Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Feeding Two for $50 - Week Two (I Just Don't Think This is Going to Work)

I've been putting this post off.

So, as excited as I was to take on this feeding two for $50/week challenge and to reduce our grocery budget, I just don't think it's going to work.

Here's why:

I watched this film over the weekend, and it really changed the way I think and feel about food.

I learned a lot about how processed foods affect me, and I can see the results of eating so much processed food in my life.  I'm always tired and feel like I can't ever sleep enough.  I feel lethargic and crave junk food and pop.  The minute I begin "healthy eating" I automatically feel deprived, and that's not how it's supposed to be.  I think that eating junk food will make me feel better, when really it just makes me feel worse and really messes with my stomach and digestive system.  Ugh.  It's just so not good.

I really have tried to shop for real, healthy food the majority of the time, but there was so much that I didn't realize was affecting our bodies.

I became a bit obsessed and followed this one up with Foodmatters, Forks Over Knives, and Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.  Then I went grocery shopping on Sunday evening, as I normally do.  But this week, I agonized over everything I put into my cart, so torn between eating food filled with chemicals and saving money.  I didn't even buy some things (i.e. milk) because I just couldn't stand buying the regular stuff, but couldn't stand paying so much for organic either.  I knew I had a lot of research ahead of me and would have to have a good convo with my husband about all this and our grocery budget.

So that's what we've done this week.  I've done loads of research, beginning with these documentaries and leading into the Paleo lifestyle and the Whole30 challenge and the Eat Clean diet, and we've talked about it a lot - the pros and cons, the budget worries, the lack of CHEESE in most of these eating plans.  I want to change the way we eat, especially with Liam getting into eating real food and starting to get onto cow's milk instead of formula pretty soon, I really want to make sure that what I'm feeding him is actually good for him.  I know it's going to be tough.  I don't quite think we're ready for something like the Whole30 challenge (but who knows, maybe next week we will be), but I do want to begin making steps towards eating whole foods, little to no processed foods, and more organic & pastured foods.

And with that being the case, I don't think the $50 grocery budget is going to cut it anymore.  Right now, we've decided that since Liam is beginning to eat more and more regular food (and we'll only have to buy a few more cans of formula before we can switch him over to organic cow's milk), we can up our grocery budget to $75 and include Liam's items instead of having a separate budget for baby items - though diapers, etc. will still come out of our "household" budget.  We're going to continue to work with it and crunch numbers and see if we can continue to up our budget reasonably so that we can afford to purchase more organic & pastured meats and stuff like that.

So, beginning with next week, I think I'll still post my menu plan, and maybe how much I spent on my grocery trip, but I won't be sticking that $50 budget on myself because it's just too tough to get good food with that little money.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Soup Season

With most of the temps being in the single digits this week here in the Midwest, I think it's safe to say we are well into soup season.  I'm a soup lover - I love to eat it (because it's delicious) and I love to make it (because it can be SO easy).

So today I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes that I've made lately.

Becca's Potato Soup
I got this recipe from ... my friend Becca!  I'm not sure where she got it from, but it is SO good.  It's super easy and really tastes like potato soup from a restaurant!  I usually double this recipe so we have leftovers (my husband can eat A LOT of potato soup - it's his favorite).

1 box chicken broth
4 large potatoes, cubes (I leave the skins on)
2 large carrots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 8oz package reduced fat cream cheese
seasoning to your own taste: garlic salt, lowry's seasoned salt, bay leaf

Heat the potatoes, carrots, onion, bay leaf, and seasonings in the chicken broth until boiling.  Cook until potatoes are softened, still occasionally.  Mash about 1/2-3/4 of the potatoes to thicken the soup.  Turn heat to low and stir in the cream cheese until totally melted.
Becca's rule: whoever gets the bay leaf does the dishes! ;)

Chicken, Black Bean, and Corn Soup
I adapted this recipe a little bit from this one that I posted a while back. 

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 can original (or mild if you prefer less spice) rotel
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans
2 cups water (you could probably use chicken stock, too, but I haven't tried that out yet)
10 oz package frozen corn

Throw it all in your crockpot EXCEPT for the corn, give it a quick stir, set it for 8 hours on low, and jump for joy at how good your house smells when you get home.  Take the chicken breasts out, shred 'em up, and add back to the pot along with the corn.  Give it about 10-15 minutes for the corn to heat through, and then enjoy!

