Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Next Chapter...

One of the most precious moments that may be etched in my head {and heart} for ever, happened yesterday evening. J arrived home from picking up Miss L from her first day at preschool...I heard the garage service door open, followed by tiny little footsteps that burst into the home to our kitchen and a little blonde beauty ran into my arms while saying, "Mommy, was your first day?" My heart melted...

The day began with a few tears...but quickly was filled with exhilaration and I started my new job yesterday and our family began a new chapter of preschool, dual-careers, strong calendar management and an even busier household!

J helped me get Miss L up and off to preschool for the first time. She was so cute preparing to go to "school!" I even bought her a new outfit for her first day to make it extra special. And we are in love with her new school and impressed with The Goddard School corporation.

Within hours of arriving to my new office, I was texting J the message, "I love my job!" Hours later when the family gathered back at the homestead, we tag-teamed dinner and while we sipped our respective "celebration cocktails" {or "tot-tails" as a little person calls them!}, I received my new daily email from her school with specific details about her day {toilet-training, food, the yoga-pose of the day, etc. - including photos of little girl!} was the final piece of a beautiful puzzle. We read through it together, laughing and excited to see what this next chapter will hold for us.

I discovered during the intense interview process {phone call, in-person interview, 1-hour sales test and two skype interviews with senior management later} - how much I enjoy working...just how passionate I am about this industry, the depth of my knowledge and to be much I rock at my job. I have been so fortunate to land great positions over the course of our many moves...and this position is no different.

I enjoy spending time with my baby girl, I like being a SAHM, but I don't think I necessarily "loved" it...and watching Miss L thrive in a social and academically-challenged setting is as equally as rewarding as my growing and promising career. I am thanking my lucky stars right now...feeling blessed.

First Day of Preschool 12/3/2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Nearly 60 days have passed since I last posted. I feel like I have been slow to post b/c I changed phones and thus, a lot of my photos are on my old card....AND I cannot figure out how to upload my new phone's photos to Picassa...which is where I used to load them for our blog. I need to work on this, but a lot has happened in 60 days -
  • Miss L and I flew to Michigan for a family wedding, visits with friends all around town and a mommy planned a weekend away with high school girlfriends. We were fortunate to have beautiful fall weather while in Michigan and a plethora of fun with friends and family!
  • We flew back with Auntie Jen or shall I say, Auntie Jen flew back with us, which was a nice reprieve from the usual mommy-toddler flying trips! While Jen was in town - we hiked, we shopped, and we even took a day trip to Breck {Breckenridge} and saw the Continental Divide! We miss her dearly!
  • Next up, was a week to Cabo San Lucas as a family, filled with lots of R&R, and fun-in-the-sun where this little girl quickly turned into a bronzed beauty. We all made family friends with 2-year old Henry and his they are local to Colorado! {Fast forward 3 weeks and we met up with Henry + mom Kelly at the Trick or Treat Street at the Children's Museum!}
  • Trick or Treating - Miss L REALLY got into this year {more than we thought she would!} and loved saying all of the common phrases and follow it with "next house" and running through the tulle of her "sweet scarecrow" costume {made by her Grandma L} throughout our new neighborhood. Our house ran out of candy...which is a lesson learned for next year!
  • We welcomed November with open hearts as we enjoyed lots of warm, sunny days for playing at our nearby neighborhood park and fun outdoors! I say Colorado is the new sunshine state...move over Florida! It is seriously, blue skies and sunshine nearly; underscoring my statement that I could never live in the Pacific Northwest!
  • We hosted our Housewarming Party - which deserves a post on its own!
  • Brother and his beautiful fiancĂ© spent a short and sweet weekend with us to celebrate Brother's birthday!! We hiked, we partied and my liver was certainly aching by the end of the weekend...but it was fun and always sad to see them go! 
  • Currently, I'm in the midst of an intense {lengthy} job interview process that I really wanted... but am a bit mentally exhausted after jumping through so many hoops!

    That brings you up to speed! I will try not to let 60 days pass before I post again!  
A snap of most of my siblings, while in MI
Visiting Breck

Auntie Jen, by our fire
Beautiful faces, Beautiful spaces!

Hola from Cabo San Lucas!

