June 2017

June 2017

 

I never like starting a post out with something cliche– but how is it already June??  It feels like just yesterday in April my life was getting turned upside down the moving, pregnancy, and life in general.  But it’s June.  So I can’t even act like everything is still out of control.  Luckily, it’s not, really.  In fact, I’m hitting that second-trimester-stride of feeling great and being able to actually accomplish goals.   With that in mind, here’s my to-do list for this month:

  1. Read my baby two books a day.  Two books always turns into two hundred, but at least this is a good start.
  2. Write for 1 hour every day.  Preferably, in the form of authoring my novel, but blogging or diary time counts.
  3. Drive to 1 new location.  I realized that my fear/hate of driving sometimes holds me back and I want to fix it.
  4. Catch up on my baby diary.  I fell a bit behind and desperately need to catch up!
  5. Enjoy a visit with my sister.  I LOVE hosting my sisters and I can’t wait for our visit this month.
  6. Take a few important photos for my blog.  At this point, I like a mix of stock photos and personal ones.
  7. Finish reading my current book.  I’m reading a collection of short stories by Louisa May Alcott.
  8. Begin daytime weaning.  Not an easy step for us, but I think something we need to try.
  9. Set up bird feeders.  I’d like a full station, but even a few sprinkled around would be nice.
  10. Celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary.  <3  <3  <3
  11. Find out my baby’s gender!! Pretty much dying of excitement and curiosity.  I’m predicting….GIRL.

At the beginning of the year, I decided that I wanted to also make a focus keyword for each month.  This month, I want my theme to be “go get ’em.”  I feel like the exhaustion from moving, combined with first trimester sickness, kept me from doing a variety of things.  When I’m pregnant I feel like I’m training for a marathon (I kind of am) and it takes over a lot of my motivation, perspective, and energy.  But, I want to focus on doing things I would “normally” attempt if I’m not pregnant (obviously while staying safe!) –things like driving, writing, socializing, and exploring around our town.  I think I can do it, even if it’s just baby steps.  Writing lists helps me, both monthly and daily ones, so I will try to keep that up too.

I think June is going to be a great month.  In fact, I KNOW it will be because its our anniversary month.  And as a hopeless romantic, I love, love love celebrating our marriage–not just on our wedding–but every day!  I can’t wait to see what June holds for us.  Do you have any plans?  Leave a comment below sharing your June to-do list!  And come back soon for an Army-wife post.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Round-Up: May 2017

Round-Up: May 2017

“If you never try, you’ll never know.”

I usually try to find a poetic excerpt that fits with the month at hand, but this quote really struck me as perfectly fitting for this particular month.  The word “may” is so important, because it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to effort.  Everyone “can.”  If you try, you can, but if you don’t try, you definitely can’t.  That’s where “may” comes in.  I want to put an emphasis on “may” in my daily life, giving myself permission (or motivation) to DO things that I have or have not tried.  Instead of focusing on “can I?” and “will I fail?” instead I want to focus on “may I?”  Because I know, I CAN.  Even if not the first time, eventually I can.  I just have to try, and allow myself to try.

I also felt that this quote was fitting to the month that bears Memorial Day.  If those countless heroes hadn’t ever “tried,” then none of us would ever have experienced the freedom we are experiencing here and now in the USA.  It was their effort, their strength, and their ability that have paved the way for and preserved the country we so love.  I am incredibly grateful and honored to be living in a place that heroes built and secured, and continue to operate today.  Thank you for you service.  You will never be forgotten!

And thank you to my readers for caring enough to read a monthly round-up of my less-than-shocking life.  It’s really nice that you care, and please make sure to let me know you came because I like to follow back.  Whether it’s social media or your own blog, leave me a note in the comment section so I can check out your work!

Onto the main meat of this post…my to-do lis for May 2017.  At the beginning of the month, I said I wanted this list to be more enjoyable.  And I actually think it was–which is why I did 9/10 items!  Hmm..maybe I should remember this for next time– I get more done when it’s something I want to do…oops!  Anyone else?

