A First – Chicago Botanical Gardens

Hector and I are enjoying a week of together.  This is the first time we have both had time off since Evan was born TWO years ago.

We were going to go out of town but flights skyrocketed and Evan’s party took over the weekend and his birthday was Monday so before we knew it… It was Wednesday and we had nothing planned.  Hector has been super excited to visit the Chicago Botanical Gardens and I’ve never been so yesterday we packed a cooler and drove north… I seriously was such a happy little prego.  We walked for miles and took in SO MUCH BEAUTY!!! Ugh.  IT was amazing & inspiring…

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These gardens really just take your breath away.  I took – oh about 1,000 pictures haha.  Problem is I NEED AN AUTO-FOCUS! Ugh.  I really need to invest in some new gear, I probably told Hector that at least a half a dozen times on this little family trip of ours.  They had AWESOME vegetable gardens, sensory gardens… Walled English gardens, Japanese gardens… Honey bees!!

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They had so much to see and Evan enjoyed running around especially in the train garden. He is so fun to watch!:

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He even got to see some duckies:

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(waving, bye bye)

It was a spectacular day.  I’ll leave you with some of my personal obsession lately, succulents & a cactus:

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Today we are tackling some at home projects.  Painting a bathroom and working on our basement demo.  With the LO on the way we need to make sure we utlize all of the space of our home wisely.  Hoping for good progress! <3

 

#EvanTurns2

This weekend literally was over in like 2.3 seconds flat. Let’s break it down:

Friday was filled with gluing paper airplanes together with my momma, who has been so crazy helpful I could cry.  This was after a long day at work.  She stopped at Costco with me and just held my hand haha, knowing parties sorta stress me out.

Saturday started at 20 to 6 which is not usual but I totally did not stop.  At 9:00 my two year old had his 2 year checkup (37 In – 98% tile, 30lbs – 82% tile).  They were very impressed by his verbal skills and just kept commenting on how sweet he was, I truly love our pediatricians they are absolutely amazing:

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Then I had a 25 week checkup at 10:20.  We headed off to Homegoods and spent way too much money on things that never were hung ;-)  hehe.  We ordered balloons at the Party Outlet, picked up some more fun things at Costco, I made a stop at Trader Joe’s and then back home to clean and weed.  Grandma Debbie, Grandpa Joe, and Auntie Joanna all popped by to drop off tables and goodies.  We are so lucky and blessed!!  We also had my in-laws pop by to help in the garden:

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Hector and I have been so busy, everything needed TLC.  So it was nice to have the support of loved ones.  11:00p.m. we hit the sack for what was sure to be a BUSY Sunday.

Sunday started off, nice!  The house was pretty clean, as was the yard… Yet before you knew it it was like a finish line scramble to get decor done, fruit cut, and ya know details… With me and my family it is all about the details.  One thing is for sure this was such a group effort and again… I wouldn’t have gotten it all thrown together without the help of everyone:

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My mom and sister were baking machines and made (with overwhelming love) cookies and cupcakes which I hear were awesome!!  I was able to buy candy and order a cake ;-) – We folded over 200 lil airplanes which I’m still so in love with:

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And we deck’d out the Villa Deck:

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But the icing on the cake was this little dude’s smile:

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This little guy is the light of our lives and the lives of all around us.  He is such a gentle giant with an enormous heart.  His hugs are so warm and will melt away pain, sadness and bad moods.  He is funny and brilliant and we our lives have NEVER been more complete and meaningful.   This kiddo, is my angel.  Happy happy happy Birthday my little love:

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Life, Love, Grow

Hello world.

So much has happened the past few months. Life is  if possible *gasp*even more busy and with all I have to share I’m sure you agree it is just going to become MORE busy.  As I shared in I think my last post, I rolled my ankle prettttttttty good 5/31 and I AM STILL HEALING!  Unreal.  I’m sure, had I gotten a MRI they would find some SERIOUS sprain haha.  I’ve gotten hurt in the past but I swear this recovery has been more brutal than my knee surgery.  A good friend of mine saw my ankle several weeks after I did it and again today and she can STILL see the swelling that annoys me each time I look at my ankle ;-)

Evan is such a toddler, little man.  He is not at all babyish anymore.  Ok, well except for maybe when he sleeps:

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He will be TWO next week!  Exactly a week from tomorrow. As much as I miss baby Evan moments.  Each day, he grows, learns and reminds me to live.  He is such an amazing little man and it is awesome to watch him flourish.  Other things flourishing?

