17 Weeks

How far along: 17 weeks

Gender: Unknown

Weight gained: Holding steady at my current weight

Workouts:
Saturday: attended a Zumba class
Monday: Taught Zumba
Tuesday: Bikini Arms, Sunset Stretch from the Beach Babe 2 DVD
(I did as much as I could)
Thursday: Taught Zumba, worked on choreography afterwards

Clothing Choices:  Dresses!

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: I wake up a lot now, mostly due to nocturnal sciatica.

Best moment this week: Doing an impromptu photoshoot with JMP Photography & celebrating our anniversary!

Hardest moment this week: Dealing with nocturnal sciatica and back pain

What I’m missing: Sleeping painlessly through the night

Movement: Can’t feel anything yet – I can’t wait!

Cravings: All kinds of things – FRESH MINT, frozen yogurt, holiday flavors (pumpkin, peppermint, salted caramel mocha), onion/garlicky things, tea, etc.

Queasy or sick: Still feeling great!

Looking forward to: The holiday weekend & a trip to the beach with my hubby!

Strange Dreams:  Here’s screenshots of a text I sent the morning after I had my strange dream this week. Haha!

photo 1 photo 2

 

Here’s some more pictures from this week. I was home a lot this week, so there’s lots of pictures!

"Fancy" updo for my photoshoot

“Fancy” updo for my photoshoot

Whole wheat chocolate chip pumpkin protein pancakes

Whole wheat chocolate chip pumpkin protein pancakes

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

One of my favorite pictures from my bachelorette party 4 years ago - Love you, Lizz!

One of my favorite pictures from my bachelorette party 4 years ago – Love you, Lizz!

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Fresh strawberry mint lemonade

Fresh strawberry mint lemonade

Brown butter fish & zesty quinoa salad

Brown butter fish & zesty quinoa salad

I've been waiting for this sale for 3 months!

I’ve been waiting for this sale for 3 months!

My Tuesday morning

My Tuesday morning

My husband "missed seeing me," so I sent him this selfie.

My husband “missed seeing me,” so I sent him this selfie.

Sunset over the river

Sunset over the river

Baked pumpkin oatmeal with dark chocolate chunks and vanilla bean swirled cream cheese frosting

Baked pumpkin oatmeal with dark chocolate chunks and vanilla bean swirled cream cheese frosting

Rosie!

Rosie!

A clean car & an oil change for my hubby

A clean car & an oil change for my hubby

It's official!

It’s official!

Lemon, cucumber, raspberry, mint infused water

Lemon, cucumber, raspberry, mint infused water

Surprise anniversary trip to the beach for the holiday weekend!

Surprise anniversary trip to the beach for the holiday weekend!

The spoils of our "gift card" date

The spoils of our “gift card” date

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Also, my friend Kelly and I think we invented a new meme. It’s called “Or else.”

OR ELSE

OR ELSE

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4 Year Anniversary

Yesterday, we celebrated 4 years of marriage!  It’s hard to believe that it was 4 years ago, we were dancing the night away with friends and family after months of planning.

Every year, we’ve scheduled a photo shoot for our anniversary. It’s so much fun to see how we change each year. This year, our friend Scot Woodman did our anniversary photos. He also shot our first and third anniversaries for us, and he’s going to be doing our maternity/newborn photoshoots. We love Scot!

I try to do something different each year. (Update: I added a page of us through the years!) This year we went around downtown Modesto, but we went to different locations than we have in the past. Here’s our photos from this year!

