Perfect Ending

Despite this past week being as crazy as it was, this weekend was by far one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.

Yes, I am still having issues with my Crohn’s, but I think I can finally say that the new medicine may be kicking in. I don’t want to jump ahead too much, I am thinking positive though. It really is amazing how much positive thinking helps.

Also I cannot say THANK YOU enough for each and every one of your kind words, emails, and comments. Every time I checked my email & saw that I had a new comment, I would read it & it would just make me smile. Most of you I have not even met in person, and yet you still have the nicest, most uplifting things to say. For that I truly cannot thank you enough!

This weekend was time spent as a family. Our little family of three.

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Saturday I actually did quite a bit of cleaning and clearing out my closet. I took a bunch of clothes to Plato’s closet and made some money, always nice to sell more than you were expecting!

After that Craig & I played with her and she is REALLY into hearing her little voice. She will just sit and screech for HOURS. It is hilarious!! Then I will do it back to her & she laughs and does it some more.

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^that would be her mid screech 😉

Absolutely LOVING this age!! She’s becoming more & more aware of her surroundings and really soaking it all in. She is already trying to pull herself up on EVERYTHING. The more & more I look around our house the more ‘hazards’ I see when she starts walking. I think we may have a couple of more months before that, but never to early to baby proof, right? 🙂

Saturday afternoon I actually felt up to going for a run, I wasn’t able to run on Friday (due to the Crohn’s flare up) and REALLY missed it. So the minute I felt like going, I knew I should. I put Gabriella in the BOB stroller and we were off!

It felt SO good to get out and run and NOT have to have any bathroom stops along the way. (Sorry if that was a bit too much information.) Gabriella enjoyed her time too, girl LOVES to be outside. She got her Momma’s love of nature and outdoors! Once we got back, we spent even more time outside- I set her her baby pool and she played for a good hour in there.

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I thought Saturday was great, but then there was yesterday…which was darn near perfect! G woke up at her normal 6:30am wake up call, so after getting dressed and getting her ready, we were out the door for our normal Sunday morning Starbucks run. The baristas love seeing her each week, she made some friends. 🙂

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Once Craig woke up and Gabriella had her morning nap I suggested we go to the farmer’s market on Lake Eola, in downtown Orlando. I really wanted / needed to get out of the house. I couldn’t really go anywhere last week, because of the stomach issues, and I was just feeling a little stir crazy.

My parents were actually going to come down & visit us, but I asked that we postpone the trip, only because I really was not sure if I would be able to enjoy the company. (only because I wasn’t sure if I would be in the bathroom the whole time) Thankfully they understood, and I’m looking forward to seeing them soon.

I figured we would give the farmer’s market a try, and it was right near my office, so I knew exactly where EVERY bathroom was, just in case I needed to make a run for it.

Side note: One of the perks of having Crohn’s disease is that you know where each & every bathroom is at all of the places that you go to – restaurants, grocery stores, departments stores, etc. 😉

I’m so glad we went because we ALL really enjoyed ourselves. Gabriella loved looking at all of the people there, and she had her first encounter with a duck!

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She also got to play with a new toy at the park.

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And we had to get a few Daddy & Mommy pictures in front of the lake too, of course! 🙂

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Girlfriend was MUCH more interested in the swans & ducks than taking pictures, can’t say that I blame her, she pretty much always has the camera in her face. 😉

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I also was able to pick up some homemade Kombucha at the farmer’s market, which made me think of Lindsay :), in hopes that it may also help my stomach. Fingers crossed!

Once we left, we headed home & took Gabriella out to the big pool for a while before nap time. We finished up watching the Orioles win the series against the Tigers! WOOHOO!

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Couldn’t think of a better Sunday! (well, unless the Ravens were playing too 😉 )

I’m so thankful that after such a stressful, rough week that our weekend ended up PERFECT. I’m so thankful for my husband & daughter. They really do know how to cheer this Momma right up!

Do you ever go to your local Farmer’s market?
Favorite part of your weekend? Anyone out there run any races? I know two very special ladies that ran AWESOME races & WON!

