Thursday, April 7, 2011


So this week I was supposed to travel to Santa Rosa Beach in Florida with my employers. I wasn't loving it because when I travel for work it means being away from Ethan for a week or longer, and I already have to go to Savannah over Easter and then to rural Virginia for 10 days in July. The beach trip ended up falling through because the house had been double booked...oops. It ended up working out just fine though. My employers decided to take their older two to the mountains, and left the Symmester with me. We had an uneventful day on Tuesday... I spent the majority of the day completing major house projects and was exhausted at the end of the day. Since I only had him, I just brought him home with me and set him up in the pack-n-play that I keep at my house for naps, overnights, etc.

Wednesday morning, we woke up and he ate his breakfast, and we were about to go back to his house for the day to finish up more projects and play.... when the vomiting started. Oh boy. Fever was 101 at the highest point, and baby boy was just miserable. :( He threw up a grand total of 4 times throughout the day and we never made it back home because I wasn't about to put him in the car when there was a chance of him throwing up, and I didn't think riding in a car would make him feel any better. I spent the day giving him lukewarm baths, holding him, comforting him, pretty much holding him 24/7 because he didn't want to sleep if I wasn't holding him. We ended up taking a nap together as a result which my husband caught with his camera phone upon returning home from work. Note my Williams-Sonoma kitchen towel which doubled nicely as a burp cloth, and the towel he is wrapped in. He threw up all over me twice, so the towels were the precautions... go figure, he didn't throw up on me again after I had the towels. They always get you when you're not prepared.

Today was a repeat of yesterday, only he was even more clingy and I was up all night... I finally just brought him into my bed around 6 AM because I was so exhausted and mercifully, he fell asleep, so we both slept until 10 AM. I definitely feel zonked today...takes me back to when he was a newborn and I was waking up every 90 minutes to 2 hours to feed/change/etc. The rest of the family arrived back home at 6:45 PM and I left at 7, after politely informing them that I would not be coming into work until 8:30 instead of my usual 7:45 AM. I will use the extra 45 minutes of sleep, and tomorrow is a late night for me anyway. Plus, I have to work Saturday and Sunday... we were supposed to be gone, so we have no other backup and I would have been working those days while we were at the beach anyway. Not the most ideal situation but at least I'm only working 11-7 instead of the typical 8-8 that it would be while traveling. :)

Wow, delirium just hit me....I do believe it is time to hit the sack!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The weekend so far

So yesterday I was on Facebook and saw that my photography teacher had posted that there was an opening for her Advanced Digital class, and that the first person to email her for the spot would get it. I emailed her with lightning speed and got into the class! I was so excited since her classes have been filling up so fast or have been during times that I can't attend, and I REALLY wanted to take the followup to Digital 101. I left work at 4:30 yesterday and spent the rest of the evening just chilling out at home. Our state refund came through which was exciting to see! Now I'm just waiting for the federal refund to come through and then I'll set up the money transfer for our savings account. (yay!) Ethan left for work and I ended up staying up way too late...eating popcorn and watching Criminal Minds. I hadn't had popcorn in quite some time, I forgot how good it was!

This morning we woke up at 11:30 AM... and since my class was at 1, we headed to Chick-Fil-A for a quick lunch together beforehand. Then he headed home and I headed to class... I learned so much in two hours. The most important feature that I learned about was light metering, which has already markedly improved my photos. Monica, the instructor, had us outdoors practicing light metering and answering any questions we had to make sure we didn't leave without a full understanding of how to control and apply it to our photography. Simply awesome. We also learned about AI servo focusing, which will come in handy the next time I'm at the playground with the kids and they're in motion. It basically is a focusing mode that tracks the subject in motion, so you don't have blur or an out of focus picture. I'm going to start carrying my camera to work with me so that I can be practicing all the time. I have the perfect subjects to practice on! They're totally photoghenic. Proof? Why, sure! As a disclaimer, I didn't shoot that photo - Emily did, but it was with my camera, so I guess I get 5% of the credit. Haha.

Tomorrow is going to be low key... I'm going to get back to my Couch to 5 K which I neglected for a week (that's going to hurt tomorrow....) and then video chat with my dad. I'm working the next three nights at the Ritz Carlton for a family who booked us through our babysitting service, so that will be fun. Hopefully it won't sap my energy for the rest of the week... I have a flight to catch to NYC on Thursday night with my love.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Today was absolutely beautiful and so much fun. I met Aneli, Ryan, Emily, and Hallie at Top Nail, and we all got pedicures. I went back to my favorite O.P.I. color, "Dulce de Leche". It's such a neutral color but so pretty at the same time. I have my own bottle since I love the color so much! After our pedicures, we walked over to Menchie's Frozen Yogurt and sat and gabbed for an hour or was just so much fun. Menchie's has the BEST flavors... today I had red velvet cake, milk chocolate, and dulce de leche (I put three flavors in one cup) topped with mini chocolate chips and a little hot fudge. HEAVEN. I love this group of girls - they have my back, and there is no drama or jealousy within the group. Everyone genuinely likes each other and cares about each other, and it's just a really neat group of friends. I'm fortunate to be a part of it! Hallie is Aneli's younger sister so today was the first time I had met her... and she is not in the photo since she was the one taking it!

After I came home from my girls' afternoon, Ethan and I spent some time together before heading out for date night at Gekko Sushi (another date night out courtesy of ScoutMob!) It was absolutely delicious and is definitely our new sushi spot. We had a rainbow roll, crunchy california roll, and another roll that I cannot remember the name of right now.... in addition to edamame and teriyaki chicken. In hindsight, Ethan would have skipped ordering the chicken because the rolls and edamame were so filling!

I'm going to have to spend some extra time in the gym this week from all the eating out I did this weekend...oh well, it's worth it! :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brunch, office chairs, and taxes...

This morning I woke up at 9:30 to Ethan standing over me staring at me. I wasn't really planning to wake up that early since I didn't get to bed until 1 AM, but since he was awake, I forced myself to get out of bed.

