Friday, September 27, 2013

Mom's Brownies


     This is my mom's tried and true brownie recipe (and you can't go wrong with mom's recipes right?). They're the simplest (only 5 ingredients!!), quickest, and yummiest from-scratch brownies EVER! Way better than any store-bought boxed mix. They literally take 10 minutes to whip up and 30 minutes to bake, so if you omit the icing, these brownies are ready to eat in well under an hour. This recipe is pretty much fool-proof too, meaning that I don't think I've ever once had it fail (and I've made it a LOT!!).

Preheat oven to 350.
Melt butter and cocoa powder in microwave; set aside.
Beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar, flour and salt.
Pour cocoa mixture over top and beat until well blended.
Pour into greased 8x8 or 9x9 square pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan on wire rack.

The brownies are just as good without icing, but if you like icing (like I do), this stuff is amazing and finishes the brownies off perfectly!

Beat together all ingredients until well blended & smooth. Icing may appear dry (if desired, add slightly more water).
*You want this icing to be on the stiffer side - it goes on really easily and sets up quickly.
Spread icing over brownies while still a little warm.

Enjoy brownies while still warm with a bit of vanilla ice cream or some ice cold milk! Delicious!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

There Is Hope...

     Well, we've survived 5 nights. Tessa is handling "sleep training" much better than I had anticipated and we're seeing a bit of progress. There is hope!!

     We decided to revamp our bedtime routine a little and it's working very well. We've never had much trouble with the initial going down for the night - generally speaking, she goes down well, although since she was a newborn she's always been nursed to sleep or to nearly asleep. I know that many of the books will say that this is the source of our night waking troubles - she's come to associate nursing with falling asleep, so when she wakes in the night, she expects or thinks she needs to be nursed back to sleep.

     So now our pre-bedtime routine starts at about 6:30pm with nursing, followed by a bath (and on non-bath nights, just a sponge bath), nighttime diaper and lotion, pajamas, then stories in the rocking chair. At about 7pm, we put her down fully awake or drowsy with her pacifier (that's another battle for another time!!) and her little stuffed Winnie the Pooh. The first night she protested, but only for about 10-15 minutes. Last night she literally cried for about 10 seconds then went right to sleep. I'm so thankful we have such an easygoing, adaptable little girl, who seems to be able to handle change so well.

     As far as the night waking goes, it's still happening, but I would say it's improving. The first night was, well, awful. We pretty much went cold turkey with the night weaning (although she has gone whole nights without feeding before, so it wasn't the first time). I'm not sure if that was the best approach, but it's what we decided to do, so for the sake of consistency, we're sticking with it for a little while to see what happens. That first night she woke around 11pm and was awake and crying until almost 1am. Cam and I took turns going in to comfort and soothe her while she cried. It was awful. At one point we were both standing outside her bedroom door and I looked at Cam and said "this is stupid!". However, each night since that first night has been a little better than the last. She still wakes up several times, with most of her wakings happening from 3am on but she either goes back to sleep on her own within a few minutes, or I'll go in to her room, give her her soother and rub her back for a minute or two and she might fuss a bit, but falls asleep fairly quickly.

     Here's hoping we continue to see improvements and eventually get her to those long 12 hour sleeps some of you are lucky enough to be having...although, at this point, I'd be totally fine with just one waking! After what I've been through the last few months, waking only once in the night sounds just peachy!

Daddy makes the best pillow...
     Since we're on the topic of sleep, I got to thinking about why this has become such an important issue for me. Obviously, the number one reason is because I'm TIRED!! Going from long, uninterrupted sleeps to waking several times through the night (for months on end) can be a shock to the system. However, in my case, I found that once I adapted to my new normal, I felt fine (for the most part) and was managing fairly well on less sleep than I would have liked.

     That is, until someone asked me the dreaded question: "Is she sleeping through the night yet?"

     Now, I know that people are just trying to be friendly and polite and make conversation, and maybe even offer some empathy if they've been there themselves. But to me (and maybe this is just me), this question only adds more pressure, guilt, and worry to the heaps of (self-induced) pressure, guilt, and worry I've already got. Here I am, thinking everything's going fine...I'm used to the sleep deprivation...I've accepted that it's normal and have convinced myself that we'll get through it. Then some well-meaning person asks me the dreaded question and I begin to doubt myself: "Should my baby be sleeping through the night?" "Why isn't she?" "Is everyone else's baby sleeping through the night?" "What's wrong with us?" And the worry builds and the mom-guilt grows....