A Little Reminder of What’s Important

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Oh I CANNOT tell you HOW MUCH I have been looking forward to this day ALL week.

This week has been TERRIBLE. Like one for the books kind of terrible.

This post is going to start out TOTALLY like a Debbie downer kind of post, but then I promise it makes a turn for the better at the end. It’s a LOT of words, not many pictures, but I just need to vent.

As you know this weekend was kind of rough on the Mom front. Gabriella just wasn’t her normal self (extra fussy & wouldn’t sleep), and I just felt burned out completely.

Monday was similar- just a rough day for the little one. She is teething pretty bad now, so it’s definitely NOT her fault, I just feel bad that I can’t help her out more. Although I did just purchase some Hyland’s teething tablets for her. So far so good! They seem to help her, and of course anytime she can chew on my fingers she is happy. (or her toes :D)

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Tuesday nothing really happened too out of the ordinary. We actually had a pretty good day. & it was MUCH needed.

Wednesday. oh Wednesday, how I wish I could travel back in time. Wednesday was one of the worst days of my life. And it all started at 6:50am. I had just left the gym (I still go every now & then…can’t stay away 😉 ), and figured that I would get gas since I had a free minute. I go to a 7-11 by my house, and as I am pulling into the parking lot I get backed into.

UGH! The good part, or so I thought, was that there was a cop actually in the parking lot as well, just stopping to get his morning coffee. He ended up seeing the whole thing and came over & asked the guy what he was thinking- like did he not see me, or was he distracted. The guy fully admitted that he just didn’t look. He saw the car in front of me, but didn’t see me. Lovely, right?!

So I’m thinking that it actually may be my lucky day…a cop IN the parking lot when I got hit. Yes, the accident sucks, at hey, at least a COP witnessed the whole thing & can now help. Boy was I completely wrong. The cop said that because the accident happened on ‘private property’ (the parking lot) that he could not help us- that they do not respond to accidents in parking lots unless someone is injured- and that all he could do was provide us with some paper to exchange insurance & license information.

Not so lucky day.

After the cop leaves and we are in the middle of filling out the paperwork the guy then proceeds to tell me that he is going to have his girlfriend come up and fill out the paperwork, since it was her car & he was going to have her ‘act’ as the driver. SAY WHAT?! At this point I really don’t know what to do. The cop is gone, and I’m all by myself in a 7-11 parking lot at 7am. (it’s still dark out) I mean what am I supposed to do…tackle the guy and demand he give me his information? Uh no thanks. Who know what could of happened.

The girl ends up coming up, fills out the paperwork, and we exchange all of the information. While she was doing this I DID contact FHP (Florida Highway Patrol) just to find out their recommendation- again, nothing they could do, but the guy told me he would document it & gave me a case number. Umm, thanks? (I also called my insurance company as well, just to cover all of my bases.)

Once she was finished we exchanged information and we continued on our way.

As soon as I got home I told Craig about it- I had tried calling him several times after it happened, but he didn’t have his phone on yet- and then I IMMEDIATELY called their insurance company to start the claim process.

Well, I’m sure this will probably come as no surprise to you after you have read all of this, but they gave me FALSE INSURANCE INFORMATION. No policy could be found on them, and come to find out the vehicle they were driving is COMPLETELY uninsured. (I had the VIN so they could run it.)

I seriously just saw everything crumble around me. I thought Craig was going to lose it…and I don’t blame him. I mean HOW does this STILL happen?! People can drive around with NO insurance. SERIOUSLY?!

After a lot of investigation by my insurance, there was really nothing we could do. I would have to file a claim with them (as not responsible for the accident…but still have to file a claim) & then we could start on the repair process. – which is pretty significant considering that we were both going pretty slow- passenger door can’t close all the way & the back passenger door is also messed up.

AWFUL. So because we have to file a claim, even though it’s not my fault & I have evidence to prove it (surveillance at 7-11) , our premiums will likely go up the next time we renew.

I’m still in shock. But honestly, you know what??? The only thing I kept thinking was thank God Gabriella was not in the car with me because that is where he hit me. Seriously THANK GOD. I don’t know what I would of done, but I can assure you a whole new side of Holly would of come out & it wouldn’t of been pretty.

