OH -For the Things I Love

I started to write a post around my birthday discussing how I actually like aging.  Because I’m slowly learning more and more about myself. Likes, dislikes – things I should spend time on, thinks I shouldn’t – relationships I want to develop, relationships that I don’t –  I love being a mom, love working (usually ;-) ), love taking care of my home (minus folding laundry and picking up dog poop), and generally enjoy being able to try to manage time doing things I love.  This year has been an immense year of growth, trying to find my rhythm and why some weeks are challenging as hell, some remind me that this is the only life you have and I find bliss and peace everywhere I can.


I’ve always been a thinker – I think all the time, makes it difficult to sleep sometimes difficult to focus on one task at hand because I have a million things floating in my brain.  I used to think exercise was my only release but I’ve found comfort in taking pictures, reading to my boys, and attempts at meditation. I’ve also found that forcing myself to get through something has helped me focus on something longer (ie those difficult coloring books, running an extra half mile or pushing myself in a challenging yoga pose just when I think I can’t I tell myself f-you, you can). Projects outside my scope of BAU at work have also helped a bit because I feel like I’m doing something bigger than my job title, hopefully making changes that might HELP an employee get through something.  It is very natural for me to put more on my plate, because for some reason I never really feel a sense of accomplishment – I never feel I’ve done GOOD enough.

Another thing that has challenged me lately?  Taking pictures.  I’m not quite sure of my goals yet maybe it is to learn Photoshop (haven’t opened it yet for any of my pictures, I’ve done light editing through Lightroom), or the capabilities of my camera – or maybe,probably most likely, it is to give someone a feeling of happiness through photographs the way Shannon (S.D. Wyatt Photography) has done for me.


Yesterday I took a few pictures of one of my very best friends.  This is a raw photo, no edits, no nothing.  It shows that babies aren’t always perfect but the look of calm and control on this momma’s face is true – she’s got it.  She’s in control and knows what her baby wants and needs, it’s truth, in a picture and I love it:


Then the moments with my boys, it is a challenge to NOT pick up the camera and try to capture everything with them – and just be in the moment.  I love them more than anything on the entire planet (again, no edits):

evan evanmav

This year I’m still finding it challenging to fit everything in and typically things for me fall by the wayside – actually too often they do.  So I’m making it a new goal to make sure I make time to get away, by myself, and nurture the things I need to nurture – for myself.

I’ll continue to overdo – it’s just who I am but in the meantime I’m going to fill my day with baby snuggles, laundry (yuck), and some homework.

Love. Light. Peace.

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Well. Year one party for MAV – is a wrap.  As my boys literally fight over cheerios in front of me I’m going to attempt to tell you how much fun we had at Michael’s Camp themed birthday party!

I tend to overdo things.  I do sorta-well under pressure (ie, I’ll panic to those close to me but somehow pull something off – not to my perfect idea in my head of what it should be but successful in a sense).  So I’m here to share what we did for Michael’s party.

We went with the camping theme because I’m obsessed with all things woodsy right now.  I swear by adding neutral serving staples to my party pockets (ie, apothecary jars that have been to several events or cool cake platters that I’ll stack and use to hold cupcakes) and knew I loved the rustic things and could use them in other settings (Thanksgiving!!).  So I’ve been scoping Marshall’s for deals on things like that.  I’m also a huge fan of Michael’s who seems to have killer deals on cool things – and Amazon of course:


Target was also essential they had awesome burlap pennants that I was able scoop up every trip :) We also took time to bake some amazing cupcakes!!  Thanks momma mattes for the help we even did homemade buttercream icing.  Not good for you, but better than the store bought junk!  We made tons of oatmeal cookies, had smores things to go and of course the trail mix bar (using cool Chinese to-go containers).

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Staying true to my roots I also made a last minute cake topper that I set on fire after this picture:



I have a pretty small house and was CRAZY blessed that the weather was spectacular.  I prepared for it not being so awesome by buying an outdoor heater (and praying, a lot – but this outdoor heater is so awesome I will likely buy another for my patio). My amazing mom got a jump house that the boys went INSANE for – we will never not get one for any future parties it was that popular.


