My Sweet Seala

She was my first friend when I moved to a new city on my own.
She was affectionately referred to as Pan Face, Smush Face, and occasionaly Mr. Bigglesworth. Her real name was Seala.
She was the best snuggle buddy when the Midwest winters were brutal.
Most days she would greet me at the door when I came home from work.
She got along with Drake surprisingly well.
She moved half way across the country with me, and took her sweet time adjusting.
She loved up on my very pregnant belly, and it was about the sweetest thing ever.
Her favorite spot to lounge was in the rocking chair. I love that she loved that spot.
She tolerated taunted Marcus, letting him get just within reach, and then would dart off before he could grab her.
She was the reason one of Marcus' first words was "yiee yiee." In Marcus tongue that roughly translates to "kitty."
She was a little sassy-pants, and I loved that about her.
Wednesday night we made an unexpected visit to an ER vet clinic. My poor little Seala was a very sick kitty, and I had no idea.

A gamut of tests and X-rays were run and I knew there was only one humane thing to do.

That night I walked out of the vet clinic without my little girl. And, my heart still breaks.


Easter Basket Blog Hippty Hops

Last year Marcus was all of 5 weeks old when Easter rolled around. He received an Easter basket, but let's be real, kid had NO IDEA what was going on. I'm pretty sure he slept through most of the day.

This year is a different story. While Marcus will probably still not have a clue what's going on with the whole Easter basket business it will be fun to watch him tear into it.

With all that said, I'm joining Sarah at Our Journey, and Darci over at [the good life blog] for a couple Easter basket blog hops!
Here's what we've got going on this year for our little monkey.
1. The Story of Peter Rabbit, book 2. Hoppity Hop Peekaboo, book 3. Sidewalk chalk eggs 4. Plush bunny 5. Chocolate cross 6. Lighted bouncy ball 7. Easter eggs filled with Starburst jelly beans 8. Reece's Pieces "carrot" 9. Bunny sippy cup
What are the odds I selected the candy with Scott and me in mind? Pretty good.

What's in your Easter basket? Head over to Our Journey and [the good life blogto join in the fun!


Birthday Gift and an AMAZING Giveaway!

Yesterday there was talk of posting a few recipes from the big birthday bash. That will come, all in due time.

Right now I have to show you the cutest jackets Marcus received for his birthday from my mom. I'm talking A-FREAKING-DORABLE!
Representing my Alma mater. Go Cyclones! 
Look at that little man, strutting his stuff. Someone obviously enjoys his awesome new jacket.

Put Marcus in something he doesn't like, or a team that isn't his favorite, and you get THIS:
Clearly the ISU jacket is his favorite.
I kid, I kid. (Kind of.)
All better.
Here's a closer look at the detail in these amazing jackets.
Each jacket was customized to fit Marcus' (and our) likes to the "t."
From his monogrammed first name on the front, to the last name monogrammed on the hood, to the differences in the sleeves, to the lining, each is unique and beautiful! These will certainly get LOTS of wear.
I have to brag a bit, my mom in an amazing seamstress. She made my senior prom dress, and besides my wedding dress, that prom dress is the most gorgeous thing hanging in my closet. 

I digress. Back to the topic at hand.

Take a quick peak at a few other jackets she's made in the past:
She's made so many, I had a hard time picking out just a handful to share. 
For the sake of privacy, I did blur out the full names on the jackets. But each is too flipping cute for words.

So what's all the hub bub about these jackets? Well, we want to share one of these with you! One lucky winner will get a customized infant/toddler/child jacket! 

I totally get that Spring is here, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare for next Fall/Winter!

Just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below to get your name in the drawing.

Just a few housekeeping rules before you enter:
1) You must be a US resident.
2) You must be 18 years or older to enter.
3) Please note, not all collegiate or professional teams release rights to their logos, and fabrics may not be available. 
4) The winner does not have to have first and/or last name embroidered on the jacket.
5) The winner may choose between infant, toddler, and children's sizes only.
6) The winner may be asked to provide measurements for a more accurate fitting jacket.
7) Please allow 10-14 business days for customization and shipping. 
8) Contest begins Wednesday, March 27 and ends Sunday, April 7.
9) Participants may enter multiple times every day the raffle is open.
10) The winner will be announced Monday, April 8.
11) The winner has 48 hours to claim his/her prize. 
12) If the winner does not claim his/her prize within the 48 hours the winner forfeits the prize and a second winner will  be drawn. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


One Big Bash

The big day came and went. So much time was put forth planning, organizing, and it all came together so well. Marcus won't may not remember his big bash, but I sure will.