  1. Order and print our family photos. The prints are ordered, and I can’t wait to hang them!
  2. Update a few corners of my blog.  1st update of the year. New pics, no ads, and an evaluation of my content.
  3. Finish our garden.  I will took a “before” pic, when all the plants were small, and plan to take an “after” later!
  4. Get at least 3 seeds to grow. I have alyssum flowers (like 8) & 1 mini pumpkin.  Planning to grow a gourd too.
  5. Go on a creature-seeking adventure.  We went to the Aquarium and on a Safari adventure (my fav).
  6. Cast off my baby cozy. Ran out of yarn, but decided to create a trim to bring the second color into the design.
  7. Find time to write in my novel.
  8. Plan one picnic.  We went on a non-traditional “machine gun picnic” to watch Daddy train.  Loud but fun!
  9. Experience Maskcara IIID foundation.  IT FINALLY CAME.  IN REAL LIFE.  A post will ensue.
  10. Celebrate our birthdays!  We celebrated our birthdays on the same day, and it was so much fun.

I got the same 9/10 score as last month, so hopefully I’m starting a trend of to-do list success for myself.   I feel more motivated to have success in my future June to-do list now that I have been able to make progress for two lists in a row.  (My March to-do list was a bit of a doozy and my success was less than successful). One thing I forgot to do at the beginning of May was pick a special keyword that was supposed to animate my month.  Since this to-list was intended to be “fun,” I will count my focus word on having more “fun” in my daily life (and I won’t forget to make a focus word for June).

I can definitely attest that this was a super, super fun month.  My husband planned so many activities for us that our weekends were just brimming with happiness (aka coffee and retail therapy).   And while the most fun moment of the month might have been having a buffalo stick its head inside our truck

–or no actually, when a zebra opened the truck door–

there were plenty of “quiet” moments that really filled my May 2017 with a peaceful joy.  Knitting my first piece for the baby (it’s a bundting wrap) really felt special, and helped connect me with my growing baby in a very real way.  Gardening and grilling outside became entertaining as well as therapeutic for our whole family.  Celebrating our birthdays together is something I look forward to all year, so that definitely helped brighten the month.  But my very favorite moment of all of May 2017 was when I saw my baby for the first time on the ultrasound screen, and heard it’s tiny heartbeat thump across the monitor.  The miracle of life is truly breathtaking.  And knowing that the tiny person I am seeing and hearing is our own one–its an inexpressible joy.  I’m only 16.5 weeks pregnant, but I feel like in no time I will be holding my new little baby.  I can’t wait!

I hope your May was spectacular.  As always, leave a comment below letting me know what you have been up to!  My next post will be my June to-do list, and will be coming out in a  day or two.  I hope you’ll come back to read it!

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An April Absence Backstory

April Absence Backstory - post about why I have been gone (hint, I MOVED)

Hopefully someone has noticed out there in the great big blogosphere that I haven’t been here in a while.  I have some pretty good reasons for that, which I will get into for a second.  But first, I just wanted to thank you for showing up here today!  It makes the writing more worth it and the editing actually necessary. 🙂  It feels good to be back.  And while sometimes these kinds of posts are written as a point-of-accountability, I’m actually just writing it as an explanation.  Because you deserve it and so does my blog.  Plus, I have some news to share!

I have two main reasons for my month of absence (the longest I think I’ve ever taken!)  It’s not that blogging was far from my mind, it’s simply that my life was crowded with some very real occurrences and obstacles.  First, I’ll get into the big occurrence and then I’ll get into the obstacle.  Because this occurrence is my favorite reason for my absence:

April Absence Backstory- why I have been absent (hint: I am pregnant!!)

We are so overwhelmed with joy and excitement about the life of our second baby!  This week I began my second trimester, which means that the majority of my morning sickness is over (I hope!).  That was a very, very, very, influential part of my absence, but I’m not referring to it as an obstacle because there is such a big reward at the end of this pregnancy!  We will be finding out the gender (and revealing it) in June.  So stay tuned!

The other very significant cause of my absence was a three-acronym that I’m sure will all-too-well resonate with my Army ladies out there: PCS.  Yes, we finally did it!  Remember back in August 2016 when I thought we were moving in October?  And then we weren’t.  And then we weren’t supposed to be moving til June of 2017.  But with less than a month’s notice we moved the first week of April this year.  So things have been unexpectedly hectic and delightful all at the same time.  And putting morning sickness into the mix just made my day very full and left no room for creativity of blogging time.

