Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hotlanta Half Marathon

Yeah, don't get me started on the name. We know, we know. Don't call it Hotlanta...

Back to the point.

This one's all about Dave today!

He just ran his second half marathon, and is already planning more in the weeks and months to come. Back in November he got what he considered a "wake-up call" from his doctor. He needed to lose weight, eat better, and start being more active. He got to hear about all the things that could happen if he didn't change his ways. He started running after work, lost a good 20-30 lbs, and feels better than when he was a college athlete.

Yay! Go Dave!

For some crazy reason, however, he picked this nuts race in the middle of August. It was hot, humid, and full of hills.

To quote him "it sucked."

Suckage aside, we had a good day. After watching Dave start, the gals and I headed over to Centennial Olympic Park and played till the runners started to flow by.

They were at their 11th mile and the hill that passed the park was insane.  I sat with the gals next to some other people cheering on runners and patiently waited for Dave. I packed the gals lots of snacks, juice, and things to do (thank you My Little Pony stickers). They didn't complain a single bit! Finally we saw Dave and the gals clapped and screamed "Go Daddy Go!"

I ran back over to Underground Atlanta and was able to make it before Dave crossed the line.


Dave and the gals after the race.

The gals thought that Dad's medal was pretty awesome.

The gals also had their first train ride. Madeline was scared at first, but they both ended up loving it and screaming for the train.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Big Kid Status: Room Edition

We did it! We finished the gals' room and we've lived to tell about it.

This was our first attempt at painting as well, so I was a bit nervous. However, now that it's all done, I'm patting ourselves on the back! We rocked it!!

Because our house is a new build, boring beige is EVERYWHERE, and we had to rectify it right away. Painting the ceiling was a challenge, but I finally got the hang of it and we knocked out the whole room in one afternoon.

I'm so excited to have their room done. It's been a long time coming, and they definitely deserve it!

Here's a quick tour:

My mom made the Gals a teepee. She is awesome.

We found their dresser at the Lakewood Antique Market today! We had been hunting for something for a long time and it was quite fitting that we found it today. We are hoping to find some more art for the walls in the next few months.

This wall is still rather empty, but we are hoping to find a big tree decal on Etsy to fill the space.

 This nightstand was also found at the antique market today and my mom brought down this lamp for us on her last visit. It used to be my grandmothers and I didn't realize how perfect it was for this space until today!

I made the plaques this week as I ventured back into the crafting world.

The gals were a little unsure of what was going on, but after a bit they warmed up to their new room!

Goodnight Gals!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Getting Crafty

I used to LOVE crafting!

Then I became budget conscious. 

That happens when you marry an accountant. 

I would waste so much money on crafts that should cost $10 to make, but because I never remember where I kept my supplies, I ended up buying all new things. I was then creating something that was not worth the $65 I just spent at Michaels.

And let's be honest, it's easier to just pay someone on Etsy to do it. I can guarantee they will do a much better job than me.

However, now that we've moved, all these glorious craft supplies from the past have resurfaced! Gasp! Our loft was tiny and a lot of my crafts were relegated to our storage unit. In our new place I finally have my own office where said things can live and turn into magical crafty creations!


I'm on it now. Like Martha Stewart all up in here.

The Gals' new room has me reinspired and I'm ready to create.

First on the list: Initial Plaques.

It was pretty easy and a good place to start. Just a little tape and paint!

I loved how they turned out and I didn't actually break the bank this time.

As I dusted off all of my old supplies, I found this cross stitch buried deep down where I'd hidden it after my long stay in the hospital while I was pregnant with the gals.

I've had enough time and seeing things that remind me of this stay don't bother me anymore. So here's my next project! 

This will certainly be framed and also placed in the Gals' new room!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Gals' Room

Most of y'all already know that the Gal's entrance into this world was a bit hectic. I was admitted to the hospital at 27 weeks pregnant, and there I stayed till the Gal's birthday, 4 weeks later. Both of the girls had a NICU stay, Madeline for 6 weeks, and Amelia for 7.

So needless to say our nursery was never decorated.  

And because of previous losses, this was a milestone I had held off on. 

Don't want to jinx it, right? 

And all of a sudden I wasn't home to do it. There also was certainly no desire on my part to decorate after making trips to the NICU everyday. Then, just like that, you finally have these two tiny people home that need you all the time. 

