Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My new mantra

My word for 2014 was "simplify."  And I think I accomplished that in many ways - and I could have done better at times, but I think I did pretty well overall.

For 2015, I am not making goals or resolutions.  That's not really my thing.  I'm also not really choosing a word so much as I'm choosing a phrase.  I know we're all sooooo sick of the Frozen craze, but I can't help it - my mantra is going to be "Let It Go."  And now you all have that song stuck in your heads and I'm so very sorry.

I realize that song is about Elsa discovering her power and choosing to let it out - but there are various lyrics in that song that I feel sort of apply to my life at the moment.  

"Let it go, let it go, can't hold it in anymore.  Let it go, let it go, 
turn away and slam the door."  

I've alluded to something on the blog a few times this year about a relationship I've been struggling with this year.  I wouldn't say that this person is all to blame for what took place between us, I take some responsibility too - but in the end,  I've been hurt, I've been sad for what we've lost and it's really been difficult to get over it.  Just when I think I'm there something happens and I'm back where I was.  And I'm tired of it.  I just want to let it go and move on.  

"I don't care, what they're going to say, let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway" (metaphorically anyway - real cold sure does, lol)

And that brings me back to what I said on my birthday - the biggest gift I gave myself this year was self acceptance.  And that means I need to stop worrying about what others think of me.  I am happy with myself, I am happy with where I am and that should be all that matters.  I have a husband and a son who love me. I have supportive family and friends and that is where I need to focus my energy.  I don't need to waste time on people who just want to bring me down.  

"And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast, I'm never going back, the past is in the past."

I realize it sounds like this one issue I dealt with was all consuming this year.  It wasn't.  You saw in my year in review yesterday that I had a great year overall.  I want to just look back on the good moments and put the yucky ones behind me.  The past is in the past. We're moving on.

"Let it go, let it go, and I'll rise with the break of dawn.  Let it go, let it go.  That perfect girl is gone.  Here I stand, in the light of day.  Let the storm rage on.  The cold never bothered me anyway."

I'm rising above it.  I'm letting it go.  I also know I'm not perfect.  I am also a woman - thank you hormones - there may still be moments that I might get drug back down, but I'm going to try to repeat my mantra - let it go.  Let the storm rage on.  I won't let the cold bother me this time.

I wish you all a wonderful and peace filled New Year and I wish everyone only good things in 2015! I know I am excited for things to come! I have said it a lot these last couple of weeks, but thank you again for coming here, sharing in my world, reading my crazy rambles and thoughts.  I appreciate every single one of you!
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Recap

I'm ready to start looking ahead to 2015 and will have some thoughts and reflections on that soon, but first, can't finish out the year without looking back a little bit.  I thought I'd look back on the year and link to some of my favorite posts I've written.

January - I was home on maternity leave still and enjoying my days cuddling my then one month old Oliver.  I attempted my first re-brand attempt on the blog (changing from The Fashionable Adventures of Bethie the Boo to The Melodic Stylings of Bethie the Boo and realized that was still too long of a name!) as part of my word of the year: Simplify.  I wrote some posts about breastfeeding as that was something I was doing A LOT at that time! We attended Winterfest as one of our first date nights out as parents.

February - I went back to work and it was hard.  The month passed by in a bit of a blur honestly.  We discovered Oliver had a non-life threatening condition with a scary sounding name called laryngomalacia (immature larynx).  We somehow survived that first month and got into a groove though and every day things got easier.  Nate spoiled me with a delightful Valentine's Day at home.  We finished out the month with Oliver's baptism.

March - We really found our groove in our weekly schedule.  Oliver decided to start exhibiting teething symptoms early.  I ended up buying my parents car when my beloved CRV decided to bite the dust.  The weather finally started to thaw and we bought a great outdoor stroller for Oliver and started taking him on walks when we could and discovered he loves to be outside.  We took him to the zoo for the first time as well.