But again, that has changed!  I am in the second trimester and we are settling well into our house.  I am hoping to do a bit of a housing series down the road, as I love reading from other military wives (and renters) how they make someone else’s space their own.  And in our case, making it our own for just the remainder of the year.  As of now, we are planning to move yet again in the winter.  I will keep you updated, as we all know this could easily change. *too soon to laugh*

Anyway, I have a few posts to catch up on, namely my April Round-Up, May to-d0 list, and April 2017 ipsy Glam Bag unboxing, which I will provide links for as I publish them.  A quick admin note: I will date those according to where they should fall on my calendar (since I am OCD like that).  But for the sake of transparency, I’m telling you right now that those are post-dated! Because no blog is perfect.  At least, mine isn’t! haha

Thanks for stopping by.  Like I said at the beginning of this, your readership is so important to me.  I appreciate you sticking by my absence.  Since a lot has been going on the last month, I have had some time to step away from my blog and think about it for a while, in a “constructive criticism” kind of way.  I’ve been able to evaluate it’s direction and consider/reconsider if I’m accomplishing the purposes I have set out here.  I always have my own list of ideas going, but I also want to cover what you’re here to see.  Are there any series you would like to see added?  Something to take away?  How did you stumble upon this blog, and do you ever plan on coming back to read more?  Leave a comment below if you have any opinions, as I am always open to suggestions.

 See you soon!

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May 2017

May 2017

My May 2017 to-do list is going to be a lot more fun than my April one!  This is partially due to the fact that May is my birthday month, my husband’s birthday month, and the month of Mother’s Day–the month can’t help itself but be fun. Also though, I’m trying to make up for lost time, since April contained some things that weren’t exactly fun.   Anyways, now that we are settling into our new home quite cozily, I’m ready to make a pretentious list of hopefuls that may or may not get done:

  1. Order and print our family photos.  They were taken a month ago and I still haven’t hung any!
  2. Update a few corners of my blog.  Maybe my “About” section, ads, and categories?
  3. Finish our garden.  We made our first family garden and have had way too much fun doing it!
  4. Get at least 3 seeds to grow.  I have 2 trays and a bunch of mini-pots going.  Still, nothing has sprouted.  🙁
  5. Go on a creature-seeking adventure.  Maybe the Aquarium?  Or a bird observatory…
  6. Cast off my baby cozy.  I’m knitting a little bundling for my baby, and am a few inches away from finishing!
  7. Find time to write in my novel.  Getting back to my blog was step one.  But now I need to work on both.
  8. Plan one picnic.  Because one usually ends up turning into one after another 🙂
  9. Experience Maskcara IIID foundation.  AT LONG LAST, I’m ordering some for my birthday.
  10. Celebrate our birthdays!  I love that our birthdays are back-t0-back…double the fun for my husband and I!

So far, May 2017 has been very, very good to us!  And looking at this list is making me hopeful that’s its really going to be a good month.  Of course, this list doesn’t include the house cleaning, morning sickness, laundry, and baby spills– but that’s because it’s not hard to make sure those get done (well, maybe the house cleaning!) 🙂  And I really don’t mind those kinds of things in the end, since they go with the territory of domestic diva.  We all have to do it at some point or another!  That’s what social media is for–to remind us that everybody else is doing it too! haha

What’s on your mind to accomplish in May?  Let me know in the comment section below!  Thanks for stopping by.