Stuffed Pepper Soup
I seriously cannot say enough good things about Skinnytaste's Stuffed Pepper Soup!!  It is so good for you, but feels like such comfort food.  We love it!

1 lb extra lean ground beef (you could probably use ground turkey too!)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 can diced tomatoes
1 box chicken stock
2 cups tomato sauce (we love Barilla Tomato Basil pasta sauce)
1/2 tsp marjoram
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups long grain brown rice

Brown ground meat in a large dutch oven or stock pot.  Drain fat if necessary and add peppers, onion, and garlic.  Cook on low for 5-10 minutes or until peppers and onions are a little soft.  Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and seasoning.  Cover and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes stirring occasionally (I like to let mine cook for most of the afternoon, but 30 minutes is good if you're in a hurry).  Meanwhile, cook the rice in a separate pot.  To serve, put 1/2 cup rice in a bowl and top with 1 cup soup.  Top with parmesan cheese if desired!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chocolate Mug Cake

Crummy/weird day + late night chocolate craving = me googling chocolate mug cakes, and coming up with this amazing thing.  I just had to share because this is only about 200 calories (!!) and tastes amazing.

I looked at a lot of recipes for mug cakes while coming up with this one, but I think most of what I did came from this recipe.

Chocolate Mug Cake
1 tbsp + 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 tsp unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp skim milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
cooking spray
small handful of chocolate chips (optional)
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Combine dry ingredients in a little bowl with a wire whisk.  Add applesauce, milk, and vanilla extract.  Mix SUPER well with the whisk (I had like one weird spot in mine that wouldn't really cook all the way no matter how many times I kept microwaving it, and I think it's because I didn't stir it well enough).  Spray a coffee mug lightly with cooking spray.  Pour batter into mug.  Sprinkle in a few chocolate chips.  Microwave for 1.5-2 minutes.  Let cool and then flip the mug upside down onto a plate and tap the bottom of the mug a few times and the cake should come right out.  Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Enjoy your low calorie chocolate dessert!!

195 calories
47g carb
1g fat
6g protein
3g fiber

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Feeding 2 for $50 - Week One!

Starting on my big challenge this week to feed two for just $50 a week (I got this idea from Shanna)!  And let's just say, I'm definitely still learning to keep my budget in check.  I went a good bit over for this week, but luckily I can borrow a little from my "other" budget (the budget for baby, household, etc. items).

What I bought:

1 dozen large eggs $1.98
old fashioned oats $2.19
greek dressing $2.50
applesauce $1.99
pears $2.21
green bell pepper $0.99
3lb bag sweet onions $2.29
3lb bag idaho potatoes $1.88
1 bunch green onions $0.79
classic romaine bagged salad $2.49
frozen chicken breast $7.99
frozen broccoli florets $2.19
5lb bag gala apples $4.99
carrots $0.52
chicken broth (2) $5.98
bacon $3.19
frozen vegetable/rice medley (3) $4.77
honey ham lunch meat $3.00
yellow bell pepper $1.59
large head cauliflower $2.99
bunch bananas  $0.86
sliced cheese $2.19
2% shredded cheddar cheese $2.50
1/2 gal skim milk $1.34
large coffeemate $3.54
barbeque sauce $2.69
reduced fat cream cheese (2) $2.00
light sourcream $1.00
chobani yogurt (6) $6.00
Total: $78.64

What we plan to eat:

Breakfast: Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins, Baked Chocolate Chip Oatmeal, Cereal, Fruit

Lunch: Ham & Cheese Sandwiches or Leftovers with Yogurt and Fruit


  • Sunday - out of town
  • Monday - Potato Soup
  • Tuesday - Crockpot Barbeque Chicken with Twice "Baked" Cauliflower
  • Wednesday - Bacon and Veggie Scrambles with Toast
  • Thursday - leftovers (Korey works)
  • Friday - dinner out
  • Saturday - leftovers (Korey works)

Not sure what exactly put me over because I didn't feel like I was buying that much while I was shopping.  I know I need to keep track of how much I'm spending on the calculator on my phone as I put items in my cart.  This is my starting place - I know it will be a challenge to get the weekly total down, but I think I can do it!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ten Things to Help Your Marriage Thrive

I came across this link a couple weeks ago on Pinterest, and I felt really compelled to give these 10 things a whirl.  After a crazy 2012 of becoming parents and being in survival mode for those first 6 months, then changing jobs, moving in with my in-laws, moving again, and launching straight into the holidays, our relationship is in desperate need of a boost.

