Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry to shout at y'all but I am super excited to announce that after 11 months on weight watchers I finally made my goal weight today!!! I am back in my pre-pregnancy clothes and it has been interesting going through all of my winter stuff and trying it on since I was 26 pounds heavier this time last year.

So although bikini season is over, I have finally achieved my bikini quest goal. Now I just have to maintain it over the holiday season. Wish me luck!

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Zoo!

We had the pleasure of taking Luke on his first trip to the zoo last Friday. We met Aunt Andrea and Uncle Tom at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC and spent about 2 hours checking out all of the animals. The elephants received the most enthusiastic response from Luke. He just loved it when they flapped their ears and moved their trunks. He also really enjoyed seeing the goats in the petting zoo area. And we got to spend some time close up to the gorilla, Chaka, who put on a little show for Luke behind the glass. We were all very glad the glass was there though! After all the excitement, Luke passed out in his car seat before we had even backed out of our parking space. Can't wait to take him back again!

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Luke's Bad Hair Day

Apparently Luke has become obsessed with the bubble machine at daycare. As in, dunk your head in it obsessed. He came home looking like this yesterday:

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Something Old

One of my uncles uncovered this really cool photo of my grandparents from 1938. Seeing it really brightened my day so I had to share it here. I just love old family pictures. We lost my grandmother about 8 years ago and I still miss her terribly. I wish Jay could have met her. I so wish she could have been here to see Luke. They would have had a blast together. She was such a cool lady and so much fun to be around. I can actually see a little of myself in her in this photo which makes it extra special. Except I don't think I was ever that skinny!

Anyway, she was my "Crazy" Grandma. At least that was what I always called her. Two of her favorite sayings were "Get the hell out of Dodge" and "Stick it in your ear." She always included a silly joke at the end of her letters and cards and she would make sure to hide the answer on the back for me. She used pink foam rollers to curl her hair every night and whenever I went to see her it was very important to me to have curls like hers, so one night in a hotel room on the way to Michigan I made my poor father fill my head full of pink foam rollers before I would go to sleep. I just had to have my curls. So here's to you Crazy Grandma! I still think of you every single day. xoxo

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Bikini Quest Update

Good news! Finally, after 3 weeks in a row of slight weight increases, I am down 2.6 pounds this week! This puts me slightly below where I was on May 1st. Total weight lost from January 1st until now is 20.8 pounds. Yahoo! I have the bikini in my sights now and am hoping to debut it at our annual Laborless Labor Day retreat in a few weeks. We are meeting up with Courtney, Greg and Avery at Lake Lure.

5.6 pounds remain between me and my goal weight. I hope I can stay on target this time and keep moving forward. Wish me luck--the last few pounds are always the hardest to take off!

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Coming Soon to a Backyard Near You...

Jay graciously constructed a raised garden box for me this weekend so I can attempt some fall planting. I have a self-described brown thumb, but I am hoping to change that. I have been reading up on square foot gardening and plan to plant some broccoli, spinach, sugar snap peas and also a few herbs for fall harvesting. Wish me luck! (Don't worry, I am aware that I will need soil. Baby steps...)


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Bikini Quest Fail!

Sadly I have gotten pretty far off track with my healthy eating habits over the last month. I am up about 4 pounds where I was several weeks ago. It sucks but it is my own fault. We had company from abroad and of course had to take them to all our lovely american eateries complete with free refills on just about everything. Not to mention it has been so hot I get angry at the end of the day if there is not a cold cocktail in my hand.

Also, I love my new neighborhood to death, but these people are making me fat! We get invited to a party here just about every weekend. As a matter of fact, we can hardly walk Luke down the street without getting invited in somewhere for a beer. And who is going to turn down a cold beer when it is 95 degrees outside? Not this big girl!

Anyway, I am on a mission to get back on track. So please don't be upset if I turn down your beer or your banana pudding. It's nothing personal, I just have a date with my bikini ok?

