Christmas Wishlist

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via pinterest

For me, Christmas is literally the most wonderful time of the year. I love it. I love gifts and holiday music and shopping and decorating and peppermint mochas. And while so many people hate that Christmas season starts the day after Halloween, I just feel like it gives me more time to fill up with the spirit of the season.

But as we are getting older and having more and more kids and doing all the things I am trying to really hone in on the things that matter most. How do we celebrate the holidays?  What do we say yes to and what to we turn down?

I am putting a lot of thought into being intentional about how we spend the nest few weeks. This is the beginning of establishing our family traditions and the kids are old enough to have input and really participate. I am thinking about gift exchanges, cookie decorating, and of course, matching Christmas Eve pajamas!  I really loved this quote above though, because I think it really paints how I am feel about Christmas this year.

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Grey Turns One!

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Our littlest baby celebrated his first birthday last week.  We started with cake for breakfast (well, after breakfast really) and a few gifts before continuing the day basically as normal.

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I spent part of the day looking at photos from the day he was born and the short period afterwards. I have such difficulty believing he is one year old already!  Bryan and I are really enjoying him these days, seeing his little personality emerge, seeing how he navigates the landscape of relationships and interactions with all his other family members.

Having many kids is interesting in so many ways, because adding just one more doesn’t add just one more person of work. Bringing Grey into our family meant exposing him and his siblings to the work of relationships. They have to interact with each other every day. They share toys and food and rooms. They have to make it work. One of the great gifts of parenting is watching your kids love each other, care for each other, consider each other and want to spend time together. These days, no one can make Henry laugh the way that Cora does. Henry and Cora are the center of Grey’s little world. And we get to just sit in awe and watch these things develop.

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I am so glad that if nothing else, these kids have each other. Watching Grey be part of it is one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed. Watching his siblings care for and love him is the best. I am so lucky I get to be a part of this.

P.S. We are having a joint party for Cora and Grey this weekend! I cannot wait to celebrate these two!

Friday Five – November 7

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via pinterest

 

What are your plans for this weekend? I have a Stella & Dot party tonight, but the rest of the weekend is wide open. After a week of doctor appointments and a birthday celebration, I am hoping to find sometime to get outside with the whole family. We will see.  Here are somethings I found on the Internet this week that I thought I would share:

1/ Even more fodder for the decision making regarding where to send my kids to school.

2/ Another interesting perspective on the “having it all” debate.

3/ Bryan and I have been involved in some of the more heavy hitting conversations of marriage lately. Why are we here? Where are we going next? How do we get there?  I am lucky to have a marriage where having these conversations is pretty easy. My partner is a willing participant and open to input. And I enjoy being able to set shared goals. But, sometimes, conversations are still difficult because we have to figure out who we are and where we fit in our relationship with each other while also being true to ourselves. So, when I read this, I was taken aback. It felt so real and got me thinking.

4/ I’ve got Christmas on my mind!  I ordered a new tree and I am getting started on the shopping!  These are my favorite gift guides for kids.

5/ Speaking of Christmas, after Week In the Life, I am already getting mentally prepared for this year’s December Daily album. Ali Edwards is selling a kit. I am really tempted to get it, but I already bought this album.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Our Bedroom: Coming Along

We ordered our bed frame last week and visited some store to purchase bedding this weekend.

We settled on the Ainsley Paisley Duvet Cover in gray:

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And this quilt, in flagstone. Now I am looking for sheets and deciding how many king size pillows we need to buy. Also, throw pillows?  My husband will never put them on the bed, so purchasing them is committing to the responsibility of making the bed every morning. Decisions, decisions.

Baby Grey Turns 1!

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Today marks one year since we welcomed Grey Morgan Duxbury into the world. I am feeling so nostalgic for babies and newborns and missing the tiny chub days!

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four months old

But I am also loving this age and watching Grey develop into a little person. He loves bananas, playing peekaboo and is just starting to take those first, wobbly baby steps! We aren’t having a party for him for a few more weeks, but tonight we will be opening gifts and eating some banana cake to celebrate!

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We are so grateful for this little guy!

Going Paleo and Starting Boot Camp

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My mom died pretty young (she was 40) and I once asked someone, given that history, at what age I needed to start taking my health seriously. The answer they gave me was 30 so turning 30, for this reason, was kind of a big deal.

In anticipation of this age, I set a few goals. I needed to find a Primary Care Physician ( I have never had one before, only OB/Gyn over the years), establish some sort of regular workout schedule and get my act together with my diet.

I found out about a Boot Camp program from friends. It meets every day, very early in the morning. All I have to do is show up and they tell me what to do. It is a combination of strength training and cardio. I started at the end of June and still (in November) feel like this is one of the best life decisions I have ever made. I haven’t felt this strong or good since prior to having kids.

So far I am really enjoying this workout and how it fits with my schedule. I am out the door early and home at about the same time the kids are waking up and starting their day. And I feel good through out the rest of the day.

I had my first appointment with a new PCP in August. I was told that my health looks good, but I needed to lose weight and get a colonoscopy (because of my family history of colon cancer). The next step in the process was to figure out what I wanted to do for food. Bryan has been pursuing a paleo diet for about a year now and so I figured I would try to incorporate that into my plan.

I focused on being paleo for a few months, but I wasn’t restricting calories or counting anything because I was still nursing frequently. I wasn’t losing weight, but I was feeling better.  When we returned from a trip to Ohio in September, I decided it was time to start taking this part seriously. I got the MyFitessPal app and I have lost 10 pounds in the last month.

I am really pleased with this progress and I am hoping to lose about 20-25 more pounds. I am trying to take my time, be patient with myself and work on fitting these changes into my life in a way that will stick. I am planning to share some of my favorite go-to recipes here soon (paleo and non-paleo both).