Lately (August Edition)

So you know how you put something off for so long that the mere thought of returning to it is more daunting than just ignoring it all together? Sadly, this has been the case with my dear blog. So much has gone on since my last post that I’ve just thrown my hands up and said, “fuhgeddaboudit.” But as always, when my husband comments on my lack of posting, it gives me a little kick in the pants. And I’ve gotten a number of those comments. So without further ado, here’s my much overdue attempt at a recap of August 2014.

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Just after my return from Nashville, the hubs and I were invited to spend the day in Louisville with our friends Rob & Amanda for the PGA Championship! Now ya’ll should know I’m not the biggest golf geek out there. But my other half,, BIG fan. Playing and watching. We even have a golf room in our house for pete’s sake! So needless to say he/we jumped on the chance to spend the day with friends and enjoy watching some grass grow.

Being the lucky souls that we are, the weather forecast was god awful. The Louisville weathermen told us there was a 100% chance of rain. And they were right.

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During the drive, I kept getting texts from Gigi (who came down to watch Emery for the day) about how beautiful it was back home. Suuuuure!

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The parking areas were a giant muddy mess after a night of rain. & since our vehicle was not really the off-roading type, we contemplated bailing and grabbing lunch downtown instead. But we decided to go for “the experience” and thankfully made it through the mud and onto the course.

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Valhalla Golf Club is absolutely beautiful, but was sadly overshadowed by the gloomy day. Amanda and I, who were rocking flip flops like true golfing spectators, were forced to walk about an inch per step due to hills + mud. We were doing all we could not to bite it.

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We had access to the Wanamaker Tent, where we had a nice lunch and beveraged up. I told the group that my goal was to see someone famous. So we walked as close as we could to the ninth hole, where we saw Rory, Bubba, and Martin Kaymer. Though we were 20 spectators deep and they were like insects to watch, I still found my famous people! Pretty cool.

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We left a lot earlier than we really wanted to and thankfully there weren’t many people trying to exit, meaning the mud wasn’t as deep as it could’ve been. Our Beamer escaped without getting stuck and 2 hours later we found ourselves back on the north side where we dined outside at one of our favorites, Divvy. All in all, a fantastic day!

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I’ve been to a couple of concerts this summer, both in August. The first was REO Speedwagon & Chicago with my Mama (the same weekend as the PGA). Such a blast. Nothing like rockin’ to the oldies while watching lots of tipsy oldies around ya!

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The next was Steve Winwood (“Valerieeeeeee, call on me!”) + Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers up in Michigan! A group of 12, a hummer limo, and boozy birthday celebrations. Hilarious and oh so fun.

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While we were in Michigan for Tom Petty, the hubs and I celebrated our sixth anniversary! It’s hard to believe,, time sure does fly. Gigi and GPop took over baby duty while we had a fabulous dinner at The Capital Grille. Such a fun night with my love.

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Running has been an adventure this past month. I started a training program put together by my friend (& recent cover model!!!!) Lindsey, which has kept me more accountable than I have been in the past. For one of our weekly long runs, Dad and I ran the Crim 10 miler, which I had ran once four years before. Though it was muggy as all get out, the temps were perfect in the low 60’s, and the distance was exactly right. Though we weren’t exactly gazelles, we conquered those horrendous hills and finished hand in hand per usual!

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One of the few downhills

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Finishers!

Nanners and popsicles FTW

Nanners and popsicles FTW

Pizza & beer at 10a? Don't mind if I do.

Pizza & beer at 10a? Don’t mind if I do.

Sadly, I’ve fallen a little off the wagon in the last couple of weeks (thanks to a lingering illness that knocked me down & around), but I’ve still got my sights set on some good times at the Freep and Monumental this fall.

A couple weeks ago, the hubs and I celebrated the wedding of our friends Rob & Erica at the barn in Zionsville. It was a gorgeous venue and a toasty summer evening with great friends! Congrats again you two!