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1 Year Portraits

Little man is starting to look like a big boy, now that he has all these teeth. He made me quite nervous during this photo shoot as he kept attempting to display his newfound walking skills on the extremely hard cement floor! Luckily we got a few decent shots in between all the toddling arround:




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A Letter to My 1 Year Old Boy


Dear Luke-
I had to leave you this morning to go away on a business trip. Those are the worst mornings for me, because it feels unnatural to leave you and being apart from you makes me sad. Before I go, I always sneak into your room where you are all snuggly in your crib and just wish I could climb in there with you and watch you snore your little baby snores all morning. This morning I heard you waking up on the monitor when I was down in the kitchen and although I should have been leaving, I raced upstairs to tell you good morning and get you dressed. I almost missed my flight but it was well worth it to see your sleepy little face!

In a few days you will be turning 1 year old. It makes my eyes well up to think about telling people I have a 1 year old at home. People always say they wish they could keep their babies from growing up, but watching you grow is so amazing that I would never want to hold you back. Every day you surprise me with something new you’ve learned. It seems like overnight I’ve gone from having a baby boy to a toddler. And toddle you do! You pull up on anything you can wrap your little fingers around and spend hours each week circling the coffee table, each time a little faster. I just know you’ll be taking those first steps any day now and I pray that you’ll wait for me to get home in a few days so I can see you do it.

You are getting so confident and brave now. You let go of whatever piece of furniture you’re holding onto and look over at me with an expression that says “Are you seeing this? I’m standing!” It makes me smile until my face hurts some days. I never thought I could be so proud of someone as I am of you.

We think you said your first word recently, “Daisy”. And I am not entirely sure but you may be trying to say “dog” now when you see the dogs in the morning and at night when you come home from school. You laugh when you see them and have taken to crawling straight over Roux’s belly when he is stretched out on the floor in the living room. Luckily he doesn’t seem to mind.

When I pick you up out of your crib in the mornings, you wrap your tiny arm around my neck to hold onto me. It is the best feeling in the world. I am glad our birthdays are so close together because you coming into my life last year was the best gift you could ever give me, and I get to be reminded of that every year now.

Your Daddy and I love you so much Luke. No matter what is going on around us, if you are happy, we are happy. If you are laughing we can’t help but laugh with you. And it is so hard not to spoil you, because we would give you anything to make you smile, on your first birthday and every day. I hope you always know that. You have my heart sweet angel, no matter where I am, it is always with you.

All my love,
Mama

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How We Roll: Moving & Mother's Day

Just a quick update from me. Things have been crazy at my house between the move, traveling for work and trying to unpack boxes in between. Let's just say I will be very happy when I get the chance to spend more than 3 consecutive nights in my house. I think next week is the week!

When moving, Jay and I are always sure to take extra special care of our valuables, as you can see here:


My first mother's day was pretty awesome. Luke got me one of the mother's necklaces that I really wanted. And I didn't even know he was keeping up with my blog like that. Our kid is advanced! After a morning at home in which no boxes were unpacked (at my request) and we sat and read the paper and skyped with all the grandparents, the boys took me out for lunch at On the Border. It was pretty awesome and I can see myself incorporating margaritas into every mother's day celebration moving forward. The best part of the day was just hanging out as a family since we have been so busy lately. I love spending time with my two favorite boys!

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What Old Women Want: 2010 Edition

Been thinking about my birthday wish list and came up with a few things:

  • One thing I'd love is a mother's necklace, something like one of these:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/43318655/custom-hand-stamped-sterling-silver-i-lo?ref=sr_gallery_10&ga_search_query=to+the+moon+and+back&ga_search_type=&ga_page=3&includes%5B0%5D=tags&includes%5B1%5D=title

http://www.etsy.com/listing/40615097/hand-stamped-sterling-silver-charm-neckl

http://www.etsy.com/listing/38847108/love-you-to-the-moon-sterling-silver-cir?ref=sr_list_6&ga_search_query=mother%26%2339%3Bs+necklace+star&ga_search_type=&ga_page=&includes%5B0%5D=tags&includes%5B1%5D=title

http://www.etsy.com/listing/16619996/on-the-day-you-were-born-necklacepersona?ref=sr_list_23&ga_search_query=mother%26%2339%3Bs+necklace+star&ga_search_type=&ga_page=2&includes%5B0%5D=tags&includes%5B1%5D=title

