A Four Month Old, a Two Year Old, and a Half Marathon

Oh my gosh! HIIII!

I have been itching to write a post but have totally been prioritizing holding Benny while he naps instead. I contemplated using my phone to verbally dictate a post but I knew I would just get P.O.’ed and give up on it! Ha ha. Anyway, here I am! How are you guys?

Catching up on life…

Bode turned two years old on October 27th. He is a full-on two-year old now. We never know when his mood will flick a switch and 180 on us but it definitely keeps us on our toes. He is so full of life and a pretty funny kiddo. He loves to learn new magic tricks from grandma and grandpa, is obsessed with his grandparents, loves to go to “school”, do art projects, read books, puzzles, play with trains, cars, Thomas, and play outside. He is totally falling in love with Ben.

Benny is now four months old, TODAY! He is the happiest baby ever!!! He can now roll from tummy to back, giggle, and loves to watch his brother running around. I still can’t believe I have TWO boys. Life is good.

I went back to work a few weeks ago and transitioned fairly easily. Ben and Bode both go to daycare and also have time at grandma and grandpa’s each week. I am part-time and it seems to be the perfect balance for us.

What else?

Dana and I have registered for another half marathon in May! My first half was five years ago which is crazy! It was a rough run for me, mainly because I was in quite a bit of a colitis flare, so I am hoping to redeem myself this time around and really enjoy myself more.

This time I am trying to not stress about time. The race requires a minimum of a 14-minute mile. I know I can manage this. I would be happy with 11-minute miles (or faster).

Having two kiddos definitely makes “training” more challenging. I am still trying to figure out how to balance being a mommy, going to work, and finding time to workout. Ben isn’t into the idea of me running on the treadmill while he chills, so instead I try and do strength exercises when I am home with him. The gym doesn’t allow babies until they are three months old, so last week I finally brought him in after much hesitation. He did great of course and I LOVED having a little mommy time. I even got to shower. Woo woo!

Each week I would ultimately like to get 1-2 short runs (3 miles or so) in during the week days and a longer run on the weekend. Each week I plan to increase the length of my longer runs by a half to one mile, depending on how I feel. So far, so good. I am up to five miles.

I am finding running much more enjoyable these days. I think a big part of it is that it is my time. Also, I am motivated to keep running when the run is outside because I know the fastest way to get back home to my warm house is by running versus walking! Jazzy has been a great little running companion. I look forward to the spring when Ben is old enough to ride in the double running stroller and we can ALL get out and run.  It has definitely been strange this time around not being able to run with Dana at all yet.

Lastly, one of my favorite subjects: food.

BTW Ben is starting to suck on my arm so I may need to end this post sooner than later.

I would say I have been doing a fairly good job with meal planning for the fam. Some weeks are obviously better than others. After going on a salmon hiatus during pregnancy, I am starting to dig it again! Yay! We still love our veggie hash, kabobs, tacos, burgers; ya know, the basics. Pinterest continues to inspire me for meal planning and I try and make one meal from Pinterest each week.

I can’t remember the last time I snapped a photo of my food. My phone is FULL of the boys. Go figure. 🙂

OK, speaking of food, Benny is ready for his! I gotta jet. I would love to hear from you all.

What has everyone been up to? Any delicious and quick meal ideas to share?

Favs: Family, Baby Shower, & Fall

It’s Friday, oh yeaa oh yeaa. Yea. Woo! It’s Friday favorites time, so let’s get to it.

1. This was a week ago now, but packing up the car and heading up north for my brother’s wedding. I loved being able to pack as much stuff as I wanted, listen to music, chat with Dana, and take as many stops as needed on the way up. I was SO excited to get up north and relax.

packed car

 

2. The cool weather of northern MN, hot bonfires, sweatshirts, pontoon rides, and the view of Lake Vermillion.

 

blankets up north

 

3. Being with my family all weekend and welcoming my new sister-in-law to the family.

 

 

siblings scott and nicole wedding

 

4. Dancing…

 

dancing scott and nicoles wedding

 

5. My first baby shower thrown by my work ladies. This little guy is going to be so spoiled and so well-dressed!

 

mom and melanie baby shower

 

vest  baby shower

6. Fall decorations. They are all up and I am ready for the cool weather again. Fall is my FAVORITE! It officially starts next week! BTW Fall is one of those words that if you look at for too long it starts to look like it’s spelled wrong and just looks goofy.

 

fall decorations

 

Happy Friday to you all! I’m linking up with Katie and Clare today for Friday Favs! Thanks ladies!