My favorite

Building a Housecleaning Routine

For the last few weeks, my goal has been to begin and establish a daily cleaning routine. I’m embarrassed to say that when I’m in school, I don’t clean regularly. Dishes and laundry got done, but I was lucky to vacuum once a month. Tasks like cleaning the bathroom or dusting were even more seldom (I know, I know… it’s disgusting). Starting a new cleaning routine for the first time since last summer seemed intimidating at the very least. Overwhelming is more like it. The sad thing is, I have an app with a PAID subscription with a cleaning list already on my phone. I’ve had it since January. It’s called Motivated Moms, and I love it. It’s a wonderful app. It even has an option for adding in a daily Bible reading plan. The funny thing is, once I got behind on my Bible reading plan, I stopped using the app completely! Isn’t it ridiculous that I stopped using my cleaning app because I fell behind in Bible reading?! Sometimes it’s sad the way the simplest things can throw off our entire routine.

The cleaning list in the app is broken into two main categories – daily and today. The “today” tasks rotate weekly/monthly, and they’re usually bigger tasks. You can add your own tasks as you need. My daily tasks include:

  • Empty trash
  • Feed pets
  • Wipe out bathroom sinks
  • Make beds
  • Change kitchen dishcloths/towels
  • Clear/wipe kitchen counters
  • Dry/put away dishes
  • Plan/cook dinner
  • Sweep kitchen & entryway
  • Wash dishes
  • Do laundry

This past week, I decided this was the week to begin. I started with the goal of spending 30 minutes a day dedicated to housecleaning. Many SAH/WAH moms are able to do their daily cleaning tasks build into their regular schedules. I wanted to do the same, but since I work in the mornings, I decided to do my housecleaning as soon as I got home from work. As with all of my goals, my focus is on progress, not perfection.

MONDAY

Monday was the day I implemented this new routine. After going months without any semblance of regular cleaning, I severely underestimated how much work it would be to start out. I spent about an hour cleaning, instead of the 30 minute goal I had. I also had met my mom for lunch that day, so I didn’t get started until after I returned home. Here’s how my routine looked:

1:39pm – arrive home, sort mail, answer texts, open blinds

1:43pm – make bed, put away clean laundry, feed cats

1:49pm – put on music, put away clean dishes, wash dishes, clean kitchen sink, change kitchen towels

2:12pm – sweep kitchen & living room

2:21pm – rest

I didn’t even come close to finishing my cleaning list, but I decided that progress was better than nothing!

TUESDAY

On Tuesday, I had lunch with a friend, followed by running some errands. I didn’t arrive home until later in the afternoon. I still did my cleaning after I arrived home, but I was determined to finish my entire list. This time, I was able to accomplish the entire cleaning list in just under an hour!

3:07pm – arrive home, sort mail, open blinds, check social media, put on music

3:12pm – empty trash, wipe bathroom sink, (Spencer made the bed!)

3:15pm – put away clean dishes, wash dishes, wipe sink/counters

3:27pm – sweep kitchen & living room

3:34pm – rest to pet kitty (Pippin was whining)

3:36pm – pick up dirty clothes, return shoes to closet (done with daily tasks!)

3:38pm – clean out purse/wallet, dust ceiling fans, clean bathroom mirrors

3:48pm – sweep bedroom, vacuum rug

4:01pm – rest

WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday, I came straight home from work, and I was RAVENOUS. It was also watering day, and we only have one sprinkler. So making/eating lunch and moving the sprinkler every 10-15 minutes lengthened the cleaning process by quite a bit.

12:18pm – arrive home, open blinds, start lunch, change into shorts, sort mail, start sprinkler

12:29pm – continue cooking lunch, put away clean dishes (cleaning up as I cook), move sprinkler

12:39pm – eat lunch while watching 15min of Doctor Who, move sprinkler 2x

12:59pm – wash dishes, change kitchen towels, declutter kitchen table & counters, wipe down kitchen surfaces, wipe sink, move sprinkler

1:17pm – make bed, wipe bathroom sink & front of shower door, feed cats, pick up laundry, put away sprinkler

1:23pm – sweep kitchen & living room, start a load of laundry

1:30pm – rest for a few minutes

1:37pm – clean shower (I only cleaned one wall because the shower is FILTHY and I was tired)

2:03pm – declutter top & front of fridge, dust top of fridge, dust bedroom

2:10pm – rest

THURSDAY

On Thursday, I had a lunch date with a friend at 1, so I wanted to get all of my daily tasks finished before she came to pick me up. I was in a frenzy to get things done as fast as possible. I did the rest of the “today” tasks after I arrived home.

