A Fresh Start

If you know me even the tiniest bit, you know I love holidays a bit more than a 30-year-old should. You know I plan outfits that fit the appropriate theme (and much Luna), I decorate, celebrate, wear head pieces, the whole 9 yards. The truth is, I love most holidays simply because I love having a reason to celebrate (and perhaps purchase some new accessories). New Year’s Day is no exception, but I love this particular holiday for more than just the glitz, the glam and the bubbly. I LOVE a fresh start.

fresh

The last month has been one hot mess. Well, I have been one hot mess during the last month. “Overwhelmed” is the word of the month, and 2 weeks ago I decided the only way I was going to enjoy the Holidays was to take a break. I took a break from writing, editing, reviewing, taking photos (mostly), emailing and anything else that did not involve keeping my house and family running and happy. With 5 house guests, plus a few extra pets, parties, playdates and get-togethers we haven’t had a moment to spare. I have missed my routine, and have truly missed my blog.

Over the last few days I have tried to come up with a list (yay lists!) of my new year resolutions, and uhhh, let’s just say it’s not hard to do. I’m beginning to think my resolution should just be “make shorter lists”. I need to improve myself in so many ways…better wife, mother, friend, writer, worker, neighbor, daughter, sister, planner, eater, sleeper, person-in-general. I need to stop eating dairy, floss everyday, stop wasting time playing on my phone and¬†start¬†using the word “no”, which I currently never ever do. I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed (there’s that word again) at the amount of improvement I expect in 2015, but the term “fresh start” kept coming to mind and it brought me much needed solace.

Today is January 1st, 2015. Today marks a new year. A time for resolutions, new dreams, new plans and new beginnings. It’a chance to start over, begin a new chapter and create a better version of the awesome person you already are. 2014 has come and gone. It had it’s ups and downs, more ups than downs (thankfully). At first glance, 2014 seems unimpressive. What did I do? Where did that year go? I see one failure after another. At second glance, I see much more. 2014 is when I became a Mother. It’s when I got sick and put on medications for probably ever. I learned that I am stronger than I ever imagined, yet more vulnerable than ever before. I fell more in love with my Husband than ever before. I made new friends, created new traditions, traveled, learned to cook, became a runner and learned A LOT.

There are lots of ¬†things I failed to do in 2014, but when I focus on all I¬†did do it gives me lots of hope for 2015. I have 365 days ahead of me and I am stoked to fill the pages with more goals, more love, more adventures and even more failures (that’s how we know we’re trying, right?). ¬†Realistically, I know I won’t be able to check off every single resolution on my list this year, but there’s always 2016!

newyear

Happy New Year to you all! I’d love to hear some of you resolutions for the new year.

Cheers!

Luna’s First Musical and a Review of Rudolph

Last night, I was able to take Luna to her very first musical. For the first time, Luna was invited to review a show with me at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. We dressed up (coordinating, obviously), packed many baby emergencies in the diaper bag and even watched a TV version of the musical we would be watching. What show did we attend you ask? Why, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, of course!

It's almost impossible to keep her still for a photo lately. This was the best I could get of our festive outfits.
It’s almost impossible to keep her still for a photo lately. This was the best I could get of our festive outfits.

Even though I was super pumped to introduce her to one of my most favorite forms of art, I went in assuming I would only see half the show. It is an almost two hour show after all. I packed some snacks, water and a quiet¬†toy to keep her busy, and sat at the end of the aisle so I’d be prepared to run out with a crying baby. Much to my surprise and delight, Luna was the best freakin’ baby ever! We NEVER had to get up and she seemed to really enjoy the show! She danced, bounced to the music, clapped and really watched the characters as they moved all over the stage. Even if the show was awful, it gets a good review simply for keeping a 10 months entertained.

so excited for the show to start!
so excited for the show to start!

The good news is, it wasn’t awful. As the little girl announced behind me as we exited the theater, “that show was adorable!” And, it was. The characters all looked and even sounded exactly like the characters from the classic cartoon that we will all forever remember fondly from our childhood. Can you believe it’s 50 years old??? Rudolph’s nose shines brightly, the reindeer really do fly, the abominable snowman is BIG and scary and the narrator, Sam the Snowman, remains the best character. It was nostalgic for us grown-ups and apparently good as new for all the little people. The theater was full of kids and I only saw one that had to leave in the middle of the show. The set was very impressive and the puppets were so cool! They reminded me of the puppets used in the¬†Finding Nemo musical at Disney World.

