Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend 2014

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! I had high hopes for this weekend, but unfortunately it didn't end the way we had hoped or wanted.

After a relaxing Friday night, Z and I got up on Saturday cleaned a little of the house and then went to Tyson's to see the Easter Bunny! Sawyer was in heaven! He refused to stand in line with us and kept creeping around the plants to get a better look. We finally got up to the front and I thought he would freak out, but he walked right up to the Bunny and sat down. He smiled when he was supposed to and kept giving the Bunny high-fives throughout. It was picture perfect.


After an afternoon nap, we all went to a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. We didn't think that Sawyer would understand the concept, but we went anyways. Boy, were we wrong! He understood after showing him the first egg and then he was on a roll! He filled half a bucket worth all by himself! Then when we showed him that candies were hidden inside, it was all over. He loved it! I think out of everything we did last weekend, that hunt was my favorite.


When the hunt was over, we walked to the grocery store to get a few things for a Easter brunch we were going to the next morning and then I made us a fancy dinner of salmon, pesto potatoes, fruit salad, and broccoli.

This is were our dream-like Easter ended. Around 7 that night, I started to get really sick. Poor Z was living out the "sickness and in health" vow on the hour every hour until around 11. Then around 5 am, Sawyer woke up sick as well. We were a mess and Z was our hero. He had chicken noodle soup, new towels, and plain bread for us throughout the day.

Sunday, we tried-and SUCCESSFULLY-made it to the Easter brunch, but honestly, I wasn't that fun. I sat in the same seat the whole time and wasn't able to enjoy any of the good food. We left a couple hours after getting there and then both Sawyer and I crashed for the rest of the afternoon.

Thankfully, we feel better today! Hooray!

Easter wasn't what we expected or wanted, but it made me so thankful that I had someone who was by my side and on my team whenever I needed something or needed help. Thank you, Z.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter 2014

He is Risen! He's Alive! He's Alive! 

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. The weather is warm, the celebration of Christ is vibrant and our weekend is focused on family and loved ones. 

When I think about our past Easters the focus is on family and love. I have so many great memories growing up. From easter egg hunts to big brunches to wearing our Sunday best. They are all traditions that I love and hold dear. Plus, two years ago, it was the holiday where Z and I told our parents we were pregnant. You can see that post here


When I think about the cross and that first Easter so many years ago, I can't help but think about the magic of it all! The world had forever changed that day! Christ showed us that even death couldn't hold him in the grave. I love that.

On Easter mornings, I always listen to this song by Matt Maher on full blast. The lyrics are so perfect and I love how dramatic and joyful it gets at the end. It gives me goosebumps.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Why I Blog Part 2

I remember when I was pregnant, my friend, Molly and I went on a morning walk to a bakery that was nearby our house. While we were walking, I was telling her that I didn't know if I should blog about Sawyer's medical issue. That it was really personal and really scary. That the chance of him having open heart surgery after birth was becoming more and more likely and someone at the hospital even mentioned that we could terminate the pregnancy if we wanted. When someone says that to you, it's extremely scary. You begin to panic and start thinking, "Really? Is it that bad?!"

I also mentioned how frustrating it was that I couldn't find any good information on enlarged right atriums or tricuspid valve regurgitation on google. That everything out there dealt with the babies ending up with larger problems and how hard it was to find a success story.

I remember her saying, "Maybe you can be that source for someone in the future who is going through this very same thing." She encouraged me to keep writing and sharing my experience.

I hadn't thought about that conversation until recently. Within the last year, I have received two emails from two individual couples who were just told that their son/daughter has an enlarged right atriums. Reading their emails made my heart break. I heard their fear, confusion, and desperation running throughout their words. I heard them questioning if they could stay strong for not only them, but also for their significant other.

I immediately wrote both couples back and shared my story more in-depth. I shared that there is hope and to have faith. That there are success stories and happiness waiting on the other end. To not be crippled by fear, but to cling to each other and pray.

I wanted to write this because it made me grateful that I wrote our story. That I was vulnerable and brave enough to share those raw emotions and feelings. It brought me together with 2 other families who needed to hear this and that made it all worth it.

Have A Wonderful Weekend!


I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! I'm getting my wisdom teeth out today. Yikes! I'm really hoping that it isn't that bad and that I'm back at it in no time.  I am excited for the ice cream and movies that await me for when I get back.

Here are some favorite articles I've found this week:

Scientific Proof that Life Gets Better with Age 

Since I'll be drinking smoothies all weekend, I loved these 2 articles on 12 Smoothie Hacks that help you Slim Down this Summer  and 5 Healthy Smoothies Experts Swear By (And They Taste Good Too!)



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekend Recap


This weekend was a busy one! Saturday after tutoring, I went on an audition for Guys & Dolls. My good friend, Joanne convinced me to go out for a part, so after a week of practicing, I decided to join her.

