Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Hope you all had a nice long Labor Day weekend. We were pretty mellow but productive, which was just what I needed as I embark on a busy season at work.
And, not to be that person, but this weekend I had the happiest thought: THERE IS ONLY 112 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!
I know, I know. This excitement isn’t for everyone. haha But the Fall and Holiday seasons are my favorite time of year. It’s our wedding anniversary, Holden’s birthday, my birthday (I’m turning 40 this year, what!!), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas — So! Many! Fun Times! Ahead!
But also lots of planning to keep sane, ya know? I had a 1 on 1 date with my planner this weekend to start keeping my life straight! I’ve got some work travel peppered into the last few months of the year, so I definitely needed to just GET IT TOGETHER. Anyway, a relaxing weekend was nice, is all I’m saying 🙂
Friday afternoon we kicked off with a little ice cream social at Holden’s daycare. It was super cute and it was on the “big kid” playground, which about blew Holden’s mind. I left work a little early and it was so fun to socialize and get in weekend mode.
Saturday morning we got sleep in, which felt AWESOME (Holden must’ve been tired from all of that extra evening playground time.) “Sleeping in” meant that Holden didn’t wake up until 6:45, but since we are mostly on early schedule these days, Garrett and I were up at 6. We had a nice time having coffee and relaxing just the two of us before we had to report for Parent Duty. It’s the little things, these days. haha
It was a mostly chill morning, but we did do some tidying around the house. We had friends from out of town stopping by for a visit in the afternoon, so you know — OBLIGATORY TOILET SCRUBS and all that. 🙂
We also hit up the little park by our house in the morning because the weather was going to get super hot in the afternoon. (Around here we are just pretending it is fall indoors while the A/C runs.) One of the most awesome things about our new neighborhood (I told y’all we moved last year, right??) is that we can walk out our front door and there are a ton of great bike paths and park options. #welcometothesuburbs
It was great catching up with our friends and after they left we just hung out and had a mellow Saturday night after Holden went to bed. For me that meant I caught up on some Real Housewives (What’s up with Leanne on RHO Dallas and her makeup this season??) and I watched some You Tube videos while I took a bubble bath. #RELAXATHON
Sunday Holden woke up right at 6am on the dot and literally by 9am it felt like 10 hours had passed. Toddlers be crazy, y’all. Also I started to feel like I was coming down with a cold, which wouldn’t be a huge surprise since both Garrett and Holden have been sick in the last few weeks.
To keep ourselves sane we ended up taking a walk to the bigger park by our house which is a little further away so Holden could go nuts and run off all his energy. This worked out swimmingly 🙂 We just made ourselves huge coffees (NEEDED :)) and popped him in the stroller and took a nice Sunday walk. By about 10am it was already 85 degrees and tons of kids were playing in the splash pad at the park and Holden went straight for it — FULLY CLOTHED, of course. lol What are ya gonna do?
Afterward we headed back home and my mom came over to help us with Holden so we could do some projects around the house. Even though we moved in a year ago, there is still so much to be done. And hung on the walls, OY! We attacked a lot of hanging projects this weekend (which is my own personal hell, hence the reason I’ve been putting it off for a year) but I’m happy we got them done.
We hung a mirror in the guest bedroom:
A mirror in the entry hall:
And some artwork in Holden’s room:
Holden was very into the Home Improvement Vibes. LOL (This kid will use ANY excuse to climb!)
These are easy projects, I know. But we are no Chip and Joanna. Garrett and I are home decor novices TO SAY THE LEAST 🙂
On Monday we just continued with the house projects and enjoyed an extra day off of work. There was another park trip, more grandma time, some food prep, some laundry and even some relaxing. This is how most weekends look lately when we don’t have anything specific on the calendar. I also woke up this morning knowing fully that a cold had taken hold of my sinuses (UGH) but honestly I felt pretty rested and refreshed and ready to go back to work.
Now fingers crossed this cold doesn’t get too much worse. 🙂
Did you all have a fun weekend?
Y’all, it’s been a while. And I’ve got to get back into blogging somehow or I will NEVER DO IT.
I stole this format from Amber as a quick way to get caught up, so here we go!!!!
The high of my week: Getting a new job at work! I’m about 72 hours into a new role, leading a new division that will definitely require some focus and learning. All of this excites me. It’s a little scary — it’s been a few years since I’ve embarked on something new. And it’s always a little bit nerve wracking to be leading something specialized when your background is in something different, but I think it will be a great challenge!
The low of my week: Holden has been waking up at 5:30 am (which is almost an hour before his usual wake up time of 6:20am) and that complicates getting ready in the morning during the work week. As with all things parenting, I know it’s just a phase at this point, which is fine. Luckily he wakes up chatty and giggly, so it’s a plus that he isn’t waking up unhappy. I actually thinks it’s a sleep regression based on him being almost 2 and his language development exploding. Nonetheless while you’re in it, it’s a little inconvenient. 🙂
For my workouts I completed: HAHAHAHA Right now getting 10,000 steps in a day counts as a workout, but I know that isn’t! Hoping to hop on my Peloton this weekend. (I’m #HollyWould over there if you are a fellow rider.)
I haven’t quite figured out how to fit workouts into my routine. Right after work (for me that’s around 5:30pm) seems like the ideal time during the week, but the reality is that Holden still goes to bed between 6:30 and 7 and I LOVE that time all of us get to spend together as a family. I just don’t want to spend it working out.
But by the time he’s down at 7, I’m hungry, tired and frankly don’t feeeeeeeeeeel like working out. And I’m already up at 5 to guarantee I get a shower before work in the morning (see Holden’s wakeups above) so I would have to be literally on the bike by 5am, which would mean setting my alarm for like 4:45am and YOU GUYS, JUST NO. This is not the season of restful sleep that makes 4:45 am feasible…YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? 🙂
It is what it is at this point. I’m trying to just find creative ways to move.