Evan’s birthday party plans:

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My plants (who am I kidding, my WEEDS too ;-) ) :

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My love for my husband:

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*be still my heart*

AND ME!

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Yup.  As much as I wanted to do the coolest post ever reveal.  Here I am today in my 24 week glory ;-)

I still haven’t done a “share with the world” (you know my world,private facebook world) post.  Simply because I want to do something super cute and special.  Who knows,maybe I still will.  But I haven’t documented this pregnancy as much as the last one because I haven’t even publicly shared the news!  Of course friends and family know… hard to hide (especially in the picture above right after a long day of polish food (Thanks Joanna!) and ice cream haha.. what? cheat days after a loved one passes, I swear I’m still a super clean eater 90-95% of the time).  It has probably taken so long for so many reasons all that is going on and I dunno the fact that it has passed thus far at hyper speed even with my day-to-day between raising Evan, working, attempting to work out (foot allowance…) and having a tremendous loss in our family… I’ve been spent!  I will tell you this.  This pregnancy is MUCH different than my last and I hope to speak more on that before this little person *we know the gender… maybe I can do something cool for that?!* joins us around Halloween (Auntie Nicole’s favorite holiday!).  It has been great to share pregnancy woes with my bff who is almost exactly a month a head of me.  She is expecting an early October baby and I’m literally due 10/30 although – and we both share this as well – I have no real belief my baby will show before then.  In fact, I fully expect a November baby whose first holiday will be Thanksgiving.  How appropriate too, because I’m so Thankful.  Thankful for my friends (who have been AMAZINGLY SUPPORTIVE LATELY), my family (seriously… I’d die without them), and my little new growing intimidate under my roof family.  To make Evan a big bro and my husband a second time father?  My heart swells with happiness.

I’ve gotta ton to blog about… I really hope to check in more often.  Now that life is slowly getting back into the swing of things, just in time to get thrown back out.

Love.

Light.

Life.

Grow.

That’s the theme of my life right now.  Off to hit my yoga mat and snuggle with my only child while it is still just him and I (and Oso, who is rattling around downstairs probably getting into trouble…).

 

 

My Weekend – Insert Sadface & Last Weekend In Pictures (5/26)

This weekend was supposed to be really was awesome.  I woke up Saturday morning so happy I thought I could fly.  My husband had told me he was going to get Sunday off (Whaoo!!) and I was all set at 7 a.m. to get my day started with FARMER’S MARKET!  One of my all-time favorite places to go.  It is honestly such an awesome way to start the weekend. Fresh veggies, flowers… the works.  I was especially looking forward to grabbing some herbs and a strawberry plant for Evan’s very own lil garden (a couple pots this year! next year a whole little bed!! If we don’t get to it this year).  I called my mom and was off!  Had a great talk with the hubs and stepped out the front door at 7:30 sharp.

Then BAM! Major accident. I was walking down my front steps with my lulu bag and flip flops and hit an uneven piece of concrete and my loose ligaments in my right ankle gave way!  It was such a scary moment.  I knew immediately that my day was taking a dramatic turn and BOY did it HURT!  I immediately yelled out for Hector in short gasps “Hector. Help. Please hurry.”  It was honestly so terrifying.  Thank God he was home.  As someone who plays sports and has had aches, pains and sprains I knew I needed to get it up and iced as fast as possible.  The pain was so intense I thought I was going to pass out.  I got inside, asked Hector to get me some I ice and give me a phone, I needed to call my mom.  Naturally, I called my mom in tears, likely frightened her and thank God she lives like 3 minutes away because she was there in a flash because within minutes it looked like this:

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A half hour later (with icing and elevating):

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I was over the moon in pain. I never want to go to the hospital with things like this because I knew it wasn’t broken but my mom talked me into it.  I knew the doctor would tell me “It isn’t broken, ice, elevate and take Tylenol” (because I can’t take NSAIDs).  Still around 3’clock because the pain was at an 8 if it wasn’t elevated (and even then the throbbing was awful)… I broke down and went.

To Elmhurst ER we went haha.  They said it wasn’t broken, and to ice, elevate and take Tylenol.  They gave me a fancy aircast and crutches since I really couldn’t put any weight on it whatsoever.  The hardest part of this all was the fact that I had so much planned.  It is tough to watch my weekend fly by when I was literally daydreaming about long walks and sunkissed cheeks and instead I was elevated and icing.  My sweet son had a nice time with Grandma though!!

