Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Never Will I Ever...

Never will I ever.  The term that no one planning on becoming a parent should EVER say.

I really do try to "never say never," but there are a few things that I had very strong views on prior to becoming a parent.

One of these things was licensed character apparel.  Not kidding.  I have no idea why, but I was totally opposed to anything that had a Disney or Sesame Street or whatever character on it.  I was so opposed to it that I vowed my child would NEVER wear anything of the sorts.

Don't get me wrong.  I have always loved both Sesame Street and Disney, just not the apparel.  No idea why...just one of those things.

Ha!  Fast forward 2 years to my life with a Sesame Street obsessed two year old daughter.  Yup, you can guess what has happened.

My first experience with licensed character apparel was with her Halloween costume (as you might remember: Letting Go: Halloween Costume).  I seriously struggled with that, but it turned out really well.  When I look back at her costume, I can't get over: 1. how freakin' adorable she looks and 2. how happy she looks.

I think that is what started to chip away at my steadfast opposition to character apparel.

After Halloween, it continued with me buying a Cookie Monster shirt in Old Navy one day.  It was on clearance and I figured that she could wear it for playing.  One shirt, no biggie.

Checking out her book from Sesame Street Live while wearing her Cookie Monster shirt.  Life is good.

The past few days though, the licensed apparel has really taken on a life of itself.  And you know what?  I am okay with it.

We went to Kohl's yesterday and Myra saw a pair of Elmo slippers.  Of course, she immediately reached for them, exclaiming, "Elmo shoes on!"  We put them on her and, of course, she loved them, and my Mom, who has the firm belief that Myra should get whatever she wants (which is what makes Grandparents awesome), decided that they had to be bought.

And that was that.  My sweet Moose is now the proud owner of Elmo slippers.  And look at her, how stinkin' adorable is she?!  She ever wears them to sleep because she loves them so much.  I think the funniest thing about them is that she actually shuffles around the house in them.  She is totally digging this "retired in Florida thing."

Sleeping with the slippers on!

No pants, veggie chips, Sesame Street, and slippers.  Ready for retirement!  ;)

Today, it continued.  We went to the Stride Rite outlet to look for sandals (since we are in Florida).  Myra spotted a pair of Abby Cadabby shoes and was immediately sold.  We put them on her, she exclaimed, "Myra Abby Shoes!" and then followed up by sitting down, looking at us, and saying, "buy it."

And we were sold.

Abby Shoes!

As a side note, when I told this to my husband, he said, "I am glad that she already has an undeserved sense of entitlement."  Lol!  Guess that is why it is better to shop with your Mommy and Grandparents.

So, Moosey is now the proud owner of not one, but two pairs of Sesame Street footwear.  And I, her mother, think that she could not look any cuter.

Never will I ever...say never.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Exercise Results...drumroll please

This post was written pre-Christmas, but man is the timing of it perfect now.  I have totally indulged in cookies, candy, ice cream, appetizers, wine, you name it over the last week.  While it tasted delicious, I am pretty sure that my waistline has suffered a bit.  Time to get back on track!

For me, this fitness journey has been as much or more about my mental health as my physical health and appearance.  I feel better about myself when I workout that makes me better in all other aspects of my life.

I don't use a scale because I don't want to be discouraged.  If I am working out everyday, eating healthier, feel stronger, and feel mentally healthier, does the number on the scale really matter??  No.  It doesn't matter at all.

That being said though, I did do the before and after picture thing and found out that I have lost some weight / toned up.  Total bonus!


Clearly I am better at working out than I am at taking selfies because the pictures are taken from different sides, with different clothes, and the one on the left is blurry.  BUT STILL, you can definitely see a difference.  How exciting!

Those results took only one month and literally all that I did was starting working out 25 minutes per day and, for the last two weeks, replaced one meal a day with Shakeology (which tastes like dessert). I made no other dietary changes because I am lazy didn't want to take on too much at one.

So, there it is.  I am telling you people, T25 and Shakeology are freakin' amazing!  

Why T25 is the bomb-dot-com (does anyone say that anymore??)
*It is ONLY 25 minutes per day.  25 minutes, people.  You can do that!
*It can be done from the comfort of your home.  Or mine.  Come on over!
*Shaun T takes his shirt off in Beta.  'Nuff said.

And what makes Shakeology amazing:
*No GMOs
*No artificial sweeteners (those are poison and most other protein shakes contain them)
*Loaded with super foods
*They taste like a chocolate milkshake and everyone loves milkshakes.
*They keep me full until lunch and that is amazing because this girl loves to eat!

As I mentioned before, I have had such success with T25 and Shakeology that I am now coaching!  I would LOVE for you to be on my team.  We can be motivation buddies, and, let's face it, EVERYONE needs someone to motivate them.  

Please message me (bridebryson@yahoo.com) if you want more details on how to try out T25 and / or Shakeology.  In the meantime, I will continue to torture you with my selfies.  ;)


Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Tag!

Man oh man, do I love Christmas!  I seriously love everything about it: Santa, Christmas trees, giving presents, the songs, the food, the snow, the jingle bells, the movies, the decorating...every single thing.