The best money I spent was on: Hmmmm…this is a tough one. What did I buy this week? Oh, I know – two things I picked up that I’ve been enjoying:
I bought a Make Your Own 12 pack of FlapJacked Mighty Muffin Protein Muffins. I’ve enjoyed a couple lately — they are easy and filling when I’m trying to squeeze in something to eat. And I thought some of the flavors I bought would be fun for Fall. I’m SO looking forward to the change in seasons.
Also I bought 3 new Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumpers. These are my current favorite lip glosses. They are sheer and very shiny but not super tacky. Love. My Target doesn’t have them in their Milani display for some reason so I just ordered them on the Milani Website. The code LABORDAY gets you 20% off right now, which is awesome.
What I’m listening to and loving: We are listening to a lot of Jason Aldean and Maren Morris around our house. They listen to country at Holden’s daycare and I guess he has taken a shine to those two artists so when we put them on Spotify at home he will dance, which is A-freaking-dorable!
What I’m watching: Totally OBSESSED with World of Dance (can’t decide who I have a bigger crush on: Derek Hough or J. Lo) I’m also staying current on Real Housewives of New York (so sad it’s basically over.) But no worries, Real Housewives of the OC and Dallas are right there to help me out of my funk! LOL Beyond that, I’m enjoying Very Cavallari (GUILTY PLEASURE ALERT! But I don’t think I’m feeling the revamp of The Hills) and I need to set aside some time to binge the last few episodes of Sharp Objects. YES!) This weekend I think my mom and I are going to see Crazy Rich Asians (she saw it already and LOVED it and I haven’t been to a movie in ages) and that should be fun! I’m excited for the long weekend and time with my family and my mama!
What I’m reading: Ugh I’ve got many books going at once and none completed. Here’s the lowdown on what’s in progress.
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – so good, but also I have to read it in small bits because it is heavy and scary and very local for me. When they caught the Golden State Killer he was living 4 miles from our old house, so you know– TOO CLOSE TO HOME. But the book is fantastic and so engaging.
Food Freedom Forever – Mostly because I’m always trying to figure this out. We did a Whole 30 in July and it was SO AWESOME. August was like…NOT awesome. So you know…a work in progress. 🙂 I just like Melissa Hartwig.
You Think It, I’ll Say It – Man, I just love Curtis Sittenfeld. Her writing is A+ and these short stories demonstrate that. I found this fun to listen to on my commutes to work, but then I got focused on I’ll Be Gone In The Dark and haven’t wanted to listen to fiction.
On My Kindle:
The President is Missing – I thought I would breeze through this because we all know James Patterson writes like 3 page Chapters that always end with a cliffhanger, but my eyes get heavy very quickly at the end of the night and lately I’ve been bringing a little work home so I’m not reading as much before I get into bed.
The Secrets You Keep – This is moving slower than I am used to Kate White books moving so I’ve lost a little steam.
On My Nightstand:
Multiple books with bookmarks. I can’t even remember what they are so it’s been awhile.
So that’s where things are lately. Are we sufficiently caught up? hahahaha Not even close.
But life is good, and it’s hard to get back into habits you’ve fallen out of (I miss you blogging AND exercise!) But I haven’t given up! LOL
Will you pick one of those questions and answer in the comments, so I can hear a little bit about what you’ve been up to? I miss our chats. 🙂
The alarm goes off at 5am.
We are getting SO MUCH more sleep lately, but 5am is still early no matter what. One of us brews cups of coffee and Garrett and I do the morning stuff. Getting Holden’s food + clothes ready for daycare, packing lunches, figuring out breakfasts.
By 5:30 one of us is showering. We ro sham bo for who has to go first. The first person to shower misses out on a few quiet minutes to scroll their phone and exhale. But the second person to shower has to squeegee the glass doors. They each have their upsides. Some days neither of us shower and we steal an extra 30 minutes of sleep. A few days a week I definitely opt to go to work with my hair full of dry shampoo and secrets. 🙂
By 6am Holden is stirring. I’m usually somewhere between my skin care routine and makeup. One of the things I’ve become even more committed to since having a baby is making time for all of my crazy face lotions and potions. It’s a little victory each morning and night. A spot of time for myself to just do nothing else but let the serums sink in. I look forward to it.
Holden is 16 months and usually wakes up babbling some of the words he knows. It’s very amusing and he usually lays there for a good ten minutes chatting through a combination of “HI!” “Elmo!” or “Uh oh!” over and over again. I am always excited to see his face in the morning. This phase of parenting right now — where his language is exploding and he is just communicating and laughing (and ok, throwing tantrums too) — is just SO. MUCH. FUN. Still busy, and all consuming, but man we are laughing a lot. If I had to pick a photo to sum it up, this recent one is it:
While I’m half ready for work, around 6:15, Garrett and I go get Holden and do the wake up routine, diaper change, song singing, getting him dressed all together. He’s so wiggly these days that it’s kind of a full contact sport. But it is one of my favorite times in the day because he is all BABY. He is growing so fast and there is just so much LITTLE BOY in him, so it is fun to start the day picking him up from his crib and seeing him in his little sleep sack with his pacifier and his lovey next to him. It makes me feel like he is still my tiny little baby.
Garrett goes off to get dressed and ready for work and Holden and I head out to the kitchen for his breakfast. We inadvertently weaned him from his bottle a few weeks ago so it’s usually oatmeal or yogurt while I chat with him about his day ahead at “Charm School” (what we have lovingly dubbed Day Care) and put on his shoes.
By 6:35am Garrett and Holden are on the road. Holden’s daycare is a block away from Garrett’s work, so most of the time Garrett handles drop off and pick up. I have a few minutes to myself and I spend them cleaning up our breakfast mess, folding up the blankets on the couch where we probably fell asleep the night before. Basically tidying the house so when we get home it’s calm and welcoming. Then it’s off to get ready.
