What It All Adds Up To

1 Disney internship

4 Shaun T workout programs

1 Wedding

18 Countries (20 after these next two weeks!)

3 Years of long distance

5 Disney parks

1 Baby

7 Homes

2 Pets

7 Races

48 Road Trips

476 Trips to Starbucks

37 Flights

152 Dinners at Chipotle

265 Dates

6798 Adventures

And, what does it all add up to?

The best 10 years of my life with the one and only person I’d ever want to have so many memories with.

Happy 10 years together, babe.

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cheers!

*That’s 10 years since we started dating BTW.

Luna and the Wolf

Middle Tennessee has become one big ice cube today. Our driveway has become a skating rink in the little bit of snow that covered the grass is now thick ice. Good thing we had a super busy weekend and I don’t mind being stuck in the house too much. Yesterday, I told you about the Hot Chocolate Run we ran early Valentin’s morning, but the day wasn’t over then. That afternoon. Luna’s Great Grandmother took me and Luna to see the Nashville Ballet perform Peter and the Wolf.  (Her first ballet!)

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The ballet was at TPAC, our favorite place in Nashville, and the Polk theater was jam packed with kids of all ages. Luna was definitely one of the youngest (and cutest) little future ballerinas in attendance. Before the show started she spent every moment climbing up and down the stairs and trying desperately to roam the aisles. I was dreading the start of the show because I just knew Luna would be too wiggly and restless to sit still. However, when the lights dimmed and the story began, my little wiggle worm leaned back into my chest and focused her attention directly to the stage.

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The ballet was adorable. It was all geared towards the kids. The props and costumes were super colorful, the music was not too loud or complicated, the dancing was entertaining and graceful and, best of all, it was educational. Luna stared at the dancers for a good 35 minutes before getting bored. I was well prepared though, I quickly handed her some baby crackers and she was content for the next ten minutes, which is when the show ended.

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Afterwards they had a special activity for the kids to stay in chat with the dancers, but Luna is a too young to enjoy that. We all had a great time at the ballet. It’s been YEARS since I’ve seen Peter and the Wolf  and I’d completely forgotten how great it is. Hopefully, Luna will continue to enjoy it and I’ll get to take her many more times as she grows up!

Cheers!

My Favorite 5k Yet

Our Valentine’s Day began bright and early, well dark and early. I was up at 4:30 am, and for once, it wasn’t Luna’s fault. We had to get up, get ready, drop-off baby at the Grandparents and head downtown for the Hot Chocolate Run!!! Who wouldn’t want to do a run with that title?

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It was the most organized and well put together race. It all began at the Expo where we easily picked up our race packets and hoodies. Everyone was so nice and helpful. They allowed us to try on the hoodies and even exchange them for a different size if it was needed. Everything was neatly stacked, color coded and well-stocked. It is one of the few races where I actually got the size I requested. They also handed out hot chocolate and chocolate dipped marshmallows, not a bad way to kick off the even.

The Hot Chocolate Run is by far the biggest race we’ve ever done. Over 9,000 people signed up, and when we parked downtown at 6am, the only people we saw walking the streets were other runners. It was below freezing, but everyone seemed happy and excited at the prospect of running towards a mug of hot chocolate. We were running a little late (surprise, surprise), and had to park about a mile from the Start line, so by the time we arrived and joined our corral the race started.

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Dressed in matching Valentine accessories, we ran around Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and through the streets downtown. Since so many people were there, it made running a lot more fun and the race went by much faster. There were tons of excited volunteers cheering us on as we ran, photographers, signs, and video cameras. As we approached the finished line the race announcer actually said our names over the speakers…Here comes Hilarie! Bella is approaching the finish line.. It was all very motivating. At least it must have been because we finished the race with an 8.10 pace and we haven’t run in weeks. I was very happy with that time.

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After we caught our breath we picked up our mug full of hot chocolate, fondue and treats to dip in our fondue… all of which were delicious and so needed. We were freezing when we finished! The little amount we sweated chilled us to the bone once we stopped moving. We stuck around to check out the after party, but soon enough we were too cold and left for our traditional breakfast, cupcake and Starbucks. It was the perfect way to start our day of love.

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Thanks, Husband for running with me, even though I know you are faster, hate running and don’t actually enjoy us forcing everyone to wear matching outfits. I love you the most. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cheers!