And now I have one more thing to love: Blog Christmas Tag!  It is a fun game where you get "tagged" and have to answer questions about yourself that are related to Christmas.  I love stuff like this because I enjoy reading random things about other people.

This year, my first year, I was tagged by the lovely Leslie over at Violet Imperfection and the awesome Sandy over at Mother of Imperfection.  Be sure to check out their awesome blogs!  I am a regular reader of both.

And without further ado...


1 // What do you love the most about Christmas time?
Crap.  I just answered this one above.  Forgive me...it has been a week or so since I read the original one.  I will repeat though, I love it all!  If I had to choose 3 things, I would say Santa, Christmas trees, and buying gifts for people.  Oh, and hearing Myra sing Christmas Carols.  That was 4, but toddlers singing can't be excluded from anything.

Our Christmas Tree!

2 // Do you celebrate the holiday in style or is bah-humbug for you?
Total style.  I go all out and celebrate in every single way possible.  Now that I have a toddler, I, myself am not too stylish (I do have a few red shirts), but Moosey has 4 Christmas outfits, so we are literally a stylish family.

The bow, the boots, the necklace...this child is infinitely more stylish than I will ever be.

3 // Are you leaving anything out for Santa Claus this year so he remembers to leave your presents?
Undecided.  If we do, I think that Myra will be pissed that she can't eat the cookies.  Maybe we will leave him something like broccoli and see if it will actually entice Myra into eating vegetables.  Ha!  Wouldn't that be a Christmas miracle?!

4 // What is the one gift you are most looking forward to GIVING? {It can be to your kids, another family member, etc ~ remember to be discreet if they read your blog!}
Santa is bringing Myra a bike and she has been talking about it for months!  When you ask her what Santa is bringing, she immediately says, "bike!"  She is going to light up when she sees it under the tree on Christmas morning.  Can't wait! :)

I suspect that Santa will be leaving this under our tree on Christmas morning.  
If so, we are going to have one excited little Moose on our hands.  :)

5 // What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie?
Christmas Vacation because it has been a family tradition for a long time and it never gets old.  Plus, it is not only hilarious, but also highly quotable.  Before you write me off as totally un-sentimental, I also enjoy Frosty, the Grinch, Elf, and Miracle on 34th Street.

How can you not laugh at this part?!

6 // What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?
Why not just ask me to choose my favorite child?  Good thing I only have one.  I seriously can't choose.  I love all Christmas carols.  Except "Christmas Shoes."  I hate that one.

7 // If given the opportunity would you participate in an "Ugly Sweater" party and what sweater would you wear? Peruse one on the Internet or even in your own closet and show us!
Is that rhetorical?  Of course I would!  Here is the thing though, I remember when "ugly" Christmas sweaters were in style, so I actually kind of get nostalgic instead of appalled when I see them.  Unless, of course, they are just ridiculous or don't make any sense like this one:
Or if they have tinsel...

Both of these amazing sweaters were found on Google Images.

8 // Have you started any Christmas traditions this year that you plan on carrying forward?
We have been reading Twas The Night Before Christmas every day 4 times a day.  This was my tradition as a child and we started it with the Moose this year.  I can't believe how much she loves "Santa Book!"

9 // It's Christmas morning...what does it look like outside where you live?
Cold and brown, BUT on December 26th, I will look outside and see the sun, water, and palm trees.  :)

10 // You just found yourself standing under the mistletoe...who comes up to give you a kiss first?
Probably no one.  Lol!  If Myra was bored, she would come first.  If Josh was paying attention, it would be him, and if I had just walked in the door, it would be Scooter.

Because I waited until Christmas Eve to write this, I am pretty sure that it is too late to tag anyone.  Next year!

Happy Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Visit from Santa!

Josh once said to me that life goes downhill from the moment that you find out that Santa isn't real.  And it's true.  Because it is, at that moment when the sad truth is revealed, that you realize that the world isn't quite as good as you once thought it was.

There is something so amazing about watching kids experience the magic of Santa.  And not just the magic of the story itself, but the belief that they have that the world is so good that someone life Santa could truly exist.  It is truly an extraordinary thing to witness. 

This year, we were lucky enough to have Santa visit Myra's school.  He arrived on a fire truck, which she still talks about every single day (this was on December 3rd).  She didn't want to sit on his lap, but loved sitting next to him and talking his ear off.  She told him that she wanted a bike, which I am pretty sure that he is going to bring for her.  ;)

Here are a few photos from the event!  How sweet are they?!

How much do you love that she is pointing her finger while talking?!

Making sure that she tells him everything that she wants.

Blowing Kisses to Santa.

Getting a candy cane from Santa.




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Goodbye, Excuses: My "Aha" Moment!

"Excuses are like male nipples.  They are completely useless."
-Don Calame

So, I wrote the other day about my two diet / exercise realizations.  In order to be successful at making healthy lifestyle changes, in my opinion, you have to have an aha! moment and you have to find something that you love. 

This is the story of my aha moment.  Don't get all excited and mushy though.  It's kind of a pathetic one.

I have always been full of excuses when it comes to exercise.  Well, not always.  Since I had Moosey though, I have been brimming with great reasons why I just cannot exercise.  The kicker is that many of them were true, so it was like constant reassurance for my laziness.