For about 20 minutes I hair and makeup. It’s no glam squad situation but I get it done. I’ve tried a bunch of different clothing subscription services lately and the one I like the most is Trunk Club by Nordstrom. I recently decided that I just can’t hang with baggy or saggy jeans anymore so I ordered a “Trunk” with a million pairs of jeans that are higher waisted (LOOK AT ME! GETTING OLD AND PRACTICAL!) and asked for a a few more premium denim brands. I felt like every other month I was buying another ill-fitting pair of Target jeans to solve the problem and I just ended up with 10 pairs of jeans that don’t fit right and AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. I found 4 pairs of nice jeans that stay put and look nice and have NO REGRETS. It’s the little things these days, and not tugging on my pants at work has been a real life upgrade, ya know.
By 7am I’m out of the house and on my way to Starbucks. One of my credit cards does cash back rewards and a few months ago instead of just boringly applying them to monthly bill, I decided to turn those rewards into Starbucks gift cards. I only drive through if I have a gift card, and it actually does kind of feel like someone else is buying me coffee. I know that this math isn’t quite economist approved, but it works in my head. And I’m off on my commute!
My drive to work from our new house averages about 45 minutes. On Fridays it’s only about 28 but some Mondays take almost an hour. Before we moved I thought this would be the hardest part of living in our new neighborhood. Previously my drive to work was about 11 minutes and all on surface streets. But if you can believe it, I now look forward to the drive on the highway because I catch up on podcasts or chat with my mom, or listen to audiobooks. Plus it’s actually great decompression time on the way home.
By 8am I’m at my desk typing away, attending meetings, thinking strategically, having critical conversations — you know the drill. WORK STUFF. My days are full right now, but I’m pretty satisfied professionally. You know, except for those Monday mornings when you walk into BSOD.
I’m back on the road at around 4:30 and usually home by 5:15. Garrett and Holden have usually just gotten home and we read Holden’s Charm School report card and talk about his day. If I’m being honest, this is mostly a poop related updated (#PARENTLIFE) but it is always fun to see what they did and how he was feeling. We are so grateful for a wonderful daycare family and for our Happy, Independent little boy.
By 5:30 Holden is usually ready to eat, and I’m sad to admit we are usually not organized enough to have dinner for ourselves on the table by then. We eat a little later and usually just sit down and chat (and snack, let’s be honest) with Holden while he eats. He still needs to be fed some things, but he is doing a pretty good job of getting to know his fork and spoon. Sometimes one of us will get dinner started depending on what’s on the menu. Meal Planning and healthy eating are getting a solid C+ about 16 months into this parenthood gig. Some weeks we have our stuff together and prep food on the weekends and just nail it. Other weeks when our work schedules are crazy, we rely on take out or convenience meals. Definitely a work in progress at the Franklin house.
After dinner we clean up, get in our PJs and play. Of course depending on what was on Holden’s menu sometimes there is a bath involved in there too. Post dinner play time is always a blast. Holden is at a really fun age and just wants to entertain us. He is so interactive and talkative and into pushing his boundaries. There are a lot of giggles, sometimes tears, but mostly it is so fun and fascinating to see how quickly he is developing new skills. I’m still pretty amazed how far we’ve come over the last year. I mean a year ago he was just a squishy little baby.
Not gonna lie, sometimes after dinner we try and talk Holden into curling up on the couch with Mom and Dad and watching a show. 🙂 His favorites are Vampirina and Mickey Mouse Club House, but he’s not super into TV right now. He’d much rather climb on and off all of the furniture. I am just hoping he makes it through toddlerhood with all of his teeth in tact. YIKES.
We start the bed time routine around 6:45 and we get him in his sleep sack, read books (Favorites right now include basically ANYTHING Sandra Boynton) and then we say goodnight to the house. Goodnight fireplace. Goodnight TV. Goodnight Dining Room. Goodnight Hallway. Goodnight Bedroom. Goodnight Mama. Goodnight Dada. Goodnight Wesley (his lovey). Goodnight Holden…and down baby goes to get some sleep. All I can say is that our sleep coach was the best money we ever spent, and once he is down, Holden will sleep for about 11 hours. THANK YOU SLEEP GODS.
By 7pm we are finishing up cooking dinner, eating, doing dishes, cleaning up the kitchen and we try and do one house maintaining chore in the evening. Sometimes that is a load of laundry. Sometimes that is boxing up Amazon returns. Sometimes it’s cleaning the fridge out or making a grocery list. Sometimes it’s paying bills or rounding up an amazon order of last minute things we forgot to buy the last time we were at Target (I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again — HOW DID PEOPLE PARENT WITHOUT AMAZON? I don’t know.) But we always try and get a few little things done and then really? IT’S TIME TO SIT DOWN.
Garrett and I are watching a few shows together: Vanderpump Rules, Top Chef — so sometimes we watch TV. Other times one of us will say “How about we just scroll through silly stuff on our phones and have a moment of quiet.” (Usually it’s the person who lost the ro sham bo and had to shower first that morning. haha) And by 8:30 we are ready to wind down and get ready for sleeping. Teeth brushing and teeth flossing and face washing — OH MY! I’d say we consistently get in bed around 9pm and one or both of us will attempt to “read” which basically means read 5 words and fall asleep. When my head hits the pillow these days I am ready to crap out because I know that alarm will come early tomorrow.
We’ve figured out a lot of new routines but we are still struggling with eating well (or at least somewhat how we used to eat) and OBVIOUSLY fitting in fitness. We miss both, but there’s not a great gap of time in our week days and if I’m being realistic, we probably need to be focusing on meals that take 20 minutes or less. Sometimes I get a little too ambitious on the weeknights and then we are too hungry to execute and just get Chipotle. If you have any quick, healthy recipes I am all ears!
On the fitness front, I recently bought a Peloton in hopes that I could just roll out of bed and squeeze in a 30 minute ride, or hop on the bike before I eat dinner — so we’ll see how that goes. If you have one, how are you liking it? Any advice?
Honestly life is really good lately. But also I have never more fully understood the old saying “The days are long, the years are short.” I wanted to write this all down because I want to remember this season of life. The season where our days were full of joy, endurance, laughter, and probably a few too many frozen pizzas. Some day, these days will be the good old days. 🙂
Tis the season for reflective naval gazing, yes? Honestly, 2017 was a year for quiet, contemplative naval gazing — obviouslsy evidenced by the fact that I haven’t posted since May. In the past when I’ve gone through major shifts (like I feel like I did this year) I’ve written through it and shared a lot here. This year I just…couldn’t.
