cheers pablo

For Christmas Jeremy bought me some vouchers for Cheers Pablo. They recently opened a location in Burnsville, not too far from home. Cheers Pablo is like a canvas and wine type place where they show you how to paint a masterpiece step-by-step. Something I’ve been afraid to try before. Fearless this year.

We got there a little early. We checked in, got a spot, and stopped by the bar for some snacks. Everyone working there was so nice and very helpful. It was a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere.

Each canvas had some pencil lines outlining the main structure of the painting. We then painted over the pencil lines and added some buildings.

wpid-img_20150216_100830_wm.jpgTo be honest, those lines took away a lot of my nerves. I felt a bit more confident knowing I couldn’t screw up that part!

Melissa, our instructor, went at a great pace. I felt like I had plenty of time to complete each step. And a few times I had time to perfect some lines.

Our next step we put down some base colors and added some arches to our bridge.

wpid-img_20150215_141452_wm.jpgI was most nervous about the arches. That was definitely a make-or-break step. But they turned out not horrible!

Next we added some shading and depth to the bridge and sky. We finished off the painting by adding details to the buildings and bringing in some white to contrast the dark colors of the bridge.

wpid-20150215_152031_1_wm.jpgI think my sky turned out a little wonky, but other than that, I like it a lot.

wpid-2015-02-16-10.04.21_wm.jpg.jpegI love that everyone’s paintings turned out different. Jeremy’s is on the right. He even had a great time! We were just so proud that we didn’t massively screw anything up!

The Stone Arch Bridge is one of my favorite places in Minneapolis. I’m so excited to have this hanging in our living room.

wpid-img_20150215_154139_wm.jpgYou can see a bunch of paintings on the back wall. I spotted a few that I would like to try. I guess we will just have to come back for another date night!

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valentine’s day reality

I want to start out by letting you know I am very pro-Valentine’s Day. I love pink, and hearts, and chocolate, and flowers. I love any excuse to tell my loved ones how I feel about them. Even on a made up holiday. wpid-2015-02-16-13.00.25.jpg.jpegHonestly though. This year kinda sucked. By Saturday, Avery and I were going on day 3 of being sick. And Callie has been teething. So runny nose, clingy, and not sleeping very well. And since I had been sick, I didn’t have time/energy to shop for fun gifts. Thankfully I picked up a couple little things the last time I was at Target (impulse buying FTW). And I ordered some cute dolls for the girls beforehand, too. wpid-img_20150214_121031_wm.jpgAnd, yes. I cleaned up my sick, snotty kids and made them take pictures. Jeremy was great and braved the insane cold temperatures and bought me my favorite food. wpid-img_20150214_112819_wm.jpgWhat can I say? He loves me. Avery and I spent the afternoon making valentines. I cut out some hearts and she glued them together, put on some stickers and colored them. She loves arts and crafts. And it keeps her busy/not bored for a long time. Win-win! That night we had our favorite Valentine’s Day dinner. Heart-shaped pizza! wpid-img_20150214_193437_wm.jpgAnd the evening just deteriorated after that. Both girls put up a fight going to bed. Avery eventually went to sleep. But it took Callie until almost 1:30 am. So much screaming. It was a pretty up and down Valentine’s Day. I’m just glad we all survived.

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taking care of me

It’s been a few weeks since I shared with you my mental health issues. I’m going to share with you what I plan on doing to take care of myself.

I called my doctor. They gave me a nice little questionnaire over the phone. That confirmed (to them) that I do have anxiety issues. I have started taking a low dose medication. It’s supposed to take about two weeks to build up enough to start working. But I fell like it’s taken off some of the edge already. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I’m glad for some sort of improvement already.

I have a referral for a therapist. I’m a little nervous to call and make an appointment. That’s my goal this week. I have heard some good things about her, so I hope this step will be good for me.

Yoga is one thing I really enjoy and I’m making it a goal to attend more classes. It really helps me clear my mind and I usually feel so good after the hour is up. If for no other reason, I need to keep going because it makes me feel good.

A few times each week, after Jeremy come home from work, I plan on locking myself in my room and writing. Or reading. Or doing my nails. I just need to get some alone time. To reboot. To do things that will make me feel good.

Okay. Now you tell me: What are some of your favorite ways to take care of yourself??

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Posted in family, feelings | Tagged | 12 Comments

cough & cold comfort giveaway

Cough and cold season is here, and if you have kids, chances are you’ve already seen your fair share of runny noses and germy hands.

I’m teaming up with Boogie Wipes and Kandoo to offer some great cough and cold tips and give you a chance to win great prizes!

Cough and cold season is here, and if you have kids, chances are you’ve already seen your fair share of runny noses and germy hands. We’re sharing 5 of the best cough and cold tips for parents! #3 is so important!