Friday, September 13, 2013

23 Items to pack before the packers arrive! {Moving Tips}

After having moved 5 times in the past 7 years...I'd say to most people, we are considered subject matter experts. This move was not without the first time {learning} experience of "moving with children," but that is a entirely different post. :)

It never fails the packers and movers arrive at previous destination, pack up everything {thank you company-paid relo} and then you arrive at your new house quickly looking for key items.

I have assembled a down-and-dirty list of must-have items to pack...before you finish start packing {or having the packers pack everything}. Assemble a box/bag/suitcase with a few essentials necessary at the new house, prior to opening a single box:

  • Basics - overnight clothes, extra set of clothes {especially on a hot, summer moving day}, toiletries and shower items
  • New House "Stuff" - pack a roll of paper towels, a few rolls of toilet paper, a multi-surface cleaner, sponge, hand soap, dish detergent, pledge wipes {for the furniture that is a bit dusty from the move} and a dustpan & broom.

    Even if the previous home owners leave the new place spotless, accidents happen and you may want to clean a few things {i.e. glass shelves in a cabinet, etc.}.
  • Post-it Notes - arriving in your new kitchen will be exciting and daunting at the same time. Bring post-its and a pen to write out what needs to go where...and quickly re-arrange prior to loading the cabinets and drawers with items.
  • Towels  -  you will want need to take a shower the first night in your new home, yet finding the box marked "towels" might be an hour-long pack a beach towel, a spare towel, or something to dry off with! And the same goes for a kitchen towel and a hand towel for the bathrooms.

    Prior to closing on our new home, I found a lovely dish towel at World Market to quickly make my kitchen feel a bit more like home.
  • Food & Drinks - aside from running out for a sandwich or something - pack a few things for your new refrigerator such as energy drinks, sports drinks, bottled water, etc. to stay hydrated; and maybe some grab-and-go items such as granola bars, nuts and & fresh fruit!

    {My favorite pick-me-up is Starbucks the grocery aisle near sports drinks or the alcohol - Pomegranate Raspberry is delicious!}
  • Disposable plates, plasticware and cups - Again, the box with "cups" could be lower on the priority list of boxes to open, when you really just need a glass of water!

We were fortunate to have amazing realtors here in Colorado and they gifted us a big basket full of wine {including glasses, opener, etc.}, cheese, crackers and other house warming gifts. You bet your bottom dollar I opened a bottle on night one! 

Considering all of these items to pack yourself or to pack 'on the side' - perhaps it will take your largest suitcase or a big box to house all of these you prepare to move into your new home!

Operation: Save Mommy's Sanity

It has been just over 3 weeks since moving to our new home. Most of the brown boxes have been explored; however, some areas just feel a little unfinished or "half-down"...particularly our "Toyfice" - yep, we have a Toy Room/Office.

The lack of a completion of the Toy Room has caused Miss L to find trouble in every nook and cranny throughout our house. On Wednesday, I thought I might need to begin "day drinking" to survive the day; instead, I brewed a second up of coffee! I actually went out shopping {in the pouring rain} both Wednesday and Thursday nights once daddy came home, just to enjoy a much-needed break!

It quickly became clear that the 70lb box sitting in the Toyfice containing a beautiful, dream play kitchen for our toddler needed to be assembled. I think I may have left for Target and gave this specific directive and labeled it "Save Mommy's Sanity."

I came home an hour later to J surrounded by many parts and pieces out; as he quickly realized that "this is the 'real' deal" and should better hold up for years to come. 3.5 hours later {near midnight} and Miss L's dream kitchen was complete. As we moved it into the Toyfice, I felt like it was Christmas Eve. It was such a treat to see her face light-up the next morning when she first witnessed her new toy.

I have to send a HUGE thank you to my Aunt Shelley for suggesting said kitchen {she found it online - made by KidKraft}, for helping to pay for some of the kitchen with birthday money; as well as my Grandma Reilly and Aunt Cindi for birthday money that contributed to purchasing this beauty...or rather, for saving my sanity!

Miss L has been playing more and more in the Toyfice, and less in MY kitchen cabinets. To top things off, we have even hosted playdates, both yesterday and today, with our new neighborhood friends.

Below are some photos of our playdate today with Miss P. These girls have played together twice at the Pool and already have soo much fun together...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Visit to Vail

It is simply amazing how close we now live to such beautiful landscapes and fun outdoor natural playgrounds.