12:26pm – sort mail, open blinds, put clean dishes away, wash dishes, pick up laundry, change kitchen towels, wipe kitchen & bathroom sinks, wipe down kitchen surfaces, set out beans to defrost for dinner

12:36pm – empty trashes, fold/put away 1 load laundry

12:43pm – sweep kitchen, living room, and bathroom

12:51pm – rest/lunch date

2:27pm – arrive home, open blinds, clean mop pad, mop kitchen, dust living room & all light fixtures

2:42pm – clean microwave & inside of fridge door

3:11pm – rest

FRIDAY

On Friday, I was exhausted when I came home from work. It was watering day again, so once I finished with that, I took a nap. I didn’t get everything on my list done for the day, but I’m proud of the work I accomplished.

12:35pm – arrive home, open blinds, sort mail, start sprinkler, put lunch in oven

12:37pm – pick up laundry & shoes, put away clean dishes, wash dishes, set stubborn dishes to soak, move sprinkler

12:49pm – change sheets, make bed, refill soap dispensers, move sprinkler

12:59pm – lunch, put away sprinkler, nap

4:08pm – sweep porch & walkway, feed cats

4:14pm – rest

Overall, I count this week of housecleaning as a success. I’m still working on my housecleaning tasks on a daily basis when I get home from work. The apartment looks a million times better than it did, even though it’s just little things that get done each day. It’s the little things that count.

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday! I worked on planning menus for a few hours yesterday. I got this week’s and part of next week’s menus finished. I’m trying to go back to healthier choices, concentrating on more whole foods and recipes from the Tone It Up Nutrition plan for 75% of each day. I consciously choose dinners that are healthier, but still are meals that my husband would enjoy.

We also have lots of special events this week, which made planning dinners easy!

Here’s the plan for this week:

Breakfasts:

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

Bikini Smoothie

Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding with mangoes and mint

Protein Pancakes

Snacks:

Peanut Butter & Jelly Balls (TIU Beach Babe edition)

Fresh juice

Rocky Road Greek yogurt parfaits

Lunches:

Brown Butter Fish

Zesty Quinoa Bowl (TIU Beach Babe edition)

Sweet Meadows Spinach Salad with Balsamic Citrus dressing (TIU nutrition plan)

Fried rice/quinoa

Dinners:

Monday – Pigs in a Blanket, fruit salad

Tuesday – College Group pool party/cookout

Wednesday – Anniversary date night!

Thursday – Chicken alfredo lasagna roll ups, Caesar salad

Friday – Crockpot Tuscan chicken & beans, whole wheat pasta

Saturday – Family summer swim party/bbq

Sunday – leftovers

 

What’s on your menu plan this week?

10 Weekly Goals

I did much better with my goals overall this week.

I’m really enjoying Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Gary Chapman. I already want my husband to read it, too. The Color of Tea is interesting, but it’s not omg-i-need-read-it-all-today good. I did start Drama Ministry this week, but since it’s for my drama leadership training, I’m taking it slowly.

I was able to begin a daily cleaning routine this week. I plan on reporting back on it later this week. I worked on cleaning out the nursery for about 4 days this week. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes! Now I’m only waiting on my husband to take a load of stuff out to storage before I’ll have room to move around in there again. I did get rid of a huge box of books, several DVDs, and two large boxes of clothes. It’s coming along! We haven’t fixed the broken dresser drawer yet because the wood glue and clamps are lost somewhere in the nursery. It will happen soon, but probably not this week.