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I spent my Saturday and Sunday pretty much in bed or on a couch because the minute my foot hit the floor major major pain.

Ah well.  Some weekends just don’t work out the way you planned.  Today it is still painful and turning a lovely shade of purple but I’m hobbling around and hope to be gently hobbling around tomorrow.  As this is my right leg with my crappy knee to begin with the hobbling will likely cause other strange pains so I’m trying to gently stretch in all ways that feel good and aren’t terribly painful.  I’m praying that this heals quickly because my almost two-year-old… as sweet as he is isn’t easy to keep up with on crutches or hobbling.

Here are some pictures of LAST weekend, the weekend I was looking to semi-recreate:

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It is Mommy’s Day!

Two days of blogging in a row.  I must be feeling better!  This morning is absolutely perfect.  I’ve had a hard time sleeping lately so last night I heard a welcomed little rain shower sneak in around 12 a.m. and fell comfortably back to sleep.  I LOVE rainstorms and rain.  Not all the time because I NEED my sunshine, but there is something soothing about the sound of falling rain – had I heard thunder, I would have thought God sent the small storm just for me.

Anyway, I’m an early riser.  I haven’t always been and I love sleep (so I go to bed as early as I can) but I love waking up before the sun and watching the awesome colors in the sky.  Friday morning I woke up way before the sun and it was raining I felt warm and safe in my home but the sound of the falling rain was so peaceful (told you, I love rain).  This morning though, my little sidekick who typically wakes early too withing 15-20 minutes of me being up is still sleeping!  So I went downstairs grabbed a cup of coffee (Nicole! I can drink it again!!!  ;-) ) took the dog out and enjoyed smelling fresh air and taking in the beauty of my yard.

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Hector and I dropped Evan at Grandma Debbie’s yesterday so we could do a few things outside without having to keep an eye on our little guy, he is FAST!  We planted some planters and just enjoyed some time cleaning up some stuff together in our yard.  I also realized I’ve gone a little crazy on the lavender (maybe it isn’t possible, I LOVE LAVENDER) but I have now about 5 different pots with some sort of lavender including this cute pot from Trader Joe’s that is already flowering:

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and took more pictures of our stunning perennials:

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I’m so grateful for what we have, friends, family, a home (with flowers, haha)… Weekends always remind me I am doing exactly what I should be because my life is so filled with love and joy.  Which brings me to today: Mother’s Day.  A day I just like to reflect on what I know:  Motherhood, hands down, is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I should say that I have had a lot of awesome things happen to me, but this definitely takes the cake.  Loving, nurturing and caring for another human being on this level cannot do anything BUT make you a better person.  I’m more efficient and effective, I’m more dedicated (as if that was possible), I weed out the BS because you recognize time is the most precious thing and you do not want to waste it…  NOTHING makes you realize how fast time flies more than a walking time stamp. I do not just manage my life and co-manage Hector’s, I am universe CEO – RESPONSIBLE for another human’s well-being.  It is a full-time job whether you are a stay at home mom, or a working mom we all do it differently.  Each has its own challenges, and I respect every single mother who works to make her child a healthy, loving addition to society.

My mother has been a shining example of everything I want to be to Evan and any future children I may have (:) ) – With that: I LOVE YOU MOM!! You are my rock and my hero.  Until I had Evan, I never understood the depth of your love, it is amazing how our bond has grown now that we share this special title.  I also am proud to be surrounded by my beautiful mommy friends!  Too many to name but I must say:  Joanna!  Happy first Mother’s Day with a baby in your arms, being a mother looks amazing on you and it is a beautiful thing to watch – we love you so much.  Nicole, my other half, happy Mother’s Day with your second little baby happily bouncing in your belly – I’m excited for the upcoming months for so many reasons ;-).  You both are inspiring and I LOVE LOVE LOVE sharing this journey with you.  Jenny, thank you for literally being the person I go though the motions with as our dudes are so close in age, I pray for the day you move closer. Anita!  He’s beautiful!! Happy First Mom’s Day with your little guy!! Jaz, another!! Miggie <3  PS we are like the Boy’s Club right now, all our little gentleman…  To the mom’s in my mommy group <3 sending light and love – watching the support all you wonderful ladies share each day makes me want to hug you all and warms my insides to know just how many amazing moms there are out there.