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Now, it’s time for some Emery updates! Our little guy has had a pretty eventful month with all the travels and such. But the biggest adventure has definitely been his increase in mobility. As soon as I returned from Nashville, I was informed that he had been using his gator walker all weekend. My first thought was,, “he started walking without me??!” But since it was more of an assisted cruising, I calmed down :) But there was no doubt about it,, he was on the move!

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And not just with the walker. Kiddo was moving around everything. The couch. The ottoman. The island. The kitchen table. Anything that he could make laps around, he did.

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Walking means new kicks!

I won’t give away any secrets since this is an August recap, but as of this second week of September, he has “progressed” in the moving department if you catch my drift (check FB or IG for more hints!).

In other E news,,,

We hung out at the Gymboree Fireman & Ice Cream Party! He got to climb in and around the firetruck after a nice cup of vanilla-flavored sugar.

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Lots of trips to the park. E LOVES the swings!

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Soaking up the last of our summer days.

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Upgrading to his big boy convertible carseat! Seamless.

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Celebrating his 13th month birthday with a fancy dinner & his best bud, Dom.

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Shopping trips with Mom. Some rougher than others.

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And my favorites,, all the lazy mornings,,,

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IMG_4241 & snuggly evenings together.

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And that’s it for now! I promise I’ll be back soon(er) with the latest and greatest from this month. I swear, the more frequently I blog, the less painful it tends to be. These posts are a lot of work, but I treasure each and every one.

Have a fabulous weekend!!

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Experience: #PSNV14

I am mentally and physically still coming down from this past weekend that we aptly coined #PSNV14. An epically memorable 3-day weekend in Nashville, TN full of sunshine, running, laughter, boots, babes, & honky tonk. Care to come along for the ride?

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Since the summer of 2012, the Perfect Strangers have taken an annual girls trip. First to Vegas, then to Mexico (which I missed due to this little Event). Our resident party planner, Kelly, emailed us all a couple months ago and threw down the idea of spending a long weekend in Music City. Literally within an hour, there were 10 of us on board and the planning took off.

 

After gobs and gobs of giddy emails, departure day finally arrived! The group split in two for the 5-hour drive south, the first car (Jaime, Kelly, Meghan, Amy & Cari) leaving Thursday afternoon. I was in the second group (with Meggie, Martha Ellen & Dana), which left Indy just before 6p. This was my first weekend away from Emery, which was a little sad. But my excitement for a mini holiday plus the fact that I was leaving him in good hands overrode most of my fears and I left the house without a tear. Mama was ready for a much-deserved break!

Sunset drive

Sunset drive

With my country playlist blasting “Rain is a Good Thing” and just one break for Subway {Eat Fresh}, car #2 arrived in Nashville at 1045p. The newest Perfect Stranger, Cari, had found us a 2-bed/ 2-bath rental property on VRBO.com just minutes away from the strip. Though the quarters were a bit tight with 10 girls, 2 beds, a pullout couch and 3 air mattresses, we made it work. We didn’t plan on spending all that much time inside anyways,, esp since we had an amazing pool! Once Kristi arrived from LA, we were officially reunited!! Our first night was spent catching up with each other over light beveraging, chatter and snuggles.

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R to L: Dana, Meghan, Kristi, Kelly, Martha Ellen, Jaime, me, Cari & Amy

Friday morning we all woke early for some fitness. We figured we’d better get it in now before the debauchery took over. Amy, Meggie, Dana, Martha Ellen and I went out for a 7 mile run, while the other girls hit up a CrossFit gym. Our Nashville runsploration turned out to be less than scenic as the promenade along the Cumberland River was more of a trek through industrial zones and train stations. But true to form, we were able to find some fun photo ops on Broadway.

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By 10a, we were cleaned up and poolside, where we set up camp on ‘the peninsula.’

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We wasted very little time getting the party started.

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& the fun continued ALL afternoon. There were cannonballs, handstand contests, Jimmy John’s lunch runs, games of “a**hole,” beers, Fireball and naps in the sunshine. Nothing beats a pool day. Especially one of this caliber.