Just a heads up, this post is photo heavy, so I'll try to keep the text to a minimum. Most of the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.
A huge thanks goes out to my mom for making Marcus' whole birthday outfit!
The main table.
A million and one thanks and compliments to my mother-in-law who made Marcus' cake. It was everything I had hoped for.
I'll be posting a how-to on the polka dots coming up.
A little close up of the main table.
Stay tuned for a post on the Red Velvet Monkey Mix.
Close up #2.
The kids at the party were so much fun to watch as they interacted.
Smash cake... FAIL.
I suppose if 27 sets of eyes were staring me down as I attempted to eat my cake I'd be a little less than thrilled. 
Most of the damage was done by me, trying to get Marcus to take a bite and/or destroy the cake. No such luck.
Later, after everyone had parted, Marcus had a second round with his cake and seemed to throughly enjoy it then.
The "real" food.
I'll be posting on the cheesecake stuffed strawberries soon.
After an exciting birthday all my little man wanted to do was snuggle and watch his baby video. I was more than happy to oblige. 
We are so blessed to have been able to spend such an important day with so many friends and family. Somehow we managed to pack 27 people into our humble abode. To everyone who celebrated with us, thank you so much! It means the world to us that so many joined in on our little guy's special day.

And, with the blink of an eye it was over. Just like with the blink of an eye my baby had somehow turned a year old...  


Happy Marcus Monday!

Month by month of our little man in the last year.
It's so crazy how he transformed and changed right before our eyes.
Happy Monday!


12 Months Old - Happy Birthday to Our Chunky Monkey!

To my sweet baby boy,

As I type this, tears stream down my face. Today is such a bittersweet day for me. 

I remember the first sound you made when you entered this world. The sweetest sound I'd ever heard. I didn't think life could get any better. But, with each day you bring us another surprise, another smile, another giggle, another moment that I want to hang onto forever. 

This year has gone much too quickly. You've grown much too fast. I want to freeze time and keep you my baby boy forever. 

My heart aches with all this love I have for you. I've never known anything like it. I can't imagine life without you. I don't remember life before you. 

When you arrived I thought of all the things I couldn't wait to teach you. In reality, it is you who is teaching me. To see the world through your eyes is breathtaking, and wonderful, and amazing. You've shown me so much.

Marcus, you have brought us so much joy, it is indescribable. I can't begin to express all the emotions that have flooded through me over the past year. But, the one thing I want you to know, without a doubt:

You are loved more than you will ever know.

Happy 1st Birthday!
Unofficial Stats
Height: 32ish inches(95th percentile)
Weight: 26 pounds (94th percentile)
Teeth: 11 
Those feet- HAHA!
To our Chunky Monkey, we love you to the moon and back.


A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I was bursting with excitement, and bursting at the seams (literally). I was anxiously counting down the hours, minutes, seconds until we would head to the hospital to meet our chunky monkey.

A year ago today I was HUGE!
The night before delivery. WOAH BELLY!
A year ago today I thought I knew how much our lives would change. I had no idea... 



Someone went on his first bike ride...
 Don't let that grumpy face fool you. He was dealing with croup and we didn't know it at this point. According to Scott, Marcus didn't make a peep the whole bike ride.
See ya' later! 


Beach Park Photos

I mentioned Monday we took some pictures... Here they are! Marcus' 1-year pics, along with some family pics we snuck in. 
We tried to put shoes on him, only to realize I'd grabbed two different shoes. Whoops. So shoeless we went!

The park where most of the pictures were captured was adjacent to the beach. However, by the time we made our way to the water someone had lost all interest in flashing his dimpled little grin.  Our photographer managed to grab this one, and it just might be my favorite of the day.

If you missed yesterday's Marcus Monday go check it out. It was blatantly clear when the little guy had had enough of our photo session.


Go Check it Out

Yesterday I mentioned on of my favorite bloggers, Laura, over at Mice in the Kitchen. She was so sweet and asked me to guest post. Head on over to Laura's blog to read about bath time, boys, and penises. Yep, I went there.

When you swing by be sure to enter the Sock Monkey Hat giveaway if you haven't already done so.

Happy Marcus Monday and Mice in the Kitchen!

A little preview of Marcus' 1-year photo shoot. Someone was OBVIOUSLY over it. 
Can you spot the single crocodile tear?
In other news, one of my favorite bloggers, Laura over at Mice in the Kitchen, is hosting a giveaway right now. Remember this hat?
Just head over to Mice in the Kitchen to enter to win!

Happy Monday!


Bloglovin' Bandwagon

Geesh, all this talk of Google Reader kicking the can is really causing quite the stir in the blogospher. I don't use Google Reader, so I don't really know what all the fuss is about. But,  I don't want my blog to vanish because I didn't jump on the Bloglovin' Bandwagon.

