Eight is Great

Visit Greenville. It’s a hop, skip and a jump from Atlanta. It was a perfect, quick getaway, with some AMAZING views. Downtown is a good size, not too big or small, great shopping and eats. Running paths + hiking = perfect escape. What? Like you expected us to sit and drink champagne all day?

To adventure is to find yourself whole. Happy anniversary, Roo. To 8 years of collecting moments…(in no particular order) #eightisgreat
Hiking the trails of Cinque Terre
Kayaking solo in Croatia
Mountain climbing in Wales, w/ Prince William
Catching tennis at Wimbledon
Skiing in Chamonix
Throwing coins in the fountains in Rome
Jumping off the cliffs in Jamaica
Moving all over God’s green earth
Having the coolest boys ever


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Working For The Weekend

Touched and overwhelmed at the outpouring of support y’all sent through. From raising awareness around Guillain-Barre to (frankly) giving my mom a chance to tell people what they’ve been going through and get her the support they need. It’s easier to keep things close to the chest when it’s a heavy topic, but it’s also great to know that there are hugs and shoulders to lean on when you need them most. Thanks for the prayers!

When I told my dad he was a big hit on The Facebook, he loved the fact that a few folks knew about the disease because their grandparents had it. He appreciated feeling exceptionally old. See, he’s back to his old witty self.

If you were anywhere in Georgia last weekend, no doubt you’re still talking about last Sunday’s weather. Sweatshirts and shorts. We had our windows open and got out to enjoy every second of the fall preview. Most of the weekend was spent on the river. Andrew just hops right in, I’m better at being perched on the rocks. We/he took the boys Sunday to wade in the river and it became very evident that I have boys and I better get used to mud, rocks and being dirty.

And hello football. The Dawgs didn’t look their best but we’ll take it. In other news, the US Open was one to watch again. Sorry Serena. Novak and Fed put on a show and couldn’t have asked for a better final. Pumped Fed announced he’s not going anywhere.

Then there was that tiny trip to New York I’ll have to tell you about.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Want to get away?

Weekend in Asheville for a friends wedding proved to be everything we needed for a quick break, minus the sleep. Family babysitting, one of the major perks of already being back home. We went to Asheville about 5 years ago and it’s safe to say the city has blossomed into an even bigger beautiful destination. Good local food, beer and art. Shopping was on point! The drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway makes the jaunt from Atl – > NC easy on the eyes.

The wedding was outside of the city in a beautiful field, which is probably where all of us crazies should have been left. We had a blast but will probably go to bed at 8PM all week to catch-up.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

The Most Important Question of Your Life

Occasionally, my brother pops out of nowhere and sends me cool stuff. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m flying at mach 9 and sometimes, if you don’t stop to look around every once in a while you might miss something. I’m about to get preachy on you. That fine line of “perception is reality.” Coming from the person who has blogged for 8 years. Careful what’s on display.

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Read the full article here.

People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.

People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

When You’re Waiting In Line, Let’s Catch Up.

 
questions asked by a beautiful, clearly bored, friend
1) where are you working with such a great office!? I won’t make that public, think of this blog like church and state. I don’t want to talk shop on here. You know how to find me to ask in private. I will say that unfortunately I am not working for The Skimm or naming nail polishes.
2) are you settled into your new house? Sweet baby Jesus, no. Sadly – for everyone – we are not in our new home. We weren’t sure when to pull the trigger and pack up our Minnesota home, but we figured sooner than later. We’re in purgatory for about a month; I may have a countdown app as a friendly reminder to victory — down to the seconds.
3) have you found a good running trail? Picked the house based on location to running and biking trail networks. We’re right off the river.
4) have you taken a bath in The Tub? THE TUB is for the boys. I am not much of a bath person. Probably the same reason I can’t do yoga. I hate sitting still.
5) does the move impact Andy’s job? Yes and no. He is keeping his amazing gig. Lucky devil.
6) did you select the job based on geo location to fam, or did job choose you? Tough one. I never in a million thought we’d end up back in Georgia. If I could have had family come to Minnesota we certainly would have stayed longer. Turns out,  two kids and a husband that travels all the time will send you hauling a** to family. It was time to be closer to family and we chose to look in Georgia for that reason. I missed SEC football, what can I say. And Dunkin Donuts.
7) on a scale of 1-10, how happy is your mom? 100.
8) how was your first day at work!? Downright relaxing. Family sent flowers, spoiled. It’s also fun getting new notebooks and pens. Downside to first day, multiple awkward encounters….getting off on the wrong floor (but hanging out and acting like you meant to), circling a floor looking for a room you’ve never been to or a person you’ve never met (that will kindly point out that they noticed someone wondering the halls), almost walking in to the men’s bathroom. The basic new kid blunders.
9) are you changing the name of your blog like you did last move? You know- like “Nichole does hotlanta” And lose my SEO and two million two followers?! Pssh. Be on the lookout for “Georgia On My Wine, ” or maybe “Midnight Choo Choo to Georgia,” perhaps “Bless Your Little Blogspot,” or even “Y’all Came Back Now.”
10) have you explained to work your name on time sheets might be different than what they call you? #canteven. I love my parents, but really. My email is already having folks scratch their heads.