Family hike in September 2012.  I don't mind exercise
that doesn't feel like exercise (skiing, walking, hiking, etc).

My top excuses were:
*I don't have time.
*The trainer is too expensive and that is the only thing that I like to do.
*I don't want to take time away from Myra to workout.
*I hate group workouts because they humiliate me.

Josh would say things like, "why don't you wake up early and go to the gym?"  My excuse was that it took too long to get there, workout, get home, shower, and make it to work.  I am not a morning person.  Kind of weak sauce, but kind of true.

He would say, "workout at night."  I would say, "no way.  I worked my ass off all day and I want to relax at night, not workout.  I am too tired."  That one is still pretty understandable in my opinion.  I can barely stand at night, let alone workout.

Workout at lunch?  Kind of hard to take a lunch break from work when you only work 21 hours a week to begin with...

Workout at naptime?  No dice.  I cook, clean, do laundry, pay bills, and maybe do a teensy bit of Internet surfing.  Plus, that is my only alone time.  

Honestly, those things are all true.  I am sure that they are true for most of you.  The problem is that those excuses still left me waking up every single day feeling dissatisfied and frustrated.

So...here comes my aha moment.  Ready?  Drum roll...

I ran out of excuses.  

Yes, seriously.  How anti-climatic was that?  For real though, read on.  It gets better.

My friend started a program called T25 and was raving about it.  She liked it so much that she became a coach.  T25 is a series of workout videos that you do once a day for 25 minutes, 6 days a week.  That's it.  She invited me to try it through one of her challenged groups and I decided to go for it.  Because I had no excuses not to.


Me, post-T25, yesterday.  Exhausted, but loving it!

I mean, it is 25 minutes per day and can be done from my house, which means no added commute time.        25 minutes.  There goes the no time excuse.  Since it is only 25 minutes and I can do it in the morning, it is done before Moosey wakes up, so that excuse was also gone.

It is so much cheaper than the gym (have you checked lately...gyms are expensive!), so that excuse was  also null and void.

AND...you get to do it at your home, which means that you save the discouragement and humiliation that can come from going to the gym.  I know that sounds silly, but going to the gym makes me feel SO self-conscious (group class are the worst).

So, guess what?  Since I no longer had an excuse, I tried it and I liked it.  Loved it, in fact!  I have been doing it for 5 weeks now and am totally hooked.  I have noticed a few physical changes, but the most important thing for me is how much better I feel mentally.  I am a whole new person from the one who wrote the previous post in September.

And...there is more!  I am such a believer in this program that I am now coaching!  Unreal, right?!  I am going to be hosting Facebook challenge groups starting in January, so please message me if you want more info.  I would LOVE to have you on my team!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Finding my Exercise Motivation (with Linkup!)


So, I wrote this blog post on 09/04/13, but am just posting it now.  When I look back on it, I can't believe how much has changed in a mere 3.5 months!  Since then, I have actually found something that I love and have made some great lifestyle changes.  More about that later though.  Stay tuned...

This is actually going to be part #1 of a series about my post-baby journey back to health.  The reason that I say health is that I am trying to focus my attention on creating a fitness and diet routine that will not only allow me to look better, but more importantly, to allow me to be a healthier person for my daughter.  

So, let me be clear, this is not about a number on a scale.  This is about waking up every single day and feeling good about myself.

All of that being said, please read on and stay tuned!

From 09/04/13:

I want to lose a few pounds and firm up.  Who doesn't?  Every single day, I wake up, look in the mirror, and feel that same, familiar dissatisfaction with how I look.  Yet I refuse to change it.  How stupid it that?

Let's face it, losing weight is a choice.  It should be a very easy choice, right?  If you want it, go ahead and do it.  Yet it seems like I just keep coming up with excuse after excuse.  What makes it hard is that my excuses are actually valid, which keeps me from coming up with a solution.  I somehow just cannot get motivated to actually make the lasting changes.

I have thought a lot about it and have come to two realizations about exercise and lifestyle change.

1. You have to find something that you love.  If you don't love it, you won't stick with me.  Trust me on this one.  For some people it is running, while for others it is Zumba.  Some prefer the gym, while some prefer workout videos.  The bottom line is that if you don't like it, you won't continue it.

Prior to having the Moose, I worked out with a personal trainer twice a week and LOVED it.  Sadly that is no longer in the budget and I have yet to find something that I like as much.

For my husband, that thing was Crossfit.  He started going there 3 years ago and it really changed his life.  It not only helped him to get into amazing shape, but, more importantly, it helped change his entire attitude towards fitness.

Summer 2009.  Josh (pre-Crossfit) was the heaviest he has ever been.  I, 
on the other hand, looked pretty good, but thought that I really needed to lose weight.  
Ha!  If I only I knew then what I know now!

2. You have to have that "aha moment!" where you really, truly get fed up and make a commitment to changing.  Every single person I know who has been effective in making lifestyle changes can pinpoint the moment that they decided to make the change.

I have yet to get to that point.  I feel like if I woke up one day and my pants didn't fit, that would kick my into high gear because I refuse to buy new clothes.  If someone would call me fat, that would also kick start me.  Who knows though?  Maybe not.

