Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Good morning! 

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[Toddler ‘tude + crying baby = every single time I try to leave the house]

I am starting out kind of heavy today. Papa Gordon (Dan’s step-dad) is in the hospital. He was diagnosed with lung cancer a few weeks ago and things haven’t been going very well. Unfortunately, he had to go to the ER yesterday, but it may have helped to get the ball rolling as far as a plan of attack. I am so thankful he is doing better and that his pain is being controlled.

I am thankful that our Royals are in the World Series and are currently up 2 games. Dan went to the game last night and came home well after my eyes had closed. To those of you who aren’t in KC, this is a really cool time in our city. EVERYONE is wearing Royals shirts and EVERYONE is talking about them. The other day a man I am quite sure would have never spoken to me otherwise stopped me at the gas station and talked to me for 15 minutes about pitching, all because I had on a Royals hoodie. 


JOHNNY CUETO! 9 complete innings of straight FIRE. 🔥🔥🔥 #TakeTheCrown

A photo posted by @kcroyals onOct 28, 2015 at 8:03pm PDT

I am thankful for cute candy corn Halloween feet.

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I am thankful I had my teeth cleaned with no cavities.

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I am thankful that Granny and Ina made apple fritters and even made me a gluten free one with oats instead of pie crust, which was perfect for dessert and breakfast and next day. 

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And, to end on a lighter note, I am so thankful that Ina forgot that she wanted to “go to the bathroom like a boy.” Two nights ago we had a 3 minute disagreement about it, but I held my ground as she continued to try to stand on the toilet seat. Thankfully, I eventually got her to sit down and she hasn’t tried it again since. That could have been a messy situation.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Things Ina Says 2.9 Years

IMG 2910 Ina: Mom, I mostly call you ‘Mom."

Me: True. What else do you call me?

Ina: Well, I sometimes call you Racheal. That is your nickname.


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I handed her a toothbrush and toothpaste. She looked at them, laughed and said, “Good thing I have two hands!" 


Singing this little light of mine...

Ina: Is Jesus shining the light? 

Me: The light is the little part of Jesus inside you- it is called the Holy Spirit

Ina- It's inside me?

Me: Yes

Ina: It is making my belly button infected

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Me: Where do you want to have your birthday party?

Ina: At Joe’s

Me: Where’s Joes?

Ina: Trader Joe’s

Me: You are my kid. 


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Ina: If we brought a hippo home, would it leave footprints on our floor?

Me: Yep! And it would eat all of our food!

Ina: No, it can’t get into our refrigerator. It doesn’t have thumbs. 

Me: It might sneak up behind me when I open it like you do.

Ina: Yeah, and it will yell, surprise! Happy Birthday!


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While watching a Gerber life commercial, “Mom, we NEED to give our child a head start. Cora needs it!”


Stranger, “How old are you?”

Ina: “I’m 2. But I’m 3 when I ride ponies."

 Other things Ina says: 

2.65 years

2.5 years

2.25 years

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My Food and Fitness Plan (10/25)

Good morning and Happy Sunday! I hope you have had a fantastic weekend so far.

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Mine started out a little rocky because I had plans to work from my grandparents’ house on Friday while they watched the girls. After packing us all up and driving there I discovered I only packed half of my computer charger and that their internet wasn’t working. So, after freaking out for a good 30 minutes I left Ina there to play and Cora and I drove back home.

So, although Cora was good and slept through a good chunk of my work day, there were times when I had to resort to crazy things, like reading her a statistical analysis plan out loud.

With babies, it really is all about your facial expressions and the way you emphasize your voice. Ha!

After I closed up my laptop Cora and I went for a little run. I forgot how much lighter an infant in a single jogging stroller is. I felt like I was sprinting. Almost.

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My Friday greatly improved when, after a long game and rain delay, the Royals made it to the World Series!


A photo posted by @kcroyals onOct 24, 2015 at 7:32am PDT

Yesterday I worked in the morning while my mom watched the girls. Then, we were surprised by Dan getting off work early. We decided to go on a family date and after the two hours it took to get everyone in the car we were off.

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We took Ina to T-Rex Cafe. She has been all about the dinosaurs lately.

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Today is church, then food prep, then small group.  


Fitness: I start the beta round of T25 tomorrow. I have never done it before and am slightly scared. Ha! 

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: T25 core cardio
  • Tuesday: T25 speed 2.0
  • Wednesday:  T25 rip’t circuit
  • Thursday: T25 dynamic core
  • Friday: upper focus + core cardio
  • Saturday: rest

Have a wonderful week! 


