Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Walk to End Alzheimer's

Have you heard of Alzheimer's? You may have, lately it is gaining more exposure through walks across the nation, movies, and media attention.

Do you know or did you know someone who had/has Alzheimer's? There are so many amazing organizations out there today doing their best to raise money for awareness and research.

The Alzheimer's Association is one of those. It is a non-profit group that runs on a 70/30 scale. 

I first became aware of Alzheimer's in high school when my grandfather was struggled with it. He eventually passed away due to diabetes, but we watched for years as he was robbed of memories. My grandmother would attend support groups at a local retirement home that specialized in Alzheimer's. I began driving her and then started volunteering there. 

Later, when I would enter college I was drawn to one sorority in particular for the philanthropy. I joined Sigma Kappa Sorority and enjoyed their gerontology outreach that also included Alzheimer's awareness. 
My local Alumna chapter hosts a Car Show every year to raise money for Alzheimer's research. This year it will be held on March 23. I'll be talking more about that in the upcoming weeks. 
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a brunch held for the local alumna by a collegiate chapter. It was a great opportunity to re-connect with these women. 
It also jogged my memory of something on my local level that had a big impact on the Alzheimer's Association nationally. One week ago an elderly woman, Helen Banas, left the association $27 million in her will. Imagine the impact this has on one effort. The research that can move forward. Wow. 

I read about this from a local blogger here. Completely shocking. $10 million goes to the national level and the other $17 million stays with the Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County.

There will be a lot of walks in the fall. To find one near you go here

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mom Confession

A mom confession for you this week, I'm sure we all have them. Even if you're not a mom yet or maybe you have cute little furbabies you probably have one.
This mom confession comes from when I was a hypothetical mom- you know where you imagined how you would be. Well, that mom has met reality mom.
Your Website Name
Megan and Heather put together this little space where women can come together and share their stories. Something small like how I sneak chocolate when my toddler isn't looking or maybe something a little more personal and heartfelt.

This week I'm sharing that I am a total mom hypocrite. 
You read that right, a momocrite. 

{Yeah, that was the best portmanteau I could come with.
How does "brunch" roll off the tongue so nicely?}

So how am I a hypocrite you ask?
Well, let me break it down for you. 

1. Diapering: I am a huge cloth diaper supporter. I camethisclose to cloth diapering Little C. I love the idea. Honestly, I'm not the greenest person on Earth {far from it} but the idea of thousands of diapers sitting in land fills kind of creeps me out. Eww. But, I'm a hypocrite I totally use disposal diapers and love them. Like Pampers Swaddlers. Swoon. Is there anything that smells more precious. I love these diapers. I've already starting stocking up for Baby E.

2. Breastfeeding: Exclusively breastfed babies-nice! I think it's awesome when moms go this route. Breastfeeding into the toddler years-go for it. The World Health Organization recommends until 24 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastmilk until 12 months. I would love to be a big promoter for La Leche League- but I'm pretty sure they would throw me out. You see, I'm a supporter in theory not practice. Total formula feeding mama over here. We had a few breastfeeding issues that I've never discussed on the little blog before and don't really plan to. But, we supplemented before hitting the one mark and were onto full formula before hitting 12 months. 
3. Labor & Delivery: Another area where I think all those mom who have natural labor free of the epidural are absolutely awesome. Not me, bring on that epidural! Oh and a home birth with a midwife? Skipping the hospital all together- you go mama. I am so far from that though. I'm actually choosing and scheduling a C-section. 

Wow, hypocrite over here. 
I am not a complete hypocrite in the sense of the word. I don't criticize any mama for their choices. Each mama is different and has their own path to walk and their own that led to where they are.
But, my personal feelings for myself contradict what I have done as a mama.
The ideas I had before I became a mom and what I actually did as a mom are in two separate worlds.
I'm sure a lot of moms can relate.

Is there anything you thought you would do and then actually didn't?
Or did you swear off candy?
Or swear to only change your baby on that perfect changing table?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oh, New York!

Hello! Today I am guest posting at Nurse SC's blog. You may know her at Casey at Stress Case
Stress Case

I am continuing my Love Monday posts- today I talk not about a memory, but hopefully a trip that will soon be in the future for Hockey Husband and I. 

Next week come back when I share our engagement story. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 36 weeks

Completely did not get my 35 week installment in! I took pictures in sweats and everything Sunday morning, then my memory card disappeared {total sad face}. I wasn't able to replace it until the middle of the week when I snapped some more pictures. 