We decided to go to brunch and headed to Highland Bakery, a place I've always wanted to try. It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day outside, so we sat outside and enjoyed the views of downtown Atlanta. Highland Bakery is actually known for their peanut butter stuffed French toast topped with bananas, but we settled for their breakfast platters with bacon, eggs, and sourdough toast. It was really goo - I'm actually going back there next weekend for a girls' brunch so maybe I'll try that French toast if there are people willing to split it with me!

After brunch, we went to CB2 to check out their office chair selection which was quite sad... and then headed on to By Design. Ethan's office chair is 10 years old and starting to fall apart since he spends so much time sitting in it! I've tried to get him to buy a new one several times over the past few years but he wasn't willing to spend the money... I guess after spending 6+ hours a day prepping for the CPA over the last couple of months he decided it was time! By Design had a great selection of chairs and he chose the Lider High Back Chair by Zuo Modern. I love it as well and I think it's going to look awesome in the office - it will really pull the room together since the office chair we have now is honestly pretty sad looking with everything else in there being sleek and modern. It's also super comfortable so I'll enjoy sitting in it too every once in a while. The best part? It retails for over $500.... and I found it online for $175. Sold. It should arrive sometime next week.

When we came home, I finally finished and filed our taxes...we were waiting on one last 1099 from Ethan's extra job and FINALLY got it last night! Hopefully we'll have our refund direct deposited by the end of the month - it all goes straight to savings, of course. We've really worked diligently on shoring up our savings account and it's exciting to see the number increase every month... I'll put it this way... we don't worry about money with what we have in the bank. Money isn't everything, but it sure does give you peace of mind when you have it! :) Most importantly, it's security that will allow me to comfortably be a stay at home wife whenever we decide (I could do it next week if I wanted), and that's what we love most about it! For now, I will continue to work since I do love my job and we're not done with our travels yet!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Girl's night out and TGIF

Last night was soooo much fun.... I spontaneously met up with Aneli, Lily, and Emily and we headed to a Mexican place called Across The Street. I had goat cheese enchiladas, sangria blanco, and a LOT of fun. Our waiter treated us to free tequila shots at the end of our meal and then we wrapped up the night at Yogli Mogli, a yogurt place up in Virginia Highlands. It was awesome to just hang out with girls and talk. Ethan also surprised me and asked to come along with me to New York in two weeks... of course I said yes, and I booked his ticket today. The awesome thing is that the seats next to my selected ones for the flights were open, so we'll be able to sit together!!!

Ethan and I together in Manhattan again.... I am really excited that we'll be able to spend a weekend with our dear friends together - but I'm also so glad we have a day to explore the city together again.... we're going to pick a different area to canvass on foot this time. We had so much fun together there in October for my birthday. I just love being with my husband...he is so funny and so adventurous. He truly makes me a better person. Not a day goes by that I'm not so, so, so thankful that I got to marry him!

I'm so glad it's Friday.... I'm working until 11 PM tonight, but it's been an easy day so far and will be an easy evening. We're taking the kids out to dinner and then they'll go to bed... and I will be going home to CRASH in my bed... I'm totally sleeping in tomorrow....with MY HUSBAND! (still not used to it, can you tell?!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'm pleased to report that it looks like I will get my life back after all... the part-time nanny is working out beautifully and her trial period is over next week - I am hoping that we'll sign her into a year long contract and then my worries are over. It means I'm off of work by 5 PM latest Monday through Thursday and only work late on Friday nights (as long as I choose to do so anyway). I've had to stay late this week to train her and get her acclimated, but next week she's on her own - I have things to do, places to go...haha. :)

I can't believe it's almost Thursday already. I'm so ready for the weekend.... Ethan and I will take the kids to do something fun Friday night and then sleep in together on Saturday morning....which I'm so looking forward to. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend! I'm getting a pedicure with my gal pals Ryan and Emily on Sunday and other than that I don't really have any plans. I have to run for a total of 20 minutes on Sunday ... straight.... without stopping. I will do it. I will hate every second of it, but I'll do it and then I'll feel impressed and proud of myself when I'm done. That's just how it goes.

I'm really looking forward to April. I can't wait to go to the beach for a week from the 4-10th, and I'm excited about going somewhere with Ethan the weekend of the 15-17. Then I get to go to Savannah, GA (somewhere I have never been) on a work trip over Easter weekend, and the 28th I jet off to Mexico for a girls' weekend. So much R&R.... how will I ever survive? ;)

So March.... in like a lion....out like a lamb! I'm so ready for warmer temps!

Monday, March 7, 2011

So, yesterday was a lot of fun. I met LD at Sun In My Belly, and my wooorrrrd. The food? Delish. I had the Kirkwood breakfast, which was softly scrambled eggs with Boursin cheese mixed in, 2 strips of honey glazed crispy bacon, and a buttermilk biscuit with butter and jelly. It was soooooo good. The conversation was even better, and LD and I spent two and a half HOURS talking.... we didn't even realize it had been that long, because neither of us checked our phones once the entire time we were there. I hate when I go out to share a meal with someone and they're constantly checking their phone...drives me crazy, actually. If I'm "on call" I don't have a choice, I have to keep my phone with me, but I always make sure that the person I'm with understands that so they won't be offended. When LD and I were leaving SIMB, I ran into a friend that I hadn't seen since Christmas. It was really cool to see her, and she lives in my area now. Hopefully we'll get together soon with our mutual friends... I can see Sunday brunches becoming a regular thing!

After I left, I headed to San Francisco Coffee to meet Lindsay. Lindsay is my business partner (more about that in future posts when we actually launch) and also a really good friend. So when we meet, it's half business meeting, half catch-up. It's always a good time. We're able to balance the two pretty well and we work well together too. I spent about two hours with her and then we said our goodbyes.

Next stop was Publix for the weekly grocery shopping. Ethan hates to grocery shop, and I don't mind it. Plus, I know exactly where everything is, so it never takes me very long. Then I came home and spent some time with Ethan before we had dinner. Then I helped myself to dessert...BAD.... Nutella and peanut delicious, but I definitely paid for it today because my stomach was so messed up and grumbly. Won't be doing that again. I don't eat very much sugar at all normally (by choice) so when I do, it throws me all out of whack. I might sometimes say "It was worth it", but not today.