The next evening, I had us start with number one - weekly questions.  We struggle to make the time to sit down and just talk, just the two of us, at least once a week.  But we are going to work harder at finding the time to go through these questions together, even if it's less than 20 minutes.  I'm also really excited to begin implementing the travelling journal idea and the small metal box idea.

We aren't going to be able to immediately start doing all of these things, and these might not be the 10 magic things for us, but I think that if we give each one a try and keep doing the ones that feel right, and maybe make up a few things of our own, it will help us feel more connected to each other and help our marriage thrive.

Check out The Ten Things to Help Your Marriage Thrive on Today's Letters.  (I also just really love this blog in general, so check it out!)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Inspiring Friday: Liam's First Birthday!

I can't believe my baby is going to be one year old in only a month and a half!  I've been working on ideas for his birthday party for a while now, but haven't really decided on anything or put anything into action yet.  I think we've finally decided on the time and place, and also to do a super hero theme!  I'm really excited to get the ball rolling on this party!  Here's kinda the look I'm going for:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eating Out and Losing Weight

One of the hardest parts for me about losing weight is eating out.  My standard mindset seems to be that every time I eat out I can make it a "cheat" meal and treat myself to whatever I want.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all about having a cheat day (only one per week!), and eating out is fine, but this is NOT a good mindset to be in when a dinner or lunch out pops up unexpectedly.

Even when I do try and make a healthy choice at a restaurant, I inevitably choose wrong - a salad that is a calorie bomb in disguise or grilled chicken that seems low cal, but is smothered in a calorie laden sauce.  It's important to know exactly what you're getting when you order at a restaurant.

The trick for me is to always go in prepared.  I usually have a go-to list of restaurants that I know what I can order there and how many calories it is.  Panera, Subway, and Qdoba are some of my favorite go-to places.  Thankfully, most restaurants have their nutrition information posted on their websites (except for the little mom-and-pop type local places), so it's easy to see exactly what you're ordering.  Whenever I know in advance what restaurant I'll be eating at, I always take the time to look up their menu online.  A lot of places have a low-calorie or healthy section of their menu that is worth taking a look at - Applebee's and Friday's for example both have "under 500 calories" options that are pretty tasty!

I usually try and go with the best low-calorie option that looks good.  Occasionally, if I want to order something that's higher in calories, I'll make sure I don't eat as many calories for the rest of the day, or add a little to my workout to make up for it.  And when I'm really wanting something that is pretty bad for me (i.e. a burger and fries or a big plate of pasta), I save it for my cheat meal (one per week!).

It's totally possible to eat out AND lose weight, it just takes a little research and a lot of self control.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Losing the Pregnancy Pounds: When the Results Surprise You

I had a great experience stepping on the scale this morning ... one, two, and three times, just to make sure that number was correct.  Another three pounds lost since last Wednesday.  These are the kind of results that are super motivating and encouraging.  I know it won't be like this all the time (probably not even next week), so I'm going to revel in this feeling of success while I can.

I was especially surprised this morning because when I weighed in for the weight loss challenge at my Zumba class last night, I hadn't lost any weight compared to last Tuesday night.  I was pretty bummed because I felt like I've been working pretty hard.  I know weighing in on two different scales can be tricky (and at two different times of day), and I usually trust my home scale most of all because I've always been consistent on it and use it most often.

Pleasant surprises like this can really make your day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Top 5 Reasons Why I Love My Husband

I'm kind of stealing this idea from Ali's blog because I think it's a great post.  Another of my 2013 goals is to be more intentional in all my relationships, including my marriage.  I think a lot of times when you have a baby, even though it's the best ever, it can cause the focus to shift from your relationship with your spouse to how both of you relate to your new bundle of joy.  This year, we are trying to take the time to focus on each other just a little bit more.

So, here we are with My Top 5 Reasons I Love My Husband.

1. He's my best friend.  I can talk about anything with him, and I like spending time with him most of all.  And he can always make me laugh, even if I really really really don't want to.

