My Rock

I was contacted last week by Red Envelope — you know, the awesome site you visit when you need gift ideas? Yeah them. They didn’t contact me to test out a product, or give them rave reviews — but instead to promote their newest campaign — Thank Your Rock. It took me .4 nanoseconds (if that) to decide who MY rock is.

Yes, it’s always and forever this guy.

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I know…It’s an obvious choice. I didn’t just decide to marry him for funsies (although, our wedding WAS fun).

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But in all seriousness I could not do half of what I do without him by my side. He is my equal partner. He cleans, he picks up food, he chauffeurs, he baby wrangles. He tolerates my crazy and supports my early morning wake ups.

We’ve known each other since we were 18. We had a somewhat tumultuous relationship while were in college, because, well, we were in college. We were young, stupid, and naive. Oh the good ‘ol days when I didn’t have bangs and he did.

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As we’ve gotten older and wiser (ha!), we’ve found ways to keep our relationship interesting by traveling, having kids, and participating in key swap parties. (just kidding, just checking to see if you’re still reading).

While our relationship is far from perfect, Dan has always supported my decisions and acted as my sounding board. When I’m stressed out at work or something is bothering me – he listens. When I’m paranoid and anxious, he doesn’t tell me I’m crazy (I’m sure he certainly thinks it) – he make accommodations. To me, these gestures are more important than gifts or affirmations. Of course, my highest ranked”Love Language” is Acts of Services, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

So to Dan… thank you. Thank you for being there, sharing your life with me, and having these adorable kids with me.

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Thank you for supporting my running addiction, for making the coffee, for washing the 8 gazillion pounds of laundry, for not questioning me when I buy more makeup and more workout clothes,  for supporting me when the kids say I’m mean (we both know you’re the “fun” parent!), and for all the little things I recognize, but may never acknowledge.

E feels this way about Edward Cullen too.

Thank you for your friendship, you humor, your commitment to making me laugh every day, for taking pictures of me/us in weird places/at strange times without questioning it, and for doing Zumba in public with a baby on your shoulders.

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In short… Thank you for being my rock.

*you may all vomit in your mouth now*

Who is YOUR rock?

**I hate that I have to write this, but I wasn’t compensated for this post, nor was this post sponsored/affiliated. I just thought it was a really nice campaign that came with the opportunity to gush over a person I truly love.

Things I Keep Meaning To Tell You

Get excited for a whole bunch of random stuff… It’s time for another installment of things I keep meaning to tell you!

1. We’re two weeks out from Christmas and I’m feeling a little Scrooge-like up in here. We have yet to buy a tree or decorate. It doesn’t help that it’s freaking 85 degrees outside. Seriously Florida, get your shit together. Winter technically starts in 12 days.

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Did you know that it’s almost summer in Australia… and it’s the same temperature here as it is there? They are predicting that it’s going to be in the 70s on Christmas Day… which… just makes my heart shrink three sizes. If I start turning green, please let me know.

2. Amazon Prime is AMAZING.

This is my first Christmas with Prime and I think it’s pretty much paid for itself these last few weeks alone. Even though I’m feeling like Scrooge in the spirit department, I’m kicking ass in the gift department. I still have a few more items to cross off my list, but I think last year at this time I had purchased nothing. That’s a win right? I’m sure I will still wait until the last minute to wrap everything though. #procrastinatorforlife

3. Jackie and I took our girls to see Frozen a few weeks ago. At the time I was really ‘meh’ about going. It was right before Thanksgiving, I really had no desire to see it, and the showing was at Downtown Disney (which is about 45 minutes from me)… but I sucked it up because a) it was free and b) I needed a little girl time with Livie. Needless to say it was pretty great.

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Not only does Kristen Bell sing (along with Idina Menzel – who can really do no wrong – it’s so unfair that she can sing like that AND is married to Taye Diggs oops, apparently I jinxed that one), but I didn’t expect the end AT ALL. And it’s a FANTASTIC princess movie. Plus, the animation was gorgeous. And did I mention Kristen Bell? Anna is now officially my favorite Disney Princess *decorates walls* So, if you haven’t seen it – GO SEE IT NOW.

4. I’ve been reading A LOT but haven’t been telling you about it at all. So, here are a few of the books I recommend…

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

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This book was great. Seriously great. Read it!

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

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This book – wow. Made me paranoid, but at the same time it falls into the “More you know” category.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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A few people recommended this book to me and I thought it was OK. I didn’t bawl at the end like everyone told me I would, though.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

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I really enjoyed this book – except the end. And it’s not that I hated the end — I just have mixed emotions.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

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Another book where I enjoyed it thoroughly — until the end.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham (yes, that Lauren Graham)

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I read this one at the end of my pregnancy/when Evan was a newborn — so it took an insanely LONG time to finish, even though I should have been done with it in two days. However, it’s cute and sweet and well written. I hope Lauren Graham continues to write!

