2015, Nice to Meet You.

Happy New Year, friends.

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On Day 2 I want to reflect on the past couple of joyful days.  The day before New Year’s Eve I texted my mom “hey mom, can we spend NYE with you? Hector will cook!” – I had battled with the idea of dinner in the city with Hector, just us two.  But, after the year we had, we both agreed we wanted to spend it with loved ones.  My parents helped Hector and I through the roughest days of our marriage and life in 2014, so I felt like I wanted to seal up the old year, and ring in the new year surrounded by love and family.  2014 was filled with some serious trials, but we all came back with grace and strength and most importantly, renewed faith and stronger relationships. My mom who isn’t in to ever celebrating that holiday (what! we all go to bed at like 10 ;-) ) said “sure!”.  So our plans were then to hang, eat and play Taboo with Nicole.  My mom pulled out some festive goodies which my uber cute awesome son, Evan so nicely displayed (he even dressed baby! Gah, I missed that camera moment):

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I went to a glorious NYE Hot Power Fusion (my parents gave me a gift certificate to my favorite studio, #winning!!!), set my intention to just be me. Be grateful. Be present.  I came home and wrapped this dude up in the Moby:

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Got a surprise call from Joey (my brother) – asking what we were up to for NYE.  He decided to pop by with his little family. So the last day of the year was spent hanging with my family, a beautiful way to end the year and start a new one.

Hector and I bought poppers for the countdown that were a funny disappointment.  We held them up, counted down – were thinking they were filled with confetti but alas, they popped and everyone looked around at each other like, “huh?” all that popped out were paper hats and various little items… I got a compass, Michelle got golf tees “I don’t even golf, here Jaylee ;-D” my sister made out like a bandit with a cork screw. Ha.

Yesterday Hector and I visited dear friends of ours, ones I hope to build a stronger relationship with in 2015.  I’ve said this a million times but we are surrounded by amazing people.  Sometimes I ask myself how it is possible to be so lucky, one thing that has never changed and wavered in my life is my wonderful friend and family filled support system. I’m so rich because of this. So amazingly rich. I look forward to goat cheese pizza with my love Joanna (ahh! and more blue!!!), chats about breastfeeding woes and workout routines with my Nicole… I look forward to taking Ellie to Blue Max and chatting about her beautiful home and discussing never ending home projects :) .  I look forward to time with my mom, my amazingly strong mom… I look forward to building my friendships with new friends, like Shannon and chatting about futures with Susie.  I look forward to watching my little loves grow, growing my yoga practice, reading, writing and praying… There is so much positive  – and I pray each day to stay present. Today I look forward to shopping with my lovely sister in preparation for our first 5k in 2015, it will be a real shitshow :D ha – what it will be!  Nicole, my sister… this is our year <3  She reminded me yesterday that 2014 had some lowlights… but it also had some highlights – SHE IS GOING TO BE A NURSE!! WE have a nurse in the family, now all we need is an SUV. ha.

2014 had some challenges, but challenges make us all stronger, so at the end of the day I was ready to say goodbye, but I did have some super special moments in 2014 and the main one was the completion of our little family.  I’m so over over over the moon in love with these two little loves:

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Adios 2014, Hola 2015. YOU WILL BE GREAT.

I’ll be back with some new years “resolutions” and what not sometime this weekend.

xo

Jen

Spooky Time 2014

Happy Halloween!  I plan on being back with our freezing day festivities (it SNOWED this morning in Chicago) later today but morning today is starting off low-key and is that deceptive cold because it is beautifully sunny outside.  I’m perched atop the famous green ball, just because it makes a good chair.  I’ve given up on doing all things to get baby out.  Seriously.  He is clearly on his own schedule and the stress is just making me nuts, I only had a mini-meltdown last night thinking Hector may not be around when I need him and my level of uncomfortableness wasn’t as bad as the day before (not sure if that is positive or negative…).  My friends are incredible, I received several check in messages from my momma’s and they all were just perfect.  Last night we tried accupressure points (Hector has been awesome, it really actually made me feel very relaxed, but alas, still preg), walking and resting yesterday – nada.  I have an acupuncture appointment tonight, so I’m doing all I can do and that… Is that.

We are going to run out this afternoon to get Evan a costume.  I cannot believe he doesn’t have one!!  On a scale from 1-10 I feel terrible to a 9 on this, but I did look around!  I’m sooooo bummed I didn’t get him that darn Dragon costume! He does have pjs but of course last night he wanted to wear his american flag t-shirt so he isn’t even wearing those right now.  Oso has some PJs too so I can’t wait to squeeze him into those and take some skeleton pictures with my piles of bones dudes.