April - Winter hung on for just a bit longer, but finally headed out for good by Easter weekend.  We celebrated Oliver's first Easter.  I somehow managed to complete a 5k with my sister-in-law after not running for over a year.  We attended a benefit at a brewery held by some good friends who are the ambassador family for the March of Dimes.  I shared some reflections on how I felt a year prior when I learned I was expecting Oliver.  We enjoyed finally getting to eat outside at some outdoor patios and went on plenty of walks.

May - Spring was definitely here to stay.  I finally got to visit Target Field when I received free Twins tickets from my work.  I celebrated my first Mother's Day (well first Mother's Day with Oliver on this side) and was spoiled greatly by my sweet husband.  We celebrated eight wonderful years of marriage.  I hooked up with the Thrift Style Thursday gals and had a lot of fun with the various themes for the rest of the year. (PS - Thrift Style Thursday is returning very soon, can't wait!)

June - Oliver turned six months old and we took his very first vacation to St. Louis, MO to visit Nate's grandmother and other relatives there.  We had a great time!  I survived single parenthood for several days when we returned while Nate went on a business trip.  I set out on a "No Shop Summer" in an attempt to try to save money to maybe go part time at work - sadly that didn't work out but it was still a good exercise for me and one I plan to repeat soon.  I attended my ten year college reunion and had a blast spending the day with three of my sorority sisters.  We went to my cousin's wedding and it was a ton of fun.  Finally, I re-branded the blog again and was much happier with the result. 

July - We celebrated Oliver's first 4th of July with a picnic with my parents and also with some friends.  We took advantage of being outside pretty much every opportunity we could.  We went away for a weekend to a cabin with our music group. We left Oliver for an overnight with his grandparents and trekked up to Duluth for the All Pints North beer festival.

August - More summer fun.  Nate brewed some beer to start getting ahead for our annual Oktoberfest.  We had a visit from our St. Louis relatives and enjoyed showing them around our city, including a taproom crawl.  We went to the MN State Fair for Ollie's first visit there.

September - We started really getting into Disc Golfing after discovering how much we enjoyed it while Nate's relatives were visiting.  We went and did apple picking.  We visited a couple of wineries. And we wrapped up the month with the third beer festival from our beer pack - the Autumn Brew Review.

October - We went to a friend's beautiful (though chilly) outdoor wedding.  Nate and I had a chance to do a distillery tasting.  We celebrated a super fun Oktoberfest with our friends.  Oliver had his first really bad cold with fever but thankfully it was short lived.  I had a disastrous job interview (I didn't say much about it at the time) but have realized I'm better off where I currently am.  I drown my sorrows of that disaster in some shopping with the lovely ladies of two birds.  I also had a chance to meet the fabulous Ally when she visited from New York.  We celebrated Oliver's first Halloween with a fun family theme of costumes.

November - We managed to disc golf one more time before the weather turned - and holy did it turn fast.  It snowed and got very cold very quickly.  It was sad to suddenly give up our walking outside with Oliver every night!  We found other ways to entertain ourselves - we visited the Science Museum and the Children's Museum.  We celebrated mine and Nate's birthdays and also Thanksgiving.  Ollie got his first haircut from daddy.  I wrote some posts that were difficult to share but I felt a great deal of support on - about Oliver's sleep habits and also about our one and done status on having children.

December - And that brings us to this last month.  It was a big one in that we celebrated Oliver's first birthday - both with a day off as a family and then with a big birthday party. We found out Oliver has a milk allergy. We celebrated his second Christmas.  But in the midst of all that of course we were hit with the big sickness too, so it feels like the month just flew by.  I'm so happy we're ending the month in better health!

Overall it was a great year.  We found our way as parents.  We managed to do a lot of fun things - both as a family and as a couple.  We've curved out a pretty nice little life as a family of three and I feel very blessed, happy and full of love.  That being said, I am looking forward to what 2015 has in store for us as well.  I'll have more reflections on looking ahead tomorrow!  Until then, cheers to 2014 and thanks for being here with me this year!
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Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Recap (AKA Picture Overload)

Hello friends!  Did you all have a nice Christmas?  We did, though it ended up much different than we were originally planning.  I thought I'd recap it all today - warning - it's going to be picture overload!