That was only the BEGINNING of the day. From there it only got worse.

The whole day was kind of ruined by the whole accident situation, but that night I was SO SICK. Around 10pm I woke up and started throwing up like crazy. (sorry, hope you aren’t eating breakfast) I cannot even remember the last time I threw up. I NEVER throw up. EVER. So I knew something was seriously wrong. I woke Craig up & told him what was going on. He was AMAZING after that. He said he was going to stay up with me all night, no matter what. He went & got me some Pepto Bismal to take. When G woke up around midnight, he changed her diaper and brought her to me so I could feed her. And I didn’t sleep at all. He stayed up with me the whole time. SO SWEET. Husband of the year right here!

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How did I get so lucky?! He wanted to make sure that I didn’t have appendix issues, and it wasn’t…thankfully. I’m pretty sure it’s Crohn’s related- could possibly be a flair starting up. :/ Let’s hope not. But it sure does appear to be that.

And yesterday, well, we won’t talk about that. I think I’ve expressed enough downer stuff for the day. 😉 Time to MOVE on!

Throughout this WHOLE week there was one thing that ALWAYS lit up my day.

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(she tried sweet potatoes & LOVED them. pretty much yanked the spoon away from me.)

That little lady. Even though I may have some rough Mommy days, the minute she smiles at me or does goofy stuff like the face above I can’t help but remember HOW lucky I am. HOW LUCKY I am to have this precious baby girl and HOW LUCKY I am to have a wonderful husband who I love more & more every single day, especially when I see how he is with G.

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Those two are my WHOLE world.

So no matter how rough life I can be sometimes, I literally just have to go home & I am reminded HOW blessed I am. NOTHING can bring me down when I see those two. NOTHING.

ENJOY your weekend, and remember to do something for YOU! You deserve it. And tell someone you love how much they mean to you. They may wonder why all of the sudden you are doing this, but I guarantee you it will bring a smile to their face. 🙂

A Leap Day Celebration..on March 1st

I can’t believe today has been a YEAR.

A WHOLE year!

One year ago today I found out that I was PREGNANT!

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February 29th, 2012

It was actually leap day last year, a day I will never forget…EVER. But since it only happens every four years, we will have to celebrate March 1st instead. 🙂

Shortly there after we announced it to our families. Here is how we told Craig’s family:
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(eek…I really just had run. pardon the scary picture)

Hard to believe that just a few months ago I looked like this:
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8 months pregnant, getting close to being ‘ready to have my girl out!’

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^my little bean.

And then the BEST day of my life happened, November 5th, 2012.

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My little girl, the light of my life, entered the world. ❤

Forever she will be my little girl.

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Even when she prefers to cry rather than nap, or when she refuses to take a bottle. One thing is for sure…that little girl has stolen my heart. EVERY ounce of it.

Oh, these two together. Be still my heart.

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It’s totally true, whenever you see your husband (or significant other) holding your child you fall SO MUCH MORE in love with them. You wouldn’t even believe it. The best part is when I see G smile whenever she sees her Daddy. OH my gosh…it melts my heart. Sometimes I even tear up…I blame it on the hormones. 😉 I mean breastfeeding still makes you hormonal, right?! I’m going with it!

Hard to believe in a few short days she will be 4 months old. Yes, FOUR.

I’m soaking up EVERY single second of our time together.

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The other day I thought of her leaving the house & going to college. I cried. Like had a full on melt down. No more thinking about that!

I always tell her to slow down, no need to grow so quick. But I’m not going to miss a minute of it. We have SO many memories to make & I’m so lucky and blessed to have her in my life. God knew I was supposed to have a girl…and I got my girl. ❤

Italian Style Chicken & Waffles

Most of you probably already know, but I married a Maryland boy.

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He loves crabs, Old Bay, Natty Boh, the Orioles…and OF COURSE the Ravens.

Hence our INSANITY over the Ravens…and just wait, the craziness over the Orioles will soon begin.

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But what you may not know is that Craig went to NC State for college.

