What’s Going On?

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I think it’s easy to say that I’ve made a fast transition into a full mommy blogger. Sorry for all you childless readers – but this is my life now. As it’s been awhile since I posted on anything not completely about Wyatt I thought I’d drop in and give a little life update.

The Big Stuff:

  • I quit my job! It was time for a change and I was missing Wyatt terribly during the day. If you follow me on Instagram you saw my announcement last week. I have started a new part-time work from home job. Happiness and family time is much more important to me than money. So, after much thought, I decided it best to leave my job and pursue this new opportunity. I started working last week for the PA Philharmonic, a regional orchestra whose main mission is education. Music education is very close to my heart and I feel energized working for a company I believe in. No job is perfect, and I know there will be some challenges, but I’m so excited about this new chapter of my life and how much more time it will allow me to spend with Wyatt. 
  • Ryan’s current position as a Law Clerk ends at the end of the summer so he has been job searching as well. We are in the state of limbo again – waiting to see where he will get a job. We truly hope it will be here in Lancaster and that it will be a long time position. It’s time to build some roots. 
  • Today, my dad is having major surgery. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I’m on standby with my mom and Pop-Pop in the hospital and are all rooting for him. 

The Little Stuff:

  • I finally started running again. I’m up to one mile at a time with out wanting to pass out….that’s far away from the 4-5 miles I used to be able to do, but it’s a start!
  • I got a Fit Bit Zip for my birthday and I”m obsessed with counting my steps! You can often find me walking in place or dancing like a fool in front of Wyatt to get my extra steps. 
  • I’m also started reading again. Other mamas – how do you read with a newborn? I was lucky to squeeze in a page or two. I think I’ve read three books since Wyatt was born. “Bringing up Bebe” “The Nightingale” and “The Martian”. I’m currently reading “Secrets of a Charmed Life”. Once again, it’s a far cry from the one book every week or two, but it’s a start!
  • We’ve been catching up on the Oscar movies (something else I’m very far behind on) Lately we’ve watched The Martian, Spotlight, Brooklyn, and The Big Short. 
  • Those are just two examples how I feel like we are settling into a routine. It feel like we’ve finally got a few things figured out. Wyatt is sleeping a little bit more allowing us to stay up together at night more and do things like watch movies and read books. 
  • As much as we are in a routine, things are always changing! We feel like we are on the edge of our seats waiting to see where Ryan will find a job and where we may be living in the near future. I have major house fever (kind of like baby fever, but with wanting to buy a house!)

That’s basically what’s going on! It’s been a busy/stressful early Spring of transitions. We are ready for whatever comes next! What is new with you?

32 Happy Things for 32 Years

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Today is my birthday! So I thought what better way to celebrate my 32 years than by listing 32 things that make me happy throughout the years:

1. My baby and everything it holds for our future

2. Ryan

3. Family that loves me no matter what

4. Friends that grow with me

5. Maggie

6. Warm fuzzy blankets

7. Sunshine on my face

8. Diving into the ocean

9. Long walks

10. Chocolate chip pancakes

12. Sand between my toes

13. Porch sitting

14. Wine

15. My Pop-Pop’s laugh

16. Clean sheets

17. Ice cold water

18. Appetizers

19. Online shopping

20. A mom who is a best friend

21. Legs that let me run

22. Singing badly at the top of my lungs

23. Exploring somewhere new

24.  Reading

25. Dunking cookies in milk

26. Coffee

27. Taking a nap while it’s raining outside

28. The first warm day of the year

29. Foot massages

30. Dresses

31. Hand written notes

32. A world that is ever changing

I think this is going to be the best year yet!

xoxo Katie

 

 

Celebrating Love

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Valentine’s Day gets a lot of grief for being a money-making “Hallmark Holiday”. I disagree. Yes, it can be ruined with people flaunting their perfect relationships, too many typical roses and CVS teddy bears and trying to impress your date with the “perfect” evening. But I think those people go about Valentine’s Day totally wrong. 

I simply look at is as a day to celebrate love. Of all types. And in the depths of a cold bitter winter, why should we shake our heads to a day set aside to celebrate the warmth of all the love we can find in our hearts and our world?

There’s always room for a little extra love! No matter what stage I was at, I made time to pause and to celebrate:

As a child my parents always made Valentine’s special at home. My mom was a first grade teacher, so she always brought home her classroom traditions, songs, crafts, and all around cheerfulness and added it to our home. There always special little gifts and treats and hugs.