     So, I've decided to make it a point to NOT ask moms if their babies are sleeping through the night. I'm so tired of the question myself, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one. I figure if a mom wants to talk about her baby's sleep, she can bring it up, and I'll gladly listen and offer whatever support I can, but I won't start the conversation. I think it's a topic that is already a major source of stress and worry for a lot of moms, and I sure don't want to be responsible for adding any more to another mom's already heavy load. I don't know...maybe this is just a silly idea coming from a sleep deprived mom....

     What do you think? How do you feel about the question?

Monday, September 23, 2013

On Sleep...Part II

     Last week, I wrote about our night time struggles. I'm not sure what it was, but I must have hit some kind of wall and I was just plain ready to be DONE with getting up at night. I think we all have those moments in parenting when we feel like we just can't take anymore and we're desperate for a solution to whatever the current issue is. Of course, it doesn't help to hear about other babies who sleep all night and have done so since they came home from the hospital (I'm happy for you, really, I am!!). Like anything else, as soon as I start comparing notes with others, it seems like everyone else has an easier go of it than me, self-pity sets in - or worse - anxiety and fear that I'm failing miserably as a mother or that maybe there's actually something WRONG with my baby, and I go off on a reading frenzy to try and find whatever miracle cure will "fix" the "problem".

     So, naturally, off to the internet I went. When Google failed to give me the answers I wanted, I hit up the library in search of the solution. I found a few books and started flipping through them. The first book got tossed within minutes - the author promises that his "Three Day Sleep Plan" would guarantee me an "80% chance of seeing improvement" - all I had to do was simply plunk my baby in her crib at bedtime, walk away, and not look back until morning - sounds easy, right? First of all, the initial falling asleep isn't really our problem. She generally goes down very well. Also, you haven't met my baby, sir. She's one of those babies who, when she does get upset, can quickly get herself so worked up she can hardly catch her breath. When it gets to that point we know from experience that she's simply unable to calm herself down - sorry, I'm not ignoring that. Nor do I want her to learn to associate sleep with crying until she can hardly breathe and being left all alone to fend for herself in that situation.

     The same author also has some stellar advice for older children with sleep problems. I couldn't help but share these gems: he suggests ignoring a child who tells you he wet the bed ("you can clean it up in the morning"...tell me, sir, would you be ok with lying in a wet, cold bed all night?), bangs his or her head against the wall to get attention ("there is little or no chance of it causing any lasting problems in children with normal development", you're ok with your child intentionally injuring himself as long as it doesn't cause "lasting problems"??) or holds his breath to the point of losing consciousness (fainting "always ends the breath-holding and your child is back to normal in a few seconds"...For real?!? I don't even have a response to that one!)!!! (Surprisingly, this book was not written in 1875 (1999!), and no I'm not going to tell you the name of it - I don't want anyone to read it!!).

     Obviously, there are some terrible sleep-advice books out there.

     I couldn't get my hands on any actual sleep-training or cry-it-out books, but I've done enough reading online to understand the gist of these methods. Like I said in Part I, I'm not totally opposed to these techniques, and I know they can be very effective (very quickly) for some families. I'm just not completely convinced they're right for us at this point and here's why:

     1 - It feels contradictory to what I do the other half of the day.
          I definitely don't consider myself a full-fledged "attachment parent", but I do believe strongly in responsive parenting, meaning that when baby cries, the parent responds quickly. This builds trust, helps to create a healthy emotional bond between parent and child and fosters a sense of independence and security. From day one, this has been our approach to parenting our daughter. Now, of course, I understand that this begins to look a little different as she gets older and also as we've learned to interpret her different cries, but we still try to respond to her as quickly as possible, depending on the situation. So, it doesn't make much sense to me that when bedtime rolls around, I suddenly switch off this responsiveness. Even if I'm able to do it, it seems unfair that I expect my baby to do the same and understand what's going on, when all along we've been teaching her to expect that someone comes when she cries.