Today the new part-time nanny started... it was more about orientation today, but she did manage to give all the kids a bath by herself. I'm hoping that she picks up quickly this week because I don't want to stay until 7 PM every night this week while she orients herself... we'll see how tomorrow goes since she's going to have a lot more responsibility than she did today. I genuinely like her a lot, and I understand that this job is not a simple or easy one. I'm just used to being able to dive right into something and picking it up super fast but I realize that not everyone is me.

Tomorrow Ethan is in class, so I'm going to do week 5 of C25K...I was going to do it tonight but my day was long and exhausting, and getting off at 6:45 instead of 4:45 made that not really doable for me because when I got home I just wanted to eat and take a shower... and get into bed. I was in my bed by's a little past 9 PM now, and I'm hitting the hay. Night folks!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday is my new favorite day....

So I was up WAY too late last night watching "Criminal Minds" reruns. Part of me was also waiting for Ethan to get home from his extra job which he works from 11 PM - 3 AM. He got home, we talked, and then I think we fell asleep at 4 AM. It was like the old days when we both worked later shifts and would stay up ridiculously late and then sleep in....

This morning we were up at 11. It was cold and rainy outside so we just stayed in bed for a little while snuggling before we got up to have breakfast. It's so nice to be home together on a day where we don't have to work... well, I don't have to work until later (Greek kids gig). Ethan has CPA homework anyway, and he likes to have some alone time to play video games with his brother and friends so it works out pretty perfectly.

I hit the gym earlier and finished week 4 of Couch to 5K. Yay me! Ethan surprised me by researching my treadmill and figuring out what the problem was...he ordered the part that needs to be replaced, and he is currently fixing it. The part was only $10, so I'm excited to have my treadmill back! I have decided that I will only be walking on it though and will save the running for the gym treadmills since I want it to last as long as's already so old to begin with, it's a miracle it's even still working. I have no doubt in my husband's ability to fix ANYTHING. He's just that kind of guy. Nothing fazes him, and he's super scary smart but without acting like a know-it-all brainiac. I got the total package.

Tomorrow is brunch with my friend Lauren...I call her L.D. to differentiate and avoid confusion, and then coffee later with my friend Lindsay. I'm looking forward to seeing them both and catching up! Brunch is at this place that I've always wanted to check out called "Sun in my Belly", so I can't wait to taste the food there. It's one of L.D.'s favorite places, so it's highly recommended. I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow to update on how it was!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Weekend plans

Can't believe it's Thursday night and my week is almost over. Just have to make it to 8 PM tomorrow....Friday is going to seem so much longer now that Ethan doesn't have to work and I'm going to want to rush home to be with him, haha.

Today was pretty uneventful as far as days go. I came home and then went to work out and finished W4D2 of C25K.... I will finish out week 4 on Saturday at some point. Very excited to move on to week 5. I've discovered that I need to run on an empty stomach if I want to actually keep my speed up...otherwise my stomach literally starts to cramp and it's not pretty. I have a confession...I really don't like running. I wouldn't say I HATE it, but it's not my favorite thing to do. I sometimes just grit my teeth and get it done with. However, as much as I don't love it, I do love that it whips me into shape in no time and I love the sense of accomplishment that I feel at the end of a run. Not everyone is determined enough to run, so I like to think that I'm determined enough to not back down from the challenge of doing something I don't particularly care for.

My weekend plans aren't major....sleep in on Saturday, make breakfast for my husband, finish week 4, maybe watch a few shows on DVR, get a pedicure, and then I'm spending time with some friends on Sunday which I'm looking forward to. I was thinking of a massage this weekend but decided that I'll do it next weekend instead, to celebrate finishing week 5. It's good motivation.

Speaking of sleep....I need some! Goodnight....hopefully I'll post something more interesting later on in the weekend.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Something new...

Well, as of today, Ethan and I share a common day off! This is the first time this has ever happened our entire marriage. He used to have Wednesday/Thursday off but it has now been changed to Friday/Saturday. I'm absolutely thrilled about this (even though I panicked a little bit at first). It means that we'll get to sleep in together every Saturday morning and I'll be able to make my husband breakfast in bed! Amazing... I know it seems silly, but if you've been married to someone for over five years and never got to do that as part of your normal routine, you'd be excited too. The other plus is that if we want to take a long weekend, we each only have to take one day off - I take Friday, he takes Sunday - voila! We'll be able to jet off to wherever our destination is on Thursday evening and return Sunday evening. It's a step in the direction that our life is heading in anyway! I'm very thankful to have one shared day off. It also means we'll be able to have dinner together 4-5 nights per week now instead of just 3. So I'm a happy camper!

I got home from work by 5 today and we headed out to try a new place in nearby Decatur called The Pita Pit. It was okay... I don't think we'll be going back anytime soon, just because the service was so incredibly slow. We discovered a Lebanese place that had AWESOME pitas earlier in the week, so I think that will be our go-to place when a craving for a pita hits. :) Atlanta just doesn't have Showmars....::sigh:: After we ate our dinner, we walked down to The Yogurt Tap. Ethan had never been, and I've taken the kids quite a few times, so it was fun to introduce him to that. It's like Yoforia...only better!

I can't believe it's Wednesday evening already...I'm looking forward to the weekend....what to make Ethan for breakfast on Saturday? Hmm.....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

There's no place like home....

This past weekend, I was able to go home to Charlotte and spent 4 blissful days with my family and friends. I loved being able to spend time with my grandparents, my parents, my sisters, and my best friend, all of whom I never get enough time with. It was awesome. On Saturday, I went to the FHC service with my dad and sister (mom was feeling sick) and then I took them to Amelie's for dessert, which is a 24 hour French bakery in the NoDa neighborhood. Dad had the Napoleon, I had the salted caramel brownie (what they are known for), and my sister had a chocolate eclair. All were totally delish- and we brought home an eclair for mom to eat the next day. I wish I could have stayed forever with everyone, but I would miss Ethan too much. Maybe someday we'll move back to Charlotte....the Lord knows exactly where we're supposed to be at all times, and right now that's Atlanta. I'm thankful that it's only 3.5 hours away, and I hope to go back for another visit in May.

