Friday, November 27, 2015

Burn the Turkey!

Happy Black Friday!!! Did anyone get up and go shopping this morning? I slept in and it was glorious. I did however, get some online shopping in. I know it's not Cyber Monday yet, but I feel like the Black Friday deals are becoming just as good online for some shops! Anyway, I digress. How was everyone's Thanksgiving? I hope it was full of family, fun and lots of food! If your Thanksgiving plate was as full as mine...

...then you may want to find a way to burn a few extra calories! You're possibly still out of town or with family, so I put something together that you can do anywhere and all you need is YOU!

4 simple exercises:
Push ups
Sit ups

Perform 30 repetitions of each exercise. That means 30 lunges on each side! No cheating ;) After you do your reps do 3-5 minutes of cardio. You can run, do jumping jacks, jump rope, high knees, or even hop on a bike if you have one around. Then perform 25 reps and do your cardio. Keep on going until you get down to 5 reps of each! If you're short on time, cut out the cardio. It's better than doing nothing at all!

Speaking of burning turkey calories, yesterday I walked a 3 mile Turkey Trot with my daddy and Chloe while JP ran the 5 mile route. I was supposed to run but issues with my SI joint and hip are keeping me from running right now. It's all about taking it easy so I can run in January! 

Chloe was a champ and fell asleep shortly after we started! Turkey Trots are exhausting after all! 

And our activity didn't stop there! Every year we have the Annual Timmer Games of Skill. Each year it's a little different, but always awesome. It's a way to get everyone out of the house so my mom can cook without us bothering her. This year went up to the middle school football field had had throwing, kicking and other weird competitions. We also played a game like Ultimate Frisbee but with a football!

The girls we obviously way more skilled and talented then the boys! It was an awesome Thanksgiving with so many loved ones!

Do you have any Thanksgiving activity traditions?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Travel Tuesday: Music City

Oh hey! I disappeared, but I'm back again! I actually spent the past several days driving across the eastern US from Houston to Nashville, TN! Yes, I said driving. We left Wednesday evening and drove to Shreveport, LA where we spent the night! It was Chloe's first time outside of the state of Texas and her first night in a hotel.

Before this journey, her longest time in the car was 4 hours on our drive up to Dallas. Because of traffic, it took about 5 1/2 hours for us to get to Shreveport. Ali, Chloe and I went to bed, while the girls and mom went down to the casino to have a little fun with the penny slots before hitting the hay.

Thursday morning we woke up and took our sweet time. We were in no rush and just wanted to enjoy a good breakfast and then hit the casino for 30 minutes since I didn't play at all the night before. What can I say? I'm a sucker for lights, sounds and fun fish games.

We were back on the road by about 11:30am with a full day's drive ahead of us. We didn't get to Nashville until about 9:30pm due to traffic and pit stops. I'll save you the boring details of the drive, but I have to brag about Chloe because she was such a trooper!

Friday we had another low key morning. After we had breakfast, we headed into downtown to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame!

The Hall of Fame was amazing! We spent several hours there and it was well worth our $25!

 We saw Taylor Swift's rhinestone guitar, Elvis Presley's 24K gold piano and walls and walls of gold and platinum records!

Chloe was a hoot! She walked around with Emily and very intently looked at everything that she was looking at. Almost as if she was interested in what she was seeing. She didn't fuss one little bit and eventually fell asleep snuggling her Auntie Em.

My favorite part of the CMHoF was the Taylor Swift Educational Area! We were able to sign up and do a bunch of activities like recording a song and mixing it, creating a CD cover, mad libing lyrics and figuring out what our role on the musical team would be! I would be the tour manager in case you're wondering.

I had to have a picture with Tay's "tour bus." Duh. Here's my awesome mad libbed song. It's all about being bedazzled.

After our fun at the Hall of Fame, we took the short walk over to Broadway to see the honky tonks in the daytime and grab a late lunch!

 We ended up at Merchants which had great variety like barbecue, salads, cheese grits and awesome grilled cheese sandwiches. Everyone loved their meals and clearly I had grilled cheese. Yum!

Chloe was hilarious at lunch. She has started to find her voice and was chatting away while we were there. We were in a corner booth so I propped her up in the corner which she clearly loved. There is nothing better than baby chatter and smiles.

While sitting in Chloe's corner, she may have had a pretty serious pooslosion. It was intense and got all over her adorable turkey outfit! Luckily it happened at the end of our meal, so I cleaned her up and we went back to the car to change her clothes. It was also time for us to meet up with the guys! My mom dropped us off at their hotel and took Chloe with her to go visit her brother!