In high school, when my best friend Kay and I always found ourselves perpetually single and bitter, we made up Weezer Day (in honor of our favorite band). We made special Weezertines for each other, blasted music, went out for dinner and generally celebrated ourselves and our love for Rivers and his gang. One year we branched out to also celebrate emo band Saves the Day, complete with making a Saves the Day Lamp. The base was a precious moments like girl saying “Boys Make Me Cry” (a treasure we found at Goodwill). We then decorated the lamp shade with our favorite lyrics and  band photos. (um is it a surprise we were single?) We still wish each other a happy Weezer Day even as we find ourselves in our thirties and married. 

Later in high school and college I’d find myself either single or in a relationship, but I don’t really remember many of my relationship celebrations, other than a poetry reading one year. Usually it was always me and my girlfriends having an extra excuse to share some drinks on a random night and noting how happy we were to have each other.

When I found myself single in the second half of my twenties, my other single girlfriends and I would always get together for the weekend that was around Valentine’s day. We’d look at it as a reason to get all dressed up and go out on the town. We’d gather together from our various states and make the weekend awesome. 

Since being with Ryan, we celebrate in a quiet way. Either making a fancy dinner at home and cuddling up to a romantic movie or going out for a low-key dinner. Champagne is always involved. Chocolate is always involved. And notes of love is always involved. How can you roll your eyes at champagne, chocolate, and expressing your love? I feel like we could all use more of that. 

This year, when Valentine’s Day is actually on a Saturday, I find it ironic that Ryan and I will be celebrating it apart. He is currently in New York City competing in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court competition. I’m very proud of him and he should be home on Sunday. Wish him luck!

I his absence I’ll be surviving the negative temps and going to lunch and a movie with a good friend followed my a crab cake dinner with my parents and Pop-Pop. Extra special activities with those I love! Ryan and I will do something together on Sunday, maybe just take out, if we can’t bear to go outside on what forecasters are predicting to be the coldest day of the year.

Valentine’s Day is simply an excuse to celebrate with those you love, whether it be family, friends, a partner, or your pets. It’s a way to pause from the routine and remember to be grateful for the love that is in your life. It comes in all shapes and sizes.

How do you celebrate?

 

 

 

 

 

Think Positive Mondays: Celebrate the Small Things

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(Think Positive Monday: sharing tips and keeping me in line to live a happier and more positive life)

I love having an excuse to celebrate. A reason to break open a bottle of champagne, dig into some cake, gather around with friends, or take a night off from the regular routine. 

In our home, we make it a priority to celebrate the small moments and wins. Those small milestones need their own time to shine just as much as the big life accomplishments. When you think about it, those big accomplishments most likely wouldn’t have happened without the smaller ones. 

Finish a project at work? Receive an A+ from your dentist? Manage to de clutter your home office? Follow your workout regimen to a T? Pass a hard text at school? Go on an awesome date with a potential new partner? Make it to a Friday on a particularly bad week? Let’s celebrate!

By celebrating the small milestones in life we are acknowledging the journey, not just the destination. We all can benefit from celebrating the unique path that our lives are taking us and not just focusing on the end game. 

Also, when we acknowledge these small moments it allows us to recognize the gifts the journey is presenting us. We are forced to pay attention to the little positive aspects of our life, making us aware that good things DO happen to us. In turn, those positive memories stay with us for a lifetime. Reinforcing the idea when we truly need it, when the road gets tough. 

So take a moment. Celebrate the small moments, the small changes, and the small accomplishments before they slip away. Savor the champagne and enjoy every bite of that cake. Cheers to you! 

 

Hello 2015! Time to Relax!

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Happy New Year, friends! We’re already a week into 2015 and it’s already zooming by. 

Our New Year’s celebration was pretty low key but very nice. As my Christmas gift, my boss treated us to a very nice and fancy dinner out on New Year’s Eve. We enjoyed delicious wine and seafood and had fun dressing up. At midnight we said cheers to the Near Year and made some resolutions. 

As I shared on Monday one of my New Years resolutions is to relax more. That may sound funny to you. How hard is it to relax? Do you really need to make a resolution to lounge around and sleep more? If you know anything about me, you know I’m a big worrier and suffer from anxiety. My constant state of worry often makes me lose out on moments of joy. Instead of basking in the moment and taking it all in, my mind is thinking about everything that could go wrong or trying to create a perfect plan so that everything falls into place how we want it.

No matter how many times I learn that I’m not in control of how the world turns, I can’t stop trying to take control or worry about the outcome.

