Monday, September 27, 2010

Dar Baby!

I can't seem to get enough of babies! My sweet little niece is already 3 months old! I've not taken any pictures of her in a long time, it I thought at the very least I could get a quick informal snapshot session with her.

Feast your eyes upon the cutest little girl on the planet:


That little smirk is going to get her out of a lot of trouble someday!



one of my favs...

She is a big fan of tummy time!


that smile is delicious!

The return of the BBL

I went grocery Shopping this weekend. I HATE grocery shopping. Maybe I just loathe buying required things: gas, groceries, bills, etc. It's more fun to blow your money frivolously on clothes, shoes, housewares and other fun items.  I get to choose frivolous items; do I want the brown jacket, the blue jacket or both?  With required payments, you don't have the luxury of choice.  I take that back.  I do have a choice--I can choose not to pay my bills, by groceries or put gas in my car---but you see that would get me anywhere now would it.

So I hate buying the so-called required items because it limits the money I have left over for the more frivolous items--oh the drama-filled life I lead, huh?

So now that I've heard the tiny violins play to my woes, its time to embrace my grocery shopping adventure.  Having an assortment of fresh groceries in my home allows me to, in the long run, save money.  Today was the first day in almost 2 weeks that I've packed my lunch.  Work to say the least has been hectic.  2 weeks ago was filled with co-worker birthday lunches, lunch meetings, etc--so no packing healthier items for me.  Last week I just didn't take the time to pack (and the lack of groceries prevented me from doing so).  SO I bought lunch (not good for my wallet).  I told myself I was going to eat healthy--but no.  French fries and hamburgers all week...I felt like I have 5 pounds of lead in my body.  I was moving sluggish, I was tired and I just felt BLAH!

Today is different.  Even though I was getting a late start this morning, I still packed--I forced myself.  I had to give myself a pep talk, "Anne this is good for you and your budget..."  repeating that mantra over and over allowed me to get through the intense desire to just buy my lunch again.  Thank goodness I stayed strong---I do have a willpower!

SO without any further adieu here is what my breakfast/lunch consisted of:

breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned oats) with 1 small banana mixed in
                coffee with sugar free hazelnut cream

Lunch: 1 cup strawberries
           1 turkey wrap (60 cal/low carb wheat wrap with lettuce, tomato and peppered turkey breast
           light and fit yogurt

Snack: edamane
           celery with a tiny taste of peanut butter

Dinner: skyline.  before you judge:  Deacon and I go EVERY Monday.  Why? Doug pulls doubles on Monday, so this gives Deacon the opportunity to see his daddy!  I stayed healthy and got a classic chicken salad, no cheese with light italian dressing.

I just have to tell myself, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

He called me carrots!

What's a girl to do when trying to save money for a hypothetical second child but really wants to change her image?! Can I buy clothes. No. Two reasons: it's expensive (well, I choose for it to be!) and also--if I do get pregnant, I won't be wearing those clothes very long!

Can I get a hair cut? No. A $35.00 haircut just isn't practical, especially when deciding if that is more important than groceries. Do you know what I can buy for $35.00?! A LOT of freaking groceries.

Can I buy new accessories for the house. No. Doug and I pride ourselves on our minimalist ways. We are cheap or overly-frugal, we just don't want a lot of "stuff". Plus, that stuff is expensive. $20.00 for a throw pillow?! Get real.

I was out of options for adding spice to my image, and was dehydrating from all the BLAH! that I was feeling. A girl goes through this crisis every once in a while--moms especially. We are tired of wearing stained clothing from the food, milk, boogers and other unmentionables that go hand in hand with parenting. We are tired of looking like a "hot mess" with baggy shirts, frayed hair and jeans that might be a tad too tight. We get tired of looking in the mirror and saying, "for real, this is as good as it gets?!"

Doug sensed that I was in my rutt again. He can always tell when I start fishing for compliments on an incredibly way-to-frequent basis. He even offered to give me the money he was secretly saving up for Christmas (not a secret anymore) so I could have some retail therapy. As sweet as that was, I knew I couldn't possibly do that, so I reluctantly declined--but man that wad of cash would have been awesome to spend at Banana Republic and the LOFT!

So I was stuck. I felt yucky and couldn't much do anything about it. Ladies, I know you understand the predicament I was in. It's never good--not only does it affect us, but our family too! If I was preforming positive self talk, then how am I able to positively talk with my husband, remain patient with my child and hold back the urge to throw Remi out the window for once again chewing on the woodwork on our stairs.

PLEASE NOTE--I wouldn't actually throw Remi out the window!

SO I was at the grocery store spending the $35.00 shoulda-been-my-haircut-money on a cart full of groceries. I'll set the stage. flip flops with chipped toenail polish, baggy pajama pants and an oversized t-shirt. Folks--it was a site and I'm pretty sure if I was in Walmart someone would have snapped a picture of me and I would have been the covergirl for "". It was that bad.

