Dec 30, 2014

2015 Goals

2015 is just days away and I've been thinking pretty hard about my goals for the year. For some reason, I just like the word goal more than resolution.

First, let's take a look at what I had down for 2014. I'm satisfied with how these turned out given a couple of hiccups throughout the year.

1. Keep my house clean - This one will rollover into 2015. It was only embarrassingly dirty a handful of times, but there is a TON of room for improvement.
2. Lose the baby weight - I am at my pre-pre-pregnancy weight, which means I've lost about 40 pounds since Tucker was born. I've talked before about how I lost 15ish pounds before I got pregnant. Literally in the 2 months before. So, I have a pre-pregnancy weight and a pre-pre-pregnancy weight.
3. Double the size of my insurance business - This one didn't happen. It definitely grew, but not as much as I would have liked.
4. Pay off the Jeep - We got this one done in July. And then in October, 2 days before we went on vacation, we bought a GMC Acadia. So, we went a few months without a car payment. While that was nice, having enough room for all of our crap is just as nice.
5. Find a hobby - Blogging counts as a hobby. And I enjoyed running enough to count that.
All in all, 2014 went pretty well considering I was navigating my first year of motherhood as a working mom with a husband who couldn't walk without crutches for 2 months.
Now for my 2015 goals.
1. Get organized and stay organized - Like I said, keeping my house clean will carry over into the new year and falls under this category. But this will also include our finances/bills, meal/grocery planning, and our schedules. I basically want to stay ahead of things rather than on top of them. I've already made a slimmed down version of this bill book which also includes a tracking sheet for charitable contributions (Danny's resolution for the year) and gifts so I can birthday and Christmas shop in advance. I figure if we are going to spend some of our weekends camping this year, I need to stay extremely organized throughout the week.
2. Keep losing the baby weight - I would LOVE to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight within the first few months of 2015, which is about 15 pounds away. I have 3 weeks left of T25 Beta Round, then Danny and I will be joining the YMCA sometime soon so I can start lifting weights. Now we all know that "abs are made in the kitchen" and the food part of losing weight is the biggest struggle for me. I found this awesome (and depressing) monthly challenge on Pinterest the other day. I'd like to try it at least one round through. After I complete it, I may do it again depending on how it goes.

3. Get rid of at least one rental property - My brother and I have 3 houses and 2 commercial buildings that we own and manage. One house is under contract and will hopefully be sold by the end of January. We have one more that we would like to get rid of this year along with one of the commercial buildings (we work out of the other one). We've come to realize they are way more stress than they are worth. It's time to simplify.
4. Start thinking about retirement - Hopefully the new year brings new business in both insurance agencies. With that new business, I need to start throwing money into my future. Boring, I know, but my 60 year old self will thank me.
5. Host more family and friend dinners - I LOVE hosting things. Sure, its kind of stressful, but there is something about watching a few hours of hard work and chaos come together over a table of chatter and laughter amongst family or friends. Some good friends of ours may be moving to Portland, Oregon (him in May, her in July) and we need to take advantage of them being in the same state (or freaking region for that matter) while we still can. Plus, I really enjoy whipping up a good meal or dessert.
And there are my goals for the New Year! I'm anticipating a great year for my family and me. Who knows what it will bring. The last 5 have been interesting. (Dad passed in 2010, we got married and I graduated in 2011, Danny graduated and we bought a house in 2012, business about tanked and we had a baby in 2013, and in 2014 business got stressful again and Danny broke his foot. Oh and we had an infant) Needless to say, a smooth year would be ideal, but I'm sure there is a roller coaster ride ahead.
I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year!

Dec 29, 2014

Christmas + Weekend Recap

I don't know about you guys, but the last half of last week left me with a Christmas hangover. And it may or may not have left me with a real hangover. Okay, yes it did.

It all started Christmas Eve. I started the day with a workout, then we had a Christmas at noon that day with part of Danny's family. That place was chaotic! 5 kids and their spouses, 10 grandkids, and 4 adults. Opening presents was a complete blur. After that stop, we went straight to church.. where Tucker peed on me. His diaper somehow moved and I suddenly felt a warm sensation on my stomach. Luckily it was after communion so I didn't feel bad about wanting to leave early. We got home, ate some dinner, opened Tucker's Christmas pjs and then he was off to bed. After he went to bed, I drank some wine, made dirt pudding, wrapped some presents and then Danny and I watched Christmas Vacation. Well, Danny watched it while I fell asleep. Typical Erin move.