That’s why I decided that my word of 2015 is going to be RELAX. 

2015 is a year of growth and change for Ryan and I. Ryan will be finishing up law school and will be graduating in May. He will be leaving his current job while studying for the bar. We will be moving to a new house in a new area. And then he will be starting his career at his new job in September. This is the time we’ve been waiting for and I want to experience it with joy, not anxiety. 

So in addition to lessening stress and finding the calm in those big moments of change I am also going to start incorporating peaceful and positive changes in my daily life. Like, practicing meditation, yoga, and sleeping more. As well as making priorities and sticking to them while also making sure I have time for myself and my needs. I want to feel centered and relaxed yet intent.  If that means blogging only once or twice a week, so be it! 

Through these changes I am committed to staying relaxing and adopting a “come what will” or “whatever will be” attitude. We are going to be fine, no matter what. Let’s make the ride an adventure, and an enjoyable one, while we are still on it!

What are you hoping to achieve in the New Year?

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Think Positive Monday: Make Commitments, Not Resolutions

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(Think Positive Monday: sharing tips and keeping me in line to live a happier and more positive life)

Happy New Year! I too am suffering from holiday break hangover this morning. It was a festive, indulgent, and relaxing holiday vacation. Now, we are refreshed and looking at the blank slate that is the New Year with optimism and high hopes. 

Yes, New Years, the time of resolutions. We all make them, even if we don’t broadcast them out over social media or to our friends and family, I can’t help but believe we all make small decisions to improve ourselves and our lives.

Many sound the same: live a healthier lifestyle, save money, lose weight, sleep more, quit smoking, drink less. 

I personally have vowed to follow two resolutions:

1. Save More Money

2. Relax More (a hard endeavour for an overly anxious woman like myself)

But the problem with resolutions? By March most of them have gone out the window. We are overly optimistic these first few weeks, thinking we hold the ability to turn our lives around. Then our busy schedules, stress, and old habits start to come back.

Fact: We always have the ability to turn out lives around.

The real problem with New Year’s resolutions is the fact that they are all overly vague. They are broad, general, ideas. So, you say want to live a healthier lifestyle…have you selected your meal plan or your weekly gym routine? How will you hold yourself accountable?

Yes, I’m determined to save more money, but without a working budget, a list of things we are going to cut from said budget, and a way to keep myself on track, that determination is nothing more than an optimistic thought. I say I want to relax, but if I don’t have a plan for the entire year of how to stress less I will never make any changes.

This may sound obvious, but if it is so obvious, why do so many people fail on their New Year’s Resolutions?

It’s all about the commitment. The act of following through, which takes an action plan and dose of daily intention. 

I vow to not just make resolutions but to make commitments. In order to save money we are in the process of dropping our cable subscription and finding ways to cut back on our grocery budget. In order to relax more I’m going to commit to practicing meditation and yoga,  go to bed earlier, and teach my mind to learn that it’s okay to let things be. 

What commitments do you plan to make for the new year and what is your plan for following through on them?

 

 

2014 A Year in Review

Another year come and gone. I feel it’s important to reflect back on what the past year has given us, before we start anticipating what we may receive in the new year. I had fun looking back at 2014 via my blog.

 I wanted to thank each and every one of my readers. You don’t know how much I appreciate your comments, thoughts, and support. Thank you for following along on this adventure with me!

2014 was busy. Sometimes it felt like we were never home. We took multiple weekends away to Philly, DC, Annapolis. And a few more trips to Avalon, Scranton, Gettysburg, the Finger Lakes, and a big trip to Jamaica. I celebrated the shower, bachelorette party, and beautiful wedding of my best friend. 

I watched less movies but read 29 books. I tried countless new recipes and finally mastered my half broken oven and didn’t burn every cookie I baked. We powered through another school year for Ryan and I grew to appreciate my job more. We experienced disappointment and loss and debated what our future would hold. Ryan accepted a new job for after graduation. 

We made family time (both our little family and our extended family) a priority. We learned to love with bigger hearts through our mistakes. And through it all, we kept our hearts full of hope. Although this year did not hold any huge milestones, I feel the little ones, the ones full of simple moments of joy and hope, are the paving stones to our future. 

So here’s a look back at our 2014:

January

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In January we celebrated a simple New Years Eve where I decided to make my word of the year be “Respect”. I vowed to value my personal choices and opinions and to schedule me time throughout the year. 