I slacked in my water goal because I forgot to track my intake on my app. I’m hoping to do better this week. I didn’t get out to go walking this week, but I did go to an extra Zumba class and had some unexpected work tasks to do that involved a lot of walking up and down stairs this week. So even though I didn’t WALK, I did exercise 4 days this week.

These next few weeks are going to look a little different for me. My boss is on a business trip, so I’m only working a few days at the office. I’m going to attempt to start doing some freelance work in writing/editing with my extra time.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 2 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  5. Begin a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 2x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Color of Tea

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  4. Continue with daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Read Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Follow my exercise plan for the week

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Spend at least 5 hours working from home
  3. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Color of Tea

What are your goals for the week? Do you have any tips for starting freelance work as a writer/editor?

16 Weeks

16 Weeks!

16 Weeks!

How far along: 16 weeks – 4 months already!

Gender: Unknown

Weight gained: I’m back on track. As of this morning, I’m .3 lbs away from my highest weight ever. That’s extremely discouraging to me. Now I need to figure out how to slow it down a bit!

Workouts:  Taught Zumba 2 times (Monday & Thursday), did “circuit training” at work on Wednesday (involving stairs, carrying boxes, and walking across the property) – See below for my plan for this week!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses! I got another new dress this week, and I LOVE it. I finally “outgrew” my only pair of jeans that still fit. I’m using a belly band with them, but I also picked up some maternity jeggings.

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: Didn’t quite get enough sleep on any night this week. I’m looking forward to sleeping in on a few days next week.

Best moment this week: Finding out I’m enrolled in MediCal! I’m going next week to pick up my card.

Hardest moment this week: Seeing that number on the scale, dealing with some lower back pain, and having to scrub out my shower tile (EW).

What I’m missing: Still sleeping through the night

Movement: Can’t feel anything yet

Cravings: A huge switch this week – I want all the sweet things! I’ve wanted some treats every now and then, but this is the first time I’ve truly craved sweets all the time.

Queasy or sick: Still feeling great!

Looking forward to: Our 4-year anniversary this week!

Strange Dreams:  Not any that I can remember this week.

I’m still loving having time to manage my home. I’ve been working on creating a habit of doing my housecleaning right after I get home from work.  I’m thrilled with how the house is starting to look and feel clean all the time! I’ve been working a little bit every day to clean out the bedroom that will be the future nursery. It’s coming along!

As far as working out goes, I’ve did some searching last night to find some free prenatal workouts on YouTube. I’m going to be incorporating some of these this week. I found a few low-impact cardio videos, as well as some short toning workouts. I’ll report back next week on what I tried and what I liked!

Pictures from this last week:

Father's Day. The rivalry continues to the next generation!

Father’s Day. The rivalry continues to the next generation!

New favorite dress!

New favorite dress!

Math is hard.

Math is hard.

Love my sister-in-law!

Love my sister-in-law!

This was the series of tweets after Zumba on Monday. Apparently it was hot (and everyone was hungry)!

This was the series of tweets after Zumba on Monday. Apparently it was hot (and everyone was hungry)!

My bedtime snack as of late.

My bedtime snack as of late.

Curse these stairs.

Curse these stairs.

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I’ve been craving holiday flavors lately.

My lap was captured.

My lap was captured.

Creeping on my friend at Starbucks

Creeping on my friend Carly at Starbucks

Mine.

Mine.

My face after I kicked my own booty at Zumba on Thursday

My face after I kicked my own booty at Zumba on Thursday

How I’m Building a Daily Routine

grocery-list

I have always been a list maker. I LOVE lists. I love having notebooks in which to write my lists. Some people like to use their smartphones for this. I do that, too, but only after I’ve worked out my list on paper. I think and process things better if I’ve got a piece of paper that I can write all over. Lists make me so happy, but one of the dangers of a habitual list-making is when I have too many lists in too many different places. It’s like I need a list of lists! Not really, but kind of.