     2 - Babies cry for a reason.
          I have a really hard time buying into the belief that my baby, who can't yet walk or talk, can hardly feed herself, and doesn't know how to wipe her own bum, is somehow capable of using her cries to manipulate, as some sleep experts and child psychologists suggest. Sure, maybe she'll get there eventually, but I just don't think she's emotionally mature enough to do this at her age.
         Since Tessa has already shown us that she is capable of sleeping through the night (as she did for those 8 weeks or so early on, and has done a handful of times since), I have to believe that when she wakes now, it's for a reason. Through my reading, I had my eyes opened to the fact (and it seems completely obvious now) that babies don't choose to wake in the night. Do you, as an adult, consciously choose to wake in the middle of a deep sleep just to annoy someone? No. It just happens. We are incapable of making conscious choice while sleeping. So, my baby's night waking does NOT make her "bad", "disobedient" or "manipulative", it just happens. Further, when she wakes, just like when you or I wake in the night, it is usually for some reason. We're too hot, too cold, have to pee, are thirsty, heard a noise, and so on. At this stage in my child's development, she's unable to take care of these issues on her own, so she needs a little help from an adult, and that's perfectly normal and perfectly OK.

How do they sleep in these positions??

     3 - Maybe there's a bigger issue here than just sleep. 
          A big part of parenting is making sacrifices for the good of our children. Maybe, for now, that includes sleep. Sure, I'd love to be one of those parents who are consistently getting a solid 8 hours, but maybe, for this season, that's just not how it's going to be, and maybe I just need to accept it, change my attitude, and learn to make the best of it.
         Yes, of course I want to teach my daughter to have healthy sleep habits, and I do believe that will come with time. I'm reminded of my own mom, who, for a period of time, had to be in the room each night, kneeling by the bed, with her head on the pillow next to me or one of my siblings (she can't remember which child it was) until we fell asleep (thanks Mom!!). I also remember, as a young child, occasionally going to my parents' bedroom at night when I was scared and my mom making up a bed for me on the floor of their room, where I would spend the rest of the night. I think all three of us are now healthy, well-adjusted, emotionally stable adults with no lasting sleep issues (that I know of).
         Maybe, just maybe, I've blown this whole thing way out of proportion and all that is required is a little time, a little patience, and a lot of grace, both for myself and my daughter. I'm not trying to downplay the importance of sleep - I recognize that sleep is crucial to my daughter's health and development and is just as important for her parents. However, Tessa is a healthy and very happy baby who is a great daytime napper and who is still (usually) logging a good 10-11 hours each night, even though they're sometimes interrupted. I think I've also adjusted and, for the most part, am functioning fairly well during the day, despite not having the long, luxurious sleeps I would love to be having!
         So maybe, for now, I need to set aside my own comfort and convenience and expectations, and maybe even make some changes to my own routines (lately, we've been saying no to most evening activities to ensure she gets to bed on time; also, I could be going to bed earlier myself) so I can be available to my daughter when she needs me, no matter the time of day or night.

     A friend and mother of four (who's also had her share of sleep difficulty) encouraged me to remember that this is only a season and it will not last forever. She told me that ignoring the clock at night was one of the best things she ever did (she's even gone so far as to remove the clock from her bedroom). I think she's on to's never helpful to look at the clock and count hours of sleep's a mind game that can really mess with you if you let it.

     Another friend reminded me to not overlook the power of prayer...she is absolutely right and I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't been praying about this as much as I could be. I have a God who cares about every detail of my life, no matter how big or small. He is able to help Tessa sleep. He is also able to provide me with the all the energy and patience I need to make it through the long nights and the hard days.

     So, for now, we'll continue to take it a day and a night at a time. Again, I'm reminded that this is a completely normal part of having a baby and that the vast majority of parents of infants and small children are having their own night time struggles too. We are not alone, and this is nothing new. Yes, at times being needed so constantly and so intensely is exhausting, but all too soon, these days and nights of being needed will come to an end, and who knows, maybe one day I'll even miss them.


*Update: I wrote this post last week, and since then, we've had several VERY rough nights, I've come down with a cold, and we've decided that WE NEED SLEEP and have reached "last resort" territory. So, that means we've decided to try a form of sleep training. I will update with what we're doing and our progress (and hopefully there will be some!) later this week.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mom Lovin Hop #16

I'm excited to be able to guest co-host one of my favorite blog hops today -- the Mom-Lovin Hop! This is one of the first blog hops I ever joined and I've been able to meet several fellow mom-bloggers through it each week.
Thanks to Hannah for allowing me this opportunity!!



