i'd eat these...


Don't these cookies look absolutely delicious?  I am getting over being sick, and am trying to stay away from sugar and sweets until I'm better.  So naturally I am craving anything chocolate or peanut butter-y or dessert-y.  Maybe I will try this recipe for the holiday season.  Speaking of, our tree is decorated and our banister is too.  I'm so loving this cozy time of year.


1 year...

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Has it really been a whole year?!  Our baby boy turned 1 last week, surrounded by both of our families.  I made a healthy smash cake, and he didn't even touch it, I helped him blow out his candle too. :)

This little man has completely changed our lives, in every good way.  Landon and I are better people because of Finn, and we learn so much from him as the days go on.

It's hard to believe that a little over a year ago, I started labor and gave birth to the most precious baby boy, while Landon stayed by my side the whole time.  Landon has been such an amazing dad to Finn, as I knew he would.

Here are some stats on Finn now that he's a big boy:

*Eats like a 5 year old every day with fav foods being: oatmeal, natural applesauce, peas, greek yogurt, meat of any kind, cheese of any kind, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash risotto, or pretty much anything I put in front of him.

*Still nurses a few times a day, and I'm not really sure what weaning will look like.  I don't know but we'll probably talk to the Dr. and La Leche this week to get some good advice.  But we made it past a year and I'm so glad we did it!

*Sleeps (normally) for 10-12 hours at night unless he's been up late.  Gets up at 7:30 almost every morning.

*Takes two, 2 hour naps each day (normally.)

*Crawls like a mad man with one foot flat on the ground and the other normal.

*Pulls up and walks along furniture.  Stands alone for a few seconds, but not walking yet...whew!

*Loves climbing stairs and can climb our entire staircase alone, though we stay close.

*Has only been sick twice, once with a fever, once some bad chili I made...sorry baby boy. :(

*We're taking him for his 1 year check up today, but we think he's pushing 20lbs.

*He has 6 teeth.  Two front bottom ones and the front four on the top.  He got three of the top ones all at once, poor guy, but his teething necklace has done wonders!!  I highly recommend them.

*Loves playing outside, I mean, loves it! We were in the Poconos last week, and he was having a ball.  We went on a lot of hikes and went outside every day.  He is mesmerized by the outdoors.

*We try not to let him watch t.v. but we make exceptions occasionally.  Fortunately, he's really not interested in it anyway.

*We don't give him any processed sugar, and try to feed him as many whole foods as possible....it's harder than it seems!

*Get's adjusted at the chiropractor once a month with Landon and I.

*Still loves bath time with dad...almost every night he gets one.

*Says "mama," "dada," "more," "light," "ball," and "nana," (nurse.)

*Signs "all done," "more," and "milk."

*Has been really good at listening and obeying so far, and stays off things like our fireplace and t.v. stand.  It's been more of me learning to be consistent when I tell him to do something or not do something.

*Starting to get a little tantrum and likes to scream when he's upset.  Haha, we are working on that.

*Sucks his thumb when he's tired and cuddles into me before I lay him down for sleep.

*Has proven to be the sweetest little boy I could have ever hoped for.  We love him so very much!


mama style: boots...

I have been on the hunt for a good pair of brown boots for awhile now.  I probably wouldn't have a hard time finding some, except for one thing...I wear size 12 shoes.  (womp, womp.)

While this was a struggle for me growing up as a gawky teenager trying to find fashionable shoes, it's actually become a blessing.  If I had smaller feet, you can bet your buttons my closet would be jam packed with unnecessary pairs of shoes bought on a whim.  There have been many times I see a pair of cute shoes and really really want them, and alas, they are size 9, 10, or 11.  Size 11s are like a tease....

