Oh Hey!

My the landscape of NYE has changed for our household.  As exciting as it is to see some people partying hard, I’m happy to just be at home and sleeping by 10:30.

This holiday season has been super laid back, exactly what we needed going into a new year. 2015 was a good year. Our babies have thrived, we have grown and our hearts are full and grateful.

This year we will continue to set the bar high, be humble, be grateful. I’m looking to continue to expand my little photography obsession and really challenge myself fitness-wise.  With two kids, moving around is easy but finding quality time in my day to focus on my favorite fitness activities has proven pretty difficult.  As I’m quiet a fan of mat workouts – I typically have a little dude or two vying for my attention during them though.  It’s great because I love that Evan challenges me to races around our house, or squat challenges. However, it’s difficult too because I can’t focus on just myself.  I struggle with this immensely because I know this time that they want to be with me is not going to be forever, and being away from them for most of the day makes it super difficult – I feel crazy guilty. I mean look at this face:


Another problem I have: falling out of love with my gym.  I’ve written blogs about breaking up with gyms and finding new homes.  I must say, once you have that place where you feel comfortable to do your thing – it’s hard to replicate unless you find a new home.  I’ve tried a couple gyms since leaving Loyola Fitness Center and I’m just totally disappointed in them all.  I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t love it.  What do I love? A heated yoga session in the dead of winter.  I’m putting it on today’s agenda.

To start the year off right, I’m also scrubbing down my house of sickies. Happy New Year!!!


Girl on the Train 12.15.15

Hashtag.iLoveHim no really. 

Christmas shopping lesbehonest- you hate me.  Or I hate you?  Thing is, I love giving but finding the time to figure out the best gift sometimes is time consuming. Kids, no problem, everyone else, problem. 

It’s like I can’t stop procrastinating!! Ugh. #stopwiththeexcuses 

Random of the day:  schooled co-workers on the legume-peanut, seed-quinoa not grain front. Should have been a dietian. Maybe I wouldn’t have had 3 cookies today #officefat #nursingmakesmecravesweets 

On a sad note, I crave sugar less bc Michael is nursing less.  It’s so freaking bittersweet it’s unbelievable.  Happy to have the freedom, he is thriving. Sad because just like that my baby isn’t such a baby.

Did I mention I love my boys?

What’s on everyone’s agenda this evening?  I’m going home to be with the kiddos, put them to bed, do arms and abs and some yoga flows.  I’ve been rockin Childs pose.  Something about it just feels right.  On then mend. 

Ever listen to train conversations?  👀

Some stories are better than others just like some blog posts are better than others. 

Thanks for reading the ramblings of this train girl. #adios

Girl on the Train 12.14.15

When you are little you rule the world, you think you can do everything and be anything. You dream big, run mini marathons and eat sugar without fear of all the terrible things it does to your insides.  Life is pure bliss and sometimes absolutely devestating (like when your stack of pillows falls down and you can’t make the perfect car out of them).  You grow up, somewhat limit yourself, it’s natural.   Then you have children (maybe, some of us) and you get to relive it all.  

You get to relive the magic of Christmas, be excited about an elf visiting from the North Pole. You get to watch the genuine bliss, fear, trepidation, sadness and excitement of your little in a matter of 25 minutes.  You build snowmans, bake cookies while teaching measurements, to be together. You teach yourself the names of dinosaurs again. You watch Frozen 7 thousand times.   You feel really dumb thinking about being smarter than a fifth grader.  

Then momma sits down and thinks about how time won’t stop and maybe you won’t be the first Rocket Scientist, Doctor, Google board member, NHL star, President of the United States, like we pretend to be each day.  Even though we know you can.  We know you will have sucky days, sad days, sick days, broken hearts over spilt chocolate milk or no pizza for breakfast or the harder to mend broken hearts of a mean kid or your “first” love (trust my heart will hurt more than yours). 

Being a mom is hard. But. So. Worth. It. 

As Evan grows up, I just hope he is happy.  Happy, healthy and knows he is worth it.  He is just the most amazing little boy and I can’t even put into words how much he amazes and challenges me.  I’m sorry I work so much honey, I wish I could be with you always.  And Michael, you too.  This morning when you only want me, me missing is the reason for your tears, my hug alone calming your racing heart. 

On the train, be home soon.  Love you both, to the moon.

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:

12191253_586855751472_3811804520808560997_o 12191371_586853101782_4236576281565728699_o bests boys

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.


Honesty at Best

Excuse –

  1. 1.
    attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.

