Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blog Party!

I'm never one to pass down a time to par-tay and so I couldn't resist linking up with Danielle, Casey and Alycia. I had no idea what a blast this little party would be.
First off, we were randomly paired with other bloggers to exchange $10-$15 gifts for one another. I was lucky enough to be paired with the beautiful Joii. Her blog is full of awesome things about Faith, Fashion, Food....honestly what can be better? How she describes herself: It is my goal to live each day to the fullest. While you're here, enjoy and be inspired. I love me some Jesus! I am a wife, daughter, sister and friend. I love beauty, travel and food.
A Full Day Button

So go read a little bit more about her! You won't be disappointed!

Have you ever had a time when you were super excited to give a gift to someone special, but first you receive their gift to you and it's so super awesome that your gift to them pales in comparison?

I did that with Miss Joii.

She sent Isabelle and me the BEST handmade things EVER! I have stated a few times my ridiculous obsession love for jewelry so Joii MADE me 3 beautiful pairs of earrings. I love earrings, but I really love handmade earrings. I feel like they are made with love and I also love that they don't look like everything else walking down the street.

She made Isabelle the most adorable tag blanket that has Minnie Mouse on it. Izzy was so excited to see Minnie and she keeps busy playing with the tags so I can enjoy a quiet car ride (cue Hallelujah music!).
 Izzy's blanket travels with her.

Took it away long enough to snag a little pic.
It's two different colors and textures! So perfect!
And my personal favorite...the earrings. The last one doesn't have a holder because I literally had to take them out of my ears to snag a pic. I have already worn all of them and they go with EVERYTHING!

Thank you so much Joii! It was such a blast partying with you! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Let's get a little personal.

Ashley asked me a few random/fun questions, which I love answering because I think it's the little things that make up our big personalities. Plus, who doesn't love talking about themselves?

11 Fun Facts about myself:

1. I have Spidey like senses. I can hear just about everything (great for eaves dropping..one of my fav activities) and I give a blood hound a run for his money on smelling things (which is a nightmare when you are preggo).

2. I've always hated cartoons. The little voices give me a headache.  

3. I hate walking around with bare feet. We have wood floors and it just feels cold and uncomfortable. I also have to put lotion on my feet before getting into bed and can't stand dry feet. I don't have a weird foot fetish, but suddenly I am realizing that I sound like I do.

4.  I have a minor in Spanish and I can't speak ANY Spanish. You know when they say "Use it or lose it?"....they aren't lying. Thankfully, Dora is giving me a free refresher course.

5. I hate odd numbers. I only run even numbers (4 miles, 6 miles, 8 miles...you get the point), but my new marathon plan has been making me run 7 miles lately and it's driving me nuts! Let me either stop at 6 or run to 8!

6. I love reading and I the thought of buying a Kindle or any other E-reader makes me sad. I love to put the books up like trophies when I'm done reading them! How else are people supposed to know that I'm a smarty pants? I mean HELLO! Harry Potter looks like an Encyclopedia on my shelf!

7. I have a heart tattoo on my lower hip which means nothing to me. I got it on my 18th birthday with all my high school best friends to signify that we were "besties". I now talk to them about once every 2 years.

8. I walk really slowly. I am 5'10" so people assume that I have long legs and walk fast. Incorrect. I have short legs and a freakishly long torso which makes me tall. I hate walking fast because it makes me feel like I am in a hurry and I hate being in a hurry because it stresses me out.

9. I want to own horses one day. I don't really LOVE to ride horses, but I think they're so cute and I just want to pet them and kiss their noses.

10. The zoo depresses me. I love animals, but I hate the zoo.

11. I hate mayo. It grosses me out so much that I even hate watching other people eat it. So, if you are thinking of ordering it when we're hanging out please keep it on the DL.

Now on to questions from Ashley:
1. Your worst fear - Having someone in my immediate family die. I have never really experienced an unexpected death and the thought of that terrifies me. Sorry I got all deep up in here...but you asked!

2. Do you have any awkward talents - I throw like a girl, but I can throw a pretty good football.

3. Favorite Accessory - Jewelry of any kind. If I had to choose, it would be rings.

4. Dogs or Cats - Dogs. I am allergic to cats and they kind of scare me.

5. Do you drive like a race car driver or a Grandpa -Race car driver, but I have never been in an accident! I am really competitive so when I am driving I feel like I am racing the other cars. I know. It's bad

6. Dream job - Medical Aesthetician. I am obsessed with skin care and I don't think people take their skin serious enough!