They had so much fun (so did I!!!).  I envisioned tents of sorts as a front yard display to show people there was a cool party going on and my husband came through with these SPECTACULAR teepees!  DIY!  When I looked up what I wanted (Land of Nod) I was like “uh. no.”  But used them as an inspiration point. So Thursday night my husband did this:


Just twine, super long (8ft!) poles, and painter’s tarp.  SO. Fun.

The day of the party I can’t say enough how perfect the weather was:


We connected the teepee’s with my favorite lights ever so at night it was pretty magical:


Oh and put together a fire pit of course!

We also requested that guests wear their best plaid or flannel shirts!  It made for awesome pictures:

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But the best thing of all in this party?  Seeing the most important people in our lives.  Everyone who was invited and everyone who came, mean THE WORLD to our family so it was such a blessing everyone came to celebrate our special little guy!  We had an AMAZING TIME!!

Until next time, from #CAMPMAV – Nicole waives you goodbye!


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Happy Birthday, Michael Alexander

Sweet and spicy, shy and funny, absolutely stunning.

My sweet little Michael, today you turn ONE.

One is everything.

A year ago I held you in my arms, a snuggly little baby 7lbs 10oz, 19 inches long and 7 days past your due date:


Today you are a walking, talking (uh oh, hec-tor, mama, and all the parrot-like other things you say to take my breath away). You have been a nursing champ! We’ve made it a year. I’m so very proud of my little dude.  You have made our family totally complete, you were so meant to be.

As much as I miss newborn snuggles, I love your hugs and open mouth kisses.  I love when you come to me “ma ma ma ma ma” with hands raised.  I love the way you smile, laugh, and you sweet little bunny teeth (as Evan calls them).  Your temper is something else too, not sure where it came from and I know I say it is cute now but it might not be so cute later ;-) – but for now I enjoy your expressive personality.

Happy Birthday, off to Enjoy your first day as a ONE year old.


Train Thoughts 7/17

well.  Michael is 8 months and I’ve yet to take his sticker pictures #momfails – Evan will be 3 on Tuesday – Oso is 5 – Hector and I are spending our 11th summer together and life is nuts.

It’s always going to be crazy.  Things of lately:

Exhaustion.  The little people in my life have been sleeping crappy.  Which means I’m sleeping crappy 😕 but when MAV is in my arms.  He seems to drift away quiet well.

Evan is everything.  He is a total 3 year old.  Happy, loving, brilliant. I cannot believe how grown up he is.  I ordered his birthday gifts today 😢 one will be on time, one not so much but that’s ok.  This year we are doing a small party and likely a overnight trip. Too much maddness this summer. 

A Little Bit About MAV – 7 Months

Two plus years ago I found the time to not only take pictures of Evan but blog about him EVERY single month what he was up to, what we were up to how my fitness stuff has changed, house updates ETC.   When I became prego with MAV they all said “you will have less and less pictures of your second baby, it’s just how it goes” – this is totally off base for me because I have almost 9K pictures on my phone alone (Apple LOVES me… Such a loyal spendy customer) and I have an amazing DSLR case that is exploding with full SD cards.  But I really haven’t carved out the super important time to write about his milestones, his amazingness.  But life happens. You get busy, you “prioritize.”  I just so happen to be guilty of mis-prioritizing from time to time.

However – Drum roll please…….