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Hello there!

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I hope you have had a great week so far. My first week back to work has gone about as well as can be expected. We have been going to bed around 8 every night, which is nice. It turns out that transitioning from mommy to scientist and then back to mommy again is pretty exhausting. Thankfully Cora has been sleeping great at night and allowing me to get plenty of rest, with a few short and efficient nursing sessions. 

I am so thankful for that. 

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I am also thankful for...

Danielle for not only taking great care of both of my daughters, but also teaching Ina to write. I don’t know how she has the time, I swear she might be superwoman.

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The ability to work from home. 

A pretty decent pumping mother’s room when I work in the office.

Slow cookers. 

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[Slow cooker pumpkin turkey chili with kale salad]

Stitch Fix.

Lots to do at work to keep me distracted from missing the girls.



Good friends.

Rest days.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Giving Myself a Break

For a year.


Ina’s first year of life was intense because as a new mom I didn’t really know what I was doing. For some reason I thought I would try to be superwoman on top of that and do all the things. I think around 9 months or so I finally reached a breaking point and we had some dark times around our house. 

This time around I am giving myself a break, for an entire year. How so? Let me count they ways...


I love nothing more than to cook a fresh meal for my family, but I have to accept I am not always going to have the time or energy to make it work. I have a very vivid memory of me making some type of mango pork dish when Ina was about 2 months old and screaming her head off the entire time. I also remember eating it and thinking this doesn’t taste good enough for the torture I just went through. This time around, I will do my best to prep dinners the Sunday before, use the slow cooker, and make “semi-homemade” meals, but if it isn’t happening, I will not be above calling in a to-go order for Chipotle. I also plan on having my groceries delivered every other week.


I think this will be an area where I will try to make a better choice, but maybe not always the best choice. When I nurse I have the hunger of ten men so I eat a lot. I don’t want to impact my supply, so I eat when I am hungry and try to pick a good snack / meal choice. I am not going to do any super strict calorie counting, detoxes, diets, etc. 


I am not going to train for anything for an entire year - please someone hold me to that. I will try my best to do exercises that are fast and easily accessible with kids - like a T25 video or running a few miles with the stroller, but nothing more. If you hear me saying I want to sign up for a half marathon slap me on the hand.


Dan, if you are reading this, don’t get too excited. We are still going to have a budget, but convenience for other things (like more eating out, grocery shopping at places other than Aldi, and having my house cleaned) costs money, so we won’t be putting as much as possible into savings. 


I know that many of you who have been to my house might think that I already give myself a pretty big break in this area, but you haven’t seen anything yet. My sole focus will be on making sure the dishwasher gets ran every other day. Other than that,  it will be free for all and the lovely woman who cleans my house every other week will make sure mold doesn’t grow in the shower.


I am sure you have already noticed that my posts are more sporadic and that will likely not change for awhile. I absolutely love waking up, making a cup of coffee, and sitting down to talk to you about all the things I love, but the time just isn’t there every day. I have faith that it will be one day again, but maybe not, and I am OK with that. 

I am hoping that by giving myself a break with all of the above, I will have more time and energy for my family. However, having said all that, I absolutely feel like my best self when I start my day by blogging, balancing my budget, exercising, and planning healthy meals, so I am going to give them by best balanced try.

Have a great day! xoxo 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Not Used To

My body was not used to actually waking up to Dan’s 4:15 am alarm clock, but I did it anyways because I knew once I finally fell back asleep I would need to get up. I wrote my blog, T25-ed, showered, got ready, and unloaded the dishwasher before the girls woke up. 

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My feet were not used to the dress shoes I wore, and even though they were flats and even though I sit at a desk for most of the day, I have a few new blisters.

My eyes were not used to staring at a computer screen for 8 hours straight and even though I was mostly deleting and sorting and reading emails, I had a headache by 11 am. 

My brain was not used to the technical jargon associated with my job, and I had to re-read a few things and stop to think and ask a few questions. 

My arms were not used to not holding my baby for so long and by the time I picked Cora up, they ached to hold her. I walked into Danielle’s living room to find everyone enjoying a dance party and a smile on Cora’s face, which I understand wasn’t always the case, but still so nice to see. 

My body was not used to the pure exhaustion associated with waking up early, getting everyone out the door, working, getting everyone home, fed, and bathed, so even though the Royals were playing in the ALCS, I was asleep by 8:20.

We survived my first day back to work and I have an early client meeting today, so I am going to hit the ground running. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Getting the Most Out of Maternity Leave

Today is the day.

