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Monday, March 21, 2016

2015 Year in Review

2015 Year in Review (only months late!)

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

This year I became a mother to our Cecilia!  Having two kids has been zany and amazing at the same time.  Lucas is just the best big brother, and I love these two so much more than I ever imagined.

Also, I ran 175 miles!  I started getting serious about running in May, and I just kept at it.  I really found peace while running, and it got me through some anxious times this year.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 

I didn't really make any last year, but I still need to work on my diet and exercise.  I did read a decent amount, but I did not really maintain my blog.

My resolution for 2016 (as in 2013, 2014 and 2015) is to live in a state of gratitude for all I have been given, most of which I do not deserve.  And also to not let the decisions of others make me angry.  I also want to add that I need to make quality time for myself more of a priority this year. 

3. What places did you visit? 

North Carolina, Maine, Vermont, Florida (Disney!!!!), Pennsylvania (Sesame Street Place)

4. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

I have said this before, but I would really like to have traveled more. The year LX was born, I travelled every month but two. While I know that is not realistic, travel truly feeds my soul and I need it. 

I am so happy to be a family of four.  Having our daughter join us was the absolute highlight of our year!

I would like us to move a bit further south so that we can be closer to family and friends, but for now, we will see what the future holds.

5. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory?
Summer: Amanda moved to Raleigh
8/5: We got THE CALL
8/9: Cecilia was born
8/22: LX turned 3
12/15: Cecilia's adoption was finalized

6. What were your biggest achievements of the year? 

First, we as a family have adjusted pretty well to our newest addition.  I can say that the first 6 months were nightmarish at times, but life has really settled into a nice routine.  Lucas has grown in his role as "big brother," and Dave and I still like each other!  Kidding aside, the transition from one child to two was much more difficult than I expected, even though everyone warned me.

I have been lucky to take the school year off to be home with both kids as I did when Lucas came home.  It has been such a great bonding experience, and most days are a lot of fun.
7. What were your biggest failures?

 Blogging and reading! There just isn't time. By the end of the day, I just crash on the couch with lame TV.  

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No :-)

9. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 

SO many new firsts with Cecilia.  While we are STILL waiting for her to sleep through the night, it has been so fun having a baby again.  The gummy grins are the best. 

10. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?
a bit of both actually
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer

11. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish Dave and I took more time together as date nights.  I miss my hubs sometimes as we are in the throes of parenting.  

12. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating bad food!

13.  What were your favorite TV programs?
House of Cards
The Wire
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
14.  What did you do for your birthday in 2015?

On my actual birthday, I went on a field trip to an apple orchard with Lucas!  It was so much fun.  It was his first one, and he was so excited.  Honestly, I can't say who was more excited between the two of us.  I also bought a new car the week of my birthday.  Like last year, we went to Naturefest, and my parents joined us.

15.  What is a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015?

To try to be happy with what you have, where you are and who you are with.  I am someone who is always chasing the next big thing, but there is a lot to be said for accepting where I am, especially since it is pretty great.

16.  My goals for 2016:   

Be present, say thank you, love more!

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 29, 2016

2015 in Books

  • Pretty Girls, Karin Slaughter
  • Second Life, S. J. Watson
  • We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
  • Murder at Beechwood, Alyssa Maxwell
  • Leaving Time, Jodi Piccoult
  • The First Wife, Erica Spindler
  • The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
  • Mindset, Carol Dweck
  • The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • Bright Young Things, Anna Godberson
  • Blood on the River: James Town, 1607, Elisa Carbone
  • The Lost Wife, Alyson Richman
  • The Winter People, Jennifer McMahon
  • The Tragedy Paper, Elizabeth Laban
  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

Monday, December 7, 2015

LX is 3!

Can you believe he is 3??? We simply cannot.  Lucas is the coolest guy.  He loves telling jokes and calls himself "the joke man." He is getting sillier by the day.  He is also learning so much. He now can play board games; memory is his favorite.  He likes to do "workbooks" for fun, lol. He knows all of his letters and he can recognize most of them by sight. He is asking really good questions and is quite the conversationalist. He loves to know why about everything, and his memory is amazing. He is especially good at location memory. He was able to tell Dave's dad how to drive to his day care! 

