Thursday, January 11, 2018

November/December Book Review + End of the Year Review

You guys...I did not think this was going to happen. I did not think I was going to meet my goal of 24 books this year. You see, I started off really strong...and then this fall I kind of fell off. I blame it on being a mom, going back to work full time, and marathon training.

I cheated a of the books I added to my list I read aloud to my class...

but it was the highest rated book on Goodreads (from my list) so that makes it okay ;) I added it back in October and added it to the list because I wasn't sure I would make it to 24 otherwise...turns out I didn't need to reach my goal, but it was a nice cushion ;) 

I was skeptical at the beginning of 2017 that I would be able to finish 24 books with the arrival of a cute little distraction

But, turns out, he's a big reader it worked out! 

I mostly read e-books this year and read them while either rocking my cute little guy to sleep or running on the treadmill...Mom Life is all about multitasking, plus these days when my head hits the pillow I fall asleep pretty immediately ;)

While I had a pretty slow reading picked back up for November and December. Thanks to a couple of breaks (Thanksgiving and Christmas) and colder weather that forced us indoors (along with more treadmill running) I was able to finish 3 books...which is less than my intended 2 per month, but it was more than I had been managing I call it a win! 

Sarah Jio has been a favorite author of mine for years. I have never read one of her books that I didn't like...and this one was no exception. What I love most about her books is the dual setting/time period and how she perfectly weaves them together in the end. This story explores a young woman's past and the unfinished business she has with an ex-boyfriend who mysteriously disappeared from her life 12 years ago. She is currently in her dream job, living in a beautiful home with her perfect fiance when she comes across her first love, and discovers that he is homeless. She makes it her mission to help him, and get to the bottom of how he came to be homeless. I only gave it 3 out of 4 stars on Goodreads because I wasn't crazy how the story wrapped wasn't awful, but it kind of left me feeling like there should have been more to it. 

Earlier this year I read One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid and loved it, so when this one was available for check out from the library I jumped at the chance. 

This book was TOTALLY different than One True Loves, but I enjoyed it just as much. In this book we hear the story of Evelyn Hugo's past as she divulges all of her secrets to a down on her luck reporter. I found myself completely entranced in Evelyn's story and could not put this book down. I would HIGHLY recommend this book! 

This book...I have to admit I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing it. This book sucked me in straight away and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. 

It was such weird, dark, and twisted book that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I read it. Like I mentioned above, I am having a really hard time describing this book...but basically it is about a woman who gets married to a seemingly perfect man after a very short courtship and things change drastically once they are married. She is in a desperate situation and has to do whatever she can to escape and protect her family. I would highly recommend this book. I won't say it's similar to "Gone Girl" or "Girl on a Train" because it's not...but it does have the same dark and twisty type story. 

So, that's last 3 books of 2017! I have to say I never regret making this resolution for myself. I love reading and sometimes I just need a little push to turn the TV off (or put my phone down) and pick up a book...and setting my yearly goal on Goodreads does just that!

For 2018 I decided to go a little easier on myself...because #MomLife and while I met my goal last year, I got a huge head start with books in Jan, Feb, and March before Bennett was born...and while he is sleeping better and I am managing to stay up a little later these days I still don't have quite as much free time as I used for 2018 my goal is to read 20 books...I am still aiming for 24, but I don't like to fail so the official goal on Goodreads is 20 ;)

Have you set a goal for reading? Do you have a Goodreads account? If so find me on there and add me as a friend...I always love to see what other people are reading because it helps me to get ideas of what to read next!
Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year; New Goals

It has been a hot minute since I have talked about running on the ol' blog...and if we are being honest it's been awhile since I have talked about anything other than my sweet little guy. 

People aren't lying when they tell you life is all about your kids once you become a mom...and I have to tell you I don't mind one bit :) 

While life has been #AllAboutBenny since before he was even born, I have still managed to make running a big part of my life. Running has been important to me for years, and while I am not putting in near as many miles as I was pre-baby, running still plays a really important role in my life. 

Many people assume that I run to stay in shape...and while that is a perk of it, I run more for my mental well being. Running gives me an outlet for life's every day stresses and since having Bennett it has given me something that is all my own. 