This chic does not dig Santa....
This chic does not dig Santa….

The bad news is, the story is just as strange as it always was. As a child, I remember the story of Rudolph fondly. Poor Rudolph is teased for being different, which is a storyline we can all relate to one way or another. He finds his own group of misfit friends, learns to like himself, use his difference as a strength and grows up to be a happy successful reindeer. Yay, Rudolph! As an adult, Rudolph is a much sadder story. He Dad is so ashamed of his son for looking different. Santa has no faith in him. The other reindeer kids are bullies and even the coach treats him like an outcast. It’s kind of shocking. At one point Rudolph returns to his home to reunite with his family after being gone for months and months and Santa is all like “tough luck kid, they’ve been gone looking for you and now I might not have your Dad to pull my sleigh, thanks a lot.” Hardly anyone cares at all about Rudolph until they find out he can do something for them. In a way, I guess it’s a reflection of real life. Few friends are hard to come by.

The one theme that still rings true is that the character trait that makes you feel like an outcast is what makes you unique. Being different isn’t bad. You just have to learn to use your gift to add some brightness to the world, like Rudolph.

We had a great night out and I am so happy that Luna loved the show! If you are interested in seeing Rudolph at TPAC, which plays from December 16th through December 21st, checkout the ticket options here. If you want to see the tour dates of this traveling musical take a look at their schedule here.

Enjoy the show!

Cheers!

The Truth Is…

This time of year is hard. It’s great, it’s merry, it’s jam packed full of fun family festivities, but it’s often So SO BUSY. You may have noticed my posts have been few and far between lately. Well, between my inability to say “no” to anyone, Luna, regular life duties, holiday festivities, to-do lists, workouts, traveling, shopping, decorating and what not I have just lost track of how to get everything done. For years, I believed that I could do it all. In fact, I often did “it all”… I taught full time, got my Master’s full time, ran 2 extra-curricular activities and still managed to have a very busy social life. Students called me Super Woman, and to be honest, I felt like it. So, when I decided to be a “stay-at-home” Mom, I thought “piece of cake”. I clearly had no clue what I was signing up for when I quit working to work at home.

I imagined waking up early with my happy cooing baby, making breakfast for everyone, sipping my coffee while playing with something educational on the floor with Luna. Our day would consist of Pinterest projects, playdates, baby classes, nursery rhymes, story time, walks in the park and dancing in the living room. I’d cook, clean, blog and complete various DIY projects during naptime. During my free time, (ha. ha. ha.) I’d learn to garden and sew. I’d cloth diaper, breastfeed, make all my own baby food, cook organic healthy meals every day, volunteer, teach Luna sign language and have plenty of time to make my blog and social media improve ten-fold. I’d get so much during the day that I’d get to spend the evening enjoying Husband’s company. We’d have time to snuggle up, enjoy the delicious meal I made and watch our favorite TV shows after Luna’s bedtime.

bra
until the doorbell rings…

 

You’d think after a degree in childhood development and 6 years of working with children I wouldn’t be so delusional. It’s not like I don’t know other Moms. Most of my friends have kids and I know they are often overwhelmed, but¬†I’m different, or so I thought.¬†I’m superwoman. I know how to manage my time. I know how to get shit done and get it done well. How can I not “stay home” and get EVERYTHING done?¬†Here’s how: a baby.

Babies consume every single second of every single day. I’m not complaining (well, maybe a little). But, mostly I want to inform. Why? Because all of you old parents, new parents, future parents, and never-gonna-be-parents are being lied to every single day on social media. ALL of those Moms (myself included) who make it appear as if they have it altogether all the time are big fat liars. (Or at least they better be.) There is no way, NO WAY, those¬†Moms are¬†cooking meals from the garden she grew, homeschooling her genius children, sewing clothes from cotton she sheared, living in her Pottery Barn perfect home, showing off her ripped abs, making cookies for her elderly neighbors, writing her “how to do-it-all” tell-all, all while wearing designer heels and perfect hair with no-roots.OR, doing all of this plus holding a full-time job. No way. It’s a sham!