Christmas morning was great! We leisurely opened gifts, ate some monkey bread muffins and lounged around watching Boston Legal (one of Danny's gifts to me) and played with Tucker's new toys. We didn't get Tuck too much this year since he just had a birthday and we're still opening those toys. He did get a pretty sweet fire truck rocker though. It's supposed to play music but it doesn't work. I'm kind of mad about it, but also kind of not. There is enough shit playing music already.

Danny got me the complete set of Boston Legal (which was my dad's favorite show. I mentioned that I wished it was on Netflix. He solved that problem for me) and this wine saver vacuum (which will come in handy now that my cheaper wine comes with a cork and not a twist cap). I got him some restaurant gift cards for date nights and some zero gravity chairs for camping this summer. So, nothing too extravagant.

After enough lounging, we got ready to go to Danny's dad's for our first Christmas of the day. We had a good time there. Tucker got spoiled, fought a nap and had tons of fun playing with his cousins. After that Christmas, it was time for Christmas with my mom, brother and his girlfriend at our house. I made cranberry pork loin (recipe HERE) and corn casserole, then everyone else filled in the rest. We were stuffed and all had leftovers, which I finally finished off yesterday. We make too much food every holiday. 

Again, Tucker got spoiled, as did Danny and I. Danny got loaded with more gift cards, and I got some cute clothes and some essential oils. I've been wanting to try a couple and I can't wait to get started. My mom got me Peppermint, Lemon and Peace & Calming. If you have any tips for those, let me know!

Friday it was just Tucker and I since Danny had to work. We played all morning, then I took him to Danny's mom's so I could get a handle on the house. In the 2 hours he was gone, I did 2 T25 workouts, cleaned the kitchen, did the dishes, straightened toys and put Christmas gifts away. I picked him up from my niece's birthday party where we stayed for a bit. He crashed when we got home so that was nice.

Saturday was a fun day. We met my mom for an early-ish dinner before going out with some friends to a bar called Saddle Up. My mom watched Tucker while we went out and we ended up staying with her. We met up with everyone at our friends brother's house for a couple of hours before heading out. We had SO much fun! As proven by the massive hangover than I am just now recovered from. 

Sunday was a lazy day for sure. I think Tucker had a touch of the flu. He got sick, all over himself in the car, and didn't eat much all day. He crashed for the night pretty early after 1/2 oz of milk and slept until 6:15 this morning. He was bright eye and bushy tailed this morning though!

That was our Christmas weekend. Now, another short week then its time for a brand new year!

Dec 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Summers Family

We are on day 3 of antibiotics for Tucker's ear infection. Out of 4 doses, I think he's taken maybe 1 whole one. The best part about the amoxicillin? It's made him hate taking Tylenol. When I left this morning, he had amoxicillin in his hair and Tylenol on his pants and shirt. Every parent of a teething baby's worst fear. Please send wine and any and all tips on giving an extremely stubborn and strong willed 1 year old medicine. If he were old enough to understand bribes, I would bribe him twice a day for the next 7 days.

I've never been a Christmas card person. My favorite cards are the ones with pictures and I just never felt good about sending people a picture with just Danny and me. Diesel could have been included, or the main focus, I guess. I just wanted to hold off on Christmas cards until we had a child/children. And last year I didn't send any since Tucker decided to arrive 4 weeks early and I got a pilonidal cyst.

I was very excited to send out Christmas cards this year. Like super excited. I searched Pinterest for a cute picture idea (settling on #21 from here) I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. I designed the cards on Heritage Makers with all of my accrued publishing points from the past 3.5 years.

Merry Christmas from the Summers Family!
Excuse the whole "picture of a picture" thing I've got going on. My work computer only halfway supports my blogging habits and I can't upload pictures. So, I have to type a post on the computer, save as a draft, insert the picture from my phone, save as a draft again, then publish. 

Dec 22, 2014

Christmas has Begun!

Although it has been Christmas season for a couple of weeks now, the family Christmas festivities have officially started as of this past weekend.