That's right! Next week expect some exciting new changes from the Mom-Lovin Hop!
Starting next week we will be offering 6 ways to link up! That's all SIX of your social networking outlets getting linked up on one hop showing up on FOUR different blogs across the interwebs! Pretty sweet right?
Don't miss your opportunity to get your link up on!

Welcome to our Mom-lovin Blog Hop

Link up your blog and meet and follow other mom bloggers!
With your hosts Hannah from Joyful Life and Lena from Root and Blossom

Our guest co-host today is Nancy from My Little Criatura
Nancy is another Canadian mama blogger ((yay!!)) and she writes about the joys and struggles of being a new mom, her advendtures with her little family, and her faith. Head on over and check Nancy's sweet blog out! 
Don't forget to follow her as our guest co-host!
If you would like to be a guest co-host please contact

Our Featured Mama today is

Seriously. Go check this mama out! She is super cute, and has the cutest little family. She writes all about their adventures living in Italy and I totally love every word of it! Enough said! 

On to the hop!! Remember that if you tweet this link up and use the hashtag #momlovinthursdays you will be entered to win a month free ad space at Joyful Life. Winner will be announced October 1st :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On Sleep...Part I

Oh, I miss you...

     We've had a rough week or so in our house sleep-wise. Now, I realize that sleep deprivation comes with the territory, and I know that there are families out there who have it much worse than we do. I also know that I'm not the first nor will I be the last mother to struggle with infant sleep issues so I'm not trying to get anyone's sympathy...I just wish I could have ONE. NIGHT. of uninterrupted sleep (is that too much to ask?).

My sleepy newborn...
     Tessa started sleeping through the night (and by sleeping through the night, I mean 8-9 hours straight, up for a feed, then back to sleep for another 2-3 hours) at around 11 weeks old. I thought we were set. We were lucky we got a "good sleeper". This sleep pattern only lasted, however, until she was around 4 1/2-5 months old. Then the night waking began. It started after we had been away from home for a long weekend, so I thought she was just a bit off her routine and would get back into it once we were home and back to normal. Nope.

     Then I thought it must be the beginning of teething. Well, she's now 8 months old, just cut her first two teeth a few weeks ago, and is still consistently waking at least once, sometimes 3-4 times each night.

     Growth spurt? That's a mighty long growth spurt. Plus, I wasn't noticing any changes in her eating habits during the day, so I figured it couldn't be that.

     She didn't have a fever, a cold, a diaper rash.

     It was a hot summer and her room is upstairs in our un-airconditioned house so we switched from long-sleeved sleepers to a regular sleep sack to a lightweight sleep sack, cracked open a window when needed, and on the really hot nights, had her sleep in just her diaper.

     We even resorted to Tylenol a few times when she seemed really upset and wouldn't settle back to sleep after waking in the night.

     I'm tired. I'm frustrated. At times I feel completely at a loss as to what to do about this. And as much as I remind myself that I'm not a bad mom and I'm doing the best I can and that this is completely normal, there's still that feeling lurking in the shadows that this is somehow all my fault and that I'm failing my daughter. I have moments of irrational fear: She'll never be able to sleep on her own...I'm not going to get a good night's sleep for at least another 5 years...We're doing some kind of irreversible emotional or psychological damage if we let her cry...We're creating bad habits if we don't let her cry and rush in to rescue her each time...what's a mom to do???

Still one of my most favoritest photos ever!
     For now, we're taking it one night at a time. I'm struggling with actually implementing any kind of "sleep training", "cry it out", or "controlled crying" methods that I've read about (but at the same time, I haven't totally dismissed them either - learned that lesson early on!). Deep down, something just doesn't feel right to me about any of them (and aren't we supposed to trust our gut?). I know they work well for many families, and that's great. I respect the decisions that each family makes for themselves, because I know that when it comes to our kids, no decision is taken lightly and a lot of careful thought, research and discussion goes into them.

     Over the next days (or weeks) I'm going to be writing more about sleep, and my thoughts on some of the various strategies and methods I've read about, and hopefully, by putting my thoughts into words, I'll be able to sort things out a bit more and come to some kind of resolution. We'll see.

     Right now though, this mama needs a coffee.

     (I'd be interested to hear how other parents cope with sleep issues...what's worked for you? Leave a comment below!)

