and fill up my cart, then just turn off the computer. Much easier than taking another lap around the store, putting everything back.

11. Chips and salsa are my favorite food.

12. Last week I walked into the laundry room to find Evie elbows deep into the dog food while our dog looked on helplessly in the dark. After 3 good finger sweeps, I got it all out and nearly puked myself. Can't wait to tell her first boyfriend about this little episode.

13. At one point I lived in an apartment on the 3rd floor, and the stairs were outside. On the morning of a huge ice storm, I heard my neighbor, a loud, young, large guy in flight school, leave his apartment at about 4am for class. A minute after he shut the front door, I heard him gasp and slip on the icy stairs and bump and roll and grunt his way down the first flight. I felt horrible but could NOT stop laughing. Funniest thing I've ever heard.

14. I really want to travel to Europe with my hubby. I'm thinking Italy and the Mediterranean. He's thinking Germany and beer.

15. Sometimes when I meet or am talking to other people my age or a few years older, I feel a lot younger than them. Weird, huh?

16. When I was about 8, I told my mom I wanted to quit taking ballet classes. Even as an eight year old, I knew I wasn't long and lanky like the older girls, and I knew that meant something. The story I told my mom was that I just didn't think I wanted to do this for the REST OF MY LIFE. She promptly signed me up for theater classes. Mama knows drama.

17. In related news, when I was 3, I lamented to my dad that he never brought me flowers. A few eye rolls later and I got the goods. Sometimes a girl just needs some dang flowers.

18. My hubby and I have the same middle name. Spelled differently.

19. Growing up, I was always singing. School choir, church praise and worship, etc. My first solo was in Children's Church when I was 7 or 8. Pretty sure I sang an Amy Grant song. :) In high school I sang the national anthem at one of our city's hockey games. I had to stand on a washcloth on the ice so I wouldn't slip.

20. I think the above washcloth/ice story is one of the reasons I found last week's Parks and Rec so hilarious.

21. My dream job has always been to be a photographer for National Geographic.

22. I hit a deer once, heading to Louisiana over Thanksgiving. Stupid thing didn't die. I no longer have any sympathetic feelings for Bambi. Or his mother.

23. At our wedding, we had real, live paparazzi. Ok, ok, it wasn't exactly US Weekly, but this rouge photographer totally crashed the wedding and stood right next to our paid photog, snapping away until I had the hotel officials get rid of him.THEN, he found my hubby on MySpace (yes, we're old) and tried to sell him the pictures he took.

24. Never in my wildest imaginings did I think I would have a blonde, blue-eyed baby. I ♥ her.

25.  I've only snow skied once, when I was 14. It was a ton of fun and I could hardly move for days afterward. I really want to go again.

26. I am not really a fearful person, but being buried alive or floating out in the ocean overnight sound like the worst things EVER.

27. Sometimes when I hold the door open for a stranger, and they just blow right through, without bothering to say Thank You, I'll say You're Welcome! to them anyway. :) I'm not above shaming manner-less strangers.

28. I often eat just as much if not more than my husband at mealtime. Also, he always likes to leave a bite or two on his plate (no matter what) and I have a Clean Your Plate mentality. Riddle me that.

29. I can't do a cartwheel. Or dive. How I made it this far in life is beyond me.

30. I was born on my due date.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Craftastic

This weekend I broke out my crafty hat and got to work on a few Valentine's Day crafts. I know it's a little early, but these are headed to our booth to sell, so I wanted to be sure and make a few things before it was too late.

First up is this cute-as-a-button (see what I did there????) little heart picture. Self-explanatory, I should think. Pull out some red buttons from your stash and hot glue them to something. In my case, a little square plaque I previously painted over. Cute, huh?

I've been wanting to make one of these wreaths for a while. Now is the perfect time to buy fleece, fyi.. it's all on sale at fabric stores. So I snatched up a red remnant in honor of LOVE.

This wreath was super easy to make and pretty quick. I've actually tried it before, with a linen fabric, but it took a lot longer. I think this works because the fleece is so thick, so it's much fuller and you don't burn your fingers with every stinking dab of glue. 


Be sure to check out Jones Design Company for the full tutorial if you want to make one. I love her blog.  And now I think I want one of these for myself! I just may have to make another one...

Have you started any V Day crafts yet? I'm getting the urge to string up hearts everywhere. :)

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Song that Binds Us

Ok, question:

Do you and your Loverboy** have a "song"???

This is serious, people! 

Edited to add: YES, I am just shy of 30 (akkk) and possibly having a mid-something moment with this post subject matter.

