guest post :: national infertility awareness week

Today I have a very special guest post for you all. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Infertility is something that comes in all shapes and sizes. To read more stories head over to Lauren’s blog Our Crazy Ever After. She put together this awesome blog swap.

Today Lisa is sharing with us some ways we can help support a friend who is dealing with infertility. Thank you Lisa, for sharing your story!

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How to Support a Friend Dealing With Infertility

Infertility affects 1 out of every 8 couples of child-bearing age, so the odds are high that someone you care about is currently experiencing infertility to some degree.   I myself have been battling infertility for over two years, and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically, emotionally, and financially.

The problem with infertility is that it’s a very private and sensitive matter. Some women are open to discussing it with friends and family, while others prefer to remain private.  And sometimes a woman’s willingness to talk about her infertility can change depending on how she’s feeling that day.

Here are some ideas for caring for a friend dealing with infertility while respecting her possible need for privacy.

Don’t minimize or compare her pain

Most women with an infertility diagnosis only receive such diagnosis after they’ve tried unsuccessfully to have a baby for quite awhile.  Some women have never seen a positive pregnancy test, while others have had several miscarriages.  It’s important to remember that all pain is pain.  It’s not helpful to say something like, “At least your miscarriage was early,” or “You’ve never had positive pregnancy test, but at least you’ve never miscarried.”  Instead, be sure to acknowledge her suffering and let her know you’re sorry she has to deal with it.

Respect her need to skip “kid-centered” events

If you’re friends with people you have kids, you probably get invited to a lot of “kid-centered” events. There are baby showers, birthday parties, baptisms, christenings, and Easter Egg hunts.  It’s important to understand that these types of events may be extremely painful for an infertile woman because they remind her of what she does not have.  Most of us infertiles feel terribly guilty about skipping these events, but we’re also worried about getting upset or crying at the party and causing a scene.  Don’t exclude your friend from an invite to your kid-centered event, but consider including a personal note saying you understand if she can’t make it.

Invite her on “kid-free” outings

Infertility can be an isolating experience, especially if most women if your social circle are mothers.  So if you really want to encourage a friend going through infertility, invite her on a kid-free outing. Not only should you leave your kids at home, but try to minimize the kid-talk.  Focus on topics other than parenting or motherhood.  Be willing to listen to her if she wants to talk about her infertility, but don’t force the issue.

Be available

Finally, let your friend know that you’re there for her.  You may not understand what she’s going through, but make sure she knows you want to be a supportive presence in her life.  Consider sending her a card or a small gift after she’s suffered a miscarriage or a failed treatment.  Offer to bring her food or some movies while she’s recovering from an intense procedure (like egg retrieval during IVF).  Above all, don’t act like everything is okay and ignore what she’s going through.  Even if you don’t know what to say, tell her that you don’t know what to say.  Your presence is the most important thing.

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Lisa writes about her infertility journey at AmateurNester.com.  Her goal is to encourage other women who are also in the midst of infertility.  She lives in California with her husband and their very spoiled cat, Hemingway.  

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wonderfully weekend :: Easter 2014

I can’t remember the last time I had such a busy, fun weekend! Plus the weather was gorgeous.

Friday was filled with running around town. Jeremy had the day off for Good Friday. I’m so glad he did. I was in search of some maternity undergarments. We went to the mall in town, and they didn’t have my size. And I needed them for Easter. So I had the bright idea of going to the Mall of America. I can be so stupid sometimes. It was a madhouse. But the lady at the maternity store was really helpful and it turns out that I needed a smaller size than I thought, so I could have just bought what I needed at the first place. Ugh. Whatever, it was done. And I’m a stronger person for surviving it.

We then headed to BFF Kirsten’s house. Funny story. I couldn’t sleep Thursday night. And I realized that Kirsten’s due date was Friday. And we didn’t have any pictures of our baby bumps together! Zero! How did we let that happen! So I frantically e-mailed her saying we had to fix that. I told her I could come over Friday. So I just prayed she didn’t have her baby in that time.

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The first picture with the future BFFs.

It was a good thing I made the trip over there, because she had her little girl the next afternoon! I like to think she waited until we got the picture before she would make her appearance.

We finished out the day with dinner and more shopping.

I spent the evening filling Easter eggs for the hunt I was doing for the kids the next day. I might have gone a little overboard…

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Miraculously, most of the candy made it into the eggs.

Saturday afternoon we went over to my parents’ house to celebrate Easter. And I took a bunch of pictures with my actual camera. Win!

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We had a great time looking hunting for eggs. And then coloring some eggs.

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Found some!