So, this time for boots, as I have two pairs of old size 11s that I crammed my toes into, I was determined to find some that actually fit correctly.  I have seriously been checking around online for over a month now, and couldn't find anything that I liked or that was in my price range.  I got so desperate (over boots, no less) that I found some Sperry Top Siders that I convinced myself I loved, even though they were Sperry Top Siders - and over $100.  If you know me at all, you'd know I had gone a little mad at this point.  Thank goodness for a husband and a sister who wisely talk sense into me when I need it.

As I looked once more online, I stumbled across these boots from Wet Seal...in size 12!  They were exactly what I was looking for: in brown, somewhat military/combat style, and foldable.  I couldn't believe I hadn't seen them before.  Bonus, they were on sale, and under $40!

So the moral of the story for me has been to not give up, to not settle, and more importantly, embrace my unique self.  There are no other feet like mine, and I'm proud of it.  I'm so excited to wear my new mama style boots this winter, and feel satisfied knowing I worked so hard to find them.  Now, to find some good outfit ideas incorporating boots and/or leggings!  Pinterest, you best be watching your back.



I say welcome it.
I say, embrace it.
I say, relish in it's arrival.


Simple ways to start the day off right...

If you're like me at all, you have every good intention of starting the day right.  You make a list, you knock a couple things off, then you get distracted, the hours fly by, and before you know it, the day is ending and you are rushing around to get things done.  It is so easy to miss a good jumpstart to the day, and it really sets the tone for how the rest of the day will go....for me at least.  So here are some goals and aspirations I have been working on to make sure my starts off well:

* Get out of bed with the intention of having a good day.  So many things come up in life, and a lot of times they can be annoying or unexpected.  If I let these situations that are out of my control determine my attitude, it will almost always be a bad one.  If, however, I consciously make a decision to be positive, smile, and carry on with my day, it's amazing to see the difference.  The days I choose to be positive are usually the best ones of the week...even though the same unexpected things happen.  This has been especially helpful with caring for a baby.

*Make time for a few moments to yourself.  This one is a work in progress for me.  Finn usually gets up at the same each day, and if I would just set my alarm for half an hour earlier, I could calmly start the day completely on my own.  What this looks like can be different for everyone.  Right now, my goal is to get up and practice one yoga pose, or read my bible, or have a cup of tea.  As you can see, none of these include an electronic.  Usually the first thing I do in the morning is check my email, or my facebook, and usually that leads me to something else online that steals my time away.

*Have a good breakfast.  You have heard this over and over, but it's so true!  Having a good, healthy breakfast in the morning will get your metabolism going, and give you the energy to get your work done.  My favorites are oatmeal with honey and cinnamon, scrambled eggs and cheese, and raspberry noosa yogurt.

*Get the house picked up the evening before.  For me, if I walk downstairs in the morning to get breakfast going and there are dishes in the sink, or the living room is cluttered, my motivation to be productive takes a hit.  But if I take 15 minutes in the evening to do the dishes, pick things up, and organize any clutter, I know the next morning will be better.  Some people enjoy working in the morning on dishes, but I would rather do them in the evening.

*Get outside.  If the morning is nice, Finn and I will try to get out.  He is the happiest in the morning, and so we love going out and even just sitting on our front porch.  In the winter, this may pose more of a challenge, but I know it's good for us, so we'll try to just bundle up and get out there.  The fresh air and sunshine is good for the body and soul.

*Be honest with yourself.  You know your limits and what you're capable of accomplishing.  Don't push it!  Enjoy each day because they go by fast.  Don't make a huge list of things to get done.  Focus on a few little things or one big one.  And if you just aren't making it happen, that's fine.  Some days I have so many things I want to get done, then I just don't feel like it or Finn is needing me a lot more.  I am learning to be flexible and go with those moments.  My son is way more important than dusting, and enjoying the day is more important to me than the laundry.  Being honest with yourself and saying "It's ok" is huge.  Tomorrow is always a new day.

I'm off to enjoy this awesome day, get work done, and start packing for our trip next week.  Hope you will enjoy yourself this day too!