Life right? It keeps you busy. 

We lived in a tiny factory loft condo, no real room to move around, let alone decorate, so we just shrugged it off, assembled our Ikea furniture and went on our merry way. 

Last Summer, spur of the moment, we decided to put our condo up for sale and build in the burbs. Moving twice (we lived in an apartment for a few months while out house was being built), and trying to fill a house 3 times the size of our condo was a daunting task and rough on our wallets. We agreed that the real decorating would happen after we purchased all of our furniture. 

Fast forward to 8 months later and finally we are making an effort to give the Gals a room that I've always pictured in my head. The one that I wanted to give them before they were born, but never had a chance.

We are going with a nature/camping theme and have already picked out some essentials. Yesterday Dave and I bought two twin mattresses, so we can move out the Gal's toddler beds as well. This weekend we will be attempting to paint. If you guys know me, you are already aware that I come from a family who LOVES to renovate things. I, on the other hand, do not. At all. So painting will surely be a labor of love.  If you follow me on twitter, I'm sure I will be cursing up a storm and asking for all the advice in the world. 

Hopefully it will all come together in the next few weeks and I will post the pictures here. 

Until then here's a sneak peek!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Trail Bites Back

Oh man did I start out this run like a cocky bitch.

Gorgeous day. Cloudy. Breezy.

Perfect for running. My new found love for running the trail eases my achy bones and keeps my mind calm. I started out confident and strong. Leaping over roots, avoiding turtles, and even circumventing a few scary bugs.

Y'all. This nature kid hates bugs. Did I ever tell you about my camping trip to Florida? No? Well long story short, finding palmetto bugs on the inside of your carefully placed bug net after you've already crawled inside to go to sleep is NOT fun.


After avoiding a particularly frightening bug, I descended down the trail, picked up speed, and caught my foot on a root. I tried to over correct, ran faster, but I knew my big ass was going down. Right now I'm blaming the bug for my misstep. It surely could not have been my fault.

I felt like I was going in slow motion. All I could think was: "Ouch. This is going to hurt." There may have been some choice expletives running through my head as well, but we won't worry about that.

Then I went all GI-Joe and Superman mixed into one. Instinct kicked in, I tucked, put my shoulder down first, and completed a masterful roll/flip and popped back up so quick, you would have thought I did it on purpose.

Now when I fall on a regular run (I have to admit that it's happened more than once) boy does it hurt. I usually go straight down, bust my hands and knees, and my ego hurts the most of all. This time? Instead of looking around ashamed, hoping that no one saw me, I looked around and wished that someone saw my masterful feat.

I only had a small cut on my knee, and since I was already standing again, all I had to do was brush off the dirt, and finish my run.

So thanks trail running. I'm now able to add on another reason why I like you so much. When I fall, my body and my pride doesn't hurt so much.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Goodbye...Till Next Time!

Oh y'all.

Today sucked.

My mom and my sister went home.

They were in town this past week and left for home today. Living 10 hours away from your family is just...sad.

So when we are together, we soak it in, do the normal fun things we do, and make the best of it. Par for the course, the weather in Atlanta was deplorable, so we found ourselves indoors till yesterday, when we spent the day at the lake.

When they first arrived of course the gals were shy. But after the first hour of the gals being weird and trying to remember who everyone was, the air was soon filled with their calls for "Grandma" and "Rachel!"

So many books were read. Grandma's are good at that.

New tutu's were acquired. Grandma took part in the fun.

When Rachel and I were small there was the "Mummy Monster" and the "Bucking Bronco." Amelia gladly learned about the bronco and held on for dear life.

Rain = Puzzles. Of course only one piece was missing. Rachel showed her displeasure. 

A trip to the local Mexican restaurant showed our gals exquisite dining skills.

We moseyed back into Dunwoody to visit one of my mom's friends, so of course we went to Wright's Gourmet and of course we ran into someone we know. This time it was a notorious substitute teacher named Mrs. Dimenstein. Oh man did she have a hatred for footsie under the table. She still haunts any Austin Elementary grad's dreams.

Finally the sun came out and we went to the lake. When we were kids my mom always took us to the Buford Dam Park, so it's pretty cool to come full circle and bring my gals here too.


There were so many tears today when my family left.  