J had an opportunity to golf for work "up in the mountains," in Silverthorne. We knew about this opportunity about 5-6 days out, but it wasn't until he came home from work the evening prior and suggested with excitement that we should "all" go to the mountains, in celebration of our anniversary weekend!

We I quickly re-arranged schedules for the following two days, started to pack our bags and prepare to leave first thing Thursday morning. I was honestly sooo excited to wear jeans, boots, sweater and a scarf for the first time in months, after we've experienced 50+ days of 90+ degree heat here in Denver.

Surprisingly, it was still uber-hot up there and I was changing into summer clothes all-too-quickly!

While J golfed, Miss L and I had nearly 6 hours to entertain ourselves...we did some outlet shopping, flirted our toes into the refreshing, beautiful Blue River, had lunch by gorgeous Lake Dillon, hit the playground and even met up with a friend {formerly from Michigan} that just so happened to be in Silverthorne for a wedding that weekend!

Cooling off our "piggies"

Mommy's friend "Alexis" with lil' Alexis

Does it get any more picturesque than this?
Once we arrived in beautiful Vail {elevation 8k}, we found a bar to watch the Denver Broncos kick-off football season. The next day, we started off our morning at "The Little Diner" - which I read is an epic breakfast spot in Vail. It was a tiny diner with a U-shaped bar seating 20 people and the renowned Chef and his tiny crew in the center of the bar, preparing orders. Guests literally wait outside in a line for seats to open {no host stand or "put your name in" here}. Breakfast was delicious and the experience was incredible.

Then, we took a gondola ride up, up, up...up in the mountains to about 10,000 in elevation. The ride was longer than we anticipated {it just kept going}, but we didn't mind as the views were beautiful. Once at the top, we could see the Mount of the Holy Cross and the Gore Range. It was...breathtaking! We donned our hiking backpack/carrier called a Kelty and hit the trails for some family fun and exercise.

We finished the day with Oktoberfest in Lionshead Village of Vail. Miss L cried when we had to sweep her off the dance floor due to the rain. All she wanted to do was dance, dance!

The following day, we explored Vail Village, which is much larger than Lionshead. Both villages are very pedestrian friendly and we could walk the 3/4 mile between both places. I cannot wait to see these places in action during the middle of winter - we are excited to go back!

On the way home, we stopped back at Silverthorne, to show daddy beautiful Lake Dillon and play in the park!

It was such a blessing to be able to getaway like that and to easily go explore this beautiful state. Fun was had by all and Miss L was a trooper with all of the travel!

Breakfast at The Little Diner

View from the Gondola going up!

Top of the mountain

Taking a break during our hike

Dancing at Oktoberfest

Ring around the Rosie

Playing in more Vail

That little smile says it all!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cartwheels for Target

Despite my years in dance class, I never really mastered the simple cartwheel. Fast forward to adult Lorryn and now I am actively attempting to master the Target Cartwheel....THAT is a different type of cartwheel that puts a smile on my face and makes me jump for joy {sometimes literally}.

Earlier this year, I noticed Target had this "cartwheel" thing that saves you EXTRA money on top of the fabulously low prices. So...I attempt to be an early adopter and google it to find the website:

I log-in via my existing Facebook account and then, I suddenly get distracted and too busy to actually figure it out!

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, I am a Work&Stay-at-home-mom that is always looking to cut household expenditures with a little more time on my I log-in again and this time, it clicked!

Here's the Scoop:

  • Using the Target Cartwheel allows you to hand-select specific offers/coupons that appeal to you {note: you cannot select 100, more on the side of 15-25}.

    Keep in mind - this is a savings on top of the 5% savings you can enjoy with your Target RED card {either Debit or Credit - your choice!} AND on top of mobile coupons via text messages from Target.

    If you aren't already getting text message mobile coupons from Target, I would suggest texting OFFERS to 827438 to sign-up for a weekly text message.
  • Once you have selected the handful of offers {relevant to your next shopping trip}, you can click on "my Cartwheel" to display one single UPC code that the cashier will scan to take advantage of all of the offers you are "cashing in!"
  • To get started, it might be easiest to download the application on your favorite mobile device {mine is installed on my android and ipad}....Download the Cartwheel application from whatever "market" you download apps.
  • Once logged-in {conveniently with your Facebook account} you will want to start with "browse" offers  - the search allows you to select "grocery," AND then it will let you select specific areas such as produce, meat, beverages, etc. It also enables you to search by newest offers, highest discounts, those expiring soon, etc. etc.
  • When you see an item/offer of interest - tap the item once, then tap "add" and it is now added to your Cartwheel. Keep adding offers until you max out your Cartwheel.
  • Have your mobile device ready at check-out, tap "my Cartwheel" and then show the cashier the UPC code for your Cartwheel deals and as Miss L says "Ta Da!" You just saved $$.  
Real World Example: Planned Target Purchase
On a recent trip to Target, I purchased our new comforter and pillows - they were Threshold brand and I had a 20% off Cartwheel for Threshold brand bedding + I had a $10 off Target mobile coupon + I saved 5% by using my RED Debit Card...thus, I saved a TON of money!

