+ smart as a whip
+ easily frustrated
+ an instigator
+ prone to verbal outburts (she's loud, she's proud get used to it)
+ a hand holder
+ a gymnast
She is not:
+ easily impressed
+ easily swayed
+ openly emotional
+ good at taking no for an answer
+ interested in hugging you if she doesn't truly know you
+ a doormat
+ a girlie girl
+ shy to tell you what she thinks
She is going to be one hell of a woman. Now if we can just survive to get there. Ha! I love being her mama, but it is not easy. It's a constant struggle between spunky (cute) and sassy (not cute) and we toe that line every day.
I adore this girl. And oh man...I cannot wait to see what giants+dragons she slays one day.
Ehhh...a whole bunch of nothing.
I'm still attempting to read, but nothing is holding my interest. Truly. The only book I remember reading lately is Jojo Moyes' new book.
And it was sweet and lovely...but just okay. I wanted the magic of Me Before You. Sigh.
Other than that I've read crap. Crap that I don't even want to record on Goodreads because it doesn't matter.
And I've been checking out books from the library, but they don't even interest me enough to read them.
I guess you could say I'm in a reading slump. Or maybe exercise has taken my reading time. And that's okay, but I would love to read a good book.
So it's your turn. What have you read lately that you loved? I want something that will grab me and pull me in. I want something that I will immerse myself in. I want something GOOD. I don't want to struggle. I want to be consumed.
Whoa. That's quite the laundry list, no?
I think this is one of my all-time favorite photographs I've taken in Italy.
It is SO representative of this place I've grown to love. How FABULOUS is the granny in the sequins and sunnies? I love her.
After a year and 2 months in Italy here's what I know.
1. I now drive with the best (worst??) of them. Yielding? What's that??? TAKE THE ROTARY!
2. I find myself feeling chilly when it's under 70 degrees. I have,however,fought the urge to put on a puffer jacket.
3. I talk with my hands a lot more.
4. I end conversations with "si si si si si si si si!"
5. I savor the taste of a spritz aperol.
6. I don't find it at all strange that strangers try to hold Cate and Lucy routinely.
7. I use the word "allora" on the reg.
8. I will never be able to eat tomatoes, pasta, gelato, produce, or cheese when I move home. Or drink wine or coffee. I am ruined for life and destined to be a horrible snob.
9. I wear gloves when I handle produce.
10. I eat as soon as my food comes to the table. No waiting for everyone else.
11. I am used to no central air. I feel like it is going to be COLD all the time when we go back to the US.
12. I can fit my van through ridiculously narrow spaces.
13. I don't expect anything to happen the first time I try. I expect to get lost. If I don't it's a pleasant surprise.
14. I eat dinner a lot later and drink coffee a lot more.
15. I am used to the feel of marble under my feet. Carpet...what's that?
16. I still hate the taste of licorice, even though Italians adore it.
17. I have grown accustomed to the sound of church bells ringing.
18. I have forgotten what the American media is like. No news on the TV here, no 24/7 mentality. No talking heads, no sensationalism. I do not miss it at all and dread having to return to it.
19. I consume meat and produce that was on a farm hours before.
20. I have discovered la bella vita.
Even when it's infuriating and nonsensical, I love it here. I don't ever want to leave. I love the sounds, the smells, the views. I love the people and the mentality. I don't ever want to leave.
Buona giornata,amici miei.
So I am now three days away from starting the Whole Life Challenge.
I plan to blog about my experience and I thought this week was a good place to start. I want to talk about my fears, my expectations, and my thoughts in general.
What is the WLC? The Whole Life Challenge is an eight week challenge that works by identifying the areas that almost everyone wants to change, and then making a daily game out of creating new habits in each of those areas. The game is designed around the five key areas that every person can identify with. Relying on their more than forty years of combined personal coaching experience, the founders created a system of play focused on implementing new habits in each of the five key areas.
What are the different components?
1. Diet (similar to Whole 30) 2. Exercise(10 min a day) 3. Water Intake (take 1/3 of your body weight and drink 1 ounce per pound)4. Stretching (10 minutes) 5. Supplements (I'm taking fish oil) 6. Lifestyle (this changes weekly- sleep,meditation,etc) 7.Daily Reflection
Each component is worth a certain amount of points. You lose points for breaking the rules.
So. Yeah. I'm pretty nervous but also really, truly excited to experience these eight weeks.
Saturday is the first day.
What am I scared about? No bread, pasta, sugar, dairy, cheese, milk. ESPECIALLY the cheese. I love cheese. Drinking my coffee black. I will miss gelato soooo much.
What am I most excited about? Changing my life. Does that sound dramatic? Maybe. But it's true. I'm tired of being tired. I'm tired of my back hurting and my stomach aching and I'm tired of being out of breath. I'm tired of not feeling strong. I'm tired of making bad choices because they are the easy choices. I'm tired of making excuses and I'm tired of not feeling good about myself.