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Round-Up: April 2017

My April 2017 Round-Up is finally here!  It’s my one-year anniversary of round-ups and my first official “full circle” year.  (You can read my first round-up here).  Unfortunately, despite it’s record-breaking honor of being my anniversary round-up, the actual list broke no records when it came to being fun.  None whatsoever.  This was definitely a “to-do” list, unlike some of my “dream scheme” lists, which are basically a compilation of hobbies and ideas I’m hoping to do.  Secretly, I don’t mind that this month is over.  (Is it still a secret now that I typed that?)  It was a fun month, but it was busy.  Just read my less-than-relaxing list below:

  1. Move.  We finally…..finally did it.  More on that in my last post.
  2. Purge my vanity of old or hated items.  I did 1 round of this, though I could probably do a second one.
  3. Separate likes and dislikes when unpacking–don’t just put stuff away.  Uhh, I liked everything!
  4. Check back on my Pinterest boards and decorate according to vision, not convenience.  YAS.
  5. Come up with and implement the ultimate bug-prevention plan.  Ultrasonic beepers + EOs.  Gold.
  6. Create a storage room, and use it!  Okay, so the using part is coming along…the organization, not so much.
  7. Mail change-of-address cards.  So point of them was to announce our pregnancy, but we did move!
  8. Try not to be too sad about moving, but take some memorable pics.  It went SHOCKINGLY well.
  9. Give myself a little time for blogging/writing!  You can read my *fairly* valid reasons here.
  10. Celebrate Easter in our new home. Our first holiday here: enjoying Mass, dinner, and baby’s first egg hunt!

I also had some admin to-do’s that I didn’t include on the original list, but of which I made a mental note (and a physical note since I have pregnancy brain). haha  The biggest admin issue was that I needed to renew my domain name– KIND OF important.  The other biggie was removing ads from my website for a few days, while the Google Adsense plug-in deprecates.  I’ve never had a plug-in deprecate before, but I think I caught it JUST in time before my ads froze on my blog forever!

For anyone who doesn’t have a blog, ignore that above paragraph.  But for all my fellow Adsense bloggers…did your heart stop when you saw that the ads couldn’t be edited once the plug-in deprecates??  Whether you’re a blogger or not, thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate your readership.  And thanks for bearing with my during the hiatus!  I’m happy to say the “worst” is behind us. 🙂  See you soon!

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April 2017

april 2017 monthly to-do list!

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill. / You know how it is with an April day. / When the sun is out and the wind is still.”  — Robert Frost

I really feel like I should be calling this my moving post. This is my monthly to-do list, but so much of it basically feels like a PCS-ing check-list. It kind of is. But, I do plan on making a *separate* post about moving–one that may involve a to-do list very similar to this one. For now, this will remain my April to-do list, heavily influenced by our impending move (impending as in: I spent the evening packing and have been cooking with anything I can find in the pantry).

  1.  Move. So much easier said, than done.  So. Much. Easier.
  2. Purge my vanity of old or hated items.  Preferably before the move.
  3. Separate likes and dislikes when unpacking–don’t just put stuff away.  Like last time.  🙂
  4. Check back on my pinterest boards and decorate according to vision, not convenience. irl.
  5. Come up with the ultimate bug-prevention plan.  And implement it the same day.
  6. Create a storage room, and use it! Our current apartment IS our home and storage combo.
  7. Mail change-of-address cards. Really excited about these!
  8. Try not to be too sad about moving, but take some memorable pics.  Not gonna be able to handle it.
  9. Give myself a little time for blogging/writing!  It will be tough, but I want to make some time for it.
  10. Celebrate Easter in our new home. Our first holiday there!  <3

There are some unwritten to-do’s that I have circling in my mind (doesn’t everyone?) But I don’t like overloading my to-do list because that is one way to guarantee I won’t get anything done! When I was a kid, I used to write non-negotiables on my to-do list, like waking up or eating lunch, just to give myself things to check off! ha  My tactics haven’t improved much.  But we will see what I get done and hopefully I can do a little better than last time!

What are your plans for April?  And for anyone interested in a lil #tbt, you can read my first-ever monthly post here.  It’s been one year since I started these, and they have become my favorite posts to write!  Thanks for stopping by!!