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The day that I have been dreading ever since I met Cora. The day that has been in the pit of my stomach, growing bigger with every cute smile and coo. The day that has caused me to randomly cry for the past few weeks. 

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How am I supposed to leave her? 

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But, I can, and I will, and I know in my heart it will be fine. Danielle may have to push me out the door, but I have done this before, and I know it is what’s best for me and my family. 

Now that I have done this maternity leave thing twice, I consider myself an expert. Here is my advice on how to squeeze as much as possible out of that incredibly precious time.

-Go places. Ina was born in the beginning of December, so my first maternity leave was spent in my living room. I swore that this time would be different and it was. Not only did we go on a walk almost daily,


 we also went to Branson for a little family trip,

  and the girls and I flew to Houston to visit family.


This is likely the last 12 weeks I will get off work until I retire, so I wanted to take advantage of it. Also, I think that people are just scared to take babies places, but now I know that taking an infant somewhere is much easier than taking a toddler somewhere, as infants can’t move and don’t have their own opinions. 

-Wear an elastic waist whenever possible. Seriously. A few weeks ago I was “able” to “fit” into my pre-maternity clothes and anytime I put them on I regretted that decision a few hours later. Learn from my mistakes -just choose comfort. In the same vain, I did purchase one pair of jeans a size up so that I would be comfortable if jeans were necessary.

-Send other child(ren) to daycare. At least a little. Maternity leave is the only concentrated bonding time Cora and I will have, and I knew it would help if Ina went to daycare one to two days a week. This also helped to entertain Ina on the days when I wasn’t doing much besides nursing Cora and kept Ina in somewhat of a routine. However, there is no doubt that this time allowed me to grow closer to Ina and I am so thankful for that.

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-Sleep in. I initially had big plans to get up before the girls and get things done, but then I realized that I would be doing that for the rest of my life. Why rush it? It has been lovely to wake up to the sun or Ina rather than to an alarm.

-Use Google calendar for social activities and make a point to set up play dates. My typical work brain could keep track of social dates pretty easy, but on maternity leave the days and weeks start to blend together. It took me a few almost missed events to realize I needed to start using my calendar. This also motivated me to fill it with some playdates, especially for Ina. Also, let’s be real, the adult interaction was nice for me too. 

-Double meals and freeze half

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Once I started cooking again, I realized that if I was actually going to invest time in the kitchen, I needed to make the most of it. So, any time I made a meal that seemed “freezable” I would double the recipe and freeze half of it. We know have a few extra meals for the next few weeks. If it works well I plan to keep doing this, as I know the time from when we walk in the door to when our heads hit the pillow will seem small. 

-Don’t watch TV or read books. Because I am the type of person that gets sucked into things, I knew that if I started reading a book or watching a TV series, I would only want to do that. So, with the exception of Royals games and Tom and Jerry, the TV has stayed off. I did read one book when Cora was first born and I needed to rest, but I found myself saying, just one more chapter, so I didn’t start another one. Surprisingly, the few times when I have thought about starting a book or turning on the TV, staring at the ceiling in silence was just as helpful.

-Remember. I want to never forget the way her body contours next to mine after she is done eating. The way I can breathe her in. The way she returns my smile. The way my heart soars when her eyes meet mine and light up with love. 

Those memories will be my emotional sustenance over the next few tough weeks. Here’s to my new “normal."

Have a good day!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Our Weekend + My Food and Fitness Plan

Hello and happy Sunday!

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I am stealing a few quiet minutes during nap time to sip on some tea and plan out our week. I go back tomorrow, and just to make things easy on myself, I crammed as many things as possible into the weekend leading up to my first Monday back (<— sarcasm font). 

Friday night I watched the Royals win the first game of the ALCS. 

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(Dan and I met The Marlins Man in the parking lot!)

We woke up bright and early and headed to a nearby pumpkin patch to participate in The Great Pumpkin Run. 

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My friends Liz and Chessa did the race with me and it was great to chat with them while dodging pumpkins and corn cobs on the ground. 

Ina loved petting the animals

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and was persuaded to jump after earning a “jumping medal."

Cora was happy to just stay warm. 

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After the run we re-grouped at home, said good-bye to Dan who had to work a half shift, and drove to meet Dan’s dad and crew for some camping and super, super good food.

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I seriously look forward to this meal more than Thanksgiving. I mean, look at all those Dutch ovens.

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We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather to sit and talk and eat and play in dirt.