What's my plan? Exercise every day. CrossFit, Body Pump, Yoga, Swimming, Walking, Running, Elliptical, Hiking. Backup Plan at home= 30 Day Shred, TurboFire.
I'm on week four of almost daily exercise and y'all- I feel GOOD. And strong. And I'm happier. I can't wait to add in the nutrition piece.
My plan is to make good choices and to make changes. I know that I will mess up and slip up and I'm okay with that. I'm not aiming for perfection.
My plan is to do prep every Sunday. Eggs boiled, Chicken baked. Vegetables and fruit chopped and sliced. I am going to buy a small freezer so that I can make and prep meals as well.
What level am I doing? Lifestyle/intermediate. One glass of wine a day? SOLD.
What am I stocking up on? Recipes and ideas. I have a Pinterest board HERE. I am going to make my own sriracha sauce and some other seasonings. I intend to try to make my own Lara bars. We'll see...
I'm stocking up on almond and cashew butters, Lara bars, and quinoa. Coconut oil, almond and coconut flours, almond and coconut milks. Raw cacao powder, a big water bottle, coconut flakes, and dates are all in my cupboard.
Each week I will visit a farmer's market or local shop and load up on fresh fruit and veggies. I have to teach myself to like sweet potatoes. VOM. Hahaha!
What about my family? Jimmy supports me 100 percent and is joining me in the challenge. I'm so excited to see the impact this makes on my family. For the record, I will not remove dairy, etc. from the house. My girls will still have these things, but dinners are for everyone. I make it, you eat it. No other choices. :)
This Friday I take the workout assessment. I will compare my times/scores before and after the challenge. I had my photos taken (in my sports bra-EEEK) and measurements taken on Monday. It was a scary experience for me but I really believe the end results will make it worthwhile.
It's eight weeks. I can do anything for eight weeks. After the challenge is over I want to decide what components to keep.
Let's be honest. Life is too short to not have pasta, or pizza, or gelato. Life's too short to not taste the wine. But I need to cut down on these things. I'm not taking care of myself and it's time for that to change.
I am determined to become stronger than my strongest excuse.
Let's do this!
I think it's safe to say that I've got my creative mojo back. For the first time in a really long time I'm wanting to make stuff.
Every day I feel the desire to at least step in my craft room and do something...even if it's just sorting and organizing.
It's a great feeling!
Here's a new page I recently made:
These kits were so "me" that I just couldn't stop making stuff. The colors are pure happiness.
It feels so good to be making and creating again. Here's to getting my creative groove back. WOOHOO!
Today I wanted to share a few of our favorite picture books. Most of these are old favorites and almost all of them are falling apart. That's how I gauge a well-loved book!
These are the handful of books that I have read over and over (and over) to all four girls. And they are the ones I get nonstop requests for.
These are more suited for my littles but honestly the bigs still love them too. If you are looking for read-aloud titles for bigger kids, here's a BIG old list I compiled.
1. Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin. There just aren't very many good books for military kids. This one is my favorite. It's a book about a kid who says his dad is his hero and explains why. His dad is deployed and that's reality for my girls. Great book.
2. The Chimpansneeze and The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz. I mean, who doesn't giggle at the words "And every time he got 'em us, he fell upon his bottomus!" Cate and Lucy laugh SO hard every time I read these books. There is nothing better than reading AND laughter.
3. The Llama Llama Books by Anna Dewdney. Harper and Sadie loved the llama and so do Cate and Lucy. Llama Llama Red Pajama is literally falling apart. Cute, great illustrations, good lessons, and rhyming words.
I won't even tell you how many times I've caught myself saying "PLEASE stop all this llama drama and be PATIENT for your mama!"
4. Anything...and I mean ANYTHING by the incomparable Mo Willems. We own all his books.
If you aren't familiar with Mo's work, start with The Pigeon books or the Elephant and Piggy books. Mo used to write for Sesame Street. You know how SS has the perfect mixture of kid humor and adult humor? Yep. His books are like that too. I laugh every time I read them.
5. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. GIRL POWER! Who needs a prince anyway?? The perfect book for a mom of girls.
6. Hand Hand Fingers Thumb by Al Perkins. Dum Diddy Dum Ditty Dum Dum Dum. I can recite this one in my sleep. I probably have recited it in my sleep. This was my favorite as a kid and I must have passed my love of the book on to my kiddos. The spine is broken AND we have the board book version as well.
Hello Jack Hello Jake! Shake hands shake hands shake shake shake.
Do you have any of these books in your house? Are your books falling apart like ours are?? :)
***links throughout post are affiliate
1. Is now scared of pregnant people. She looked at me, horrified, and yelled "YOU ATE ME?" when I was talking about the fact that she shared my tummy with her sister.
2. Constantly has her shoes on the wrong feet.
3. Likes to mess up her room and then tell me gypsies did it. Um...what?
4. Is the sweetest little thing. She likes to tell me "You so pwetty and bwave, I love you mommy!". Ohhhhh my heart.
5. Wears a headband every day. She has short hair now, thanks to a gum incident, and even though I hate the way it happened...it truly suits her.