My mom has been incredibly successful with weight loss, having lost over 70 pounds in the last year.  Amazing, right?!  Her "aha moment" was when she went to her cardiologist and he told her that if she continued to carry that extra weight she ran the risk of dropping dead at any time.  That kick started her into a low carb diet and exercise routine (treadmill and weight circuit at the gym) that she loves.

A friend of mine, who looked fabulous even before her weight loss/toning, had her "aha moment" when she was done with breastfeeding and realized that she needed to make her own body a priority after being pregnant for 9 months and nursing for another year.  She has found a workout routine and new diet that she likes and has been super successful.

Another friend of mine has also lost over 70 pounds (don't I have amazing people in my life?!) because she realized one day that she wasn't doing activities like swimming with her daughter because she didn't like how she looked.  From that point on, she has been Ms. Active and has already run 3 5Ks!


Summer 2013.  What a difference 4 years makes!  Josh now looks
great and I cringe looking at myself in bathing suit photos.  Ugh.
At least the little one is adorable in her stylish suit and bow.  :)

So, what do you guys think?  Do you agree that those are the two things needed for success?  Have you found what you love?

And now for the linkup...


The Motivational Monday Link-Up is a way to share inspirational posts with other blogger friends.  Monday can sometimes be a day of the week that we dread, especially after a great weekend, so let's inspire and motivate each other every Monday!  So let's go, let's share those posts!




1. Follow your hosts.
2.  Link up as many Motivational posts as you want.
3. Share this hop so others can join in.
4. Visit at least 3 other blogs and give them some encouragement.
5. Leave a comment with blog url so we can follow back!





                        Courtney                                  Shannon                                            Becky


and today our cohost is:



<div class="Smile-and-write-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;">< a href="http://www.smileandwrite1.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow">< img src="http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w599/shannon_johnson9/MotivationalMondayLinku_zps2735965d.jpg alt="Smile and Write" width="200" height="200" />< /a>< /div>

Finding My Exercise Motivation

So, I wrote this blog post on 09/04/13, but am just posting it now.  When I look back on it, I can't believe how much has changed in a mere 3.5 months!  Since then, I have actually found something that I love and have made some great lifestyle changes.  More about that later though.  Stay tuned...

This is actually going to be part #1 of a series about my post-baby journey back to health.  The reason that I say health is that I am trying to focus my attention on creating a fitness and diet routine that will not only allow me to look better, but more importantly, to allow me to be a healthier person for my daughter.  

So, let me be clear, this is not about a number on a scale.  This is about waking up every single day and feeling good about myself.

All of that being said, please read on and stay tuned!

From 09/04/13:

I want to lose a few pounds and firm up.  Who doesn't?  Every single day, I wake up, look in the mirror, and feel that same, familiar dissatisfaction with how I look.  Yet I refuse to change it.  How stupid it that?

Let's face it, losing weight is a choice.  It should be a very easy choice, right?  If you want it, go ahead and do it.  Yet it seems like I just keep coming up with excuse after excuse.  What makes it hard is that my excuses are actually valid, which keeps me from coming up with a solution.  I somehow just cannot get motivated to actually make the lasting changes.

I have thought a lot about it and have come to two realizations about exercise and lifestyle change.

1. You have to find something that you love.  If you don't love it, you won't stick with me.  Trust me on this one.  For some people it is running, while for others it is Zumba.  Some prefer the gym, while some prefer workout videos.  The bottom line is that if you don't like it, you won't continue it.

Prior to having the Moose, I worked out with a personal trainer twice a week and LOVED it.  Sadly that is no longer in the budget and I have yet to find something that I like as much.

For my husband, that thing was Crossfit.  He started going there 3 years ago and it really changed his life.  It not only helped him to get into amazing shape, but, more importantly, it helped change his entire attitude towards fitness.

Summer 2009.  Josh (pre-Crossfit) was the heaviest he has ever been.  I, 
on the other hand, looked pretty good, but thought that I really needed to lose weight.  
Ha!  If I only I knew then what I know now!

2. You have to have that "aha moment!" where you really, truly get fed up and make a commitment to changing.  Every single person I know who has been effective in making lifestyle changes can pinpoint the moment that they decided to make the change.

I have yet to get to that point.  I feel like if I woke up one day and my pants didn't fit, that would kick my into high gear because I refuse to buy new clothes.  If someone would call me fat, that would also kick start me.  Who knows though?  Maybe not.

My mom has been incredibly successful with weight loss, having lost over 70 pounds in the last year.  Amazing, right?!  Her "aha moment" was when she went to her cardiologist and he told her that if she continued to carry that extra weight she ran the risk of dropping dead at any time.  That kick started her into a low carb diet and exercise routine (treadmill and weight circuit at the gym) that she loves.

A friend of mine, who looked fabulous even before her weight loss/toning, had her "aha moment" when she was done with breastfeeding and realized that she needed to make her own body a priority after being pregnant for 9 months and nursing for another year.  She has found a workout routine and new diet that she likes and has been super successful.

Another friend of mine has also lost over 70 pounds (don't I have amazing people in my life?!) because she realized one day that she wasn't doing activities like swimming with her daughter because she didn't like how she looked.  From that point on, she has been Ms. Active and has already run 3 5Ks!