Work is going well - my fingers are crossed that the girl we are trying out for 2 weeks works out well. I've been able to leave by 5 latest every day except Friday which has been great. I've been able to stay on top of things much better, and I've been working out like I should - I'm on week 4 of C25K now, and did day 1 today... it was speed isn't improving much, I'm afraid, but at least I'm able to keep up with far. I'm dreading the 25, 28, and 30 minute runs towards the end but I know it's good for me. I WILL finish the 9 weeks and segue right into the Bridge to 10K.... I WILL! NO MATTER WHAT!

I have to go to Alys Beach for a week in April with my employers, so that's sufficient motivation to keep me moving! We're staying in this house, so it'll be a nice trip. I'm loving that there's a pool for the kids as that will make everything a lot more fun for all of us! We went last summer, and the community amenities are great. Awesome playground for the kiddos, a giant community pool, and a fitness center with treadmills to continue my workouts... which is good, since I'll be on week 9 (the last week!) of C25K and will go right into Bridge to 10K, which is a 10 week program, and I should finish June 12th....and be able to run for an entire hour straight. Crazy! I'll be happy to be able to run that at 5 mph, I am not going to be crazy and think that I can accomplish it any faster than least for a while!

This spring is going to be nutso busy now that I think about it. I am also traveling to Savannah for Easter weekend which will be busy, and then I have the kids for two full weekends in May due to their parents being out of town. I'm hoping to get up to Ohio to see my parents at their summer residence in June, and then we have the annual 4th of July at Bremo trip, and possibly a Bahamas trip at the end of July. We'll see if that actually happens (it's a work trip). Hopefully no work travel in August! We still haven't decided on a location for our 6th anniversary trip! Hawaii is looking like it's a no-go because literally everything is ALREADY booked up. ::sigh:: We'll figure it out!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thank you God, for coffee....

So last night I came home from work and found that Ethan had run the laundry for me (I had forgotten to ask him, but he did it anyway!). I was so happy that it was done, so I folded it and put it all away. Laundry is actually my favorite chore....I think because I can see the results of it...a heap of unfolded clothes gets folded into piles and then placed in the correct drawer.... I'm type A like that. Haha. Then I went to the gym to get my workout in, had dinner, and tried to go to sleep in preparation for my early wakeup call today. It didn't work.

I didn't fall asleep until 11:30 (or later) last night... and the alarm this morning was like a punch in the face. I immediately developed a raging headache....dragged myself to work and went back to sleep on the couch. Thank god the kids didn't require my attention until 7:45 AM because I would have been in bad shape otherwise. As I was giving them breakfast, I noticed that there was coffee still left in the pot. I poured it into a mug, added skim milk and my truvia, and started drinking. Within an hour my headache was gone and I felt human again. I totally understand why moms drink coffee in the morning now. Completely. I have always sworn that I'm not going to be a coffee drinking mama in the future, but we'll see. I'm going to keep my options open on that one for SURE. Haha. I just don't like to be dependent on anything to keep me going on a regular basis and I see some moms guzzle it all day long...definitely don't want to be like that.

So the kids and I are hanging out until Ethan texts me...he took my car in for an oil change and some other services, and we're going to pick him up since he'll probably have to leave the car there all day. Since my bosses are out of town in the Bahamas for the day, they left the minivan for me to use with the kids. It worked out quite perfectly if I do say so myself. Next weekend I have a road trip to Charlotte, so he wanted to make sure my car was in tip top shape. It's one of the many ways he demonstrates his love and care for me. I'm a lucky gal!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ever had the rug yanked out from underneath you?

That's kind of what today felt part-time nanny informed me she's taking a six week leave of absence, Finn threw up all over my car today, and I have to be at work tomorow at 6 AM, which means I have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning. Yowza.

First things first. My part-time nanny and I have had bumps in the road with our relationship, but nothing we haven't been able to overcome. I've been very accommodating to her needs, and she's gone away on several vacations for a week at a time here and there, and I've usually been able to secure backup so it isn't an issue. Due to personal reasons, she's taking a 6 week leave, and wants me to find someone to work temporarily so she can have her job back when she returns. However, I'm tired of this.... and I think she needs to be replaced by someone who is reliable and who I can trust to be there and not constantly be wondering if she's going to announce she's going out of town. So I've started looking for a replacement....but I only have 2 weeks until she leaves, and that's usually nowhere near enough time. This job is anything but easy and it takes a special kind of person to step in here and take the reins from me. Normally I would try to make things work, but my younger two go down for naps from 1:30-4ish, and Finn has to be picked up from school at 2:45. Then he has to be taken to taekwondo, and he was supposed to be going to swimming lessons, but I don't see how I'm going to be able to make that work.... there are just a lot of schedule conflicts. Not to mention, I don't want to be here until 7:45 PM every night. There are things I like to be at home....go to the gym....have dinner with my husband, etc. So, keep me in your prayers ... I need to find a permanent replacement or a temporary 4 week replacement at the very least.

Now onto grosser things.... I went to pick Finn up from his great grandmother's, and she informed me that he'd gagged a little at breakfast and handed me two grocery bags for the car in case he threw up. So, we're driving on the interstate, and all of a sudden...yeah. Well, the bag overflowed. So the seat was covered in vomity goo that smelled like rancid strawberry yogurt (even though he didn't have any strawberry yogurt). It was so awesome. Not. I pulled off at a random exit and found a random free parking garage and grabbed my pack of diaper wipes and did the best I could. We changed Finn into his PJ's that he had worn the night before and got back in the car with the windows down. We got home and got him into a warm bubble bath, and when my part-time nanny came I took my car to get cleaned. My bosses pay for the car to be cleaned if that happens, which is nice. It still has a faint odor though, so I'm just going to put a cup of coffee grounds in my car and it should disappear within a few days. It's the best thing for getting yucky smells out of a car.

Tomorrow morning is a 5:30 AM wakeup boss is an interior designer, and she has to fly with a client to the Bahamas to make a site visit for the house she is designing. It's the client's private jet, so they have to be at the airport by 7, which means they have to leave at 6.... yeaaaaah. I'm not looking forward to waking up that early, but it must be done. I'll survive!

So it's been quite the day. Serenity. Now.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Canon 60D.....