I hope everyone takes some time to just take in all the beauty around us and has a peaceful moment today.  XOXO

Evan, yesterday, at our favorite spot:

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Weekend Warriors

Yesterday, was quite possibly my favorite day so far this year as far as weather is concerned. It is pretty awesome how the warm breeze and sunshine can instantly make you grateful for all that’s around you.  It was a great way to end the week.  I left work, ran home to my favorite dudes and we had an early Mother’s Day dinner with my Mother in Law and my brother and sister-in-law.  I’ve known these people for such a huge part of my life, it is nice to catch up and chat over food haha.

Before we left the house I was in awe of how quickly our gardens went from not happy to green and flowering so I snapped a few pictures.  Our backyard is turning into the magical wonderland I was dreaming about all winter.  We must have 5 different kinds of Daffodils in our garden.  They are so beautiful AND double what they were last year which leads me to my next big idea…

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I want to be a bigger gardener this year.  Cultivate this hobby, if you will.  We have some plans to create a raised garden to share with Evan the magic of fresh berries, greens, veggies and herbs from our own garden this year.  I think it will be a great learning experience for us all.  We don’t have a large garden but I think we have the perfect super sunlit place to create a fresh garden that we can expand on every year.  We MAY try to tackle this this weekend because my hubby has some time off. yay!!!  There is something therapeutic about being in the garden and I love that with some TLC you can see some amazing results.

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We are getting a lot of work done around the house, or at least getting prices so we can fix some things that we really wanted to improve/replace.  Including a fence to protect Oso and little Evan.  I think it is going to be gorgeous addition to our home and can’t wait for it to go up.  *fingers crossed* we get a better quote from a very high rated place I’ve found.

Owning our home has definitely made us weekend warriors when we are home together.  We are always tackling something home related it seems, but the rewards are great and we are filling our lives with so many memories.  It is a really great time in our lives and I’ve been working towards writing down all the wonderful things that are happening around us because it is easy to let the negative things slide in and take too much of your energy away from what matters:  love, family, health (oh and my garden, haha).  Can’t wait to show you blooming pictures of our magical tree in the backyard!!! It will likely bloom today or tomorrow a perfect Mother’s Day gift you can see the start of the beautiful flowers:

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With that we are off to a doctor’s appointment and maybe brunch.  Followed by shopping… Seems like trips to Home Depot and Menards are a weekly occurrence ;-)

 

 

 

 

Spring.

All sorts of things are blooming around here!!  Spring is FINALLY in the air.

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My Daffodils are flowering, and weathering our unseasonable cold.  Evan is my little man now… Has long ago shed his baby face and is a full on little human:

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He sings, laughs, plays tricks, runs, talks and blows my mind everyday.  He is just the happiest little guy anyone can imagine and he is the light of our lives.  

This winter was a rough one!  We have had maybe 2 or 3 beautiful days since our first freeze. Yesterday being one of them:

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And Easter being another:

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I’m getting out of my rut (which I’ll blog more about later!) and finally have some energy.  I’m telling you things are really growing and changing around here!  

We are looking to change up some home stuff, change up some life stuff and change up some garden stuff.  It is amazing what a little sunshine can bring to your life.

Happy Spring!

Favorite Coffee Cup & Why I Need to Live Somewhere Warm

Anyone have a favorite coffee cup?  I do. I do. I do.  I irrationally love this cup.

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I have two others just like it except the color inside is different and so is the logo on the front of the cup, it has to be the bear (Yukon blend).  It’s the perfect size, perfect texture (matte), great handle… Well made!   I don’t know what it is but when someone else uses my cup I have an inside irrational response of *gasp* “MINE” lol.  Luckily unlike my one and half year old, I don’t scream “Mine Mine” at the person using the cup, but I do practically hug it the next time it is in my hands.

So this morning is a good morning, my computer, Lorde Pandora, and my cup <3

I’ve always been a person who has worked on ways to make myself and the things around me better.  My newest endeavor?  Waking up really early everyday of the week.  My alarm goes off around 4:30 a.m.  problem is, I use the cold as an excuse to cuddle under my covers for the next half hour.  Then when I head to the treadmill it is cold down there!  This weather hates me, and the rest of Chicago.  I literally sit here and day dream about morning runs outside with my early morning companion, Oso:

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I just keep telling myself:  It’s coming. It’s coming.

But, to avoid this crap in the future.  I should just move somewhere warm! :) hehe.