Blank Space

Finding a clock for the bedroom is freaking hard. I hate clocks. Reminding me I’m late, the ticking is annoying, or telling me “hey, did you know you’re up with a baby at this hour?”
I don’t wear enough necklaces. Probably because I can’t get out the door without me having to give it to Rye.
Magic has returned to my house, Ryder sleeps IN now and Rhys pops up around 7. Thank you sweet Jesus.
Roo has me heart rate training…and I love it. I hated his guts for making me try it (tweaked knee = no running). We are way too competitive. Suunto is my new love-to-hate-it app.
Who do you go see 50 Shades of Grey with?
My baby is growing out of the puppy phase and I cannot stand it.
I signed up for Groovebook. Pics aren’t the best quality, but I think it will only get better (Shutterfly just acquired the start-up) and I can’t complain for $3 a month. You don’t want to know how many pics I take.
Having not seen a single Oscar nominated flick; I realize I am a parent.
Currently obsessed with Episodes. It grows on you.
Rye has been calling me “mom.” Please see earlier statement about Rhys not being a baby.
The Flat White, survey says: Meh.
Coconut Oil?! Lets do this!
Deflating balls? How bad do folks really hate the Pats? Get over yourself. Pulling for Mr Brady myself. Michigander, and a class act.
Another sick babe this week makes me want to buy stock in medical masks and move my parents.
Good neighbors make ALL the difference.

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Resolute Resolutions

2015…here we are.

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I wish I could say I’ve whipped up a dozen resolutions, when in reality I could probably scrounge up a few. I’m feeling rather lethargic post holiday and have my eye on some key dates this year to hopefully get in a little family relaxation.

What I want most this year is to be present. To be in the moment. These babies burst with personality each and every day and I’m afraid I’m going to blink and miss it. Even this silly site, for those that wonder why I over-share or why I care to share, is because I want to create a memory book of my best moments. Even if the moments are only of pictures or random thoughts for that day.

I also want to acknowledge change. I am not the person I was last year or thankfully years ago. There are moments were I literally want to slap myself when I think about the antics I pulled in high school or the way I acted in college. As Andrew and I have lived away from close family and friends we’ve made new relationships and we’ve had bonds with those from home grow stronger. As I’ve become a mother I’ve seen good friends become great friends and also great friends slide away. We are all at different points in our lives, in our journey. It’s important to remember what others are going through, and why people float in and out of our lives at certain times. To me, there is nothing better than knowing you have a friend you can call and pick up right where you left off, no matter the time in between. Guys are much better at this, women tend to hold on to things (for better or for worse). I’m not looking to change in 2015, but looking to acknowledge that everyone is free to change and sometimes it’s a good thing they do. I want to look at 2015 with gratitude and know that without change there could never be growth.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” ~Glenda Cloud

You Serious, Clark?

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Hello December. You are sure are full of surprises!
Birthday surprises.
Work surprises.
Baby surprises.
Ryder and Rhys have decided it’s winter, and that it must be warmer in mom and dad’s bed. We were able to talk Ryder into his own bed again (yes, he actually comprehends our negotiation tactics), meanwhile Rhys spent the past week being a fussy Gus and we couldn’t figure out what was going on. And not figuring it out at 2AM, or 4AM, or 6AM is miserable. That was until school sent me a picture of two bottom teeth looking right at me. Teething? Say what? Ryder got a (as in one) tooth around 7 months. Rhys, has two all the way in, and he’s working on his upper front. He’s not even 5 months. What happened to my baby?
Remember that snow blower we got? It’s 50 degrees. And no sign of snow.
Birthday week begins, and I’m pumped I go first so Rye can see what it’s all about.
Our newest obsession is Apple TV. And Peter Quinn. Not in that order.
I’ve managed to crush my Christmas shopping. I’m an organized mess.
Norak will be up for our annual Christmas baking festivities. Shopping for a zillion cookies is a pain in the oven.
Nothing beats a house that smells like Christmas tree and cookies… and an occasional toddler.
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Banging Blueberry Muffins

My husband is a carb hater, unfortunate for this carb lover. I love muffins. Blueberry muffins, any-other-fruit-muffins, muffin tops, love them all.

In order to get Roo on my muffin band wagon I looked up one of his favorite chef’s recipe for Blueberry Muffins. A Mayretta local (whoop!), Alton Brown’s Blueberry Muffins:

IMG_2590-0Ingredients
12 1/2 ounces cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Heavy pinch salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup yogurt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

They came up perfectly fluffy and damn if homemade isn’t always better. Here’s the full recipe kiddos.

Quite possibly the worst food photographer:

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