You want the truth?¬†Something is missing. Some things are¬†getting put on the back burner, brushed under the couch, locked behind messy closet doors, cropped out of of photos, fixed in¬†photoshop, forgotten and flat-out ignored. The¬†truth is that if you see me post a picture of Luna and I dressed in cute matching outfits with fixed hair, make-up and shoes, then chances are, we ate pb and j out of the jar for lunch, left the clothes in the washer (again) and forgot to feed the pets. If you come over and my house is perfectly cleaned and organized then I guarantee you I have not showered, bathed Luna, or updated my blog¬†in 2 days. If my blog is bumpin’, my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are updated then I either got to sit by myself while Husband watched Luna for a couple of hours, she napped for 3 hours, or my house looks like a bomb just went off.

ALL moms.
ALL moms.

The truth is I am able to do a lot as a stay-at-home Mom. I¬†do cloth diaper, make baby food, breastfeed, take baby classes, go on playdates, volunteer, cook often, blog and even do a Pinterest project every once in a while. But, do I do it all everyday? Hell no. Luna is needy and she’s pretty obsessed with me. Most of my day is spent holding, changing, feeding, bathing, playing with, reading to, teaching and keeping Luna from killing herself. ¬†Every night I wonder where the day went? How does every day go by so fast? How do I never manage to get it all done? Then, I sit down at the computer to write to you, and the second I do, the baby monitor lights up. Luna’s crying and needs me. Then, I remember…that’s why.

And, the truth is, I love it.

So, parents, next time you check you Facebook feed and see a slew of photos of Super Moms looking stunning with their smiling babies in their freshly dusted home, remember that they are most likely burning cookies, running late and skipping their daily runs. They’re not doing it all and neither are you. So, let’s stop beating ourselves up about it. The good news is, none of that matters. So, go ahead and like their status, give them a virtual high-five for getting a third of their to-do list done, take a deep breath, look around your messy house and remember, there’s always tomorrow! Now, go love on those babies!

Cheers!

Yay for New Traditions and Discounts!

Now that December has arrived so has¬†the start of our¬†many holiday traditions. I have always been big on celebrating Christmas and creating new traditions while continuing old ones, but it takes on a whole new level of festiveness¬†now that we have Luna. Two days into December and we have already pulled out the decorations, listened to holiday music all day everyday, done some serious Christmas shopping, read a Christmas book, taken family pictures, started an advent calendar, drank cocoa and of course, began watching Christmas movies… a favorite being Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

lovies

big guy

You all remember this classic, right? The stop-motion animated movie with the squeaky voice Rudolph who learns that his unique nose that causes him to feel like an outcast is actually what makes him special? Heart-warming, right? And, somehow, after all of these years, the stop-motion, the story and the music all remains as popular as ever. It’s timeless. And, speaking of time, it’s actually the 50th anniversary of Rudolph. And, I just learned the TV series has been turned into a stage musical!¬†AND, it’s coming to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center!!!

rudolph elf

I am of course going to the show (and hopefully taking Luna as well, fingers crossed she’s in a good mood!), and I’ll be writing a review as well, but I needed to write this post in advance. You know how much I love TPAC, theatre and supporting the arts. I am constantly telling you all to get off your bums and see show, visit local museums, hit up the crafts fairs and whatnot? Well, the powers that be at TPAC have informed me that they are offering a special deal for tickets for this show, leaving you with no excuse to miss it!

Use the code “BUMBLE” to get 25% off select seating for the Tuesday-Thursday performances. NOW, you seriously have no excuse to not see this show. Take your kids, dress in your cheesy Christmas sweaters, drinks some cocoa and start a new tradition! I’ll be there Tuesday night and hope to see you there! Buy your tickets here, and if you are not locals, then check out the tour schedule here.

Happy Holidays from me and TPAC, cheers!

Little Monsters at the Zoo

ghouls

I am falling more in love Nashville everyday. We have been super busy with all the fall festivities in and around Nashville. Everyone told us that having Luna would slow us down, but the truth is, she keeps us motivated to do more. Thanks to Nashville Parent and the various flyers hanging up at Starbucks, I am constantly finding new family-friendly stuff to do in middle Tennessee. Last weekend kicked off the Ghouls at Grassmere annual event at the Nashville Zoo, and we decided it was a perfect time to take Luna on her very first zoo trip.

zoo

The Ghouls at Grassmere event is geared towards kids and is a really unique Halloween experience! The kids get to dress-up, trick-or-treat on the trails, see the zoo at night and participate in many other activities. They have a haunted hayride, a spooky house tour, a “scary-go-round”, carnival games, a dance party and more. Luna was a little young for most of the activities, but that little detail did not keep us from enjoying ourselves, or from trick-or-treating.

trick or treat!
trick or treat!