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(^ he would be the ‘A’ )

While at college in North Carolina he was introduced to a bunch of Southern foods. From grits, biscuits & gravy, collard greens, Bojangles (AKA heaven on earth) to cornbread and chicken fried steak.

But one of his favorite meals while in college, between his nightly cookie dough feasts, was Chicken and Waffles…or should I say Chicken ‘n’ waffles.

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I had heard of them before I met Craig, but really never thought much about it until he ordered it one time while we were out. At first I thought he was insane. But then I tried a bite….and boy it is TASTY! Can’t say that I would order it on my own, but I loved having a few bites of his.

So when I came across a recipe yesterday for a spin on traditional chicken & waffles, I HAD to make it. I’m pretty good about meal planning and try to stick to it, but yesterday it went out the window.

At first I was skeptical, but then I kept reading and knew it had to be a winner: Chicken & Waffles- Italian Style!

Not only did it stand out to me because I know Craig’s love for the dish, but the fact that it was ITALIAN (& we all know his Italian tendencies 😉 ) chicken & waffles….I would have been crazy NOT to make it.

I changed a few things about the recipe in order to make it just for two. But, you can find the original recipe HERE.

There are a few parts to the recipe- I prepped the chicken tenders first, then while they baked I made the waffles.

Gabriella also assisted in making dinner, she didn’t want to be left out.

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Recipe for Chicken Tenders
3/4 lb. chicken tenders
-3/4 cup Bisquick mix, I used Heart Healthy Bisquick
-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
-2 heaping tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
-1 egg beaten
-2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In one shallow dish (I used a pie plate), combine Bisquick, Italian seasoning and cheese.  In a second shallow dish, beat your one egg.  Take each chicken breast and dip it first in the Bisquick mix, coating well, then dip it in the egg mix coating both sides, then dip it one more time back in the Bisquick mix.

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Place chicken on cookie sheet sprayed with Pam.  Brush half of your melted butter over the tops of the chicken and bake 8 minutes.  Flip chicken over and brush remaining half of your melted butter on opposite side and finish cooking another 5 minutes.  Your chicken should be brown and kind of crispy with the juices running clear.

Recipe for Waffles
-2 cups Bisquick
-1 & 1/3 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
-1 egg
-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
-1 tbsp dried chives
-1 tsp black pepper, if desired

Preheat waffle iron. Mix together Bisquick, milk, & egg. Once combined add in cheese, chives & pepper. Pour batter into greased waffle iron & bake until cooked through.

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Once the waffles & chicken are done, start making the dish! Take 2 waffles, top with 2-3 chicken tenders & then pour on spaghetti sauce.

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(I made Craig’s a bit bigger- this is his- 2 waffles & 3 tenders. He went back for another waffle)

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I would say dinner was a success by the looks of his plate above. 😉

I loved the concept and the twist on the traditional recipe! What a great idea!!

40 Days of No Frozen Yogurt

Good Morning!

First things first…Gabriella wanted to say something.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from us to you 🙂 We hope your day is filled with lots of chocolate & candy!

Now this morning’s post may be a topic some of you are sensitive to, so I’ll just go ahead & throw it out there that I will be discussing religion. Now this isn’t going to be a post pushing religion on you, or bashing any religion, I am just going to discuss religion in general.

I have decided that I am going to give something up for Lent this year. I thought about it Tuesday night and I just feel in my heart it’s what I want to do.

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Now let me back track a little bit. I was born & raised Christian. I went to a private Christian school for elementary & middle school. I ended up going to a public high school, which was VERY eye opening. Going from a TINY Christian private school to a HUGE public school was a shock to my system. I really think it’s a big part of the reason that I had such bad body issues.

Once I got to high school I kind of separated myself from church. I was pre occupied with running track & cross country (we had practice Monday- Saturday & an optional long run on Sunday…which I ALWAYS did- that’s when I first ran a full marathon!) that I put church on hold.

Once I moved to go to college, church was the farthest thing from my mind. I was too busy attending classes, but of course, like most college students, partying it up. 🙂

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Oh yes, that would be me & my husband….way before we were husband & wife 😀

Once I graduated, & Craig and I got married, things started to change. We both knew we wanted to start a family right away. Which we did 🙂

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The one thing we also wanted to do was raise our daughter in the church. We didn’t necessarily have a preference on the church, but we just wanted her to be raised in the church.