I think this was a tough year for a lot of people. Personally, politically, there was just a lot of turmoil out there in the ether and I didn’t really know how to talk about that here. That is some of the reason why I didn’t write much.
But the other part, for me at least, was that in 2017 there were so many changes that I could have shared that I just couldn’t keep pace with them. Honestly, had I written through them, I probably would have given you whiplash. You’re welcome for keeping quiet for a bit. But here we are at the end of the year and I am feeling pulled to share a little bit. I don’t know what to do with this dusty old blog, but I’m not quite ready to give it up.
I thought we could start with everyone’s favorite end of the year wrap up?
1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
I have never really been a devotee to the “word of the year” phenomenon, but in hindsight I definitely see that there was a theme for me throughout this past year. 2017 was the year of Surrender. The year I had to say to myself – Holly, you can not do it all. And I couldn’t. And I didn’t. And if you know anything about me, you know that was a very tough pill to swallow. I mean, for evidence, please see the name and content of this blog for the last decade.
In 2017 I didn’t set a single goal. I didn’t aim to improve myself, or push myself, or plan for something, or execute on a big project. None of it. And honestly that was hard for me. There were so many times I felt lost and un-anchored and desperate for some structure. But there was also part of me that felt free. Free to just flow with where life took me. And I did that. And so many times I felt energized, and alive and surprised by what surrounded me. It’s been an interesting thing to reconcile.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My goals at the top of this website are from 2016 – so that should tell you pretty clearly about whether or not I kept any resolutions. Ha! I’m not sure if I’m going to make goals for 2018. We’ll see.
Never say never. I mean, I am turning 40 in 2018, so…
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one in my immediate family gave birth but a good friend did.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No deaths in my immediate family. It was another year of feeling oddly connected to dying celebrities though. I think this has to do with the fact that I’m getting older.
5. Where did you travel?
Zero trips this year, which was just fine by me. But I definitely have the itch to go back to Palm Springs something fierce next year.
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Holden woke up 2-3 times a night until we sleep trained him in June. BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE OMG WHY DID WE WAIT SO LONG. It literally took one night and he has been a champion sleeper ever since. But I went 8 months straight without really sleeping more than 4 hours at a clip and that took a toll. We’ve been sleeping a solid 6 months now but it took quite a few months FOR ME to get back the ability to actually sleep through the night. My sleep isn’t perfect but it is steadily improving and I look forward to feeling slightly more rested in 2018.
7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Holden’s first birthday. (Joy)
The night before my mom had a major surgery. (Anxiety)
Christmas Eve. (Because Holden slept in until 8am and so did I, and WOW I woke up feeling festive and rested and we had a wonderful day with family.)
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I found balance between work and motherhood. It’s a new pace for me, and it took ¾ of the year to figure out, but I’m there and I feel good and I don’t feel like I’m failing at everything in life.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I maybe worked out 5 times this year? That might be giving myself more credit than is due. I completely lost my fitness mojo. Obviously I wasn’t sleeping until July and working out just wasn’t going to happen – my body was pumping out enough cortisol just to survive. But in 2018 I would really like to get back to moving my body in a way that feels good physically. It’s so good for my MENTAL health, and I really missed that in my life this year.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Pregnancy a C-Section and the natural loss of some core stability shined a light on a congenital back issue that I have going on that caused me to suffer quite a bit of pain this year. I began seeking help for it in spring and only in the last few weeks have I felt a decent amount of relief. It’s been a long, slow process and it’s made me realize that CrossFit is not in the cards for me in the near future (or maybe ever again.) This was a very sad thing for me to come to terms with this year. I want to continue rehabilitating my back in 2018, lose some weight since that will only help things, and find new fitness that both me and my back will love.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
We bought our first home in September after looking for almost 12 months. It was exhilarating, scary and hands down the best thing we bought. I feel grateful every single day for this house. It is all the things we hoped for but thought we would have to compromise on. It was really an exercise in patience because we saw so many houses, made multiple offers, had our hearts broken and really thought we may never find The One. But then our house came along and literally everything from start to finish was easy, effortless and exactly what we had been asking for all those months. It felt like a literal gift from The Universe.
12. Where did most of your money go?
OOF, that house down payment.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Holden sleeping through the night. Celebrating two years of marriage. Surviving the first year of parenthood. Buying a house. Moving three miles away from my mom. The Holidays in our new home. Feeling like I am getting a bit of my personal mojo back after having a baby.
14. What song will always remind you of 2017?
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Oh gosh, that’s hard. I mean – last year I was a blissfully pregnant dog mom and so excited about what was to come. This year we lived through some of the harsh realities of the first year of parenting. Haha
That said, overall I am definitely happier.
– thinner or fatter? I weigh less than I did pregnant.But definitely flabbier.
– richer or poorer? Richer for sure. In all the ways that matter.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish we had dined out more when Holden wasn’t mobile 🙂
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I had done less panicking. I go from zero to a hundred REAL QUICK on the anxiety scale when I am not exercising. As you can imagine so this year was a hard one on the emotional management front. New baby, re-entering the work environment, family health issues, all of it. I just did a lot of panicking that probably wasn’t necessary.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
We slept in. My mom stayed the night. We had family over. There was cooking and Christmas music and way too much dessert and I went to bed with the fullest, happiest heart.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
We fell hard for The Great British Baking Show this year. That show is just too cute.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I only read 4 books this year and I don’t know if any were really favorites.
Hillbilly Elegy (Pretty darn good.)
Love Warrior (Meh.)
The Dry (Great.)
You Are A Bad Ass (Hated.)
A Return to Love (Re-Read)
I was just happy to get through them. I hope to read a lot more in 2018.