2. He supports me in whatever I decide to do, even if I don't stick with it (which is usually) and no matter how many times I change my mind.  Making my own baby food - sure!  Starting a blog - sounds good, honey!  Eating healthy - no complaints!

3. He's an amazing Dad.  He loves Liam so much and takes such good care of him.  He spends as much time playing with him as he can when he's home.  He was the first one that could make Liam giggle.  And he can always keep a level head in a scary situation (i.e. the other day when Liam had an unknown something in his mouth and was kind of gagging/choking on it and I was fah-reaking out).

4. He's looks great in uniform.  And he's pretty good looking all the other times, too.  And he's really good at his job.

5. He loves me for me.  Always.  No matter what I look like or act like, and whether or not I'm having a complete breakdown over a can opener (ahem, this morning), he's always there to tell me I look beautiful, to give me a hug, and to try and solve my problem.

Seriously, I love being married to this guy.  How did I get so lucky?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meal Planning

I used to be really good at meal planning, and I even tried my hand at freezer cooking a while back and got really good at it and LOVED how much it simplified my life.  But through moving in with our in-laws for two months and then having an absolutely crazy holiday season, I have gotten far away from it.  I think last week I made at least 4 trips to the store for one thing or another, shopped without a list, spent way too much money, and made multiple last minute decisions to eat out instead of making something at home.  And since one of my 2013 goals is to reduce our grocery budget while still feeding my family real, healthy food, I've decided to take on Shanna's Feed 2 for $50 Challenge (I seriously love Shanna's blog - check her out!).

This challenge is going to take some creative shopping and some serious planning, but I've been thinking about it for a while now, and I think I'm ready to try it.  The $50 budget will be ONLY for food for Korey and me - baby supplies/formula/other household items will come out of a different budget (so will date nights, which we tend to do once every two weeks).  I also don't have to cook dinner every night of the week - since my husband works overnight shift starting at 6pm, I usually don't cook a big dinner on the nights he's gone.  And we definitely need to get better at utilizing leftovers around here - last time I cleaned out our fridge I threw away so much food, and I hate doing that!

So, I'll be starting this challenge next week, but for this week I'm going to get my feet wet by at least posting my plan.

Sunday - Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Monday - Breakfast for Dinner!  French toast, bacon, and eggs.

Wednesday - Leftovers (Korey works)

Thursday - Soup & Sandwiches (Korey works)

Friday & Saturday - We will be out of town visiting my parents!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Sunday To-Do List

This morning was chilly and rainy, and my husband worked 12am-6am so he was catching up on his sleep this morning.  And I still haven't gotten the hang of handling Liam at church by myself since he's become so mobile and talkative.  And since he's developed a little separation anxiety, I don't like the thought of dropping him off in the church nursery.  So I just decided that we would stay in today.

My Sunday to-do list inevitably consists of laundry and cooking/prepping food for the week.  Today I made Baked Oatmeal Muffins with chocolate chips (only 120 calories each!).  Also on the list today: lots of time playing on the floor with my boyo and getting all our Christmas decorations taken down and put away (so glad that's finally done!).

Since we moved into this house at the beginning of December and pretty much decorated for Christmas as soon as the boxes were out of the living room, it's kind of nice to see what our house will look like in it's normal state now.  I'm working on a more organized play area for Liam in our living room - not gonna lie, right now we just pile all of his toys in the middle of a blanket, pull the corners up, and stuff the whole thing underneath a side table after he goes to bed at night (and yeah, it's not really working out that well).  So I can't wait to get things organized!

We also just received a baker's rack for our kitchen as a housewarming gift from my parents - I'm so excited that our microwave won't have to be on our kitchen table anymore!  Can't wait to start getting things set up around here!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Losing the Pregnancy Pounds Part Three: Results

A series of posts about losing the weight I gained with my pregnancy.  I didn't start this blog to be a weight loss blog, but it is a big part of my life right now so I can't help writing about it. 

Part One: My Backstory
Part Two: My Plan

I am happy to report that I lost 3.5 pounds in my first week!!  I know that the majority of that weight loss is probably the water I retained from eating ALL THE THINGS over the holidays, but I was happy with the number I saw on the scale yesterday morning nonetheless!