Craig was born & raised Catholic. Once he went to college he was pretty much in the same boat as me. He still went to church on holidays, but it was not a weekly occurrence.

So when we decided to start attending church again, which was when I just found out I was pregnant, we weren’t sure which church we wanted to attend. We tried a few churches near our house, and eventually decided on a Catholic church.

The Catholic religion is very different than the church I was raised in. There are a lot of rituals and a lot of kneeling, standing back up, etc. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with it, I just wasn’t used to it.

So now that I understand Catholicism a bit more, and after speaking with the priest, I have come to appreciate it. We have also decided that we are going to get Gabriella baptized at this church, so she will be raised Catholic. Now there are a few aspects that I differ on in my beliefs, and we will let her decide what she wants to do regarding those topics. Just to give you an example, in the Christian religion, there is no such thing as confession. We believe that you can speak directly to God regarding your sins, and that you do not have to ‘go through’ the priest. Just a personal opinion, and something that she can decide when she gets older.

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With ALL of that being said (props to you if you have stuck with me for this entire post 😉 ) I am incorporating different aspects of Catholicism into my life. One of those being Lent. Also we did not eat meat at all yesterday, since it was Ash Wednesday & we will not eat meat every Friday until Easter.

So for lent this year I’ve decided to give up frozen yogurt. Will it be hard? ABSOLUTELY. I eat it nearly every night. But with the whole reason of lent is “giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence.” Frozen yogurt is definitely a luxury that I very much enjoy. Since I do enjoy it so much, that was one of the very first things that came to mind.

I know I can do it! It may be hard for the first week, but I’m sure it will get easier. Oh, and if you’re wondering, Craig is giving up beer for lent. We have each other to hold accountable…and we both are up for the challenge.

Are you giving anything up for lent?

Oh, and just one more picture because I thought it was cute.

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Ravens Obsession

HAPPY SUPER BOWL WEEKEND!!

I’m SURE by now you know we are a little bit obsessed with the Ravens. But why are we so Ravens obsessed???

Well, here’s a few reasons why.

1. The BIG milestone in our relationship was when Craig let me watch a Ravens football game with him. Let me explain. Craig doesn’t like to watch Ravens games with anyone. He likes to be by himself, only because he gets SO into the game. The boy can’t sit down. He paces (like when I was giving birth to Gabriella), he screams, he punches the couch, he runs up & down the stairs, he tears up (when they beat the Broncos & when they were heading to the SuperBowl!), he throws his jersey on & off, he does ‘the worm’ on the floor, and he’s just absolutely insane. It’s HILARIOUS. I WISH I could make a video of it, but he would kill me! Haha!

The first game I ever watched with Craig ended up being a Ravens/ Steelers game. & if you are a football fan, you KNOW how big the Ravens/ Steeler rivalry is.

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It’s no joke, and usually VERY instense games. So I was VERY surprised he asked me if I wanted to watch THAT one with him.

December 14th, 2008 was the game I watched. And that’s the night he told me he loved me. No, I’m totally kidding 😉

2. Our engagement.

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August 12th, 2010. Before the first game of the season. ON RAVEN’S FIELD!

I thought I was surprising Craig by getting tickets to the game. Well, he had talked to his brother a few months before about it, when he told Mike (his brother) that he wanted to propose to me on Raven’s field. Mike was the one who was able to get us on the field, which I just thought was a surprise to Craig & I. (because while we were tailgating he ‘surprised’ us by saying we were going on the field before the game to watch the players warm up. I was in SHOCK!) Little did I know this was all a plan that Mike & Craig had worked on months before. 😀

3. Our wedding.

Our colors were black & purple…of course. 😉

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Groom’s cake
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(The Ray Lewis dance was part of our intro)

4. The games we have been to.

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(Ravens v. Jax. Embarrassing loss)

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(Ravens v. 49ers- first ‘Har-bowl’- Ravens won! Let’s hope for a repeat tomorrow 😀 )

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John & Jim hug after the game.