That night we had our book club meeting. I didn’t finish the book this month. Whoops! It was still fun to have dinner and catch up with friends. Maybe I can finish next month’s book!

Easter Sunday was busy fun! Jeremy was playing at the 12:00 church service and he had to leave a couple of hours early to rehearse. So I was in charge of getting Avery and myself ready. It’s usually fine, but an hour plus process.

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She loved twirling in this dress all day!

Church was good. I was overheating during the service and had to step out a couple of times. And Avery cried the whole time in the “play room.” Every time I think we are making progress with her, she takes a giant step back. How long does her separation anxiety last?

Then we headed to lunch. All 12 of us. Thankfully the hibachi place we went to was very accommodating. And delicious.

After taking a nap (glorious!) we did Easter baskets and played outside.

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The only picture I got of Avery’s basket. I didn’t even get one of Jeremy’s! #badblogger

Avery got a chocolate bunny, new forks, and a tennis racquet! Which she swings around calling a “bat.” She loves it.

Jeremy got a bunch of grilling things in his basket. A good haul, if you ask me.

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It was such a beautiful evening to spend outside. I hope we get many more like this!

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter.

I hope you come back tomorrow for a guest post on a very important topic!

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hump day confessions [4.16.14]

I wasn’t sure I was going to post today. Nothing was coming to mind. Then…I went on Pinterest last night. I went on looking for some freezer meals that we might be able to put together before Little Sister gets here. [I didn't find too many. If you have a good one, send it my way!]

After not finding much, I started browsing the “Kids” section. Now, I know that some people feel really bad/inadequate looking at Pinterest and all the crafty things that seem impossible for normal people. I just think, “Are you on crack?! I’m not doing that. Just buy it.” Among other things.

I found myself clicking on all the articles about “What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag.” With captions proclaiming, “The best list I’ve seen!” and “This is her 4th baby, so she knows her stuff!!” Ummm, not so much. My thoughts:

  • 4 outfits for new baby! You do NOT need to bring 4 freaking outfits for the new baby. That is insane. Maybe 2 if you aren’t sure what size the baby will be. You are in the hospital for 3 days. You do not need a ton of clothes for the baby. Period.
  • Someone suggested you pack an entire package of diapers. We packed zero diapers for Avery and we left with extras. Why would you bring all that extra stuff??
  • Your favorite [fill in the blank]. I wouldn’t pack your favorite anything. Between all the blood (gross, I know) and the possibility of leaving it behind, I just wouldn’t risk it. Unless you want to buy a new favorite thing. Then bring it.
  • 3 copies of your 5 page Birth Plan. Now, I completely understand why some people write birth plans. You have an image of how your labor is going to happen. And you want the nurses and doctors to respect your wishes. But I also think it is ridiculous for people to think that you are in control in any. way. of the situation. That baby trying to get out is in charge. If they get stuck in your birth canal, there is no amount of soothing music that is going to prevent a c-section. If I was a L&D nurse, I would have a hard time not shredding every insane birth plan I saw.

I will be doing a few things different at the hospital this time. We are hoping to have our newborn pics taken right there this time. So I actually have to bring make up and try to look presentable. Whomp whomp.

I also plan on bringing the iPad. As nice as it was to nap on and off during my 12 hours in the hospital pre baby, I had a lot of time where I was bored. So having some mindless entertainment might be nice. I can play games or watch some shows on Hulu. Plus the iPad holds a charge better than my phone, so I can get better use from it.

hump day confessions

Linking up with Vodka and Soda, as usual.

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wonderfully weekend :: Avery turns TWO!

It’s official: I have a two-year old now. Yikes! We spent the weekend celebrating Avery and making sure we had a bunch of fun!

Friday morning we had Avery’s two-year check up. She kept asking, “Doctor? Shot?” Thanks to Daniel Tiger, she was ready this time! She did so well with the doctor. Showing off how smart she is. And when it came time for her shot, she cried for a few seconds. Then she was easily distracted by a sticker. Crying over. I was so proud!!

After her appointment, we headed to St Paul to visit the Children’s Museum. It was our second time there. And I think she liked it just as much. Getting a membership was a good investment for our family.

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Cooking up some lunch.

We made sure to hit up some of the exhibits we skipped last time. There is so much to look at there!

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If the weather ever cooperates, I will have a nice little gardening helper!!

After the museum, we came home and took a nice long nap. Naps are the best part of any day.

Friday night I went over to a friend’s house to play some cards and catch up before she has her baby next week (hopefully). I had a pretty fantastic come from behind Phase 10 victory. I’m still pretty pumped about it.