Life changed drastically (for the better of course) when he was born, and for several weeks after I struggled with feeling like myself. Returning to running and training for the Gobbler Grind marathon allowed me to grab onto a little piece of my old life, and while at times it wasn't easy, it was so worth it when I crossed that finish line.

I knew going into 2018 I wanted to set some running goals, but I also wanted to be realistic and not put too much pressure on myself. Running a postpartum marathon was a feeling like no other, but the pressure (and early mornings) of training for 26.2 was a lot. 

4 years ago I signed up for my very first half marathon as a part of the Heartland 39.3 series. I ran my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd half-marathons all within 5 weeks of each other. It was a lofty goal at the time, but it was so satisfying. Since that first year I have since run that same series 2 more times. Last year I had Bennett and couldn't run in the series but promised myself I would do it again in 2018 as a "comeback" 

As I started getting the emails about registration for Heartland 39.3 I started to second guess myself. While I wanted to run these 3 races, I also didn't want to put the pressure of training for 3 half marathons on my plate. I then thought about just doing one of the races...but again wasn't sure I wanted to train for a half at all.

While looking at the Garmin half I noticed there was a 10k series with 4-10ks in 5 weeks all being held close to my house. For the first time in awhile I got really excited about a race(s) and decided that THIS would be my running goal for the spring. 

Not only do I want to run the 4-10ks, but I want to get a 10k PR. I am not 100% sure what my 10k PR is since I have only ran a handful of them...but I think it is around 50 minutes.

I'm really looking forward to training for a shorter distance than normal. This will allow me to focus on getting some speed back and long training runs won't take over my life ;) 

I'm only making a goal for the spring...and once those races are over I will reevaluate. I am thinking I might want to run a half this fall...but who knows. I'm just doing life by the seat of my pants these days ;) 
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Life With Benny: 9 Months

9 months flew by in the blink of an eye! Every day is a new adventure I cannot wait to have...sweet boy you have changed our world forever <3


Not much has changed in this department. We switched over to the 3s earlier than we needed to and they were really big on him at first and while he is still wearing 3s they are definitely getting a little snug. We got a little off on the timing with our Amazon subscription so we ended up having to buy a small pack of the Target Brand (Up and Up) and we have been really happy thus far. They are a little cheaper so we may make the switch permanently.


He is officially in 9 month clothing and his his 6-12 mo sizes from the Gap and Old Navy are less on the baggy side and fitting better. I put away all of his 6 mo outfits and was sad to see some of my favorite outfits go...luckily he got TONS of cute new clothes for Christmas.


He is still a big fan of food. We do a combo of purees and bits and pieces of whatever we are eating for dinner. Raviolis, spaghetti, yogurt, and carrots are some of his favorites.

He is still nursing morning, evening, and before bed and taking 3 pumped bottles of breast milk (5-6oz) at daycare.


Sleep has been a little less consistent this month with more middle of the night wake-ups and extra early mornings. It's far better than it was in the early days...but this mama got used to sleeping through the night so the days he wakes up in the middle of the night or early in the morning I am a walking zombie!

He also got croup again this month and we spent the night at Children's Mercy getting breathing treatments and being monitored. The next night was spent sleeping upright in the chair with mamma, and thus started a string of rough nights. He was up 2-3 times per night crying, and needing to be rocked or nursed back to sleep. It was a gentle reminder of how rough those first few months were.

-He is still quite the mover in his sleep and rolls to his stomach almost immediately after I put him down. I still panic a little when I wake up in the middle of the night and look at the monitor and see him face down.

-Naps have been kind of a mess this month. He struggles to fall asleep on his own (without being rocked) and has been having trouble staying asleep after I put him down. Sometimes for his evening naps I just hold him and read my book. I know it's a bad habit, but after being away from him all day I love the extra snuggles.


-He now claps his hands whenever we say "Yay" and he gets a big grin on his face because he is so proud ;) 

-He is trying to wave, but the coordination piece still isn't there ;)
-He isn't crawling yet, but he isn't far off. He has started leaning forward while sitting and getting on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth.
-While he isn't crawling he is rolling around like a crazy man. We can't leave the room anymore because he is into everything...I know it will only get worse when he starts crawling!

