Thursday, December 31, 2015

Resolution Reveal

I am coming off a crazy week at our house.  Christmas eve with both sides of our family at our house,  and a birthday party for the sweetest little 2 year old.  I love that our house has become the melting pot for our families.  We have had everyone here for both parties and it really means a lot to me to see them all getting along.  Not having to run around to accommodate this tradition or that one has made things a little simpler for me.  We definitely do still run around on holidays sometimes and when we do I always am so drained.

As 2015 is coming to a close I can't help but feel a little indifferent and so worn out.  My family has suffered loss, and really sad health news for my dad.  I got married.  Watched my son grow.  We are blessed to have traveled, and spent quality time with friends and family.  So many tears happy and sad have been shed this year.  I found my way back into church which brought on some tears of their own.

I am taking away a lot of growth this year.  Learning that the high road doesn't always yield the results I wanted, but I still felt better.  Realized when I said I was taking Leavitt to church I was really doing it more for myself since he just plays the whole time.  Accepting that life is part what you make it and part what happens to you.

In the spirit of merciless honesty I have sat down to write this about five times.  I don't totally know that I am ready to end this year.  I would like to think we are on to bigger and better things next year, but the truth is I don't know.  If we never have more than we do now, or do more than we do now I would be okay.  The real truth is that world events have made me want to stick close to home more.  Life has made me appreciate the here and now a lot more.  I would be lying if I said I don't daydream a little about a healthier, more exciting year but I also kind of don't.

So as I roll my way into next year I have one resolution.  I am going to drink one glass of hot lemon water every morning in 2016.  I have read great things about it and I am pretty sure I can handle this... as long as I keep lemons on the grocery list! Per usual I will let you all know how that goes so stay tuned on the results.

2016 also has some exciting and challenging things coming for the blog.  A couple collaborations in the works and some exciting new ideas I can not wait to share with you all.  Have a safe champagne sipping (or guzzling) New Years Eve!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Birthday Letter for Leavitt

My little Leavitt,
Two.  You are two.  Well probably if you are reading this you can adjust that last statement to like 20, but right now you are two.  My heart both breaks and swells writing this to you.  Knowing you are on your last leg of the baby tour.  Sooner, or maybe later, whenever you are ready I will potty train you so you won't need diapers anymore.  You will trade the sippy cups in for the water bottles you already fancy.  I will be a pitiful pile of mom love the day you head out for an adventure and don't need me to pack a big bag for you.  Or gasp, I don't get to come because it will be some boy adventure and your Dad will want you all to himself... OK that isn't happening I am coming with you

I just adore the little spitfire in you.  You are bold and confident.  Your confidence has me a smidge jealous,  I have never been as sure of myself as you are.  Please don't ever lose that, I promise to always and no matter what protect it.  Your sass on the other hand I am working to tone down a little bit.  Currently you will demand people "go away" or "get out".  You are learning how to get your space by pushing people away.  This new phase has me a little stressed.  I am sorry if are picking up on that.  You still have a sappy sweet side.  You cry for me when you are really upset, and give me long hugs.  When we are snuggled up at bed time, you rub my face, twirl my hair and give me little kisses.  I know you are mimicking the way I comfort you and that just makes me all warm and fuzzy.  You like it when your dad kisses me and always try to push our faces together.

You have an iPad.  I was furious when your father gave you that for Christmas last year.  We put a couple movies on there for traveling and your Aunt Barbara helped me put some of your cousins favorite puzzles on there for you.  You got so frustrated for the longest time about not being able to do the puzzles on your own.  In the last month you have really figured it all out and are able to open your apps and navigate them all on your own.  You also like all the Christmas movies I have been making you watch with me while we take a break from minions and toy story.... just kidding we have been watching those too.  I hope you are enjoying them because I can feel the screen time police giving me the mommy side eye while I write this.

Over Thanksgiving I took you three different places.  Fed you peanut butter on a spoon in a pantry sitting on the floor just to keep your from screaming during another forced dinner.  Then you went for your first helicopter ride.  Listen, your mom and dad are a couple of chickens.  We hate to fly, do not like to live on the edge and don't make a habit of doing things that are going to give us an adrenaline surge.  You wanted to go, so I went.  More than not wanting to die, I don't want to miss anything especially a first.  Lucky for me you lost your ever loving shit when you couldn't sit with me and we went back to the house.  After we were on the ground again you made it into my lap and I realized you did't care about me, it was all the buttons up front you wanted.  You immediately hit the start button and when I put your little feet back on the ground you gasped "oh wow!" such a guy.  Your great aunt Carol came to visit all the way from Idaho.  As we were leaving you ran across the living room to give her one last hug.  You have only met her two other times, but you know when someone loves you.  You also know when someone could use an extra hug.  I just love that about you.