Five Tips for Staying Comfortable during Cough & Cold Season

1. Use Boogie Wipes!

Boogie Wipes are all about offering comfort during cough and cold season. These soothing saline tissues will offer comfort to the most sensitive noses, while their fun scents will make your kids want to use a Boogie Wipe – instead of their sleeve.

Click here to read more about Boogie Wipes and to download a coupon.

2. Don’t forget the Mist

Boogie Mist is a sterile saline mist made for the smallest stuffy noses. Its unique scented cap makes kids want to use it, and the sterile saline busts through tough mucus.

Click here to read more about the Mist and to download a coupon.

3. Sleep!

This is easier said than done, but try to sneak in some extra sleep for your kids whenever you can. Try to head to bed a little earlier than normal or let them sleep a little later in the morning. Even 10 extra minutes a night can help in the fight against coughs and colds.

4. Wash those Hands

Washing hands is your number one defense against germs – and Kandoo Foaming Hand Soap makes kids want to wash their hands. The foaming bubbles along with the great scents make handwashing fun!

Click here to read more and to download a coupon.

5. Drink lots of fluids

Drink, drink, drink! Try to encourage your kids to drink one extra glass of water a day during cough and cold season to help stay healthy.

Enter to Win a Cough & Cold Comfort Giveaway Basket

Complete the form below to enter to win a cough and cold comfort giveaway basket. One lucky winner will receive a Crane humidifier, a Boogie Wipes and Kandoo care basket and a $50 Amazon gift card.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm ET on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. One winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email.

Complete the form below to enter. Good luck!

Posted in giveaway | Tagged , | 2 Comments

currently [february]

Happy Wednesday! It’s nearly the weekend!

I’ve been lacking topics to write about lately. So I’m linking up with Jenna and Anne for a “Currently” post.

:: hearting ::

wpid-2015-01-26-03.24.50-1_wm.jpg.jpegThese two. That’s my current favorite picture. My goofballs.

:: reading ::

wpid-img_20150125_131452_wm.jpgI finished Station Eleven last week. Seriously guys, I loved this book. Go read it. Right now I’m reading A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Carry On Warrior, and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

:: pinning  ::

You guys probably won’t believe me, but I haven’t been on Pinterest in months. I went on once to find a recipe I pinned forever ago. But that’s it. It’s because I’m rarely on the laptop. I do everything from my phone and iPad. Never being on the laptop is also my excuse for the sporadic blogging.

:: eating ::

Absolutely nothing interesting. I have been craving sushi though.

:: anticipating ::

No vacations coming up. So just waiting for spring. I can’t wait for some warm sunshine on my skin. Also, shamrock shakes and Girl Scout cookies.

How about you? What are you up to??

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Posted in currently | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

broken

I first noticed my brain being broken when I was a senior in high school. The official diagnosis was anxiety with mild depression. Not sure how the “mild” is measured. I didn’t see the therapist long enough to find out. She fell asleep during one of my sessions. Needless to say, I didn’t go back.

The anxiety part is most noticeable for me. I’ve had a few panic attacks. And I had a hard time managing it during my last pregnancy. But it comes and goes in waves. Like the bouts of depression, I can just ride them out. I don’t feel like myself, but I get through the days.

I tell you all of this because last week was the worst week I’ve ever had with my broken brain. And the only way I can process it right now is to write about it. Trying to live my word of the year: fear less.

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let’s break up this serious stuff with a picture of a cute kid.

Jeremy had to leave town very unexpectedly Monday night deal with a family emergency. Like, bought a one way ticket. So We didn’t know when he was coming back.

I’ve been a mom of 2 for almost 7 months now. I still struggle some days with being overwhelmed. Being alone with them all day is so easy some days and the hardest thing in the world others. I am still terrified to take them to the store by myself. The thought panics me. So being solely responsible for them for an unknown amount of days was not an easy thing to come to terms with. Again, the panic.

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my coping mechanism. eating all my feelings.

As the week went on, I got worse. I felt like I was drowning. I felt so hopeless. So much worse than ever before. I felt like a burden to those offering help. I felt my emotions out of control. I felt a way I never had before. I was scared.

I didn’t want to tell anyone. I didn’t want to let my husband know how bad it got because I didn’t want to make him feel guilty for leaving. I didn’t want to admit I wasn’t okay. I didn’t want to admit I wasn’t in control of my own brain. I didn’t want anyone to know I was a bad mom. A weak person. Depression hurts. Depression lies.

My girls sparked some of the feelings. But they were also the ones that made the week without my husband bearable. They are my joy. My little, frequent happy moments. Everything lovely. I am so glad that they won’t remember some of my moments this last week. I hope Avery doesn’t remember when I was short with her on Thursday. And the tears I couldn’t hold back during bedtime stories on Wednesday.