21. What was your favorite music this year?
I have been on a Country streak ever since I was on maternity leave and up all night nursing and watching old episodes of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. Spotify tells me Luke Bryan, Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, Lady Gaga and Beirut were my most played artists. Seems about right.
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Did I even watch a film this year? I don’t think I did and that is sad.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 39 and I can’t remember what I did. Is that mom brain? Did we just relax? I’m not sure. Hoping to make this next year’s milestone birthday one to remember.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was pretty darn good, I don’t want to be greedy.
25. What was the political issue you that stirred you?
Like so many, I think everything under the entire feminist umbrella made me feel stirred up and like taking action.
26. What kept you sane?
Am I sane? Is that a fact? I am not sure sure. I don’t know if I would bet on that you guys — I went a really, really long time without any sleep. 🙂
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
I am much stronger than I thought I was, despite the fact that I have much less muscle.
These days are going by in a flash so I thought I better pop in and do a little brain dump or this month is going to fly by just like April and I will post nothing! I already hate that I’m only averaging a post once a month, so I at least have to keep that pace up!
I think I’m experiencing that lame blogger feeling where you feel like so much time has passed that you would have to give some long sweeping updates (for example: Holden’s darn birth story) in order to just start posting about fun, little things again and that is giving me a feeling of overwhelm. So if you see me popping in and just randomly blogging and you’re like “WHAT THE HECK?” just know I am just over here trying to get my blog mojo back. Anyway, on to some random updates!
Last Friday Holden was 7 months old, and so far this age is my favorite. He is so fun, interactive and mobile — but not TOO mobile that I have to chase him everywhere. He just delights in everything and is constantly curious and smiling. It is so cliche, but seeing the world through your child’s eyes is really a magical thing.
A month or so ago they had a “Picture Day” at his daycare, and you guys — YOU GUYS — when we got the proofs back we basically just offered them all of our money because OMG, it’s a baby! Doing Portraits! ha! The whole things just cracks me up, but obviously we had to order them.
His sleep right now is mostly good, but inconsistent, and I just feel like: what a wild ride my life is daily. It is the best and most exhausting thing, all at the same time!
Speaking of exhausting, my caffeine intake is still OFF. THE. CHARTS. right now and I’m hoping to rein that in sometime soon but I have to pick my battles these days and being functional at work (and at home!) is required and the coffee helps. I recently helped my mom move and as a thank you she sent me $50 in Starbucks gift cards. She and I talk every morning on the way to work so she is totally in on my habit these days, but when Garrett saw that he was like “WOW, that will take you forever to spend.” and I just chuckled. It didn’t last me two weeks. 🙂
Apropos of nothing, I have to admit that I am really enjoying Instagram Stories. I have basically completely abandoned Snapchat, which isn’t saying much since I lurked on both and didn’t actually put out content, but I am very much enjoying seeing my favorite friends and Instagrammers use video. I think at this time in my life video is easier to ingest than words (yep, that’s my brain that you hear melting) but FWIW, I’m really enjoying them! I wish PRODUCING video type content came easy to me because I think it looks so fun but I legit can’t handle anything new right now.
Maybe I’ll dabble in a story or two but I feel weird talking to my phone. Is there anything you would be interested in seeing on my Instagram stories? (Are you even following me over there? Is anyone even still out there? Is this thing on? tap tap 🙂
If you are still tuning in, you might remember in my February post I mentioned how much I was missing CrossFit but I was having some lingering postpartum issues that were preventing me from going back. Well two things have happened in the past two months that are basically killing that dream to go back to getting my WOD on.
The first, on the injury front, I’m dealing with some pretty bad lower back pain and I’ve found the source of it and it’s kind of a bummer. I have a lot of degeneration in my L5 disc in my back that is clearly causing the pain. It’s congenital (there is no sign that it was caused from trauma and I really haven’t experienced any back trauma ever, so that makes sense) and my doc thinks it was probably that way before I had Holden but since I had a very stable core (heavy lifting, for the win!) I didn’t experience any pain. Now here we are post-having a baby, and my core is less stable, so NOW I’m experiencing pain related to that disc degeneration. Anyway — long story short: I’m restoring my core, heavy lifting and high intensity exercise are off the table until I make some progress (BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) so CrossFit is out.
The second, is that my CrossFit gym closed. WEEP!!! You guys, I am so sad about this. Above is all of us on the last day at the gym, helping tear things down. Man, it’s a bummer. It’s a great thing for our gym owner for sure, but it feels like such a loss of community. It also comes on the heels of one of our dear coaches passing away, so it’s been a double whammy as of late on the CrossFit front.
To say we are feeling a bit untethered as far as fitness goes in an understatement. I’ve been doing CrossFit at the same gym for 7 years and now I have a new baby, a new schedule, new priorities to juggle, a new injury, and no gym to go back to. It’s definitely a pickle, but if you know me all you know that I am doing my best to map out what’s next because fitness is MY SANITY. (And I’m very protective of my sanity these days! haha)
I hate to end this with a negative story, so on a happier note — the weather has been SO BEAUTIFUL lately and that, combined with Holden being a little older and a little more independent means that Garrett and I are getting out into the world so much more these days, being more social, and getting to bring Holden with us everywhere. It has just been the best! I anticipate lots of time outdoors this weekend and this season and just enjoying our little family. Life is so, so good right now and while it is not without it’s challenges, it is really nice to capture all of the good happening lately.
Hope things are going well in your neck of the woods. Hope to be back here sooner rather than later!
Since Holden was about 4 weeks old and began noticing what was playing on the tv screen, we’ve made a marked effort to listen to more music. This will not be a diatribe on Modern Parental Guilt and screen time or anything like that, but it just seemed since we were just using the news for background noise in those early days, it was just as easy to have music playing.
[Also, if I’m being totally honest (and if you are doing the math) November 2016 just wasn’t a super uplifting time to be watching the news in our country if you were already feeling overwhelmed. So. MUSIC IT WAS! And I’m happy to report, among others, Holden already has a healthy appreciation for everyone from Technotronic (WHAT??) to the Wu Tang Clan.]