Love, Beauty, and Sincerity Up in Northern MN

This weekend we celebrated the wedding of my brother Scott and his wife Nicole up north on Lake Vermillion. The love, beauty, and sincerity of the weekend is indescribable so I am going to keep my words few, and instead show you lots of photos.

We stayed at Spring Bay Resort and I would no question recommend this resort to anyone!

scott and nicoles weddingscott and nicoles wedding

scott and nicoles wedding 1

 

scott and nicoles wedding 2 scott and nicoles wedding 3 scott and nicoles wedding scott and nicoles wedding  scott and nicoles weddingscott and nicoles wedding scott and nicoles wedding scott and nicoles weddingscott and nicoles wedding

S’mores bar!

IMG_2121scott and nicoles wedding

Simply amazing. We are so happy and lucky to have Nicole as a part of our family. Thank you both for such a great weekend. It’s one we will never forget!

Carbolicious

Alright Becky, I’m linking up with you again today for Treat Yourself Tuesday!

This weekend I treated myself to LOTS of family time! I went dress shopping with my “second family,” had lunch with Dana’s parents on Saturday, and saw my parents and a bunch of family at my cousin’s wedding reception on Sunday! I loved every second of it. No wonder I was exhausted on Sunday night and yesterday! That, and it was 90 plus degrees and crazy humid.

I treated myself to a Shirley Temple (aka kiddie cocktail). I love that the bartender made it fancy for me and didn’t forget to put maraschino cherries in there. That is the best part!

shirley temple

We treated ourselves to some Indian food. We ordered chicken tikka masala and a cauliflower dish. It didn’t stand a chance to our Indian meal in London, but it was still good! Oh, and I love naan!

indinan food

 

We made a stop at Sebastian Joe’s for ice cream this weekend. The Nicollet pothole flavor is absolutely insane. I also got salted caramel which was really good. The last time I had Sebastian Joe’s was when I was meeting up with a bunch of bloggers in April 2013! That was the first time I met Katie and Becky!

sebastian joes

 

Yesterday I treated myself to all of the carbs. That is seriously all I wanted. I ate cereal, pb and j, a sandwich thin with laughing cow and cucumbers, watermelon, grapes….I couldn’t stop! I must have been tired if my body was craving such an abundance of carbs. Clearly I haven’t been following gluten-free too closely lately.

 

pb j

 

I treated myself to some couch time; some lazy time. I gotta soak up those moments while I have the chance right?!

I treat myself to (nearly) daily walks. Sometimes the walks are forced, but I am still doing it! I am finding it more comfortable to walk on my treadmill because I know I am closer to the bathroom (to be perfectly honest).

How did you treat yourself this week?

What does your body crave when it’s tired?

Some Favs from the Week!

I don’t usually say this, but this week seemed to last forrrrever. Forevvvver (name that movie). I am thrilled that today is Friday and I have a super fun weekend planned!

Although this work week seemed slow, there was a lot of fun that was had. I am linking up with Katie’s Friday Favorites. Let’s get this rolling.

Speaking of rolls, I enjoyed a cinnamon roll and coffee while catching up with my dear friend Haley. She is now a mama and her and I had lots to discuss as I prepare for this baby’s arrival!

coffee and cinnamon roll

An omelette made by Dana definitely makes my Friday Fav’s. It was loaded with veggies and topped with homemade salsa.

omelette

Finding new ways to use essential oils. This makes me oh so happy. Here’s the link to my post on my oil blog for carpet freshener: Freshen and Purify Your Carpets

essential oils carpet purifier

Meatloaf and mashed potatoes made by mi mama in honor of my brother Kevin’s birthday. That was one heckuva birthday meal request that I am thankful for! SOOOO good! It’s everything baby wanted. Homemade mashed potatoes made me super excited for Thanksgiving too!

meatloaf

Happy Birthday, Kevi!!

kevin melanie kevin and melanie and dana

 

Building excitement for my state fair visit. This is one I really want to try!

state fair food

Dinner with old friends at Peoples Organic. I got the Peoples Best Veggie Burger and neglected to take a photo of the actual burger due to being overly hungry and absorbed in conversation, but it was pretty, and it was tasty!

people's organic

Another favorite this week is imagining baby smiling inside. Now (at 29 weeks) is the time that they start to smile!

I’ll have to update you with a bump photo soon. Baby and mama are growing like crazy!

Happy Friday my friends!

Friday Favorites

Bridal Shower and Baby Room Crafts

Hey! Did this weekend even happen? It flew by so fast holy cow!