7. What do you order at Chipotle - Chicken burrito. As spicy as I can make it.

8. Favorite Ice Cream -The cold kind. I love them all. I choose vanilla most of the time though because I like to add lots of toppings.

9. Favorite trashy TV Show - Jersey Shore, all the Real Housewives, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Teen Mom.  Oh, I don't watch too many trashy shows.

10. Vanilla or Chocolate - I don't love chocolate. So I guess Vanilla?

11. All time favorite Movie- I used to be obsessed with Hairspray (the Rickey Lake version). I used to watch it several times DAILY when I was little. Which is actually really inappropriate for kids to watch. Way to go Mom and Dad! I guess that's the perks of being the third kid.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Running Recap

Another marathon training week down! This week was the toughest I have had, mainly because I was tired for most of it because of our little episode that happened this weekend. Missing sleep, KILLS me. I do have my first 20 miler tomorrow, so of course that will be interesting. Since, I have been running for so long, I very rarely get the "runners high". I have to either run really fast to get it or run really long. This weekend should qualify as really long. Last week, I listened to Katie and rewarded myself with a trip to the flea market when it was all said and done. Perfect trip. 

 Izzy and her Aunt Jess. I cheat...this picture is actually from a few weeks ago at the flea market, but you can see that my daughter also has a love for antique bargains.

Flea market shopping is totally good for soreness.

Thankfully one thing this week that hasn't tried to kill me is the awesome weather we have been having. 60 degrees and sunny? Don't mind if I do! We have gone to the park to play just about every day to try and soak up this awesomeness. It's not normal for us not to be freezing our arse's off this time of year.

This little lady right here is wearing me out! Honestly, where do toddlers get their energy? Mr. T has been working a lot lately which means I have had Izzy ALL day and it's exhausting. I have said it once and I'll say it again, single moms have the hardest job on the planet and I think some of our taxes should go towards buying them a little island in Hawaii so they can get a little break! I am exhausted from it and I only have ONE...I'm such a wimp.

Have a Fun Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

{Embrace the Camera} January 26th

It's time for a little Embrace the Camera with Emily. This week my picture is nice and grainy due to the front camera on the iPhone but little miss just LOVES the front camera because she can see herself and all her funny faces on the screen.

We Match!

Have you participated yet? Please do. I promise your babies won't care that you were wearing the same t-shirt for two days, or that you didn't put on any makeup. And if they do care, hopefully they'll tell you that they don't.
White lies work for me!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

{Things that go "bump" in the night}

We had quite the weekend around here. It started out as a standard, relaxing weekend. Friday night we stayed in, put Isabelle to bed early and watched the 6th Harry Potter movie (AMAZING! I don't know what movies we are going to watch when we are actually done with the series) and called it an early night. Now, I understand I am totally cool by going to bed at 10:15 on a Friday night but I had a LONG day ahead of me on Saturday...even longer than I originally planned.

Saturday morning I woke up to read on the Weather Guide that it was currently 21 degrees outside and the chill factor was 11. Awesome. Perfect day for an 18 miler (sense the sarcasm please). I started running from my house and hooked on to our running trails where I met Mr. T for the last 5 miles. (Isabelle was safe and warm at my parents house) The run turned out to go by pretty quickly and I didn't freeze...only my pony tail froze. Not joking.

We joined my parents and Izzy for breakfast at their house and then we headed to the Flea Market where we found lots of good finds! My favorite was a slouchy beanie that was handmade by my new hippy friend. I love hippie's and I love handmade. Win, win!

After walking around for a few hours, we headed home to let Isabelle take her nap while I cooked my freezer friend meals. This idea is AMAZING, unless you decide to do it all in one day after 18 miles and over stimulation from the flea market. Not long after that, the exhaustion hit me. I was so tired and was fighting to keep my eyes open at around 7:00! I fought the urge to be a GIANT lame-o and settled for just being a normal lame-o and I hit the sack around 10:00 while dreaming of sleeping in until 8 the next morning. I was wrong.