Friday I had a "Me Day" and it was wonderful! And much needed since I left work early on Thursday due to a migraine! I took Tucker to my mother-in-laws, got a workout in, showered at a leisurely pace, then headed out to get a massage and facial. An old friend did both so we chatted the whole time. While its nice to catch up with someone, I also love falling asleep during a massage. That did not happen. But she did get rid of 2 huge knots at the base of my neck, which would explain the migraine. Afterwards I wrapped up Christmas shopping, treated myself to Panera for lunch, then headed home to relax for a few before going to get Tucker. Once Tucker and I got home, we ate dinner and after he went to bed I wrapped some presents while watching a bit of tv. I was in bed by 10:15. It was great!

Saturday was a busy one. Go figure, right? My sister-in-law is a member of the Elks and Santa comes there every year to give kiddos gifts so we joined in the fun this year. Again, Tucker didn't mind Santa. 

Upon noticing that in every picture Tucker is pulling his ear, we all kind of looked at each other and said "ear infection." After Santa, we went to church and then had Christmas with Danny's mom. We gave my nephew crap about having a girlfriend, I tried to force feed my sick child and we opened gifts. We usually have a Nerf gun fight, but we skipped it this year. I got some slippers, really nice cookie sheets, and a Menards gift card to buy shelves for my new desk area that I want at home. We headed home shortly after opening gifts to get the possibly sick child in bed. He was asleep by 8:30 and then we were in bed by 9. Which was good since Tucker was up at 11:30, 12:15 and then again at 12:50. He then stayed up until almost 3 and in the middle of that stint, I made an appointment at MedCheck for the next day. It was a good thing I did, because by morning they were all gone. And I was not waiting for 3 hours.

Sunday was ROUGH. Tucker slept until 8, but 5 hours of sleep just doesn't cut it when I'm home alone with him. But we survived. We even went to the grocery to get some food for the week and the rest of our Christmas get togethers! Despite not feeling well or really eating (my normally chubby baby only ate a pancake and sausage patty during the day. He ate tons of pasta last night though!), that didn't slow him down at all. 

After a surprisingly quick trip to MedCheck, Tucker did in fact have an ear infection and we were sent home with some antibiotics. Hopefully this clears up in a couple days so he can really enjoy Christmas!

Needless to say, after yesterday I am kind of relieved that its Monday. Yesterday was a hard mom day. Now its time to wrap up some end of the year things at work and try to not eat all of the delicious cookies that I sent myself. Yes, I sent myself cookies from work. My dad did it so I figured I might as well. They arrived Saturday afternoon. I've eaten seven. SEVEN! Thank God for T25 this Christmas!

Dec 17, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday

Well. All good things must come to an end. The current good thing being the "balance" that I've had for the last month.

Weigh In Wednesday
Last Week: 160.2 lbs
This Week: 163.0 lbs
Change: +2.8 lbs

I pretty much expected it. Saturday was a freaking free for all for my taste buds. Chili's chips and salsa with ranch, whoopie pies (I licked some spoons in the process of making them), LOTS of beer and some jello shots, probably another whoopie pie, some meatballs, and spinach dip. Plus, I had this for dinner on Friday. Not pictured: the other half of the Totino's pizza that I also ate.

I used to do that frequently. That was my go-to meal when Danny worked a Friday night. Except it was a Jack's pizza, which is decently bigger. So I've improved in that area. Afterwards I thought to myself: Was it good? Well yes, What's not good about a frozen pizza with some extra cheese thrown on. Was it worth it? Probably not. A bunless turkey burger or salad probably would have tasted just as good. It's nice to indulge every once in a while. I just need to plan it better and not do it before an already planned indulging. Plus, I felt puffy the next day. Not fun.