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Look at my baby pumpkin 2012!!!  How cute! <3

Festive, huh? :-)

Festive, huh? :-)

And we bought a new candle for my haunted house.  So throwbacks it is today.  I think I might even stop at TJs for a couple of pumpkins to carve and toast pumpkin seeds.  May as well keep busy?  What are your Halloween traditions?  My family has always decorated, dressed up and done pumpkins!  We are a festive bunch that loves this time of year!  I’m thinking maybe even baking something since it is so cold, pumpkin bread or something – who knows. Cookies?  Maybe I’ll call call the cookie queen, Colie Molie.

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We might even stream Hocus Pocus in the background all day – Evan actually LOVES that movie! Ha.

What do I do with a toddler on a cold day like today?  Anyone know good places he can score some candy?  Not that he needs any – he might just get a trip to Grandma’s house or a surprise stop at Auntie Joanna’s and the MARS factory.  Who knows!  Till a bit later my friends!

Trials &Faith

It has been a long while since I have sat down and typed anything.  Life has been… trying.  They say when it rains, it pours, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt that to be more true – until lately – this year really, to be specific.  It has been a tough year for my family.  Filled with some serious trials, the ones where you can’t breathe, freak out – cry, are numb… etc. My grandmother passed away in July and I still cannot bring myself to talk about it, she was one of the most influential people in my life and I still feel a major void whenever she crosses my mind, which is quiet often.  When I thought things couldn’t be more difficult to handle, of course, circumstances come around and remind me – oh they definitely can get worse.  Even still, with everything going on – I’m lucky, because at least my family is healthy & my Evan couldn’t be more happy.  Not sure how I’d make it without this little kid, he will never know the strength he gives me:

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As you well know, I’m also very pregnant.  This pregnancy has been difficult for me.  I’ve never been good with body changes and this one, has really really given me a run for my mental money.  Although I love my little who seems to be very happy and healthy bouncing around in there – this pregnancy has really wiped me out.  I definitely feel more blue than with Evan and a lot of it has to do with the never ending exhaustion which I’m sure is a combination of the things going on in my life, long days, a two year old, a major injury around 17 weeks that really put me on the sidelines and just stretching not as good as the first time.  My thighs are wider, my hips are wider and I have stretch marks – I still don’t think I’ll ever be ok with.  I’m being honest here – these things really bother me and so I just want to write that pregnancy isn’t always rainbows and sunshine -but newborns, children, their innocence – I know when he is here in my arms, I will feel it was all worth it.  People can tell me I look great, that I don’t look almost 9.5 months pregnant but I FEEL all of it, every bit of 9.5 months, I feel.  My ribs hurt like no other, I get quiet a few contractions a day, my energy levels are non-existent and I’m getting anxious about meeting my little man.

With all the negative out of the way – I’m going to discuss some of the things that are making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My family has been so crazy amazing, it isn’t even funny.  My mom, so supportive – I can’t imagine getting through these things without her.  My friends, who are all going through their own major life changes – so thoughtful and supportive.  Not sure they will ever know how much their text messages, little check ins, FLOWERS, and positive vibes and prayers really uplift me – my life is rich because of the people that surround me… My relationships are what keep me going.  My faith in God.  God has never let us down, everyone goes through trials in life, if you have faith – you shouldn’t fear and that’s a prayer I send up each day – God I do not fear, you will provide.  FALL – the cool weather is refreshing, layers make me happy and my newest PUMPKIN will be arriving soon!!

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With everything that is going on, I’ve had to let a few things that are VERY IMPORTANT to me, go.  One specifically that hit me hard, though not too many people understood “it’s just xxx” – not a big deal… Well, to me it was, to me it meant a lot and to me it was something that I cried a lot over, because it was important to me.  Somehow, it is happening anyway, a semi-stranger, doing something for our family that means more to me than she will ever know.  I don’t even know how to share my gratitude, I just hope she knows how much it means to me.  Even with some clouds, our future is bright.

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Trials & faith.  It is the thing lives are made of.

 

Little Man Update – 1.5 Years *GASP*

My how time flies.  I know I say that every time I blog, but NOTHING could be more true.  Honestly before I know it WEEKS have gone by.