So I finally decided to purchase the Canon 60D! It will arrive on Wednesday...I'm very excited! It will take my photography to the next level, since my Canon Rebel XT is over 5 years old. The main reason for the upgrade was my need for expanded ISO... my XT only goes up to 1600, and the 60D goes to 3200 and is expandable to 6400. It's perfect for natural light photography and low light photography as well.

I also got the Bridge to 10K application for my phone so I could see what it was all about. When you complete C25K, you immediately start Bridge to 10 K.... well, it's pretty awesome. By the end of the 10 weeks, you are literally running for 1 hour total! I should finish June 18th with the C25K and Bridge to 10K.... and I should be in pretty darn good shape! I'm excited about the prospect of pushing myself to run for one hour without

In other news: Hawaii is most likely where we are headed in August. As soon as I said "Hawaii is another option" to Ethan, his ears perked up and he immediately said "Can we go to the North Shore and surf?!".... so the decision was basically pretty much made! I'm super excited....even though it means we're on a plane for basically 12 hours. Whatever, it's Hawaii!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

When plans don't work out quite the way you'd hoped...

So, I got all of my clothes....and none of them were as fabulous in person as I had hoped. The good thing is that I was wrong about the Anthropologie clothing being on final sale, so I was able to return them! All's well that ends well. No biggie. I'll just do some shopping in New York when I'm there in March. I just don't have time when I'm at home!

I spent all last night and this morning cleaning our was a wreck, and that was mostly my fault. The cupcake preparation had essentially destroyed our kitchen, and the rest of the house was just in shambles. It made me smile to clean the windows which had little handprints all over, and I was horrified to find some wall art by Eugenia, but fortunately the crayon came right off. I have no idea how she managed to get away from the table with a crayon.... I'm thinking she might have had one in her pocket. I need to go to the gym today for 45 minutes to do W1D3 of C25k, but I will admit that I am psyching myself up to go. My right hip is bothering me a little bit and I'm not quite sure why. I'll get to it before I go to work at 6:30 (Greek kids again)....I'll even come back on blogger and post that I finished it! Just in case anyone actually checks up on me to see if I did. ;)

After researching and talking, we decided the Europe trip needs to be put on hold for a later year because of the possibility of grad school and due to the fact that Ethan might have to retake a section of the CPA if he doesn't pass the first time. (Very few people pass the sections the first time they take them; the CPA exam is harder than the bar for law) So it looks like we'll be doing the good old beach vacation but we haven't decided where or when. Maybe Hawaii....maybe Florida, maybe North Carolina....or maybe we'll go to the French or Italian Riveria or Costa Rica...there's lots of beaches in the world to pick from. I emailed some travel agents today so hopefully we'll have that trip wrapped up and planned by the end of May once we find out if Ethan has been admitted. It'll be fun to decide where to go....we always try to go somewhere new that we haven't been to before. As long as we're together, that's all that matters!


For anyone who checked back, yes I did my C25K workout. It only took me until 4:15 to get myself to the gym, haha....but I DID get everything else around my house finished!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cupcakes marry photography....

Enjoy! We'll be having lots of fun in the months to come!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The one where the treadmill bites the dust...

So, today I did week 1, day 2 of C25K and actually ran at 7 mph during the running segments. Whew, it was tough, but I felt so accomplished when I was done! I need to work on my breathing while running though.... if I can master that I'll be good to go. Anyway, towards the end of the workout, my treadmill decided to stop working. I knew this day was coming since it's over 5 years old.... I jumped off the treadmill and ran to our building gym and finished the workout. Ethan suggested we fix it, but I don't think it's worth the money. I paid $899 for it five years ago, and it's pretty old as far as treadmills go. I will miss being able to watch my DVR'ed shows while using the treadmill, but I am just going to have to use our building's gym and the YMCA for now. I did tell Ethan that if we have kids, I'm getting a new treadmill... I am not putting our children in YMCA childcare so that they can get the latest cold, and I can't count on being able to get to the buildings' gym as a stay at home mom. He agreed to that of course. Anyway....

Emily and I started on our cupcakes for the teacher's luncheon dessert! It was our first time working with fondant and we had SO much fun... pictures will be up sometime this weekend. We're finishing the cupcakes up tomorrow night, but we spent 4 hours total today - and that was making the actual cupcakes, making and dyeing the buttercream icing, dyeing the fondant, rolling out and forming the fondant decorations, and cleaning it all went by so fast with Emily. I'm lucky to have her as one of my friends. We're both into cupcakes and photography... my talent is with the cupcakes, and hers is with photography. So, we're teaching each other. We're thinking about calling our little experiment NannyCakes. Haha... as a joke, of course - there is no way we would ever want to do this as a business. Takes the fun out of it! After this round of cupcakes, we're going to do some of the cupcakes from "Hello, Cupcake"... check the book out if you haven't already seen it. It's so cool and so creative! It's a good thing that most people are willing and grateful recipients of cupcakes since there is no way that we'll be eating them.

I can't wait for the weekend.... I am so looking forward to sleeping in!

Monday, February 7, 2011

C25K round three...

So, I decided I needed to ramp up my exercise now that the gyms have emptied from all the people who gave up on their New Year's Resolutions to lose weight. I usually kickstart my exercise routine around this time of year anyway since it gives me plenty of time to be happy with myself by May when the pools open. Running has been something that I've done on and off, and I honestly don't think I can really claim that I "run" because it's more of a forced jog. So I have decided to attempt to change that and am starting Couch to 5 K (henceforth known as C25k) again but I have set a goal to run at least 6 mph with the ultimate goal of 8 mph for the entire 25 minutes. It doesn't scare me like it used to because I've completed it twice and am fully capable of running for 25 minutes. But it's obvious to me that I don't push myself to reach past my limits, and that needs to change. No more of this putting forth the minimal required effort...that's my goal. Push myself!

I went through my closet and drawers today and filled up a big trash bag of Goodwill donations. I still have a LOT of clothes left, but it's so nice to have everything neatly organized again... I was putting away laundry and thought to myself, "Hm, it's looking kind of messy in here." An hour later, voila! I can't wait to welcome my new clothes (previous post) to their new home...haha.