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We love these people. 

Today we went to church and then had some friends over for lunch and football and then small group tonight. Whew. 



  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: T25 cardio
  • Tuesday: T25 total body circuit
  • Wednesday: 2 to 3 mile run
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: T25 lower focus
  • Saturday: 2 to 3 mile run

I hope you have a super good week! xoxo 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thankful Thursday


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I have avoided this keyboard like the plague because I go back to work on Monday and I don’t want to think about it. Unfortunately, when I write, I think (kind of), which is why I have been pretty quiet.

But, pointing out the things I am thankful for is always good for the soul.

I am thankful the Royals made it to the ALCS. 

Whew, it was a tough road to get there, but we made it. 

I am thankful for all of our baby supplies. I know women used to care for babies with nothing to help them out, so I know we are blessed. The day I bought the double stroller I felt free and we have used it almost every day since. Cora also takes at least one nap a day in the swing our friend Courtney let us borrow.

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I am thankful that my body is healthy and able to do things like walk to the park and play with my kids. After being not able to for so long, I keep reminding myself to soak it all in.

I am thankful that Cora is taking bottles okay and pacifiers okay(ish).

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I am thankful that Dan has this weekend off work. So far.

I am thankful for Etsy and ease in which I ordered the girls’ “handmade” Halloween costumes. 

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Ina is going to be a unicorn and Cora is going to be a mermaid. 

I am incredibly thankful for the life I have been given and the opportunities I have been blessed with. I pray every day that I am using them correctly.

What are you thankful for? 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Food and Fitness Plan [10/11]

Hey there!

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I hope you have had a fantastic weekend so far!

Our’s has been great. A few things worth noting:

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- Dan and I joined my siblings and their spouses at the first Royals playoff game (thanks to our super awesome dad who gave us tickets).

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We had so much fun, even though they lost. I should also note that this was my first time leaving Cora, and although it may have taken four adults to take turns soothing her, everyone survived. 

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-The girls and I went to my grandparents’ house on Friday morning to hang out.

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I wish I had done a little more of that during maternity leave, because I enjoyed talking to them and Ina enjoyed playing hopscotch with Grandma Ina. 

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- Ina has spent the past few nights with Dan’s parents, so Cora and I have been hanging out. It has been nice to get some one-on-one time with her and really get the chance to focus on her coos, smiles, and laughs. 

I got super brave last night and decided to go shopping for a few back-to-work staples, which I instantly regretted. You want a new kind of miserable? Attempt trying on clothes that don’t fit right while a baby (that isn’t hungry or dirty) is screaming at you. I got home and immediately put in another request for Stitch Fix (<—referral link). 

Here is my plan for the week:

Food: I have decided to try to double all of the dinners I am cooking this week and freeze the other half for when I go back to work, which is the following week (whelp). 

Fitness: I ended up doing mostly T25 with one walk/run with the girls this week and I really liked mixing it up. 

  • Sunday: T25 abs
  • Monday: T25 total body circuit
  • Tuesday: 3 mile walk/run
  • Wednesday: T25 cardio
  • Thursday: T25 total body circuit
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: The Great Pumpkin Run 5K (enter “Rachel5” for $5 off if you want to join us!)

I hope you have a fantastic week! 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for coffee before toddler.

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I love Ina to death, but I have been getting up with Cora at 4ish and then going back to sleep until Ina wakes me up, and sometimes she is a little hard to deal with without caffeine.

I am thankful for walks to and from daycare with the girls. When Ina goes to Danielle’s on Mondays and Wednesdays we have walked there almost every time. It has been such a nice and peaceful time of our day in the morning.

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Then in the afternoon Ina gets out of the stroller and a little more adventerous.

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I have one more week of maternity leave and then I will have to start driving both girls there. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy a few more afternoon walks after work before the weather gets too cold. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to go to the Royals first playoff game tonight! This will be my first time leaving Cora for a significant amount of time and someone might have to drag me out of the house.

I am thankful for bath time smiles. (Thanks Julie for the cute Cora towel!)

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I am thankful that Dan smoked a lot of meat on Sunday and even though he is working crazy hours, I feel like I have his help because all I need to do is add a side and dinner is served.

Speaking of Dan’s work, he got a temporary promotion to a supervisor position and has been working crazy hours with the additional training. I am so proud of him, but we sure do miss him. It is weird doing the whole dinner, bath, and bedtime routine without him.

I am thankful for the promise of vacation next year. It is a while away, but I can already smell that ocean air!

What are you thankful for?

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