I have never been to the zoo at night, but OMG, it is SO much better! It’s not too hot, you can’t get sunburned, it’s waaayyy less crowded and kind of cool to see what the place looks like a night… also, a little creepy. It’s a really cool atmosphere for a Halloween event. There were lots of lights, light designs, Halloween decorations and really good music. It was full of activities, yet very relaxed. We took our time walking around, ate dinner and just enjoyed ourselves.

Foam party for kids!
Foam party for kids!
They had tons of popular characters for kids to take photos with
They had tons of popular characters for kids to take photos with
a scary spinny tunnel!
a scary spinny tunnel!

The best part had to be watching all the kids run around in their costumes! If you know me at all, you know I love dressing up and celebrating for just about any reason. It was sooo much fun to see how the creative costumes at the zoo.

Mary Poppins AND Napoleon Dynamite...love this family
Mary Poppins AND Napoleon Dynamite…love this family
yup...definitely doing this for Luna one day
yup…definitely doing this for Luna one day

Our favorite activities for us and Luna were definitely the “scary-go-round” and the “Monster Mash”. The “scary-go-round” was the carousel¬†with creepy music and lights that blinked on and off. Come to think of it…I guess that was Luna’s first ride! The “Moster Mash” was a huge dance party. We all danced together and taught Luna how to shake that little tush.

scary go round dance party

The only downside to being at the zoo at night is that the animals aren’t out. We got to see flamingos and camels, but that’s all. I was hoping for Luna to see more animals, but we will just have to back. (As a matter of fact, we went back today! But, that’s another blog…)

flamingos

Anyways, only 5 more days until Halloween! How is everyone celebrating this week??? Oh, and if you are planning a trip to the Nashville Zoo soon, you’ve gotta check out their calendar of events here. They’ve got some really cool activities coming up!

I was so excited to find this perfect picture spot!
I was so excited to find this perfect picture spot!

Cheers!

Lots of Green Going On

Oh yeah! It’s holiday time, once again! Holidays are even better now because instead of just dressing up myself, I get to dress up a cute little baby! Woo!

st. pats

 

Lots of green happening here
Lots of green happening here

We spent the day inside (darn cold weather), but we were healthy and productive so it was definitely a good day. During one of Luna’s many mini-naps, I made “Leprechaun Hats“. I found them on Pinterest and put them together to share on my other blog of work “Get Kidz Fit“.

corrected

And, because I now fancy myself a chef, I made an amazing (if I do say so myself) green and healthy dinner. I recently learned to pan-fry tilapia, so I’ve made it 3 times in the last week. Every time I make it I ask Husband if it’s the most delicious thing he ever had…he always says yes because he knows he must play along. I then talk about how very impressed I am with myself because…well, I am. A year ago, we were only eating dinner that was delivered by bicycle. (Oh, how I miss Seamless and Manhattan!)

spicy kale, avocado salad and pan-fried tilapia
spicy kale, avocado salad and pan-fried tilapia

AND, because I’m trying to be extra healthy I made a Green Protein smoothie.

smoothie

Tomorrow, I’ll let you know how my new workout plan is going. Exercising is so important for keeping anxiety down, and I’m already feeling more zen.

asleep
Tummy time is tiring

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Our Little Mardi Gras

Happy Mardi Gras Yall!

Today is Fat Tuesday, and if you remember a previous “mardi gras” post of mine you might remember that while I am not Catholic, I’m a big Mardi Gras celebrator. Over the weekend, everyone from my home in Southeast Texas took to Facebook and Instagram to show off their awesome weekend at the many Mardi Gras celebrations back where I grew up. To make matters worse, Husband was in New Orleans at the biggest Mardi Gras celebration. I was starting to feel very left out.

Soooo, today we had a little Mardi Gras at home, here in Tennessee. Luna and I played with the beads Husband brought home.

beads mardi gras

Then, we enjoyed the King Cake Husband brought back to me as a souvenir. It was pretty darn good, especially for being 2 days old.

box cake piecea

We haven’t found the baby in the cake yet, but I’m hoping I might find something sparkly and expensive instead. After all, I let him go to Mardi Gras without me. Just kidding, he doesn’t owe me jewelry…just a girls weekend getaway.

Cheers!