At around 2:30 we hear our back porch door jiggle around (our bedroom windows face the back porch) and then we hear our dogs go crazy. Our dogs are large, so they have a pretty threatening bark. We sit out of bed and listen a bit more. Maybe it was the wind, or maybe it was just our imaginations. Wrong. Immediately after that the door really starts moving and we hear a man's voice. We FLY out of bed, I call 911 and grab Isabelle out of her crib, while Mr. T gets some protection. I am on the phone with the operator, so all I can hear now is someone pounding on the back door and yelling while Mr T yells back at them to tell them to leave and that the cops are on the way. I then hear pounding on the FRONT door right where Isabelle and I are standing. The man is yelling cuss words, but I can't understand much else. At this point I am for sure that it is someone (or people) that is on drugs and out of their minds, but after multiple threats by Mr T, the man still would not stop. He continued to pound on our windows, kick our doors and scream through the walls while Isabelle and I are tucked away, hiding in our closet. This goes on for 8 minutes until six police cars arrive at our house and rush the man and get him on the ground. They arrest him and then tell us that the man thought WE had his dog. Again, we have no idea what he is talking about. The police tell us this man's name and the fact that he lives 5 doors down from us. They also tell us that he is so drunk or high that he doesn't know what day it is.

In a ten minute span, we went from dead asleep to trapped in our own house and under attack. I prayed harder for my husband and daughter than I ever have in that ten minutes. I also wanted to jump through the phone to the police dispatcher to give her a giant hug when everything was over. She kept me calm, continued to ask me questions and gave me step by step directions on how close the police were.

Have you been in a situation like that? As I have said before, I have a sick love for crime shows. Criminal Minds, Dateline mysteries, etc. so I have always thought about what I would do in certain situations. Having a baby in your arms changes many things, but it helped me to remain calm and think clearly. Mr. T said the same thing. We didn't have enough time to be terrified or cry (until it was over) we just acted on instinct and what we have been told to do and not to do.

It's situations like this one that seem to bring clarity to life and make you stop and realize how quickly everything can change. Thankfully, we are safe and thankfully the man is safe now too.

So maybe next weekend I can catch up on sleep?
Probably not...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Inappropriate or a boxer?

Maybe I will start a new trend in the running world with my awesome attire. Since I ran in college, I have TONS of running clothes. We were sponsored by Adidas, so I have just about everything Adidas makes.
Everyone that knows me, knows I am a runner so that means for my birthday, Christmas, good job days, etc. I get new running gear or a gift card to a running store EVERY time. I say this to admit that I have NO excuse to look like this every morning:

I know what you're thinking and no, I'm not photoshopped. This is me au natural. I am expecting Tyra Banks to be calling me soon.

All my cute running clothes are used as everyday clothes. I feel guilty wearing nice gear just to get it all sweaty and gross. Lululemon is ridiculously comfy and cute and I don't want to waste it on Spike. He thinks dead squirrels are cute, he has no sense in style(New reader? Spike is my dog. Not husband). Plus, all the Datelines I watch lead me to believe that a serial killer could be lurking around every bush. They will leave me alone if I look like a heavy weight boxer. Right?

I did just recently purchase something that is sooo amazing.
Have you heard of compression socks? They are amazing. As you can tell from the picture of what I normally wear, I don't get into "gear". I think most of it is a placebo effect and I don't want to get on that train.

Well, I got on this train and I am NEVER getting off. They're really tight on my calves which makes running up hills so nice. You don't have to be a serious runner to have them because they are also great for recovery.

Don't believe me? Just ask my BFF's Kara Goucher and Shalane Flannigan. They know whats up. Just don't tell them I told you we are besties. We like to keep it a secret.

I am just about done with week three of my Boston marathon training. It has been a good week because every run seems to be getting easier. I had to do a 5 miler at a 6:30 per mile pace which just about killed me, but the rest of the runs went smoothly. Tomorrow I am running 18 and Mr. T is going to run the last 5 with me so it should go by quickly.

As a reward, I will probably give myself some new running gear.
Or just hit up the flea market...yup, definitely the flea market. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


As I have mentioned before, Mr. T bought me a new little love for Christmas in the form of a new camera. I have had so much fun with it so far. I have no idea how to use it, but I do know that it has already paid for itself by catching some of my favorite family moments.  

I am not the type of person to half way dive into anything (which can be dangerous). When I set my mind to accomplishing something, there is no stopping me. I have been following Ashley's blog for a while and she has become such an awesome mammarazzi inspiration for me. She also attends the same church as I do so I have been able to hear some of her tips on picture taking. As soon as I heard that she has an online class, I put it on my Santa list since I knew I was getting a camera. Santa came through and I started my class last week!