Monday, September 16, 2013


     So, apparently Tessa is the spitting image of her dad. I feel like I can't go a day without someone telling me that she looks just like him. And the older she gets, the more I agree. Of course, I think she looks mostly like herself, but there are moments when the resemblance is SO strong!

     As I was looking at one of our photos for my Tessa's Travels post, I was reminded of a photo we have of Cam from when he was probably about 3 or 4. I held the photos up next to each other, and WOW! Of course, Tessa is much younger than Cam was but I think they still look so much alike!

     See for yourself!

     It'll be really interesting to see if she changes to look more like me as she gets older, or if she'll continue to be a mini-Cam!

Cant Google Everything

Friday, September 13, 2013

Root Beer Float cupcakes

     I pinned this recipe a few months ago, but haven't felt much like baking in our non-airconditioned house this summer. I finally got around to trying these this week, and they turned out great - I will definitely make them again, with a few minor changes.

{original recipe here} 

Preheat oven to 350F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
Beat together butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in root beer concentrate (*I thought the finished cupcakes could stand to have a slightly stronger root beer flavor. Next time I think I would use a little more root beer concentrate - maybe 3tsp.).
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder & salt.
With electric mixer on low speed, alternate adding  flour mixture and milk to butter/sugar/egg mixture, (so add half the flour mixture, then the milk, then the second half of the flour mixture). Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Evenly fill muffin cups with batter and bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Once cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

In large bowl, cream shortening & butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. 
Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. 
Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. 
Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. 
(Above recipe makes approx. 3 c. of icing)

     The original recipe also calls for a cream filling, which I did not make (mostly because I was lazy and it seemed like an unnecessary extra step). See the original post for that recipe.

     Also, the store I bought my root beer concentrate from only sold it in tiny little vials (just enough for the cupcake batter), so I didn't have enough left to make the root beer glaze to drizzle on top, which I definitely want to do next time. I think it would add an extra pop of root beer flavor, and would dress the cupcakes up a little more too. To make the glaze, simply combine 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar, 1/8 tsp. root beer concentrate and milk to desired consistency. I think you would want this to be on the thicker side so it doesn't just run off the icing. Stir it all up and drizzle over top of the frosted cupcakes.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tessa's Travels - Summer 2013 Edition

Well, the summer of 2013 has come and gone. This is going to be my last summer-related post for the year, so I thought it would be fitting to let Tessa take over the blog today. She's been begging me to let her show everyone the places she went and the things she saw during her first ever summer, so here goes....
In July, I saw the mountains for the first time. I went and spent a day at Waterton. 
Here's me at Cameron Falls...

Then, I went to Cypress Hills. My mom says this is one of her favorite places. It's alright.
I checked out the lake and spent a week at camp and met lots of new people.


 In August, I took my first plane ride to Victoria, BC.

 I kept pretty busy in Victoria...

I went on a boat for the first time and saw some whales in the ocean...

 I checked out Butchart Gardens (got photobombed too!) and played with flamingos and butterflies at the Butterfly Gardens.

 I saw a bunch of old buildings...

    And hung out for a bit at the BC Parliament Building.
Yay government!

I went for a hike and enjoyed some nature...

...stopped for a while at this waterfall and thought about my life.

I relaxed in the hotel pool

And got to drive a pretty nice car!

I think it's been a pretty great summer! Already working on some big plans for next year.

What did you do this summer??

Sunday, September 8, 2013


     The first assignment for this year's Compassion Blog Month is the following question:

If you could go back and give your childhood self a little advice, what would it be?

     I thought about it for quite a while. It's so hard to narrow it down to just one or two things. I also tried to look at it from the perspective of a mom and tried to think of some of the things I want to teach my daughter...again, there's SO MUCH!!

      Of course, there are the obvious things that every parent wants for their child - Be confident. Be kind to others. Be honest. Don't be afraid to try new things and make mistakes. Don't worry so much about what people think. And so on....

    But, as I continued to think about this over the past few days, one word kept coming back to me over and over:

I want my life and the lives of my children to be characterized by love. And I don't mean fluffy, feel-good, fairy-tale, puppy love. Real love - the kind that makes you do things for others you might not otherwise do. The kind that requires sacrifice and is sometimes really, really hard.

     This is the way that we are loved by God - with a perfect, self-sacrificing, unstoppable, unconditional love. There's no way that we, as imperfect humans, can consistently emulate this kind of love, but we can sure make it our goal and strive to show this kind of love to others as often as our imperfect, selfish hearts allow.

