7 Things

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1. Donuts from the local Kroger bakery doesn’t scream blog worthy (and food photographer I am certainly not) like the goodies from a local or specialized bakery, but oh man are their caramel apple cake donuts delicious. I picked them up to share with co-workers this week and call me simple, but I think it’s definitely one of the best donuts I’ve ever had!

2. My interest lies more with developing my own personal style rather than concerning myself with fashion and upcoming trends (truthfully that’s always felt a bit intimidating to me – I’m much more mom style than street style), but several bloggers I follow on Snapchat went to New York Fashion Week and it was a little intriguing to see what it was like. Anybody else love Snapchat for that reason, getting to see places you’ve never been/stuff you’ve never gotten to do? I’m nosy!

3. I officially started Christmas shopping yesterday by purchasing our first gift for someone and started a list in my phone with ideas – who am I? I’m usually that person who can’t get it together until December and then I’m rushing around last minute and that just takes the fun out of it.

4. Some random Denver number just called me, putting Pandora on my phone on pause for a minute while I was listening to a little Kriss Kross and I didn’t answer, but my reaction in my head was all WHO ARE YOU AND WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?! 😉

5. I want one or maybe all of these. Somewhere along the way I think I’ve really embraced being a boy mom.

6. I went to the fall preview party that Candis from The Jones Market hosted last Friday and you guys, mark your calendar for the fall line to launch next week on 9/22. So good! I behaved and just bought 3 things but could’ve easily bought 3x as much as I did. Since I discovered her business maybe a year and a half ago now I’ve added at least one item to my personal collection each season. Kiddo friendly, good looking jewelry that I can’t get enough of!

7. We’re just on the verge of fall so even though the temperatures don’t quite feel like it yet, knowing it’s right around the corner plus the weather forecast looking like a rainy weekend has me want to wanting to make some soup. A co-worker mentioned a vegetable orzo soup she made and now I’m wanting to give this recipe a try, just with adding italian sausage because I have a lot to use up in my freezer.

Linking up for 7 Quick Takes

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Talking about life lately, linking up with Anne and Beth!

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Reading

I just posted last week about a book I read recently and really loved – A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles by Mary Elizabeth Williams. Such a good read in my opinion, and it really got me thinking! On a more light hearted note, I’m now reading The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place by Jennifer McCartney. It’s just a short but funny read that challenges everything about the clutter free/Kon Mari life. As long as colorful language doesn’t offend you, then it’s one I would recommend if you need a good laugh and an excuse to ignore all household chores. 🙂

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Trying

To get my life together in terms of health/fitness. I want to eat healthier, and have been really intrigued by zoodles and debating trying to convince my husband that we need a spiralizer. I noticed the other day that our grocery store now sells squash or sweet potatoes already spiralized so I’m using that as a tester for a week of two to make sure I’ll actually eat the stuff before adding another gadget to our kitchen cabinets. So far I’ve just eaten them with pasta sauce for a few lunches at work, but think I’ll have to get a little more creative to avoid getting bored with it.

Hoping

After an appointment with the allergist today confirmed a peanut and cow’s milk allergy for our son, I’m hoping that he’ll outgrow both at some point!

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Decorating

Our office area. It’s just a small nook upstairs but earlier this summer I reorganized it and created a space for Jacob too. Now I just have to get myself to use it more. It feels good to finally have some things hanging on the wall in there too after 6 years of living here!

To-Do Listing

The never ending nature of it has been a recent source of stress, but a few of the big ones hanging over my head are another closet clean out for me, going through all of Jacob’s old clothes to get rid of ones we don’t want to keep and better organize the ones we do (I just threw everything in boxes as he outgrew them), and to put a little more effort into our landscaping. None of these things sound enjoyable. 😦

Holiday Weekend Shopping

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I’m really loving that we’re in the stage where my son has outgrown any hand me downs that were shared with us, and his birthday last fall and Christmas were both long ago enough that any gifts he’s outgrown by now too. They certainly were appreciated, but it’s been really fun to have to shop for him because as we’re getting ready to shift into fall (after a few more 90 degree days headed our way…ugh!) he pretty much had no clothes that will fit him.