  • Subscription to Food Network and/or Cooking Light magazine.
  • Bubble bath
  • A new watch
  • Rain barrels, gardening books (see Amazon wish list), composter.
  • Fabulous purse hook
  • A carpet steam cleaner. Is this sad? Kind of like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Bissell-ProHeat-Select-Upright-Cleaner/dp/B000ASDCWK/ref=sr_1_41?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1271817322&sr=1-41

  • New nonstick cookware. Now that we are going to have two kitchens I would like to shift my stainless steel gear to the basement. I like this set for upstairs:

http://www.amazon.com/Anolon-Professional-12-Piece-Nonstick-Hard-Anodized/dp/B00006910G/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1271818251&sr=1-12

  • One of these for the new screened in porch would be sweet:

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=16807184&RN=2172

Or I'd take a wanna be equivalent such as this: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=14871942&RN=2172

  • Giftcards are always nice!

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Picture Day

Here are some scans from Luke's school pictures a few weeks ago. Can you tell he just woke up? What gave it away first, the bedhead or red eyes? These were taken the day he turned 10 months old. And because I am biased and think he is gorgeous even if he did just roll out of bed and have these taken, I am posting them here!




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I'm Back! Back in the Single Digits, That Is.

A quick bikini quest 2010 update: I am under the 10 pound mark! Yes, after a disappointing week last week, I got back on track and am down 2 more pounds today for a total of 16.8 pounds lost since January 1st. That means I have only 9.6 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight. Hallelujah!

The best news this week is that while I was in the middle of packing for our move I pulled out a bunch of pants from the spare room closet that I haven't worn in two years and I was able to not only squeeze into, but also button several pairs. These are pre-pregnancy pants people! Maybe everything isn't squeezing back in exactly how it used to, but who cares? Yay for shopping in my own closet! It's way fun.

And since we are heading to up to the 80 degree mark and beyond this weekend maybe I will sweat off a few more pounds since I am a cheapass who won't turn on the AC until absolutely necessary!

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Shamrockin' & Rollin'

Last weekend, Jay, Luke and I headed up to Virginia Beach to see my brother for his birthday and oh yeah, I also ran a half marathon while I was there too! The race was St. Patrick's Day themed and had about 8000 runners so there was a lot of good people watching along the way. I am pleased to report I finished with my fastest half marathon time ever: 2:11:17. Slow in many runners' books, but shockingly fast for me, considering it was my first distance event since Luke was born. I even stopped once to use the bathroom and still beat my best time. Booya!

My Mom met us at Matt & Caroline's and rode back to NC with us. But she didn't stay long...by Wednesday she was headed to up to Massachusetts to see her parents. We are hoping she makes another appearance at our place while she is on her East Coast tour. Until then, I will be packing up the house like a madwoman, since our move is officially 1 month away. I can't believe it. So much has changed in the last year and we can't wait to start making memories in our new home in just a few short weeks!

Here are some pics from the weekend. Sorry if I am a little blurry in my race photo, I was just going THAT fast you know...


As an added bonus, here are a few pics we took at the St. Patty's Run Green 8K in Raleigh a few weekends ago. We went downtown to cheer on Amy & Jackie who both did an awesome job!

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Halfway to Goal!

This week's Bikini Quest Update:

Okay, so I am a little more than halfway to goal actually. 14.6 pounds down, with 11.8 left to lose. I've lost a whole stone now! I am kind of shocked. When I first started on this weight loss mission, it seemed near impossible. I thought I would have to spend the rest of my life holding onto this extra pregnancy weight. However it seems to be coming off slowly but surely, and the more I lose, the more confident I am in myself that I can really do this.

