december goals.

oof. november was not my best month, goals-wise. personal life-wise, it was awesome! i’ve been busy having fun with Amelia, both while Mister Man travels and while he’s here. even though it’s gotten (much) colder, we try to get outside every single day to play, and she has now shown a LOT more interest in coloring and playing pretend with her stuffed animals. our days are very full. it doesn’t leave too much time for goal achieving, but i tried my best!

first things first: november goals update

  • finish the updates for the first year of amelia’s baby book. oh you guys. i tried so hard. this is still not done. why is it that the smallest things are so difficult for me to just finish up??
  • cook three new soup recipes. woop woop! i definitely got this done, and my freezer is very happy with me! you have seen one of the recipes i think, but i am saving a couple to post later this month. here’s a little preview:


  • go to a movie. i’m counting this as done, even though i’m going to the movie today…i technically planned the movie outing in november, which when you count finding a babysitter and a free day, that’s good right?
  • organize the basement catch-all closet. i have no idea how this got done. i apparently had a fit of organizing the other day and just went to town on this closet. i organized my craft supplies, Amelia’s craft supplies, and our wrapping paper/ribbon/bag/box situation. everything is labeled and all in one spot instead of hanging out all over the place. i’m very excited about this you guys.
  • bonus: if i get motivated, run a 5K on the treadmill. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.



  • finish the updates for the first year of amelia’s baby book. i mean. if i fail again, can i just call this one impossible?
  • make santa cookies. Christmas is coming and that means one thing for my dad’s family: grandma’s santa cookies! i’m the oldest granddaughter left in the state, so i’ve taken the responsibility for continuing the tradition since my grandma passed away. we’re still picking a date, because a lot of us are spread all over the country, and we want as many people there as possible, but this will definitely happen. DON’T WORRY FAMILY THERE WILL BE SANTA COOKIES!

christmas cookie tradition: homemade santa claus mold cookies.

  • finish Christmas shopping. i really have to get this one done, don’t i? whatever, i’m throwing myself a bone here. if you’re still working on gifts, here is some inspiration for you.
  • go to brunch with my family. Amelia has been hilarious during mealtimes lately, and she is such a hoot to share a meal with. plus, she is an amazing eater. so i want to take her out to brunch at our favorite neighborhood place, for one because we haven’t been there forever, and for two because i feel like she will really groove on it at her age.
  • bonus: if i get motivated, run a 5K on the treadmill. we can try this one again. we’ll see what happens.

i threw myself a few softballs, but hey, it’s the holidays and i want to be free to enjoy my friends and family without too much hanging over my head. december is busy enough as it is…my calendar has writing all over it and i’m excited!

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coffee date.

did you all have a good thanksgiving? are you guys black friday people or are you stay inside + cuddle with hot beverages people? i myself am a stay inside + cuddle (or go outside + play) person. whichever camp you fall into, i hope you have enough coffee/tea/cider to last you through the weekend.

on this coffee date, i’ll be drinking an americano, mostly because it makes me feel fancy to order one, even though it’s not really fancy at all. i just think that before the festivities continue into the holiday season, i should take it easy on the fancy drinks. there will be enough of that in the coming weeks, right? eggnog and all that?


i have to tell you, i am SUPER pumped for christmas this year. amelia gets it a little more than she did last year (but not enough that i can’t buy her christmas presents in front of her), and i’m excited for her first visit to see santa, and for her to see our christmas tree, and for all the fun family time she gets to have. also, i’m THIS.CLOSE to being done with my christmas shopping, and i’m basically giving myself an award for adulting so well.

this month has been crazy busy, but in a great way. lots of cooking, some crafting, and a lot of (maybe too much?) contemplation about what’s in my closet. i can’t wait to see what the next month has in store…i’m just hoping i can stay present enough while it flies by. i have some really fun posts planned for december to get us all in the christmas spirit. i hope you’re all ready to get some christmas cheer going, because now that thanksgiving is over, it’s on!

do you guys ever think how incredible it is that we get through the holidays without going crazy? most of us are busier during this time than we are the whole year, and yet we live through it. not only that, but we enjoy it, we thrive on it. i have a theory that it’s because we’re busy doing things that matter, instead of busy doing things that aren’t important. it feels better to be busy with family and friends, with cooking and baking for loved ones, with celebrating the reason for the holiday, so we don’t see it as a burden. i wish i was better at acting like that all year. because a full life isn’t so tiring when it’s full of the right things.

i hope that you all have a wonderful weekend! make sure to tag your weekend coffee date activities #withloveandcoffee so i can keep up with all the fun festive stuff in your lives. i know some of you are getting christmas trees and putting up decorations, and i want to see all red and green and gold!

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on the perks of solo parenting.

hi and happy saturday! if you’re new around here, you might not know that Mister Man has a pretty intense work travel schedule. he usually travels about two weeks out of the month, depending on the time of year, and so that means that i solo parent that same amount of time. we’ve been on quite the run here this month, so it’s on my mind more than usual. he does such a good job taking care of us, from making the sacrifice of being away from home, to being so FULLY present when he is here. it makes it so much easier for me to solo parent when i have him as a partner. it can be tricky at times…like when i have to take amelia with me to church choir practice, or when she is just NOT.HAVING.IT one day. but even on the tough days, there are still perks to solo parenting.


i get to do my christmas shopping without sneaking around.

i can eat an entire bowl of popcorn and watch the paradise on netflix without being interrupted.

i can do weird blogging things (like my periscope on thursday!).

i get quality mother-daughter time with little miss amelia.