Aside from all of that, I finished the Alpha round of T25 last Thursday! Blogger fail: I don't have before and after pictures. But I will though. I have before pics, but am waiting to take after pictures until the Beta round is complete. Now that the Alpha round is complete, here are a few thoughts that I have regarding it and my progress.
- Weight loss was decent considering the amount of "cheats" I had. The weigh in the week I started was 165.2. I got down to 160.2 for majority of the 5 1/2 weeks it took me to finish. Although I'm back up to 163 right now, I am confident that it is water weight and if I keep my eating in check for the next few days I will be back down to at least 161. A guy that Danny works with did both rounds of the program and said he didn't notice much weight loss until the end of the 10 weeks. So, to lose 3-5 pounds is pretty good I think!
- I feel less flabby in a few areas. My legs and my arms. Danny pointed out my "buff" arms the other night and that's pretty much all I focus on when I get ready in the mornings. My legs have toned up a little bit too. There is still improvement to be made, but I feel better about them!
- My ass though? I'll go ahead and say it. It's looking good! Shaun T and his squats are good for the butt!
- I really like this program! I love a short workout that leaves you drenched in sweat. Other programs that require you to workout for an hour have never been something I would consider. What working mother has time to workout for an hour every single day?! I certainly don't! 25 minutes plus 3ish minute cool down is perfect!

I started the Beta round on Monday. Tucker has been fighting bedtime pretty hard lately, so instead of starting on my usual Sunday, I started Monday morning. He's turning me into a morning workout person. First it was 8:30 pm, now its 5am. Except for today. He fussed enough to wake me up at 4:45 and I didn't really want to start my day at 4:45 so I skipped this morning. I'm hoping tonight we'll be back to normal bedtime and I can get my workout in after that. This kid and his sleeping habits, along with teething, are killing me.

Even though I had a gain this week, I'm not really upset about it. A small gain after 2 weeks of nonstop craziness, plus being sick, plus the holidays is probably to be expected. All I can do now is get back to it and try to keep the balance through the rest of the Christmas season. Our first Christmas thing is on Saturday. Let the fun begin!

Dec 15, 2014

Weekend Recap

The Summers Family had pretty busy and pretty fun weekend.

Tucker and I had a heck of a day on Friday. Tucker had a follow-up, and last, appointment with the GI doctor at 9 in Indy. Everything went well and the doctor said nice knowing ya. So that was good news! After the appointment, we moseyed around Target finishing up some Christmas shopping and getting things for the party. Then we headed back towards home for lunch and his one year check up. He weighs 21.3 lbs and is 30 inches tall. He's gained 2 pounds in the last 3 months, which I thought was impressive since most babies weight gain slows. After that appointment we headed home and visited with a friend who had exciting news that she is pregnant! I am so, so excited! Once she left it was time for us to go watch my nieces and nephews in their school Christmas program. We had to watch from what I like to the call the "wall of shame" where all the parents with disruptive children stand. We almost had to move to the cafeteria where the very disruptive children and parents go. Tucker really wasn't being too loud, but I felt like very loud screams were upon us if we didn't start moving. After Tucker went to bed, I ate dinner, folded laundry and went to bed.

Saturday was the busiest. The day got officially started at 8am when my mom showed up to go to my brother's graduation at Ball State. We dropped Tucker off because there was no way I was keeping that kid occupied in a seat for nearly 3 hours if I didn't have too, picked Drew, his girlfriend and her mom up, then headed that way. Graduation started at 10 and we were out and at Chili's for lunch by noon where I proceeded to eat my weight in chips and salsa.

Once we got home I started cooking for the party. I made chocolate peppermint whoopie pies and red velvet whoopie pies (Courtesy of Mix and Match Mama) this easy spinach dip, and Ro-tel cups. Danny was in charge of his famous chili, then came up with meatballs and beanie weanies that I threw in the crockpot that afternoon. I don't care what kind of party you have next and what you normally make. Make the Ro-tel cups. I made 45 and they were gone before half our guests even arrived. I'm doubling the batch next time. Plus they are insanely easy. The party was a lot of fun. Tucker was inside with 2 of his cousins and a baby sitter and had some troubles sleeping (thank you Diesel). So that was kind of a buzz kill.... twice. I was able to rebound after he went to sleep the first time (thanks to Danny's mom and stepdad). The second wake up happened around 12 and I didn't feel like jumping back in at that point. Despite the hot mess baby, it was a lot of fun! The Egg Nog Extravaganza gets better and better every year I think! Case in point: we finally finished an entire keg.
My wonderful vest, light up earrings and my own Elf on a Shelf

Sunday was a lot of lounging and just playing with Tucker. Danny went shopping with a couple friends and Tucker and I went to lunch with my mom, Drew and his girlfriend. That was pretty much the extent of our Sunday and it was beautiful.

The good news is, I've made it through the two busiest weeks and weekends of the month. I can (mostly) sit back and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season!

