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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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 ;-)

 

 

 

 

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;)

 

 

Saturday Loves

Hello, friends.  Happy Saturday!

The weather in Chicago went from summertime to full fall in 3 seconds:

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So we grabbed some hearty mums to mark the occasion that look beautiful now but my mom reports the flowers will die and they will be big green blobs haha. Ah well I’ll remember them like the above.

Last Saturday we enjoyed coffee on the deck with amazing warm air and someone only needed to be half dressed:

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Today we are inside frantically closing windows with long sleeves, pants and socks on! My how things can change in a week.

Evan has officially started swim lessons.  He is an Aqua Baby!  We have lessons every Saturday and he LOVES it so far.  He is a little charmer who likes to kick and splash and wants to stay in the water even when his teeth are chattering and his lips are a funny shade of purple.

I’ve gotten way better about taking my own time; going to the gym, going for a short run or walk and visiting one of my favorite places on earth the yoga studio:

IMG_1704[1]Needless to say I’m more grounded and centered and happy.  Yoga is blissful.

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Also… It’s back!  Pumpkin spice lattes!  I have an SBux in my building at work… Talk about danger zone.  The way to have it is a grande nonfat 1 pump no whip extra foam… one of my favorite things about fall.  It is clearly only a treat but reminds me fall is in the air <3  (My go-to at Starbucks is a Venti Zen, just ask Susie).  My sister posted those amazingly appropriate photo to my page:

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(if you know the source let me know for credits!!)

A few more random things about the end of summer… HOT BEVERAGES – My hubs and I are still obsessed with Blue Max:

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Mocha for him, green tea for me (how awesome is that lil teapot!?)… A scone to share.  I get the lean scramble (um yum) and share my sweet potatoes and fruit with Evan while Hector enjoys his chorizo eggs Benedict (Huevous Benedictos).  They just posted to their facebook page that they have a pumpkin spiced latte… guess who will be trying that tomorrow morning?!<<<<<<<<<this girl! (I’ll have to sneak in an AM run and treat myself)

My plants have survived the summer including these crazy herbs.  Next year I’ll have to learn how to “harvest” them – the lemon balm took over and I need to look up ways to use it:

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Can you believe the last time I updated you I thought they were outta control and they looked like this:

DSC_0674Next year I’ll know to skip the lemon balm or put it in a smaller pot.  They look well manicured above. <3

I’m also still deciding on switching out my camera or updating the lens, any ideas?  I have the Nikon D3000 – and am really unsure if I want to just switch it out for a Canon.

Well today is packed!  Off to Costco, some cleaning/organizing, Target, swim, gym, yoga (free C1!) and a wine night with a very special lady.

What things are you loving about the change of season?  I’m feeling extra energized!  It is that or the opc3 and my b vitamins! haha

 

 

 

Making House, Home.

Happy long weekend, everyone!

While I sit on my bed listening to my sweet baby hum himself to sleep in his room (right next door)… I’m pouring over all the different projects I want to do to my home. RIGHT. NOW. haha

I’m ready to run to World Market and re-do everything in my home… I’m in love with their inspiration photos:

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that rug on top of the larger jute rug… Brilliant. All things in good time I suppose.

Today the seasonal organization bug hit me and I woke up early to get a few things done since we have a pretty packed day.  I have a feeling I will be heading to the store to pick up some items I really shouldn’t due to the pictures above.  I need to win the HGTV lotto or something… Ever since we bought this house I’ve been obsessed with home improvement projects that are outside our spending zone but when you own a home you want things perfect and I feel there is so much to do around here to make it perfect.  Yesterday we picked up this little guy:

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He was $5.00 at Lowes, we are naming him Ralph and hope to nurse him back to health.  First step, new pot and fresh fertilized soil.  Luckily the weather is still pretty nice so he might make a patio appearance until the weather gets too cold. Ralph likes lots of sun and warm weather.  He does not like to sit in water, he likes his soil moist and never dry.

It is amazing what a few fresh plants can do to a space.

Another random note; yesterday my boys and I ventured out for some outstanding coffee at our favorite weekend stop, the Blue Max:

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Evan sat in his own patio chair and was so well behaved.  I hit the toddler jackpot.  He sat down, read his book and played with his caterpillar while eating roasted sweet potatoes and some of my spinach omelet.  There was a sweet little girl who just turned 2 at the table next to ours and he just sat there and flirted with her… My little charmer.