It's been 7 years since I sang anything in front of anyone, so it was a little nerve-racking to say the least. This combined with the fact, that once we were in the audition room, we immediately had to learn a choreographed dance and then sing before reciting a cold reading. I was still out of breath from the dance when I started singing and halfway through I realized that there was no way I was getting a part. The other ladies in my group though were AMAZING and I'm definitely going back this summer to see them perform. They're going to kill it.

After the audition, we went to Kate's house for Kevin's birthday party. It was so fun and she's always such a great host. I got to catch up with one of our mutual friends there and it felt so nice to just hear all about her life and pregnancy. It'd been 4 months since we'd last seen each other.

Sunday, I ran a 5k with two of my girlfriends. I hadn't trained for the race and boy, it showed. Needless to say, I realized I needed a jumpstart on my workouts and hit the gym hard yesterday. I'm planning on running a race every month this summer and hopefully my time just keeps getting better and better.

After the race, we hung out with our little man, who is developing more and more of a personality everyday. He waves enthusiastically to cars-especially buses-whenever they pass and yells "bye!" to the other cars whenever the traffic light changes. This morning, I tiptoed out of my room careful not to wake him up and immediately, I hear him jump up and say, "MAMA?!?" I started laughing and replied, "SAWYER?!" and rushed in to get him. That little boy is my joy.

(L: On Mondays, we rush to see the garbage truck and the men are always so sweet to wave to Sawyer as they go. R: The true sign that Sawyer's been in a room--things are stacked. It's his calling card.)


Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy Friday!


 Great reminder to start my weekend off right. Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday! I'm off to play with my little one at the zoo! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ways to Save with a Babe.

Having a baby doesn't have to be expensive. I remember when I was pregnant, my aunt said, "All you really need is a crib, carseat, stroller, and a soft rug for him to roll around on." I took that to heart and didn't buy into all the fancy wipe warmers, expensive clothes, and toys.

This attitude has stayed with me even now that he's older. I was at J. Crew the other day and a salesperson walked up and said, "We have some great outfits for the little guy." I just thought in my head, "If I rarely buy J.Crew then there is no way that Sawyer is."

This lifestyle wasn't hard for me to adapt to. Z and I have always been more on the frugal side. It's more important to us to have savings and investments then the fancy clothes or newest stroller. Our motto has been that we don't buy things unless we need them. We also don't go out to eat every weekend or go out to happy hours often. Instead, we meal plan or invite others over.

Because of this side of our personalities and also being creative in how we save, I have yet to spend over $300 dollars on toys or clothes for Sawyer. For me, he outgrows things within a few months and he's rarely interested in the toys, so it really is pointless for me to buy him a J.Crew t-shirt or a fancy new toy.

So these are some of the ways in which I save with a baby. If you have other tricks, I would LOVE to hear.

1. Goodwill & Consignment Sales-- In Arlington there are GREAT consignment sales for parents and children. My girlfriend just went to one in Fairlington a few weekends ago and got 20 pieces for her little one for $10. She also scored some awesome maternity pieces as well.

For books, we go to Goodwill. They have a great selection of barely used children's books for $1/each. We also go to the library about once every 2 weeks. I pick out two books for Sawyer and we read them consistently before bed.

2. Mother Listservs- When we moved to Arlington, I immediately signed up for MONA (Mothers of North Arlington). I get about 50+ emails a day where parents are selling pottery barn furniture or barely used clothes. So far, we've gotten some books from that listserv for about $3 for 5.

Aside from clothing, books, and toys, it's also great place for recommendations. Moms will ask others for advice on the best dentist, OBGYN, or playground and 20 people will respond. It helps me to read these and saves me time having to look all this stuff up myself.

3. Craigslist. We have gotten a lot of stuff from Craigslist. The best find was the TV in our basement which was brand new and not even opened yet. We got that thing for $50! We also got the rug in Sawyer's playroom and the kitchen set too. You can see that post here.)

4. Furniture Double Duty. We did splurge on our crib, but we made sure to get one that converted into a toddler then full bed, so it could follow Sawyer no matter how old he is. Such a good deal and find on Amazon.

5. Diapers & Wipes in Bulk. We save a lot of money by buying diapers and wipes in bulk via Amazon. For $54 we can buy over 200 diapers.

6. Friends as Sitters. We have a playpen set up in our guest bedroom and some nights our friends will bring over their little one once she/he is asleep and put her in there, so they can go out to eat. It's easy and free and we switch off whenever we can.

We are also fortunate enough to have my and Z's parents 31/2 hours away. That is a easy after work drive and the only way that we can attend things like the marriage conference.

So, that's a snippet into how we save with a baby. I think some people think that having a baby is so expensive and that they'll never be able to afford one, but you can definitely make it work. We are!
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