Dec 12, 2014

Five on Friday

The really busy and fun part of the week has arrived! I'm ready to get these 2 days going! Today starts with doctors appointments for Tucker, party shopping, a Christmas program, my brother's college graduation, party prepping and then its party time. I'm likely going to want to sleep all day Sunday.

1. Last night I met a friend for dinner and got there a little early, so I went into Bed Bath & Beyond to grab some more k-cups. My mom told me a few years ago they have the best prices. She was right. They also have the best selection. Whenever I am near there I like to grab a box or two. I usually use this opportunity to try something new. This time I got 2 something news. Caramel Apple Pie and White Chocolate Mint. I just had the Caramel Apple Pie and it was so good! I'm considering a second cup of coffee just so I can try the other flavor. I'm a huge fan of flavored coffees. There are minimal calories... by minimal I mean like 6... and there is just enough flavor that it helps you not miss creamer, which has lots of calories.

2. Tucker has entered the climbing phase. He won't walk. Actually, if you hold him by his hands to help him walk, he will sit down. But put something in front of him that he can climb on and he'll do it. The other day Danny's mom got a step ladder out to clean her fan while Tucker was playing by himself thinking it would be okay. Nope.

Danny's stepdad was watching him on Wednesday and Tucker climbed in the baby doll bed. By himself. Its a blurry pic (flip phone) but you can tell he knows he's an ornery little thing.

3. We had the fire department Christmas party on Wednesday. Santa and Mrs. Claus come every year and hand out presents to the kids. Tucker did much better than I expected. I figured this was going to go one of 2 ways: He was either going to scream, or pull Santa's beard and laugh. He did neither. He was very shy about it at first, but quickly came out of his shell. And in true Tucker fashion he screamed and made himself the center of attention making everyone laugh. This kid has such a personality already. He cracks me up!

4. Our 4th Annual Egg Nog Extravaganza is this Saturday. It's an ugly sweater/Christmas outfit themed party with LOTS of beverages. I can't wait to share the pictures and outfits with you all. I got the most perfect sweater vest while in Michigan. I might actually love it so much I wear it to Christmas get togethers. It's wonderful. Here is a pic from 2 years ago. My homemade shirt and Danny's festive tie!

5. Good news: I finished T25 Alpha round yesterday morning! I felt so accomplished! I've gotten the schedule for the Beta round written in my planner with a  few tweaks to accommodate Christmas and New Years. I'm taking today and tomorrow off, since I obviously won't have a spare minute let alone 25 plus stretching, so I will start on Sunday. Starting on Sunday seemed to work out for the Alpha round so I'm going to stick with that. Turns out Monday isn't the magical day to start something new. Who knew?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Dec 11, 2014

That one time my dad thought I wrote him a song

Yesterday on my lunch break I had to make my dirt pudding and since I had the house to myself, I decided to turn some music on. I usually just put the music on shuffle and that's what I did this time too. Eventually the song Ready, Set, Don't Go by Miley and the one and only Billy Ray Cyrus came on. This song is from when Miley was Hannah Montana and not the hot mess that she is today. I love this song. It reminds me of my dad and me. As soon as I got done listening to it the first time I heard it, I knew I wanted that song to be the song for our father daughter dance. Instead of getting sad and thinking about how I never got that chance to dance with him at my wedding when I hear the song, I actually laugh.

Being the sap and wonderful child that I am, I got my parent's a gift for my high school graduation. I was walking around Target one day and saw these books: 100 Reasons a Daughter Needs a Dad and 100 Reasons a Daughter Needs a Mom. 

I didn't want to just give the books to my mom and dad without doing something special. I had the idea to write the lyrics to a special song in each one of them. I wrote the lyrics to You Can't Lose Me by Faith Hill in my mom's and Ready, Set, Don't Go in my dad's. Of course, they both bawled like big babies. My dad actually couldn't finish reading what I had written in front of me.

My mom knew the message written in hers was clearly lyrics to a song. My dad, however, didn't get the memo, and thought way more of my writing abilities than what they truly were. About a year or so after I graduated, the topic of me giving my parents gifts for my graduation came up and I said something along the lines of "yeah, I wrote the lyrics to songs in the front of them too." My dad looked at me in disbelief and said "you mean to tell  me you didn't write that?" He then confessed that he sat in bed that night I gave the book to him and cried like a baby while he read it.