Saturday was the big day. Avery’s actual birthday! After having a big party last year (which I wanted because turning one is a big effing deal!) I wanted to keep it a little simpler this year. We were going to the zoo with just our immediate families. Well, we were still running around like crazy people and stressing a bit at times.

We had to be at Sam’s Club to pick up our cake right at 9am. It turned out so cute!

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Avery loved the butterflies!

Then we headed to the zoo. We were going to meet everyone at 10. We got there a little early so we could get our membership. Which I’m calling Avery’s birthday present.

Everyone got there mostly on time. We decided to look at some of the indoor attractions first. The weather was supposed to warm up and the sun was supposed to come out in the afternoon. (Spoiler alert: the weatherman still sucks and the sun did not come out. And it was really windy. Grumble grumble.)

The tropics trail was very popular. And I tried to get through it as fast as I could. I was overheating! A zoo trip in my third trimester was not the most intelligent Idea I’ve had.

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Birthday Girl!

We had some lunch. After that it looked brighter out, so we headed out the farm to see some baby animals. It felt like a 10 mile hike. As soon as we got there, I found a bench and parked it. I was so lame. But So glad that we had so many other people to take Avery to see the animals! I guess at one point a goat walked by her and she said, “Oh NO!” and ran the other way. She didn’t want to pet any of the other animals. But she liked making noises at them.

Most of us decided to take the tractor back to the main part of the zoo. Which led to one of my favorite pictures of the day:

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Ignore my crazy expression. These are all of my favorite kids. Love.

We went out to some picnic tables to open presents and have some cake! And it just kept getting windier and colder.

BirthdayCollageWe made the most of it. Cake makes everything better! Even with the crummy weather, we had a good time at the zoo!

As soon as we came home, it was nap time!

Sunday was pretty relaxing compared to the previous two days. We went to church in the morning. Avery came home with her very first palm branch.

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She loved waving that thing in our faces.

And about two minutes later, all the leaves were shredded off the branch.

We spent the rest of the day doing Sunday type things and getting ready for the week.

Not too much going on this week, but we will be nice and busy with Easter this weekend!

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birthday birth story

My little baby turned two yesterday. And I am experiencing all the feelings.

I have shared with you before some of the feelings I had right after Avery was born. But I haven’t put in writing the actual events of her birth. So, on Avery’s second birthday, here is her birth story.

When I was about 34 weeks pregnant I was put on bed rest. And the next week I was at the doctor’s office 3 times each week. For blood pressure monitoring and a weekly ultrasound. Everything was perfect with very, but my body wasn’t super thrilled to be pregnant anymore.

I held out until 37 weeks (considered “full term” at the time). My doctor had us make an appointment to be induced on Wednesday April 11, 2012.

We called the hospital bright and early Wednesday morning. Only to find out that they were already full for the day and couldn’t take any more deliveries. They told us to call back the next morning. Okay then.

We took this “bonus day” and relaxed and went out shopping and to dinner one last time as a family of 2. It was a nice day, but we were also so anxious to meet Avery!

Thursday we called the hospital again and we were told to come on over.

I was started on pitocin at 8am. The doctor broke my water then too. Let me tell you, that is a weird feeling! My contractions started coming on pretty strong. And they were getting progressively more painful too. I didn’t expect them to come on so strong so fast.

So as soon as I was offered, I got an epidural. And it was fantastic. I felt no pain. And I was even able to nap a bit on and off through the afternoon. That was really wonderful.

It was just me and Jeremy in the room most of the day. My mom popped in for a few minutes, but I really didn’t want to have to entertain anyone while I was in labor. Jeremy was in charge of keeping the family that was there updated in the waiting area.

At 7:30pm I was finally ready to push, but my doctor wasn’t quite at the hospital yet. She had been at Southdale delivering another baby. I wasn’t too worried, since I figured there were dozens of people in the hospital who were capable of delivering Avery. But my doctor arrived just as I was going through the first few pushes.

That was the worst part. They wanted me to have some feeling, so I knew what to do. But I thought that was cruel and they just wanted to be jerks. I was pushing for an hour, and I could feel myself becoming fatigued. They had given me some oxygen because I had become light-headed. My blood pressure was getting really high. So my doctor offered to use the vacuum extractor if I wanted. We quickly talked about it. I was so exhausted and I really wanted her out. And I feared if my blood pressure went any higher I would have to get a c-section. So I had her use the vacuum. And Avery was born about 2 pushes later.

avery birthday

Avery Rose
4.12.12
8:34pm
6lbs 15 oz

She wasted no time crying. And she refused to stop for about 40 minutes! For real. She was loud. My mom said they could hear her yelling the whole time in the waiting room.