I have learned so much already and have had so much fun learning. I do have to work on my daughter acting a little more natural around the camera, because everytime she get's a glimpse of it she says, "CHEESE!".

 Telling a story.
Isabelle loves coaxing her best buddy into chasing her. She carries his favorite blocks around lures him into her favorite places.
 Merger. Her head is growing a chair. Mergers, mergers EVERYWHERE!
Caught this little man doing his new trick...pulling up. On everything.
 Also framing.
Isabelle doing her "fake laugh" to one of her favorite books.
I like the poles lining her in the back, but I don't love how bright her face is.  Or how nervous she looks.
 Movement. This was a lot harder to capture than I though. Sister is fast!
Rule of thirds. Not loving the crappy crop.

So, now I have accomplished my weekly homework. It's easily been the most fun homework I've had in a LONG time.

This picture just makes me laugh. Isabelle put on her Papa's glasses for a good laugh. 
She looks like a cute little librarian if you ask me...or Mrs. Claus. 

{Embrace the Camera} January 19th

Time to link up with Emily for a little Embrace the Camera. Have you tried this yet? I never realized how many times I fail at actually letting go of my camera and letting someone else take control.  So, today I am so glad I remembered to get IN the picture with my newest little nephew and squeeze his little face off (in a cute way).

I forgot how sweet babies smell and how sweet their little sounds are. He reminded me.

He almost gives me baby fever...almost.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

{Wordless Wednesday}

I think our morning nap times are over. The other morning I caught Isabelle in her swing with her feet on top of her tray, yelling, "weeee!"

More coffee for one please.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This girl is such a girl!

I have my degree in Elementary Education and even though I have never actually USED my degree here in Oklahoma, it has been beneficial to use while being a stay at home mom.

One of the many important things I learned is to not treat girls and boys differently. Use gender neutral toys and remember that girls don't HAVE to wear pink and boys don't have to wear blue. Girls can play with fire trucks and shoot bad guys and they don't always have to be the damsel in distress. Believe it or not, girls can protect themselves and be the hero.

In a perfect world, this idea works. In the real world I have figured out that little girls naturally pick the tacky sequin, glitter light up shoes. They love pink outfits adorned with borrowed jewelry from mom and even if you don't buy them baby dolls, they will make EVERYTHING a baby.

Yesterday we went on a walk (again) with our baby stroller. Please note that I am not the one that throws a fit if we leave the stroller at home. She doesn't need a baby doll to go in the stroller, because there are plenty of orphaned leaves laying on the ground just begging to be loved and taken for a walk. She found them.

I do find it interesting that she came out of the womb loving animals, other babies (which is hilarious when she hugs kids her size and says, "aww my baby") and having her mothers love for costume jewelry.

I can't put on earrings without Isabelle inspecting them first. I already feel like she is a teenager telling me whether or not my outfit is "cool." I also have to paint my nails in secret or else she is in my lap wanting her toes and nails painted as well. It's cute to paint them and she LOVES it, but her baby sign really gets in the way of painted nails. She repeatedly signs, "more" as soon as I paint ONE nail, making the paint rub off. So, I have been left blowing on each nail as soon as I paint it as Isabelle says, "hot" because she associates blowing on an object as meaning that object is hot. (i.e. food, candles, etc.) I laugh though because she sounds like a tiny Paris Hilton (that's hot), which is hilarious, terrifying and soooo not hot.

Actually raising a daughter and not just reading about it in a text book, has taught me that a gender neutral life just doesn't exist for us. 

I guess we are left with embracing the glitter, pink and sequins around here because I also know that hero's can wear pink.

Friday, January 13, 2012

How to GAIN weight while training for a Marathon

Yup, that is correct. I have perfected the art of gaining weight while running 50 miles a week. Most people make goals of running to LOSE weight. Oh no, not me. I run more and in turn I want to eat more and my favorite food is anything with high fructose corn syrup and sugar. The perfect blend if you ask me.

This is an entire row in our pantry covered in my favorite snack foods for me to get wild with. We usually have a large bag of peanut M&M's on hand as well, but it seems a mouse or something has carried them off. Rude!
You also remember this trip. Well my habit is not getting any better so far.