Real World Example: Impromptu Target Visit
The family was at Target picking up just a few grocery items. I had already selected the Cartwheel 5% off berries, which I picked up a package of raspberries {aka "Finger Berries" to Miss L}...but we also needed flank steak for our fajitas...and I browsed the Cartwheel via my ipad {thanks to Target's free Wi-Fi} and found 10% off a particular brand of steaks at Target which I added to "my Cartwheel" and showed the UPC code to the cashier to save $1.40 on something we were already purchasing, plus the additional 5% {using the RED card}.

I hope this encourages you to move from "downloaded the app" to "using the app." Before your next "Target Run," ensure you have signed-up for their text offers, visited for printable coupons and designated 5 minutes to browse Cartwheel offers and compare with your shopping list. In my opinion, all of these sales offers are only worthy if you NEED to purchase the item in the first place.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Moving Tales

Phew! We have been in our new home for just over one week. I would say we are all adjusting well, specifically, Mr. Cole and Miss L. Although we are having fun entertaining friends this holiday weekend, there still are plenty of brown boxes haunting us - like the 1 missing kitchen box with some of our cereal bowls and {fairly} new ramekins in it!

I will not miss the "ole apartment"
Even though a company did 95% of the work, we still had to pack/unload our temporary items from the furnished apartment; as well as, unpack the 435 boxes/items from our Minnesota move. I think the 2 days I spent "relo'ing" our temporary apartment, I must have ran the 2-flights of stairs about 25 times! My thighs still ache!

Difficult to pack when this cutie makes her bed
on the storage "ottoman"
Unfortunately, this was our "worst move to-date," as our items had to go from a truck in MN> moved off the truck into crates into a warehouse in CO > moved crates get lifted into new truck > movers unload crates at our new home. Basically, handling items twice as much, which equals more broken items than ever before. :( To make matters worse, the team that moved us in was our least favorite - they were loud, obnoxious, dropping boxes and basically like bulls in a china shop! J even had to call a huddle with them to tell them to SLOW down.

When you move with corporate, the movers place numbered stickers on every item and box. If you are like us, some boxes have multiple stickers {blue from MN, orange from IN and white from MI}. Miss L LOVES "finding stickers" and playing with them.
Lots of "attractive" stickers for Miss L

Below are some photos from our week of fun:

Post-its are essential to configure the new kitchen

Miss L is happy with her toys + lunch, fireside

Our kitchen at 8:30pm

Our kitchen at 11:30pm
Daddy opened one very important box - delicious!!

Welcome gift placed on our porch by our new neighbors

Another new neighbor welcome - what a "sweet" simple welcome gift!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

It certainly feels like the night before Christmas. The feeling that you can't wait to wake up in the morning, and yet, it is so damn difficult to fall asleep in the first place. In fact, when we wake up in the morning, we will have presents arriving at our home - lots of them! We move into our new home, our dream home, tomorrow morning.

We closed on the home on Tuesday, which was really fun. Even though this is our 4th home purchase, it was the first time we have ever met the sellers. In typical Lorryn-fashion, we all talk for 45 minutes following the closing, exchange business cards and naturally are new friends.

According to the sellers/original owners, the home is wonderful...but the neighborhood is amazing! At closing, they were naming all kinds of neighbors and the ages of their kids, respectively. On average, everyone seems to have a 2 year old...which sounds perfect for us.

We are kind of used to amazing neighborhoods, as we had an awesome one in Indy and a great one in MN. I didn't think it could get better than when we lived in Indy, but from the sounds of the sellers...we may have hit the jackpot! Now...we just need our friends to move to CO!