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She finally quieted down after her bath.

She passed all of her tests and she had her first bath. We were wheeled to our room that we would be in for the next couple of days. Exhausted, hungry, and ready to sleep for 2 weeks. Which, we all know, is a distant dream.

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daily diaries [4.11.14]

Daily Diaries with Diaries of an Essex GirlA little prompt to recap my week. I actually did things other than sit on the couch! I mean, I did that too.

MONDAY

Jeremy and I had a date afternoon and went to the Twins Home Opener!

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my favorite twins shirt still fits…kinda.

We used to go to the home opener every year when the Twins were playing at the Metrodome (RIP). But this was our first time since they moved to Target Field.

Jeremy works downtown, so I took the Light Rail up there to meet up with him. Let me tell you, always an interesting experience taking public transit. Especially on game days when there are a million people smushed into one car. Thankfully I found a seat right away. One of the last. And bonus: my seatmate wasn’t an old creepy dude who hasn’t showered since the 80s.

I got downtown and headed inside. I waited for Jeremy just inside the gate. I had fun sitting in the sun, dreaming about summer.

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We had some great seats thanks to Moms In Training! Our seats were in the shade the whole time, which got a little windy and cold. But it was still a nice day to be out in the fresh air.

TUESDAY

I think Tuesday was the day I stayed home. And I really don’t think I did anything…

WEDNESDAY

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no socks!

Today was our first 70 degree day of the year! Avery and I celebrated by not wearing socks. It was awesome.

I had a doctor appointment in the afternoon. Everything is great with Little Sister. Which is always so nice to hear. Next appointment will be at the beginning of May. May. The month before she makes her arrival! Eeek!

We took Avery to the park after that. We did a lap around the trail and then let her loose to play. Avery mew a girl on the swings. The girl’s dad told her to tell Avery and Jeremy her name. So she says (very matter-of-fact) “Elsa!” and her dad says, “No. Tell them the name Daddy gave you.” She wasn’t backing down, “ELSA!” I was on a bench nearby and tried my hardest not to laugh. “Frozen” obsession is a real thing.

THURSDAY

I got to catch up on blogging a bit today. I always feel productive when I publish a post and make headway on others.

We went to dinner at Burger Jones tonight. I got a Nutella and Banana shake. And could have just had 10 of those for dinner. So. Good.

FRIDAY

Today we start Avery’s Birthday Weekend! Jeremy has the day off from work and we are taking her to the doctor for her 2 year check up. And then we are headed to the Children’s Museum. I can’t wait to have some fun with my girl!

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Moms In Training Update

MIT-TNT-lockup[1]This last Saturday Moms In Training held a kickoff party for this training season! It was great to meet all the moms in the program. Plus we were handed with a ton of great information about the training schedule, the mission, and fundraising. That’s one of the best parts about being involved with this program: They arm you with a bunch of information to help you through the season.

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Fundraising idea table

The thing that stuck with me the most from all of this information was about all the research the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society does. The research they do on blood cancers is used to help people with many different types of cancers. Which means that money donated to them helps research most cancers. So awesome.

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Why We Train

M.I.T. is holding 2 try it out training sessions. This Saturday (4.12) and the following Saturday (4.19). They will be meeting at 9am at the Lake Harriet Band Shell. This is a fantastic opportunity to go and check out what the training is like. And you can still register on those days too! I will be planning on attending the second session. So if you want to meet up, let me know!

I was lucky enough to attend the Twins Home Opener on Monday with the group. It was a lot of fun. Nice and sunny. A great day to watch some baseball.

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Twins Home Opener (4.7.14)

Fittingly, it was Stand Up to Cancer day for MLB. They handed out signs so we could write who we stand up for.

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Both of Jeremy’s parents have been through at least one type of cancer. Jeremy’s mom passed away almost 3 years ago now from cancer. So to be able to support the LLS and the research they do is very personal for our family.

After the second inning, everyone held up their signs. It was so moving and I honestly teared up a little. I will blame it on the pregnancy hormones. But it was a really special moment.

I hope you consider joining me for a training session! And joining M.I.T.

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hump day confessions [4.9.14] baby edition

I know I said that I was going to be all post crazy this week. I’m not sure what happened. But they are all sitting here, half done. And I just keep thinking about all the other stuff that has to get done around here. So I guess stay tuned to see if I post anything else this week??

On to some Hump Day Confessions!

hump day confessions

I know he’s the reason you read these. It’s fine.
Linking up with Vodka and Soda.