12 Things I Discovered After Having a Baby

While pregnant with Luna, I heard all the typical tips, warnings and advice from basically every single person I came in contact with, stranger or not. I nodded kindly and smiled when they told me all about how much my life would change, but in my head I was thinking very arrogant thoughts. Duh. I KNOW my life will change. I am perhaps the most prepared Mom ever, and I am READY.

I was cocky, so cocky. I began babysitting when I was 12, worked in a daycare in college, taught Elementary school, taught preschoolers, toddlers and worked with LOTS of babies. I knew what to expect, and in some ways, I was really prepared. I mostly behave like the mother of a second child. Eating food off the floor? Putting dirty hands in their mouth? Explosive diapers? Snot and spit-up on my clothes? Forced to look like a fool in public? It’s all totally fine. I have yet to stress over any of this. I knew it was coming.

However, Luna is now a year old and after reflecting a lot on the past year, I realized that I was in many ways not at all prepared for parenthood and have discovered that there are some things you will never realize until you have a kid.

1. There are basically zero healthy drive-thru’s. We are out and about often, and too often I fail to pack myself any food. It never fails that severe hunger strikes when I am in the car and Luna has just fallen asleep. It’s, of course, nap time and the absolute last thing I want to do is wake her up. So, the only reasonable option is to get food at a drive-thru, but where? I’m a vegetarian and try to eat healthy as much as I can. I usually end up at Starbucks, because when all else fails, coffee.

2. Mom friends are imperative. Most of my friends in Tennessee are childless. I never once cared that I was having a baby and no one else was, until I had the baby. It gets lonely and often isolating when you are taking care of a baby 24/7. Also, your baby is sometimes all you want to talk about, and I’m here to tell you that 30-year-old single guys do not actually want to talk about breastfeeding, meeting milestones and post partum depression. In fact, the only people who want to talk about these things are other Moms. My new friends are so important that I may soon be writing a blog specifically for them.

3. Parking at the grocery store is a real challenge. There was a moment when Luna was a couple of months old and the two of us were grocery shopping together. After checking out, we walked to the car and I faced a completely new dilemma. First, who/what do I load first? Baby or groceries? Baby, right? I should get her buckled in safely before unloading the groceries. Then, after everything was unloaded, I looked at my empty basket, then at the “basket return” area 50 feet away… shit. It’s rude to leave your basket wild and free in the parking lot, but if I return it and leave Luna in the car someone is certain to call child protective services on me. I stood there in the parking lot, glancing between the basket return and Luna, debating, when an angel dressed in a Publix apron asked if he could return my basket for me. Now, I always park as close to the basket return as I can get, and Luna doesn’t get unloaded first anymore.

4. My body is so not my body. Having a baby does a number on your body. My hair, nails, skin, eyesight, blood pressure, belly button and even my teeth have changed. I have so much to hold over this poor child’s head.

5. I know where every decent bathroom is located. When you have to breastfeed and change diapers in public, you very quickly learn which stores and restaurants have decent places to sit and changing tables. Shockingly, many places do not even have changing stations. And, in case you’re wondering Nordstroms has the BEST bathrooms. They have a super clean, comfortable, spacious and private room just for Mothers. There are chairs for breastfeeding, enormous changing tables, mirrors, end tables, sinks and very clean women’s restrooms are connected. It’s totally worth walking across the mall.

6. I have never ever had so much respect and appreciation for my parents, and I respected them a lot before I had Luna. Raising a kid is hard, scary and freaking awesome. Luna is only one and I am already so proud of her. My heart breaks when she cries. I miss her when we are separated for more than an hour. I want nothing but the best for her, and suddenly everything my parents said and did (well almost everything) makes so much sense. I get it now, I’m a parent too.

7. You do not need half of the baby crap you will buy, and what you buy you will only use for a very short amount of time. There should be some sort of system in place where all Moms rotate their baby gear from new Mom to new Mom.

8. We watch way too much TV. I like to have the TV on 90% of the time. Not because I want to sit and watch TV all day, but because I like having the background noise. Being in silence with my own thoughts is rarely a place I want to be. I prefer to have reruns of Friends, The Office or Gilmore Girls constantly playing through the house. It’s comforting, like having an old friend over. However, I do not want Luna to be in the habit of watching so much TV. We have had to change our habits, and we now play a lot of music…  and mix in some TV, especially in the evenings.