I am not very crafty so we cook.  Like a lot.  You help me with at least two meals a day and we do a lot of baking.  I actually signed us up for a monthly subscription for We Cook.  We are on month two and get a new recipe every month to try.  You love to help so much I had to buy you some kid utensils so you could really control them.  We had a cooking day at Meme's this month.  You and your cousins and a couple friends decorated cookies and gingerbread houses.  You guys also decorated her floor with sprinkles.  I predict she will ask if I want to do it here next year.... I don't.  You and Russell are best buds, and love chasing each other.  You like to copy him and that makes me happy, he's a good big cousin.  You love Saylor but would prefer to love her not in my arms.  You'll get over your little jealous streak I hope.

You still have a terrible relationship with the word no.  You cry, big real tears when I say it even more so if you can tell I mean business.  I can already feel myself laughing to hold back my own tears.  It is only going to get worse for a while.  Terrible twos are a real thing, so I hear.  To be honest you've been working up to it lately and I have dug my heels in to fight the good fight.  I know this might mean I won't be your favorite person anymore, and that kills me a little.  So do me a favor if you're 21 reading this, take me out for a drink, I deserve it for braving twos with you.  I also just really love spending time with you.  Every adventure, every new phase is exciting and bittersweet.  Can't wait to see what this year brings us I love you to infinity and beyond.

XO Mommy

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dirty little details


Here are some quick and dirty details about Moi!  You're in for a real treat because I am in one of those moods where I would tell you anything.  Try not to fall off the edge of your seat.

I am very misunderstood.  Sarcasm is my first language, and I rarely pass up and opportunity to say something snarky if I think someone can handle it.  I would be mortified though if I ever truly hurt someones feelings.  If you are offended easily I am probably not the girl you want to hang out with.

I moved to Florida once for a short time because I said I was going to and when the girls I thought were coming with me bailed I went anyways.  Not for any reason other than I said I was so I did.  I had just broken up with my boyfriend and thought why the hell not.  I also talked to my now husband almost every single day I was there.  Thats where our acquaintance turned to real friendship.

I have an embarrassing amount of shoes.  When we built our house my husband surprised me with built in cabinets and a shoe wall, with french glass doors... we also have a chandelier we haven't had installed yet.  He is the Mr. Big to my Carrie.  If you don't get what I just said stop right here and go watch the Sex and the City movie.

My wedding shoes cost as much as my dress (minus the added accessories and veil).  I actually knew the shoes I wanted before I chose a dress.  Only a real shoe girl would understand.

I cry sometimes while I am alone.  Sometimes about something silly like the house not being clean, or I look at my sleeping baby and can't for the life of me figure out how I got so lucky.  I get to thinking about my Dad or my niece Charlee and it stops me dead in my tracks.  I am usually in my car when the emotions get the best of me.  Yet I am emotionally inappropriate.  I laugh when I am uncomfortable, it is my defense mechanism.

The ladies I call my friends, the people I would have lunch with alone are the most interesting, hilarious, authentic and original women I know.  If I would spend a couple hours of baby free time with you then you know you're in.  No one likes a knock off so if you can't come original then stay your ass home.

I hate to pay full price for anything.  If I buy something I usually have had my eye on it and stalk the sales.  My dream job would be a personal shopper.

I have 30,320 unread emails on my phone.  I don't even have a good excuse for how that happened it just did.

I felt my son was a boy from the moment I knew I was pregnant.  I was afraid to tell anyone that because I didn't want to be wrong or feel silly for being so sure.  In some weird way I just knew I was meant to be his Mama.

I get my love of fine china from my mom.  I always loved hers growing up and now I have my own for Christmas and everyday use.  Our everyday dishes have platinum on them which infuriates my husband because he can't microwave leftovers on them.  Not sorry.  And yes I will drink my $10 wine out of crystal please and thanks.