I have the 35 week compare belly shot today and a 36 week questionnaire. 
So, with 36 weeks down that would mean I am officially 8 months pregnant and only have 4 weeks to go in the 40 week pregnancy countdown. But, with a c-section scheduled for March 17th we only have three weeks until we meet our newest addition! 
How far along? 36 Weeks
Total weight gain: 21 pounds
Maternity clothes? Sometimes, still wearing a few noon maternity shirts.
Stretch marks? Yes
Sleep: not really
Movement: hiccups are the best!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Gender: No idea
Labor Signs: Not sure what qualifies
Belly Button in or out? It's out.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Mood: Completely Excited. 
Looking forward to: family coming on March 9th!

Share your weekly pregnancy update or anything baby here with me!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The next chapter

{This is a continuance of our love story}
to catch up...
Blind Date parts I & II
Fast forwarding two years of dating bliss. Tall Economics Guy and I had celebrated our two year anniversary and it felt like we had been dating forever. Every moment was ours. We had our squabbles but every conversation and argument led us closer to one another. Tall Economics Guy had graduated a year earlier and I was finishing up a summer school class to make me an official graduate.
 We were enjoying a summer like any other when something would change. Nothing big, the subtlest of changes.  
My family was selling our home and moving half way across the country. My parents had come back from vacation and helping a friend move with the keys to a new house in a new state. At the time it was a lot to process.
I was finishing college so I could move also.
I had a job that didn’t relate to teaching, but could easily become a career.

I can’t even remember all the fuzzy details of how I must have told Tall Economics Guy about what had come to pass. Even though in my head I had imagined marrying this guy and we joked about our future kids’ names we were not ready to get married at that point. 

I had a choice to make which I took as a choice for us to make.
Do I move and be with my family? My parents, grandfather, and three sisters were all moving away.
I of course had friends in the area, but if I was going to stay I would move closer to the boyfriend (TEG) who was an hour away from my friends.
This was also right after graduation so a lot of my friends were all going their separate ways and moving back to their home towns.
Soon it became a lot of change to process.
Then, my family moved.
I stayed.
I cried almost every night.
I was living in our house until it finished selling. I never imagined living far from my family. And, as you probably have guessed from my hinting before you know what comes next.
I made another choice. I wanted to be with my family and TEG and I had a mutual break-up.
My move was planned for October. I’ll never forget the discussion we had about ending it right there or enjoying the next two weeks with one another.
So awkward. 
Another thing I will never forget was one of our “last dates” we went to comedy show and dinner and sat across from a married couple. They commented how great we were together and asked if we were newly engaged. We had a good sense of humor about everything and commented back we were newly broken up.

Then the move came. It was of course sad and involved lots of hugs, some tears, and no promises.
We agreed we were broken up. 
And then, we talked all the time. More than we ever had before. Tall Economics Guy who became the boyfriend turned into my best friend.
It was a different relationship.
If you remember we met on a blind date so we were never really friends before.
 I was miserable and felt like I wasn’t giving this new life a chance.

But, I got a job working at a preschool, met new people, and got my new license.  Two weeks into my move I thought about how I could be with this man again.
Three weeks in we were officially back together, agreed to keep all old anniversaries in place, and to be a long term relationship until a move made sense.
I decided to move back to where he was living and the state I grew up in, but I needed to save money, and get into graduate school near him.
I started the process and we visited each other and eventually reunited.

One year later we would be engaged! 
I know this post became about a mile long! Thank you for reading. I'm sharing these ramblings over at Mrs. to Mama where you can just write, lowercase letters, and Life of Meg

Friday, February 15, 2013

The latest happenings

Over the weekend we had a family walk at our neighborhood lake.
We took in some gorgeous views of our surroundings and I was immensely thankful for the two guys in my life.
I love this father and son picture. 
During the week...
Little C and I had a walk in the park.
It of course involved a stick- what doesn't these days? My boy is collector. He's gearing up for our hikes. It also involved wranglers and boots.
Because, I love my lil' buckaroo. 
Story time at the library where Little C got to make some music. 
I love our library's toddler story time. It's awesome. 
Baseball with our neighbors. Our afternoon ritual. Love my neighbors!
Little C was beyond excited to make treats for all his friends. 
Rice Crispies are so easy and so delicious.
Knowing this combo could be very bad.
I seriously had no idea how easy these were. 

Sharing our week with Jeannett from Life Rearranged. You can also follow our journey on instagram @missshellsea. 
life rearranged

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine: What to wear?

I'm a jeans girl. Always have been and pink and red not really for me.
However, Valentine's Day? Well, that is a different story!
When we choose to stay home I might dress up some jeans or sometimes I might just go all out.