I thought I’d catch you up from some of my weekend events because it was seriously a GREAT weekend.

I had burgers two nights in a row, so that’s always good (says the baby). Plus, I manned the grill one of the nights! The other night Dana and I went out to Lucky’s 13 and I had an amazing burger with caramelized onions, peppadews, cheese, and bacon. So good!

burger

In case you are wondering I spread a laughing cow cheese wedge on the bottom bun. I WILL be doing that again.

I finished the paintings for one wall of the nursery. Those will be hung on the wall of course and not sitting on the crib ledge. 😉 I think these are going to look adorable in there! Plus I painted them myself, so the little one will hopefully appreciate that some day. Maybe.

baby room decorations

 

On Saturday, Dana and I went for a walk around the lake and I melted from the heat. This internal furnace has me real hot these days, and it didn’t help that it was 85 degrees and humid I suppose. 🙂 I was still happy to have gotten out for a walk but I was spent afterwards.

The rest of the weekend was dedicated to my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower. My oldest brother, Scott is getting married next month, and mom and I wanted to host one of her showers for her.

Here are some pics from the party!

scott and nicole bridal shower flowers bridal shower bridal shower banner menu bridal shower bridal shower food bridal shower food

 

The company, the food, the games….everything was so much fun. But speaking of spent, I could hardly keep my eyes open the rest of afternoon! It was worth it though.

Is anyone else dealing with seasonal allergies right now? I know the weed count is high, and I am wondering if that is what I’m allergic too. I thought it was a cold at first but now I am almost 95% sure it is allergies again. We haven’t gotten rain in a while and I think that is part of the reason they are acting up again.

Anyway! I hope everyone had a FABULOUS weekend! I have lots of fun on the agenda this coming week again. It’s high school reunion time which means friends are flying in from around the country! Can I get a whoop whoop for that?!

Have you ever hosted a bridal or baby shower? Did you enjoy it?

Any allergy sufferers?

Do you go to your high school reunions?

Friday Favs! Flowers, Family, Food.

Happy Friday!

Today I’m linking up with my girl, Katie for Friday Favorites!

1. Homemade lavender shea butter. I will post this recipe on the blog at some point!

homemade lavender shea butter

2. A day at the lake with family. We spent the day pontooning, playing games, and eating in the sunshine. It was so relaxing and baby bump got a lil’ dose of vitamin D!

dana and melanie 2014

3. Absolutely no food aversions to vegetables anymore. Gimme ALL the veggies!

chicken veggies quinoa

4. Flowers just because and despite my hormonal outbursts. 🙂

flowers

5. So this sandwich from Panera was definitely not a favorite of mine due to the serious lack of peanut butter, but, my favorite is that I wrote them an email (and posted on insta and twitter) to explain what happened and they sent me a gift card!

pb and j

6. Wicked and Disney stations on Pandora. My little guy gets to hear all different kinds of music. I toss in some Christian radio, soothing sounds, hip hop, country, today’s hits, etc. He gets a little taste of it all.

wicked pandora

7. Being asked to be a bridesmaid in Betsy’s wedding! The wine in the basket will have to wait a few more months though! 😉

bridesmaid basket

8. Baby kicks! I just can’t get enough.

Happy weekend to you all! Thanks Katie for hosting!

Friday Favorites

 

Marathon Weekend Photo Recap

This weekend I was up in Duluth to watch Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon. Our friends Nate and Adam were running the half-marathon, Dana was running his first full marathon, and Kevin his second!  I was incredibly excited to cheer these guys on!

We got up there on Friday and took a stroll down to the water. We battled the wind and the cold air but still managed to steal a few beautiful views. Friday was chilly: high 40’s and drizzly.

grandma's marathon 2014

Friday night we all tried getting some sleep after an awesome baked ziti dinner.

Saturday morning it was time to get our cheer on. The temps ranged from high 40’s to low 60’s throughout the course of the day.

We watched the half-marathoners come in at the finish….

Nate!

grandma's marathon 2014

Adam!

grandma's marathon 2014

Then we made our way to the marathoner’s 19 mile mark.

grandma's marathon 2014

Kevi stopped for a quick little stretch…

grandma's marathon 2014

Dana at mile 19. I was so happy to see them both at this point.

grandma's marathon 2014

Kev at mile 24.5….

grandma's marathon 2014

At the finish!!

grandma's marathon 2014

Dana at the finish. Both guys looking great still!

grandma's marathon 2014 grandma's marathon 2014

Seeing my guys come across the finish made me all emotional again. I am so darn proud of them. What an amazing achievement!

grandma's marathon 2014 grandma's marathon 2014

Congrats to ALL of the runners this weekend. You rock my socks.