I am also a creature of habit. I know we all are, but I really crave the simplicity of a routine. Routines are simplified by creating habits. Every year when I help my mom decorate for Christmas, I put the same decorations in the same place every year. My family likes to make fun of me for this, but it’s a habit that I’ve grown accustomed to! In reality, they always know who to ask if they can’t remember where something goes (ahem). Similarly, if you create a habit of going running every morning, after a while, you will automatically reach for your running shoes when you wake up in the morning.

Since school is no longer a part of my life, my days of driving from one place to another back to back have pretty much ceased. Sure, I still have days where I have lots of errands crammed in, but on the whole, my life is normalizing quite wonderfully. I work every week day from 7am to 12pm, but my husband doesn’t get home until close to 5pm. That’s a lot of time to where I’m left to my own devices! Sometimes I’ll take an afternoon nap, and occasionally I spend the afternoon in front of the TV (while tackling an organizing project), but as a creature of habit who wants to do more than just sit around day after day, I’ve started a new daily routine.

Each morning (or the night before), I print out a daily docket. I found a free printable from Money Saving Mom. I could use a blank notebook, but I like the structure of this one with spaces for an inspirational quote or mantra, a to do list, the top 3 most important to do items, a basic schedule for the day, dinner plans, a place to keep track of healthy habits, and a space to jot down notes that come to mind throughout the day.

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The first thing I do is write down what the dinner plan is. That way I know if I need to set out any meat to defrost. Today was a crock pot meal, so I set everything up before I left for work. I noted the items I still needed from the grocery store.

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Next, I look through my daily docket from the day before. Is there anything I didn’t accomplish? Is there anything I want/need to do again today? I import these items onto my to do list for the day.

2014-06-18 07.32.07

After that, I fill in the rest of my to do list for the day, including any meetings or appointments that I have. I put a star next to the top three most important items for my day and write those in “today’s MITs” (most important to-dos).

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Then I’ll make a list of upcoming blog posts I want to be working on. I make sure to check my old daily dockets for any ideas I may have missed.

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I take the time to jot down a quote or mantra for the day. Sometimes it’s something I find on Pinterest, and sometimes it’s just a cheesy motivational line for myself.

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I’ll put everything together in a basic schedule for the day. I write down my other to do items in my schedule because otherwise, I may not do them. This way I see them three times!

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Finally, I’ll jot down notes to myself throughout the day. In this case, my husband mentioned he needed more deodorant, so I made a note of it for when I went out to run errands today. Sometimes I’ll use this section to jot down a grocery list or just random things that I’ll probably need to add to my docket for the next day.

2014-06-18 09.43.16

It’s not perfect, nor am I. But for now, this system is working for me really well. It satisfies my crazy compulsiveness to make lists, and it provides an avenue for habits to become a routine.

Do you plan out your day in advance? Do you use paper and pencil or your smartphone? Tell me in a comment!

Menu Plan Monday

Time for another Menu Plan Monday! Last week, I was sneaky and planned two weeks of menus at a time. It took a little longer, but the tradeoff is that I only have a few groceries to buy this week. This week is going to look really similar to last week’s menu.

Here’s the plan for this week:

Breakfasts:

Egg Mugs

Protein Pancakes

Snacks:

Greek yogurt

Fruit

Banana berry smoothies

Chocolate banana smoothies

Lunches:

Brown Butter Fish, Fruit

Cobb Salad

Dinners:

Monday – Homemade White Pizza, Caesar salad

Tuesday – Fried rice

Wednesday – Slow Cooker shredded buffalo chicken sandwiches, garden salad

Thursday – Cheesy chicken & rice bake, corn on the cob

Friday – Chicken alfredo lasagna roll ups, Caesar salad

Saturday – Pigs in a blanket, fruit salad

Sunday – leftovers

 

What’s on your menu for this week?

10 Weekly Goals

I’ve decided to move this series to Sunday in order accommodate Menu Plan Monday.