We had done a good job of stocking up on 4 or 5 sweatshirts for about $5 each when Carter’s had their end of season sales as we were getting ready to roll into spring/summer, but new pajamas, pants, long sleeve tees, and shoes were needed then I couldn’t help but get a few new short sleeves too. Those will get plenty of wear while the temperature is still high, then layer up nicely as it gets cooler.

We took full advantage of the Labor Day sales this weekend. Because kids are messy and I have no desire to try to reign that in for the sake of keeping clothes stain free, I cringe to pay more than $5-$10 on any piece of clothing (except shoes) that we buy him. Old Navy was my go-to spot for an online order of shirts because they had a really good selection for about $4-$6 each. From plain, to prints, to baseball tees, to character tees because I think it’s fair for every little boy to own a TMNT tee and a batman tee, I stocked up on them all. Plus I threw a little something in the cart for myself to get myself over $50 to qualify for that free shipping. 😉

Carter’s was another spot Jacob and I went to check out on Saturday afternoon because it was time for another round of their $5 doorbusters. I’m realizing I didn’t include any pictures, but we stocked up on maybe 5 of the $5 sweatpants, betting them in almost every color. I had found jeans for him during a trip to the outlet mall back in July, but sweatpants and t-shirts are this kids’ uniform so we needed options. Some $5 long-sleeve tees with prints of things he knows the name of because I love when he tells me what’s on his shirts (dino, bear, and bike) and then I just couldn’t resist this bear tee for a few dollars more because he just recently learned what a bear is and Brown Bear is the current favorite book in our house, so how could I not?

We also made a trip to Buy Buy Baby to price out car seats since I’m in need of a new one soon for my car and used it as a chance to snatch up a few pairs of pajamas. Continuing with the bear theme, I couldn’t resist this pair even though they weren’t on sale. We also bought some Burt’s Bees pj’s for half off, for only $10 a pair. I couldn’t find them on Buy Buy Baby’s website, but found them here and here on Kohl’s website and because it’s Kohl’s that means they’re bound to go on serious sale at some point right? Softest jams our kid has owned, so I may even be convinced that they’re worth it at full price.

New shoes rounded out the weekend of shopping and I felt like such bad parents when we took him into Stride Rite and realized his sneakers were a whole size smaller than what he should be in now. Poor kid! We decided to take advantage of their buy one get one 40% off sale and get him two pairs of shoes for this fall. We bought the same style he outgrew (couldn’t find them in blue on Stride Rite’s site) and then the cutest little pair of Saucony’s too, and I may have already started the hunt online to see if I can snag a matching pair of Saucony’s for myself. I’m sure it’d induce a few eye rolls from my husband, but I may not be able to help myself!

 

If You Need a Good Read

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I promise my kid is actually in that bathtub, I’m not just hiding out alone in my bathroom to read a book. Now that I say that though, not a bad idea. 😉

Writing book reviews aren’t really my thing, maybe partially because my relationship with reading has always bounced back and forth between being obsessed and wanting to read all the time to then going almost a year before I pick up another book. But when I came across A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles by Mary Elizabeth Williams, I loved it so much I just had to share.

The way I found the book was really random. I was reading one of Kate Baer’s curated tweets posts and she included a tweet by Mary Beth about getting played that I thought was hilarious so I decided to check her out and follow her on Twitter because she seemed to have some pretty funny tweets and I thought she would be entertaining. Her profile must’ve mentioned her book, so I requested it from the library. When it came in, I wandered down to the library on my lunch break one day before walking to grab some lunch and was so intrigued by it that I started it as I stood in a hot and tiny little restaurant waiting for my to go order for what felt like forever (probably because I was hangry) and I was hooked. I read it on some of my lunch breaks, I read it while my kid was taking a bath each night, and when I got to the last few pages I wanted so badly to finish reading it that I read it by cell phone flashlight while in bed trying to get my son to sleep.