So the best gift of all was waking up on Christmas Eve morning to this smiling face and having him pretty much be back at 100% health wise.  He started finally eating well again on Christmas Eve and we were just so thankful.

Unfortunately, Nate's parents were both down with nasty bugs, so we got a call from them early in the day that they felt it was in our best interest to cancel our annual Christmas Eve dinner and celebration with them so that they could rest and get better and not re-expose Oliver to any germs. So we found ourselves suddenly having no plans on Christmas Eve, but we made the most of it.  We had lunch out at a Mexican restaurant with Ollie after Nate got home from work.  We picked up some fixings to make up a few snacks to nosh on for dinner and invited Nate's sister and her boyfriend over for a drink.  We ended up having a lovely evening with wine, snacks, the Yule Log on TV, a happily sleeping baby and some Cards Against Humanity played.  Not our usual celebration, but honestly, I kind of enjoyed it, it was pretty dang relaxing!

Christmas morning came and of course Santa had come to our house.  Oliver absolutely loves his new play kitchen that we bought him.  We didn't try to wrap it, we set it up after he went to bed and just brought him out to see it first thing on Christmas morning.  He crawled right over and started banging away on it immediately.  He knew it was just for him and he loved it.

After his morning nap we headed to my parents for lunch and to open gifts with them.  Oliver made out like a bandit, he has lots of fun new toys to play with when he goes to Grandma Daycare now! We headed back home after a couple of hours so Ollie could take another nap.  We were supposed to have a celebration with Nate's extended family late in the afternoon, but once again, sickness caused plans to be delayed.  So, we had a nice low key afternoon and evening at home.  Nate made us some pork chops and delicious broccoli for dinner and we kept our normal evening routine of watching a couple of shows and getting to bed at a reasonable time since Nate still had to work on Friday morning.

I was lucky enough to be off of work on Friday and it was so nice to be home with Oliver when neither of us were sick for a change!  We went to Stride Rite to get him his first good pair of shoes, we're hoping this will help encourage him to try walking some more.  After we got home, Nate called and said he was getting off work early and wanted to know if we wanted to meet him for lunch.  So we met up at our favorite restaurant.

The rest of Friday was pretty low key again, we watched movies and chilled at home.  Saturday we decided Ollie was getting a little stir crazy and decided to take him back over to the Children's Museum for a little while.  I was a little hesitant since we just got him over this nasty virus and worried a little about him picking up more germs, but then I realized, we can't keep him in a bubble either.  And he had so much fun, we pretty much hung in the water room this time and he thought it was the best thing ever.

After the museum we stopped for some lunch and then he took a great nap which was good since we had rehearsal in the early evening with our music group and I hadn't lined up a babysitter.  Ollie had a blast crawling all over the church while we set up Nate's drums and sang through a few things.

Sunday morning we had mass while Nate's sister hung at home with Oliver.  After mass I had a chance to meet up with some of the Beer Advent ladies (who also happen to be fellow MN bloggers) at a brewery I hadn't been to before - Urban Growler in St. Paul.  Delicious beer.  We each ordered a flight - I can promise I didn't quite finish it though, usually I have Nate to help me!

Then Sunday afternoon we finally had our Christmas celebration with Nate's extended family.  We had some appetizers and played the White Elephant dice game.  Ollie had fun watching his older cousins play and laughing at Nate's aunt and uncle's dog.

So it was a good and full extended weekend of celebrating.  I was sad that so much of our family was dealing with illness and causing plans to change, but at the same time, it was really a very nice Christmas in the end.

I also wanted to share an outfit today.  I had a gift card to Target so I treated myself to some new goodies over the weekend too.  New boots, sweater and yes, a purse.  Yep.  I have a problem.  But I had a gift card.  And I love that Coach bag I've been carrying but it feels very holiday like, so I was ready for a change.