 

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Round-Up: March 2017

round-up: march 2017

“March shakes her icicled head / exhales Winter’s last gasp / chills clouded moisture / sheds her stinging tears.”  – John G. Lawless

March 2017 didn’t exactly fly by, but I was still sad to see it go!  It was a great month, because it was our first full-month of 2017 that we got to spend together as a family (due to Army training, etc).  It was also our last full-month in our apartment.  Our very first home. <3  But this month we got the notice that it’s time to move and so the adventure has already begun!  It might not come as a shock, but I didn’t exactly complete my monthly to-do list.  I had been doing good at the beginning of the year, but this move has thrown everything off it’s course.  I don’t mind that much.  Onto the list:

  1. Organize my makeup and lotion collection. I have purged a teeny bit, but I wouldn’t say I organized it!
  2. Stop wasting time on IG/random google searches.  My progress fluctuated.
  3. Make it to chapter 5 in my novel.  Was too busy to even open it.  Very sad about that!
  4. Write a guest post on a military wife blog.  I still plan to!
  5. Make macaroons.  We decide they were too invoveled/we were lacking in proper equipment.
  6. Enjoy a week of sister-vacay.  Sisters Fun Week was way too much fun!!!
  7. Find a new piano book to play through.  An old favorite “Music by the Masters” was my springtime jam.
  8. Get a little more done with my Google Analytics account.  Not this time!
  9. Spend one week doing something “in French” every day.  Ugh, too busy.
  10. Finish season 4 of Secret Life of the American Teenager.  But wait, managed to do this one. 🙂

This wasn’t my most productive month, if I’m looking at it strictly on the basis of how much of my to-do list was accomplished.  But as a month itself, and especially a month in 2017, it was busy and full of accomplishments.  Since it was our first time in a while that we had uninterrupted family time, my husband and I enjoyed lots of catching up with our baby.  Getting professional family (and military couple) photos taken was definitely a highlight.  So was crossing off our bucklet-list of things to do before we move.  Making plans for our future home has also been exciting, and simple days at home mean so much after so many months of training and separation.  If I’m being completely honest, March has always been one of my least-favorite months.  But this year, March was possibly the best!

I’m anticipating an equally (if not more) busy month ahead in April.  I hope you’ll stop by to read my overambitious to-do list for next month!  Since my list for March 2017 didn’t really happen, some of those to-do’s may get carried over.  It should be a great month.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

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March 2017

march 2017

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now / Is hung with bloom along the bough.” – A. E. Houseman

A new month and one that is already teeming with aspirations and plans!  I secretly like that.  Even though I’m definitely someone who enjoys quiet days and peaceful routines, I really welcome business and tend to do better when I’m multitasking.  Anyone else like that?  This post is my to-do list of hopes/dreams/expectations/self-challenges…etc for March 2017.  I do one of these every month, in case you are new here.  (Welcome!)  And so, here it goes:

  1. Organize my makeup and lotion collection.  I have SO much that needs to go.
  2. Stop wasting time on IG/random google searches.  “I keep up with the K’s,” but need more writing time.
  3. Make it to chapter 5 in my novel.  See above.  Last month’s challenge was a bit ambitious.
  4. Write a guest post on a military wife blog.  It’s time to get that done!
  5. Make macaroons.  I have wanted to do this forever.  Strawberry lemon?  Yum.
  6. Enjoy a week of sister-vacay.  I absolutely love spending vacation time with my sisters.
  7. Find a new piano book to play through.  I’m thinking romantic era, or classical.
  8. Get a little more done with my Google Analytics account.  Always struggling with this one!
  9. Spend one week doing something “in French” every day.  I’m planning the 3rd week of this month.
  10. Finish season 4 of Secret Life of the American Teenager.  It has to be done.

This entire month will fall during Lent (I’m Catholic) and so I am also planning to do a Lenten almsgiving activity. Since Lent is 40 days long, I want to donate 40 items, whether it be clothing, shoes, household, etc.  At the end of each week I will set aside 6 items, and then once I’ve collected all 40, I will donate them to our community charity center.  Not only am I hoping to help others with my donation, but I’m hoping to improve myself with this plan.  I tend to be super sentimental and am naturally a “saver” so this will be hard for me.  So I’m hoping this program will help me grow in that aspect!

Also, every month I have been trying to do a “focus” word of the month.  For this month, I want it to be honesty.  I think if I “honestly” assessed each time I get on the internet, I would spend less time scrolling and more time writing.  And if I honestly assess my time management, I will have more time for playing piano and baking…etc.  I think honesty is a great virtue and I hope it plats a big part in my March 2017!