This cute! If I was staying casual I would do this.
I am in love with white patterened dresses lately. I feel like this is getting to wear a dress and stepping it up a notch while keeping it casual.
But, this. Oh this combo I adore! I would wear this anywhere. Going out- I don't care where Hockey Husband takes me I will go glam with this red dress and these sparkly heels.
I am a classic over dresser and I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 34 weeks

Things are moving right along! I cannot believe we are so close. Now that our c-section has been scheduled it seems even more real.
Even though I count down until he original due date and the 40 week mark it's actually going to be a week sooner! So only 5 weeks to go.
That seems so fast. I'm starting to get nervous about having a baby and a toddler. 
And, the big question on my mind every week... 

I am super excited about our decision to be surprised, but it does have me wondering as we get a little closer. I am excited both ways, a baby boy means a little brother for Little C. It means I stay a MOB (mom of boys) and I'll have brothers to match! I may or may not have two adorable matching outfits picked out for Easter already. A baby girl seems to be what a lot of the family is rooting for. A baby girl means  decorating a new room, bows and tulle, and a Sigma Kappa legacy. I already have a potential daughter's outfit picked out for Easter too. Either way a healthy and happy baby to hold is going to be such a blessing. 

How far along? 34 Weeks
Total weight gain: 20 pounds
Belly Circumference: 42 inches, whoa!
Maternity clothes? Mostly, unless yoga pant stay on all day.
Stretch marks? Yes :( belly grew a lot this past week.
Sleep: all depends on Little C
Movement: Still moving around, I wonder when room will get tight.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Gender: Going to be surprised!
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? It's out.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Mood: Completely Excited. 
Looking forward to: meeting our newest family member!

Comparison Pregnancy Picture from both pregnancies
bump to bump!
Signing off until next week's bump installment.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My first plane ride

I'm adding another installment to our story today. The story of me and Hockey Husband and how he became my husband and this blog came about. 

I'm sharing my story with Megan from Here's to You Mrs. Robinson. I never realized there was week dedicated to marriage until reading up on one of Megan's posts. February 7th - February 14th every year is a collaborative effort to work on marriage. Sounds great to me! 

For more on "Our Story" you can click on the header for all the posts. Last week, I left off wrapping up the beginning of our dating story. Today I thought I would remember two trips early in our relationship. 

I'll start with Laughlin- the less crazy trip, but worth a mention. After about six months of dating my family invited TEG {the boyfriend} on a trip to Laughlin for the PBR.
My family totally country.
Hockey Husband not so much. 
It was an awesome trip and a fun way to give the boyfriend at the time to get to know the whole family. 
I had actually completely forgot about this trip until looking our little memory box that I mentioned in my last post. Also, in the box? Trinkets, stickers, bus pass, and plane ticket all from our San Fransisco trip.

My Tall Economics Boyfriend at the time had to go to San Fransisco to pick up a car.
And, he decided he wanted company.
This was a fun and totally bizarre request and I knew I was in love with this guy.
TEG/TEB/HH: "So, want to fly with me to SF and drive a car back next week?"
Me: "What?" "Um, sure"
{I already turned down his request to fly to Hawaii for a wedding the previous month.}
{He was all about big romantic gestures}
{Yes, I was still just 19!}

There you have it he bought our plane tickets and I was going to SF.
It was my first time EVER on a plane.
It was my first time on a public bus.
First time on a trolley.
I coined the day, "Public Transportation Day"

He took me to Fisherman's Wharf to the see the sights and Pier 39. We had a bowl of clam chowder.
{and, I think about this every time we visit CA Adventure on their imitation pier}
We visited Ghiradelli Chocolates and one of the biggest and best sundaes.
The whole day morning was an unforgettable experience.
Then, we were in the car we picked up for our nine hour roadtrip back to OC.
Our first roadtrip.

It was a day filled with memories and possibly the day we chose our future kid's names.
Because, yeah we did that like really early in the relationship.
About four years later he would propose, but two years before that we would break up and I would move away.
Stick around for another chapter in this perfectly imperfect love story that's ours.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday Snapshot

The hand I'll need a few times in tonight's family poker tournament.
Wish me luck. 
{Serious stuff-a trophy is involved}

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's been too long

since I read a good book.

I feel like I have been choosing the wrong books and forcing myself to read them.
Which just turns into me not reading at all.
Until last week. I picked up a good book.
As soon as I finished I wanted to share it with Book Club Friday.

So what is the name of the book I loved?
Taken from the Good Reads website:
It is 1989 and Daria Gradov is an elderly grandmother living in the rural West. What neighbors and even her children don’t know, however, is that she is not who she claims to be—the widow of a Russian immigrant of modest means. In actuality she began her life as the Grand Duchess Tatiana, known as Tania to her parents, Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra.

