17 in Summer 2017

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So, here’s the deal.

I love to read. I remember in about 6th grade (give or a take a year) I found THE book. You know, the one that makes you realize that reading for pleasure is a real thing and you love it! Sadly I cannot remember the title of the book but I remember the story and can picture the cover in my mind. Since that book in middle school I have read countless books for pleasure, especially in high school. I read like crazy (maybe because I wasn’t partying like most of my classmates #nerd).

Sadly, when I entered the real word, which was full of a career, bills to pay, house to clean, commitments, and now a toddler… reading for pleasure fell to the wayside. I bet in the past four years I have maybe read 10 books, and that makes me sad.

So, now that I am officially into my summer vacation (or my “forever summer” ) I am setting a goal for myself. For the summer season (today, until Fall begins on September 22) I am challenging myself to read 17 books for fun! Lucky for me I have already started one and have a ton piled on my nightstand waiting to be read!

I plan on sharing this journey with you and sharing how I am fitting reading in, as well has reviewing some of the books I read! If you have any suggestions for great reads (I like happy books – not the popular dark fiction) send them my way! Or, if you want to join in on the challenge with me I would love to hear from you! Check my Instagram for updates along the way and follow my official hashtag #read17insummer17 !

Happy reading!

Shopping Time!

I love it when I find a great toy that really holds Nora’s attention and causes her to use her imagination! This little shopping cart was bought on a whim and oh my goodness is she obsessed!

It came with little boxes of food and some little cans. She loves to push it all over the house, take everything out and then put it back in!

These are the kinds of things I love experiencing when I am at home with her. Watching her grow, play and learn is just so much fun!

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Nora Kate | Month 15

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This is going way too fast. How am I already here giving you an update on how my best gal is 15 months!? That’s practically 18 months, which is practically two! Eeek!

This stage is so much fun and I cannot even tell you how much I am looking forward to summer with my little fun-loving gal!

Nora’s 15 month check up is later today and I will have more detailed stats then. Until then here is what Miss Nora has been up to since her last update at 12 months

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| What Nora Can Do |

| She is a growing gal who now wears size 4 diapers and 18-24 months clothes. She is really starting to shoot up in height but still has a belly to write home about!

| This month we truly experienced teething in all its terrible glory. When she got her first two (and still only teeth) she didn’t show a single sign on pain or typical teething. One day she just had a tooth. Bam! Just like that. But she finally has a top one popping through (it is so close) and boy did we hear about this one. Girlfriend was a crank!

| Climbing, walking, running, she does it all! She recently has gotten a little too brave in the climbing department and has a few battle scars to prove it.

| Nora’s vocabulary is growing rapidly and she is getting really good at repeating sounds we make. Right now her consistent words include; “dada” “momma” “please (“da”)” “thank you” “love you” “bye bye”.

| Nora can wave, clap, click her tongue, blow kisses, make the sounds for a monkey, dog, elephant and lion. She loves to dance and stomp her feet when mom and dad do the “Rowdy” cheer (“Let’s get a little bit rowdy R-O-W-D-Y”).

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| What Nora Eats |

| Our gal is still a fantastic eater most of the time. Occasionally she will go on strike and barely eat at a meal. Usually that doesn’t last more than one meal and she’s back to chowing down the next meal.

| Favorite foods include; blueberries, eggs, broccoli, peas, grapes, puffs, raisins, lasagna, bread, strawberries.

| Nora  drinks milk well with her meals and is also a big fan of cold water. She prefers to drink mommy or daddy’s water but her sippy cup will do too!

| Not quite getting utensils just yet but we will keep trying!

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| What Nora Loves |

| We have ourselves a little water baby! Nora loves all forms of water. Baths, her water table, swimming, all of it!

| Books are still one of her ultimate favorite toys. She will bring us book after book, say “da” (please) and turn around to sit on our laps while we read. It is one of my absolute favorite things.

| If Nora is cranky or you just want to make her happy, take her outside. She would stay in the back yard for hours and hours if we let her.

| She has really started to play more with the pups. Just tonight she was play tug-of-war with Kira and just giggling away!

| Some of Nora’s favorite toys include; bristle blocks, her Little People princess castle, and books.

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| What Has Nora Been Up To|

| Nora got her first haircut and was amazing the whole time!

| Celebrated Easter at church and looked so adorable in her periwinkle lace dress!

| Played outside whenever possible and went on lots of walks with mommy, daddy and the pups.

Nora Kate,

Your little personality is just shining through in everything you do! You are such a friendly, adventurous gal who is always ready for a kiss or hug. You are just pure sunshine to your dad and me and we are so excited to see what the next months bring! Love you with all our hearts NoNo Kate!

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When Bloggers Get Real

If you spend any amount of time on blogs or simply social media of any kind then you know what I am going to be writing about today.

Perfectionism

No, I’m not talking about those people who refuse to accept any standard short of perfection . I’m talking about those people whose life appears to be perfection.

I read countless blogs and follow a myriad of people on Instagram. No shame. I tend to enjoy following people who are similar to me in some ways. Young, Christian moms who like cooking, decorating and taking entirely too many photos of their adorable children. I have always thought that blogs and Instagram are the highest form of people watching… and I love me some people watching! It’s fun to see how other people live.

One thing that really gets to me some days in the world of social media is how perfect some people’s lives seem. I am always especially shocked by the photos people post of their perfectly put together homes. These are women with multiple children, a husband, many of them have pets as well and sometimes they even work outside the home. How are they keeping their house so clean? Where is all their stuff? You know, the piles of mail you have to go through or figure our where to file. Countless cords that have no home. Toys scattered about the floor and what seems like thousands of sippy cups. Dishes in the sink, on the table, in the living room, on the floor even. Dust bunnies, dog hair. Where is all that stuff?

