Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Cliche Thankful Post

Ahhh, the end of November. Thanksgiving is looming and we are all giving more thought to what we are thankful for than usual because, well, that is what you do in November. I try to be thankful all year round, count my blessings and thank God for all He has given me. But, let's be honest, some days it's easier to be thankful than others. 

But, when I truly look at my life and think of the people in it, the things I've done, places I've gone and the things I have - I know, I am blessed and I really truly am thankful.

When it comes that time around the Thanksgiving Dinner Table for me to say the things I am thankful for, there are a few things that definitely stand out this year.

My husband. I am thankful that the man I married has a job that he loves, that he is good at and allows him to provide for our family. I am thankful for the amazing father that he is. And, I am thankful that he loves me, flaws and all.

My daughter. I am thankful this little lady made me a mama. I am thankful that she is happy, and healthy, and smart. I am thankful that she loves me, even if it's not as much as she loves her dad. I am thankful for the three years she has been alive because I can't remember what life was life before her.
courtesy of Sara Jayne Photography

My Ziggy. I am beyond grateful to be pregnant a second time and for this baby to be healthy and striving so far. It's still so surreal to me that we are having another baby, but I could not be more excited or thankful to be adding a fourth member to our little family.

My family. I'm surrounded by crazies but I wouldn't it have it any other way. I am thankful to have 8 parents and 9 siblings who love me and my family and are there for us no matter what. I am also thankful that everyone gets along so well - it's pretty amazing to see so many people from so many families who have been through as much as our families who are able to get along and have fun together.

Our home. Moving was tough on me because I'm not a big fan of change and loved our townhouse so much but after a few months, I am thankful we made the move and gave ourselves more independence and space. There are pros and cons to every house but so far our pros are outweighing the cons and I am grateful to have such a great roof over our heads.

My job. I am so thankful to be able to work for my Aunt. It is amazing to see her hard work pay off through her own business and I am grateful to get to be a part of that. I am also thankful to have a job where I can set my own schedule and bring my kiddo if I need to. It's the perfect job for me and I love it so much.

My girlfriends. The older I get, the more I appreciate my girlfriends. I am so grateful to have a group of girls who love me unconditionally, who understand my crazy and who support me through the highs and lows of life.
courtesy of Sara Jayne Photography

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and blessed holiday weekend! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

{bump two} 16 & 17 weeks

Whoopsies, appears I completely missed posting a 16 week update. I blame big sister and her birthday festivities. :) So today I'm lumping the past two weeks into one post.

16 weeks.
 Mom :: +11 lbs {yikes!} // Baby :: appx. 4.5in & 3.5oz {an avocado!}
Baby is starting to grow toenails and it's ears and eyes have moved closer to their final position!
168 days til Due Date!

Week 16 was CHAOS. I was running around like a crazy person. I was super busy with work, was desperately trying to get Kenley's big girl room done and ready in time for her birthday and preparing for her party. I honestly don't feel like I had time to to even think about being pregnant. I did however have plenty of time to think about the fact that I was already up 11 pounds {3 pounds over the healthy limit for my size at this stage}. I try not to care too much about the number but when you feel like crap, have no energy and clothes aren't fitting for reasons other than baby - there's a problem. So I vowed to get back on track once the post-party dust had settled. Aside from that, not much happened as far as the pregnancy goes.

17 weeks. 
 Mom :: +11lbs // Baby :: appx. 5in & 5oz {a turnip!}
Baby's skeleton is changing from cartilage to bone and it can now move it's joints!
161 days til Due Date!

Thankfully week 17 was much calmer allowing me to catch up on some rest and get in some workouts. I got back on track with counting calories and while not ALL of my meals were pictures of health, I was able to stay within the healthy calories limits and didn't gain any additional weight. Working out and eating better definitely had a huge impact on my energy level but I also learned that this time around I just have to accept that I can't do everything. Early in the week I felt sick and had terrible cramps and I know for a fact it was my body rebelling against the busy previous week. I know the second trimester is all about energy and getting stuff done but working, caring for a toddler AND growing a human requires me to slow down a tad in other areas and make sure I'm rested.

The best part of week 17 was definitely feeling more movements. They still are small and I have to be laying pretty still to notice it but I can definitely tell that Ziggy is bigger as I am feeling the movements more obviously and more frequently. I can't wait for the movements to be big enough that Jason and Kenley can feel it too! I think Kenley will flip.

Other than that, not a whole lot else happened. I did get our gender reveal/my birthday party invites printed, got some fun ideas for our babymoon and added another Sprinkle to the agenda compliments of my awesome Beeb! I know that these next 4-5 weeks will FLY thanks to the holidays and it's crazy to think I'm going to be 5 months pregnant in no time! EEP! 

16 weeks & 17 weeks with Kenley.
{I guess I failed a 17week photo!}

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kenley's 3rd Birthday Party!

Over the weekend my little baby turned 3! I don't know how it's possible but a celebration was in order. It worked out perfectly that my Gophers were playing a rival game against Iowa on Saturday and therefore a Goldy Gopher themed birthday party was born and Kenely could not have been more excited about it {we are training her well.}

As always I started with my friend Erin, who designed these PERFECT invitations! I don't think they could have set the tone for the party any better!

As with any toddler-aged birthday party, the desserts were of utmost importance. I made some little Nutter Butter referee cookies to match the theme but everyone thought they were minions. Ha! I also enlisted my super talented friend, Natalie, to make me some football cookies and the world's most amazing Goldy Gopher Birthday Cake! This cake was the talk of the party! Not only did it look incredible but it tasted incredible too. The only problem was getting past the idea of cutting into our mascot's head right before game time. 