For his birthday this year, we did a few neat things.  We took him to an airplane museum where you can go in the old war planes. He was in heaven. He is really into all modes of transportation, but especially planes and helicopters. On his birthday, he was invited to a school friend's birthday party so we did that.  Both sets of grandparents came to see him also. His Mickey Mouse party was today at a local park. We had our families and about 6 of his friends there. He picked out the cupcakes, and he was SO excited about eating them. He was so excited about all of his presents too. He said "cupcakes" were his favorite part of the party.

Lucas, you are one in a million. I am so lucky to be your mommy.

We have a daughter!

This post is nearly 4 months late, but we have a daughter!  She is the absolute joy of our day and the perfect addition to our family.  We learned about her, and one week later we brought her home.

We got THE CALL on a Wednesday.  We set up a phone call with her sweet birth mom for Friday.  We met both of her birth parents on Saturday. She was born at 5:55 am on Sunday.  It happened so fast that there was barely time to think or process any of it.  It wasn't until we were home (heck, sometimes I still can't believe that she is here) that it started to set in.

Here is our sweet girl, Cecilia Kate:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Maine Vacation

Sorry I have been so delinquent. I plan to get back here this summer.  We spent almost a week in Maine, and it was great!  We had some beach time, some family time, and some down time.

Here are some photos from our trip.

Lucas at the York Zoo with his favorite animal.

Love this guy

Being silly in the hotel courtyard

Beach time!

This is his "cheese" face.  It is cheesy.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Travel Plans

As you have probably gathered from previous posts, I am a bit of a travel junkie.  I love getting out of town, even though I do love where I live.  We went from having very little travel on the calendar at the beginning of the year to now being quite booked!  In my excitement, here are the plans:


We have been heading south to Pittsboro, NC since 2009.  Wow, I had to look that up.  I can't believe we've been going that long!  This will be our 7th trip, and I am just as excited.  We stay with my in laws, and it is just a relaxing time. We don't do much, but we take lots of walks and enjoy each other's company.


We also make a yearly trek to southern Maine.  I love this trip because I am obsessed with the sea.  I tell Dave constantly that I would be happy to live in a small cottage by the ocean, and that I hope we can do that some day.  While we don't stay on the beach, we get there just about every day.  While the ocean water is too cold to swim, we found a small inlet that is perfect for LX.  We also do TOO much shopping at the outlets.  Another highlight is the lobster mac and cheese.  While it isn't Cape Cod (my one true travel love), it is close enough.


We are heading to Boston in July!  Before LX was born, we would make a yearly pilgrimage there.  It is a city (the only city aside from Paris) that has captured my heart.  I am far from a city girl, but if I HAD to live in a city, Beantown would be it.  The accents, the food, the Sox.  Need I go on?  We are heading in this year to see a game and spend one night.  


We are taking a short trip with another family out to western NY.  Our friends have a cabin on a lake, and they have invited us for the week.  Sadly, I have no idea what it looks like, but I am excited to go!

All summer:

One of the best parts of living where we live is that we have an awesome lake with camping and hiking trails just 10 minutes from our house.  We camp there every summer (and plan to do the same this year), and spend tons of time at the beach with our friends and family. My parents often kayak up there as well.  We love taking a day up there with my parents or sisters.  It is the perfect place for summer relaxation.


I can't believe I am writing this as I am so unexpectedly excited.  We are going to DISNEY!!!! This trip came about as somewhat of a surprise, and it came about quickly.  The idea was mentioned, and 3 days later, it was booked.  It is a family trip with Dave's family for his parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  Each of their children are coming; one from Maine and one from California.  It should be a trip of a lifetime.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The necessity of snow days

Snow.  A four letter word that fills me with excitement and joy.  We have been getting our fair share of snow this winter, and I couldn't be happier.  Snow days are nature's way of telling us to stay in, power down, just be.  I have placed snow days in the no guilt for relaxing category, which is silly because I could take a day off if I wanted to.  There is just something about the decision being made for me that I love.  It feels like a wonderful gift, every time.

On a snow day, I don't feel guilty spending all of nap time reading or napping.  There is no pressure to go anywhere or do anything, and that is amazingly freeing for someone like me who thinks every hour should be scheduled.  It allows me to check out of my business for a bit, and I need that.

It is a time to play with LX, whatever he wants for as long as he wants because we are not in a rush.  I am not trying to hustle us out the door for school, my stress level rising with each passing minute.  We don't even need to get dressed!  As another storm moves in tonight, I anticipate a snow day.  Monday snow days are the supreme best.  It seems greedy, a day off after a weekend?  Our weekends are rarely free and always semi-hectic (totally my fault), so an extra do nothing day is just what the doctor ordered.