Summer 2013.  What a difference 4 years makes!  Josh now looks
great and I cringe looking at myself in bathing suit photos.  Ugh.
At least the little one is adorable in her stylish suit and bow.  :)

So, what do you guys think?  Do you agree that those are the two things needed for success?  Have you found what you love?


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Craftiness (aka temporary insanity)

I believe in self-awareness, so let me just put it out there that I am not the craftiest schmuck on the block.  I am probably not the least, but am certainly not the most.

For some reason though, I caught the crafty bug last month and went hog wild (for me).  Honestly, it must have been a full moon because the day that I went crafty was the same day that Myra flashed her boobies during story time.

All of that being said though, I am SUPER excited about how my projects turned out!

1. Sesame Street Gift Bags


Yes!  This is totally how they turned out; it not a picture stolen from Google images.  Promise.  

I am not going to lie, I am pretty proud of these.  They were a ton of work, but were relatively easy and cheap.  I bought 2 packs of 13 gift bags from Michael's and used construction paper to cut out the pieces for the faces.  I used double sided tape to adhere everything and VOILA!  Many hours and many f-bombs later, we had these amazing gift bags.  

I thought they looked pretty good, but I was the most excited when Moosey could immediately tell who they were.



2. Mistle"toes"

I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to go for it.  Like I said, full moon.  Honestly this one took us many takes because toddler feet are fat and wiggly, but we finally got two awesome ones (one for each set of grandparents) and one decent one (for us).


How cute is that?!  Look at those adorable little toes.  :)

For this, I bought canvases (Michael's sells a 2 pack, which came out to be around $3.50 total after my coupon).  I also bought sponge brushes and acrylic paint.  I put the dots on, let it dry, and then we did the challenging part of putting on the footprints.

We did 6 canvases to get the 3 that we kept, so it truly wasn't easy.  The problem is that you can't instruct a 2 year old to keep their feet totally still and expect her to listen / understand.  Even with me holding her and Josh holding the canvas, she would slide her feet and curl her toes a bit.  Alas, though, we got three good ones!


After the feet dried, I used a Sharpie Paint Pen to draw the bows and we used a staple gun to adhere the ribbon.  All in all, relatively easy, very cheap, and super cute!

3. Ornaments 

This one is super simple and not really creative at all, BUT I did let my almost 2 year old (at the time) use acrylic paints on my dining room table, so that, in and of itself, deserves a shout out (or a slap in the face - what was I thinking?!).

The frames drying.

This is what my dining room table looked like after the frame
painting.  There is still some residual paint.  Oops.

We bought the plaster frame ornaments from Michael's and used the above-mentioned acrylic paints to paint them.  I used a Sharpie paint pen to write the year on each one (not pictured) and I ordered a bunch of wallet sized photos from her Christmas photo shoot and am going to put one in each frame.  Boom!  Easiest and cutest gift / keepsake ever.

A tip that I recently learned online.  You can use packaging tape to "laminate" photos for projects like this.  Genius, right?!?  I love the internet.

And that, my friends, is what we have been up to this month!  Why?  I have no idea.  I am just wondering if motherhood is like Girl Scouts.  Do I get a badge or something that will designate me as having been crafty (so that it doesn't have to happen again)??

My little artist.  :)





Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, My Sweet Moose!

Dear My Sweet, Sweet Moose,

I sit here writing this at 12:48am because I can not sleep.  I think it is because I am overwhelmed by the fact that you will be 2 tomorrow.  Well, technically today.

How on Earth can my sweet baby girl be 2?

Two years ago right now, I was also unable to sleep, but it was because I didn't know what to expect.  I was so excited, but also a bit nervous (mostly about pooping on the table...trust me, you will understand some day).

Two years later, I can truly say that I had every right to be nervous because I was right.  Not about the pooping (that is still up for debate), but about not having any clue what to expect.

Myra and Mommy on Myra's Birth-Day (12-05-2011)

I could not possibly have known what a smart little girl you would turn out to be.  Honestly, you have no idea if your child is smart until they get a bit older.  In the past year though...wow, we found out how smart you really are and it is amazing.  You pick up on this so quickly and you absorb and remember absolutely everything.  You truly learn something new every single day.  Sometimes you are too smart for you own good.

I could not have imagined how independent and sassy you would be.  Sometimes I just have to laugh because you talk back to me and it totally catches me off guard.  The first time that you told me, months ago, "Mommy, NOT nice," I nearly fell over with laughter.  You were so serious about it.  Don't worry though...I don't want you to grow up to be a bratty child, so once I get over the first time laughter, I get strict.  I promise.

That is another thing.  I had no idea how hard it is to be strict with you.  I do it because I know it is the right thing, but sometimes I just want to give in.  And sometimes I do.  Not on the important stuff though.  My job as your mother is to prepare you for the world and I want to do that the best way I know how and that is by giving you unconditional love, but also by creating boundaries.

I could not have known, 2 years ago tonight, how trying it is to be a mother.  I could not have known that every single emotion I have ever felt: frustration, fear, sadness, happiness, anxiety, contentedness, would have been magnified a thousand times over.  You truly have no idea the depth of your feelings, the good and the bad ones, until you become a mother.