For a good year or year and a half  my dad thought I wrote, and by write I mean came up with the words all on my own, what was written in his book. I died laughing and will never forget the surprise on his face when he learned the truth about Ready, Set, Don't Go.

Dec 10, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday

I have mixed feelings about it being Wednesday. On one hand, the remainder of the week is insanely busy with 2 Christmas parties, doctor's appointments for Tuck on Friday along with a Christmas program, my brother's graduation and dinner with my BFF Shelby who I haven't seen since we got back from vacation. Literally, that night at 10pm I saw her for about 20 minutes. That was almost 2 months ago. But, all of that, with the exception of the appointments for Tucker, because who likes to take a kid to the doctor, should be a lot of fun. December brings total chaos, but I kind of love it.

So, it's time for Weigh-In Wednesday. I didn't participate last week since I had to be at continuing ed so early I left before the sun came up. I'm here today though.

Last weigh in (2 weeks ago): 160.2
Today's weigh in: 160.2.

Same weigh in, 3 weigh-in's in a row. You could call this a plateau. But you could call it a nice balance. The last half of last week I felt like shit and was down right exhausted. I went to bed shortly after Tucker every night. I think I did one T25 workout between Wednesday and Sunday. My body needed the rest. I slept hard each night, but that didn't keep me from waking up tired and sick still.  That's one reason I feel like the scale maybe didn't move. The other reason would be the crap I ate on Sunday. I ate more fried chicken on Sunday than I have in the last year. That was in addition to cake and biscuits and mac and cheese. Either way, plateau or balance, I'm just glad the scale didn't go up.

If you are in the midst of a plateau, one of the best ways to power through and not lose motivation is to remember your non-scale victories. I know these are huge for me. The scale freaking sucks and the best way to judge your progress is by improvement in other areas. It is so hard to mentally reverse the importance of those two.

Here are my non-scale victories as of lately:
1. I have ONE T25 workout left for the Alpha round. This is huge! Last time I put it on hold after the 3rd week due to Danny's foot injury and never picked it back up. The fact that I am thisclose to being done with the first round is a big deal. I can't wait to start the Beta round, even if I will still be following the modifier!
2. My Express jeans fit. I've been dying to slip those babies back on. They are the only jeans that look good with my black booties and I love wearing them to meetings and other things. The next jeans I'm aiming for are my BKE jeans from the Buckle. I foresee some dancing around the bedroom when those fit. They currently button, but its not pretty.
3. I felt like something was missing when I was sick. I really didn't like going to bed without working out. It threw me out of my routine, and I love routine. For 4 weeks, my nights went: dinner, Tucker's bath, play, put Tucker to bed, workout, shower, bed.
4. At Tucker's party on Sunday,  my great aunt told me I looked skinny. She doesn't just hand out compliments like that. That was a biggie.
5. Danny told me last night while I was folding some clothes that my arms looked buff. I finally noticed in the mirror this morning as I was doing my hair. He was right.

Non-scale victories are my favorite. Don't get me wrong, I love watching the number on the scale go down as well, but there is almost nothing better than putting on a pair of jeans that were once too tight and them fitting like a glove!

Dec 9, 2014

Dirt Pudding

Today I am sharing my most requested dessert. I make this deliciousness 3-4 times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I sometimes even make it for Easter.  My sister-in-law and her boys LOVE this stuff. When Danny's stepmom asked me what I was bringing to Thanksgiving, which I'm not sure why she even asked since I've brought the same thing for the last 6 Thanksgivings and Christmases, I kindly responded, "*Insert SIL's name* and the boys would probably slit my throat if I didn't bring dirt pudding."

Here is what you need:
2-8oz packages of cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat. It helps me feel better about the whole thing), it helps if they are at room temp.
2 cups powdered sugar
4 small boxes of INSTANT vanilla pudding (I got non-instant one time. I was very confused when it didn't start to thicken)
5 cups of milk
1 tub of cool whip (again, I use the lite kind to help me sleep at night)
1 package of Oreos, crushed

1. Mix your room temperature cream cheese (or the cream cheese that you put in the microwave for about 8-10 seconds to make it more room temp) and the 2 cups of powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl, then set aside.