With that said, follow me on Bloglovin. Apparently it's what everyone is doing these days. Simply click on the link below and you're hooked up.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This little leprechaun is wishing everyone a Happy St. Patty's Day!
Kiss Me I'm Iowaish


Croup?... Crap.

There has been a persistent, nagging cough coming from the little man for a few days. The cough has been accompanied by a non-stop snot-rocket nose faucet. Yesterday that cough turned monstrous. I thought the kid might lose a lung based on the bronchial vibrations. It didn't sound good. To the doctor we headed (I swear we see our pediatrician every single month).

In my head I was rattling off all things this could be. RSV? Please not RSV. Once was enough with that battle. Pneumonia? What if it's worse?

Of course I was way off mark. Marcus has a cold. A cold with a very bad cough. Also known as croup. Crap. Though the cough is fierce (it sounds like he swallowed a barking seal) essentially all we're really dealing with is a cold. Again. Ugh.
Little man sure hasn't slowed down much. Marcus has also opted out of clothes. Whatever works.
Oh, and did I mention we're having a big ol' birthday party next weekend? This croup business better beat it by then!

If there's a silver lining in all this it's the fact that Marcus and I have been enjoying more snuggles than normal.
AND, we get to bust out the Nosefrida for more frequent usage. Yay for awesome snot suckers. :)
Remember this awesome gem?!


The Number IS Important

Yesterday was a big day for me, and I didn't even realize it until after I'd had half a pot of coffee, changed two diapers, and fed a toddler breakfast.

I've mentioned my struggle with post-baby weight {you can read about that here}, and recently I wrote about finding my way back to running {which you can read all about here}.

As of late I've been working pretty hard to get back into shape. There's a half marathon with my name on it, and that's happening in 45 days - EEK! Along with running, Shawn T and Insanity have been consistently kicking my butt.

I'm not sure what it was, but something compelled me to step on the scale. *dun dun dun*
I never talk about "the number". It's incredibly personal and I just can't put that number out there. While I'm not here to announce "my number" I will tell you I was pleasantly surprised at the number that was staring back at me as I looked down. The last time I saw a number like that was July 2012. YAY!

During my pregnancy I gained... well... A LOT. I lost about 20 pounds in the delivery room (I'm not kidding). The rest of that baby weight has been a real fight to lose. Every single pound lost has been so.much.work.

Stepping off the scale has never felt so good. Excitedly, I told Scott about my achievement. Being the guy he is, he told me that the number on the scale isn't what is important. What is important is the way you feel, how healthy you are, yada yada yada. All that jazz is stuff only guys can honestly say they believe. Have I ever mentioned my husband is a workout fool? A CrossFit fanatic? Has the metabolism of a 16-year old? That the man wants to gain weight?! Ugh.

I quickly shot back that for women the number on the scale IS important. That number reflects our willpower to turn down a favorite snack, our hard work (sometimes just finding time to get a workout in is monumental), our determination, our efforts to better ourselves.  I continued that being healthy and feeling healthy more often than not go hand-in-hand with the number on the scale.

Shortly after Scott left for work I received this text:

Though he might not fully understand how important that number is he does understand how much I appreciate all his encouragement. I don't tell him enough how much his words mean to me, or how much he motivates me. Scott, if you're reading, thank you, and I love you.

Ok ladies, I would like to know, do you agree? Is that number important to you? Or is it just me on this one?


Not Fruit Punch Punch

I'm deep in the throws of planning Marcus' birthday. For the most part I feel like I'm pretty set with everything, except the drinks. This is a party for a 1-year old, so "adult" beverages aren't too high on my list. A big glass of boozy punch does sound mighty tasty, but with munchkins running around, probably not a great idea.

Fruit punch is about the last thing I want to serve. I can't stand the stuff. Just thinking about it kind of gives me the willies. Gross. Lucky for me, my mom made a punch for my high school graduation that was kind of amazing. If I had to guess, I probably had 481 glasses of it at my open house. Ah, to have the metabolism of an 18-year old.

I digress...

Marcus' birthday colors are red and brown, so I had to make some changes. Let me tell you, my version of the punch is just as fan-freakin-tastic as the original.

Not Fruit Punch Punch
1 can raspberry lemonade frozen concentrate
1 - 2 liter Ginger ale
1 - 1/2 gallon raspberry sherbet
I plan to use some red food coloring to assist in a redder color
Ice cubes as needed to keep cool

Combine all ingredients in a large container and mix well.
The lemonade gives the punch a nice little tang, keeping the flavor from getting too sweet with the abundance of raspberry. I love this stuff. Love, love, love it.

Next time you're in need of a punch that isn't fruit punch give this one a go and get back to me on how many glasses you downed!