The best part is that now that my body has adjusted to the portion control I really don't feel deprived. I still get to have my glass of wine with dinner and that is good because the way work has been going lately, I have needed it! Honestly, I feel great. I was really missing feeling good about myself and I feel like I have that back now. It's pretty awesome.

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Behold the Hamdog!

Work has been very busy this week and has prevented me from getting to the grocery store to pick up essentials (ie. bread). Last night I decided to make burgers and fries for dinner because not only is that quick and easy, but we had all the ingredients we needed at home so I could put off shopping one more day. Or so I thought. I forgot about the whole bread/bun aspect of burgers. Seeing as we are out of bread and I am already trying to purge our freezer of extraneous food since we are preparing to move, I dug through the freezer and came out with a package of hot dog buns. Hence, the hamdogs we had for dinner were born. I think I did pretty well working with what we had last night, no?

I have to give credit where credit is due on the term hamdog though. This dates back to me and Courtney's 2007 trip to Chicago where I had to employ the same bun tactic, as can be seen in this post.

Never fear, I am getting out to the store today!

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He Crawls!

Note to self: babyproof the house!


video

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9 Months


Dear Luke,
You turned 9 months old on Friday. Nine months old! I can’t believe how fast this time has gone by for us. In the blink of an eye, three quarters of your first year have gone and we are rounding the corner on your first birthday. And still, every morning when I wake up I look at you and can’t believe you are mine. It is truly magical.

To say that you are growing and changing everday would be an understatement! On Saturday, you started crawling. You had been dabbling in it for a week or so leading up to that moment, making progress forward but not quite making the connection on how you got to where you wanted to be. But now you have it all figured out and you move fast and with purpose, setting out to reach something (usually something you know you shouldn’t have) and when you reach the object of your desire, you look up at Daddy and I with a huge smile, so proud of what you can do.

You also clap your hands now when you get excited and it melts my heart every single time I see it. For a few weeks you wanted to clap but when you managed to get your hands together you would clasp them and shake your fists at everyone, kind of like how the pope addresses the crowd at the Vatican. It was cute, but it is even sweeter to see your eyes light up now that you can bring your hands together again and again to show us how happy you are. We would do anything for that smile.

Your Daddy and I act like complete fools just to get the tiniest giggle out of you and it is so worth it. Just remember that when you are a teenager and embarrassed to be seen with us in public. But for now, peek-a-boo can send you into a state of absolute hysterics. You love when I take your toes and tell you about the little piggy who went to market. Watching us talk on the phone is fascinating to you. You’ll stop whatever you are doing and stare and giggle, as if to say uh-oh Mommy is talking to herself again. And when Daddy and I yawn really big and loud at the end of a long day you find it hilarious, like oh I make you guys so tired, how funny!

No matter how tired you make us we love every minute of our life with you. You have brought so much joy to my world over these last nine months. Nothing could make me more happy or more proud than being your mommy. I love you, sweet angel!

Love,
Mommy

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Bikini Quest 2010 Update

This week I am down again, probably mostly in part to the terrible stomach bug Jay gave me for Valentine's Day, but hey, I'll take it. Although I don't recommend that diet plan to anyone and would much rather have enjoyed the steak and lobster dinner I planned, than go to bed at 7:30pm that night feeling worse than I can ever remember feeling without being under the influence of alcohol. Fortunately, I have finally fully recovered and managed to squeak out a 4.5 mile training run yesterday with no issues, so hopefully I am back on track for this week.

My weigh in today brings me down a total of 10.2 pounds, which I am thrilled with and amazed by! I just hope I can keep up this momentum for the remaining pounds I have left to lose. It feels great to finally be at a point where people can see the change in me and it is keeping motivated to finish the quest! See you next week!