I am grateful for her unrelenting hugs. And the unsolicited outbursts of, “I love you Mommy!” For the silliness. For the smiles.

When I found out Jeremy’s ticket home was booked, I was able to focus on that. There were still frustrations and hard days. But I knew it would be better soon.

Now that he’s been home for a couple of days I’ve relaxed a little. The feelings are lingering. The self hate and self-doubt are stubbornly sticking around. But I know they will leave too.

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my coffee mug, offering words of encouragement.

I guess in, writing this, I want to feel less alone. I want to know everything will be better. I want to let my daughters that my brain was broken before they were around. That even though it might seem like they cause the problems, they are actually the cure. And if they someday feel they way I do, I am here for them.

I really need something to change this year. I can’t have anything like this happen again. Ever. Maybe I need to go back to a therapist. Maybe I need meds. Or meditation. Or something else. Or everything. I just need to find it.

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Posted in feelings | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

my one little word [2015]

Nearly the middle of January, but I’m finally writing my resolution of sorts post.

Last year I chose “breathe” as my Word of the Year. And I feel like I had about a 50% success rate with that. I did well until Callie was born. Haha.

But I really love the idea of a new year, a new chance to stick with something. Clean slate. I am giving a new word a try this year.

Fearless. Fear less. One word or two. I want to live by this.

I recently realized that fear seems to dominate my life. My decisions. My potential.

This year I want to try new things. New experiences. New foods. New music. New everything.

By doing the indoor triathlon last week, I stood by my word. I never would have done that before. My fear of failure and embarrassment would have won out. And you know what? Completing that was awesome. Doing something that I never would have done before, felt great to do it.

2015 fearless 2I am excited for this new year and all the ways I can love by my One Little Word.

Did you chose a word this year? I’d love to hear it!

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Posted in word | Tagged | 15 Comments

christmas and the new year

Hello! I hope you all had a magical Christmas and a wonderful New Year’s!

Our Christmas was pretty low-key. Avery and I had a lovely bout of norovirus right before the holiday. So we were happy to have a relaxed few days.

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How I spent the days leading up to Christmas. Gatorade and an unsympathetic cat.

Christmas Eve we attended the family service at our church. It was awesome. Filled with families. Loud kids. Kids wandering. They had a puppets helping to explain Jesus’ birth. Perfect for a family with little kids who can’t sit still.

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I’m hopeful that one day we can take a non-blurry family picture. Maybe in 8 or 9 years??

We came home to relax. And I wanted to take a million pictures of the girls in their cute dresses. They weren’t as into that idea as I was.

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The only one (out of about 40) where Callie was looking at the camera instead of Avery.

Christmas Eve was also Callie’s half birthday! I have no idea how that happened so fast. I hope to catch up on her monthly updates SOON!

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The days of sitting nicely for pictures are officially over.

After I took a billion pictures, we all changed into our jammies and headed out to look at some Christmas lights. We found a few good houses. Some that even had the lights synched to music. Avery would have loved it, but she fell asleep in the car. Maybe next year.

We got the kiddos to bed at a mostly reasonable time. Santa showed up right on schedule.

wpid-20141223_225057_1_wm.jpgChristmas Day we went to my parents’ house for brunch. The girls got way too many toys that they love. It was great spending time with the family.

New Year’s Eve Jeremy and I went to our favorite hibachi place for dinner. Then came home. I was in bed at 11:30pm. Wild and crazy.

This past Sunday I did something pretty cool. I participated in my first indoor triathlon. It was timed instead of doing a set distance. You did a 10 minute swim, 30 minutes on a bike, and 20 minutes on a treadmill. It went by so much faster than I was expecting.

My initial goal was just to complete it and still be standing at the end. But at the beginning of each stage I set a goal. And I am happy to say I met all 3 of them!

wpid-img_20150104_122243_wm.jpgDoing this tri is something I never would have done in the past. But it is part of my “resolution” this year to try things that I have been afraid to in the past. It relates to my Word of the Year. Which I will be sharing with you all later this week!

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Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

wonderfully weekend :: the santa saga

Let me just start by telling you all, I know I’m a crazy person. Chemically imbalanced. So let’s just keep that in mind while you read this. Okay?

Ever since Avery’s first Christmas (soooo long ago, I know) we have seen the same Santa. He is “our Santa.” I’m even friends with him on Facebook. I have photographic evidence of why we love seeing him so much.

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Christmas 2012

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Christmas 2013 A good picture even if the kid is crying!

I’m really not sure why she was crying because she totally took a selfie with him before this.

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#SantaSelfie

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I just love the side eye she’s giving.