Hey look: Here’s Proof! (He definitely does NOT dance like that when Lester Holt is talking about Donald Trump, I promise.)
When I got home on Friday night, I told Garrett we needed to play Sultans of Swing for Holden, and he happily obliged. On my way home from work I had called my mom, as usual, and she was excitedly detailing how she found the 70s Music Station on Pandora. Usually she just plugs in a song or an artist, so she was pretty impressed with herself for curating such a varied playlist and she had spent the day listening to The Doors, Pink Floyd and Dire Straits and thinking about good times with my dad back in the day.
“I hadn’t heard some of those songs in years,” she said so sweetly. My dad had been a MAJOR music enthusiast, and it was cute to hear her talk about all the songs my dad used to know and love and talk about.
So we popped in Dire Straits as Garrett, Holden and I had dinner and reminisced. That’s about as wild as our Friday nights are these days — listening to old albums as the sun goes down, watching our baby kick and punch and wiggle along to the music. It’s not as busy as it once was and we are certainly more tired (that may be the first St. Patrick’s Day where were in bed before 9) but I think that lazy, hazy feeling only contributes to how special everything feels. When we turn the lights down and the speakers up, you can almost feel the nostalgia right there in the moment.
The next morning Holden made an expression that looks just like my dad, as he does often these days. He has my dad’s eyes and his round face and the way he photographs sometimes it is just so bittersweet. I love it so much, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a tiny bit painful every once in a while. My dad would have loved being a grandpa.
Sunday would have been my dad’s 63rd birthday and, hungrier than usual to connect with his memory, I posted a great Flashback Friday picture of him that my mom had recently sent on Facebook and asked for folks who knew him to share their memories with me. For most of the weekend the stories kept rolling in and I was so touched by the tiny things people remembered and shared.
On Sunday night, after a long day, I was scrolling Facebook in Costco while waiting on a pizza (#ParentLife) and a new comment popped up from a relative who lives far away and my jaw just dropped as I read it:
I don’t know how to explain those things, or what it all means in the big scheme of things, but what I do know is that those little winks and nods from The Universe keep me feeling connected to him. It felt so good, but as I sat there I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Of course I felt like my dad was right there just beyond my reach and that immediately made me sad. But knowing my dad, somewhere in the back of my mind I could just hear him belly laughing and saying — “Mark my word, that little grandbaby of mine is NOT going to grow up to be a Justin Bieber fan.”
Despite drinking ALL THE COFFEE, ALL DAY LONG I haven’t made an appearance around here in a while. I literally come home from work every single night and say “Tonight is the night I will blog!” and instead I do the following:
*Snuggle my delicious baby who has been at daycare all day
*Feed said baby
*Read him a story with Garrett and do our general “Hey, it’s time to go to sleep” night time routine
*Wash dishes, bottles, sometimes even myself (HEY-O, showers! Luxury of all luxuries!)
*And then, then if my eyelids are still open, sometimes I even sit down with that handsome husband of mine and chat, or watch like 30 minutes of some trashy Bravo program until we are both snoring heaps on the couch by about 8:30. Which is good because that baby is usually awake to eat at midnight and then again around 3am. (You know, before he is up for the day about 5am. RIP SLEEP!)
So, ahem, yes — blogging. I Not Be Doing It. And I miss it so hardcore it hurts, but I know from experience that I will figure out how to balance my personal hobbies with my sweet little baby one thing at a time. Seasons of life, and all that.
In the meantime, I thought we could catch up with a little Currently action. Here is what is going over here, currently:
Blowing My Mind:
Y’all, as of today I HAVE A 5 MONTH OLD! That is literally the fastest 5 months of my life and I feel like I have traveled to the ends of the earth and stayed in the exact same spot ALL AT ONCE! Weirdest and best experience ever, I tell ya.
I can count the days on one hand that I have slept uninterupted through the night (well, more accurately on one finger: it was on my birthday back in October) so I’m slightly insane at most moments of the day, but five months! We’ve made it 5 months! And we’re all still standing! Well, Holden isn’t yet but he sure does want to!
Going back to work at the beginning of the month was a pretty major adjustment, but with the tough parts have also come a huge reclaiming of my own independence. I’ve gotten back some parts of my life that I was missing and one of the most exciting has been reading time! (I’m pumping at work which affords me a few minutes of uninterrupted reading every day. YAY!)
I kicked off the year reading something serious, then moved to something even heavier, started a book that was so fast paced and awesome but I had to return it before finishing because it was due back at the library – SAD! Now I just need a good old fashioned easy read, and that’s what I’ve got. Fun so far.
But I’m reading! REUNITED AND IT FEELS SOOOOO GOOOOOOD!
I don’t have a ton of time or energy for watching TV and movies, but I’ve managed to watch some fun stuff in the past month or two. Granted one of these movies took us 4 days to get through, but hey — we watched it! (Bad Redbox investment for the record though. We decided after that experience that we probably just need to stick with what’s on Netflix and Amazon in this phase of our lives lol)
On the movie front we watched Deep Water Horizon (Marky Mark 4EVA!), Hell or High Water (Both were good movies that appealed to me and Garrett.) I watched Minimalism (and honestly felt a little eye rolly about it.) Maybe it’s because I heard too much hype? I don’t know. It didn’t feel life changing to me.
On the TV front I have been catching up on Scandal again while nursing. Also I am LOVING HBO’s adaptation of Big Little Lies. I loved the book and I think the show is so good so far! I’m kind of a Reese Witherspoon fangirl so this is not a surprise.
My two current obsessions are both beauty related and impulse purchases picked up at Target. Those are the best, right? The first is this hand cream. Holy hell, I love it! Smells great (not sunscreen-y), isn’t at all greasy and is suuuuuuuper moisturizing! And then I went a little HAM on the NYX Butter Lipstick display and picked up a big range of shades because they were on sale and I love that formula. (Its so moisturizing that it doesn’t have hours of staying power but it feels like lip balm going on, so whatever.) I picked up Root Beer Float and Snack Shack (scary looking, but actually GREAT nudes for fair/light skin) and Moonlit Night (which is a gorgeous berry color.) Impulses for the win!