     So, if there's one thing I would go back and tell my childhood self, and if there's one thing I want my daughter to know more than anything else, it's this: You are loved beyond anything you can imagine by the God of the universe, even when you don't deserve it. Love Him back with everything you are. And then take that love and share it with others, yourself included.

     We have so many opportunities to love others if we're really looking for them. One way is by sponsoring a child through Compassion. We are blessed with warm, safe homes, more than enough food and clothing, and almost everything we could ever want. Would you consider sharing from your abundance, opening up your heart and loving a child through sponsorship?

     Click here to get started today...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Exciting Things Ahead...

     Wow, I can't believe it's September! The summer literally flew by. It was a great summer though, and I still have one or two more posts in the works highlighting some of my favorite parts, so I feel like I can still hang on to the last bit of summer before Fall really hits!

     I've always loved Fall and (when I was still in school) heading back to school with my new clothes and pencils and notebooks...there's just something so fresh and exciting about Fall. I don't know why I still feel this's been 3 years since I've been in school and it'll be another 5 before I have kids going back to school. I guess there's just something about Fall and the feeling of change in the air that gets me excited for new beginnings and all that's to come.

     So I wanted to write a quick post with some of the exciting new things I'm working on for the month of September and through the Fall. Of course, I'll be continuing to write mostly about my experiences as a mom and providing updates about Tessa and our family, but over the past month, I've also had the opportunity to connect with some new people in the blogging and online world and to get involved in some exciting stuff!

     First, I'll be participating in my first ever Cara Box Exchange through one of the my favorite blogs I've discovered this summer. Sign up starts today and goes through the week, so if you're interested, click on the button below and find out what it's all about (you don't have to be a blogger to participate in this either!).

Cara Box

     Second, I'll be guest co-hosting one of my favorite blog hops later this month and will also be working on (hopefully!) getting my first giveaway up and running. Stay tuned!! :)

     Finally, (and this is the thing I'm most excited about) I've found an opportunity that allows me to use my blog for a bigger purpose than just sharing my life with the internet. I've joined the Compassion Bloggers Network and since September has been declared "Blog Month" by Compassion, I thought this was a great time to get started. For the month of September, there will be weekly "assignments" where a writing prompt is given and bloggers are encouraged to write a post with the goal of getting children sponsored through their blog. Compassion has set a goal of 3,160 new online sponsorships through the month of September - hope you can join in and help reach that goal!

Join Me for Blog Month
     I've been a Compassion sponsor for over 10 years and love the work they do with children and families around the world, so I thought this was a perfect fit for my blog. I want to be able to use this platform and the tiny bit of influence I have to make a positive difference in the lives of children living in poverty. So, I hope you can join me by spreading the word about Compassion and Blog Month and maybe see if you can make it work to sponsor a child (or two!). Starting today, you'll see a Compassion button in my sidebar - you can click on this at anytime to link directly to Compassion's website where you can find out more and choose a child to sponsor. I'll be sharing more about this through the month, so keep checking back!

     Also, I now have a blog Facebook page! I know that not all my Facebook friends are interested in reading the blog, so this way I can update those who do want to follow without pestering everyone else. :)

     In offline life, Tessa and I started a mom & baby stroller fitness class today. I actually won 50% off this class through a draw I entered, so I figured this was a good time to start back to some kind of workout routine. I haven't done much of anything since Tessa was born, and it definitely showed this morning! One of the leaders had a 4 week old (no, that's not a typo - she had a baby 4 WEEKS ago!!) and she kicked my butt! Definitely motivating! I didn't have my camera along, and even if I did, I was too busy trying not to die on the side of path to get any photos. Maybe I'll take it along one of these days and get a shot of what we're doing. It was a challenge this morning, but I think it'll be good and I'm looking forward to seeing my progress over the course of the class. It's also another opportunity to connect with some more moms and maybe make some new friends.

Soaking up the last days of summer before the beautiful colors of fall surround us...
     So, there you have it. I feel like I have my work cut out for me and that a couple of these things may be a bit challenging, but I'm looking forward to the challenges and excited to push myself in new ways.

     How about you? What does Fall hold for you? Any new challenges or goals you have for yourself? I would love to hear about what lies ahead and what you're most looking forward to this Fall.

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