2. In a large bowl, use a whisk to mix your 4 small boxes of vanilla pudding with the 5 cups of milk. Try to get all the clumps out and whisk until it starts to thicken.

3. Scoop/scrape your cream cheese mixture into the pudding bowl, then mix it all together. 

4. Now the layering begins. It goes: pudding mixture, cool whip, oreos. I usually get 2 sets of layers in the very large bowl that I use.

Also, before you run out of layering materials, go ahead and make yourself a little cup of it. You won't regret it!

Seriously, one of the easiest things I make for get togethers. I feel like it creates a lot of dirty dishes, but its worth it. Trust me on this one!  For Christmas at Danny's dad's this year, I think I'm going to use the Christmas Oreos to make it more festive! I've also been thinking of ways to use other flavors of Oreos. Peanut butter, lemon, birthday cake... the possibilities are endless and I can't wait to try!

Dec 8, 2014

Tucker's Birthday Weekend

We survived our big boy's first birthday weekend, along with his big party!

Friday after I left work I made a quick trip to the grocery to order some of the food for Tuck's party and pick up some of the drinks. I came home to dinner waiting for me in the microwave and some play time with Tuck. Danny worked overtime Friday night, so after Tuck went to bed, I parked my butt in the recliner with a  drink and some popcorn and caught up on some tv. Watching tv while Danny works used to be my favorite weekend night activity. Now, I spend my spare time working out, catching up on housework, folding laundry. Not this time though! My body needed the break. And apparently still does. I ended up going to bed before 10pm.

Saturday we were all up/home by 7:30. Danny brought breakfast home so that was nice and unhealthy! After a while we headed to get the rest of the party supplies. We decorated our tree after we got home and as we were doing that the bakery where I ordered Tuck's cake/cupcakes from called and said I should come get the stuff since they closed 15 minutes ago. Whoopsie! They were really nice about the whole thing though. Saturday night we went to the Christmas Parade in town. It. Was. Freezing! We were happy to get home and warm up!

Sunday was the big day, Tucker's 1st birthday party! I think he knew what was going on because he woke up at 5am. Oh well, I got some extra snuggle time! Everything about the party worked out perfectly! Everyone behaved/got along, I didn't forget anything, and Danny and I didn't kill each other. We had the party in our garage. It's a finished garage with heat/air, a full bathroom and basically a whole kitchen (just missing a fridge). Perfect for parties! Since it was farm themed, we had a farm themed menu: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw and biscuits. There was a veggie tray as well.

His cake and cupcakes turned out so stinkin' cute too. Danny's mom made the ones with the green icing, but the rest came from a bakery here in town.


Tucker had a good time.  He didn't really know what to do with the cake. I think it was because it looked so pretty and kind of like a toy. His favorite part was the cow on top, which was fondant and completely edible.  And he looooved being the center of attention!

After cake, we opened gifts. We never let him look at one particular gift too long in fear that he would stop all together.  He actually did pretty well with opening. He ripped a few pieces of paper and pulled out of a couple sheets of tissue paper along the way. He get TONS of toys! I think we're gonna pull a Holly and hold a few back for Christmas. 

It was a pretty perfect weekend! 

Now its time for a busy week. I've got a jewelry party to go to on Tuesday, the fire department Christmas party on Wednesday, a Christmas program on Friday and then my brother's graduation and our own Christmas party on Saturday, The Egg Nog Extravaganza! It'll be a busy week for sure, but so worth it!

Dec 5, 2014

Five on Friday

I am one very busy workday away from getting the first of 2 very busy weeks over with. Can I get a heck yes?!

1. Don't forget about the amazing Holiday Giveaway that I talked about on Monday.  There are 2 days left to enter for the chance to win over $160 worth of goodies from myself and 23 other fabulous women. You can enter through HERE! So, go!

2. Yesterday was Tuck's 1st birthday! I seriously can't believe we have a 1 year old. His big birthday party isn't until Sunday, but you all know how I love birthdays. I couldn't let the little man's real birthday go uncelebrated. We did a practice round with eating cake, had his favorites for dinner (chicken and mac &cheese) and opened presents. Here are a few thoughts regarding last nights celebration. A). Why did we think Tuck would need a practice round on anything that involved food. He picked the cake up and started eating it like its something we do everyday. and B). Opening gifts is going to take the whole length of the party on Sunday if we let him do it. He was more interested in playing with the tags on the bear and clothes than the actual toys. He was also interested in the orange monkey that he's had since he was about 4 months old. Either way, we had fun celebrating. My mom got to join us for most of it too so that was nice!