1. Has grown out of almost everything in her closet. Pants? too short. Shoes? Too small. Shirts? Show the tummy. Hello long legs.
2. Is a voracious reader. She also loves writing. Math...well she finds math infuriating and confusing. I identify so much with her. We are working on staying CALM and working through math problems one at a time.
3. LOVES Taylor Swift (as does Sadie). I've promised I'll take them to a concert and she is so excited.
4. Writes songs all the time. She's constantly singing a song she's written.
5. Is a hoarder. She has a million stuffed animals all placed juuuust so. Goodness forbid I move one of them. She has vignettes set up all over her room and holds on to every letter anyone has ever written her, every keepsake she's ever found or bought. It's like Scout and her box on To Kill a Mockingbird...but the entire room is her box of treasures.
1. Is so encouraging and loving. He came to CrossFit class with me a couple of weeks ago and was so sweet to me. I had a hard time (yeah, ended up upchucking more than once) with the workout and he was right by my side cheering me on. He finished the entire WOD and then waited for me and ran by my side when I was trying to finish the last run. This is the kind of romance I love.
2. Is in Germany and I miss him so much.
3. Works harder than anyone I've ever known. When he's actually in town for work he's out the door before 4 am and home after 8 pm. Many days closer to 10 pm. And most days he doesn't eat. Sometimes I worry about him, but that's nothing new.
4. Is dead set on going to see The Black Keys when they come to Milan this February. He's super passionate about music and I love that about him.
5. Is a lover of college football and has such a hard time being in Italy during football season. I foresee many late nights as he watches games on AFN in real time!
1. Likes to cross her arms and yell "NO FAIW (fair" at me followed by a HMPH! I just laugh.
2. Loves fruit. Peaches, blueberries, apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries...you name it, she'll eat it.
3. Likes to wear a skirt with a dress on top of it with a princess dress on top of the normal dress. Also usually a hat (sometimes a swim cap).
4. Made me laugh until I cried yesterday. When having the "you were in my tummy at the same time as your sister" convo with Cate...you know "YOU ATE ME" and all that...Lucy wrinkled her nose and I asked what was wrong and she said "It was stinky in dere, in your tummy???". Bahahahahahha!
5. Completely charmed the socks off of her new teacher when we met her yesterday. She wore her princess dress (of course) and her teacher fawned over her the entire time. Italian school here she comes!
1. Will be continuing gymnastics this year. She practices OBSESSIVELY. Backbends, walkovers, roundoffs, headstands allll.day.long.
2. Has become a great little reader. She cannot read Captain Underpants yet, but keeps the whole stack by her bed and "reads them" nonstop, usually while snickering. Why am I not surprised that this series spoke to her???
3. Still tries to climb in bed with me almost every night when J is gone. She usually succeeds. My willpower is nonexistent in the middle of the night and she's so darn sweet I can't say no.
4. Asked me not to embarrass her the other day. I asked what I did to embarrass her and she said (ticking these items off on her fingers) 1. Sing loud 2. Dance 3. Say WHAT WHAT??? (when she said this, she mimicked me doing the "raise the roof" motion). Um I don't do that DO I? DO I? Oh wait...I think I do. Sh*^ I definitely do that. I am embarrassed at myself right now.
5. Made a list of things that scare her. It said 1.spiders 2.gypsies 3. bad guys 4. italians that i don't know who try to hug me and pinch my cheeks too much.
1. Officially starts the Whole Life Challenge on September 13. Goodbye pasta, sugar, and dairy. Hello daily exercise, fish oil, stretching, and water intake. It's going to be a long 8 weeks but hopefully life changing.
2. Turned 37 on August 31. Feeling strong and happy.
3. Hasn't had much time for reading lately. Exercise took reading's place.
4. Needs to get into another Italian class, or find a tutor. Stat.
5. Is currently obsessed with Sam Smith. Goosebumps head to toe.
I am also apparently very succinct when it comes to talking about myself. HA! That's what I get for putting myself last. I've run out of steam. Snort.
Love y'all- Ciao!
Both dresses from H&M kids. Sadie's is available online here .
Oh. My heart. Ouch.
When did they get so big and so darn beautiful?
Why do I feel like this is going by really fast yet really slow?
How can they both remind me so much of their daddy in this photo (even though they look so different)?
And why does Sadie look like she wants to punch me in the throat?
These are all questions running through my mind as I look at this photo.
But mostly? I'm really proud of them. Really, really, really, truly proud. They are growing up brave and kind and funny and fearless and compassionate and inquisitive and spunky and I love them.
These two are my heart.
Happy Wednesday, y'all - Ciao!
I finally made some time to get crafty this week. I couldn't help it.
I couldn't ignore the Gossamer Blue September kits anymore and I HAD to make something. I honestly can't believe we've been expats for an entire year.
I knew I needed to make a page to document the occasion. I'm in love with the colors and textures in these kits.
The photo is one i snapped when in Verona recently. I couldn't resist the candy colored buildings!