You also cannot know the tiredness.  Not just the physical tiredness, which is certainly worth noting, but also the emotional tiredness.  Because, as your mother, I never, for one second of the day, stop thinking and worrying about you.

Myra's first Birthday Pictures

Two years ago, when I first laid eyes on you, I had no idea who you would become and the things you would like.  And those things will continue to change, but right now you are a happy little girl who loves Sesame Street, hoarding stuffed animals, gymnastics, talking nonstop, milk, chocolate, reading books, swimming, counting, coloring, painting, and cornflakes.  In no particular order.

I had no idea, exactly two years ago, that I would experience so much pleasure just from watching you enjoy those things.  Like you, Mommy loves chocolate, but I hadn't experienced the true joy of chocolate until I saw it smeared all over your grinning face.

I couldn't have known that I would be such a perfect mixture of happy and sad to see you growing up so fast. I am happy and eternally grateful for the beautiful, smart, independent, sassy, chatty little girl that you have become, but I miss the days of you being the sweet baby who was content to sleep on my chest all day.

They say that you fall in love with your baby right away, and, while that is true, I find that my love for you has grown over time.  Every single day, when you smile at me, or hug me, or ask for a kiss, or say something hilarious as you so often do, I fall in love with you a little bit more.  And every time that it happens, I don't think it is possible for me to love you more, but, alas, I do.

Myra's Second Birthday Pictures


And, so, my sweet, sweet little Moose, I wish you a happy Birthday.  I wish you all of the cake, cheese, and Elmo themed gifts in the world.  Most of all though,  I wish that you will be as happy and loved on your next 102 birthdays are you are on this one.

All my love,
Mommy

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Motivational Monday Link-Up: Come Join Us!



The Motivational Monday Link-Up is a way to share inspirational posts with other blogger friends.  Monday can sometimes be a day of the week that we dread, especially after a great weekend, so let's inspire and motivate each other every Monday!  So let's go, let's share those posts!




1. Follow your hosts.
2.  Link up as many Motivational posts as you want.
3. Share this hop so others can join in.
4. Visit at least 3 other blogs and give them some encouragement.
5. Leave a comment with blog url so we can follow back!





                        Courtney                                  Shannon                                            Becky



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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2011: The Hospital Edition

Two years ago, in November 2011, I spent Thanksgiving night in the hospital.  I had been having some pregnancy related blood pressure issues, so my Doctor wanted me to be checked out before the holiday weekend.  At this point, I was already on partial bed rest.

Long story short, they weren't seeing what they needed to see on the fetal non-stress test, so they called in an ultrasound tech (yes, on Thanksgiving...poor woman) to take a closer look.  There are 4 things that they look for on the ultrasound, but, of course, then-unnamed Moosey failed to cooperate in the "breathing on her own" category, so we were forced to stay overnight.

This is the point where I should have been scared as hell, not of the potentials medical outcome, but of the fact that my sweet Moose was already being stubborn and defiant.  I was naive though.  Sigh.

We didn't have any family in town because they were all coming in two weeks later for Myra's arrival, so we had planned on spending the day with our good friends and their family.  We were responsible for the frying of the turkey (I never claimed to be classy).

Josh left to fry the turkey for our friends and then came back to enjoy dinner with me (he brought the food from their house, so at least that was good).  Our friends then came to the hospital later that night to hang out with me.

Honestly, at the time this happened, I was really upset.  I was scared, frustrated, and, let's face it, no one wants to be confined to a hospital bed on Thanksgiving.

Looking back though, while it may not have been the best Thanksgiving I have spent, it was still pretty damn good.  I was so lucky to be surrounded by a loving husband and supportive friends and to have family and friends all over the country checking in on my constantly.  I was safe and warm in a wonderful hospital full of people who acted like there was no place they would rather be.  I had a healthy, albeit stubborn as hell, baby in my stomach who was only two weeks from making her appearance into the world.

Sitting in that hospital room, I had so much to be thankful for.  And today, at my brother's house, surrounded by family, friends, and delicious food, I have even more to be thankful for.

Beyond thankful for this sweet little face (Thanksgiving 2012).

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading this.  I hope that this day finds you surrounded by family and friends, no matter where you are.





Car Conversations: Baby Names & 90210

A few nights ago, like most Americans, we were stuck in the car driving 6 hours to our Thanksgiving destination.  Because we have a toddler, the DVD player was on the entire time, taking away our opportunity for music, and thus forcing us to talk about random things.  Like baby names.

This is the conversation that ensued.  I am laughing just recalling it.

Me: How about Dylan?

Josh: No.  I don't like that name.

Me: I really like that name and I would be willing to use it for a boy or a girl.

Josh: There are three reasons I don't like it.  1. Bob Dylan.  I hate him.  2. Dylan (which is actually Diller) and Fisher Realtors and I hate them too.  3. Dylan from 90210.

Silence.

Me: Bursting into laughter.  Did you really just mention 90210?  Did you watch that show?

Josh: Dylan was the total bad boy.  We can't use that name.

Me: In hysterics.  Is this real life?  Did you seriously just reference 90210?

Josh: I didn't actually watch the show.  I just had friends who talked about it.  Riiiight.

Me: Any other characters that stuck out in your mind?