Mr. MAV is SEVEN MONTHS OLD!  I thought time passed quickly with Evan’s babyhood but it has passed much much more quickly this time around.  I simply cannot imagine life without MAV.  It has been the best seven months.  Here are a few things he is up to:


Being perfect.  Yeah yea, I know we all say this but he is the most laid back sweet calm easy baby I’ve ever seen.  I said this a lot about Evan, because he was a great baby too but Michael is just – always happy.  Until he is hungry or tired.  There is no guessing with him.  His favorite things to do are laugh, smile and scream.  His least favorite thing to do is eating solids (and you’d never guess by looking or holding him, dude is SOLID).  We’ve been working hardcore on solids and he just isn’t having them.  He will gag until he throws up sometimes (most times?).  He’s just into mom’s milk. ha. MAV is lightening fast.  For instance, we tried peas the other day (our most successful feat yet!) I turned around for not even a second and he decided he’d rather play with the bright green stuff:


And so fun with food continues.  One thing we all point out is MAV’s adorable right side dimple.  My happy dude shows it off quite often:


Michael is super strong, master roller, and beefy.  Solid guy, he is almost twenty lbs and has two front bottom teeth that started poking through right before his seventh month of life.  He has handled teething SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVAN did.  So that’s been great.  We aren’t crawling yet, backward scooting.. but no crawling:


He’s mastering cat-cow. I see it happening soonish but I’m in zero rush to have two mobile dudes.  Michael LOVES the bouncer in small doses and is really starting to just enjoy sitting an taking toys out of baskets, his hand-eye coordination is incredible and he’s starting to use his fingers to pick things instead of full double hand grab.  Everything naturally goes straight to his mouth.. he chews on everything.  He isn’t amazing at naps because EVERYTHING wakes him up but at night – he is almost always AMAZING.  We have a few nights where he wants to party at 2am but mostly he really sleeps from ~8 to 6.


To summarize:  He’s just freaking fantastic.  Solid and amazing.  Really I couldn’t ask for a more laid back happy loving guy.  Happy SEVEN MONTHS!!!

How’s Evan?  Also great and ALMOST 3!  Dude. How is this possible?  He absolutely loves his brother “baby Michael.” We do have some jealousy moments but he really does well overall with lil Mike.



Train Thoughts: Thursday Check In 6/11

My life feels like a series of oxymorons.  Longest short days ever, for example. Haha.

Time bandit strikes daily.  I’m so full of things to do I’m busy nonstop – I’m always doing something but nothing feels done.  I’m still trying to excel at too many things and have to learn to stop putting so much on my plate. QUALITY >QUANTITY (I’ve never been awesome at math..)

The reason for pushing myself constantly?  Wanting to grow.  Wanting to grow professionally (not necessarily up, horizontal… Learn what I can and share, knowledge is power).  Wanting to grow in my yoga practice (which seemingly always takes a backseat yet it’s the best way for me to achieve balance #repriortize).  Wanting to grow as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend.  To be a better person spiritually, physically and mentally.   

(My home grown peonies make me so happy-good pic for a blog break up #lovepictures)

My babies keep me so grounded. So thankful and so focused. I need to be the best I can be, not only for ME but for them.   

To teach them light and love.  The importance of relationships, hard work, dedication, family, and unconditional love and devotion. To be faithful to God.  To pray daily.

Michael is 7 months old. How unreal.  Evan will be 3 YEARS young next month.  I’m so incredibly blessed, stressed and blissful. So thankful for my supporters… They will never know the peace they give me.

 Like those too handsome dudes.  

This post is just a check in to show how intensely chaotic things are but peaceful too.  How scary a day can be and how beautiful… Hector had a work scare a BIG one, one that reminds you what is important in life: each other. Health. safety.  Things we take for granted. It’s so much easier to commiserate than to see the good.  Try to be the light in someone’s day, not the darkness.  

That’s all for today folks. 


Friday!!!! Friday!!!!!!

friday is here!  Friday is HERE!!!! 

Did you know? Probably. Today was nuts. A blink and your workday is done, kind of nuts. It was so many things good, not so good (Sorry Bill!) and a I get to spend two days of awesomeness with these dudes:  


My life is exactly where it needs to be. Completely chaotic but full of love and life.  Somehow my love and o still figure out time to do home projects!  

At night and in the dark. 😉 

Friday is here, literally smiling ear to ear.


I love us 😍😘