On the way to work the other day, Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton came on the radio, which immediately made me think of C, my oldest middle/high school friend and one of her teenage boyfriends. See, Wonderful Tonight was their "song". This fact stood out to me loud and clear and has remained in my consciousness for a number of reasons. 

Yes, there's a list: 

1. She told me it was, with all certainty and absoluteness that made it clear that they had consulted on the matter. They both knew this was their song- not just her, romanticizing and telling her girlfriends. I fully imagined them getting dreamy eyes and possibly making out on the couch in her parents basement any time the tune came on the radio or by CD shuffle.

2. It was a very grown-up song for people our age at the time, but not at all out of character.. our parents are all hippies/music junkies/band members/etc. We weren't exactly sitting around listening to NKOTB. Also, my name is AJA.

And finally, the biggest reason of all.

3. I have NEVER had a "song" with any boyfriend/husband/loverboy. EVER.

So needless to say, every time ol Clapton starts crooning about how wonderful whatshername is looking tonight, I have a quick walk down memory lane and a mild panic attack that we need to get on the ball somehow.

So am I right?? Are we missing out? Will our children one day ask us to tell them about our love story and share our special song, only to be answered with blank stares and shared side-eyes from their wrinkly parents?? 

I will say- I've brought this matter up to the hubs a few times, and I just don't think he's as concerned as I am. Shocker. It may have something to do with the fact that every time Roxette's It Must Have Been Love comes on, I declare it to be our song. Not that anything is Over Now.. Oh no no no no. I just like the song.

So dish it up. What's your "song". And if you have any suggestions for what our everlasting symbol of our relationship "song" should be, please let me know if the comments. Clearly, we can use all the help we can get. 

**Sorry about the "Loverboy" reference. I'm in a mood.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Morning Thoughts

Well, it's Friday the 13th... does that mean anything to you? Nah, not me, either.

Sometimes we wake up a little... disheveled.

Our new bed is being delivered today!!! I'm so flipping excited. The bed frame comes first, then the mattress, so fingers crossed that all goes smoothly, because delivery time frames basically mean nothing these days.

Does anyone find it odd that the mattress saleslady rather flippantly used the term "miserable" when describing how our new bed might feel, for oh, the first 2 or 3 WEEKS??? This was right at the end, after we had handed over all our gold doubloons. I may have to invite you all over to jump on the bed and break it in a little faster than that. I'll keep you posted.

Do you watch Parks and Recreation? Please tell me you do. I was seriously laughing out loud, multiple times last night while they were trying to baby step across the hockey arena and that Gloria Estafan song kept coming on. Then that 3 legged dog starts peeing on Ron Swanson.. just watch it.

My friend Sarah shared a great little tip for cleaning those pesky glass shower doors. I tried it the other night and it worked!! One tip- make sure you can open the windows to ventilate or plan to be gone for a while after.. vinegar is stinky!

Are you watching The Bachelor???? Yeah, me neither. We'll see if I rally a few weeks into it.

Right about now I am dying to go on or start planning a beach vacation. Anyone with me? Sigh. If you have one planned, please leave me full details so I can live vicariously through you.

And finally, I know this means nothing to you, but this week I gave up the pump and feel amazingly, gloriously free. I am so thankful for it, since breastfeeding is important to me, but boy howdy did it blow. Can't wait to pack that baby up and shove it under the bed.

Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Project 52:2 {Unseasonably Warm Days}

thankful for...
unseasonably warm days

This winter has been so different from last year, when we felt cooped up and were literally snowed in at times. We are enjoying the nice weather with daily trips to the park and long walks. 

Daddy is especially enjoying the outdoor time with his girl.
I love watching you two explore and discover everything in sight.

I am still amazed at my baby's confidence- hurriedly walking from one grassy patch to the next, toddling along, never bothering to glance back to see if we're staying close by. I'm praying she knows she doesn't have to check.. that she'll always know that Daddy will be two steps away, never letting her out of his sight.

* * * * *

Of course, there would be snow on the ground this morning, after I scheduled this post! Sheesh :)

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with:

styleberry BLOG
 What We're Sayin'

Monday, January 9, 2012

Card Mania

Please tell me I'm not the only one with a plethora of gift cards hanging out in my purse, wallet and junk drawer.  Right after Christmas, my stash seems to double, with gifts and returns/exchanges. The frustrating and annoying part of this is that I can never seem to remember when I have a credit to a particular store, so I get out to my car after making a purchase and then it dawns on me. 


On top of that, a bunch of these have, like, $2.83 left on them, which somehow makes toting them around even more annoying. But I'll be d@mned if I'm going to throw away money! Hubby nearly tossed a Target card with 70 cents left on it and I about went bananas on him. Do you even KNOW how much money I spend at Target??? Blasphemy.