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Post pool party, we dolled up for our first night out. We tried to hit up the Whiskey Kitchen for dinner, but the 3 hour wait was not on our agenda. So we found ourselves at The Pub where we filled our bellies with southern comfort food. As a group, we often play games such as “Name your favorite Disney character,” or “Who’s in your hot tub?” This night, we played “What’s the best feature of each of your friends?” And let me tell you, this is THE BEST game. Not only does it allow you to make someone else feel good about themselves, it makes you feel so good about YOURSELF! Warm fuzzies are seriously underrated. These girls always tug on my heart strings.

10530745_10152277508085893_6172658394572265914_nAfter dinner we hopped over to the strip and immediately ducked into the world famous Tootsies for some honky tonk!! I’m a total country music lover, and this place was SO up my alley. Live bands playing both old and new school country tunes. I was in heaven, singing at the top of my lungs. We propped ourselves right below the stage, though occasionally a few of us found their way on it ;)

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The long stretch of day drinking took a few girls out earlier than expected, so us remaining girls moseyed on over to Roberts for a little dancing and an onion ring snack.

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But we weren’t done yet! We eventually found ourselves at Troubadours Karaoke Bar. And ohhhhh man. I wish I could give a true recap of what went down inside, but this {newly-appointed} southern gal never spills dirty details. Let’s just say there was plenty of singing, dancing, and one PS performance we will NEVER forget (#ivebeentouchedalot).

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There was somewhat of a “rough” trip back to the apartment (r/t some hallway antics) and we may or may not have awoken the sleeping beauties inside. But hey,, we don’t get out very often (especially us Mamas!!), so taking it easy this weekend was not part of our game plan. Sorry for the noise, gals!

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Saturday morning came very quickly and we all threw our potential workout plans out the window. Instead we went to brunch at The Row where we filled our table with lots of liquids and some tasty french toast.

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Since we had yet another beautiful sunshiny day, we made a game time decision to spend some more time at the pool. Unfortunately due to our late arrival we lost the peninsula to the “PSers + 20″ so we hung out on the side instead where we could dip in our feet. We did make it in the water long enough to perform some pretty amazing synchronized swimming routines with Meggie doing the commentary. Pretty amazing stuff, folks ;)

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After the pool, a group of us went back to Broadway where we purchased our first pairs of cowboy boots and did some daytime honky tonking at Honky Tonk Central.

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Our last night together was in celebration of the two brides-2-be, Meghan and Dana! They wore “white” while the rest of us sported LBDs.  Meg did my hair and makeup and I must say, collectively,, we were pretty smoking group.IMG_4131

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We popped over to Jackalope Brewing Company for some hops and a couple games, then to dinner at Pour House!

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We headed back to the strip after dinner, first to try and recreate the amazingness at Troubadours. Unfortunately it was much more crowded and therefore not nearly as fun. So instead we went to Legends where the live music kept us country bumping all. night. long. Again, I was all in for a good time and we most definitely had one,, and then some.

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Aaaaand scene!

Three days of fun and sun. Three nights of honky tonk. Lots of singing & dancing. Lots of beer. Lots of new country music converts (!!). New cowboy boots. & way too many new memories to count. Just an incredible weekend with 9 girls who hold a very special place in my heart. I already want to go back and most definitely can’t wait until next year. I love you girls!

 

,,, but let it be known that I shed tears of joy the second I laid eyes on this precious face.

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First Birthday Bash(es)!

Since Emery has family in both Michigan and Indiana, we figured that having first birthday parties in both states would be a good idea. This way family travel would be minimized and we could see people in both places that we may not have otherwise seen. Genius, eh?! Things ended up working out magically as a trip to Michigan in early July was already in the works due to my Dad/ husband’s annual golf tournament. After confirming and working out the details with my Mom, we picked a date, sent out invites, and got to planning his party in the mitten! IMG_7883

What initially started as a small afternoon BBQ of close family and friends turned into a much larger party of 30. But it all went perfectly. Mom and I took care of most of the preparations during the week, so by Sunday all that was left was tying up loose ends. & balloons :)

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The birthday boy looked quite dapper if I do say so myself!