When Evan was first born we would count his weeks “Oh he is 5 weeks old” that turned into months “He is 4.5 months” which has now turned to half years “He is one and a half” *sobs*

He has grown so much and continues to blow me away with his knowledge.  He is full on bilingual.  He knows more Spanish and can go back and forth better then Hector can :)  It blows me away!  Typically we ask “More?” and he will say “mas, si” haha or we will say “Say thank you” and he will say “gracias” yesterday he did another phrase and I remember being so blown away because I just am so proud.   I’ve of course forgotten it, but will have to wrack my brain because it was a good one!!  He knows his first swear word in Spanish and I laugh so hard when he says it that I’m sure he will continue to say it more and more. Evan sings the birthday song, old McDonald, and takes stabs at everything else.  He knows all his objects, hats, socks, food, water (agua), toys, car, ipad, tv, shoes, boots (yep knows the difference), bed, bath, oso…. etc really the list is endless.  He knows people!  Points and everything Colie, Gamma (or Debbie!), Abue, Hector, Daddie, Josh (Tio, Tio, Tio), Naci (Nancy), JOE!, Joey, and of course Mama… haha <3  He is perfection.  He speaks in phrases, says everything in context and is just amazing.  Really how did I get so lucky?

As much as I loved squishy baby phase, I must say this independent toddler phase is a blast.  He is just so curious and funny and I love watching his personality.  I honestly just stare at him sometimes as if I cannot believe he is real, I cannot imagine my life without him and there is nowhere I’d rather be then with him.  I love how he laughs, and how boyish he is.  He is a little dare devil!  I want to soak up as much of it as I can! He makes me so happy, and proud (did I say that already?).

We had his 18 month checkup and it of course went very well (he needs a haircut, I know but I can’t bring myself to do it):

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27lbs 1oz (90th percentile for weight) 34.5 inches tall (98th percentile for height) – He is perfectly proportioned but definitely a big guy, and very strong.

Must be all the green drinks ;-)

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He is a great eater – not picky at all and has almost all his teeth, definitely a full mouth.

I’ve already started thinking about his 2nd birthday party (when I’ve yet to blog about his first one!  Which I will because it was AMAZING!):DSC_0054

I’m thinking paper airplanes or nautical themed.  We shall see… I went a little crazy last year and hope to scale back haha:

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Scary that I’m opening my brain to that once again.  We should probably just go on vacation instead :) lol.

I am so over the moon with my little guy.  Happy Half Birthday To You:

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(thanks for still cuddling <3 )

 

Twas the Day before Christmas

It is the day before Christmas and all through my house, not a thing is together not even my couch.  The Stockings aren’t hung, although the command hooks are bought. My hope is for St. Nick to put them up.

My child is covered in breakfast cereal, while Oso prances around begging for food; and hector in slippers and I in my lulu had just settled down to discuss what to do.

It is full swing ahead with all we have to do but I thought I’d check in with some things to do:

1.  Make it to a yoga class  to keep me sane.

2. Run around doing last minute shopping!  Every year I tell myself I’ll be better.  Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever be.  Most people are done but there are definately last minute things I must do.  Stopped at whole foods and bought some fun stocking stuffers:

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3. Drive around to see some Christmas lights.  Our neighborhood is always decked out so we like to drive around and see some pretty displays!

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4. Nom nom on some cookies as well as bake a last minute batch or two:

IMG_3375 IMG_33985. Take some Christmas-y family photos – or photos of Evan.

IMG_3405and enjoy some time with my favorite family peeps.

Oh – and go shopping for wrapping paper, tape, and bows!  *Sigh* my collection has gone missing. *sobs*

Happy Christmas Eve to all!  Hope you can get in some sweaty time!

 

 

A very [VERY] late Thanksgiving Update

This year I am thankful for so much – We celebrated in our new home for the first time… We came, we ate, we destroyed – and all were merry.  Please join me on my 20 things I’m thankful for/turkey day recap.  Ready. Go!:

1. Hector, Evan and Oso – My daily dudes.  I’m in a home with a bunch of boys and I love every second of it:

Our best family photo (minus Oso, can you imagine?)

Our best family photo (minus Oso, can you imagine?)

Ah, be still my heart.

Ah, be still my heart.

2. Family – Turkey day was spent with the people we love most!  The Villa’s and the Mattes’ unite! haha – We have such a fun family dynamic, I really am such a lucky girl:

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3. Friends.  I honestly have hit the friend jackpot.  I’ve said it before and I cannot say it enough  – I have the best friends.  I love them, we can not talk for days, weeks but if I need to chat, they are there.  I have a good mix of friends and I’m so lucky for all of them.  I’d like to think they know that!  I’d go to the ends of the earth for them all and this year I added some special work friends.  I’m surrounded by awesome people.  Again, thankful, lucky girl right here.