I used to use tanning beds like crazy.  So crazy I was unrecognizable.  A true tanorexic.  When I started working at the hospital when I was 21 I became obsessed with not getting skin cancer and haven't tanned since.  I get a screening done every year now but I still have so much regret for doing that to myself.

Phew, glad I got all those skeletons out of the closet.  Have a happy Christmas week everyone!! I am planning to hit up a barre class tomorrow and get a manicure to take the edge off because it is about to get cray around here, three parties in five days over here at the Varney house!!! Say a little prayer for me!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas card wardrobe

Hey there! I got a few text messages from my lady gang about where our Christmas card wardrobe was from,  so I thought I would take the time and break it down for you.  I did not pay full price for anything we are wearing,  and no I am not just saying that because my husband sometimes reads this.  Most items are still on sale so you're in luck!!  I should also add that we incorporated things we already owned and loved.

On baby
sweater // boots // flannel // jeans // jacket


On Mama
skirt // necklace sold out similar // top // shoes
Make sure you sign up for the emails to get a discount on the skirt!

On Nick
sweater // pants // boots
Boots I found last year at TJ Maxx but you can find them still online at a ton of retailers. 

Per usual all these photos are Danielle Brady and you can find her here

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas family pictures

I will admit I needed a reason to buy this skirt.  I was in love with for over a year and it was just begging to be on our Christmas cards.  So not long after the wedding I put a bug in Danielle's ear that we needed a family session.  I showed her the skirt and then got to working on the guys outfits.  Other than obsessing over the clothes being true to everyone's style and the pops of red, I knew it had to be at Piper Mountain.  We get our tree there every year and usually go more than once if we can.  I also thought Leavitt would be obsessed running around there and it would create perfect smiles.  Yeah not so much.  He napped the whole way there so I expected a rested excited little boy.  What I got was an emotional roller coaster.  Danielle knows I adore the blooper pics and I almost put one on the back of the card for some humor but opted not to send $6 cards to the 50 people I sent them to.  I have a feeling Santa would call that my gift and I would be in mommy time out.  When Nick saw my outfit he told me I was out of my Christmas loving mind and should be going to the Nutcracker not a tree farm.  Now theres an idea.  Thank the lord for Danielle putting up with my good side antics mixed with my guys and their lack of model behavior.  I am not going to share the actual card because everyone is just now starting to receive them but I will tell you these pictures are equally as snazzy.  

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season as much as we are.  I just got home from a shopping trip and if there had been someone there taking pictures they would be a much less glam version of Leavitt Crying and me covered in sweat dragging Gap bags around.  Next year I am planning Leavitt a guys weekend with his Dad the same weekend I jet out of town with a bottle of wine in one hand and my credit card in the other... I paid my dues. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A day in the life: stay at home parents

Hello! I’m Lauren, a stay at home mom in Orono, Maine. I’m a mom of two babies: Annabel Ruth who is going to be 2 in 4 months and the little munchkin we have yet to meet that I’ve been brewing in my belly for 14 weeks!  Also a mom of 2 dogs Maisy and Ozzy who were the first kids in our fam.  What’s unique about our situation is we both are stay at home parents.  We decided about 4 years ago now that we would do whatever it takes to create income/ build multiple businesses from home on our terms so we could truly enjoy every minute with each other and our growing family. I feel very blessed to be able to see every first and last in Annabel’s life.  I now babysit one of my best friend’s kids as one of my “jobs” and I feel that has helped them both lots as well as prepared me to have another little one!  I wake up every day and think “today is going to be our greatest adventure”. The best feeling is to have little to no agenda and think…what will we do to grow and make today memorable? Sam asked me to be a part of this series and I was very excited. I realized real fast how difficult it was to record everything as it was happening but it was great to review at the end of the day! Here is a little look inside a pregnant mommy’s standard Monday.