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& the fixins were beauteous!

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Do ya’ll like the birthday hat banner? All those precious faces me smile so big. What did we ever do before Pinterest? And likewise, what did we ever do before E?!

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At 1p, the guests started arriving!

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Aaaand around 2p, Emery went down for a nap. He had napped earlier that morning, but since he was somewhat stressed with all the attention he was getting, down he went as soon as he started showing signs of fatigue. We figured it could only help. And help it did. While he rested, the group enjoyed their BBQ lunch so it worked out just fine. Especially since he awoke an hour later in a much better mood, though still a bit on the sensitive side.

As soon as E was emotionally stable,, everyone headed out to the deck for the main event,,,

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& instead of laughing during his birthday song,, he cried.

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Poor buddy. Once I gave him a little sample of frosting, he finally relaxed. And then he dug in. Not aggressively, just casually like a little gentleman.

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Things eventually got a little messier.

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So big!

& another little video,,

He ate about 3/4 of his smash cake! What a champ. We all joked that he wouldn’t be sleeping anytime soon, and that turned out to be the truth. After the fairly easy clean-up, we took a little “spin” on/ in Uncle Herman’s sweet ride. & AGAIN with the sensitivity!! Such an overwhelming day, buddy. Good thing you only turn one once ;)

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He did much better behind the wheel.

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Gifts were opened after everyone left, and {eventually} the smash cake sugar coma led to a wonderful night’s sleep.

Rockin' his new Tiger's jersey with Uncle Bean!

Rockin’ his new Tiger’s jersey with Uncle Bean!

Thanks for the smashing party, Gigi & GPop!!

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We headed back to Indiana on Monday afternoon and as soon as we got back, I went into full-on farm party mode! My Mom had “re-gifted” Emery an old Fisher Price farm house about 6 months ago and since he loved playing w/ it so much, I used it as inspiration for his party. I had been working on acquiring farm-y things for at least a month prior, so it was mostly last minute stuff that needed to be taken care of. Food, beverages, knick knacks. My in-laws, brother and parents all came into town before the party to help with setup, which was a huge help. Mama has never had nearly 50 people in her home so the stress level was a tad high!

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Party day arrived, and we had a B E A dutiful day! The outside setup,,,

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Cornhole, ladder golf, & horseshoes!

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& the inside!

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Farmhouse cake & animal cupcakes by Crumbles Creations!! {thank you, Traci!!!!}

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Drink station. Not pictured: blackberry plum mojitos

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The faces return! ;)

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I pretty much failed at taking pictures of our guests. Such is the life of a hostess! Here are a couple that I did snag.

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PSers Amy, Jaime, & Martha Ellen + E, Luke & Jacob!

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The adorable Mackenzie

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J & L

Ang & Dominic!

Ang & Dominic!

I had an adorable custom ‘ONE’ tshirt made for E (from Etsy), yet never snagged a picture of him wearing it. Another mom fail. Although I definitely don’t mind the bandana he’s sporting. & those boots!!!! My perfect little cowboy.

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After lunch was served, it was time for cake! Emery was much more relaxed during this party compared with the last, thank goodness. And despite my hopes that he would go crazy on his smash cake, no dice.

 

No tears, all business this time around.

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Emery went down for a nap AFTER the cake this time around, which was nice because he got to spend time with all of his visitors before they left. When he awoke, Gigi and I went for a little walk around the neighborhood on his new trike from his other Grandparents!

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And when he finally hit the hay around 9p, party season was officially a wrap! Turns out, once you survive one, you can survive them all!

What a fabulous couple of weeks. Though there was certainly some stress leading up to each party, every nerve was worth it to be able to have such memorable days with our family and friends. And though all of it was in celebration of Emery, I’m pretty sure he has already forgotten about it ;) Ah well. We don’t need to do it up big every year from here on out. But I’m so glad we went this route for birthday #1!