I think the hardest part of starting any weight loss plan is having patience with your results.  It's hard for me to not will the time away so I can just get to my goal weight.  I signed up for TWO weight loss challenges this week.  And looking at my starting weight on both of those charts and seeing the spaces for the weigh-ins for each week or month with the dates through March or June, just really makes me want the time to pass so I can see my weigh go down and down.  So I'm trying really hard NOT to do that.  I'm also trying really hard to not expect unrealistic results from myself.  Even 3.5 pounds is a pretty big loss for one week, and I definitely will not expect that all the time.  I really don't think it's healthy or realistic to lose more than 2 pounds per week (I'm no weight loss expert, just talking from my own past experiences), but I know that changing your diet drastically like I've done can jump-start your results at the beginning.

One day at a time, one pound at a time.  Eventually, it really will be June and I'll be able to see all the hard work pay off.

And speaking of hard work, it has been hard.  I did have some slip-ups Friday and Saturday last week (weekends are always my weight-loss nemesis), and again on Monday when the BCS bowl game was on.  I've been pretty good about sticking with the 30 Day Shred, but I'll admit that I haven't done it everyday.  I thought I could do both that workout and Zumba in one day, but I am just pooped out most of the time, so I've skipped it a couple times.  I'm getting ready to move onto level 2 tomorrow night anyway though, so we'll see how tough that is!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What I've Been Cooking Up Lately

Skinnytaste's Stuffed Pepper Soup:
  • This recipe was amazing!!  I made it New Years Day, and it was the perfect snowy day comfort food.  And it made a HUGE pot - fed the two of us for dinner and leftovers for 3 days!  
  • Very low cal - the calories listed included 1/2 cup rice per serving!  Also low in fat and high in protein.  I love that.  Can't beat a recipe that is low cal AND filling.
  • Definitely putting this one into my rotation of healthy recipes.
Skillet Lasagna I found on Pinterest:
  • I grew up on hearty Italian food, and lasagna might be one of my favorites.  I mean, who can say no to that pile of noodley-cheesey-carby goodness??
  • Using part skim ricotta and part skim mozzarella cheese keeps this recipe reasonably low in calories, which is amazing.  And it still tastes great!  I thought there was NO WAY 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese would be enough, so I added more (oops), and it was almost TOO cheesy (what?!).  Half a cup definitely would have been enough.
  • I've used Skinnytaste's banana bread recipe before and loved it.  Bananas were reduced at the grocery store last week, so I bought a whole bunch (haha see what I did there?), but I also wanted something grab & go for breakfasts in the morning - so I decided to convert this recipe into muffins!
  • They turned out great - made about 21 big muffins that freeze great - I just take a couple out of the freezer each night and let them thaw on the counter for breakfast the next morning.  And only about 140 calories each.  Love it!
  • SO GOOD.  This was my first time using cauliflower as a stand in for potatoes, and I will definitely do it again.  I mean, you can tell it's cauliflower, but this dish is so creamy and cheesy and good that I didn't even mind that it wasn't potatoey.  
  • And since it calls for reduced fat cream cheese, low fat sour cream, and reduced fat cheddar cheese, it's not quite the caloric bomb that twice baked potatoes are.  AND it still has bacon in it!  WIN.
  • I tried this recipe out as a grab-and-go breakfast option, too.  They were good, but didn't turn out exactly as I had expected.  I think it was because I didn't follow the directions quite right - I just patted the biscuit dough out with my hands and then smooshed it into the muffin tin, then I put the crumbled bacon in the bottom, then egg, then cheese.  Well, when I opened the oven to take them out, there was egg and cheese EVERYWHERE - well at least, all over the muffin pan.  I managed to salvage it by just cutting them apart after they cooled, and they still tasted good.  But I wonder if there's a trick to putting the bacon on the top, if it somehow keeps the egg mixture in the biscuit?  
  • I also thought that using a whole biscuit for each cup as a little much - too much bread for me.  I think next time I try something like this, I might cut each biscuit in half and hopefully they won't puff up as much and not push so much of the egg mixture out too.
  • A great breakfast option for less than 150 calories.

What have you been cooking up lately?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Losing the Pregnancy Pounds Part Two: My Plan for January 2013

A series of posts about losing the weight I gained with my pregnancy.  I didn't start this blog to be a weight loss blog, but it is a big part of my life right now so I can't help writing about it. 