What are your plans for the month?  Once again, thanks for stopping by.  I hope to see you next post, for another Army Basic Training letter-writing topic!

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Round-up: February 2017

“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.”  – Pietro Aretino

I’m going to break some expectations here and omit beginning this with”Wow, February flew by!”  Instead I’m going to say that this February felt longer than I thought it would.  It was by far my favorite month this year (I know, there’s only been two of them).  But it also ended up being my favorite month in a while.  Not that the other recent months haven’t been great.  But this was particularly great because it was our Army Homecoming month!  In case you noticed a gap of time during which I wasn’t posting, it was because we were doing family traveling, Army school graduation, etc.  Very fun times, and I know this month will remain the highlight of the year!  Amidst all the celebrating, I might or might not have gotten my to-do list accomplished:

  1. Write my baby’s birth story.  I started it, but didn’t finish it.
  2. Take a family trip.  Hello, Columbus GA and Phenix City AL (mostly Columbus.  Mostly Ft. Benning).
  3. Make a bundt cake.  I made a Pumpkin Custard Bundt cake where the custard FLOATS to the top.  Mostly.
  4. Publish twice a week here on my blog.  Was going strong until Homecoming rolled around…oops.
  5. Begin Chapter 7 of my book. Nope, I’m on chapter 3.
  6. Learn how to curl my hair with a flat iron.  Tried it but didn’t work for me.  Hot rollers saved the day!
  7. Take my baby to the park more often.  The field across from us, and the sand pit are even more fun!
  8. Write another guest post.  It’s hard to pull together a guest post when I’m not even doing regular posting here!

At least I got done more than half, but this month’s to-do list wasn’t nearly as successful as last month’s round-up.  Oh well, there’s always March!  Thanks for stopping by, and tune in next time for another Army myth-busting post.

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February 2017

february 2017

“In January a deep freeze. / Small February is a tease.”  — Joyce Johnson

February is usually all about Valentine’s Day for me!  (cliche, I know)  But this month, I’m going to try to break the mold and make February 2017 about more than just hearts and cards.  There will still be plenty of that though. 🙂  My plans thus far:

  1. Write my baby’s birth story.  The month of love would be the perfect time to sit down and write about it!
  2. Take a family trip.  Another trip down South.  We love it down there!
  3. Make a bundt cake.  I have a fleur de lis bundt pan and it’s time to make something in it.  Pumpkin?
  4. Publish twice a week here on my blog.  It was a rough “rule” from the get-go, but I haven’t kept up lately.
  5. Begin Chapter 7 of my book.  I’m trying to do one-a-week.
  6. Learn how to curl my hair with a flat iron.  Sad I don’t know how to do this yet, but I usually roller curl.
  7. Take my baby to the park more often.  She loves getting outside–and fresh air is so good for both of us!
  8. Write another guest post.  Last time I did a beauty post, this time I’m shooting for an Army wife blog.

As I mentioned last month, I’m starting a new addition to these monthly to-do lists.  I’m trying to give myself an emotional to-do item.  This month’s focus keyword (my emotional to-do) is attentiveness.  I want to be present in my everyday life.  I don’t like to embrace a carpe diem for “fear” of losing today, but it is true that I don’t want to miss out on a moment I could enjoy.  So often I look ahead at joyful “plans” I have and get excited about those.  But what I need to start doing is noticing the joy now and in the present “everyday” moments.  A quote really stuck with me this week:

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” – Mary Jean Irion.

 I have always felt like it is perfectly fine to chase a perfect tomorrow, because it keep complacency far away.  But chasing a perfect tomorrow is only good in so far as it doesn’t chase away a perfect present and “normal” day.  So this month, I want to be attentive.  It doesn’t mean I won’t be trying new things.  All it means is that I’ll be attentive every day, on the days when everything is normal, and on the days when we are trying new things and reaching new milestones.  (With a one-year-old, there is almost always a new milestone every week!)

Thanks for being here with me.  Your readership is so appreciated.  I hope your February 2017 is brimming with exciting joys and comforting normality.  Come back soon for a follow-up to my most popular post!

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