This week, I started reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp....I recommend picking it up and reading it yourself. I won't really get into it in this post because I want to finish it before I post about it, but one of the things I have read that struck me was the following:

"Wherever you are, be all there."

Slow down. Be there in the moment. Stop hurrying. Savor life for what it is instead of constantly straining to see ahead.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Adventures in shopping...

My Steelers lost the Superbowl. Too little, too late. It was fun to see the Packers win though, since we have won six times already...there's always next year!

I worked today, and it was a pretty uneventful three hours. Then I came home and Ethan and I took a 2 hour naps. Probably not the smartest idea, since I am now having difficulty falling asleep.... tomorrow I'll probably be so tired I'll end up drinking coffee. Early bedtime tomorrow night. DEFINITELY.

I haven't done any clothes shopping in a while. I didn't go to the mall, I just perused online and there were some serious sales at J. Crew Factory and Anthropologie. So, I essentially purchased 2 outfits. The biggest steal was the Joe's cargo pants from Anthropologie, since they were 75% off original price. I had wanted them but didn't want to spend that much money on them, so when I found them in the sale section online in MY size, I was thrilled! They'll transition well to spring, and can even be worn in the summer with flip flops and a black tank top. Perfect. The jeans from J. Crew are more of an experiment...I like to see if I can find jeans that fit well since I have a hard time finding them. If they don't fit, they'll be returned, no big deal!

From J. Crew Factory at 30% off sale prices (which is only open on the weekends, believe it or not!):
Everyday Cardigan
Flower tee

From Anthropologie final sale:
Sparkle Military shirt in Ivory
Joe's Jeans Sateen Cargo Pant

Saturday, February 5, 2011

So, tomorrow is the Superbowl! Go Steelers! I wish I could be in Charlotte with my family to watch it, but I'll just have to be there with them in spirit.

My week has been long and bordered on the side of difficult...I won't get into details, but sometimes in my profession there are inner struggles because as a parent, you would do things very differently than the actual parents. I constantly remind myself that these are not my children and that I just have to let it go, and someday I might get my chance to parent the way I think is best. I'm hoping that the next week goes better or is at least somewhat calmer....I'm sure it didn't help that I was fighting a cold all week and succumbed to it today. Why do I always have to get sick on the weekend? Why can't I get sick during the week? Haha. Oh well!

I'm going home to Charlotte the last weekend in February and am very much looking forward to it. In March I'm headed to New York City again for another long weekend with Phillip and Irene, and in April, I think we're headed to Disney World, Savannah, and then I'm going to Mexico for my weekend girls' trip. Lots of traveling going on the next couple of months....just the way I like it! Most importantly, it's giving me a break from work, which I need... I think if I make an effort to make sure to take one long weekend off every month, it will be better for me in the long run. :)

This coming week my goal is to get back in the gym consistently....I slacked off when the beginning of the month hit, and I think that's why I got sick. So I will MAKE myself go to the gym for at least one hour five to six times a week for the rest of the month, starting tomorrow. I know I can do it... I just need to give myself another kick in the butt to get back into it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Impromptu date nights = bliss

Can't believe it's Wednesday already....I am always amazed at how time flies. I'm so happy we're into February now and that spring is not that far off! I'm officially ready for flip flops and warm weather.

I got off of work at 3 PM today and came home utterly exhausted. I crashed into bed for a nap and when I woke up, it was almost 6 PM. Ethan had the day off of work today, and this morning he had taken my car in to get new tires, and he stopped and had it washed too. He's such a sweetheart like that... I kept meaning to get it washed and just kept forgetting to do it! Anyway, I asked him if he could take a break from studying and take some time together to go on a date night somewhere new. Thanks to Scoutmob here in Atlanta, there's a plethora of choices at 50% off. We decided on Fritti, and enjoyed the misto antipasti as an appetizer and Strachinella pizza. Delicious. It was so nice to sit there for a couple of hours talking. Of course, being in an Italian place made us think of our time in Europe, and we started discussing our next trip there, which will be in August for our 6th anniversary. So far we're planning on London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Prague. We'd like to try to fit in Vienna and maybe Paris, but we'll have to see if we're able to time-wise! We've been to the beach somewhere in the world for our last few vacations, so we're ready for the Europe thing again. It will be our third trip to Europe together and my fourth. Love it...there is honestly nothing like it! My favorite part of traveling with Ethan is being WITH Ethan. Seeing new things together and sharing new experiences that are just for us and our memories. Being able to focus on each other with nothing else competing for our attentions. If we ever have children, we'll be taking a week every other year to go away just by ourselves. The years we don't go away for a week, we will go away for a long weekend every three months. We're fortunate that my family is so wonderful and understands the importance of parent-only time and is willing to support us by taking care of our children while we go off on our adventures.

Well....I'm off to do some research on our next European vacation!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Breakfast in bed

I woke up this morning at 9:45, and slipped out of bed. I was SOOOO happy to be able to make this for Ethan and serve it to him in bed. We spent some time snuggling and talking and went back to sleep for a little bit. It was so unbelievably nice to get a taste of "normal" for a change. Then reality called... I went to the gym to work out while he worked on homework, and then I met up with Emily at my favorite pedicure place, which was awesome. We checked out Menchie's Frozen Yogurt which was next door, and it was quite tasty! I had the Butter Brickle and Cake Batter (I couldn't decide between the two!) topped with some hot fudge. Delicious. We had a lot of fun talking about our trip to Mexico and decided we're going to indulge in some spa treatments while we're there, which I'm beyond excited about! I didn't do any last time because that would have meant time away from Ethan, but you can bet I'll be taking advantage this time. I will definitely be doing some sort of body scrub, and possibly a Vichy shower... we'll see!

I came home to find Ethan still working hard, and have started cooking dinner for us...tonight it is chicken breasts stuffed with broccoli & cheese, with salad and parker house rolls. It will be done in about 30 minutes and then we'll watch the latest DVR'ed episode of Southland. This week is going to be a fun but crazy week.... here's hoping I have the energy to get through it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cinnamon buns and bacon...

Ethan took the day off of work tomorrow, and I am so unbelievably excited about this.

