Traditions: Holiday Edition

When I was growing up the holidays were always a very big deal.  My mom would decorate, we would have holiday parties and I will forever have fond memories of the holidays.  Now it is my turn to do the same for Evan!  I followed in the Macy’s land tradition of seeing Santa:

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(My sister pulled out videos of when WE WENT and let me just say not much has changed!)

We have some family traditions that burn stronger some years then others.  Last year, with my bun in the oven meant a making cookies day, wasn’t in the books nor was late night hot chocolate or anything that required eating, staying up late or music (yeah my morning sickness & exhaustion was that. bad.).  This year I feel great!  My body is getting back in the swing of things (I promise an update, soon!), some days I have more energy then others (this depends on my night ninja and the amount of caffeine I down in a day) and we made LOTS of cookies, although no crazy festive sugar cookies like in years past, maybe next year (I made lactation cookies, instead haha):

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We are festive peeps!  Anywho, this year as I wake up and my little man, big man and fluffy man all are still lazily laying around, I day dream about getting a good deal on stocking hangers for our new fire place at Target, the yoga class I’m going to make it to tonight, and the beautiful Christmas Cheer we will be enjoying today.

Lots of family, including the newest addition:

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[Wayyyyyyyyy more pictures to come!]

Some last minute shopping…. I know, I know.. haha

Some last minute wrapping and a few more salt ornaments for next year:

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He already has GIGANTIC feet!

I think we may even take a trip downtown late tonight to see the lights, because they are totally Mr. E’s favorite:

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We love the holidays.  It really is a great time to reflect on all your blessings, and I have a lot LOT LOT to be grateful for.

Lets break down some of our family holiday traditions:

- Decorating!  We always make a big day of it.  We are a fresh family (this year not included, but majority of the time we do real):

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- Cookies!  And way too many of them!

- Watching the Santa Clause, over and over and over.  I own them, they are my all time favorite!  I hope my favorite little nephew has them! Otherwise I know what his next gift will be ;-)

- Last minute Christmas shopping.  I love to HATE this haha.

- A trip downtown to see Santa (this one is new, this year), the lights, Macy’s windows, Daley Center’s German-Style Christmas fair and the tree:

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- and plenty of excuses to cuddle up on the couch, stare at the Christmas tree and enjoy the company of loved ones.

I know I’m missing a bunch, so I’ll update if I remember.  But for now I’m off to begin the countdown of my Baby’s First Christmas and the arrival of Santa Claus.

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5 Months

This holiday season I have the best gift a girl could ask for:

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A beautiful, happy and healthy little boy.

This month has FLOWN by, Thanksgiving felt like yesterday yet it was a month ago.  My little ham is still the best part of my day and he will light up any dull room.  This month he has giggled up a storm, started rolling from back to belly and our hearts have expanded to depths I never knew existed.

Dear Evan:

Happy holidays my little love!  You are really enjoying Christmas lights and cuddle time (yep, still the most amazing time ever).  Things I  am LOVING about you at 5 months?  The way you gently touch people’s faces.  You really are such a gentle little baby giant (EVERYONE comments on how big you are and they aren’t really that far off as you are in the 98th percentile for height).  Your cooing is more like a scream but it is accompanied by this gum baring smile that will melt anyone in view’s heart.  You smile so much and when you do we smile back, my jaws hurt by the middle of the day because of how much we smile at you.

Things you love at 5 months?  Your exercausers, Sophie, lifefactory teethers, bathtime and Baby Eisenstein with grandma.

You drool so much you can soak the whole front of your shirt, you are totally in teething land but no teeth yet!

Things you don’t like?  Your carseat and bed time (my little night ninja).  We are still nursing like champs and pumping at work is still working out.  It isn’t my favorite pass-time, but it is worth it for you.

You really are the light.of.my.life.  I look forward to every second with you.  I love that I can comfort you, and that you look for me, even prefer to be held by me once and a while.  It makes me feel so special that you want to be around me, but my little love the pleasure is all mine.  Thank you for being so amazing and teaching me that even when I’m in a bad mood, you can turn it around with that beautiful smile of yours.  As quickly as time is passing, I’m trying to soak it all in.  Thank you for the cuddle time, before I know it you’ll be more independent than I want you to be.  So with that said, I’m going to go rock you to sleep and hold and admire you for a great long while as it is the day before Christmas Eve.