Thank you SO SO SO SO SO much to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to attend either party {or both!}. It meant the world to have ya’ll celebrate our little boy’s big day with us!! We love you!

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ONE

Dear Emery,

 

Through ups and downs, sadness and fun, it’s SO exciting to say,,, you are finally ONE!!!

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As I sit down to write this, I’m realizing that for the first time all year, I didn’t get out your monthly sticker and take your official 12 month pictures. I guess it had something to do with the awesome festivities that took place to celebrate your big day that got me distracted! Not to mention “awesome” just barely scratches the surface of this past weekend. And Mama will talk about them soon enough. But this letter is all about you and your very first year of life. Yay!!

PS,, those pictures WILL still be taken ;)

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Oh, my darling boy. I just can’t believe you’re a year old already. Where has the time gone?! Your mama spent so many days leading up to July 21st just reliving the moments last year when we were SO anxiously waiting for your arrival. Those long walks in the park, cleaning, preparing, eating crazy things to get labor started,,, It feels like just yesterday I was writing you this letter just as we were admitted to the hospital. To think we still had no idea if you were a boy or a girl! You took your sweet time coming into the world and ended up arriving 5 days after you were supposed to. And you were loved on so hard from the start. And to this day, that love has not wavered. In fact, it’s grown stronger each and every day. How could it not? You have turned into the most amazing little boy before our very eyes. Strong-willed, smart, handsome, curious, funny, lovable, squeezable, kissable, you. We couldn’t ask for anything more.

Photo courtesy of Holly Bullock Photography

Photo courtesy of Holly Bullock Photography

So! This month has been fun. From our latest trip to Michigan, to all the fun summer activities (biking, swimming, lunching), and not to mention all the party planning (!), we’ve certainly been keeping busy this month. But not too busy to watch you continue to grow. You’re on the move constantly. Crawling, pulling, climbing. You don’t like sitting still much anymore, which is great because you’re out exploring the world. But it’s also sad for Daddy and I because we’re losing that snuggly boy we loved so much. When it’s time to go to sleep (nap or bedtime), you lay your head on Mo the Monkey for just a few seconds in our arms, but quickly start squirming, so we lay you down and your crib where you put yourself to sleep. Sometimes it can take 45 minutes, other times it takes only seconds. But you almost always get there by yourself, which makes us very proud. You’re still sleeping up to 12 hours a night and always wake up quietly and happy :) Such a good boy.

You & Mo

You & Mo

You’re also a great player! With all the new toys you’ve received for your birthday, your playroom is certainly filling up. And you’re loving ALL of them. Especially the musical ones. You’ve turned into quite the lil dancer, bopping and swaying at the first sounds of music. It’s pretty adorable and the best part is it makes you smile so big. Nothing beats the sheer pleasure that comes from watching you do the simplest things. You’re very content playing on your own most of the time, but you sure do love company. Always observant when kids (& adults) are on the scene. God willing you’ll have your very own friend to play with someday ;)

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You’re still a big eater and will take snacks at any time of the day. You’re also still nursing (!) once a day. It’s hard to believe we’ve been going strong for a whole year. You’re definitely a chunky BF baby!

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If I had to summarize you in one word at one year old, it would be “unstoppable.” Sure I could’ve chosen the obvious “adorable” or “awesome,” but the prior describes you now and what I see from you in the future. And it makes me smile knowing that you will be exactly what the world needs someday. I mean, you’re exactly what your Daddy I needed, so it just fits :)

This last year has been quite the adventure for your Mama. Though initially she never regretted her decision to stay home with you, there were definitely times when she thought she wasn’t cut out for it. It hasn’t always been a walk in the park. But as time went on, and we became more of a “unit,” things got better. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else and wish everyone could have the type of incredible experience she’s had. Though you are more special than most, E (just your Mama talking)!