This means:

1) I get to sleep in with my husband. This never happens unless we're on vacation because he has Wednesdays and Thursdays off, and I have Saturday and Sundays off. So one of us is always leaving before the other. Someday we'll have the same off days...but until then, the days we do have where we can sleep in and lazily wake up next to each other are treasured by me.

2) I get to cook breakfast! I absolutely love to cook, and I cook dinner for us about 3-4 evenings per week, which just become the norm for us in the last six months....before then the only night we could have dinner together at home was Sunday night due to schedule conflicts. I NEVER get to cook breakfast for us. So tomorrow morning I'm making Ethan's favorite cinnamon buns (granted, they're the Pillsbury kind so all I have to do is bake them) and crispy bacon, which is kind of my specialty. I can make bacon super crispy without burning it - and Ethan loooooooves crispy bacon. I will probably make eggs too, because I'm not a fan of the cinnamon buns. I was raised on my dad's homemade cinnamon buns, so everything else just tastes like a lame attempt at it.

3) Ethan won't be as tired tomorrow and will be able to get more done, and we'll be able to go for a run together! Which also never happens. And the weather is absolutely beautiful and perfect for it this weekend.

My weekend has been nice so far....last night I was off at 8:45 PM (which NEVER happens...note the theme here...) and was in bed with Ethan by 10. I finished most of our tax return and am just waiting on one more document, which will be here in the next couple of days, I'm sure. We aren't your typical couple with the tax return...we put the whole refund straight into our retirement savings. We actually do this with any "found" or unexpected money.

This morning I slept in until 9 and then headed up to Buckhead to have my tire repaired, and then went grocery shopping. I think everyone was outside enjoying the beautiful day because the grocery store was a quick trip. I whipped up some apple cinnamon muffins for Ethan's breakfasts this week and hardboiled a bunch of eggs. I always do this on the weekends so that he has something portable for the following week since he doesn't always have time to eat if he sleeps until the last possible second...which he does often. I would too if I had to be up at 5:45 AM every morning. It's a miracle that neither of us drink coffee, honestly. I did some things around the house and then headed to Art of Touch, which is where I get massages. I've been working out quite a lot, so the massage was heaven. I bought a package of 6, and I can't wait to get my next one, which will be in 2 or 3 weeks. I try to spread them out.

Right now I'm at "work", babysitting for my Greek kids. The little girl is at a sleepover, and the 10 year old boy has a friend spending the night...right now they are playing Halo on the XBOX, so I'm merely here to be an adult presence. Not a bad way to make money...sit here and blog while being paid for my time. Ethan is working on his CPA exam prep homework right now, so I'm not missing out and am less of a distraction this way!

In other things....lots has been on my mind lately...I'm not one to go into deep and personal details about my life, but if you think of it, could you just pray for me? I could use clarity of thought and discernment for some upcoming decisions that have to be made. Thanks!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fun weekend....

My weekend has been fun, and I've been super productive. I'm not going to bore people with a long "this is what I did this weekend" blog entry since it wasn't that exciting. I've been spending a lot of time at the YMCA which has been awesome (getting bikini ready for April's Mexico trip!) and just doing things around the house (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) I did order a new pair of Mizuno running shoes since my current pair is totally worn out. I'm going to start the C25K program over again since it's been awhile since I've run. My goal is to actually RUN in a 5k sometime this spring, maybe in March or April. In 45 minutes or less. I need to find one and just sign up for it so I don't talk about doing it and not actually do it when the time rolls around. 2011 is going to be the year I reach my fitness goals (again). I can feel it in my sore muscles....

Ethan has been very, very, very busy with homework for his Becker CPA prep. Busier than he was when he was in school taking 6 classes and working full-time. This isn't a bad just means that I'm throwing myself into this gym routine with a passion since it gives me something to do away from the house (so I don't accidentially distract him). It's working out pretty well for us...I am working late on the nights that he is in class, and our weekends are basically the same as they have always been. I'll be happy when he's finished with this CPA prep in July. I should look like a supermodel by then, right? Haha.

I'm also trying to figure out when to go to Charlotte to visit my family...right now it looks like the last weekend of February, but I'm not sure yet. Still trying to ascertain if everyone is going to be in town or not, and if it's a "good" weekend to leave Atlanta. I don't like to be away if my employers are away since I don't want the children with anyone but me. Call it my maternal protective instinct, it's just how it is. I trust my part-time staff, but it's one thing to have them working a few hours each day and entirely another to work 24/7 and overnight.

Friday, January 21, 2011


My friend Emily and I were having a playdate with our charges and talking yesterday morning. She had graciously brought me a cup of coffee from Starbucks as I was like the walking dead due to an absolutely AWFUL night's sleep. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I NEVER drink coffee....except in cases of dire circumstance. And staying awake to make sure the kids don't come to grievous harm qualifies.

Anyway, we were talking about how we need to go on vacation, and I said, "What about Mexico? I know a great place...." Before we knew it, the plan was hatched.... and today we booked our airline tickets and made our reservations! The airline was having a GREAT sale on fares to Cancun, and the resort was also offering 40% off their rates. I'm pretty familiar with the resort at this point and know how often they offer deals (which is not often) so we got an incredible deal. It's nice to go with someone and only have to pay my half - Ethan and I are married so there's no half between us.... I'm ELATED that I'm spending 800ish dollars for airfare AND 3 nights at this amazing gourmet all-inclusive resort. And save your breath....I'm not afraid of the drug cartels because I've been there and seen it myself - there's nothing to worry about. My grandparents (in their 70's!) went and rode around on a moped out on the roads. There are more police trucks out and about (yes, trucks, not cars) than police cars here, and NO ONE speeds. Remember: the media sensationalizes things. Sure, there have been murders. Of Mexican citizens that were working for the cartels. There are murders anywhere you go. End of story.

We'll be going from Thursday, April 28th through Sunday May 1st and are soooooo excited. The high will be 85 degrees, and April is one of the best months of the year to visit. We will be staying at the same place Ethan and I spent our 5th anniversary, but we'll be in a room with 2 double beds. I cannot wait to go to paradise again... I normally would never go on an international trip without Ethan but since we've already been there, it's fine with me. I won't be thinking "I wish Ethan could be here with me"...because he's already experienced it! I generally make it my policy not to go anywhere new with friends if he and I haven't been there together already. Obviously, work travel doesn't count.