i have more time to dig in and catch up on my blog reading. speaking of which, here are some good reads and things from around the internets lately, in my humble opinion:

  • on making self-care a conscious choice: this is a great read for all of us “recovering people pleasers”, i suggest you read it.
  • on being welcoming: “but there’s days when i see the tea cup holding my bracelets in it’s china hull and i wish she’d said, you’re welcome.” a simple phrase, but one that can make all the difference.
  • on the refugee crisis: “[the church is] always open to families coming to the United States who need help, and we are going to continue to do that.” makes me proud to be Catholic, i tell you what.
  • on new beginnings: casey’s dad is getting a bone marrow transplant! yet another reason to join the bone marrow registry with be the match (that link takes you straight to the donor registry page, go on, it’s easy…even i was able to join!).
  • jordan smith, a wondrous unicorn with the voice of an angel (he gives me full-body goosebumps EVERY TIME):

so you see, there are all sorts of good things about solo parenting. you just have to look a little harder for them when you’re working and running after a toddler on no sleep because her molars are coming in. maybe i should have included something about drinking wine and taking baths up there too…?

have a fabulous weekend folks!

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life lived thoughtfully. volume two.

hi. how are you all? you good? i hope you’re good. i’m doing great, thank you for asking!

as i cozied up to write this post (pumpkin beer and chocolate in hand), it was kind of a trip to look back at the last month with this “thoughtful” lens on. i mean, october was a fairly uneventful month, all things considered, but when i try to find the little pieces where i was maybe a little more present or a little more engaged, there are so many! i think this whole #lifelivedthoughtfully thing is working!

one the best kickstarters for me in this has been the #morethanaframe community on instagram that is back for its second round. started by cassie and amber, it is just the best tool to help you sit back and reflect on how to view the ordinary parts of your life as extraordinary. it really helps me slow down in my day to day to see where the special moments and reflections are happening, and sometimes that’s all i need…to slow down and look around.

one of the happiest times had to have been halloween weekend. that was the weekend that i got to see both of these things happen:



my grandpa turned 90 years old on halloween, and i got to see my daughter hug her great-grandpa. let’s be clear, she is not a hugger, so this hug lasted for about three seconds, but it happened! how cool is that? how cool that they get to know each other? to be able to see that in my life is something that i hope i never take for granted. i may not have gone to any parties or eaten my body weight in candy (probably for the best), but this halloween was one for the record books.

i’ve also been focusing a lot more of self-care since i realized that i hadn’t been focusing on it at all. and it’s been great! for me, that means making time for working out, and for writing, even when Mister Man is traveling. if that means i haul miss Amelia to the gym childcare on one of my days home with her, that’s what i do. if that means saving the dishes until later so i can work on a blog post or a journal entry, that’s what i do. i’m trying to get out of my own head a little bit so i can do what recharges me. i’m always better when i’m recharged. if i get too burnt out, i tend to get a little cranky (read: bitchy) and frankly i’m not much fun to be around. do i feel bad if Amelia cries when i leave her in the child care? yep. do i feel guilty for not cleaning like i should? you bet. but if it means i’m a better mom and partner at the end of it? worth it.



i don’t know what these posts will look like in the coming months. they might be photo essays, they might be reflections, if i get real zesty, i might just throw a vlog in there (would that be the weirdest? if i vlogged?). whatever it ends up looking like, i want it to be a place where i can assess how i’m doing with this thoughtfully lived life i’m trying to create. there could be some times where i haven’t done so well, and i want to write about those too, because it’s real and it happens.

you’re all pretty amazing people, so if you have any suggestions for how you live a thoughtful life, i always want to hear them. i can always use some inspiration with things like this. strength in numbers can never hurt, right?

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that time i tried barre and didn’t die.

yes. i did an entire barre workout and i am still here to tell the tale. not only that, i did an entire barre workout with a group of bloggers i had never met before and didn’t need to run out of the studio in embarrassment (although, considering i was one of the most out of shape people, i maybe should have?). this was a weekend full of miracles.


i’m mean, i’m INCREDIBLY sore today (holler if your bootie hurts!). but there was wine to drink after the class, which in my opinion should happen after every single workout class. is that counterproductive? do we care?

now the only thing i’m wondering is: why did it take me so long to do barre? it’s totally up my alley, and while hard, it’s kind of addicting trying to get the right postures and form. plus, i would much rather work up a good sweat in a barre studio than running. it’s just better. now to find a way to take classes without having to drive to the other side of the cities (although haute barre is worth the drive)…st. paul why you gotta be the last to get all the cool stuff??




now i have a little secret for you guys. it can be hard to talk about blogging. 

when people don’t blog themselves, they have a hard time understanding why i spend my time doing this. it’s like how non-runners (like me), don’t really get runners and why they do what they do. it doesn’t mean i don’t appreciate it, it just means that i’m not the best person to talk to about your half-marathon training. same with non-bloggers. most really appreciate what i do, but just don’t really “get” it. i have a wonderful network of blogging friends from around the country (and have even been able to meet two of them in person), but up until this past saturday, didn’t have a local network of bloggers that i could talk to and engage with more personally.


this was my first event with the twin cities bloggers collective, and i am so thankful that this group of wonderful bloggers exists. i’m not really sure how it took me so long to discover these ladies who live and blog in my own backyard, but i’m glad that i finally got my head out of my bootie and did! from blogs about beer to gardening to fitness, a whole new blogging community in the twin cities has been opened up for me. if you’re looking for some great new reads, i have some fabulous recommendations. thanks to all of you at the event for making a newbie like me feel so comfortable!

now, who has tips for fixing my sore muscles??


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