 It's healthy if I put granola and almonds in it right? Yes, I'm so winning at life.
The enablers

Family is coming in town this weekend as well, so I have already prepared this little beauty and am planning to make a few other things off my Pinterest board. You know how they say you should never grocery shop while hungry? Well, you should also never Pinterest while hungry

With all this grubbing, it's a good thing that my training plan is going well. I am training my butt off (not literally) by running pretty hard 5 days a week. I usually run 7 miles a day around a 7:15 per mile pace and then I do a workout once a week followed by a long run to end the week. This weekend I have a 16 miler. I will be doing it alone, which is sometimes really nice, but also makes me chatty Cathy after the run. Sorry Mr. T and all the innocent bystanders that I might run into at the flea market!

What are your weekend plans? Have any awesome recipes you want to send my way? anotherstepmel@gmail.com
Just do it.
You can be my new enablers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

{Embrace the Camera} January 12th

Today I am Embracing the Camera with my little lady while we are both enjoying one of our true loves in life. Fro Yo.
This little frozen yogurt date is becoming pretty common around here so I think we are going to have to start a late New Years Resolution to only come once a week every few weeks. They have a points system though and we only need two more trips before we get a free ice cream!
I am a marketers dream.
But we seriously need to cut back before Isabelle is a dentists dream.

At least we haven't had another episode in a few days.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mean Girl?

 "But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." Colossians 3:8

This is what I read this morning in my women's devotional. Many mornings, I can just skim through my devotional while drinking my coffee and going through my routine. This verse hit me like a ton of bricks.

As you know, I have a daughter. I am also a girl (shocker right?!) so I know all there is to know about growing up as a girl and the pressures that come along with it. I know all about mean girls. Sadly, I fight myself daily to fight the urge to let my tongue slip and say things that are judgemental or just plain mean.
I now see the girls that dress more provocatively or are loose with their decisions as sad. I don't feel any anger towards them. I don't feel judgemental like I used to. I just just feel sad. Something made them turn towards those decisions. We are all a product of our decisions.

Having a daughter made me realize that everyone started out as an innocent child and everyone has a story.

The more I watch my words and show love, kindness and compassion, the more my own daughter will learn from my examples. Because kids are constantly learning.

Whether we like that or not.

I have to rid my life of slander so my daughter will turn from it as well.
Because mean moms often times make mean girls.

That's a lot of pressure for moms to take on, but I think we signed up for that. I pray that Isabelle embraces the people that are "different" and shows love and compassion for the people that are often times forgotten in our society and the people that can't repay her.

Because isn't that was unconditional love and grace is all about?
You didn't honestly think you could get out of here without a Harry Potter quote did you?

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm sorry Billy Ray Cyrus

But, my daughter is no longer your biggest fan. She lost her mullet this weekend in support of some new pigtails. I hope you'll understand.

Before we found out her hair could sport some crazy, cute pigtails we went out on the town one last night with a little mullet. We went to eat at a new, delicious, BBQ place here in Oklahoma  and then ventured to Bass Pro Shop in order to walk off some of our dinner. Her mullet fit in perfectly with a BBQ and Bass Pro kind of night and there is nothing that cures my winter blues more than a 70 degree day, barbecue, cold beer and some maybe even a little Dateline. ahh be still my heart.
We decided to get our crazy night going at about 4:45 in order to avoid the lines. We were there with all the blue hairs and it was perfect.

 My little lady showing my how to clap. Or she was being passive aggressive and showing me how to clap because she thought it was rude that she did something cute and I didn't clap. Either way....I remembered to clap the next time.

 Mr. T is either doing his famous model face or he's judging our neighbor. Sadly, I think it's the second option. Tisk, tisk, Mr. T. I caught you.
 Eskimo Kisses

Somebody's even more excited than me!

And no night is complete without a trip to Bass Pro Shop. I loathe that place, but Mr. T and Isabelle love it so much that I sacrifice my own happiness for them. I know, I should receive some sort of humanitarian award.

 Them being ridiculously cute partially  makes up for it. The free fudge makes up for the rest.

My marathon training is also going according to plan. I did my 14 miler this weekend around a 7:05 average mile pace and felt great. Mr. T joined me the last 5 miles which helped a lot and I also had a pretty good lineup of music that seemed to pass the time quickly. Do you have anything in particular that you like to workout to? I generally like faster music, but when it's early in the morning I can only listen to country without getting really annoyed. Thank God for Miranda Lambert and Eric Church!