Josh: Brenda.  Can't use that name either.

Apparently, at least according to Google, this is Dylan from Beverly Hills 90210.
Unlike my husband, I never actually watched the show.

I shit you not.  This was our conversation.  I am pretty sure that the Shell attendant drugged his Red Bull because it didn't end there.

The conversation somehow shifted to Homeland, which is our favorite show.  As a sidenote, if you are not watching that show, you are missing out.  Seriously.  Go buy / rent it now.

Back on point, here went conversation #2:

Me: Do you think that Claire Danes looks crazy in real life because she has those super animated facial expressions?

Josh: Without pause.  Oh yeah, she totally made those faces on My So-Called Life.

Still not joking.

Does it even matter what my response was here?  No, it doesn't because he referenced My So-Called Life within 30 minutes of discussing, with a straight face, the characters from 90210.

And this, my friends, is what riding in the car with a toddler does to you.  Even though it wasn't a super long ride, the endless Elmo and Grinch apparently got to Josh's head.  Either that or the ride and Red Bull actually brought his true feelings to the surface.  You be the judge.

Monday, November 25, 2013

One and Done or Two and Through?!

Before I had kids, I always knew that I wanted three of them.  After having one though, I thought, "hmmm...maybe having just 1 isn't a bad idea."

The idea of 1 was first born because of my utter disdain toward pregnancy.  My husband and I both agreed that I could not go through that again.  It was downright miserable and straining on our marriage and would only be worse when you add a rambunctious toddler to the equation.  Compounding on those factors is the fact that, if I were to be that sick again, I would literally miss out on 9 months of my sweet Moose's life, which is something that does not sit well with me.

As Myra grew through infant hood, we grew comfortable with the idea of "one and done."  Amongst many other reasons, she started sleeping through the night at 6.5 weeks and was an overall really easy kid and we figured that would never happen to us again.  Why tempt fate?

Last spring though, when Moosey was around 16 months, we started to reconsider.  While Josh and I were still fine with the idea of one, we started to feel guilty about the notion of not giving her a sibling.  He and I are both very close to our brothers and couldn't imagine denying her that unique sibling relationship.  The thought of her having to just hang out with us on vacations made me sad for her.

What sealed the deal for me was reading a blog post about a woman who had chosen to only have one child (for really great reasons).  She wrote about the rude things that people say to her (because people can't keep their damn mouths shut) and one of them was "don't you feel bad that your child could end up spending Thanksgiving alone once you are gone?"

Stupid, right?  Well, it totally got to me.  I turned to Josh and said, "that's it, we are having another child.  I never want Myra to be alone in this world."

I know, you can shoot a million holes in this argument.  I don't need you to though because I have already shot them myself.  She will have other family.  She will have friends.  There is no guarantee that she will get along with her siblings.  There is no guarantee that they will live close enough to get together.  Etc, etc, etc.  Stupid stupid stupid.

None of it matters though.  I just can't bear the thought of her being "alone in the world."  So, then, it was decided.  We would have another child.

Once it was decided that we would have another child, we decided to just go for it next year.  If we are going to do it anyway, we may as well just do it.  Plus, I am sick of hoarding baby stuff and the sooner a baby is here, the sooner I can get rid of swings, bottles, breast pumps, and exersaucers.

But, alas, I am now second guessing our decision again.  Here is why: I absolutely adore my sweet little family.  It feels complete.  I never feel like something is missing.

In fact, the thought of adding another child to the equation makes me a little bit sad.  I love my life with Myra.  I am lucky enough to work part-time, so she and I have settled into our routine, especially on our days off.  I love sitting with her in her room and playing "good morning" with her animals.  I love reading books to her while she sits on my lap.  I love cooking dinner while she sits on the floor behind me and cooks her "deep-a (pizza)."  I love going to Kroger with her and watching her "drive" the cart while simultaneously making her Lara Bars dance (yes, true story).  I watching her naked butt run to the bathroom every night to go "swimming in the bath."

Our family of 4 last Christmas. 

I love this little life that we have created and I worry what adding another baby will do to it.  I know that I would love my next child as much as I love Myra.  That isn't the issue.  What I struggle with is the fact that having another baby will significantly change our lives and, quite frankly, I don't want to change anything about our lives.  I feel like my life is perfect right now.

So, there it is, folks.  Talk about a first world problem, right?  Hell, not even a first world problem.  I know people who would kill to have just one child.  Trust me, I don't ever lose sight of that.  For me though, this is a huge decision.

What is your input?  Were you one and done?  Do you have multiple kids?  What was your motivation?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Boobies & Storytime

Today, I was a bit overenthusiastic.  I have no idea why.  Totally out of character.  It must have been the extra 15 minutes of sleep that I got before my morning work out.  For whatever reason though, I decided to stray from my normal, "let's to to Target and Kroger today, Moosey!" and go to storytime at the library instead.

We have done storytime exactly one other time and it was because we accidentally stumbled upon it when we went to the library to play with the toys and get a book.  I felt guilted into going into the story time room so that she could experience it.  I didn't love it.  It is just a bit too too cheerful for me.  Every single adult in the room, including myself has these stupid fake smiles plastered on their face while they sit there acting out the itsy bistro spider and the kids spin in circles and ignore them.