Yep, that’s all I can give for my break from blogging. Sad part is I enjoy blogging.  Which means it needs to stop taking a back seat to everything going on in my life. Which brings me to being honest and wanting to discuss several things.  I couldn’t write (no would anyone read) all of my random thoughts in one blog post so that means I have lots of content but need to make the time to put it all out there: the beautiful, the ugly, the honest.  But I must say my current state of insanity has only one person to blame, me.


The beauty behind this smile is that my life on that day was pure chaos.  I’d been working, received a call that my littlest love, who I am still nursing, had no milk left. So I had to rush home to feed him, and work from home.  Through that chaos I’m immensely grateful for the management team that helps support me.  But that day was not an easy one.  I felt the true internal battle of: what is best for me?  what is best for Michael?  what is best for my job? Do people really understand the personal stress of the challenge of being a mom/working mom that either nurses or pumps for her little one?  WHY DOESN’T MY BODY OVERPRODUCE like it did with Evan?  Why am I so stressed all the time?  Why do I feel so sad, like I’m failing EVERYONE, especially me. – I pride myself on overall making good decisions; but that doesn’t mean I’m always the most confident person in the room, in fact, as beautiful as confidence is and as much as admire it in the people around me, I constantly struggle with myself on just how confident I am in all things in my life.

Anyway, like most things – this day worked out.  Michael was fed, my job’s immediate needs were met but one thing keeps lingering on:  my feeling of so many open ends and the overwhelming anxiety that brings.

Our society today has so many issues.  One – we report too much negative.  Yes, bad things happen. But so do beautiful things.  Yes, some things are ugly and need attention – but some things are so overwhelmingly breathtaking and they need attention too:


Like how a simple curtain can bring laughter to my sweet boy.

Today’s blog is just a rant of honesty.  I’m tired. My brain is mushy and I don’t feel myself.  That’s why I’m doing this – getting off my chest, out to the world and LETTING IT GO.  I’ll continue to do my very best but I have to center myself and remind myself that even though I am getting things done, until I’m truly happy again it won’t be my best.  So weekends are no longer going to be spent worrying about all the world I have to do during the week.  I’m going to log off from time sucking social media, and enjoying my sweet boys who are growing so fast.  I’m going to throw on Ugg boots, save for my 50/50s and make time to be the creative person I am.

Hopefully I’ll be back with some updates on lately – like GETTING BACK TO RUNNING and my EARLY morning yoga/meditation sessions that I’m making a point to do.  I just want to tell everyone it is normal to feel sad, angry, anxious – but it is what you do to battle it.  Do you talk about it?  Do you find what makes you happy to get out of it?  Do you give yourself a break and write down all the things that you DO DO correctly?  It is one thing to hold yourself to high standards, it is another thing to be miserable in the handling of it.  Life should be challenging, but rewarding.  I always thing of it as 80/20 but I’m making a SOLID effort to making it 94/6 😉

You really must love the life you live, ya’ll. If you don’t, time to change it up.


Oh.  Snuggle a baby, love a dog. 😀

Train Thoughts 8/20

pulled up this app and posted train thoughts from last month. 

Random thoughts:

1.  How powerful is music?  High five to my Hoizer pandora station I’m just 😍 about it. 

2. I can’t believe this app saved stuff from a month ago

3. I never did take MAV’s 8 month pictures so pictures from the 4th will be the placeholder. 

4. I did take 9 month photos but those aren’t up yet.  

5. I hate excuses but I make so many 😓

Turning on my positive Brian waves:

I’m loving life these days.  Hector and I are powering through so much both physical: house projects and side stuff and mental: goal setting, making conscience effort to spend time together, to text to chat, to have dinner dates (thanks, mom!).  Some days are way easier than others but things are great.  

We have been taking advantage of the spectacular weather and making several beach trips with my beach babes

And enjoying our growing family.  It’s been great.  Again with some challenges but my practice has really taught me to let it be, let it go.  Pray for those I struggle with because they are on their own journey and they may see their bumps as mountains and don’t heed signs of stormy weather ahead.

Life is what you make of it.  We only get one.  I’m making sure I spend time with people who lift me, push me, and I’m giving back to those I cherish. If it isn’t through obvious gestures it is through my well thought prayers. 

Fitness goals: 

I’ve started the running game again. I’ve made excuses but I have missed it.  Bought myself fancy headphones that don’t fall out of my weird ears 😊 #littlethings 

Yoga daily!  Even if it’s a couple sun salutations over a five minute period.  I need my flexibility back and the beauty of my happy selfish place.  

What are you up to? Today I’m grateful for the train that gives me 40-50 minutes of thought. #reset 

Give life a high five and follow me on Insta: Jelmvilla 

#liveyourbestlife #namaste 


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.