I didn’t actually accomplish many of my goals this week, yet I was still able to make some progress in planning out each day with a daily docket. I plan to post about how I plan out my days later this week.

I’m still doing well with my goal to drink more water. Unfortunately, due to some recent events in our neighborhood, I haven’t been able to get outside to walk lately. I’m still reading nearly every day, but I bounce around a lot, which might be why I haven’t finished any of the books I set out to read. I’ve adapted my reading goals to be more realistic this week.

It’s all about balance.

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Declutter linen closet & bathroom cabinet
  5. Establish a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 3 blogs
  2. Read Drama Ministry

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 2 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Fix broken dresser drawer
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day clearing out future nursery
  5. Begin a daily cleaning routine

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading Judges and Ruth
  2. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  3. Walk 3x

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 4 blogs
  2. Read 3 chapters of Drama Ministry, 3 chapters of The Colour of Tea

What are your goals for the week?

 

15 Weeks

15 weeks

15 weeks

How far along: 15 weeks

Gender: Unknown. Our appointment to find out is scheduled for July 24th!

Weight gained: None this week

Workouts:  Taught Zumba 2 times (Monday & Thursday)

Clothing Choices:  Dresses! I got 4 new dresses this past weekend (one pictured above).

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: Getting about 7-7.5 hours each night, but it’s difficult when I wake up a lot in the middle of the night. Naps are wonderful!

Best moment this week: First prenatal appointment! I got to hear baby’s heartbeat for the first time!

Hardest moment this week: Re-applying for insurance and coming to grips with the reality of the financial burden this will be on us

What I’m missing: Sleeping through the night.

Movement: Can’t feel anything yet

Cravings:  Still salty things!

Queasy or sick: Still feeling great!

Looking forward to: Cleaning out the nursery

Strange Dreams:  I had one dream where I was in a classroom with a bunch of people. There were chalkboards on every wall. Each person’s greatest struggle was on display for the world to see on the chalkboard above their heads; mine said, “Proud.” Instead of trying to erase it amidst the taunting laughter of the rest of the class, I sighed, accepted it, and wrote “humility” underneath it.
This dream certainly seems like it means something. I’m just not sure whether it is blatantly for me, or if it’s meant to help someone else. That’s why I’m sharing it. I went through a huge struggle with this around 7 years ago when I went to Peru on a mission trip, and I continued to battle intensely with pride over the next year or so. I feel like I’ve made leaps and bounds in this struggle in my life, but I also know I should never become complacent about it either. Perhaps it may be time to revisit some familiar passages in the Bible.

More pictures from this week:

Where's Pippin?

Where’s Pippin?

The biggest homemade Cobb salad EVER

The biggest homemade Cobb salad EVER

Forced snuggles aren't so bad.

Forced snuggles aren’t so bad.

New novel! (Recommended by my friend Brit)

New novel! (Recommended by my friend Brit)

Breakfast on Thursday

Breakfast on Thursday

Story of my life...

#KeepingItReal

My #ThrowbackThursday post for this week.  For those who don't know what my sister and I looked like when we were young...  Upper left: the actual German sculpture from the 1800s.  Upper right: Christmas 1991.  Lower left: Yosemite 1994.  Lower right: last weekend at the Getty, recreating the statue from our past lives.

My #ThrowbackThursday post for this week.
For those who don’t know what my sister and I looked like when we were young…
Upper left: the actual German sculpture from the 1800s.
Upper right: Christmas 1991.
Lower left: Yosemite 1994.
Lower right: last weekend at the Getty, recreating the statue from our past lives.

 

Overall, I’m having a wonderful time adjusting back to life as a homemaker. I’ve been trying to make a to do list each day to make sure I’m being productive around the home, yet still have time to relax. I’m loving having time to cook homemade meals and time to organize and clean! I’ve got a 3-page (3 columns each) to do list for before baby comes!