That being said, Myra liked it, so I felt obligated to go again today.  Good Mommy, right?!  Ha...read on.


So, here were are, sitting in this room with all of the other Moms and toddlers, and the librarian is reading Jamberry.  Myra is standing up half paying attention to it while I try to draw her into the story by taking about berries.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Myra lifts up her shirt, and yells, as loud as she can, "BOOBIES!"

No f'in joke.

Because someone in the next county may not have heard her, she then pointed at her boobies and said, with a very proud smile, "MYRA BOOBIES."

Keep in mind, this was at the library.

I seriously wanted to the floor to open up and swallow me whole.  Of course everyone stared, but no one laughed.  I am not sure if it is because they were disgusted with us or if it was because I was not laughing and they didn't want to make me feel bad.  I am going to choose to believe the latter.

Right after the boobie incident

I literally just sat there in shock.  I mean, what the hell does one do in a situation like that?!

Thankfully after that, she started to enjoy herself because they sang songs and played with instruments. That distracted her from her boobies.  By that time, I had gotten over the shock and was trying not to start laughing out loud because, let's face it, it's pretty damn funny.

And all of this happened before I had my coffee.  Sigh.  I guess that is what I get for being overenthusiastic.  I think I am going to stick to Target and Kroger next week...

How have your kids humiliated you in public?!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Motivational Monday #2: Unplugging (with link-up)

My name is Becky and I am addicted to technology.

There, I said it.  I am a victim of the "always plugged in" society.  The thought of an entire day without the Internet gives me the shakes.  

It wasn't always this way though.  Like all of you, I remember where I was on 09/11/01.  I was sitting in class at the beginning of my sophomore year of college.  The class was from 9:10 - 11:00 and I therefore did not hear about the events of 9/11 until around 11:15 that morning.  No joke.

I know, it's insane, right?!  When I think of it now, I can't even remember that of society,  I had a cell phone, as did probably most the students in the room, but apparently no one, not one of the 20+ kids in the room, kept theirs on.  Get that...we turned off our cell phones!  Gasp!

Now, I can't even imagine going somewhere without my cell phone.  My cell phone that, as of 3 years ago, has full Internet access.  Even more than that, I cannot fathom turning off my phone at any time, not even to sleep.  How would I wake up without my phone alarm?!

While I love technology and the Internet, I don't like some of the things that it has done to me.  For instance, I can no longer have down time.  It is like I have technology ADD.

And it is not just me.  Look around.  People can no longer just "do nothing" while waiting in line or sitting in a waiting room.  They are surfing the Internet on their phones.  People can no longer drive without talking on the phone.  As soon as we ("we" being the collective "we") wake up the morning, we immediately grab our phones.  God Forbid we missed something in the 7 hours that we were sleeping.  

It is crazy.  

This morning, I looked at the monitor and saw my sweet, sweet Moose laying there, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling, and contentedly twirling her hair.  I was instantaneously both envious and in awe.  In that moment, it struck me that technology has taken that peacefulness away from all of us.  

Think about it, kids can just sit around and play for hours.  They can lay in bed and be happy doing nothing.  We, the victims of the "plugged in society," have lost that ability.  It is sad.

Baby Myra helping Mommy type an email.  

So, last spring, I made the choice to "unplug."  Before you either admire me, pity me, or both, hear me out.  I am not actually "unplugging."  I'm not trying to go into withdrawal here, people.  For the past 6 months or so, since Myra has started being more aware of her surroundings, I have unplugged while she is awake.  

What was my motivation for that?  Well, last spring, I was doing something on the computer and she wanted to sit with me.  I said, "one minute, Mommy is finishing something on the computer."  She looked at me and said, "no computer."  It was then that I realized, "wow, she gets it now and I don't EVER want her to feel like whatever is on my computer or phone is more important than she is."

That, being said, there are obviously calls, texts, and emails that I have to take.  And waiting for those things is a good life lesson for her.  Having to wait, however, for me to scan Facebook or read the news, is not the message that I want to send.  She needs to know that she is more important than anything that Mommy could be looking at on the Internet.

Today though, I realized that my motivation actually goes beyond that.  It is also about what I wrote above.  I don't want her to end up like me, being so addicted to the Internet that she can no longer brush her teeth without her cell phone nearby.  I don't want to see her lose that sweet childhood peacefulness.

Deep down, I know that she will eventually grow up and become like the rest of us, perhaps even worse because she will have technology that we never even dreamed of, but I want to shield her sweet innocence for as long as I possible can.

So, that, my friends, is my motivation for "unplugging."  Do any of you have an addition to technology (don't we all)?  Have any of you chosen to "unplug" while your kids are awake?

And now...check out this awesome blog hop!



The Motivational Monday Link-Up is a way to share inspirational posts with other blogger friends. Monday can sometimes be a day of the week that we dread, especially after a great weekend, so let's inspire and motivate each other every Monday! So let's go, let's share those posts!




1. Follow your hosts.
2. Link up as many Motivational posts as you want.
3. Share this hop so others can join in.
4. Visit at least 3 other blogs and give them some encouragement.
5. Leave a comment with blog url so we can follow back!





                        Courtney                                  Shannon                                            Becky



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