Favorites: Sunshine, Weddings, Coconuts

It’s Friday the 13th and you bet it’s a Friday Favorites kind of day.

1. Long or short walks outside. I’ve noticed my pace has slowed down a bit (mostly when I go uphill) but I am still getting out for a walk nearly everyday. It is so peaceful.

flower

2. Weddings. It is definitely wedding season! We had the NY wedding last weekend and this weekend we have two (although we can only attend one). I love dancing, I love seeing two people in love being united in front of their friends and family, I love being with friends and family, I love dresses…so basically I love weddings.

melanie and dana new york

3. Sunshine. I mean, is there anything better than basking outside in the sun with a book and a refreshment? Vitamin D oh how I’ve missed you.

sunshine reading book

4. My anxiety reliever: lavender.

lavender

5. Greek feasts out on the patio with my favorite coconuts (crazyforcoconuts.com). This is a group of us essential oils ladies who have joined together to start a business that helps us get the word out about the goodness of essential oils. Check out our website and our blog! They were both recently launched! www.crazyforcoconuts.com

greek dinner

6. And speaking of coconuts, I received a sample of Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil. Their oil is never heated above room temperature and goes through a slow manufacturing process to ensure the highest quality coconut oil. Their oil is 100% raw coconut oil, natural, full of vitamins and minerals and anti-bacterial components.

I use coconut oil as my lotion after showers (often with lavender eo mixed in) and I was thrilled when this company reached out to me. I really can tell the difference with this oil. It has a more subtle coconut fragrance and a smooth feel on the skin. It doesn’t leave me feeling greasy. I really like this stuff and it definitely deserves to be a Friday Fav. For more info: www.skinnycoconutoil.com

skinny coconut oil

 

Happy Friday my friends! xoxo

P.S. I know I need to get another pregnancy update on here again. I will soon! Our little man is doing great!

What’re some of your Friday favs?

Are you superstitious when it comes to Friday the 13th and full moons?

I would have to say that yes I am superstitious. The kids at work are always crazy hyper during the weeks of a full moon and sure enough, it didn’t fail this week. Friday the 13th—I’m usually lucky. We will see (knock on wood!).

Oh and I’m linking up with Katie for Friday Favorites!!

New York in 29 Hours

Holy cow what a great weekend! It was so completely exhausting but so incredibly worth it.

Let’s begin the weekend recap by showing off the fabulous items I won from Caroline’s giveaway a couple of weeks ago! I won a pair of new balance shoes which are super comfy and light weight, and a super roomy New Balance tote/gym bag. I still can’t believe I won. Awesome giveaway!

new balance shoesnew balance bag

On Friday morning, Dana and I were off to New York for my cousin Stephanie’s wedding. Our flight was at 6 am which means I was up at 3:30 am. YIKES!  By the time we got to our hotel, hung out with the bride to be and bridesmaids (btw I felt very honored to have been able to hang out with them as they got ready!), grabbed lunch with Dana, and finally got to check into our room, I was pooped. It was only about 3:00 and I knew that if I was going to survive the evening I needed a nap.

I napped, got ready, and was ready to go to the wedding! I realize I didn’t take a full on photo of my dress but in case you were wondering, the dress I went with (I didn’t go with Rent the Runway) was a black cap-sleeved adorable dress from Kohl’s. I felt it flattered my growing body very nicely and I felt pretty in it. I wore a white chunky floral necklace, cream heels, a red clutch, and even sported red lips!

melanie and dana new york melanie and dana new york

My drink of choice for the evening was sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice. 🙂

The ceremony and reception were so beautiful. The weather was perfect. The couple was stunning. The view was insane. It was a great wedding!

steph and jeff wedding ny

new york skyline

melanie and steph new york stephs wedding

Another huge congrats to Steph and Jeff! I am so happy for you both! xoxo

On Saturday we met up with the gang for lunch and then it was time to head to the airport. Back home we went.

I slept super well on Saturday night back in my own glorious tempurpedic bed. I woke up Sunday morning ready and raring to go and in some serious need of physical activity. My body was tired of being cooped up on that plane!

I soaked up the sun and got in a nice long walk.

flower

I’d have to say this was what you call an epic weekend. New York in 29 hours…done.

How was your weekend?! 

Have you ever taken a trip this quick?