I’ll tell ya where it is! It’s stuffed in the corner outside of the frame. Hidden in a drawer just before the shot was taken. Cleverly tucked behind a pillow on the couch. That’s where it is! Cause we all have stuff! We just do!

Don’t hear me saying that I don’t stage my pictures before posting them. I am a pro at the tucking and cleverly hiding. But not today! I wanna get real. I want you to know that if you are like me and are sitting there thinking, “how do these women keep their homes so perfectly clean all the time?” Just know that I am sure they don’t. If they were to show you what things really looked liked  just before they hit that shutter button, it would be a different story.

It’s okay to put your best foot forward. I even think it’s okay to occasionally stage and “fabricate moments” as my husband says. It’s creative and can be really fun and healthy. But, let’s make sure we are also always being real and admitting that we have stuff just like the next gal! Okay? Okay.

To go the extra mile I wanna show you how easy it is to fake “perfection.” I think the photos below need no explanation.

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I’m In Love With Slow Mornings

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One of the things I am most looking forward to about staying home with Nora is the fact that I will gain slow mornings. Now I am not saying getting breakfast ready and preparing for the day won’t at times be hectic, but it will be nothing like the tornado that we currently have at our house each morning.

I hate having to rush around in the mornings to get ready and out the door on time. I am a morning person and I love to wake up early, sip my coffee and ease into the day. So, it should come as no surprise that I am elated to get slow mornings at home!

I can sip my coffee instead of chug it.

I can lay in bed or snuggle-up on the couch and listen to birds out the window.

I can go outside with Nora before it turns blazing hot.

I can sit, turn on worship music and read my Bible as slowly as I want.

I can take the time to cook a nice breakfast instead of grabbing a granola bar.

 

Slow mornings, I love you. See you soon!

 

Personality Plus!

Even when Nora was very little we could tell this child was going to have a BIG personality. She just screamed it in everything she did. My mom used to always say she had “personality plus” just by looking at pictures of her. Well, that has proven to be very true as she grows and comes into her own!

I captured a face she has been making lately that really shows off our personality-filled gal! DSC_0381

I cannot wait to see her grow and change and to learn even more about this sweet girl! I have a feeling we are in for a treat when she starts to talk!

Three on Friday | Off Week

I have felt very “off” this week. Tired, lazy, unmotivated. Work is rough right now. Any teacher will tell you that the last month is awful, and for me it’s also the last month of my career. Lots of mixed emotions that carry over to home.

Plus, I had such an amazing spring break it made it really hard to go back to school.

I wasn’t going to put in the work to write a Five on Friday post cause I simply didn’t feel like it. But, I figure picking out some positives from the week would be a great way to lift my spirits! Couldn’t think of five, so three will have to do!

So here ya go! My top 3 from the week!

| One |

Collin and I went on a date on my last day of break (Monday) and it was just so great! We didn’t do anything special. In fact, we were late and where we planned to eat didn’t work out. So we ate at Applebees since it was close to the theater where we were seeing Beauty and the Beast (so good!). We did dinner and a movie and then rushed home to relieve my sister from baby duty! It was nothing special, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it! Not very often is it just the two of us anymore.  It’s so important to take time out to “date” your spouse. 

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| Two |

I hit 1,000 photos on Instagram! While this may seem silly to some, it truly makes me smile. I love those little squares of memories so much! I can’t tell you how many times I go back and look through my photos and get all emotional and nostalgic! 1,000! Yay!

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| Three |

If you’ve hung around here a while you know that The Hubs and I love to play games! We are always on the hunt for great two-player games and for Valentine’s Day Collin bought me Patchwork. We have been playing it here lately and it is so fun! It is only for two players so it is just a special game for my man and me! (Shoutout to another fun new game Sushi Go)

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Hopefully next week I won’t be feeling so “off” and can present you with a stronger Five on Friday! 😉

Yum | Thai Chicken Wraps

In a search to find some quick and easy lunch options that were not turkey or pb&j sandwiches, I found a recipe for Thai Chicken Wraps.

I often tweak recipes to my liking or out of necessity because I do not have all of the ingredients on hand.

This recipe was no different, I didn’t have a few of the items it called for and I also did not want to drench my chicken in the sauce so I messed with measurements and ingredients to come up with this incredible lunch option!

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| What You Need |

1lb cooked, shredded chicken

1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Juice from one lime

Tortillas or flatbread

Romaine lettuce

Shredded carrot

Sweet peppers

 

| What You Do |

Mix together sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and lime juice. Add to chicken after cooking and shredding.

Shred carrots, slice peppers and cut lettuce.

Lay romaine leaf on tortilla, followed by shredded chicken, carrots and sweet peppers.

Wrap, devour and enjoy!

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Currently + Links

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listening to | Bethel Music Starlight
thinking about | How I only have 5 weeks of school left!
cooking | made this sheet pan dinner last week and it was to die for!
hoping | no one saw how many chocolate chip cookies I ate tonight…
wearing | just broke out my shorts and my legs are blinding!
loving | Nora has been so into hugs and kisses lately. She will randomly come up and
hug and kiss us. It is the sweetest thing ever!
excited | I have a new She Reads Truth Bible on its way to me! I ordered mine in “Poppy” and it is so beautiful!
wanting | everything from this site
feeling | grateful for a hubby who helps out around the house!
looking forward to | slow mornings when summer begins. I want to be able to enjoy my coffee and just ease into my day. I HATE rushing around to get ready in the mornings.