I have the next two days off of work (sort of, since I'm babysitting a few hours tomorrow night for my Greek family...but that's so much fun I hardly even consider it work...) and I have lots of plans for my weekend! So many, in fact, that I need to get to bed so I have the energy to do them without the assistance of coffee tomorrow!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Letter to Symmes....

Dear Symmes,

A year ago today, I woke up at 4:45 AM in the morning and decided to check on you. You usually awakened around 5 AM wanting to be fed, and I thought I’d go ahead and beat you to the punch, change your diaper, and feed you while you were half asleep so you could go right back in bed. I wasn’t expecting to find you not breathing or moving. You were so very cold and your skin was gray. I couldn’t find your heartbeat either, and I thought that you were irrevocably gone. The next few minutes were surreal as I moved to perform CPR on your little body, all the while praying that you would breathe again. After what seemed like an eternity, I could finally feel your heartbeat in your chest again and hear faint wheezing. The paramedics came and we went to the hospital together. I couldn’t ride with you since they were working on warming you up and stabilizing you, so I sat in the front seat and just prayed. I prayed for you, I prayed for your parents who were trying to get back to Atlanta from New York, and I prayed for strength to make it through the day since I didn’t know what was going to happen. Never have I felt so helpless.

When we got to the hospital, I saw your feet kick up from your warming blanket and was so relieved that you were moving. You hadn’t moved at all since I had found you other than the rise and fall of your chest when you started breathing again. We went into a room, and several nurses started to work on you, inserting IV’s, drawing blood for labs, wrapping you in blankets, and asking me questions. I held your tiny hand and refused to leave your side. I wanted to be with you when you opened your eyes, because I didn’t want you to be scared since we were in a strange place with bright lights and lots of people you didn’t know. Your great grandmother came, and so did your great aunt and your grandfather. I had to leave you with them to speak to a police investigator, which is routine in cases like these. The investigator asked me a lot of questions, which I answered patiently. I just wanted to leave and get back to you and when he finally finished, I sprinted back down the hall. The nurses informed me that you were going to be moved to PICU, and I insisted on coming with them. I was not leaving your side again until your parents arrived, no matter what. The doctor in PICU was very nice, and told me that it looked like SIDS had almost claimed you, but that they would be doing more testing to try to further ascertain what had caused you to stop breathing. (We still do not have a definitive answer, just possible theories) You had awakened at last and looked very confused, and you were so hungry, but we couldn’t feed you because of the loss of blood flow to your stomach. All we could let you have was sugar water on a pacifier. I couldn’t stand watching you lying all alone on such a big hospital bed, so I told the nurses that I wanted you moved into my arms immediately. It took a little bit of work with all the wires and IV’s, but with a few extra pillows under my elbows, you were soon snuggling in my arms sucking your sugar water pacifier. You fell asleep, and I remember wondering how I was ever going to be able to put you down or let you out of my sight again. Your parents arrived shortly afterwards and were so relieved to see you and hold you. We all thought the worst was over, but two days later, you started having seizures. The doctors thought that it might be from the oxygen loss to your brain but they couldn’t be sure. The seizures caused you to lose your sight, and you couldn’t see us anymore. I spent a lot of time in the hospital rocking you and holding you. I was determined that even if your sight didn’t come back, that it wouldn’t stop you from anything. I would have done whatever it took. After 9 days in the hospital, they sent you home with your apnea monitor and on anti-seizure meds. I had to take you to the hospital quite a few times to have your blood drawn so we could see if your medication level was high enough to keep you from having seizures. You never cried when they stuck you. I always held you in my arms and you would smile when you heard my voice. We started OT and PT, and I took you to all your appointments and therapy sessions. Over time, I noticed that you were starting to see objects again by the tracking of your eyes. I gave you quite the workout every day…. 5-10 minutes of therapy every hour you were awake. You were (mostly) a good sport and did everything without fighting me. You started crawling at 5.5 months of age. Literally crawling…across a room. It was amazing to see. You “graduated” from OT at 7 months because you were no longer in need of their services. You also started walking at only 10 months of age. The day you took your first steps I cried. Knowing that you didn’t have severe cerebral palsy as a result of what happened to you was a relief. We won’t know the full effects of the oxygen deprivation for a few more years when you start learning to read and write. One of the things that you stubbornly refused to do was clap your hands. I worried about this, I lost sleep over it, and tried to figure out why you would not clap your hands. You had no problems smacking toys together. One day you were with Ethan and I, and I was snuggling with you. I asked you to clap your hands, just like I did every day, with a little demonstration….and you smiled at me, and clapped your hands for the first time. I cried again and then laughed at your stubbornness. I bet you knew how to do it all along and were secretly clapping in your crib!

You turned 1 in October, and you are now 15 months old. I love watching you grow up. You are so funny. You are mischievous and are always finding new ways to get into trouble. When you’re about to do something you know you aren’t supposed to, you sneak a quick glance my way to see if I’m watching. If I make eye contact, a sly grin grows across your face as if you think that will distract me enough to not see what you’re trying to do. It makes me laugh every time. You are so determined and when you want something you will stop at nothing to get it. This trait has served you well in your therapies! If you can’t figure something out or you need help, I hear your little voice pipe up with “Hep!”, which is your way of asking for my assistance. You are a little snuggler when you want to be, grabbing my legs, looking waaaay up and demanding in your little voice “Up!”. I love when you decide you want to be picked up to snuggle with me for a few minutes. You tuck your little head right under my chin and it feels like you belong there.

This morning when I went to get you from your crib, you stood up with a big smile, just like you always do and waved your empty bottle at me. After breakfast, we played with your brother and your sister, and I asked you for a kiss, just to see if you would give me one. You did… and that’s the first time you’ve ever responded on your own to a “Kiss?” request. Of all the days that you would choose to do that, it was the most special one you could have picked. Even though I’m not your mom, we have a special bond because of what we’ve been through and survived. You’ll never know just how much I love you, sweet baby boy.

Love always,