Now let me clear, my first impression of the author was that she made me laugh a few times but I knew good and well when I looked up her book and saw that the subtitle included cancer that this was not a book to expect to laugh my way through. But Piper Kerman’s comment about the book (printed on the cover) kind of sums it up perfectly: “When you laugh and cry at the exact same time, you know you are reading an amazing survival story”. I loved it because it felt real, in a way that this was a person very authentically sharing her physical and emotional experience with cancer – and not just her own diagnosis and treatment, but others in her life too.

In fact, I think what hit me hardest in her book was the number of people she knows who have been diagnosed with some type of cancer. And think about it – I’m guessing that almost all of us know somebody who has experienced that diagnosis too, right? Whether it be a co-worker, a friend, or a family member it’s just unfortunately a very common thing I think. For me it includes two aunts who had breast cancer, my mom had a scare that turned out fine, and then my father-in-law had throat cancer. Throughout the book the author references reactions of others around here, from friends she thought would always be there drifting away to one of her friends showing her support by sending her a *language alert* fuck cancer t-shirt. And it really got me thinking, which friend would I be? I hope it’s the friend who doesn’t shy away for fear of not knowing what to say, and instead picks out the completely inappropriate t-shirt.

Another big theme of the book that I found really interesting was the treatment she received through a clinical trial and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything because clearly she lived to write the book, but the treatment worked with astounding results. So if you like the chances of a good laugh, a good cry, and a peek inside the really great things modern medicine can achieve then I would definitely recommend this book!

7 Things

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Because it’s fun, linking up with Kelly for 7 quick takes (late to the party, any party as usual!)…

1. We headed up to northwest Ohio over the weekend to see my husband’s family and being out in the country was just what I needed. It felt great to just let Jacob explore outside without the need to redirect him every 5 seconds because he’s venturing into someone else’s yard like we have to do at our house. Jacob’s favorite addition to Grandma and Grandpa’s house though? Schmitty the kitty! The sweetest little kitten that tolerated a toddler wanting to constantly hug him.

2. I have been in a serious funk lately. I’m quick to blame a really busy time at work, but the reality is that we’re now in a place where about 6 total months out of the year are a really busy time so I need to find a way to cope. Hallie’s post last week about choosing to change your frame of mind and her tips for doing that really spoke to me so I’m trying to incorporate some of her ideas!

3. But before I read her post I might’ve done some stress shopping at Marshall’s…good thing I only found one thing I wanted, and it was only $15!

4. Jacob had a sick day this week and I gladly used it as an excuse to hold him during a long nap and binge watch Bachelor in Paradise. It was a wonderful distraction to keep me from thinking about the size of my inbox when I went back to work and it made me feel more legit about owning this t-shirt.

5. Mango pineapple vodka and lemonade for the win lately because as much as I love fall, maybe I’m not quite ready for it yet.

6. In the past week and a half I’ve taken my parents and then my brother, his fiancée, and two of her siblings to the airport to fly out to San Francisco to visit our family and it made me really sad we’re missing out on the trip this year. I’m hoping that we can at least plan a smaller trip sometime soon because I need a vacation!!

7. Anybody have any funny podcasts to recommend? The more inappropriate the content, the better. 😉 We’ll be reaching the time of year at work soon where I can put in headphones and keep busy with tasks that don’t require talking to people as much and I need some comedy that I don’t have to pay close attention to, but it’ll still keep me in a good mood. Awhile ago Candis from The Jones Market gave some of her recommendations on Snapchat and I listed to 2 Dope Queens because of that and LOVED it!

Race Day

 

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Oh goodness, that face!It’s been a little over a week now since my husband did the half Ironman race in Delaware, Ohio (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, then 13.1 mile run) and I really wanted to post about it last week, but sickness plus maybe teething took over our house which meant a severe lack of sleep. So survival mode it was. This wasn’t the first one he’s done, but it was the first one that was close enough to not require a road trip and for that I was thankful. It was so nice to sleep in our bed and to be able to be home in less than an hour! The only little bit of drama associated with this race was the tornado (small thankfully) that touched down the night before at the state park where the race started and where our family was camping. A few uprooted trees and everyone and everything else was fine!