We went shopping to our usual spots Whole Foods, Target and Costco.  While at Costco we came across:

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*GASP* CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!  Now, I’m such a HUGE FAN of Christmas time.  I feel like there is a natural magic in the air, pop in The Santa Clause and I’m a kid again thinking about the North Pole… But GEEZ!  Isn’t it early?!  It isn’t even Labor Day!  Hector and I are looking so forward to this Christmas with the new house; last year we had a fake tree and were not sure if we were closing on a house or not.  We were in a weird place as a new family unsure of what the future held. Spending was tight because we had all those house expenses that creep up when you buy:  prepaid insurance, inspection, appraisal, etc. Plus we were recovering from me taking unpaid time off work for maternity leave.

Needless to say, we are looking forward to all the holidays this year but feel like Costco is reminding us too quickly that they are approaching!  It is hard to believe that at this exact time last year Hector and I were just chatting on how maybe we should start house hunting thinking that a year from then we would start making serious offers and here we are now… in our home. It is so amazing.  Where we are today is so amazing, my whole family is within walking distance.  I feel like we have rekindled our family relationships and feel like we are all in such a good place:

IMG_1334 IMG_1335 IMG_1432 IMG_1458Sure there are stresses to owning a house, but right now I feel so blessed.  This place is now home where we enjoy dinner in our backyard:

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and put together fab little meals in our kitchen:

IMG_1513It is where we chat about our futures, relive our many amazing memories, and daydream about adding to our little family:

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I’ve never been in a better place mentally.  I think it is a product of those around me, (My amazing friends -you all are so inspiring, my phenomenal family) and taking better care of myself.  Pretty sure these B vitamins (the Bliss Kit!) are also doing some amazing things! But we will chat about that later.

So after this random blog; what makes your house home?  We are always burning fun scents in the house typically in line with the seasons (except my lavender scents that burn year round, it is my absolute FAVORITE) – we are starting to fill the house with more pictures too which makes it feel homey.  I feel like the minute things go on the wall it feels like we are here to stay.

Off to do many projects with the mom.  Be back later!

 

 

 

Loving Weekends

When Monday rolls around I always am asked, “How was your weekend” – from the people who become a random 2nd family.

“Spectacular, always.” (Duh!) – We live for weekends over here…

IMG_1385When I get to take my boys for super long walks with no care that I have dinner, a workout, cleaning, planning… sleeping to do – like during the week.  Our days are CRAZY during the week.

Yesterday Oso, Evan and I took a super long walk; we even dropped off Oso at Mom’s quarter way through because his coat makes him uncomfortable in the sun.

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Evan, naturally has it made, he loves the BOB:

IMG_1404He happily snoozed while I did a run/walk combo trying to get some of my endurance back.  We did about 5 miles and went past my old beautiful college campus:

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It was an awesome way to unwind; and I came home and felt an abnormal calm that I haven’t felt in a while.  Getting back in the fitness saddle puts me in such a better place.  I didn’t completely fall off of my fitness train but it has been a bit of a struggle to fit everything in.  With Evan growing so fast; I feel like I miss so much during the day with him it is hard to leave him at night… Slowly I’m finding a balance and his super independence makes me feel slightly better (well, not really but I’m trying to reach myself it is ok to have “me” time)…

IMG_1369Hitting my matt at home has been a God send… Even if they are quick bursts… It is such a peaceful place… <3

I’m also getting better about meal prep and incorporating super fresh HOME GROWN ingredients :)

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Today I planted some rosemary, oregano, basil and thyme into a new planter.  I’ll post before and after pictures of what I used to have in my window… my new collection not only will flavor chicken tonight but it is pretty to look at while hanging by the sink.

What do you love about weekends?  We love the simple stuff.. hanging out, cleaning up… Thinking of new projects around the house and hanging in our awesome backyard.

IMG_1064Well this random post is coming to an end because Evan, Uncle Joey and I need to run to a baby shower… Back with some more updates, we love playing catch up… haha

Oh one final thought… Weekends put me in a natural good mood… any other day running to Starbucks to get coffee because Hector forgot to pick it up the night before would probably make me angry… But today I took the time to enjoy a short car ride to treat him instead:

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Happy Sunday.