Tonight we enjoyed a cocktail in our new home as well as stocking the pantry...more fun to come in the following days and in less than 9 hours we will be out of this apartment and officially in our new home, for good.

Thanks to our good Lord.

Monday, August 19, 2013

L^2 Take Michigan...Round 1

Following our visit to Minnesota to meet the movers packing up our home, J left to head back to work in Colorado...meanwhile, us girls took Michigan by storm.

We helped my Dad and Stepmom celebrate the 1-year anniversary of their retail shop opening in Dundee, Michigan.

 Miss L had fun playing with her Godmother and Auntie Jener...

The next evening, Miss L enjoyed going to her Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma's Farm - she fed the pony, Ginger; and enjoyed blowing out the candles on Grandma's Chocolate-Zucchini Cake.

On Thursday, I even enjoyed a Girls Night Out with my friends and sisters! It was Martini Night at Dolce Vita...just like the olden days!

Friday was a Family Pool Party with Jeremy's grandma, aunt, cousins and their munchkins. It was fun to see Miss L playing with all of them, including little Austin who is just 6 weeks younger than Miss L.

We enjoyed "Celebration Day" on Saturday with my family - as there were/are countless birthdays to celebrate in late-July through early-August, our new home/move, my brother's big engagement and simply - many reasons to celebrate.

The Celebration Day Soiree was hosted by my fabulous Aunt Shelley. She throws the best parties and is always the hostess with the mostess! It was so nice to see all of my family at one time {this is a major struggle every time we visit Michigan}. Also, I was able to see/meet my cousin's little boy, Gage, as he celebrated his 1st birthday with us. I think we were all on a sugar high after this party!

Miss L & Grandpa D
Kisses to Auntie Jener

The following day was a Lazy Sunday. The weather the entire trip, but this day especially, was soo chilly. It truly felt like fall and I thought we should have been watching some football on TV. Us ladies stayed with my Stepdad and spent the day having fun with my sisters. Here we are at the park...we even had to go to Meijer to buy pants for Miss L b/c I didn't pack enough...well, only one pair!

Miss L loved singing Twinkle, Twinkle, while Aunt Nae played the piano.

Higher with Aunt Nae

Aunt Nae made a batch of Pumpkin Bread for her favorite sweet & yummy!

It was fun being home during "fair week." That is, Michigan's Finest Fair - the Monroe County Fair! "The Fair" has a special place in our hearts, as it is the location of where my parents met, where I met Jeremy, where I spent many, many summer growing up and nearly 1/2 of my family has some effort in making it such a fine operation.

On Monday, Miss L loved visiting the animals, playing on the tractors and of course, enjoying some delicious "butterfly chips" ...

"Farmer for a Day" with Auntie Jener

We had our friends over to the Pool on Tuesday. Albeit a little chilly, we had fun in the sun!
Janelle with Tessa {12 months} & Maddie {29 months}, Jessica & Logan {24 months}, Me & Miss L {24 months}

The cutest monkey at the Zoo!
Wednesday was an impromptu visit to the Toledo Zoo with Aunt Melanie {and kids she nannies} and Grandma Lyn. I was soo impressed with the updates to the Zoo. It was both familiar and filled with so many new things - then again, it has probably been a decade since I was there last...and I think it was for more of "adult-drinking-fundraiser soiree" at the Zoo.

Exploring the gardens with Grandma

Aunt Mel

Followed by another visit to the Monroe County Fair with Papa, Nana, Auntie Jener & Aunt Nae...
Riding the Big Ferris Wheel
Wow! We are high!

Carousel Rides

Feeding the goats at the Fair

Thursday was a fun day at Wildwood Metro Park in Toledo with my mom, sisters and stepdad.
Miss L looked lovely in her dress {my mom made for her} in front of the beautiful mansion on the grounds. We grabbed some delicious snacks for a picnic and had a fun day in the park!

Could we look any more opposite?

Sooo Big! Just a week shy of our 2 year birthday!
We finished our last day with visits from all of the grandparents..{at staggered hours, of course!}
We had a fun trip visiting all of Miss L's grandparents, great-grandparents and a plethora of family and friends. I'm in need of photos from J's side, as many of them are on my mother-in-law's camera...and of course, my mom is usually behind the camera on photos from our side.

Round 2 will be later in the fall...when us girls Take Michigan for a wedding + more family fun + mommy goes on a "girls getaway weekend." Stay tuned for Round 2...