5. Gabriella’s Introduction to the Ravens

We’re raising this girl RIGHT…a Ravens fan from the very beginning 😀

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Me at 29 weeks pregnant. She was a Raven’s fan even in my belly 🙂

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Her first dress! (before she was even born)

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G at a DAY old!

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Newborn photo session- she was 10 days old! 🙂

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Before a Ravens game, 2 weeks old, sleeping on Daddy.

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And you know all of these photos, from her Ravens photo shoot 😉

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A more recent one, in her Ravens dress! (from this week- 12 weeks old)

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Thank you Aunt Char for my bow 🙂 – another 12 weeks photo.

Ever wonder why we went in on Sunday NIGHT to be induced rather than Sunday MORNING?! 😉 Here’s a hint: The Ravens game was at 1pm.

This little girl has been the Raven’s good luck charm, I swear by it! 😀

You all know who this family will be rooting for this weekend!!!! & if you aren’t sure, or don’t have a preference on who wins, I would kindly like to ask you to root for the RAVENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have to do it for Ray 😀

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G in Ray’s Doo-Rag 😉

Now before I let you go, you HAVE to watch this video of Craig doing the Ray Lewis dance when he was in college. Now, you have to keep in mind this video is about 10 years old, so it’s not the best quality…but it’s still pretty funny. 😀

One Month

I’m sure you can tell by now, but we are just a tiny bit obsessed with this new little lady in our lives. 😉

It’s hard to know what we ever did without her. I know that sounds kind of crazy (if you don’t have kids) but she is such a HUGE part of our lives now..it’s like HOW did we live without her before?!

She is already a MONTH old. Well, more like 5 weeks & one day as of today. (yep, you will TOTALLY count the weeks & days when you become a Mom, just wait 😉 ) WOW, time does fly.

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Now I can’t say the first month was EASY. I really don’t think anyone’s first month with a newborn is ever ‘easy.’ BUT we have been really blessed with her. I have heard HORROR stories of the first few months of having a newborn, and I can honestly tell you we don’t have any of those yet. (****KNOCK ON WOOD!!****)

Yes, there have been sleepless nights…but isn’t that what coffee is made for?! 🙂 And yes, there has been times were she will FIGHT sleep like no one’s business. I mean we have had days (& nights) were she absolutely REFUSED to sleep. But hey, it happens.

You take the good nights with the bad nights. Can’t have the good without the bad.

We have been blessed with quite a little eater, and I am so thankful! She had NO problem latching…she actually latched within the first two minutes. I was so worried about her not latching before she was born…and she came out wanting to eat, so we tried it…and boom! We had a little leech 😉 The other good thing is that she will take a bottle. So if need be, I can pump & Craig can feed her.

This month HAS been trying at times, I’m NOT going to deny that. There have been two major meltdowns by me, I was crying, G was crying & poor Craig didn’t know what to do with his two girls. BUT times like that I feel like Gabriella & I grow closer. I think we just have to get those big cries out so that we can really just learn each other’s quirks a little bit more. Everyday I feel like we learn something new about EACH OTHER. It’s the COOLEST thing in the world.

This month (well, 5 weeks & 1 day 😉 ) has been the BEST month of my ENTIRE life. There are NO words that can ever express HOW MUCH I love this girl. She has changed my life completely…and all for the better. It’s amazing how just thinking about how much I love her brings tears to my eyes. She has no idea how much her little self means to me. We have an unbreakable bond that will last for my entire life.

On that note, before I really do turn into a blubbering mess 🙂 , I thought I would share a few of my favorite newborn photos. – we did these when she was 8 days old. I would post them all because I LOVE them all so much…but I don’t figure you want to see 100+ newborn photos 😉
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Literally MELTS my heart everytime I look at this picture. It looks like she is laughing at her Daddy’s jokes. Love it ❤ She’s going to be such a Daddy’s little girl..and I’m SO excited to see that. I know HOW SPECIAL my bond is with my Dad & I can’t wait to see Gabriella & Craig share that similar bond. Continue reading