Weekend Wrap Up

I am kind of terrible at posting while I’m away, but perhaps I’m even worse at posting about the trip once I’m home. I know what awaits me at home this week and while it’s fun and games and happy things, it’s also busy and I likely will move on with life and also move on with posts. This has been a fantastic weekend. Starting Thursday when I finally arrived at my in-laws around 7:00PM after traveling since 7:30 that morning we’ve had a series of fun events and time as a couple and family fun and I would sign up to do it all over again.

Ellery was much better on the flights and in the airport than the last time. Our flight time was partially spent playing with photo booth and also reading and playing with our Noah Book app.. We met some awesome ladies who helped us out in the airport and I sat next to an English gentleman on the flight who had 3 children and didn’t mind sitting with us at all. Successful flying day in my book.

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Thursday night we had the rehearsal dinner for Andrew’s friends and we decided to leave Ellery at home with the grandparents. It was just what I needed after having her strapped to my body or touching me for 10 straight hours. I enjoyed getting out and meeting a bunch of new people. I always enjoy meeting new people because there is so much to talk about since you know absolutely nothing about them, I find conversation to be really easy when you have tons of questions.

Friday was wedding day! The forecast was rain for the entire weekend and it threatened to move the outdoor wedding indoors. They made it through all the pictures outside with gray skies, but no rain and then it held off throughout the ceremony. It was a beautiful location and moving it inside would have been a big bummer. The reception was so much fun and being out with my love for 8 hours was good for the soul. Weddings are a great event to remember why you wed and I find myself falling in love with my husband all over again each time we watch other people vow to forever. We are for sure not the best dancers, but we do it anyway and we have so much fun. I love watching the older generation let loose and this wedding was no exception, the dance floor was full all night and everyone had a fantastic time.

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Yesterday we went to the post wedding cookout and then headed to my favorite place for the rest of the day. Newport, Rhode Island, if you haven’t been there, go! We ate at Brick Alley and then had ice cream at Kilwins. Legit the best ice cream I’ve ever had, I wish I was exaggerating. Chocolate Peanut Butter waffle cone, so chunky!! Excuse the picture of my father-in-law looking like a chipmunk, he was eating malted milk balls and I didn’t get a decent picture!

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Such a great weekend and I am so thankful to my in-laws for taking such great care of Ellery so we could go out, enjoy ourselves and not worry about our sweetie.

Toe in the Water

I was watching the Today Show the other day and it had a lady on their who was talking about regretting staying home with her kids. I was kind of dumbfounded because she just might be the first person I’ve heard admit to that and I guess I can’t totally understand it, but I’ve only been doing this one year. She hadn’t regretted the time spent with her kids, rather she regretted not keeping a toe in the work world water. I can see that it would be hard to stay home exclusively for 10 years and then try to re-enter a world you have been out of touch with.

Monday I put my toe back in the work world pool. A couple weeks ago I told my mom that I probably needed to find a part time job just to pad our bank account a little bit since we are trying to buy a second car. The next day out of the blue I got a text from my old boss asking if I was interested in working part time. Coincidence, I think not. Andrew and I took a walk and discussed how this could work and if it was a good choice for our family and it seems to be a great fit for what I was wanting and what works for our family in this life stage.

I am going to drive to Champaign every other week for a couple days, probably Monday/Tuesday and my mom is going to watch Ellery so I can work in the office. Then I’ll work from home about 10 hours a week during nap or after she goes to bed. Kinda the dream stay at home mom job if you ask me. I will admit it was hard to leave her and when I came home Tuesday and she saw me she cried so hard that it took her a good 10 minutes to catch her breath, can you say mommy guilt? But Andrew reminds me that leaving her 20 hours a month is good for me and good for her. I will also admit that working was more mentally exhausting than I remember!