3. Tucker's party is Sunday afternoon. I'll give you one guess on the theme. (Hint: baby shower was farm theme, nursery is farm theme, and Tucker loves cows)

Yep, you guessed it, its a farm birthday party! Its turning into quite the event. I think there could potentially be like 50 people there. I'll get more into the party next week. I'm pretty excited and a little stressed out about it.

4. My brother and I had a continuing education class on Wednesday down in Edinburgh. We had to leave at 6:20 and didn't get home until 6:30. Freaking horrible. However, they fed us like kings (salad, lasagna, breadsticks, soft pretzels with cheese for a snack) and we came up with a new tradition for on the way home.  On the brewery tour Danny and I went on a few weeks ago, we had a definite favorite, which was Sun King. Well, it just so happens that due to never ending construction, the best route to 2 of the common class locations is through downtown and right past the brewery. I can't think of a better way to treat myself after 6 grueling hours of continuing ed than picking up some beer. If you're in the Indy area or an hour away and can think of any reason to grab a drink, do yourself a favor and visit Sun King! I recommend Sunlight Cream Ale and Java Mac!

5. Lastly, I've felt like shit this entire week. Today is the first day that I haven't felt like I could fall asleep at any given second. That really made class on Wednesday super enjoyable. I've went to bed at 8:30 or 9 the past 2 nights and it sure has helped. Its amazing what sleep can do. This sickness has put me behind on my T25 workouts though and I'm in the home stretch. The last freakin week and my body decides to get sick. Lovely I know. So, I've decided to not push myself too hard, but do it when I feel like I can and if it goes into next week then it goes into next week. At least I will finish! Plus, I was taking next week off to deal with parties (3 total), Christmas programs, and Danny working Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Despite wanting to sleep until 6am again, I got up at 5 and got a workout in. It was ugly and I definitely struggled, but I did it.

That's what has been going on this busy first week of December. I have a feeling I'm going to blink and it'll be 2015 before I know it.

Dec 4, 2014


Exactly one year ago today, I was anxiously awaiting the greatest gift I could have ever received. My little Tucker.

Over the last year, I have learned SO many things. About life, being a mother, being wife, and just myself. Some are deep and meaningful while some are just humorous.

1. The days are long, but the years are short - I think I read this on an ad for the hospital and I think my sister-in-law was the one who actually quoted it. I whole heartedly believe it. Those long, long days of getting up every 2-3 hours, changing his diaper what seemed like every 5 minutes, and the mountains of laundry seem like they were only yesterday. When you're in the heat of newborn and baby life, it seems like the day just won't end. Then you wake up 12 months later and he's sleeping 11ish hours (yes we are back to normal sleeping, thank you Jesus) and there are 3 totes of clothes that are too small next to his dresser.

2. Mama eats last - This is especially true if you've got a bottomless pit for a child like I do. But, even in those early baby days, baby eats first. And you WILL share.

3. 5 a.m. isn't terrible - Getting up between 5:00 and 5:30 is normal now. I like getting up and getting myself mostly ready, if not all the way, before Tucker gets up. I spend 8+ hours away from him each day. That hour or two in the morning each day has become so special. Though it is almost as equally special if he sleeps until 7, which he did today. Plus, he is such a happy boy in the morning and is so sweet. It's worth making 2 cups of coffee for.

4. You're gonna miss this - One night as I was struggling to get Tucker to sleep, I turned Pandora on so I could play the lullaby station. The country station automatically played and it was like it knew I needed to hear Trace Adkins "You're Gonna Miss This" at that very moment. Because I did. Tuck finally went to sleep, and I rocked him a little longer than usual. I hear/read about how mom's don't like that their child has to be rocked to sleep, or they have to take naps with them. You know what? I love it. I don't want to look back when he's older and wish I had rocked or snuggled him more.

5. I can survive on little sleep - 4 hours of sleep is doable. Though it's not recommended, it is possible to function on that little amount of sleep. Because when you have a baby, you really have no choice but to survive.

Happy 1st birthday, Tucker Paul!