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One Year Stats:

  • Weight: 24 lbs 2 oz (up from 18 lbs 8 oz at 9 months!! Nothing like jumping from 18th –> 70th %ile in 3 months!!)
  • Height: 30″ (from 28.5″, 58th %ile)
  • Head circ: 18.5″ (from 17.5″, 69th %ile)
  • You’re still sporting size 12-18 month clothes comfortably.

Milestones/ Firsts:

    • Clapping (you just woke up one day and started doing it!)

    • Babbling TONS. Your favorite phrase, “Ladi Dadi.” (just like Snoop Dogg :))
    • Climbing stairs.
    • Cruising the hallways.

  • First Fourth of July fireworks & bounce house!
  • First bike ride in your new Thule bike trailer!
  • First tornado warning and subsequent trip to the basement “bomb shelter.” Didn’t phase you much, as you can see.

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  • First time meeting the Dalai Lama ;)

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  • First black eye, shortly followed by your second.

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  • “SO big!”

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    • “Who’s ____’s best buddy?” (you tap your chest as to say, ‘me!’)
    • Peek-A-Boo

  • Words: Dada, Ah (for Allie), and the occasional Mama (though she hasn’t heard it loud and clear yet!)
  • Things you understand: “No,” “buh-uh,” and “bottle.”
  • Holding your bottle and sippy cup all by yourself!

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Things You Like:

    • Playing with your sock basket and whipping them across the room.
    • Hanging with your grandparents.

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    • My iPhone.

  • When Mommy makes crazy noises, like snorting. You love that one.
  • Putting the lid on your bottle when you’re “all done!”
  • Eating finger foods. New foods this month include mushrooms, peaches, oranges, and solid green beans. I can’t even remember the last time you ate off a spoon!

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  • Babysitters! You spent some time with Lora in Michigan while Mom & Dad had a date and had Dominic and Angie over while Mom & Dad were getting haircuts. You’ve been very well behaved for everyone who’s watched you so far, which is fantastic.
E&D, Hoosier twinsies

E&D, Hoosier twinsies

Things You Don’t Like:

  • Being sick. You had another bout of congestion this month, which Mom thinks was a little cold virus.
  • You still hate being wiped down after meals.
  • Diaper changes are still a challenge, but if you’ve got something in your hands to keep you occupied, you do fine.
  • Bathtime at Gigi & GPop’s. You screamed bloody murder every single time we tried bathing you in Michigan, which was crazy because you had taken tons of baths in there before!! Once we got back home, you were fine in your normal tub. So weird!

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Places We’ve Been This Month:

  • Fort Wayne to celebrate your cousin’s birthday.
  • Michigan.

Exciting Upcoming Events:

  • More summer fun!

Things Mommy is Looking Forward To:

  • Training for her upcoming half marathons.
  • Tom Petty concert.
  • 6th wedding anniversary!
  • Continuing to decorate the new house!

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Last Month:

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This Month:

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Emery James,, happy, happy first birthday to you. May every year that follows be as beautiful as this one. Thank you for blessing our lives so sweetly. We can’t wait to read you these letters someday soon. WE LOVE YOU!!!

Love always,

Mommy (& Daddy!)

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Holidays & Happenings!

Hi hi! Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I actually had a momentary freak out a week or so ago when I couldn’t log in to my blog and there were warnings and a lot of gibberish on the top of the page. After lots and lots of emails and quite a few tears, my internet baby was finally restored mostly unscathed. So although things don’t look quite like they used to, at least it’s up and running, thank goodness. And in order to turn a negative into a positive, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to give my blog a much needed refresh. Hopefully nothing scary like that ever happens again!!

So, as the title suggests, a lot has been happening over the last few weeks! Nothing earth shattering, but lots of littles. We have totally been loving on these summer days. The weather in Indy has been pretty darn great (with the exception of the occasional rainy day) so E & I have logged lots of pool time at the clubhouse. We also had a pool playdate at his friend Callie’s house, which was nothing short of adorable.

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My little shark bite!