The guys arrived shortly after we were dropped off. They drove up from New Orleans that morning and they were ready to get out and going. First stop, Hattie B's Hot Chicken. Ali and I shared a kids meal since we weren't too hungry from our late lunch, but we had to try this Nashville favorite! Then we headed back to Broadway to go honky-tonkin'!

There were so many Aggies in Nashville that is was like a reunion. We literally took over the city and it was AWESOME. Ali and I were trying to stay up long enough to make it to midnight yell. Since we got to the bars around 8pm, we had a while to go. I'm proud to say that we did it! But we didn't technically make it to midnight yell. It was packed! The bar filled up and the line was blocks long! All the girls decided to grab a cab and head back to our hotel since there wasn't a chance we'd get in the bad and we'd been bar hopping for 4 hours. Apparently, everyone did the yells from outside and the cops came because they didn't understand why there were so many people yelling! Kind of awesome and it makes me so proud to be an aggie!

Saturday morning, Mom, Emily, Chloe and I went to visit with my Uncle JD, Aunt Anne and our cousins Kimmie and Rhonda! We had breakfast and coffee with them and spent a couple of hours catching up! Their dogs absolutely loved Chloe and were always concerned with every sound and movement she made.

It was a quick visit, but I'm glad we were able to squeeze it in while we were in town.

Then we had to head back to the hotel to get ready for game day and grab lunch before heading back downtown to meet up with the guys to tailgate!

Chloe was super lovey while at lunch and I had to share these pictures. She recently started giving kisses and nuzzling into my shoulder. So. In. Love!

 I think she knew her momma was going to leave again because she was very clingy which was fine with me.

Once downtown, we started at a bar called Jed's since it was cold and rainy. We had a few drinks and waited out the rain before heading to our friends' tailgate across the street! I got to see tons of my college friends and we even made a few new friends! A organization called Warrior Events was tailgating in the same area. They bring soldiers and firefighters that were wounded in action to children's hospitals and do charity work and fundraisers for them. Of course, they find a way to couple the children's events with some sort of spotting event! It was awesome to talk to these heroes and hear their stories.

As always, tailgating was a success, but this is one of the coldest game days I've ever experienced. The wind was whipping around about about 10-20 mph and temps we 35-40 degrees. By the end of the game it was 35 but felt like 28!

Luckily we were all bundled up, but let's be honest, it didn't stop us from freezing our butts off and complaining...a bit. The Aggies ended up shutting out Vanderbilt 25-0 and we stayed until the bitter end! We sang the war hymn at the end of the game with the team and were on our way back to the hotel to get warm! The boys and Shannon decided to go out, but since I was so cold and had my alarm set for 5:00am, I wasn't ready to tackle another night on the town.

We made it to bed around 11:30pm and before I knew it my alarm was going off. I had to get up earlier since it took me way longer to get ready. I had to pump, feed Chloe, get both of us ready and then finish packing up the rest of our bags before we hit the road.

I'm so proud of us because we managed to get 6 women and an infant loaded and started driving at 6:30am! We had another LONG day of driving ahead of us. 14 hours and about 4 stops later, we made it back to my parents house in Sugar Land.

It was a fairly quick, busy and overwhelming trip, but so worth it! I didn't get to see everything I wanted to in Nashville, so it looks like I'll have to go back again. Next time, you better believe we're flying!

Have you been to Nashville?
What are your favorite things to do, places to see or restaurants to eat at?

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Attention: A Special Pupdate!

It's kind of crazy to me that five years ago yesterday my oldest daughter was born! That's right, little Miss Maggie turned 5 yesterday! We adopted her within days of moving to Pittsburgh and introducing her to the world is the 3rd post on this little blog of mine! I thought today would be the perfect time to look back at Maggie's first year and give an update on my big girl now!

On January 12, 2011, JP and I boarded a plane with a one way ticket to Pittsburgh. Before we left, I told JP that I wanted to get a dog when we got there. I was going to be working from home and by myself all day, so this was the perfect time for me to get a little pup and train it. The first week in Pittsburgh, we were cooped up in a hotel during a snowstorm. Naturally, I did lots of puppy research. I came across this picture below. I saw her and knew she was mine. In fact, I texted my family and several friends saying that she was going to be my puppy! To top it off, the shelter, Heaven to Earth, is a no kill shelter that rescues puppies from Amish land, farmers and puppy mills for adoption. Exactly 7 days after we flew into Pittsburgh. Just 1 day after moving into our town home, we drove to New Philadelphia, OH to meet our girl.

To make sure she was the right fit, we had the opportunity to meet a few other puppies at the same time. I decided to meet her brothers {Mason and Moose} and sister {Molly} from her litter. Maggie was the only pup with this coloring. Her siblings were beautiful and sweet with dark coats. Luckily there were other people coming later in the week to look at them as well because it's so hard to say no to one puppy and yes to another! While we were there, Maggie paid the most attention to me. She came up to me, sniffed around and licked my leg which clearly meant she loved me and was going to be mine. On January 19, 2011, we took her home to be ours forever!

Left: Maggie's first car ride to her furever family!
Right: First attempt to get Maggie to potty outside. The shelter gave us the hay since that's what she pottied on there...leave it to Maggie to just lay down on it and not do what we say. Foreshadowing?

We learned very quickly that Maggie loves getting into things. Still to this day, she sticks her nose in bags, boxes, holes, anything that she decides she needs to get into, she does. This picture is still one of my favorite pictures of Maggie. The "what mom? I didn't do it!" look. Don't worry Maggie, it wasn't the snow on your nose that totally gave you away :) Speaking of getting into things, Maggie loves to open presents. She's obsessed. Yesterday, I wrapped my dog's birthday presents. And yes, she opened them with enthusiasm. Anyone else do this for their dogs? No? It's okay, we know she's strange.

We figured out early on that Maggie was quite the odd pup. And trust me, it hasn't changed one bit, but I wouldn't have it any other way. She loves to sleep in the strangest positions. The good thing is that people say dogs who sleep in strange ways are comfortable and at ease with their owners. I'm glad she feels safe with her mommy and daddy! And clearly this started early on...

...and hasn't changed one little bit! This is just a few months ago!

While Maggie loves to sleep and contort her body into strange sleeping positions, she hates a few things more than anything!

Maggie's Dislikes:

  • Bathtime. Worst thing ever.
  • Swimming. She won't go in the pool like Moose, but she is starting to wade now.
  • The vet. Enough said.
  • Going to bed. Our dogs are kennel trained, but Maggie would gladly sleep with us if we would let her.
  • Leaving my parents house. She loves it there.
  • Being told no. She's like a toddler.
  • Putting annoying toys out of her reach. She's incredibly persistent and will try to get them for hours if we let her.

Left: First trip to the vet. She had no idea what was coming.
Right: First bath. It was traumatizing for her and they still are today.

Maggie's Likes:
  • Toys. This girl is pretty toy oriented. She likes to just destroy them really. And now she just wants all of Chloe's toys.
  • Walks. She has never said no to a walk! I used to run with her in Pittsburgh. Texas is pretty hot most of the year and she doesn't really run at my pace, so she isn't always the best running buddy.
  • The dog park. She loves running around as fast as she wants, playing with other dogs and running through the wading pools.
  • Opening doors. She's too talented for her own good. If only we could teach her to close the door...
  • Getting what she wants. Brat.
  • Playing at my parents' house. Same as the dog park, plus extra attention from her grandparents.
  • Attention. See above. This puppy loves attention particularly from me and my dad.
  • Walking in tall grass. I'm not sure I understand this obsession, but it's a thing and she loves it.
  • Snuggling her momma. She's a momma's girl. We spent the first year of her life at home together every single day. She's my spirit animal and we're obsessed with each other.

Left: Tiny Maggie and tiny toy pre-destruction.
Right: I'm telling you, the tall grass obsession is real.
Bottom: All the momma attention and playtime.

This dog has brought so much joy to our lives the past {almost} five years. She's incredibly intelligent, but choses to listen only when she wants. She definitely has good dog potential, but has too much personality to be good all the time. She's a bit of a mess and can be difficult from time to time, but she stole our hearts long ago. It could have something to do with those ears. But really, those ears though!

Top Left: July 2011
Top Right: March 2011
Bottom Left: February 2012
Bottom Right: March 2015

 Above: Maggie's first baseball game. Pup at the Park Night for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Below: Maggie's second baseball game. Bark at the Park for the Sugar Land Skeeters. 
Maggie is a baseball fan, obviously!

We were blessed to find our Miss Maggie in Ohio. Big thanks to JP's job for moving us to Pittsburgh for a year because Maggie wouldn't be ours if we hadn't. Fate is a pretty amazing thing and God is so good. I can't wait to spend the next 100 years with my little girl because obviously she's going to live furever. Happy birthday Miss Maggie Mae! I love you my perfect first born baby!

How old is your first born?
Did you have a human or furry baby first?

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