2:12 am: Wake up starving and stumble to the kitchen to grab a granola bar and chug some water... Prego life
4:35 am: Get up to pee
6:45 am: I wake up as John smooches me and wakes up to shower and get dressed for the day
7:05 am: Annabel wakes up and we hear her yelling “Mommyyy” from the other room.  John grabs her to come lay with me and cuddle for a few (my new fav part of the day)
7:30 am: Anna and I get up and let the dogs out.  I get her dressed and she hangs with John watching some of her fav shows while I take a quick shower & get myself ready
7:50 am: John goes up to the home office to work. Anna and I leave for Ampersands (a store up the street that we frequent for our fresh bread and baked goods every couple days) She loves going here now and decided since she knew where the pears and apples are she would grab one and start her breakfast.
8:15 am: Get back home and notice one of the dogs threw up on their bed.  Sit Annabel in her new chair at the table and give her the pear she didn’t finish from the store.  Throw the blankets in the wash and feed the dogs breakfast.  Quickly put away the groceries we got.
8:25 am: Make a smoothie because I feel like if I don’t eat something healthy right this instant I will throw up too.  Annabel requests “own smoothie” so of course I make extra ☺ Give her the smoothie and begin cooking some scrambled eggs with veggies for us.
8:35 am: Annabel and I eat our eggs and  then let out the dogs again.  When we come in Anna requests “treats” for dogs and I open the cupboard and notice we are all out.  Minor freak out.  Add dog treats to the list of things to grab in town today.
8:50 am: John comes down and eats a quick breakfast and decides he will go in town with us when we run errands.  I do the dishes and a fold the laundry in the dryer from last night and throw a load of laundry in the wash while Anna runs laps around the house and randomly brings me dolls to kiss and wrap in blankets etc.
9:25 am:  Pack up a diaper bag/purse in less than a minute. Leave the house as a fam.
9:30 am: Dunkin Donuts stop.
9:45: Bed Bath & Beyond errands.  Anna is so excited Daddy is with us she makes him zoom her around in the cart as I grab some random things for the house and some Christmas presents.
10:11 am: Hannaford.  I run in quickly while Anna snoozes in the car with John.
10:38 am: Home sweet home.  Annabel wants to color at her picnic table in the kitchen.  I give her supplies and use this free minute to unpack our stuff we just bought.  Join her when I finish until she is bored and runs to her kitchen to play.
11:00 am: Laundry again.  Start some chicken in the crock pot for later.  Annabel comes and notices I have food out and wants “help” and have a “snack”. Give her some berries and bring over a chair so she can feel like she’s helping.  (I really usually let her but raw chicken isn’t the best thing to help with haha)
11:15 am: Diaper change/ some Elmo on youtube to convince her to hold still.  She’s so busy!
11:20 am: Cuddle and read a few books to wind down (I can tell she is getting ready to crash since her 7 minute nap in the car earlier wasn’t enough)
12 pm: Nap time.  Lay her down and she falls asleep almost right away with a little chatter.  Research a few classes I wanted to check into for this winter for Anna. Start looking at Pinterest for nursery ideas since I literally can’t wait to find out if we are having a boy or girl. Fold some laundry. Eat again. Prep some lunch for when she wakes up.  Pass out on the couch until she wakes up. I’m always tired nowadays.
2:05 pm: Anna wakes.  I bring her to John to hang for a few while I get our lunch on the table.
2:15 pm: All eat lunch together. Finish off with some DQ ice cream cake left from my birthday yesterday.
3 pm: Get bundled up with Anna to go play outside.  Play ball in the lawn.  Visit our Auntie’s house down back and feed the kitty and fish.  She loves this and it’s so adorable.
4 pm: Come back home. Let the dogs out. Get our gear off. Throw the dishes from lunch in the dishwasher real quick.
4:15 pm: Play with Anna’s new puzzles in her room
4:30 pm: Prep dinner while Anna plays. Put away more laundry.
4:50 pm: Anna wants to water “plants” so we make our rounds and water all of them in the house while dinner is in the oven.
5:25 pm: Eat dinner with Anna.  Sometimes she eats so well and other times she is way too “busy”. Today she ate like a bird. I make her a smoothie to make sure she at least has some fruit and veggies with yogurt.
5:45 pm: Diaper change. She now is doing laps again. Clean up dishes and put leftovers in fridge while Annabel keeps herself busy.
6 pm: Feed dogs with Anna.  She loves to count the scoops and give them their bowls.  They are so patient with her it makes me proud.  Let them out together after & give them treats.
6:25 pm: Put clean sheets on bed & throw on Anna’s favorite Netflix show “Masha and the Bear”  so she can wind down and snuggle while I fold  her laundry.
7 pm: Tubby time.  Brush teeth with Anna. Lotion up brush hair and get her jammies on.  Read some books and snuggle her until she falls asleep.  Move her to her crib.
8 pm: Go upstairs to see John.
9:30 pm: Snack & let dogs out before bed.
9:45 pm: Episodes in bed with hubby til we crash.