As I'm driving my cart down the aisles, I feel myself going down the beauty aisle--almost like my body took control and said, "mind, get over yourself, it's time for a makeover." SO I bought new shampoo/conditioner and hair color.

what better way to change up your look than with a box of hair dye! You want to know what I chose?! Typically when the mop gets dipped in color I go for a rich brown or an auburn. But apparently I was channeling my inner "Anne Shirley" and went red. Not a "is she a red head?" but a "Holy carrots, red!"

Okay, okay, I wouldn't say it is carrot color, but it is definitely red. And I LOVE it. Red heads have a heck of a lot more fun! It's amazing what a box of color did for my self esteem--seriously! I came home from my twin's house (she does my coloring) and just pranced around like I just won the lottery. Doug immediately saw how happy I was. My sarcasm and wit and zest was back. I AM BACK! so with this new found love of red hair and confidence, I went into my closet and began to look for pieces of clothing I could reinvent into a different outfit. Who needs new clothes when it's all right there in the closest---you just need to be creative.

It was the spirit booster I needed. I LOVE being a red head!

As for the other efforts of saving money--not exactly getting a good grade. the past week, I've not packed my lunch. Monday I start again! I'm sure I'll be reporting on that later in the week. Until then, have a wonderful weekend. Do something fun, change up your look and be fearless!

Monday, September 20, 2010

OH Baby!

You may remember an earlier post of my dear friend Witni and her husband. I had the joy and honor of documenting her pregnancy and just recently was overjoyed when they wanted me to come back and photograph their little one!

Emil is almost two weeks old and wasn't actually due until 9/17. Apparently Witni had a stern talking to her little man and told him it was time for him to come and greet the world!

She went into labor on 9/7 and didn't deliver the baby for another 33 hours. And for those keeping score, this chick labored drugs. I can't decide if she is crazy or superwoman.

I had such a fun time photographing little Emil (named after Eric's grandfather!) and had an even more joy watching how my sweet, little friend just knew exactly what to do--she is for sure a mom and a life long member of mom hood---welcome to the club Wit--we are so glad to have you as one of us!

So without further adieu, here is Emil Regan (pronounced EM-UL REE-gan):

Love how is one eye is he doesn't want to miss a second of this new world he just woke up to!

sweet little man!

There is something to be said for a mom and her son. I am so lucky to have Deacon in my life and I can only wish for Witni that she feels the same way about her little guy


A favorite!


baby in basket=super cute!

Emil is one lucky kid. Not only to have such wonderful parents, but because those parents own their very own baby blanket company. The swaddler you see here is an Aden + Anais muslin swaddler and boy did it work wonders for Emil!


Every baby needs a ridiculous hat--not ridiculous in a bad way--in an "oh my Gosh, that's so adorable" way!

My favorite picture from the sesh!
I told Witni she wasn't going to be in that picture until I looked up and saw that sweet new mother gaze and I had to have her in the frame. Witni--this defines love and you define what a mother is through that peaceful, blessed grin that you have on your face. I love you so much and am so excited for your journey with your new family!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A baseball game, fall and grad school

Thursday, September 23rd will be a day I cherish. It marks the first day of autumn, my favorite season. I have yet to step outside and "smell" fall, but my nose is searching it out!

I know its close--the wind lingers and combs through the trees a little longer. Crisp mornings require wind breakers and the autumn sun is coaxing each leaf to change from green to yellow and finally to bright hues of orange and deep reds. There isn't a season, I think, that compares to autumn. The amount of change that happens in such a small window of time is miraculous--every morning is a freshly painted canvas of the world and what is holds for the day. Pretty soon we'll be pumpkin pickin, apple cider sippin, and fritter eatin' our ways through the short days and long, cozy nights. Fall for me is about creating memories and just living in the moment!

The last hurrah of summer and first welcome to fall was a trip to the Red's game. The Executive Director of the company I work for sursprised me as I was walking out to my car. He was given some tickets from one of our consultants and was unable to attend the game--so since I was the first person he saw, I was the proud owner of some pretty amazing seats! Doug wasn't able to go unfortunately, however, his cousins Betsy and Jill were able to attend with Deacon and me. Those two are fanatics when it comes to the Reds, so it was only fitting that they came with us! It was so much fun to introduce Deacon to the exciting game of baseball and the memories that were sewn tight like the red stitching of a baseball! From the National Anthem and first pitch to eating peanuts and guiltlessly dropping the shells to the floor--it was wonderful. Deacon kept saying, "Mommy, I'm just so happy!" Well, that just makes me happy! Baseball games are important to me. Not for the game itself but more for the time spent with my son. It rehashed some awesome memories of my dad and me heading to ball park. It was our special time, a date perhaps. It would start on Riverside Drive in Covington with a picnic lunch/dinner. We'd walk across the "singing bridge" and we'd always and I mean ALWAYS stop smack dab in the middle of the bride to take a look at the mechanics of it. He'd always point out the expansion joints and quiz me each time asking, "do you know why they are there, Annie?" We would also get across the bridge and buy peanuts from outside of the park instead of paying full price in the ballpark. He'd always take me down early so I could try to get autographs from the ball players---and 9 times out of 10 I'd be successful--I attribute this to my once tiny, limber body and the fierce determination I had to make my dad proud. Although, he'd be proud even if I got a bat boys autograph, it just didn't matter! We always got seats in the club section--the padded, comfy seats situated high up in the ballpark with an amazing view of the entire field. When we got bored sitting, we'd just walk around the park, talk, stop, watch the game and walk and talk some more. We'd love to hear the artisic calls from the park workers yelling out, "Ice Cold BUD--WISE-ER" and "Get your cotton candy, Here, cotton candy". He taught me about courtesy and manners at the park too. Always, I mean ALWAYS tip the usher---its just the right thing to do. I'd replay those flashbacks of the fond memories I have with my dad at the park and then immediately look down at my son and smile. I am so excited to give him the same memories I had.