Love,

Mommy

xoxox

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My Very Last Minute, Christmas Crunch

Well.  This WONDERFUL year is rapidly coming to an end and with it, comes family, friends, food and presents ;-)

Shopping for the holidays is usually my favorite.  I love figuring out fun gifts for people and fretting over the perfect gift for those more difficult ones (i.e., the hubs).  The past two years have been VERY different.  In fact, Hector and I just made a mad dash to two stores last night to buy some gifts for little people who won’t want a printed receipt of the last minute gift I ordered online ;-) = Last year I was plagued with AWFUL morning sickness, this year my time is spent at work, attempting to fit in fitness and as much cuddle time with Evan as I can get in.

So today will be a dodge the crowds at a yet-to-be-decided mall.  Things I’m looking for?  Not sure just yet, I want to get some good deals if possible.  This year we are going light on the adults range due to the fact Hector and I are buying a house, and prepping for a slight lifestyle change.

I know some EXCELLENT GIFTS for the exercise fans in the house and I thought I’d share in case you need some last minute ideas.

For her:

The Yogi

1. Kick a$$ yoga mat: Manduka

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You can get this online or stop at a local lululemon (their mats aren’t too shabby either!).  Not sure which one will work best?  Check out their fun chart here.

2. A great BPA free water bottle.  My favorite is lifefactory for yoga classes.

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You can get them online at their site, or amazon or even Whole Foods.  Have a new baby in the family? Evan currently LOVES their teethers, here.  Water is so important and these great bottles are a great way to get hydrated and save a few plastic water bottles, PLUS they come in fun colors so you can coordinate with your yoga matt ;-) I have a pearl white one so I’m versatile.

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[Sorry, I'm still baby-obsessed!]

3. Yoga gear OF COURSE.  Cool racer backs or the yogi staple a pair of grove pants from lulu isn’t a bad way to go:

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For the runner/Cardio enthusiast:

1. Garmin Forerunner GPS Watch or Polar FT60 Heart rate Monitor:

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I hear whispers of a new sports bra by lululemon that comes with a built in chest-strap for the Polar watch ;-) – The Garmin above is crazy small for a GPS watch…

2.  Underarmor warmgear – Love love love. Pretty simple.

3.  Foam Roller for those tight IT bands ;-)

Also a great idea? DVDs I know on my list are some Pilates DVDs because I need to strengthen my core after baby and my best friend would agree Pilates is all about strong cores.  My sister is a fan of Zumba (great for all fitness levels) and Insanity (must be fit BEFORE starting, not for beginners).

Gift cards to studios!! There is nothing that would be more welcoming then a giftcard to a heated yoga class CorePower or a Bikram class sound amaze with the cold.  Any yogi would love a free class for Christmas ;-)

For him:

Unfortunately Mr. Fit Wife isn’t really a fitness freak so I like to daydream about things he MIGHT like if he was into fitness, some things include:

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Man with a yoga mat? I swoon. (he will get there, someday Mr. Fit Wife still makes me swoon) above is lululemon’s studio pant.

2.  A little bit of an investment but TRX is something I’m so excited about and I’d really love this for myself, actually.  Lots of studios offer classes which I’d try out before making the investment but still TRX=awesome gift idea for the home without buying bulky machines.

3.  An introduction to Crossfit.  This is also something you can give to girls <3 But heavy lifting and crazy workouts are great for a guy in your life too.

Gifting entries to races is also a fun idea!  My sister bought me entry to the hot chocolate this year for my birthday, and I was VERY EXCITED about it, to say the least ;-)

Any fitness things you want to see under the tree this year?  Wish us luck on our shopping endeavors :)

Ideal

Well my handsome hubby and I have a jam packed day today; but, it hasn’t started yet.  My sweet little boy is taking his morning nap, so I thought I’d sneak in a picture blog.