So the event we would go to see Santa was on a day where we were already double booked. We were already skipping Avery’s swim class to run a 5k. That I really didn’t want to skip since we didn’t do the one on Thanksgiving. Plus, I signed up for an indoor triathlon (don’t ask) and this was day 1 of training. So, yeah. We really couldn’t make it to see Santa.

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My race bib. Foreshadowing events to come? :)

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My cute race buddy staying warm.

Then I saw something on Facebook about our Santa being at a kids store on Sunday morning. Sweet. We decided that morning to get the kiddos ready and head out. Then I looked at the event to get the address. It said you needed to register a time slot and it was closed by the time I looked. I might have been so frustrated that I cried. (I warned you of my crazy person status)

Jeremy started investigating. And he called the store. And got us a time with Santa. Because Jeremy is the best husband and loves me even when I’m being an insane person. One of these days I’m going to give him the medal he deserves for putting up with me.

We made it! Santa said he thought we would have been to see him the day before, but was happy to see us now. And my girls loved seeing him. And all was right in my world.

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Worth it.

Avery’s face lit up when we walked in the door. She was a little shy, but excited to see Santa.

wpid-20141207_124255_wm.jpgAvery asked Santa for some books.

wpid-20141207_124752_wm.jpgAvery told Santa that Callie would like some baby toys for Christmas.

So there you have it. I freaked out for no reason. Jeremy fixed it. And everything worked out great in the end. Like usual.

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Posted in family, weekend | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

avery’s new role

bigsisterAlong with the crazy excitement, there are some universal worries when you find out you are pregnant with your second baby. Will I love the new baby as much as my first one? (Yes) How am I going to handle both kids at the same time? (Still figuring that out myself) And the question I worried about the most, how will Avery react to a new sibling?

I think I really started worrying when I found out we were having another girl. Sisters. I come from a family of girls. I know girls. Girls are hard. I remember a lot of fighting and taking sides and moodiness. Sisters are a delicate thing. I was excited that my 2 girls would have each other. I just want them to have the picture perfect sister relationship. How do I force this? Kidding…kinda.

Callie has been with us five months now (and I still need to get a couple of updates posted. Whoops!). We’re still getting personalities and schedules figured out. But one thing is pretty obvious: Avery loves Callie something fierce. And Callie adores Avery.

wpid-img_20140805_161454_wm.jpgYou hear stories all the time about the older sibling regressing, or throwing more tantrums, and showing signs of jealousy all the time, lashing out. I’ll be honest. I was kinds expecting the worst. Avery had perfected her art of throwing tantrums. And a new baby would be the perfect excuse to lose her mind more often.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when Avery came to the hospital to see Callie for the first time. I just knew I missed Avery so much and wanted to see her and cover her with kisses.

As soon as she got to the hospital room, she knew who Callie was. We had been telling her Callie was in my tummy while I was pregnant and calling her by name. But I was so surprised that when she saw a baby in the room, she knew it was Callie. We didn’t even have to introduce her. She just went right to her saying, “Hi Callie!” It was very sweet. Then after about 5 minutes, Callie lost her appeal. Avery went on her business and that was fine with me.

That’s how it was when we brought Callie home. Avery would fawn over her for a few minutes at a time. Then she would get bored and go off and play. It was perfect for the getting adjusted at home period.

wpid-img_20140812_111742_wm.jpgMy days are now filled with random declarations of love. “Mommy! I love Callie! I love ‘er” “CALLIE! So cute!” It is seriously the sweetest thing in the world. And I may have teared up once or twice when she says these things.

Now, she hasn’t been a perfect angel 24 hours a day. If Callie is crying for a long time, Avery will cover her ears sometimes and yell for Callie to “Calm down” or “Quiet!” Sometimes Avery gets distracted and nearly walks over Callie laying on the floor. Callie has been accidentally kneed in the head more times than I’d wish to count.

But overall, I couldn’t be happier with Avery’s transition to big sister.

And let’s talk about Callie. And how much she adores Avery.

wpid-img_20140807_204813_wm.jpgI swear, sometimes you can see heart bubbles floating around their heads.

Avery is the only one who can make Callie laugh everyday. I can’t remember the last time I was able to make Callie laugh. Callie’s favorite is when Avery takes both hands and they dance together while Avery sings.

The mornings are the best. They are both in crabby moods until they see each other. Callie gets hugs and kisses and all the attention from her big sister. Makes a great start to the day.

wpid-img_20141203_090932_1_wm.jpgA few weeks ago while I was fixing a toy for Avery, she was playing with Callie. She got close to Callie’s ear and I heard her whisper, “Callie I love you. You so beautiful.” My heart exploded. Seriously.

wpid-holwegers2014_20_wm.jpgI pray every night that these two continue to have this wonderful relationship and love for each other. Because it so amazing to watch.

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Posted in Avery Rose, baby things, feelings, sisters, toddler stuff | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments