Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

At this point, it's safe to assume that you most likely already saw my exciting post announcing our BIG SECRET...we're expecting! {If you haven't seen it, hop over here and then come back to me!} Not only did we announce that we are pregnant with baby #2, we were able to tell y'all that we already know it's a baby BOY!

I thought it would be fun to rewind and tell y'all the story of how we found out...


At 11 weeks 5 days, I went in for my monthly OB appointment and had my blood drawn to do the genetic and gender testing. They said it would take up to 2 weeks to get the results back, but I reallllly hoped and wanted them to come back by 10 days. That way we could have all of our parents over and a few close friends to share this special moment with.

I wanted them by Friday, so on Thursday I called to see if they were in by any chance. I talked to my OB nurse and she thought they would be in the next day based on the results she saw coming in. She told me to call back Friday morning. Instead, a couple of hours later, SHE CALLED! My results came through a little after 5pm and she still called me. My OB nurse is the BEST. She let me know they were in and that I could swing by the office Friday morning to pick up my envelope since I didn't want her to tell me over the phone.

I went up to my doctor's office pretty much first thing in the morning to pick it up because it felt so real having it! I met up with my friend Jessica who I've known since middle school for lunch, and afterwards we went to get my special balloon filled! Jessica ordered a black balloon with both pink and blue confetti. I handed her the envelope, and she took it in to have it stuffed with confetti and filled with helium! Of course, once she came out of the store, she handed me the balloons and said, "Bye, text me later!" for fear of spilling the beans. {She really wanted me to have a boy since her daughter Kate is just a bit older than Chloe and now she wants to pass her boy clothes on to someone! I would have known it was a boy if she showed too much excitement.}

We had the balloon at our house for a few hours before everyone started to come over. It was so tempting to just have it "accidently" pop, but I would have been so mad at myself if I did that. Once the whole gang arrived, it was time! We got the balloon ready and I stuck it with a safety pin...


It took a second to realize what color the confetti was, but we were giddy with excitement once we were able to figure everything out! I managed to pop the balloon over my head, so I had confetti all over and in my mouth. Popping the balloon completely freaked Chloe out and she lost it. She ran away from JP and I and went straight for her Nonna and Jojo. Grandmothers are always the best for making everything better. Especially if it's mommy and daddy's fault that you're upset!


Pictures were hard to capture, but I love this one of my reaction. The lighting wasn't the best quality in our house and our walls are 50 shades of beige, so everything came out quite yellowy. {Don't worry, we're getting that fixed soon!} My sister still managed to get some adorable shots and I'm so thankful for these memories!


We had to do a confetti toss picture to end the night! We are so thrilled to be adding this baby boy into our family. He is already so loved and wanted.

Hop on over to my Instagram if you want to see the video of our balloon pop! It's actually quite entertaining! Stay tuned to see how the first trimester was for me, and then I plan to keep y'all updated with either weekly or biweekly bumpdates!

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Favorites v4: Disney Edition

Hey hey and happy Friday! While you're reading this, I've already completed a 5K and I am now having a blast at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Hopefully we were able to get in when the park opened to ride the new Avatar Flight of Passage ride! Stay tuned with my awesome adventure via Instagram if you're into the amazingness that is Disney.

Since I'm galavanting around Disney with my ladies this weekend, I thought it would be fun to share how this weekend started. In November 2010, I saw a runDisney booth at the Rock 'n Roll San Antonio half marathon and immediately became interested in running the princess half marathon. My friends couldn't take vacation and save up on that short of notice, but I knew someone who could! Since I was moving to Pittsburgh in two months, I knew that my mom would love to meet up with me in February in Florida. She grew up in Tampa, so we talked to her besties and convinced them to meet up with us at Disney. I had the best time there with my mom and her friends. We lounged at the resort, explored Downtown Disney and the expo and I ran my very first Disney race. It was an amazing experience that I wanted to do again with my friends!



Fast forward to 2012, my friends Julie and Andrea decided to sign up and run with me! We had another spot in our room, so I convinced my sister to come along for the ride. She didn't run the race, but came out to watch us and played at Magic Kingdom with us! We were only there for 3 days and went to Magic Kingdom just one day and Universal Studios for another. We knew that this trip was the best and we had to make it bigger and better!


Another year passes and February 2013 rolls around. This time Julie, Andrea and I were accompanied by Alison! Andrea didn't run because she was only 4 months postpartum and wasn't quite ready to jump back into in. She brought her son Charlie along for the adventure. This year we explored all four parks and went to Universal because...Harry Potter...duh. At this point, the Glass Slipper Challenge hasn't been created, so we were only running the half marathon. 


In 2014, Julie, Ali and I were joined by Ashley! We all ran the half marathon and played at all the parks plus Universal. This is the first year the Glass Slipper Challenge was offered, but we didn't partake quite yet. We were enjoying the thrill of having an amazing girls weekend and playing at Disney World.

 

2015 was an interesting year! We had the same crew as the year before plus a tiny addition...fetus baby Chloe. I didn't know that she was a girl yet at 17 weeks pregnant. I also managed to tear every ligament in my ankle just days before we left for Disney. I was planning to run the 5K and the Glass Slipper Challenge for the first time! Instead, I walked the 5K, skipped the 10K and participated in the first 3 miles of the half marathon before pulling over to a medical tent and waiting for the van to pick me up. We still played at all the parks and my girls ended up pushing me around in a wheelchair.


2016 was the first year that we didn't run the Princess Half Marathon! Instead, for the first time, we invited our husbands along and for a good reason. I had a 5 month old, Ali was 5 months pregnant and Julie wanted to run the full marathon. It made for an interesting change of pace with the guys there! Ali and Philip ran the 5K, JP and I ran the half marathon and Julie finished the full marathon!


Last year we were just a party of 3, Julie, Ali and me! It was my first year to finally run all 3 races and complete the Glass Slipper Challenge! It was also the first year that we were having not only a husband free weekend, but we also were kid free! We love our babies, but a weekend away from adulting with your best friends is so needed. And important. 


Every year our weekend gets better and better. We do something different each time that just heightens our experience. I have a feeling that this year is going to be amazing. We have lots of dining reservations, so be ready for Disney restaurant and food reviews headed your way!

I'm going to be here through Monday, so you can expect to hear back from me by midweek next week. I can't wait to share my adventures with y'all again this year. Until then, I'm going to soak up every minute with my ladies. Happy a fabulous weekend y'all! I know I will!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The BEST and WORST of runDisney Princess Weekend

Here's the thing. I love Disney. GASP! I mean, who is totally shocked? No one? Okay cool. Every year I head out to Orlando for my annual girls weekend! I'll share more about the history of this trip in my Friday post.

Today I want to talk about race weekend itself. Everyone always asks me what is so special about runDisney. There is so much that I could go on and on. Of course that doesn't mean that it's perfect. There are pros and cons to racing at Disney. I thought I'd share some of these with y'all before I head that way!


BEST
It's the most runderful time of the year! runDisney is by far the most exciting, fun and highly anticipated races of the year for me. There is so much joy and excitement revolving around this weekend and the races that come with it.

WORST
It's definitely a crowded weekend! In the early years, it was actually down season! Now it's busy, lines are longer at the parks, the expo is packed and Disney Springs is full of people. It's still a fun weekend to be there, but that is just something you need to be prepared for.

BEST
The expo is hopping! There are tons of vendors that seem to get better every year! This is a great chance to get runDisney swag and any other race necessities you need. They have tons of sparkle running skirts, headbands, running shoes, running clothes and race necessities like Gu, jelly beans, chomps or whatever your choice of energy is. There is also a great photo op leading up to the expo where you can take pictures in front of your race!


WORST
Wake up time is EARLY! Races start at 5:30am, but you have to be on a bus by 4am at the LATEST to make it to the prerace area on time. That means you're waking up at 3:30am getting your costume on and feeling like a zombie. I have tons of sweet early morning pictures where we look like we're glazed over!


BEST
Crowds along the course are amazing and supportive! Disney pulls in tons of volunteers to support the runners from the water stops to the long stretches of nothing. There are high school bands, cheerleaders and dance teams, choirs and other groups along the way. Oh and of course the characters! Just when you think you need a break, there is a character stop when you need it!


WORST
Lines can get crazy long on the character stops. The earlier corral you're in, the more likely you are to get a shorter line. As the race goes on, those lines get longer. TIP: If you really want to meet a character in a race and the line is long, go for it! You may never get to do it again. Just make sure you choose the right character because it may keep you from meeting others down the road. Also you'll see the pirates, princes and a few others along the first long stretch. TIP: You'll go back by these guys towards the end of the race and you can get a picture then with better lighting and a shorter line!

BEST
Cast members are out on the course to support you and help you take pictures! There are cast members that you can hand your phone to at each character stop. How cool is that? Also if you see a cast member along the course and want a pictures, grab them! A great place to do that is along Main Street USA. You can snag a great castle pic!


WORST
It's not the cheapest race that you'll run. And by that I mean the race entry fees are STEEP! It's definitely the most expensive race entry fee I've ever paid. You do get quite a bit for your money like dry fit race shirts for each race you run, a very supported race course, running through the parks, awesome post race snacks and of course your medal!

BEST
You feel like a badass at the end of the race! You did it, you finished your race or even your challenge!


WORST
You're pretty exhausted after the half marathon and it definitely takes a bit to regroup before you head out!

BEST
Post race support is just as great as the support on the course. There's a lot, so hear me out. The medical tent is right there at the finish. Even if you aren't in incredible pain, but you know that ice will help you recover faster and feel better later, get it! They will gladly help you and get you back on your feet. They also have advil, biofreeze, vaseline and other medicines to make sure you're feeling okay. You also get a really great post race snack box! Snacks are important to me y'all. Definitely one of the best post race snack boxes out there which is great because after the half you are HUNGRY! The finishers area is big with tons of areas to stretch and meet your friends after the race. You also have the opportunity to take pictures with more characters! There may be a line, but it moves fast. It's a great opportunity if you're waiting for your friends to finish. Lastly, the buses at the race finish are constantly rolling out to take you back to your resort. As soon as you're ready to head out, the bus is there to take you!


WORST
I think I'm done with worsts now because runDisney Princess Weekend really is awesome! I wanted to be realistic and let y'all know some of the cons about the race. I will tell you that the pros outweigh the cons. This is my 9th runDisney race and my 7th Princess weekend race! I want to continue to do this for years and years because it brings me so much joy.

I can't wait to see what Princess Weekend 2018 has in store. I have a feeling that this one is going to be one of the best! I also say that every year. This will be my first year that I'm pregnant and able to run since my race weekend while pregnant with Chloe I was injured. Wish me luck! We take off tomorrow dark and early. One more sleep and I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Have you run a runDisney race?
When is the last time you went to a Disney park?!

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Secrets are NO Fun

Anyone else hate secrets? I'm good at keeping them when I have to, but let's be real...they're no fun. I've been keeping a HUGE secret from y'all the past few months.
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WE'RE PREGNANT!!!

Yep I've been holding back and it's been so hard not to just spill the beans! We really wanted to keep this special secret for just a bit.

I'm not sure it you noticed, but that does indeed say baby BOY coming August 2018! We already know the sex and couldn't be more thrilled to be having a son. We did a gender reveal with our families on Friday that I plan to share soon!

I know everyone has questions, so let me just lay it all out there. Then you don't have to ask. But if you have more, feel free to ask me. I'm kind of an open book.

When is your actual due date?
- August 23, 2018

How far along are you?
- I'm 13 weeks 4 days today!

How do you already know it's a boy?
- We decided to do the NIPT genetic blood test that also determines sex.

Did you actually have the flu after Chloe in January?
- Nope, but I was sick, sick, sick for 2 weeks all pregnancy related.

Why did you have to stop working out for a couple of weeks?
- I experienced some pink spotting at 7 weeks which terrified me. I went to the doctor for an early ultrasound and everything looked okay, but baby was measuring a week behind. My doctor asked me not to do any physical activity besides walking for 2 weeks so that everything could settle. Now baby boy is measuring right on track.

How have you been feeling?
- My morning sickness hasn't been nearly as bad as when I was pregnant with Chloe! Thank goodness. I had a few really rough weeks, but survived. The hardest part of this pregnancy is the exhaustion. I can't explain how tired I've felt these past several weeks! Being pregnant and keeping up with a toddler is no joke, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Do you have any names yet?
- Yes and no. We have some favorite names but haven't completely decided yet. Don't worry, I'll let y'all know when we're ready.

Is Chloe excited?
- She's not sure if she's excited. She loves talking about her baby and kissing mommy's tummy, but that little girl has no idea what's coming her way! The good news is that she's obsessed with babies and is starting to understand that one of those is going to live in her house.

That's all I can think of for now! I'm planning to to weekly or biweekly bumpdates just like I did with Chloe. I loved documenting my pregnancy with Chloe and can't wait to do this again. So here's to BABY BOY GOUGLER!

P.S. It's Disney week, which means Disney posts to come!

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Dallas Weekend Getaway


Oh be still my heart! I posted this picture on Friday night while lounging on the couch with my bestie Julie! Friday was the first day that we finally got to meet baby Alexandria since she was born 3 months ago.

Chloe and I woke up early Friday morning to be able to hit the road by 8:30am to start our journey. I knew that it would take quite a bit longer and I actually have a post planned talking about road trips with a toddler! We pit stopped at Bucee's and again at a McDonald's, but finally made it to Julie and Chris' house just before 2:30. So a 4 1/2 hour trip took us 6 hours. Not terrible considering we were at McDonald's for at least 30 minutes while Chloe ran around and played!

Friday we enjoyed time outside before the cold weather rolled in. Chloe loved playing on their swing set, and was pretty much stuck on repeat going up the ladder and down the slide. We went to get some delicious BBQ for dinner and closed out the night with bathtime for both girls! Chloe loved getting to take a bath with the baby!


Saturday morning started with LOTS of snuggles and movie time in the media room. Julie's husband is an ER doctor and was working nights, so we were trying to keep the kiddos kind of quiet and in their own space.


We had breakfast, watched Sing and Chloe finally got to hold Baby Alex or "the baby" as she calls her. She asked multiple times on Friday, but Chloe was filthy from eating in the car and playing on the swing set. Let's just say that Chloe used her bootie to dust the slides! She was so excited and proud to be holding her that I couldn't help but take all the pictures. Alex has a sweet little champ and didn't fuss one little bit while Chloe was holding her. It's the beginning of a beautiful friendship!


Once we got ready, we decided to head out of the house and go on an adventure. We went to the Dallas World Aquarium! This place was so neat and the perfect activity on a cold, windy day. We had been hoping to go to the zoo, but the aquarium wasn't just fish but tons of animals!


Birds and alligators and monkeys oh my! After seeing this toucan eating a blueberry, Chloe was convinced that all the animals wanted to eat blueberries.

The aquarium is downtown and multiple levels so we started at the top since we have strollers. Then we were able to cruise on down to the bottom only needing an elevator to get down to the basement. Tip: if you're planning to visit and have a toddler that will want to get out of the stroller a lot, you may want to forgo the stroller. There isn't a ton of walking like there is at a zoo!


The crocodiles were HUGE! Chloe decided they were super neat but very scary. We even got to see this guy in the sand moving around. Chloe wanted to stay and watch every animal for as long as possible. Unfortunately it was pretty crowded, so we had to keep moving to let other people in to see what was going on.


It's not the best picture, but this anaconda was massive. It literally gave me the heebie geebies as it slithered around. There was quite the line of people to see him and it was worth it. Chloe was freaked out, but she couldn't look away.



Next up, stingrays!!! I have a special love for stingrays since JP and I went swimming with them on a cruise many moons ago. These spotted guys were busy swimming and lots of kids were gathered around watching them and trying to stick their hands in the water. Chloe is still too small to cause that kind of mischief!


In the center of the aquarium is an amazing waterfall habitat with monkeys, birds, fish and even a manatee! You can see the centerscape from all of the different levels of the aquarium. Naturally we had to get some pictures of us and the girls.


Next we took an elevator to the lower level to check out the manatee! A space opened up right by the glass when we got down there. We were close to the end so I didn't think the manatee would come right in front of us, but I was so wrong!

He decided that he needed a snack and there was some right in front of us. Chloe was amazed and giggled the whole time.



I mean he was up close and personal for snack time!


Then we went to see fish from all over the world. Chloe was interested in one tank. Of course it was the tank with Dory and Nemo. She was so excited to see them together! Nemo was hanging out in his sea anemone while Dory was swimming in circles. 



We also saw monkeys, a sloth, flamingos and more! There was a black panther somewhere but we didn't see him in his exhibit. He was on a video monitor somewhere near his exhibit, but that's all we saw.

We spent a solid 2 hours at the aquarium and could have spent more time there, but we realized we were starving! Chloe decided for us that Chic-fil-a was for lunch and we were pretty pleased with her decision. 

It got colder and wetter as the evening went on so we decided to just spend the rest of the night at home. We had chili, watched the Olympics and just talked allll night. We also decided to watch a feel good movie and ended up with How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and eating popcorn. The perfect Saturday night if you ask me!


Sunday morning we hung out in the media room again. We watched Secret Life of Pets and snuggled those baby girls. Chloe got to hold Alex again and I got to have her fall asleep in my arms. A happy Auntie Amy indeed! Around 10:45am Chloe started losing her mind. I think 2 days with no naps and early morning wake ups sent my girl into a tizzy. I decided it was best to just load up and take off so Julie could have a relaxing Sunday.

Since we were planning on a few stops on the way home, we decided to stop in Waxahachie to visit Kristin!!! It was 1hr 15 minutes from Julie's house which is the perfect distance. We spent a little over 2 hours there which was so perfect. Chloe was able to watch Mickey and play with all the fun toys at Auntie Kristin's house while we got to talk and catch up. It was a wayyyyyy better pit stop than McDonalds! Next time I see Kristin, it needs to be longer for sure!

We had a wonderful weekend away, but of course we missed JP! I think he had a great weekend at home alone. He had the chance to relax and do nothing since he's been traveling so much lately. He also got lots of brownie points because I came home to a beautiful, clean house!

Now it's time to start looking forward to my NEXT trip...Disney! ONE MORE WEEK!

Where do y'all road trip to?
Do you like to get out and do things when visiting friends? Or just hang out and catch up?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Be My Valentines


Happy Valentine's Day y'all! This year Valentine's Day is so much fun because Chloe is obsessed! She keeps telling everyone "Happy Balentime's Day!" and loving all the treats that come along with it. There's a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode about a Valentine's surprise for Minnie which is why I think Chloe started talking about it. That and school of course!

Chloe's very first Valentine's Day party was yesterday at school and she came home smiling ear to ear with her bag of treats. They made bags last week with a teddy bear holding a heart. {See below.} She's been talking about it literally since last Thursday! She finally got to show it to me and she was beaming. This age can be so much fun y'all!


My flowers and card above are actually not from JP...they're from my secret admirer! Just kidding, they're from my best girl Kristin! On our way home from visiting Julie in Dallas, we pit stopped for a few hours in Waxahachie to spend some QT with Kristin. More on that tomorrow when my Dallas post goes live! There's nothing better than a sweet card and beautiful flower from your friend you've loved since you were almost 9 years old!


JP and I have never really gone overboard for V-Day. Mostly we cook a nice dinner one night the week of Valentine's Day, and we try to spend more quality time together. In the past, I've tried to come up with a new and "fancy" recipe and paired it with a yummy wine. Meanwhile, JP has always had a sweet side. Even when I say don't get me anything, he always gets me flowers and chocolate or ice cream! {He always seems to know when I need flowers in my life!}

This year we're going a slightly different route. Tomorrow night my sister and her husband have offered for babysit Chloe for us to go out for a few hours and do whatever we want! We brainstormed and came up with a few ideas but settled on...BOWLING! We're going to put on some sweet bowling shoes, eat crappy bowling ally food and just spend time together! Plus we get to be competitive which is always fun for us.


This year we're definitely doing a bit more for Valentine's Day this year because of Chloe. Her love and joy around the holiday just makes you want to celebrate. We got her some sweet little gifts just because we love her. Thank you Target dollar spot and Cat and Jack clothes for helping me create something Chloe will just love.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day! Chloe and I have some fun planned to celebrate today and we'll have to surprise Daddy with a little something when he gets home!

And can you handle the cuteness?


What are your Valentine's traditions?
Do you celebrate or just let the holiday go?

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Favorites v3

Hey hey happy FriYAY! Guess what? While you're reading this, I'm probably in the car on my way to North Dallas to visit my girl Julie and her baby girl Alexandria!!! I haven't seen Julie since my 30th birthday party and her baby shower last September. We're headed up for a fun girls weekend to just hang out, catch up and snuggle on these babies of ours.

This will be my first road trip with Chloe alone. We've done road trips before, but never just the two of us. It could be interesting. I have plans for 2 solid stops that will let us get out and run around for a bit along the way. I have a feeling this 4:45 journey is going to take about 6 hours. Oh boy! Stay tuned next week to see just how it goes and what advice I have!

But for today, I'm here with another volume of Friday Favorites. No exciting rhyme, reason or theme for this one. Just some favorites from this past week!


one. running with my favorite people
I had to get in a 12 mile run in for my Princess Half Marathon training last Saturday, and my two favorites ran the last 3 miles with me! It was nice to have someone to cheer me on and push me through the last little bit. It's a lot harder to do long run when you don't have people cheering you on from the sidelines and you don't get an awesome medal at the finish! Naturally we took a picture at the end so that I could brag about them getting up and out the door early to help me out.


two. this silly little girl
It's pretty much impossible for me to get a picture of her when I ask her to stand and smile these days. My great pictures are all candids and action shots. But every once in a while I catch a gem like this one. She has a cheesy smile on and is up on her tippy toes with a wild hand, but it shows her fun personality so much! I had to get one of her in this sweet outfit even though she took off her leggings and shoes before I could snap it.


three. pretty new bookcases
We ventured out to Ikea last weekend and bought this gem! Before we had the exact same shelving unit, but in black and without the doors on the bottom. The white has brightened up our living room and will look even better when we get painters in to give life to our beige walls! The cabinets on the bottom bring everything together because now most of Chloe's toys are hidden instead of out in the open. That makes Momma happy. Props to JP for spending pretty much all day Sunday {before the Super Bowl of course} putting this together for me!


four. sweet puppy snuggles 
These two have been so snuggly lately. I think the cold, gloomy and rainy weather has them in a mood. Of course after snuggly days, they have hyper bouncing off the wall days. Wednesday was cold and rainy and these two helped keep me warm while the baby slept in.


five. these buffalo chicken sliders
Y'all this was my dinner last night. I then dreamt about them. Yes, they're that good. Are y'all interested in a recipe? I'm already thinking about when I'll make them again because they were just that amazing. I don't know what else to say about them other than to me they look delish, but they taste even better!

Do you have any meals like that? If so, tell me what so I can give it a try! I'm trying to expand my recipe repertoire, so I don't keep having the same thing over and over again.
What are some of your favorites from this past week? Moments, food, shows, anything!

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