I’m currently reading The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan and so far I’m sucked in. I am a pretty big fan of Amy Tan’s — although her last few books haven’t delivered, so I’m hoping this one changes things.

Anything I NEED to read next?

5. A book I don’t recommend is Allegiant. I was so disappointed by it and hated the ending. So much so that I’m not even going to do a full review (like I did with Divergent and Insurgent). It could have been great. Instead it sucked. Did ANYONE like it?

6. Race photos are fun, even if I always look like I am dying. Also, those shorts and socks really emphasize how long my legs are. In case you were wondering where I got my blog name from, here you go…

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Just out for a stroll.

(Source)

7. Evan just wanted to say “I”m still not sleeping!!!”

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Anyone want to come sleep train him?? Or maybe babysit him (and his siblings) on Saturday night? :)

On a happy note, he’s now sitting in a shopping cart and it’s kind of adorable.

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He also refused to look at me while I took these pictures. Probably because I’m already embarrassing him.

So, what’s new with you? Any book recommendations? 

Life Lately – Labor Day Edition

I am so need of a vacation from my weekend.

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I’m beat.

Is it REALLY a holiday weekend when you are working your ass off?

Truthfully, it wasn’t all bad – it was just long. Dan works in retail and Labor Day is one of the busiest holidays of the year, so it was mostly me and my crazies. They get REALLY crazy during holiday weekends too.

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There was also a visit from my brother…

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Clearly, Evan hates him.

A hang session with this squirrel (that I’m PRETTY sure is also living my crawl space/attic).

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This is as close as I will ever get to having a pet.

And a drive up to the middle of nowhere Umatilla to visit my mom.

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I’m just happy there was wine this year. And beer! Pumpkin beer, specifically.

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Let the pumpkin beer tasting begin. This one was excellent.

I really hate most things pumpkin (I know, it’s a blogger sin), but I REALLY love pumpkin beer. I’m currently having a beer-off… I’ll let you know how that goes.

Thanks to the gym’s childcare I managed to squeeze in some great workouts this weekend too – including this one from Paula

4 rounds and my legs can barely function (I added in planks too!). It only takes a half hour peeps!!

I used 30lb dumbbells for the deadlifts, 20lbs for the kettlebell swings, and I added a minute plank before the run. It’s three days later and my shoulders and legs still hurt. You should totally do it too.

I also tried to run 6 miles on the treadmill on Saturday and I just couldn’t make myself run more than 4. What is the secret of people who can runs for miles and miles on the treadmill? Somebody PLEASE share or sprinkle some magic running dust on me. I was so freaking bored I had to end it. I can’t wait until it’s cooler outside so I can complain about running outside again. At least it’s interesting.

In parenting of the year news, I gave my husband the baby while we were hanging out with friends on Saturday night and I turned around to see this…

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So, of course I took a picture of it. Baby’s first beer is a milestone in this family.

Five minutes later he looked like this.

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Lightweight.

Speaking of milestones – a year ago this weekend I found out I was pregnant. A YEAR! It goes by so fast. I have to admit, I thought the shock of having a third baby would have worn off by now – but it still kind of blows my mind. Sometimes I miss being pregnant (<–yes, I’m weird), but dang this kid is cute.

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Best shock ever. Yes, he was planned but I was still completely shocked when I saw that “plus sign.” And yes, that onsie is true.

I’m finishing the weekend (kind of) watching FSU football. I’m not ready to talk smack because we have a new QB this year — but as always, GO NOLES!

Game day selfie. #fsu #gonoles

And now that I have survived another holiday weekend –  my brain somehow needs to transform back into work mode. I only have three days of work this week (and a hair appointment on Friday – THANK GOD), but that’s three days to cram everything in. Wish me luck.

Blogs I’m Reading Lately + Airheads USA Giveaway

I haven’t been posting much lately, not from a lack of content, of course. No, it’s Murphy’s Law. When I want to write, I don’t have the TIME. Hence this very random post. On one hand I wanted to share with you my “reading list”… on the other hand, I have a giveaway. What to do? Oh, umm combine them. You’re welcome. Maybe?

One thing I have been doing lately, besides working (yes, I’ve actually been productive lately!), spending a lot of time with my crazies, and loving on this little guy…

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Is read blogs, posts, articles… the whole internet, actually.

It’s pretty amazing how many blogs you can read in 15 minutes 3-4 times a day. I’ve actually added a bunch to my reader list! I’m always looking for more though – so here’s a list of my favorites and new additions.