Part Time Vegetarian

So I know there is really no such thing as a part time vegetarian, but if there was that would be the category Andrew and I would fall into. A while back I decided we would try Bob Harpers skinny rules. Then with the craziness of moving, nursing, etc, I stopped doing them. One of his suggestions is to eat vegetarian one day per week. I found that I didn’t really miss meat and when Andrew was on a trip I realized I didn’t cook meat for myself, so I made a decision. When I cook at home for us we don’t eat meat. When we eat out I try to order vegetarian and when we cook for people so far we’ve just made vegetarian meals, but I’m completely not opposed to cooking meat. Anytime we eat at someone’s house we eat meat. We decided since we don’t have a moral dilemma about meat and we don’t have medical dietary restrictions we would not be picky about what we eat when we eat with others. I also sometimes just really want meat when we go to a restaurant and I eat it without guilt. I made this decision to eat vegetarian part time for a few reasons.

-I have high cholesterol and I do not want to be put on medication
-We didn’t eat a lot of vegetables before so this is a great way to force us to eat more veggies
– I would ‘t mind losing weight and vegetables are less calories than meat
-I am finding that eating vegetarian is cheaper than eating meat
-I find that I feel better when I don’t eat meat

I looked through Pinterest to share some of my favorite things, but the links that I pinned don’t work so to give you some ideas I’ll list what we eat and then maybe someday I’ll put som of the recipes on here so you can enjoy them.

-Eggplant Parmesan is my absolute favorite, I could eat it every week or every day. My friend gave me a tasty simple recipe I’ll have to share soon.
– Black bean, quinoa, & corn stuffed peppers, yummy!
– Veggie Kabobs and wild rice
– Black bean tacos
-Mac n cheese and veggies
-White bean “meatballs” and spaghetti

Still trying to figure out a good veggie enchilada recipe, mine always turn out terrible! I welcome any vegetarian meal ideas, we are sorta new at this and I don’t have tons of recipes, links would be appreciated if possible.

11 Month Letter

My sick, sad Ellery Wynn,

Poor baby this was a rough month. It seemed most of the month you were either sick or sad from teeth. I think you must have had a little bug, but those silly top teeth have been bulging and giving you trouble too. I can’t say it’s fun to have a sick baby, but I decided to enjoy it as much as possible. You wanted to snuggle constantly and you fell asleep in my arms frequently which was honestly a nice treat. I spent many naps staring at you, studying your precious face, doing my best to burn the image in my memory so I never forget what you were like as a sweet innocent baby. You have pointed out how terrible I am about sweeping the kitchen floor because you have made it your mission to find every single teeny tiny crumb. You can have 20 toys lying right next to you and you always choose the crumb seeking mission. The most fun development this month is mimicking. You like to clap when we do and you love to repeatedly stick your tongue out and make us mimic you back. You even blew me a kiss last night after I blew you one. You insist on turning the pages in your book, you love to feed yourself, and watching you play is super entertaining. You are definitely one independent child and I really enjoy that about you. This month you are moving all over, starting to pull up on short objects, “talking” up a storm, still taking two naps, weaned down to 3 feedings a day, and have started really not liking your carseat. It feels like this month you have changed a lot, it’s been very fun to watch.

Love you forever,
Mama

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New Space, Same Place

Over the last year I’ve been contemplating making changes to my blog.  When we first started it was a place where my husband and I could journal and keep our family posted about life stuff.  Recently it has grown to be a place where people across the country and a few around the world have come to read about our life.  Campbell2008 just didn’t seem to fit the bill any longer.  At my 27th birthday lunch my love asked me what some of my goals were for the year.  One of them was to have a dot com.  The other day to my surprise Andrew got me one.

I had thrown around some ideas with him.  I was thinking about what I wanted the blog to be about, and that I wanted it to stay much the same.  My mission after having a kid was to keep it a non kid centered blog.  I am a mom and I love being a mom, but I can’t lose myself in motherhood.  There are too many other things that make myself me and I want this place to be a space that highlights that and keeps me true to who I am as a wife, friend, outgoing extrovert, decorator, fashion lover, baker, new seamstress, part time vegetarian, daughter, sister, worship leader, blogger, homemaker, and more.

I wanted More Than a Mom dot com, but for $5,000 that just wasn’t going to happen so he added one word and saved us thousands, like all five of those thousands.  Not much is going to change around here right now. One thing that has changed is we now have a pin it button, so if I post something you want to remember please pin it and spread the word.  My hope is that this space continues to be a place you come for entertainment, encouragement, a quick read, a connection, a little advice and of course to see pictures of my sweet little one.