With the ever changing fall, comes a time of change in my life. Autumn gives me time to think about where I am in life, where I want to be and how to get there. Doug and I continue to discuss growing our family and have left it up to God and what he has planned for us. Another source of change I am considering is Graduate School. I loved college. NKU was the institution that taught me more about myself that I thought a college could. The professors, the students and atmosphere made me fall in love with the program I recieve my undergrad from. Since my graduation 4 years ago, I've longed to go back. Last night I found a paper that had my professor's handing writing exclaiming "APPLY TO GRAD SCHOOL". I know, I know--thanks for the reminder! I want to go--but there are several factors holding me back:

family--I know I could do it, I have such a supportive husband, but I just think raising a young family and putting myself through grad school could possibly be a recipe for disaster. The class load wouldn't bother me, however it would be the hours of studying that would get me. How does one choose between building forts with Deacon and studying for a midterm?!

Money--Its been said that you shouldn't wait to do something because of money--or else you'd be waiting forever. I understand that, but don't agree with it. Doug and I are in some debt (who isn't) and the last thing I want are student loans. Once I get a few plastic devils paid off, the dream of going to school may become a reality.

Time--What's time?!

Maybe these reasons are trivial, but I just can't rush into something without thinking it through completely. I will go through grad school--when, is the question. Hopefully within 5 years...I'll be back on NKU's campus educating myself for furture potential and self satisfaction!

As fall makes its way onto our earth and tugs on my heart strings, I'll continue to enjoy each moment, each day and give thanks for what I do have and the blessings my family has.

Friday, September 10, 2010

battered and torn

I feel old. Not in an apocolypic, "oh my gosh I am so old I'm almost dead" old. My age indicates that I am young. A 26 year old should never feel old. period. But I do. I am not saying that my age is making me feel old, rather, my body.

I played 3 hours of soccer last night and I have another game this evening. I'm tired just thinking about it. This morning my body told me how unhappy it was that I destroyed it while playing soccer. My hip hurts, my IT band hurts. My shoulders feel non-existent and my back, I am almost for certain, is crafting a death note written specifically for me. Folks, I fell more times last night than I could count. I went head to head with big, tall, strong boys and hung with them to try and beat them to the ball. I was fouled and got slammed into a goalie who was sliding to save the ball and she swept my legs out from underneath me. By the end of my second game I was out of fuel. My speed dial went from rabbit to turtle.

On my drive home last night I just giggled. I can remember every instance that I have been injured because of sports in my life. The doctors and chiropractors always said, "take it easy. ice, heat, advil. stay off that ankle for a week. You're sesamoid bone is fractured (uhm, what the heck is that bone anyway?!) blah blah blah." Do you think I listened?! Absolutely not. I've always been fast paced--what can I do to get moving again type of attitude. I have beat my body up for quite some time, all because I couldn't bear the thought of not running in a race or playing a soccer game...I just kept going. The doctors would laugh when I'd visit again and say, "wow, anne you're a workhorse, you just don't stop do you?!" but they never once said, "you really need to listen to us and do as your told." I can't really expect them too either---They don't know how inured I really am if I am not giving them all the information.

After I had my laugh, I began to realize that for 26 years I have been wearing this invisible cape. Life can't touch me--I am unstoppable. As the years fly by, my cape has been getting caught, pulled and torn and now some of my invisibility is gone. my vulnerability is showing--my injuries are lasting longer, I'm not as fast as I was, my endurance is crap, and my foot can't kick the ball like it used to. Kids, I'm normal and human---I apparently just got that memo last night.

Maybe it was cockiness or self serving to think that I would just be untouchable forever. Heck maybe if I actually took care of my body and gave it time to heal after all those injuries I would feel like a 26 year old trapped in a 70 year olds body. But that isn't a fair comparision either--there are some 70 year olds that could run circles around me.

I don't like these realizations. Ok, I lied. Its apart of my life, it's apart my the growing process I suppose. I just don't like the fact that I indeed was wrong. If you know me, or met you, you know that I think I am right at all times.

Growing up is awesome--I have a great husband and amazing kid because of my ability to mature and age. However, the growing pains (literally, in this sense) sucks. So, what is a girl to do? Do I quit sports all together? Probably wouldn't be the wisest thing to do now would it? I guess I need to realize that my cape is shredding away from my body and my invisibility is no more. I need to actually listen to my body and rest when I need to rest. After all I plan on running and playing soccer until my feet fall off--I'd just rather they fall off 50 years from now instead of 15 years from now!