Losing the Pregnancy Pounds Part One: My Backstory

My Plan for Kicking off the New Year

My first goal for 2013 is to lose 30 pounds.  I'm normally not one to flaunt it about that I'm going to try to lose 30 pounds because what if I fail and then everyone knows and that makes me feel awful?  But I NEED the accountability and the pressure right now to make myself do this.  And, for me, at least right now, it's not about getting skinny, it's about being healthy.   I'm carrying around a lot of weight from my pregnancy and it makes me feel awful all the time - not just in self esteem (though certainly that too), but physically not like myself - no energy, tired all the time, back aches, headaches, etc.  I want and need to start feeling better so I can be my best self!  Who wants to live life NOT being their best self?

So how am I going to reach this goal of mine?  Here's my plan for January:

  1. Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred: Every. Day. For this whole month.  The best part about this workout is that it's only about 20 minutes long, so there is very little excuse to not get it done.  Even if it's 10 or 11pm and I haven't worked out yet, I am able to just DO IT quickly, and then get a shower and head to bed.  (Working out in the evening works for me - if I tried to work out in the morning I would NEVER do it - I know this from experience.)  I also love this workout because it combines strength training (with 3 lb hand weights) and cardio.
  2. My Fitness Pal:  Add me as a friend if you have one too (my username is lizflinn)!  This is a great site for tracking your calories and exercise.  You can put in how much weight you want to lose per week and it tells you how many calories you should net per day (net calories is calories eaten minus calories burned).  I also love that you can add friends and encourage each other!  It really helps me stay on track!
  3. One cheat day per week:  I've always done this while dieting/losing weight, and it helps me stay with it.  If I'm super strict with what I can/can't eat and never let myself indulge, I will inevitably give up.  If I can look forward to a meal I've been craving all week for a date night on Friday night, then it helps me stay on track for the week.  Then I can eat what I want, and get back to tracking calories the next day.  It works for me.  
  4. Weighing in once a week: It's important to me to not become obsessed with the number on the scale (it's so easy!), so I try to weigh myself just once a week - every Wednesday morning.  I picked up the "Weigh In Wednesday" idea from blogging on Tumblr, and I think Wednesday works well because it's opposite the weekend (when I usually eat more calories and/or have a cheat day).  It's hard for me to not want to jump on the scale and see results the second day, but it's important to be patient.
And so far so good (yes, I know I'm only through three days so far).  I've been under my calorie goal for the past three days, and I've done level one of the 30 day shred every day.  I also wanted to go to Zumba today, but it was cancelled - but next week I'm going to try and add in Zumba.  

This Friday night is date night, so I am looking forward to indulging a little bit in a nice dinner and possibly a movie out with my man.  Then it'll be back to the calorie tracking on Saturday.  I'm really hoping to see good results on Wednesday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Favorite Mom Moments

As much as I DO NOT enjoy being woken up in the middle of the night (trust me, I LOVE my sleep!), some of my favorite mom moments occur in the middle of the night.  When Liam starts to cry, and I sneak into his room, lift him out of his crib, and he snuggles his head into my shoulder and wraps his little arm around my arm - my heart just swells.

It is the literal best.

I used to think that women were crazy when they said they missed getting up with their babies in the middle of the night, but now I understand.

Liam is already almost getting so big that he has a hard time getting comfortable on my lap and falling asleep there.  And tonight when he woke up as I was getting ready for bed, and I was rocking him back to sleep, his diaper must've leaked and soaked us both.  But I still cherish every moment.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

2012 was a fantastic year, and will probably always be one of the most important years of my life, because I became a Mom this year!  Not to toot my own horn or anything, but seriously what an accomplishment!  ;)

I have high expectations for 2013.  Here are my goals for the upcoming year:

1. Lose 30 pounds

2. Throw my baby a super awesome 1st birthday party

3. Reduce our grocery budget while still feeding my family healthy, real food

4. Blog more

5. Read 25 books

6. Study for and take the GRE

7. Save more money and pay off more debt

8. Take a relaxing vacation with my husband (even if it's only a weekend)

9. Be more intentional in all my relationships (mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, coworker, etc)

That seems like a whole lot now that I've typed it out (those have been floating around in my head for the last month or so), but I have a whole year to accomplish these 9 goals, and I think I can make it happen.

What are your goals for 2013?