Of course we can't wait till we can see them again.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Breaking the Routine

Routine. I usually thrive on it. Schedules are fabulous and very necessary in this household. It's what gets us through our days and leaves us with at least a small bit of sanity.

Over on Instagram I've started doing an Atlanta Mom's Blog photo a day. It's been fun to check out the hashtag {#atlmomsblog} to see what other local moms are doing throughout their day.

Today's picture was asking for your morning ritual. Pretty standard here, wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, drink coffee, and go to work. If I'm lucky, 3-4 times a week I go to the gym.

I'm a standard gym rat. I run, walk, and lift. Nothing too fancy. Every now and then I'll throw in a HIIT class or some cross training on the Arc Trainer. Oh and I catch up on Twitter, but y'all already knew that. When I started my whole weight loss journey, I simply did what worked for me to get the weight off & that was it. Nothing extra. Now that I've lost 90 pounds, I'm no longer striving for shedding the lbs, but maintaining my hard work, building muscle, and having fun. 

Here's where I'm going to break my normal routine. While I want my gym visits to be entertaining, I also want them to be social. There are lots of mommies who take classes at my Y, so I'm going to force myself to take all these crazy classes they offer, have fun, and make friends. Today's class? Zumba.

Oh Zumba Y'all. For those who don't know me, I'm 6 feet tall, pretty athletic, and have zero dancing ability. So picture this giant in the back of the room, taking her first Zumba class, looking like a complete jackass. 

I started out a hot mess. I was slow and concentrating too hard on the footwork. I couldn't understand why people took this class. 

I'm not sweating. 

This is dumb. 

Then the instructor yelled "stop looking in the mirror!" It woke me up and I realized that if I wanted a good workout, and if I really wanted to sweat, I needed to not worry about the steps and just move. As soon as I did this, I was able to relax and step it up. Now that is when I began to sweat.

I danced, I jigged, and I just enjoyed the music. I had a blast watching the only gentleman (who looked about my dad's age) in the class bust a move. I pushed myself hard & got a good workout in. I will definitely take this class again, and next time I want to wear my heart rate monitor to compare it to one of my normal workouts. 

Lots of the mommies were chatting after the class, but I scooted out quickly and skipped the friendly banter. Let's just do this one step at a time. 

Crazy dance class first, new friends next.

I promise I will push my social comfort zone future!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

There's No Overthinking When You Are On the Trail

Today was one of those days that I needed to desperately get out of the house.

I needed to be by myself.

I needed to just get away for a few.

I wanted to go for a run, but my foot & knees have been bugging me lately. So a jaunt around my hood wasn't what I was up for. Not to mention, our new locale is just not very running friendly.

As soon as the gals' heads hit the pillow for nap time, I was in my car heading for the Laurel Ridge Trail.  It's just around the corner and follows the shoreline of Lake Lanier, the Chattahoochee, and the Buford Dam. It's well shaded and good for any type of hiker or runner. While it doesn't have a lot of traffic, it does have a lot of beauty.

I haven't done a true trail run in ages. I'm going to rectify that and do this more often, because I had a blast. I needed some time out of my own head, not to worry about the day to day, and a trail run was just what the doctor ordered. I couldn't be bothered by my problems, because I was too busy concentrating on not busting my ass while dodging all the roots and rocks! I felt like I was back in Maine at summer camp bouncing all around the trail. I was having fun.

The trail is a loop and with the direction I go, the Dam is close to the finish. This makes for some steep running at the very end of your run, but it was a good challenge! I was beat!

The best part about this trail is that it starts and ends right on the lake. So it was nice to cool down after my run right by the shore. I will definitely be coming back to do this trail again, even though it was a challenge, I wasn't bothered by my usual nagging knee and foot pain.

I'm probably in the market for some trail running shoes now. Anyone have any recommendations?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Welcome Back!

Ah, it's been too long! Too long!

I've really just used this space as a place to update my family about the gals, but I hope to evolve it into something more.

I liked updating my blog with news about the gals because I've always been kinda anti-Facebook. More or less because I felt that some things just aren't meant to be shared. When I spent a month in the hospital hoping that the gals would stay put just a few weeks longer, I couldn't bring myself to post anything about it. Instead, I stuck by my family, friends, and my twitter ladies (who understood what I was going through more than anyone else). These people kept me hopeful. That's all I needed.