Emery and his pal Dominic have spent lots of time together too. Whether it’s at the pool, at lunch, or at the park, they’re always having fun together. A couple of knuckleheads, just like their daddies! ;)

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Popsicle time

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Swingin

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IMG_3543 The days that we do stick around the homestead are usually pretty standard, but full of playtime. Now that someone is a speed demon on all fours, this Mama has {finally} had to start baby proofing. After a very extended trip to Buy Buy Baby a few weeks ago (oh, the joys of being indecisive), we came home with our first baby gate, some rubber bumpers for the fireplace and lots of cabinet locks. The goods were installed during afternoon nap time and E awoke to some much needed boundaries.

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Thankfully I didn’t meet much resistance from my buddy {tantrums don’t start til much later in life, right??}. In fact, E had lots of fun playing with his sissy through the bars!

I’m sure once he transitions from four legs to two, many more gates will be installed. But for now, the minimalist approach is working just fine.

Lately I’ve been a little more productive at getting the house furnished. Nothing like taking 6 and a half months to get motivated, huh? We finally got rid of our old rotted college couch and replaced it with a fantastic navy chaise sectional. I bought an outdoor rug and dining set for our veranda. And our living room and foyer rugs are being delivered tomorrow. I still struggle with decorating our walls. Partly because a lot of what I already have doesn’t go with our new decor, but also because I’m afraid of punching holes in my walls before I have the furniture placed. It’s a work in progress, and there’s still SO much to be done, but at least it’s moving in the right direction.

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Our back porch

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Pictures awaiting their playroom placement

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Breaking it in!

Can you believe the Fourth of July was nearly two weeks ago already?! Slow down summer. Anyway, it was Emery’s first, so I wanted to make it somewhat memorable for him. I started our day by whipping up my best version of a patriotic breakfast, which sadly didn’t get much appreciation from it’s recipient.

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He gobbled every last bit of it up though, don’t kid yourself. That boy is a machine.

After a little morning playtime, it was morning nap time. And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as E fell asleep, down came the neighborhood parade!! Led {loudly} by a local firetruck and an EMT, who weren’t the least bit shy about blaring their horns. Yay, America! So even though nap time was cut quite a bit short, E got to watch his very first parade right outside our front door.

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Mama got in a nice run later in the day,,

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,, & whipped up an American classic during E’s afternoon nap!

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We then headed over to our friend’s house for a BBQ and some {kid-friendly} fireworks. We also spent some time in the bounce house, which Emery LOVED.

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We kept Emery up much later than normal, so needless to say he took a nice coma on the ride home. After he was snug as a bug in his crib, the hubs and I retreated to our fire pit to watch the fireworks with a glass of wine under the big bright moon.

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A great fourth!!

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What else?? I’ve been trying to get myself back on the running train lately, which has been going fairly well so far. I bought myself a new pair of kicks a week ago and am in the process of getting a fall training schedule in place, both of which will hopefully keep me in line. With a couple races on the horizon, it’s time to get serious again. I miss having running as a constant in my life.

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And when I’m not running, you can find me on my bike! The whole family stocked up on bike gear this summer and now there are no excuses not to get out there on those hot summer nights. Plus it’s a great way to get in some cross training. I mean,, just check out E’s new ride,,,

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We spent last week in Michigan yet again! It was my Dad’s annual golf invitational and the hubs was his partner. Some happenings included:

E’s first black eye.

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“SO big!”

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The Wienermobile!

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Date night at the Invitational.

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A little driveway cruising.

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While the men slaved away on the course all week, Mom, E & I spent lots of time together, mostly getting things in order for his first 1st birthday celebration. It was a small(ish) gathering at my parents, which I will recap in more detail later. But here’s a little teaser :)

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I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that a year ago I looked a little like this,,

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& now I have a little nugget who’s on the verge of driving.

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Well, maybe not. But he’s still pretty darn fantastic. And it’s safe to say this has been the best year of my life so far.

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And those are the latest haps! Til next time,,,

xo!