I’ll admit that I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with my husband’s hobby of distance races and the training that comes along with it. It’s kind of annoying to have all of your weekend plans from maybe about April through October revolve around what the training schedule looks like, and the training rides and runs can take up a lot of time when it’s the peak of training. But I’ve learned to use that time to do something for myself too and save the chores for later when we’re both home. Sure I have my little toddler side kick, but we’ve gone for walks that end in a coffee shop visit, a trip to a farmer’s market, the library, and sometimes just a slow morning at home knowing that I have full control of the tv remote. 😉 It’s just what my little introvert heart needs!

My favorite part though is seeing someone you’re close to accomplish a goal like this because you see the work and the dedication that goes into preparing for it. As they were getting to start my husbands’ wave of the swim, I looked over and saw a woman watching the group enter the water and she had tears in her eyes. And yes I’m off the charts sentimental and my husband would probably roll his eyes at me, but I totally teared up when he did his first triathlon and was damn close to it this time too!

So here’s a little video created out of cell phone pictures and video to show you what race day looks like for us, minus the parts where I had to chase a toddler out of the parking lot 15 times, try unsuccessfully to get him from napping in his stroller to napping in the car, and then drive around aimlessly in neighborhoods surrounding the finish line just trying to find a parking spot… 😉

Ironman 70.3 – Delaware, OH from Jess L. on Vimeo.

That Mom

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On the chance that you’re ever invited over to my house to hang for a bit, let me go ahead and apologize for the state of it. I can almost guarantee that there will be some kind of combination of toys strewn across the living room, an entire downstairs to be swept, dishes in my kitchen sink, and a kitchen island full of clutter. I wish I could be one of those moms who has the time and energy to put in a 40 hour work week, keep a clean and orderly house, get a solid nights’ sleep, and take time for her own hobbies and interests too. They exist right, or am I just thinking wishfully?

I let go of the expectation that I could be that mom who managed it all pretty early on because I actually never was that great at managing it all before I even had the privilege of taking on the title of mom too. Instead I’ve decided to cut myself some slack and that it’s ok that I don’t do everything well. My role of mom and wife has of course stayed my top priorities, with my job usually coming in second. I love and believe in the work that I do, I just tend to get emotionally drained and overwhelmed by it from time to time.

Last week was one that was exceptionally difficult at work, but rather than let the stress get me down I decided that Jacob and I were going to pick something local that we had never done before and check it out on Saturday morning together, a time that’s typically spent just the two of us. This time around I decided on a local farmer’s market and it did not disappoint, despite what the look on Jacob’s face may try to tell you. 😉

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It was the perfect distraction, truly it was. Weaving in and out of people, making one big loop to scope out the goods and decide what I wanted to pick up when we circled back around, I didn’t think once about work. It was a little bit crowded and the set up was a little bit tight in spots, so it felt a bit impossible to get pictures of some of the stands without feeling obnoxious. That and you know, making sure a certain almost 2 year old wasn’t acting up. But plenty of fruits and veggies to go around, and quite possibly the largest peaches I’ve ever seen. Pretzel bread for my carb loving husband, something I knew he’d like when he got home from a long workout on the bike.

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And flowers, because did you really go to a farmer’s market if you didn’t come home with flowers? Those purple beauties up top were selling for something as low as $2, but I opted to bring home the $5 bunch of orange and yellow flowers. There was a table of tiny succulents for sale too, priced at two for $5 and I had to literally talk myself down and into putting my wallet back into my purse because there was no need to go overboard (I already have 3 at home).

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The whole outing took maybe an hour and a half, and it was just the distraction I needed to wipe out the constant to do list from repeating in my mind. The scenery was even enjoyable!

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The farmer’s market we went to is in a really pretty part of our area, a city with that old, brick everything type of charm. As we were almost back to my car the bells at this church started in and it was just beautiful too!