Oh great. While uploading this fantastic piece of photography you see above, I found Pier 1 and Sephora cards in my nightstand. Add it to the list.

So what are you inadvertently collecting in the bottom of your purse?? Gift cards, like moi? Random pieces of gum? Stolen restaurant matches?? (Thief). Please share so I don't feel so badly about myself. Also, if you want to go shopping, just let me know.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fabric Score

On New Year's Day, I was able to sneak out alone to do a little shopping. It's a pure luxury to wander store aisles alone these days, and I'm happy to report a successful trip. We just ordered a brand spankin' new bed frame and fancy pants mattress (king!) which is wonderful, but that means all new linens, too.. which, let's be honest, means mama gets to do a total overhaul of the master bedroom. Double Score!

Anyway, while out searching for the perfect duvet cover, I stopped in at Hancock Fabrics, where I like to sift around in their upholstery remnant section. Lo and behold, I found a stash of gorgeous fabric that looked very familiar.

Robert Allen's Khanjali Peacock.

I love LOVE the colors in this print and have had my eye on it for a while. Here are a few places I've come across it:

via Young House Love

via Emily A. Clark

Now that I'm looking closer at Emily's pic, I'm not so sure she used the Robert Allen fabric.. though her picture looks much closer to what I have than the YHL pic. Their pic looks more saturated or something...


I worked this weekend on making curtain panels and they are finished and hung! What?? A picture? Well... no, sorry, no picture just yet. I'm still trying to convince hubby that we need to repaint the room to go with the new look. Wish me luck on that front. But I will show you pictures at some point, I promise! Sheesh, what kind of blogger am I?? 

So what were you up to this weekend?


Project 52:1 {A Dance}

thankful for...
a dance

Oh, my Tiny Dancer. 

Every time I turn on the music, you reach up your arms and start to jabber, asking me to pick you up to "dance".

Then I hold you up on my shoulder, like I did when you were a tiny newborn babe, and you rest your head and cuddle in while I sway and dance around the room to whatever tune happens to be playing. If I stop, you kick your legs for me to continue, just like you did in my belly.

I absolutely love to dance with you. I hope you never stop kicking and bouncing and asking me for a dance.

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with


Monday, January 2, 2012

Salad Delight

Interrupting your regularly scheduled blog programming to share this yum salad recipe with you. 

We ordered lunch in at work a few weeks ago and all ended up with this salad. It was simple enough (even for me) and scrumptious, so I decided to make it for us at home. And share with you. You'll thank me later.

iphone pic doesn't do it justice.

spinach (I do bagged)
purple grapes
feta cheese crumbles
raspberry vinaigrette

Oh! And I totally went for the chopped walnuts in the baking section. Mucho cheaper.
Happy Eating.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Project 52 {Thankful For in 2012}

Happy New Year! I hope everyone's NYE was festive and safe! We had a fun time at dinner with friends and were home at a reasonable hour. :) And I'm pretty sure I was in bed and lights out before midnight ever rolled around.. Fine by me!

Okay, Project 52. This is a new project for the new year, and I'm so excited to get started with it here on my blog! I've never been big on resolutions (mine were always the same- get fit, start a new workout routine, etc), and they never lasted when I tried to start one. But this project is all about capturing what is going on in your life right now, really being present and also working on my photography skills, which appeals to me, since I'm always snapping pics of Evie!

Basically you choose a theme or idea to frame your Project 52 and post one picture a week that captures whatever you are focusing on or experiencing or feeling that week. I first came across this idea at Shawna's blog, styleberry BLOG.  She's a professional photographer, so her images are all amazing, and I loved her theme for 2011, which was Motherhood Is.  She had week's like Motherhood Is.. Messy, Happy, Limiting, Uncomfortable, Simple, Disciplined, What You Make of It, etc. You can read all about her project here.

At the end of the year, she takes all 52 posts and makes a coffee table book, so her family can flip back through and see a glimpse of what life was like and what she was feeling and experiencing that year! I love that.

I've also seen friends like Sarah do a Project 365, which includes taking a picture every day, but that's just too much for me, personally. One per week seems much more manageable for me!

So what do you think?? Are any of you doing any similar projects in 2012? I'd love to hear about them! I would also love for you guys to join me in doing a Project 52 (or 365!) if you want! I'll be linking up to Shawna's weekly posts, and would be happy to link to you as well if you want to participate!

OH! And my theme for 2012 is Thankful For.  I'm turning the big 3-0 in a few short weeks and I really want to focus on all that I have to be thankful for in my life. In the every day, little things as well as the big blessings. I can't wait.  

I've decided I'll be posting my weekly Project 52 on Thursdays, so this Thursday will kick things off! Get excited. :)
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