Crossfit! But you probably knew that. I just really haven’t figured out a way to fit in working out AT ALL since Holden was born. I miss my friends, the workouts, the feeling of accomplishment, the rough barbell in my hands, EVERYTHING!!!!
But I’m also have some lingering post c-section issues that I need to get in check before I get back to working out anyway. I have 2 Dr.’s Appt’s this week to hopefully do some digging, but man — people aren’t kidding when they say pregnancy can ravage the bod. I’m hoping it is just some piriformis and hip flexor issues that are exacerbated by weaker abdominals. I don’t really want to think about the other possibilities. UGH. Keep your fingers crossed, would ya?
So what’s happening with you CURRENTLY? Tell me some things! I feel like a bad friend. 😛
This post is probably a day or two late and a dollar short, but since I have a ton of catching up to do, this seemed a manageable place to start today. Beware, my kid is probably going to factor in heavily here. 🙂
1. What did you do in 2016 that you had never done before?
Saw a positive pregnancy test, grew a human, birthed that human, struggled to figure out how to care for a newborn. I mean, let’s be honest: this year had A LOT of firsts.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
My 2016 goals (as usual) were many. But honestly, after finding out we were expecting many of them were just not feasible. I am pround of a few things though: I sent a ton of birthday cards, I spent a good amount of time with friends and family, and I finally got a damn headboard for our bed! (If you’ve been reading here a long time you know that’s been a goal for like…YEARS. I don’t know what the hold up was.)
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve
We spent our NYE “sleeping when the baby sleeps.” He’s going to bed between 7:30 and 8 these days and I’m rarely up for more than an hour after he is. I guard my sleep like a crazy person, and I caught the Mariah Carey disaster when I woke up in the middle of the night to feed him. It made me glad I didn’t stay up.
4. Did anyone close to you give birth? Did anyone close to you die?
Yes! My family had so many births this year it was so exciting! My cousin Jenny gave birth to a son 6 months to the day before I did. My cousin John and his wife gave birth to a son 3 months after Holden was born. It’s so fun that we had three baby boy cousins all born in the same year. The thought of them all growing up together like I did with my cousins just melts my heart.
There were also a ton of babies born between some great co-workers of mine. There was a serious “Don’t drink the water” situation happening at work because I think there were 8 of us having babies around the same time. Nuts.
As for anyone close to me dying — we had to say goodbye to my sweet Buster and I am still not over it.
5. Did you travel this year?
After we cancelled our official honeymoon to Maui when I had serious morning sickness, I didn’t think to much about travel. Some years are exploratory, and others you stay close to home. This was the latter and it was great to nest, reorganize, and focus on the homefront.
6. What would you like to have had in 2017 that you didn’t have in 2016?
Not much. This year was so full of literal blessings that anything I could have wanted for has been completely overshadowed.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
You know, I would say successfully navigating my life with a real understanding that I am not in control. I mean, yes, that sounds a little hippie woo-woo and, no, I’m not a recovered control freak yet; however, 2016 was a real practice in that area and I feel accomplished at the end of it.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Writing here. And I mean that. 2016 feels like a huge success in so many ways. It’s a year I’ll remember forever. But I definitely felt a hole where this blog lives. I know people are saying blogs are dead, or rather the personal (non corporate) blogs are dead. But I’m just not ready to believe that. This has been my life’s scrapbook for over a decade now. I’m not quite ready to let it go.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I went through the entire year illness free though ironically it is the year I vomited the most in my entire lifetime. (Sorry, but it had to be noted. UGH Do. Not. Miss. That.) As far as injury goes, nothing official, but I’ll tell you what — having a c-section is no joke and I feel like my body still has some ground to gain in the muscle department. But I’m doing it smartly and slowly and with absolutely zero judgment about my physical appearance. Having a baby has been so liberating in that way!
12. Where did most of your money go?
Into our savings account. We would like to buy a house this year so we were total misers in 2016.
13. What song will always remind you of 2016?
So I cried the entire way home from the hospital after Holden was born (birth story forthcoming in 2017, I promise) and all I can say about that is — Hello, hormone dump! Ok, and also a little bit of panic. But my point is:we heard this song like 3 times on the drive home from the hospital. Then at his first pediatrician appointment we heard in multiple times on the way there and on the way back. (Sacramento radio, play some variety would ya?) Anyway, we started calling it Holden’s song and it will always remind me of this year.
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Written here. Read books.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Not much. I had a really lovely year. I mean, I guess I wish I had worried about my child less (before he was born/after he was born), but I don’t think that will stop anytime soon.
16. What was your favorite new tv program?
Like everyone else in America I adored Stranger Things. I hope it doesn’t have the Netflix Season Two curse because I’m really looking forward to a new one.
17. Compared to this time last year are you:
Happier or Sadder – Immensely happier.
Fatter or Thinner – Well this is a weird one. I’m about 20 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight (Thanks breastfeeding!) but I know so much of that is muscle, which makes me sad. So I guess fatter, but I weigh less…LOL
Richer or Poorer – Richer in all the ways that matter.
18. What was the best book you read?
Did I even finish a book last year? Sigh.
19. Greatest Musical Discovery?
Old lady alert: I finally figured out how to use Spotify in a way that enhances my life. And for some reason this year I also revived my love for Country.
20. Favorite Film of the year?
The only movie I remember watching was that hypnobirthing movie and I can’t say it was a favorite. 🙂
21. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 38 a mere 16 days after Holden was born and the morning of my birthday Garrett made sure I got a 4 hour stretch of sleep and it was the first one I had gotten in those 16 days and boy did it feel like a gift!
22. Greatest Food Discovery?
Anything that can be eaten using only one hand got my stamp of approval.
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned:
Gratitude (and lots of coffee) can get you through anything.
26. What pictures best represent 2016?
My Instagram Feed for certain. I mean, yes it has turned into a lot of baby pictures. But let’s be real, that is the best representation of 2016.