And so begins the latest entrancing historical entertainment by Carolly Erickson. At its center is young Tania, who lives a life of incomparable luxury in pre-Revolutionary Russia, from the magnificence of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to the family’s private enclave outside the capital. Tania is one of four daughters, and the birth of her younger brother Alexei is both a blessing and a curse. When he is diagnosed with hemophilia and the key to his survival lies in the mysterious power of the illiterate monk Rasputin, it is merely an omen of much worse things to come. Soon war breaks out and revolution sweeps the family from power and into claustrophobic imprisonment in Siberia. Into Tania’s world comes a young soldier whose life she helps to save and who becomes her partner in daring plans to rescue the imperial family from certain death.

I thought the book was wonderfully written and I loved the historical side. I didn't realize I was such a historical fiction fan until after reading this. That genre will definitely be on my list next. It was also nice to read a new author that I had never heard of- which can be risky, but also can payoff. 

What are you reading? What genre do you prefer?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Recipe Thursday: Valentine Dessert

With Valentine's Day coming up I thought I would share my favorite romantic dessert.
I love making this for Hockey Husband and when we stay in on Valentine's Day this is what I make.
Yield: 6 mini desserts
1 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
2 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 butter
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

In small heavy saucepan combine 3/4 cup of chocolate pieces and whipping cream. (filling) Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat. Cool, stirring occasionally. Cover, chill about 45 minutes until firm. {I put mine in the freezer for about an hour}
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy saucepan cook and stir remaining 1 cup of chocolate pieces and butter over low heat until melted. Remove from heat; cool. 
Form filling into 6 equal size balls; set aside. Lightly grease and flour 3/4 cup souffle dishes or 6 ounce custard cups. Place dishes in a 15x10x1 baking pan. Set aside. 
In a mixing bowl beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until lemon colored. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture. Sift flour and cocoa powder over mixture; beat on low until just combined. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into dishes. Place 1 ball of filling into each dish. Spoon remaining batter into dishes. 
Bake in 400* oven about 13 minutes or until cake feels firm at edges. Cool in dishes for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a knife, loosen cakes from sides of dishes. Invert onto dessert plates. Garnish how you wish!

I mentioned earlier this week about meeting Hockey Husband's family for the first time. My first visit was a dinner at the Chart House. Hockey Husband and I returned on our four year dating anniversary. This recipe is the best replica I have found of their specialty dessert! It is from the Better Homes and Garden Newlywed cookbook. I encourage you to play around with the ingredients to try new things! 

Hot Chocolate Lava Cake
A rich chocolate cake with molten center, made with Godiva® liqueur.
Served warm, topped with chocolate sauce, Heath® bar crunch and vanilla ice cream.
{from Chart House website}

I'm sharing this yummy goodness with the following blogs:
  Coping with Frugality
Confessions of an Overworked Mom 
Our Fifth House
Thirty Handmade Days
Something Swanky

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lake Louise

I may be the only person on the planet that doesn't watch The Bachelor. Or at least in the blogosphere.

But, when I heard all over twitter that The Bachelor was up at Lake Louise for a polar bear plunge I had to check it out!
And, then about two minutes into the show I realized why I don't watch and turned it off to read about it instead.
{Not that I don't watch plenty of other ridiculous shows}

However, the episode sparked my interest because it reminded me of my trip to Lake Louise with Hockey Husband. We went this past summer and visited all of Banff and the surrounding area.
More on our whole trip later, today just snippets of Lake Louise.
We were also at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise as well!
 The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise 
I was snapping shots on my phone 

We went once in the morning and the water was pristine. Smooth as glass. We visited again in the afternoon and had a different view. Still breathtaking and gorgeous but more people and the water was showing signs of activity. 
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Afternoon shot @ Lake Louise

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks

Last week, I shared some old wives' tales to reveal the baby's sex.
Out of the random six I found we got four votes for girl and two for boy.
I will be the first to totally point out that I think old wives' tales are completely untrue and are just coincidences. In fact, I never even paid attention to them during Little C's pregnancy.
But, this time around being Team Green has my anticipation on super high! I don't want to get my mind set on either sex or follow any intuition.

I want to keep the surprise a complete surprise!
However, it has been lots of fun to hear other people's thoughts.

A lot has been changing this week, I'm feeling lower back pain and some constricting around my belly. To tell the truth it's a little scary. I don't remember having any "early labor signs" with my first pregnancy. I'm not even sure if those "early labor signs". I do know this baby better wait at least four more weeks!