-He said "ma-ma" once this month and it was after a long couple of days so it was definitely music to my ears! Now if I could only get him to say it consistently!
-He has started to dance and bop around to music...he definitely gets his dance moves from his dad ;)

-He is definitely responding to his name these days. We weren't sure before because he would look at us when we would say his name, but we weren't sure if it was just because he heard our voices or if he was responding to his name. Now he will turn his head when we say Benny or Bennett and get a smile on his face.

-We got to spend our first winter break together...and while his being sick was a bit of a bummer we still enjoyed our lazy days and extra snuggles!

-He met Santa Clause and very intrigued! No tears...this year ;)

-He got to attend his first "Christmas Lights Extravaganza" and this year we stuck with Deanna Rose, since he wouldn't be able to enjoy driving around the neighborhoods. I wasn't sure he would even care too much about the lights, but turns out he was a BIG fan! He was bouncing around dancing and laughing through the whole thing. It was seriously the BEST!!

 -We went to Union Station to look at the Christmas Lights and see the trains with Brandon, Caitie, and the girls. Benny didn't last long (bedtime comes early) but he had a blast and loved looking at all the lights and decorations.


-He still only has eyes for Gracie. He loves watching her play fetch and he will clap and yell when she least someone enjoys that shrill sound! He has also started to throw the ball for her...he doesn't throw it far enough for her liking, but we are getting him trained early :)

-Food...this kid loves any and all food. He especially likes to feed himself.

-Book still top his list of favorites. Even with all his new Christmas toys he gravitates toward his books every time. His favorite is Jimmy Fallon's "Da Da" go figure ;)

-He is a big fan of his Aunt Caitie and cousin Finley...he can't keep his eyes of either one of them and he gets very excited when he hears his Aunt Caitie's voice. This month he got to spend a little extra time at their house too. Finley "baby sat" for us when we went out for AJ's birthday dinner and on the half-day of school before winter break. He was in heaven!

-He love, love, love his new tool bench (so do we) and his VTech walker...and well pretty much anything that lights up or plays music.


-He is still so happy go lucky, and even with battling a nasty bout of croup and a cold that wouldn't quit through the holidays he managed to be pretty happy. He was definitely a little more clingy and didn't sleep much, but considering how terrible he felt it only makes sense.

-Falling asleep became a battle this month. After being sick last month and getting sick again this month we got into a pretty bad habit of nursing or rocking him to sleep...we are slowly working on getting back to our norm #WishUsLuck

This month was definitely a tough one (especially toward the end) and we are hoping for more sleep and less illness in the coming months! However, despite being sick our little man was quite the trooper. He was still mostly smiles, giggles, and fun!
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Life Lately: Fall

Fall has always been my favorite season...and this fall did not disappoint!

We spent some time with our favorite cousins <3


Benny got to experience Old Settlers for the first time.

He finally got to wear his new Ohio State onsies from our trip to Ohio.

We built a blanket fort

Cheered on our Chiefs!

 Had a nasty bout of croup...

 And got to enjoy his first sick day home with mama

Went on a lunch/shopping date with our besties...are seriously, these boys were perfectly behaved!

We spent an afternoon at the KC Pumpkin Patch

Had our 6 month check up! #HOW #TimeSlowDown

And took 6 mo photos (more like 7...but who is counting?) 

Enjoyed the beautiful fall weather at the park with Finley and Norah...seriously, we LOVE living so close!

 Enjoyed walks around the neighborhood

Watched football and futbol with Uncle Brian

Got a new swing for the play-set in our's safe to say, he LOVES it!

 We celebrated our best buddies birthday at Gardner's Boo Bash. It was super cold and windy so we didn't stay long, but we managed to have fun!

We got dressed up for John and Kelly's rehearsal brunch...and we went to the wedding (sans baby) later that night, and failed to take any photos.

We carved pumpkins with the family

Took some fall family photos

I ran my first postpartum marathon...

and spectating sure wore this guy out!

We had a celebratory dinner at Twin Peaks #MomOfTheYear

Watched a couple of heartbreaker Chiefs games...their faces say it all.

Got another stupid cold, and got LOTS of snuggles from mommy

Had Thanksgiving breakfast at IHOP with Uncle Brian

Stuffed ourselves silly at Thanskgiving dinner at Grammy and Papa's

It was an exceptionally good fall season! Not sure we are quite ready for the cold of winter, but even snow and ice can't dull the excitement of the holidays!