Please remember to change this blog in your reader or subscribe to receive it in your e-mail.  Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Why?

Here are some thoughts I’ve had recently.

Why do we have to sleep? God could have made us any way he wanted and he chose that we needed to sleep in order to function. I think I have some ideas on why. Sometimes you need to reset. You know when you have a terrible day and you say to yourself, hopefully tomorrow will be better and you watch the clock until it’s a reasonable time to go to bed? Yeah sleep is to cure that. I think he created us to sleep so that our babies would be created to sleep so that we get a break. I LOVE my kid and I love being a stay at home mom, but I love that she naps and that she sleeps at night. I need the break in order to enjoy her. And if those reasons weren’t enough, crawling in bed at the end of the day is one of the best feelings ever!

Why am I afraid of mice? For that matter why are we afraid of things like spiders, mice, bugs in general, teeny tiny things that cannot hurt us. And why am I not afraid of them if I see them outside, but if they are inside I freak out? I think there is a mouse in the utility area off my basement and now I’m terrified to go down there. It’s a mouse, likely no bigger than a kiwi and it causes me to run back up the stairs and I don’t even know if it exists.

Why does good for you food taste bad, and bad for you food taste good? I mean really, why?

Why did Smash have to be cancelled? I know why, because people didn’t watch it, so I guess the better question is why didn’t people watch it? It was fantastic and it only got more fantastic as it went on, I felt really sad after I watched the last episode. Ok I’ll admit Katharine McPhee needed some acting work, but her voice is beautiful which kinda made up for it.

I have tons more questions, but I would guess you’d rather not hear them, and you’re probably wondering why I even wrote this post 😉

Pinterest Purge

Ok I might be crazy! A Pinterest purge, what? But every few months while Andrew and I are watching television I purge and reorganize my pin boards. This may or may not be necessary for you, it kind of depends on how you use Pinterest. Here is how I use Pinterest: I have 21 public boards. Besides a couple random ones like random likes and my cute animals boards, they are mostly functional and I use many of them often. I have a board for sweets, one for food, one for vegetarian meals. I have several home boards, a style board, DIY, a hair board, Christmas ideas and a party board. But two boards that I find to be super important are my DO board and my Need OK Want board.

DO: what good are pins if you aren’t going to do them? This board is where I put all the tasks I want to do in the foreseeable future. My hope is that I can soon choose one item a week and get them done.

My Need OK Want board is basically a running gift ideas board. Do you ever get asked what you want for a birthday or Christmas and you can’t think of anything? This is my remedy for that. The hubs knows about in and he relays the information. I try to keep this one updated so I am not “asking” for things that I don’t really want.

And then I keep a board for all of you (and a little bit for me). My Did It board is a catalog of all the pins I’ve tried and usually I put a tip or a comment about how it was. This replaced my pinned it did it posts.

Pinterest is one of the best tools I have to stay organized so just as you would organize your office or desk I find it necessary to organize your boards. Go through and purge anything that isn’t you anymore. I find that since I started pinning my style has changed a bit so I go in and get rid of things I would ‘t wear. If I tried a recipe and didn’t like it or if it is something I know I should NEVER eat, it gets the boot. If I posted something I thought was cute, but know I will not look at again I delete it. Then I go through the boards and make sure they are pinned onto the correct board, I still have some work to do on my baby board and littles board,but all the others I have looked through each pin and made sure it is categorized correctly. This may sound like a lot of work, but if you use Pinterest to stay organized I find an hour every few months to be super helpful to utilize Pinterest to it’s fullest potential.

How are you doing minimizing your life in 2013?

My Cleaning Lists

So I’ve been asked before, and after my post on getting motivated the other day I was asked again to post my cleaning lists. So here you have it, they are kind of a work in progress. I need to redo them now that we live in a new house with different needs, but you can get the basics and tweak them to fit your needs. I bought dollar store certificate frames because a piece of printer paper fits in them. Then I scoured the Internet, found lists I liked and consolidated them to fit my needs.