I also realized I never shared a photo update last week. 
Thought I would do a comparison shot. After looking at the pictures I realize it's kind of hard to tell which photo I look bigger in.In the future I want to try and wear the same clothes {since I still have them all} and maybe the same pose?

How far along? 33 Weeks
Maternity clothes? A little of both, I've been doing leggings with non-maternity dresses this week.
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: Not falling asleep early, but sleeping great.
Movement: Lots of turning upside down.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not lately.
Gender: Team Green.
Labor Signs: Not sure.
Belly Button in or out? It's out.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Mood: Lots of anticipation.
Looking forward to: Doctor Appointment this week.

Monday, February 4, 2013

9 Years Ago

In the spirit of February hearts and love and other mushy stuff. I want to share more of our story.
Today is one month away from the day when I met Hockey Husband.

9 years ago today I had no idea how much my life would be changing in just one month.

I left off our story about a year ago with the story of our first date and how we met.
This is a story I say and write and re-write dozens of times over and over in my head. I edit and try to figure out where to begin.
I want to dedicate every Monday from now until March 4th to my love.
I want to talk about the time before he became Hockey Husband.
Back to the time when I called him Tall Economics Guy. {which can totally still fit}

From our first date up to our 6 months of dating anniversary was a complete whirlwind in the best way.
Everyone commented on how fast our relationship was moving.
I was 19, he was 20. We were in love. But, even we had no idea at what level.

Pictures, oh pictures. There are not a lot of those from the beginning of our relationship. We were awful at taking pictures! We used to joke all the time about taking a "mental picture". Well, I haven't been able to find that file as of late. So...I turned to "our box".  A box of everything from the beginning of our relationship. Everything I swore I would turn into a scrapbook one day.
Still, no scrapbook but the box- it lives on.
A time capsule to nine years ago full of ticket stubs, receipts, photo booth print outs, and so many memories.

In the first month of dating we went to movies, dinners, a concert, comedy shows, and so much more.
My card from Cameron {Hockey Husband or TEG} on that one month anniversary read, "...hopefully it'll be the first of many to come".
And, well it was and continues to be. 107 months to be exact.
One hundred seven wonderful months I have had to share with my soul mate and best friend.

We went for a hike to waterfall with friends in those first few weeks.
We went and saw The Notebook, Kill Bill 2, and Troy in theaters among others. The first one is not a movie I could get my husband to go see now. Just one of the little differences between that cute guy my boyfriend Tall Economics Guy and the man I am married to today, Hockey Husband.

There was the group camping trip out on Catalina Island.
A Perfect Circle concert at the Long Beach Aquarium.
Comedy shows at the Improv.
Random night outings to Best Buy or the local Food For Less.
Miniature Golfing and a trip to Disneyland.
Meeting Hockey Husband's family for the first time after they wanted to meet the girl he talked about so much and was taking up lots of his time. :)
My first visit to meet his parents:

Then I met his whole family at his 21st birthday celebration in August. Before he went off to Vegas without my 19 year old self. I was given a shirt to wear with a baby picture of him on it. Bummer I have none of those pictures to share! ;-)
I may or may not have worn said shirt to bed for the next three or four years.

Next week, I'll share our trips to Laughlin and San Fransisco {all right around that six month mark}

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Goodbye January

Hello February!

...doing this a little late...
...and a little backwards, but I don't want to forget...

January was good to me. To wrap up the month,

It started with fun on top of Schweitzer Mountain. Where, Little C was introduced to skiing.

Back at the ranch there was lots of sledding, celebrating Sister/Auntie Glamorous' Birthday, and my little cowboy taking care of some ranching chores that included tractor rides and feeding the animals. Everything we need to round out our winter Idaho vacation.
We went to Mrs. Organized birthday celebration and saw lots friends and welcomed another year. Little C went to a birthday party for one his friends at a petting zoo. 

My return home for January marked the beginning of my stay-at-home-mom days as I put working-at-home-mom on hold for a little while. Time to re-energize and play with Little C . We spent our time going to lots of different parks, libraries, and some community outings. We participated in story times, play dates, and got more involved with my local MOMS Club

We went to Disneyland a few times and I shared a bunch of pictures from our family Disney Day.
 I won a blog giveaway hosted by Lia at Life is Amayesing for a Hana Hair Dryer, which I am excited to try.
I started walking weekly with Nurse SC- only because she's totally good at motivating me. {left to my own not sure I would walking that much}
My Hockey Husband got a promotion! Go babe :)
I went to Aunt Animal Print's housewarming to check out her new space with her boyfriend Mr. Bear. 

And, that was January! Can't wait to see what February brings. 

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