9. I miss my family more than ever. I have lived far away from home for about 8 years now, but this is by far the most I have missed everyone. I want my Mommy all of the time! Also, I want Luna to have more time with her Grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousin and all of my long-distance friends too. Thank God for Skype and smart phones!

10. My baby wins.  I know that every parent thinks their baby is the cutest. Before we had Luna, Husband and I often talked about this phenomenon, and thought some parents must know that they’re kid is not actually the cutest, smartest, funniest most talented kid. However, now we have Luna, and I must tell you, she actually is the cutest baby ever.

11. Sleep is a luxury I miss severely. I have always been able to function on little sleep, but I was also always able to sleep-in here and there. When I taught Elementary school I usually slept about 4 hours a night, but on the weekend I would sleep-in until my heart’s desire. If I went out on a Friday night, I could stay out until the sun came up and sleep the next day away or enjoy a nice Netflix marathon. Now, if we go out at night I stare at the clock and constantly think “in 5 hours I have to get up… in just 4 hours I have to get up…” I miss you, sleep.

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12. The last one is one I have heard time and time again, but I didn’t really get it until I too was a parent. I love Luna more than I ever could have imagined. It’s true, you don’t understand this kind of love until it happens. I love Peter, I love him more than I could ever put into words. I ‘m completely mad about him, but my love for Luna is entirely different. She is our entire world, she’s everything.

What did you learn after having a baby?

Cheers!

My Must Have’s When Baby Gets Sick

This winter has brought on colds for all of us. Luckily, none of us have come down with anything serious. Although, a baby with a runny nose and a hacking cough is absolutely no fun. After a few colds, some fever, the must disgusting dried green boogery nose and a cough so loud it made me want to cry, I think I’ve finally got this sick baby thing down pat.

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Yup, Zarbee’s natural cough syrup, Boogie Wipes, Vick’s BabyRub, Safety 1st Thermometer and the Roolen humidifier. (I almost added the Nosefrida Snotsucker, but honestly, I haven’t used it much. Luna’s nose is more drippy than stuffy.)

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These little tools have been crucial this season, but the coolest of all has been the Roolen. It’s a “smart” humidifier and it’s changing my life. It actually has a detector that adjusts to the best humidity level for its environment. AND, it has 3 different settings. One is “high”, which is obviously high humidity for a dry room. Another is “low”, which will last for 24 hours and the best one is “auto”. Auto mode decides the best level for you.

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The Roolen holds a lot of water (3.15 Liters), and because I always use auto mode, it lasts a few nights before I have to refill it. I love anything that saves me time and an extra chore. It’s also energy efficient. When on auto, it goes into sleep mode when it reaches the right humidity level it goes into sleep mode, saving water and energy. Plus, it’s pretty, sleek and simple.

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I highly recommend the Roolen, and stocking up on some of these “must haves” before baby gets sick. Trust me, it’s nice to have them on hand.

What are some of you “must haves”?

Cheers!

 

12 Months = 1 Year

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Now, that Luna is one year and eleven days old, I guess I can finally post Luna’s final “month by month” photos. Insert sad-face emoticon here. Why does it all go by so fast? It’s weird how some moments seem to drag on and on forever (hello, 2am crying wake-ups!), and yet the entire year seemed to go by in a blink of an eye. Sigh…

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Even though, it’s sad to know that babies grow up so fast, I have to say that it just keeps getting better. Every milestone, every month, ever new personality trait makes my life better. Luna is so much fun! Just when I think she couldn’t possibly get any cuter or I couldn’t possibly love her more, another day passes and she’s cuter and more lovable. Even, after she spits her food out, pulls the cat’s fur out, plays in the toilet and spills the dog’s water bowl for the thousandth time, I still go to bed thinking I’m the luckiest Mom alive. (And, also praying that she sleeps through the night… yeah, we still struggle with that!)

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As always, Luna had an adventurous month. She went to a wedding, a few parties, had tons of people visit her for her Birthday, “ran” the Zoo run, joined Gymboree and learned lots of new skills.

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Happy 12 Months baby girl. Here’s to the next 12!

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Cheers!