While we were surviving one of the snowiest and coldest winters in PA record, I learned that I really need to Stop Apologizing so much and was also very brave and did my very first vlog

February

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In February we survived more snow and cold and battled some cabin fever. I survived by doing lots of baking and cooking and reflecting on everything love related. (In honor of Valentine’s Day). I shared some love lessons I’ve learned since becoming a newlywed as well as what my favorite romance movies have taught me about love. One of my most favorite posts share “Why We Work” as a couple.

I also reflected a little bit on the weirdness of blogging

March

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In March I attacked my closet and addiction to clothes and did a massive clean out. We celebrated with friends for St. Patrick’s day and I longed for warmer months.

The celebration continued as I wished Ryan a Happy Birthday in this letter (my most read post of all time) and followed that celebration with me turning 31. Ryan and I had a getaway in Annapolis, MD and I shared 31 things I’ve learned in 31 years

April 

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My mom underwent some surgery and it pushed me to take some pressure off of myself when it came to this blog. And I haven’t look back since. I discovered where my inspiration comes from and decided to only post when I felt like it, not 4-5 days a week like I used to.

This month I did a lot of bridal shower planning for my best friend and spent time with family. But I did manage to write an article in Defense of English Majors like myself, interview Ryan, and share a blast from the past, talking about growing up in the 80’s and the 90’s

May

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In May I threw my best friends “Love Birds” themed bridal shower. One of my decorations was this Tissue Paper Garland that I shared a DIY video tutorial for. I also celebrated my Mom’s on Mother’s Day and shared some of the best advice she has ever given me. 

I discussed my Fear of the Unknown as Ryan wraps up his third year of Law School and we begin to think where we will be living next year. And along the same lines, I shared how I think Marriage is always Like a Seesaw. 

June

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This summer I took a big break from blogging to enjoy the season. After such a long winter I wanted to do nothing else but sit outside and read and bask in the sun. 

We celebrated our first wedding Anniversary in the Finger Lakes region of New York and I made this video highlighting our first year of love

Next I honored my Dad on Father’s Day and praised the merits of summer. before heading off to celebrate my besties bachelorette weekend!!!

July

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On July 5 I was was Matron of Honor in my best friend’s wedding! So much fun!

Then I finally got around to sharing our anniversary trip recap and photos and also got deeper with a talk about the role Social Media plays in our lives.

As I prepped to go on vacation to Jamaica I dived into some body issue talk

August

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JAMAICA BABY! It’s safe to say that this family vacation, recapped here and here, was the highlight of my 2014. We spent a week at a resort in the beginning of August. 

After returning to real life, I celebrated my one year blogging anniversary. The rest of the summer was filled with fun day trips and time with friends before Ryan headed off to his last first day of school

September

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September was good to us. Maggie turned 8 and I celebrated by sharing 5 ways she makes me a better person. We had a great weekend at my best friend’s lake house in Scranton. And then we then had a beautiful weekend at the Jersey Shore I love the beach in September, followed by a weekend in Annapolis and DC with my best friend from college.

I also discussed how being a newlywed isn’t always unicorns and roses. And, I made a point of celebrating the small things and trying to take life one day a a time. 

October

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October was a big month!

In October I was excited to start a new series: Recently Read and Think Positive Mondays.

We also celebrated Pop-Pop’s 89th Birthday as well as surprised Ryan’s mom for her birthday.  I discussed books a lot with another blast from the past  and talking about my love of real books over e-books (that’s backed by  science!)

I also took a girls’ trip to NYC for a weekend and to see Beautiful.

But most importantly we celebrated Ryan accepting a job offer in Wilmington after graduation! 

November 

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 November seemed like a slow month, as we crawled into the busyness of the holiday season. We threw Ryan’s parents a surprise Anniversary party. I talked about making time to do what you love every single day. For me it’s reading and finding quiet time. I questioned my identity in relation to my hometown and where I live. I wrote Ryan a Love Letter of Gratitude and also expressed gratitude on Thanksgiving

December

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This December was one of the fastest on record for me! We selected our Christmas tree, got it all decorated, and had it crash into our piano a few days later. Which made me write this post comparing Christmas Trees to Marriage. We saw Tedeschi Trucks Band in concert and did Karaoke and dancing in Philly for a good friend’s Birthday and I discussed more books

An increase of violence in our nation and in our small town had me reflecting on community, neighbors, and trust. 

We baked and decorated hundreds of cookies, sang our hearts out, and celebrated Christmas to the fullest. Family came in town for a week and we had a lovely family Christmas. 

Once again, thanks for being a good friend and following along! I hope you’ll join us for 2015!

Happy New Year!