To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than 
almost anything else in the world.  
~Charles Dudley Warner

I could really go for a good campfire right about now.  Soon, we'll be building fires in our fireplace and snuggling on the couch with some hot chocolate in our mugs.  I am so looking forward to those evenings this winter.  We seem to fill our evenings with a whole lot of nothing sometimes, and I really want to change that.  I want to look back and remember these nights with a warm, cozy feeling, and with no regrets or should haves.

I just love this little man so much!  Also, I wish I could eat little chunks of cheese every day for lunch.  I can't believe he is going to be a whole year old next week!








The cool air and approaching holidays are getting me in the mood to cook and bake a lot more.  There's nothing quite like a simple recipe made in a warm and cozy kitchen.


Yesterday was Landon's birthday, so we had a nice quiet celebration.  Of course Finn was our new addition this year, and he made it extra special.

After Landon got home from work, we went out to our favorite coffeehouse.  I got a hot chocolate, Landon got a mocha, and Finn had greek yogurt.  Hot drinks are perfect these days.  It's so nice to get out as a little family and spend time together.  Finn is so very inquisitive right now, and anything is new and fun to him...like the fireplace, the lights, and other people that he loves to stare at.

After Finn went to bed, we had one of Landon's favorite meals of calzones.  I made them the Rife style way, although I'm sure Landon's mom makes them even better!  We watched the Love Bug and had hot fudge pudding cake, and I gave my gift to Landon....indoor rock climbing sessions!  I'm so excited since we are going to be doing it together.  I wanted to get him an experience for his birthday instead of a gift, and he loved it.

Today, we went and voted.  Fortunately we didn't have a long wait like some of our friends did.  This was the first election that I really walked away feeling good about my choice.  Although my vote may not look like it counts, I'm hopeful that when my children are grown and have children of their own, our country will be different in a better way because of our choices today.  At the end of the day, what really matters is people getting out and exercising their freedom to have a say in our country, and I'm so encouraged by all those that have done just so today.



I can't believe how fast this year has gone by, and how it's November already!  These last two months of the year are always packed full of gatherings and things to do, which makes them so much fun.  Soon, we will be surrounded by family, enjoying homemade traditional dishes, and talking and laughing and joking with one another.

We are very excited for a week long trip with some of my family and Landon's whole family to the Poconos during Thanksgiving week.  It just seems right to be in a wooded, cool, mountainous area to celebrate with family during the fall.  We are anticipating a lot of hiking and possibly some snow.  Finn will be turning a year old that week, and I'm so thankful he will be surrounded by those who love him on his big day.

He is getting bigger every day it seems.  He is now crawling all over the place, pulling up, and today I let him stand alone and he lasted for a few seconds.  Walking is in the near future I feel.  He is also signing and communicating a lot more.  Oh, and eating like a 5 year old. Seriously, this kid can put away more than me at some meals.  Today for his snack, he ate an entire ripe banana, and a 1/2 cup of greek yogurt....for his snack.  I don't know where he's putting it all.

I started taking some yoga classes and they are intense!  I went last week and the hour and a half class nearly did me in.  And I thought I was flexible....
But it's a great class, very relaxing and challenging, and something I'd like to keep doing.

This time last year, I had all of my Christmas shopping done, wrapped, and put in bags.  I was anticipating Finn's arrival and wanted everything in place.  This year, I have exactly one gift purchased.   Oh well, we aren't doing very many this year, so it shouldn't be too bad.  Landon and I will probably make a date out of the shopping we have left.

Landon is still very busy at work.  He is also a great dad to Finn and gives him his bath every night.  I love listening to them during that time.  Guys' time for sure.  Landon's birthday is next week, and I got him something special this year...an experience!  I can't say yet in case he reads this, but I'm super excited to give it to him!

For now, we are enjoying this beautiful weather.  Landon made hot spiced cider last night and it really topped off the evening.  Hope your evenings are just as nice!


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