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So my daily list I try to complete by 5:00, yes hula hooping is on the list, I have a weighted hula hoop that works your core without killing your back. I don’t usually check them off, but they are a good reminder. My weekly is pretty well set, except I need to add ironing and mopping. Now that I have a child feeding herself I need to mop the kitchen weekly.

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I know it appears I am seriously slacking, but I did a lot of these last month when we moved in and it’s just about time to do them again.

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Confession: I’m not fantastic about the quarterly list. This is what I really want to get better at. Some of these I naturally do, like purge and donate my closets, some not so much like cleaning the tops of my cabinets. I need to just plan one day every quarter and do the whole list. Some of these you could do every 6 months, but I kept it simple for the list sake.

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Once a year and it would be super helpful in keeping our house much nicer. Especially cleaning out the window tracks. Our last house probably never had the tracks clean and it was nearly impossible to get them looking nice. Now I just have to wipe them out once year and it’s much easier.

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I hung them up together in our laundry room and can use a dry erase marker on the glass to mark the tasks off and keep reusing them.

I do not have these in printable form, but lucky for you I stumbled upon THIS last night and she did an amazing job making beautiful free printables to make an entire house binder. It’s amazing and I would love to do this someday. I am by no means an excellent house keeper, but I decided it was time to try, so don’t look at this and think I have it all together, I DO NOT.

Our Home Office

For those of you that don’t know, my husband’s daily commute is 10 steps from our bedroom. Originally it was supposed to be in the basement, but due to some technical difficulties he is working from our eventual guest room indefinitely. We hope to someday build him an awesome space just his own downstairs, but not in the foreseeable future. I wasn’t sure how it would be having him work from home, but so far I LOVE IT!! I see him maybe a total of 15 minutes a day during work hours, but I love that he pops in to say hi to Ellery when he takes a bathroom break or comes down to grab lunch or a snack. Every once and a while he takes a lunch and we’ll take a walk around our neighborhood which is just an added bonus. I love that there is another adult in the house with me all the time and I can hear him talking part of the day which makes me feel a lot less lonely. And the number one reason I like him working from home….

Accountability!! I thought I did a lot during the day when we lived in Austin and he worked downtown, now that he works from home I realize I didn’t really do that much. I found out that I watched a lot of Netflix and took naps and kinda cleaned sometimes. Now that he is home I feel the pressure to work all day long. He doesn’t put any pressure on me, he says he completely doesn’t care what I do, but knowing that he’s in the house working makes me want to work all day too. There are a lot of days now that I don’t really sit down and relax until Elle goes to bed. Lucky for me, Stephanie and I have started Monday morning chore chats. We each make a list and when Ellery goes down for her morning nap I call and we chat while we work on our lists. This is the perfect start to my week because I feel so good from being productive that I keep up this list thing all week. This is not to say I never slack off, today I took an hour nap because I was exhausted and have been crashing at night, but I’m just more conscious of what I’m doing all day.

The other thing I love is Andrew is tired of being cooped up all day so he wants to get out in the evenings. We try to eat dinner really early and get out for a bit afterwards. Tonight we went down to the river and walked the path, then drove around downtown and past my dad’s childhood home. Before when he got home we stayed home which means there were MANY days I didn’t leave the house. I’m definitely enjoying this new lifestyle.

What? No Way

Have you heard the new song out called heart attack by Demi Lavato? Ok I’m not sure how new it is, but we had never heard it until we moved here 5 weeks ago. The first time Andrew and I listened to it he said,”I’m pretty sure she just said,’I’m putting my defenses up, cause I don’t want to fart aloud, if I ever did that I think I’d have a heart attack.” We seriously thought these were the lyrics. We turned the section up every time it came on and we continually came to the conclusion that’s what she was saying. Eventually I looked it up and the actual lyric is ” cause I don’t want to fall in love.” To be perfectly honest I think Andrew’s version makes more sense and you better believe we belt that made up line every time it plays on the radio. I also thought she said, “playing with a kindle,”to which Andrew corrected it to Ken Doll. What is wrong with people’s diction? If you’ve never heard the song you can listen to it HERE. If you do know the song I apologize if I just ruined it for you forever.