The gals came 9 weeks early, and again, all I could post on FB was a quick pic of the gals. I'm not a fan of searching for likes, for comments, and for prayers. I wasn't ready to hear the sympathy from a person I hadn't talked to in 10 years. I just wanted my family and friends to know they were okay.

However, over the past few years FB has evolved into something more and more of my "older" family members have embraced, so I'm gradually letting my guard down and posting more pictures there.  I must admit, I love it when the Grandmas get excited about the latest gals post.

I've been thinking that this place doesn't just need to be an "update" blog. I want to branch out a bit more.

So here's what I want for this blog:

Obviously I want to talk about the gals. I'm with them all day, everyday, and they are embarking on such an amazing part of their development. These enthusiastic 2 year old could fuel any blog for centuries.

I want to talk about ME! Me?!? Isn't that selfish? But of course!! What are blogs for? I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments over the past year and half. Mostly because I put my nose to the grindstone, lost 90 pounds, and have kept it off. Yea. Pretty proud of that.

My family. All of us. What we do, where we go, and what we enjoy in our fun town of Atlanta and beyond.

And anything else interesting. Captivated yet?

There I've blogged it. That means this will all totally happen right? I won't forget about this blog again will I? way.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Gal and her Phone

I originally started off thinking I would post about how proud I was of myself for not being on my phone all weekend, but then I realized why...
This past weekend I spent several days with some of my favorite people. We had our 10 year college reunion, and it felt like we had never left.

As soon as I checked in, I ran to UDF, looked for Comb Over Clint (he sadly does not work there anymore), and bought myself a Luna Bar (a healthier update from my 22 year old self) & a Limerita (a new addition, thank god these weren't available back then)
I searched for my friends who were already there, but since they hadn't posted their whereabouts on their AIM away messages (oh we don't do that anymore do we?), I was at a loss. I texted, phoned, & even Instagrammed.
I grabbed my stuff from my car, and was quickly greeted at the entrance of the dorm by 3 lovely ladies I hadn't seen since our 5 year reunion. The party had officially begun, and I barely touched my phone again.
In odd moments of solitude, aka, trying to recover from Friday night. I posted a send coffee selfie (see below) & checked in with the hubs to see how the gals were doing. But other than that I didn't really need my phone. The people who I interact with on Social Media daily were here. We were interacting with each other and that was all I needed.

But it got me thinking - I'm not the high and mighty type that looks down on others with their faces in their phones. This weekend solidified that entirely. These people are the ones who make me check my phone. Who keep me entertained regularly while my kids nap and before I go to bed at a ridiculously early hour.
Being a parent can be isolating.
We don't intentionally do it. I make the effort to schedule play dates for my own social interaction as much as my kids, but the reality is, if we go out, it's as a family. We know our schedule, our routine, and can predict our kids nuts behavior.
I am very social, very outgoing, and I love my friends. I need to chat with them on iMessage everyday and show them pictures of my kids climbing up a bookshelf because I am obviously such an awesome parent. It's why I love the ladies I chat with on twitter too (so if we could just organize a reunion type event, that'd be great). But the gals come with me to work, we moved to the burbs, & our commute sucks. We don't see our local friends like we used to.
So honestly, no worries. Check your phone. Take millions of pictures of your food, your self, your kids, and your pets. I want to see them. Tell me how your day is. I want to share the joy you feel or send good thoughts if shit just sucks lately.
But please quit sharing those damn quizzes.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

w:14 y:14

To say we are having fun with this new camera is an understatement. 

The gals stayed home with dad on Monday to watch the Braves Opening Game!

Kid is a pro at the playground. I seriously have no problem letting her roam the place all by herself.

This lasted a good 15 minutes. Teamwork man. I think we need to buy a sandbox ASAP.

Adorable outfits from Auntie Pat & Uncle Al.

I woke up with the HOFF in my google plus inbox. Made my day.

Yea mom. Just because we are twins doesn't make this fun.

Skinned knees & warm temps. Summer is on it's way!!

Again. Amelia has no fear. Climbed up the 3 stories all by herself and flew down the slide, no problem.

Big kid. Bigger Ball.

This mirror is always dirty.

Fishing for rocks.

Does it make us official homeowners when we finally take care of the shit show that is our lawn??

So once the lawn was taken care of, we went out to play, and of course I brought out the new camera.

A Gal.

Snack break.





Break on the Hill.


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