 

 

 

 

June Wrap Up

Well, father time has kicked my behind – yet again.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and reflecting this month. I’m trying to fit everything in… Enjoy everything… soak in everything and prepare for someone’s first birthday.

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I’m so unprepared and in complete denial about the fact that his birthday is next month.  In fact I still haven’t taken his 11 month photos because I just can’t believe that a month from now I’ll be out of ties:

DSC_0053I recently started preparing myself for the weaning process and the thought really sort of depresses me.  On so many levels I’m ready to be done with a lot of it…  The pumping is exhausting but the actual nursing sessions are still a super crazy bonding time.  I’m the only one who can share those moments with him and the thought of that ending is really weighing heavily on me.  You see, when you are not a nursing mom, you don’t understand it.  I remember not being a mom and being sort of uncomfortable with the idea because of how the media and our culture really doesn’t embrace it these days.  So many people are like “yuck” put that away… Now being that I have nurtured my child this far anyone I see nursing their baby in public, I want to give them a high five – because it isn’t easy.  I know everyone bonds with their children in their own way and I know many people go the formula route (high fives to you too!) but for the past year my life has revolved around feeding my little guy.

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Being a mom isn’t easy and I just want to hug everyone out there who works hard to give their children the best lives they can.  I must say though, nursing is something so many people are uncomfortable talking about.  It shouldn’t be that way.  It really is the most natural thing in the world and I feel very lucky to have had such a wonderful experience and am really really proud of Evan and myself for making it this far.   I mean this guy lights up every room:

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So be prepared for sobfest blogs in the very near future…

On a lighter note – I’m still so impressed by the beauty in my yard:

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My lilies on steroids have bloomed and they are GORGEOUS.  Seriously!  So pretty I have at least 5 different colors of lilies in my yard including some yellow day lilies that are not pictured.  I’m in awe of the constant bloom in my garden.  Sure, these only bloom once but there is constantly something new and pretty blooming… I hope I don’t kill any of this stuff because it is fun to watch it grow.

I have about 300 projects going on.  My auto focus stopped working on my Nikon which is forcing me to either buy a new lens, or new camera… Both hefty purchases.  I really want a Canon but $$$$$ is holding me back.  So I’m going to do some research.  I’m also going to start to edit my photographs and trying to decide between Aperture for my mac or Lightroom 5 (on either my desktop or my mac… still unsure probably going to do a trial run) – Photography has really been fun lately for me… Taking pictures of Evan, Oso… my plants our adventures… My camera is always with me ;-)

Also, if you didn’t know my family and I are pretty huge Chicago Blackhawks fans (sports fans as a whole really) but my sister and mother are HUGE Blackhawks fans and follow them when the are not so good.. and when they are amazing… Like recently because uh.  We won the Stanley Cup!  Yay for Chicago.  I’m lucky enough to work in the City and have gotten to enjoy the Sea of Red and an amazing view of the parade that took place yesterday:

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I have more that I’ll share later as weird things are going on with this computer of mine…

 

 

What we are up to in JUNE!

Hello blog world!

What are we up to as of late?!

Lots! – New Nephew!!! – Gardening madhouse – work, work, work – running after baby – running on that tredmill – enjoying life… You know the norm.

I’ve mentioned before that the previous owner of our home was an avid gardner.  She has some awesome plants… and amazing roses.  Last week I took a bunch of shots of the amazing flowers in my yard and was going to write a post on how I have been you-tubing how to take care of these things (I’m doing well in some areas, not so well in others) – and I was going to share our farmer’s market trip then BAM I misplaced my memory card *cue sad trombone, and worlds smallest violin* I’m hoping to find and share those pics, but who knows! Darn SD card, you have no idea how hard it is for me to loose pictures… it is like losing a piece of me.  So today I ventured out to find a few cute things, and a bunch of upkeep I need to get to…

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My orgeno, lemon balm and thyme is just insanely happy.  Can’t you tell?  Here is a before and after:

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:D *happy dance*

This weekend is father’s day – Hector’s first since our amazing little man has blessed us with his precense.  What is Evan up to lately?

Growing like a weed, standing on his own and taking baby steps… YEP! Baby. Steps.  Walking is right around the corner maybe for is 11 month birthday.

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I cannot believe that I took the picture above almost 6 months ago, where has my itty bitty baby gone?

Today we are going to try to get too many things done… so wish us luck.

Be back with more pictures of my love bugs and some workout updates!

xoxo