  • I’m in my third trimester and the baby will be here in a little over 2 months. And I still can’t force myself to accept that. I’m in some sort of weird denial. I have so much stuff to do before she gets here, but I don’t feel the urgency of it all. I’m going to be soo effed in a few weeks.
  • Ummm, as of Saturday I’m going to have a 2-year-old. I don’t even want to talk about it.
  • I’ve had a little more anxiety with this pregnancy. I think it has a lot to do with worrying about surviving a 2-year-old and a newborn all day. Alone.
  • This feels like such a downer of a post, which I totally didn’t mean to happen. Just laying out a few worries. Which I’ve been thinking about lately. But I can’t wait until we get to meet little sister!
Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

five on friday [4.4.14]

2014-03-20 14.17.24

You guys! This is the 4th day in a row I have posted this week! It’s like I’m a blogger or something. Tuesday // Wednesday // Thursday

I’m really hoping to keep this motivation going next week. Which is Avery’s birthday week. So the posts might be a little baby heavy. Fair warning!

2014-03-20 14.18.28

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what. the . hell.

So this is my deck this morning. A few inches of lovely new snow. This much snow should be illegal in April. Where is spring??

Jeremy’s dad just got back home after being in Arizona all winter. Bad timing.

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Avery’s vocabulary is growing everyday. Sometimes she really surprises us with a new word we had no idea she knew.

A few mornings ago, we were laying in my bed before getting up for the day. We usually play on my phone looking at pictures on Instagram. She loves when someone posts a picture of their pets or babies. We saw a dog wearing a dinosaur costume. So she started pretending she was a dinosaur. Naturally. Then she said, “Avery brachiosaurus.” Uh, did she just say that? So I ask her, “Did you just say brachiosaurus?” “No” Okay then…

Then last night, Jeremy and Avery were reading one of her dinosaur books. And she pointed to one and said, “Baby brachiosaurus.” A few times. She has trouble pronouncing Lucy’s name, but long dinosaur names? No problem. Only my kid.

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We have finally figured out what we are doing for Avery’s birthday. With 8 days to spare. I’m excited for all the fun things we have planned for her next weekend!

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I’m having trouble finding 5 things this week! So I will end it here. Hoping you all have a great weekend!!

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liebster

I love writing posts with random info. Question and Answer posts are my favorite! And thanks to Trish I get to write one of those for you today! She was kind enough to nominate me for a Liebster Award. I have been nominated before, but like I said, I like answering random questions.

There are 4 simple rules for the Liebster Award:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site. Easy!
  2. Answer the 11 questions they picked for you. No problem.
  3. Pick 11 blogs with 200 or less followers to nominate for the award. Don’t forget to let them know you nominated them!
  4. Think up 11 awesome questions for your nominees to answer.

Trish’s questions for me:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
    I started my blog to help me remember things. Like baby stats and doctor appointments and firsts. And it has been really nice to document things like vacations and fun weekends.
  2. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? If you don’t like ice cream, please explain what’s wrong with you.
    Ice cream is one of my Love Languages. I love coffee ice cream the most. But I’m not going to turn any flavor down.
  3. What do you like most about yourself?
    Hmm. Interesting question. I think I have an above average personality.
  4. What’s your favorite season, and why?
    Spring. During a normal spring the snow melts, things turn green. Flowers bloom. The sun shines. There are light rainstorms. Maybe next year??
  5. If you could go to one place in the whole world, where would it be?
    Paris. I have set the deadline at my 40th birthday. And I am going no. matter. what. And if I have to go alone, I might just stay there.
  6. What’s the most delicious thing you know how to make? 
    Chocolate chip banana bread. Heavy on the chocolate chips.
  7. If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why? 
    Easy. A cat. They seriously just take naps all day. The best.
  8. What’s your favorite book? 
    I really love the Harry Potter series. I think they are the only books I can read and reread over and over and not get tired of them. Book 3 is my favorite in the series.
  9. What states/countries have you lived in?
    Yeah, I’m super boring. I’ve lived in, like, 4 cities my whole life. All safely within Minnesota’s borders.
  10. If you had a choice between leaving your hair exactly the way it looks when you get out of bed OR putting makeup on for the day, what would you choose?
    Putting makeup on? I guess I don’t fully understand the question… Since I rarely leave the house, neither is a horrible option for me.
  11. What’s your least favorite chore around the house? 
    Folding laundry. Doing dishes. Cooking. Putting away toys that will be everywhere 3 minutes later. All of them.

So last time I nominated people I didn’t get a great response. So if anyone wants to fill one out, DO IT! And then let me know so I can read it!

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