We kept the menu pretty simple with "tailgate food" and did hot dogs and brats, chips and dip, cheese and crackers, bacon ranch pinwheels, deviled eggs and goldfish crackers and fruit snacks for the kids. 

As far as decor goes, you all know my first stop was The Corner Balloon Shoppe! What's a party without balloons??? And, they are the ONLY people I trust to do balloons for my parties. The Gopher goal post might just be my favorite balloon arrangement they've done for me! I kind of hope it lasts forever! 

Beyond the balloons, everything was pretty much just maroon and gold. I also got some mini footballs and whistles as favors for the kids which turned out to be a cute centerpiece on the table. 

It was a great party filled with family and friends {even though the Gophers lost}. My favorite part of the whole day was watching Kenley's sweet little face while everyone sang her Happy Birthday, she looked so proud. She was also so excited she blew out her candles before the song was over - which was hilarious. 

Another highlight was the final gift of the night. Kenley's Uncle Nate and Auntie Bob {my brother and SIL} gifted her with her very own fish. The kids were going bananas while we got "Fafta" {yes, Kenley named her fish, Fafta} all set up in his new home.  
Another great party is in the books and I can't believe it's over. I am so grateful so have such a wonderful group of people surrounding us who love our daughter so very much. I was exhausted after this party but also felt so very grateful and loved. Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Kenley's 3 Year Photos

As always, we got together with my bud Sara Jayne to take some photos of Kenley to document our sweet girl at THREE. I feel like I say this every time Sara takes new photos of Kenley, but these are my favorites! For days I couldn't look at them without tearing up. I don't know where my baby went but am certain now that time is a thief. These photos portray my daughter perfectly. They show how silly she is, how sweet she is and how beautiful she is. They are simply KENLEY. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gophers and Buckeyes

Over the weekend Jason and I crammed in a car with my dad, stepmom and some friends and made the trek to Columbus to visit my baby sister and cheer on our Gophers against the Buckeyes. We left our house on Thursday evening and made our way to Janesville, Wisconsin for the night. The 5 hour car ride went really quickly thanks to Wedding Crashers and a fun group of peeps. 
Once in Janesville we ordered up some Chubby Bubba's pizza and had ourselves what we call a campfire in the hotel lobby, but, it was a tame night as we planned on hitting the road early on Friday morning. 

After the 7 hour car ride to Columbus, everyone was ready for action! We checked into our hotel, cleaned up and promptly made our way High Street to Mad Mex where I finally got my beloved Barbacoa Nachos that I have been dreaming about since we were there in August, and got to see my sister!
We finished up the night at Eddie George's where my crew was in rare form. Gotta love being the only sober one in a group of crazies. Thankfully, I was there to get all these clown back to the hotel safe and sound. 

The alarm went off a tad too early on Saturday morning, but it was totally worth it. Jeff Boals, the assistant coach of the OSU basketball team had invited us to come to practice and it was definitely an opportunity we didn't want to miss. We got a behind the scenes look and the basketball facility which was SO COOL. Most intriguing was the giant underwater treadmill - I REALLY wanted to give that thing a try. After our look at the locker rooms, game film room and weight room we got to watch the practice. It was super cool and really fun. I guess you could say I'm a bit of a OSU basketball fan now. Whoops. 

After practice it was time to get Gopher-fied and head to the streets. But not before our friend Ole attempted to "foam roll" on a full beer - I'll let you guess how that worked out - and I had the task of brushing Colin's beard which was weirdly really fun. 

We made our way to the West Lot of Ohio Stadium and cracked some beer {non-alchie for me}. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and the weather was perfect for tailgating. 

Next, we mosied across the street to the Varsity Club where the DJ was so on point I was getting sweaty from dancing - not kidding. We had some drinks, ate some pizza, I got Cream of Potato Soup from a food truck and my sister and battled it out over our teams. 

At promptly 5pm we went to The Nut, which is a privately owned bar on campus that we were lucky enough to be on the VIP list for thanks to a work friend of Jason and Colin's. This place was awesome. All you can eat and drink {for free}, giant TVs playing football, country music blasting....I mean, does it get better? Well, actually it does because while there I got to hang out with The Katie Krysh! 
Katie and I have been following each other for what feels like forever! And after some previously failed attempts to meet we FINALLY got the chance. Katie was so sweet and her friend Lindsay was equally as fun. Our time together was too short, but I am so glad we got to meet and am excited to hang out again in the future! 

And then just like that, it was game time. Thanks to the awesome OSU basketball coaches, Kara and I got to sit front row, 40 yard line, right behind the team. It was pretty bananas. 
 My Gopher squad did not win {which truthfully we all kind of knew would be the case} but we played a great game and didn't get blown out which is both exciting and encouraging after what has been a very frustrating season. Despite being major underdogs, I was cheering for my team as I always do and even got "shushed" by one of the Buckeye players. A kid sitting next to me snapped a pic and sent it to us because it was just too hilarious not to document. 
Sunday's car ride home was a long one but surprisingly the 12 hours back to Minnesota went pretty fast thanks to listening to the Vikings game, watching The Sandlot and eating our leftover Piada {holy smokes I love that place}. Overall, it was great trip and fun weekend with family and friends. I am now 2-3 on the road with my Gophers which kind of bums me out, but I look forward to returning to The Shoe in two years and evening out my record!