No, on the bright side, I’m crazy blessed and lucky to have the option of running on a tredmill at my gym or in my home.  I just can’t wait until the snow and ice melts so I can run the early morning streets of my neighborhood. (Trust me, Oso can’t wait either!)

Happy Tuesday!

Awesome Wave

Happy Saturday, friends!

What a week this was!  I really am over the cold, snowy environment surrounding me.  Even though I’ve never really been comfortable in a bikini – I’m CRAVING bikini weather.  I seriously sit in my heated yoga classes and pretend it is sunny and warm.  My body is definitely craving some homemade vitamin D and when it is literally below zero degrees out or snowing CONSTANTLY, I’m not getting even a tiny bit of it.  At least my boys have fun with their shovels:

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Like everything in my life, I hit waves.  Waves of lazy periods (well in my book lazy, other people see me go go go), then focused waves of awesome.  Right now, I’m on a awesome wave.  I’ve majorly cleaned up eats and have been focusing on getting my heart rate up in some shape or form at least once a day.  It’s a cycle that I need to have not only for myself but for my family.  I want Evan to have lots of healthy home cooked meals, and I want to experiment more with food.  Something that helps me stay on track is reading.  I load my kindle with books on health and fitness, meditation and yoga – even though some sit unread for days and days because I’m knees deep in some novel or catching up on Mob Wives and Scandal (I know, I know… ) I feel like life is all about balance.  However, when I feed my soul with those books, even though every fiber of my being knows how to eat and live well, it reminds me to keep on track. When I eat clean and sweat I’m happier much happier, and isn’t that what life is about?  That said, I’m really enjoying Cameron Diaz’s The Body Book right now.  It is an easy, lighthearted read that I think would actually be really great for a teenager or someone just getting into a clean healthy lifestyle it is just presented in a way that is not overwhelming and is packed with info (although she uses soy as an example of something to switch out for milk, I’m not a soy fan at all).  When I finish up the book I’d like to do a review ;-) – Something that I live by is eating with color.  LOTS of color.  Vibrant color.  No iceberg lettuce, give me the super green kale and spinach and crispy romaine please!  I mean not only are these so good for you but they are so pretty *insert heart eyes*:

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My mom recently bought a vitamix.  I’ve talked about it before and I’ll talk about it again:  I want one so bad! I have a high powered blender and like the reviews here I’m not a fan.  It is bigger and louder than my mom’s shiny new vitamix and more importantly it does not work as well. So I’m saving for my own.  I know they are pricey but I’ve only heard awesome reviews from the basic to the fancy.  Plus, Hector is sick of seeing lulu bags at the doorstep (not that they would ever go away forever, just maybe a little less frequent).

Are you hitting winter slum?  Are you busting through?  I went shopping today at target and they had GARDEN stuff out!  I’m ready to feed the need to get my hands in the dirt and do some gardening and RUN OUTSIDE!!!  So stoked for this.

Off to cuddle with the napping baby, followed by a run on the dreadmill treadmill;)

 

 

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Train Thoughts

Going with my thoughts theme today…

Well today was freakishly warm and insanely ewet. Melting snow and lots of rain. Crazy wind and fog. Weird day.

Looking at my salt stained boots and grateful for these randoms: the quick weights workout at my gym. My baby, husband, Oso, friends and family. Grateful for my job, my husbands job, my home. Grateful for coffee, tea, my amazon app, MY iPhone (how did people get along without these things? Life was so much simpler I’m sure). Grateful for my healthy body and all it’s imperfections and perfections (my insides are rockin! Good heart, good organs ;-) ). I’m grateful for my kindle and the books that sit in it, even the unread ones. Im grateful that J. K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter (I mean, who isn’t!?), I’m grateful for the education I’ve received, the opportunities I’ve been afforded. I’m grateful for vitamins, veggies and soul food (so what if I define soul food as avocados lol I guess an occasional French fry fits the bill but avocados make me feel good). I’m grateful for Metra Conductor uniforms, they remind me of that movie with Tom Hanks Based on that children’s book Polar Express. I’m grateful I have been able to experience motherhood. Grateful for my glasses, they are the first thing on last thing off my face. I’m grateful for freshii and Alex :) (Susie!) I’m grateful for my mind, and my sense of humor even if I’m the only one laughing. I’m grateful for yoga, running, heavy weights and shoes.

I’m grateful for you for taking the time to read my thoughts and for this quiet train ride of gratitude home.

What are you grateful for. All written on my iPhone wonder if there are any weird typos in there.