Yesterday was an ideal day, spent with my sweet baby in my arms, all day.  I even wrapped him in the Moby so he could stay close to me, I’m still having a hard time with Friday’s events.  I realized yesterday I haven’t been as on the ball with Evan pictures as I usually was so I sat him down in front of the Christmas tree with some lights and snapped away like the true paparazzi I am:

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This little boy has changed my life in so many ways.  I love him more then words can ever do justice.  The ONE THING that must be completed today is seeing Santa.  So I’m sure I’ll be bombarding the internet with more Christmasy pictures of Mr. EJV

Happy Sunday <3

Tears and Fears

I woke up yesterday with a chip on my shoulder, don’t ask why I just did.  I found myself being blue about a few things and then I heard the awful horrible news about the massacre in CT.

I’m sure everyone who has watched the news, read articles or is directly connected to this absolutely unbelievable act of violence are just beside themselves, I know I am.  Walking into our kitchen at work and seeing the headline on the TV stopped me dead in my tracks and I gasped for air as I read what had happened.  My mind still cannot escape the loss of lives, of little innocent children who should be spending today, a Saturday, at home with their parents too excited that Santa is coming to visit in such a short time.

My mom and I discussed how some parents were probably running around finishing up shopping, or wrapping gifts and hiding them, and to get that call or hear it on the news.  My eyes fill with tears at just the thought.  These parents who still cannot hold their children 20 families who have lost someone so young so innocent and six more who have lost a loved one in such a tragic way.  I heard the principal who passed had five children.  Five children, who do not have a mom.

As I held Evan last night and this morning I just cannot imagine the pain.  In fact, I loose breath at just the thought.  My prayers,  deepest condolences and thoughts go out to the families, friends and community in Newtown, CT.  God bless.

 

Starting the week off right [well sort of]

Happy Monday!

I’m sitting here, sipping coffee from my favorite mug:

Catching up on a little bit of news and proud of what I got accomplished this weekend.  Sure I didn’t get ALL of the halls decked but a certain “must have” was completed:

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[My phone takes increasingly awful pictures and the battery isn't really staying alive these days - guess I need to invest in a new one.]

Who am I kidding, if it wasn’t for my wonderful parents – this wouldn’t have gotten completed.  Haha.  Mom and dad came and conquered.  Ok ok, I did decorate it but they did the hard work:

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I also spent a great deal of time with someone who is just the love.of.my.life:

We cuddled, played and smiled all weekend long.

It was perfection.  I tried to take pictures of my other best, Oso but he really just blends in with the background and looks like a huge black shadow.  So he spent a lot of time with us but it went undocumented, he is a ninja.  With a wild work week last week – I’m looking forward to getting things accomplished, maybe doing a bit-o LIGHT Christmas shopping and hopefully some quality time with that dear husband of mine.  I’m of course going to fit in some time for fitness, I usually go into phases with things and this time of year I REALLY REALLY love me some heated yoga, so I’m going to definitely hit the mat.  Something kind of lacking from my life right now? Running.  Not sure why, just not feeling it.

What else is on the agenda this week?

  • Meal plan Monday
  • Quality time with itunes (need a new playlist, or two)
  • yoga
  • Shopping
  • Cardio, maybe some Zumba?
  • Christmas pictures with Santa (MUST be done!)

I’m off to finish getting ready for work.

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Tis the Holiday Season

Halloween came around this year and I thought “Whoa, my clock is all mixed up” – you see it still felt like summer time, not fall.  Now I look at the calendar and cannot believe that Christmas is in less than twenty days!  What have I done?

Nada.

Usually we deck the halls:

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We always buy real trees and our house smells like a cozy Christmas scene.  [Well with the help of Christmas candles too.] This year my mom gave us an artificial tree because she thought it would be easier for us to maintain with our crazy schedules and new baby – Well:

This year, I have been so busy that NOTHING has been unpacked and only some fun holiday scents have been purchased (but not lit!).  Not one Christmas gift has been purchased (because we are tight on cash after my maternity leave and we can’t touch any savings because we are buying a house), and Oso hasn’t gotten any crazy Christmas outfits to wear (yes we are that family).

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This weekend is another busy busy weekend filled with too much to do an not enough time.. BUT we are going to make the most out of it <3

On the agenda?  Workout, Christmas decorating (it will WILL happen), hanging with my main little man and some time with the pup – oh and dinner with friends.

What are your fitness plans?  I’m going to get to a C2 yoga class, maybe go for a run and hit the weights like a champ ;-)