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My Kind of Snow

Yesterday morning we woke up to this:



And then this (Yes, we will be dropping his crib today!):

Luckily, by 3pm or so the backyard looked like this:

Now that is my kind of snow! And hopefully the last we'll see of it this season. :)

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Bikini Quest 2010: Week 6

I am back to report another successful week of bikini questing...down 2.6 pounds this week! Yay! I don't want it to sound like it is all sunshine and roses all the time when I am holding it down over here for the diet, because truth be told, it ain't easy. Yes, I wanted a steaming buttery hunk of garlic bread with my pasta last night...and while portion control and learning to hold back have taught me that I don't need the bread, nothing will ever stop me from wanting it!! I didn't cave though, had a nice spinach salad instead, which I am sure helped me on the scales this morning. Thank you, willpower!

I am super excited to report that I am down a total of 7.8 pounds as of today, as well as a pants size--wahoo! Want to know what feels really awesome? Needing a belt.

So, I am still not back into those pre-baby jeans yet, but this week I am one step closer. Oh, and bikini, you're next!

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Pajama Party!

We had a big weekend at our house! Elizabeth came over to hang out with us for a pajama party Saturday night. She got to eat a happy meal for dinner and afterward she played with Luke and helped Jay feed him his bedtime bottle. Once he was down for the night, we went upstairs to watch Peter Pan on our "big tv." We had fun with Elizabeth and hope she'll have another pajama party with us sometime!

On Sunday Luke pulled himself up on his hands and knees by himself for the first time. We were very excited and of course many pictures ensued:



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Bikini Quest 2010 Update

This week I am down 2 more pounds, which brings my total weight loss to 5.2! Woot! It feels so great to be able to say "I've lost 5 pounds since the beginning of the year." Somehow 5 just sounds like a better number than 3 or 4...like I am really making some progress. Still have a ways to go, but my pants are definitely getting looser and that is a wonderful feeling! Hopefully I will be able to keep at it. Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement. Watch out bikini, I am coming for you!

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Merry January!

I know I am several weeks behind on this Christmas post, and it is barely still January, but humor me! We spent Christmas out in Nevada with my parents and sister and even got to spend some time with my Aunt Chris and Uncle Claude too, who are wintering in AZ. We covered more ground than you'd expect in 7 days with a 7 month old, squeezing in a trip to Laughlin, NV and also a night in Lake Havasu, AZ where we got to see the original London bridge...who knew?

Luke did great on the flights out and back. We really are lucky to have such a mellow kid. The only time he got fussy was on the landings when his little ears hurt. But as soon as we gave him a bottle he settled right down. And the time change didn't throw him off too much in NV either. He let us sleep until almost 7am most mornings and the best part was the morning after we arrived home, when he slept until 9:30am. Score!

His Nana & Grandpa did a good job of spoiling him for Christmas but we did manage to fit everything in our cases to carry home. Luke's favorite toys so far have been a jack-in-the-box and spinning top, both of which he finds mesmerizing.

It is hard to believe his first Christmas is over and we have started a whole new year. 2009 was packed full of amazing surprises for us. It started out a little rocky but quickly turned into the best year of our lives. I look forward to seeing what 2010 brings for us!

The London Bridge, all decked out with holiday wreaths:



Luke was very serious that day, taking in all the sights:
Posing by the fountains:
Hey does this thing work?
Luke had lots of fun playing with Grandpa Tim:
And he loved hanging out with Great Aunt Chris:
As you can see, Uncle Claude was really impressed with all of us:
Grandpa, how does my hat look?
Jay was formally initiated into the family this year with an Inch-style stocking:
Of course, Luke had to have one too:
Waking up Aunt Becky Christmas morning:
The tree with a crapload of presents underneath!
Luke got lots of nice gifts that morning:
But of course, playing with the paper is always more fun!
Modeling his new outfit from Aunt Courtney:

We have adopted the English tradition of Christmas crackers, they are so much fun, especially after a few mimosas!

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