Old Favorites

New(ish) (to me)

Send me to your blog if I don’t have you listed!! If you haven’t noticed, I love to read :)

On a completely different note – I was contacted by Airheads USA a few weeks ago about hosting a giveaway. My love of bouncing and any activity that burns an enormous amount of energy (for me AND more importantly my kids) made me say YES! immediately.

What is Airheads USA?
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It’s a kickass entertainment center where you can jump, sweat, and play. <–check out their website!

Why do you care? Well, if you live in Orlando, Tampa, or St. Pete I have 2 Unlimited Fun Passes (good for a month of jumping) to give away.

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Check out the Rafflecopter and comment below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on Wednesday!

Whirlwind Surprise Trip

A few months ago my dad told me that my family was throwing a surprise 50th anniversary party for my aunt and uncle…

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If you’re new to the blog… I grew up in Massachusetts (Peabody to be exact) and moved to Florida when I was 11. Most of my family still lives in MA – with the exception of my parents and my brothers.

I was still pregnant when my dad mentioned this, but knew that I wanted to try to make it up for the party. The thought of traveling with an infant was daunting BUT I know that traveling with an infant is 1800000 times easier than traveling with a toddler (aside: traveling with the 5+ crew it pretty fun). Word to the wise – if you like to travel, don’t be afraid to do it with a baby. The more you travel with them, the easier it is.

So, a month ago I booked the trip (my dad sponsored me – thanks dad!). The original plan was for the whole family to go, but the party was on August 18th… the day before the first day of school. Yeah, that was not going to work with my kids. So it ended up being just E and me. We left after work on Thursday and got back LATE Sunday night.

Baby's first TSA line. We made it thru. Woo-hoo!

What are you talking about? TSA at MCO is SO FUN!!!

The flight up was full of parental mistakes (the biggest included accidentally leaving the pacifer in the car seat – derp!), but it was relatively uneventful and I arrived at my cousin’s house around 11… and then crashed.

Prior to the trip up, I sent a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper up to my aunt (the one who DID know about the party) for E to sleep in. Luckily, one of my cousins is expecting her first baby in just a few weeks (!!) so E was able sleep in something he was familiar with AND I was able to leave it for her as a gift. This ended up working out great because E slept like he does at home and I didn’t have to cart anything extra around. I already had my luggage, huge carry on, stroller, and car seat!

So, back to my weekend…

We ate a lot of seafood…

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No makeup, hair in a bun, beer in hand...

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Baby’s first lobster bib.

I drank A LOT of Dunkin…

I don't know why, but DD tastes so much better in MA.

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I was AT a Dunkin Donuts when I took this picture.

Saw A LOT of relatives (a huge chunk of my relatives live within 20 minutes of each other – so jealous!)….

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This is my godmother/great aunt. She was a midwife/lactation consultant/doula back in the day. It’s STILL her passion. I just love her.

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You know... just hanging out and playing Mario Kart.

Evan loved meeting his cousins today -- especially @kam71xx

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Already eyeing the beer.

Beer me.

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#runners

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I talked A LOT about babies (my cousin AND my sister-in-law are pregnant — Did I tell you I’m going to be an AUNT?? :))….

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Babies are cute, yo.

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She’s a natural :)

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Yay for babies – and cousins — 9 months apart :) PS – This was the exciting news I learned about a few weeks ago!

And surprised the hell out of two wonderful people – celebrating not only 50 years of marriage, but 50 years of family.

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On Sunday, I was really, really sad I had to leave. Not JUST because the weather was gorgeous (IT WA SO NICE), but because even though I am a true Floridian (it got down to the high 50s and low 60s and I was freezing)… I am a Masshole at heart. I just love that place!

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Gah…so pretty!

It was SUCH a whirlwind trip, but I’m so glad I went. Seeing my family and being in MA just makes my heart happy. And truthfully? I needed it.

The trip back was relatively uneventful (I learned from my mistakes!). There was a lot of sleeping this time around.

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In case you were wondering my arm was asleep in this picture.

And I managed to make it back to send Braeden and Livie off to their first day of 2nd grade and PreK.

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Bonus… Evan found his toes.

First day of school -- 2nd Grade and PreK

Wait…how did this happen??? *sob*

This trip and the beginning of the school year ends an insane summer… I feel like I’ve been on the go since May. Fall (whenever you decide to arrive in Florida), I welcome you with open arms. I am ready to slow down a little. Please? There are so many posts I want to do, but I haven’t had time! Look for a 3 month update (yes – E is already 3 months old!) and a postpartum running update (yes – I am really running!) coming soon.

When the last time you were part of a big surprise? Does it surprise you that I cried when they arrived? It was just SO sweet!