Hope you all had a lovely holiday. I’m wishing you a renewed 2017 and I hope we get to chat more around here in the coming year. I’m going to try and do better at that. Thanks for being patient.
I know it has been a while, but I wanted to pop in to announce that our sweet son Holden John Franklin finally made his appearance at 9:22pm on Wednesday September 28th. He was almost 2 weeks overdue and weighed in at a chunky 9 lbs 5 oz and was almost 21 inches long. We were so excited to finally get meet him! Remembering his first cry still brings me to tears three weeks later.
The name Holden comes from the Australian Car Manufacturer as well as the Literary Character, and seemed to be the perfect merging of both my and Garrett’s interests. His middle name John is for my father, who I was happy to see he definitely resembles, and Garrett’s grandfather. We think his name fits him to a tee!
I had a very eventful labor experience, and an unforgettable delivery (though aren’t they all, I’d imagine?) and I can’t wait to write about it soon. In the meantime we are just adjusting to life as new parents, snuggling our sweet baby, smelling his delightful little newborn head, and saying thank you every day that we got so lucky.
Things we are not really doing: sleeping. Eating nutritious food (hello apple cider donuts in the middle of the night! #breastfeeding) But I guess that can be sort of expected, right? 😛
Hope to be back soon with the birth story, and just to get back to writing more regularly – I miss y’all TERRIBLY. Toward the end of my pregnancy I felt a little superstitious about writing too much. I don’t know where that came from, but it was the main reason for my absence around here. That said, I wanted to say thank you for all of your positive thoughts for us throughout this journey. It’s been an absolute life changer and we are just so incredibly happy (AND TIRED. HAHAHAHAHA)
I’m having trouble writing about this pregnancy and I didn’t think that would be the case. I have things to say, of course. Many, if we are being frank. But they seem to be mostly vacillate between these awestruck feelings that can only be expressed in Pinterest style platitudes, or just your run of the mill debbie-downer complaints. Both are accurate, but both don’t seem to be blog-worthy you know? In an effort to document at least SOMETHING from this pregnancy, here is what’s on my mind 25 weeks in.
*The truth is, it’s been amazing. Nothing hyperbolic about it. It is literally unbelievable at times. He is moving around all the time and I am constantly aware that there is a human growing inside me. It feels less alien-like than I anticipated. I was sure pregnancy would feel like hosting a parasite, and let’s be honest: there are days when it does. But more often, he feels like a person and a constant companion. It’s weird to feel comforted by and in the company of someone when you don’t even know what they look like. It’s less like there is a freeloader hanging on and more like…a friendly ghost? You see…this is why I don’t write about this. 🙂
*I’ve also really been struck by the fact that while this feels like a monumentally unique experience in my life that is completely full of firsts, it is something that people have been doing since the dawn of time. And it happens so frequently that the regularity and urgency of certain symptoms can be aggregated into generic weekly emails that ALL PEOPLE going through this experience can read and relate to. I’m going to use the word relate loosely here though, because while I do find that my What To Expect emails are pretty on point symptom wise, they are also full of clickable links that are titled things like “How To Enjoy Sex After You Lose Your Mucus Plug” and I MEAN REALLY, BRO?????????
*On the more complainy side: Can I tell you that one of my pet peeves in life used to be people who would be knocked up and forgetful and then use “pregnancy brain” as an excuse. UGH all of the eye roll emojis! (And yes, I realize this makes me sound like a completely intolerant asshole, but hey — we all have our things and pregnancy brain was mine.) And now I’m sure you know exactly where this is going, and yes I am eating so much crow that it’s not even funny. Now in addition to being an intolerant asshole, I have realized that I am also a complete idiot lunatic who puts things like milk and raspberry jam back IN A CUPBOARD instead of in the refrigerator. The saddest part is that I won’t even notice for days. Or, maybe I won’t even notice at all and Garrett will find them. Old milk scavenger hunt! Awesome!
*Also, last Wednesday we got in the car after we both got off work and hopped right back into rush hour traffic to go out to the house of some our friends who were hosting our dinner/bookclub. They live about 30 minutes away but 5:30 traffic it took just about an hour and when we were about 3 blocks from their house when I looked over at Garrett and remembered that book club was actually the following night. WHOOPS.
*I think this sort of goes without saying, but I’m going to say it: The Plus Sized Maternity Clothes Market is EGREGIOUSLY UNDERSERVED. I haven’t had too much trouble shopping for clothes since my sizing is on the cusp, and I’ve only recently begun to wear exclusively maternity clothing, but HOLY SHIT, WHAT DO PEOPLE DO? Please take this million dollar idea and run with it, somebody — because I (and many other women, I’m sure) would give you all our money!
*Also, we have settled on a name which feels GREAT. We had a long list of names going for the first couple of months and they were all lovely names, they just weren’t THIS baby’s name. I’m not sure how to tell you that I knew that, but I just knew that this was a great name list if I was writing a novel, but my baby’s name wasn’t on it. And then one day Garrett threw out a name idea that we both kind of laughed at initially. But then all of a sudden it was like “Wait this could possibly be perfect.”
*For weeks we just let it simmer, and then one day we both just started using it, and it is totally his name and it is perfect and I am so happy with it that even the few dissenting opinions we’ve gotten over it are just rolling right off my back because DUH, IT’S HIS NAME — it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it. We’ve told all our family and some friends here and there and we aren’t actively keeping it a secret or anything, but I haven’t really discussed with Garrett whether I was going to put it on the blog before he was born (I should add that to the list) so I guess I’ll have to get back to you on that one. If you are dying to know (no one is DYING to know, Holly) I’ll give you a hint: It’s a foreign car manufacturer, which coincidentally will go nicely with his race car themed nursery. (Can you tell my husband is a motorsport enthusiast? LOL)
*And when I say race car themed nursery, I hope you know I mean that room in our house that is filled with crap, though this is where I note that I have favorited one set of race car prints on etsy. Yep, “race car themed nursery” right there. Someone alert Pinterest. 🙂