Sweater - Mossimo (Target), Pants - Old Navy
Boots and Purse - Merona (Target)
Necklace - Lia Sophia 

Whew.  So that brings us to today, back to work, back to normal schedules.  I'm pretty much working every day but New Year's Day this week.  I'll have some year end reflections on the blog this week and maybe some other recaps too.  Stay tuned!  And if you're lucky enough to still be enjoying time off, enjoy it for me!
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to all of you from my little family of three!  I wanted to share our holiday card here.  I hope you all have a great holiday over the next few days.  I will likely not be blogging the rest of the week so I can take it all in with my family!  Thank you for all the love and support you show me in this little blog of mine, I appreciate it more than I can say.  I'll catch up with you all soon!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Slow and Steady

I try to keep variety here on the blog but you get another outfit post today because 1. my outfit today is cute, at least I think so. 2. I was pretty much just home with Oliver all day watching Sesame Street and Curious George and 3. I'm back at work once again!  It's a marathon, not a sprint, in terms of Ollie's recovery from this virus, so we're going one day at a time.  Today he seemed OK enough for me to go in.  It's also the only day I'm working this week so then I can be back home snuggling him the rest of the week for the holidays.

I actually enjoyed my day with Oliver yesterday in spite of his sickness.  He perked up some after a good nap and was in the mood to play some.  I introduced him to Sesame Street for the first time and he seems to love my beloved Muppets as much as I do.  I even don't mind that he likes Elmo - Elmo seems less annoying to me than he once was.  He also loves Murray the monster as well.  So we just hung out, he slept some, cuddled with me some (which I never mind at all!) and we just took it moment by moment and by the end of the day I could see some improvement again.  Now we just need to help him get his appetite back and I think we'll be on the road to recovery.

It is so hard to have your child be sick when they're this little and can't talk to you.  I will admit hitting a breaking point multiple times in frustration, but also helplessness too.  But, again, I survived and I'll be better equipped to deal with it the next go round, but I'm hoping he won't be quite this sick again until maybe he is talking more and can tell mommy what doesn't feel good!

Vest - via swap, Dress - Old Navy
Leggings and boots - Target, Purse - Coach Outlet

I'm not going to jinx anything and say that I think Oliver is on the mend (though fingers crossed).  For now we're just going to keep going one day at a time.  Slow and steady wins the race and I'm sure pretty soon my crazy active boy will be back and making me chase after him again any day now.  I look forward to it!
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Dinner Outfit

Well, we still have a sick kiddo on our hands.  We saw Dr. Uncle over the weekend and it's a viral infection that just has to run it's course, but I tell you it hasn't been fun waiting for that to happen. We ended up missing our family gathering on Saturday so we could let Ollie stay home and rest, but I took advantage and at least got some wrapping done.  We treated ourselves to take out dinner from one of our favorite places and watched one of our favorite movies on Saturday night.

Sunday we still managed to get out for our dinner with friends and it was a nice break to get away for a little bit!  I thought I'd share my outfit even though the pictures aren't fabulous, first things on the list for 2015 are to get back to using my good camera and upgrading my dang iPhone I think!

Sweater - Mossimo (Target), Sweaterdress - H&M (two birds garage sale)
Leggings - Target, Boots - b. (a resale shop)
Necklace - Stella and Dot 

We enjoyed some fantastic Italian food and the company of some good friends, it was a lovely evening.  We thought Ollie seemed to be turning a corner, but this morning seems to have suffered a bit of a setback, so I'm home from work again today with him.  Thank goodness for a good PTO program I guess.  I was going to have a short week this week anyway and it just got even shorter. Here's hoping I can at least get into work for a little bit tomorrow.  And here's hoping my boy is healthy for Christmas.  I know lots of you out there are dealing with sicknesses too, so I'm also hoping for health for everyone else too!  We go one day at a time.
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