Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Month!

Just like her momma...Miss L's birthday has been less centered around one particular day...and more about the entire month {of fun!}. This happened naturally as we hosted a cupcake-themed birthday party for our family in MI one weekend, followed by her birthday {on a Wednesday this year}, and finished up with a birthday party "Cupcakes & Cocktails" for our MN friends the following weekend.
Her {current} favorite past time: playing with our patio furniture cushions

To make matters worse {or "sweeter" rather}, we had her 1-year photos a couple of weeks prior to our MI trip, which also included a smash cake. After all of the celebrations, Miss L is certainly a pro at digging into the sugary good stuff.

It has been an amazing year being blessed with the presence of this little doll. She is so incredibly happy, easy and fun - we count our blessings! No one can properly prepare you for the joys of parenthood, but it is with elation and pure joy that we thank our Lord for Miss L. And the happiness and smiles she brings to her family that loves her dearly when they {on occassion} get to visit with her is a treat to watch and certainly something we treasure. Dare I mention the pure strangers that light up when they see her smiling face in the aisle of the grocery store or on the sidewalks near our home.

At the recent 1-year visit {which was the most difficult one thus far in my opinion...thank goodness daddy was there!}, we had an A+ check-up with the following stats:
  • Weight: 18# 10oz - 10th percentile
  • Height: 27 1/2" tall - 25th percentile
  • Head - 17 1/2" circ. - 50th percentile
Behavioral stats:
  • Eating...everything in site!  We breastfeed every morning, enjoy 2 {6oz} bottles during the day, and lots of big girl food - loves nutri-grain bars, oatmeal, rice, chicken, yogurt, and cheese
  • We have been introducing organic whole milk the past 2 weeks
  • Started trying to feed herself with a spoon
  • Sleeping well over night - 8:30pm - 7-8:30am, 2 naps daily of 4 hours
  • Playing with everything - especially books, Mr. Cole and daddy!
    {He knows just how to make us girls giggle}
  • Walking Running everywhere!
  • Tooth #5 was found on her birthday and #6 quickly followed behind
  • Gave the pacifier up at 7 months in exchange for her "silky" - the little lovey animals with a satin blankie attached - we have like 5 in our home
There are 11 days remaining in the big birthday month...of which we will keep her birthday party decor up around our home for every single one of them. This year flew right on by...having the decor up makes me savor this month, even if just a little while longer.

Coming soon: birthday party post{s}

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I sure try to count my blessings daily, but it is nice to recognize them outloud. I have been blessed with three amazing siblings whom I love and admire dearly.

We had the fortunate opportunity to have a "(first annual) Siblings Weekend" back in June at my brother's place in Columbus, OH. We flew in from Minnesota, one sis drove north from Cincinnati and the other sis drove south from Michigan.It was filled with lots of relaxation by their pool, adult beverages, fun with Miss L and touring the sights around the beautiful area where they live. No plans or agenda...just casual fun.

I must admit living hundreds of miles away from my siblings is probably the most difficult challenge I face daily. I see how much joy Miss L brings to their lives. I know how much they miss her due to their constant flow of phone calls, texts, phone messages, cards, gifts and geniune love they each generously share. Although given our work ethic, career aspirations and passion for a great life - I don't foresee us four residing in the same city, let alone all in the same state. However, it sure would be nice to be within driving distance.

Last weekend, as we hosted a 1st birthday party in Michigan for our family there - it was so nice to have all of my siblings present. In fact, the party would not have been a success without the help of my two sisters. At times I felt like a slave driver, but they rolled up their sleeves and helped with anything and everything. One sis was even willing to clean my mother-in-law's bathroom (the host home). They truly would do anything for me, and likewise. I am incredibly thankful for my three siblings and their three significant others - all are great role models for Miss L and a HUGE part of her life, even if hundreds (nearly 1,000) miles away.

L to R: Aunt L, Uncle JJ, JJ's gf L, Auntie Jen (holding Miss L), me & J

Friday, August 3, 2012

Learning to Like Coffee

After some trials and errors, I have found a successful recipe for brewing a cup of coffee for the introductory coffee enthusiast.

I use "Cinnabon" flavored creamer in conjunction with Archer Farms Vanilla Cinnamon Nut flavored grounds and top it off with some sugar.

Basically, a little coffee + flavored milk + sugar....super healthy, right?

Since beginning my new full-time job about 6 weeks ago, the added daily routine of a caffeine injection has been very helpful.

I have expanded to using a Caramel Machiatto creamer on occasion. I feel that my palate is expanding and I am hopeful that this Fall, I truly may enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.

Any suggestions for your favorite flavored creamer?!!