4. Music – I LOVE Christmas music and it makes its way into our lives right around turkey day time. I love Pandora, itunes, and the good old fashion car radio… My workouts would never be as amazing they are without it. :D

5. My job.

6. Coffee, green tea (and all my other teas, I’m the tea lady at work)

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7. My yoga mats.  These things save my sanity.
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8. My running shoes that haven’t been used nearly as much as they should.
9. My home – our first Thanksgiving here!
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10.  Fresh flowers, fresh herbs.  Nothing is more homey than fluers and herbs.  I love that I’ve been able to sorta keep my herbs alive and use them in my awesome home cooked meals:

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11.  Food.  I’m thankful that we are able to provide food for our family and teach Evan healthy habits.  Turkey day here was filled with awesome ingredients.  Some indulgent treats and healthy eats.  Many fresh veggies and some awesome pies and fresh whipped cream:

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12.  Grandma’s china and silver.  Hector and I never bought our own china and silver but my grandma gave me her sets and I’m so crazy thankful for these beautiful pieces that made their first appearance at our first thanksgiving here at this house, they were special to her dinners many many years ago and are being well loved and used once again:silver china

13.  Cranberry pomegranate sauce.  I literally made it twice (pictured above in the mason jar).  Soooooooooooooooooooooo yummy!

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fav14.  My Camera.  Even though I’m in the market for a new one, I’m so grateful for the camera and all the memory cards I hoard. I cannot delete them and reuse, once they are full I buy a new one haha.  I’ve been able to capture so much with my camera and love playing with it.  I really should treat myself to a class.

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15.  Our health.  I’m so blessed to have a healthy happy family.  I cannot thank God enough for that.

16.  The Train.  I LOVE never having to deal with traffic.  My train rides to work are short, sweet and awesome I don’t mind them one bit:
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17. Instagram.  What?!  Without it I wouldn’t have the filtered pictures above.

18.  Aden and Anais blankets – This may be something strange to add but Evan loves these things and so do I the Dream blankets (below, but their swaddlers are amazing and he still loves those too!) are the best and will make a great gift.  I will always recommend these products!  They are awesome!!  Evan has been wrapped or has wrapped himself in one of these everyday of his life so far:
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19.  My husband.  I know that I mentioned him above but he means so much to me he deserves a double post.  He is the most genuine, loving, wonderful person I have ever met.  I’m so lucky that I get to share my whole life with him.  He is gentle, kind and thoughtful – charming, my opposite, my balance, my peace.  I love him with all that I have.

babydaddyDid I mention he is the most wonderful father?  Oh yeah, well he is.  Insert “heart eyes emogyi”

20.  Me.  Blogging and forcing myself to get memories down, holding myself accountable for eating clean, working out, being a good mom, employee, wife, daughter, sister and person.  Thanks for following our journey!

 

Winter Prep & a super late Halloween/Oct Recap (pretty much in pictures)

Yep, it has happened.  Chicago’s first snow dusting:

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It is premature in my book, but totally typical of Chicago.  In our city, you cannot even begin to predict what is going to happen weather-wise.  This was taken almost two weeks ago and the following weekend we had 60 degree weather followed by severe thunder storms, go figure ;-)  I feel lucky that we get to experience all the different seasons around here, but I don’t think I’d be too sad if I moved somewhere warm and sunny all the time.  My mood seems tied to the weather… But still – it makes me nuts that we were JUST enjoying warm/fallish weather and now I’m scrambling to get Evan some weather appropriate clothes:

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Anywho, the snow has put me into wintertime mode.  Hot chocolate, throw blankets, and pulling out/buying new Christmas decorations:

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Tar-jey is so dangerous… They had the CUTEST owl/vintage-y ornaments so naturally I had to make Evan his own mini tree above…  But really how cute are these:

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Target also has holiday scents out.  One of my favorite products had “Pine” scent so I snagged those too:

Love the pine scents... seriously obsessed

Love the pine scents… seriously obsessed

 

Time still seems to fly by at hyper speed.  I realized I’ve never blogged about Evan’s first birthday – which I still will.  I put in a TON of work for it and made decor that I’d love to share – so when I find the pictures I’ll blog about it 4 months late.  I’ve also not blogged about Halloween even though it did happen and our mini werewolf (of course the costume we LOVED he hated, so pictures in it were nearly impossible) hung out with his bff Jonathan:

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856857_542981855112_1140881000_o 1378636_542556377772_1334718688_n 1403363_542980921982_578166463_o 1405012_542980951922_586106962_o 1410779_542981465892_1636764769_o 1415462_542981550722_1716105142_o 1425331_542981081662_1617711229_oLife lately really isn’t anything short of amazing.  Evan is awesome, Hector is sweet as always and Oso is the best big bro a mom could ask for.

Like I said, with winter on the way we are scrambling to get out decor and set up our casa with holiday cheer the first holiday season we are spending here.

Thanks for taking the ride with us!