Weekly Wins: {Love Love Love}

Happy happy Friday, friends!!
We made it to another week's end, and I'm definitely ready for  the long weekend ahead!

This week had a TON more wins than losses, which is always the sign of a good week.

~These gorgeous flowers sent to me by my FIL!
There was a little snafu when a smaller bouquet was left with a card for another Jennifer who lives about 30 minutes from where I do. Luckily we were able to get in touch with one another and flowers were exchanged (without any care from the florist shop who did not call either one of us back). These beauties are sitting on our entry way table and are a great bright spot!

~The cutest cards from MG and my Ella for Valentine's Day, along with some sweets and some quality time. Perfection in my book!
The sweetest Valentine there ever was :)
~An unexpected thank you card from a coworker, thanking me for my work at school. Gosh, how amazing it feels to receive appreciation for what you do. It's the little things for sure, and getting this in my work mailbox totally brightened up my day.

~Ella's first arts and crafts from daycare for her first Valentine's Day basically melted my heart and is something we'll hang on to forever.
~A cute hand-made bracelet from my 6th grade Ella at work
~2 new, awesome meals in the Instant Pot #yummyyummy
~Getting to see our extended family this weekend in PA! And a long weekend at that!!

Before I go, I would be remiss if I did not mention something that I am becoming more and more passionate about. Gun violence. After the shooting on Feb 14th (one of several since the beginning of 2018, just SEVEN weeks ago) I feel called to action. Like so many I send my thoughts and prayers to the victims' families, but dammit, that is NOT ENOUGH!!!!
I'm for people having guns if they want them. I don't want them, but I'm not (and those who want gun control aren't either) trying to take them away. What I DON'T think anyone needs is an automatic or semi-automatic rifle that can shoot off round after round after round in seconds/minutes.
We ALSO need mental health services for people who are mentally ill and capable of these things. Systems in check to identify and help these people before it gets to this level.
It is not black and white, but I also feel like this is something staring us in the face. The kids who died are staring US in the face....what are we going to do? I don't want to worry about sending my baby off to school wondering if she's going to get shot that day. I don't want to go to work and have to think about how I would protect my students should this happen. It's NOT normal, and this SHOULD NOT be our norm. It doesn't have to be!
Even though I try not to get political on my blog, I had to say something because enough is enough is enough is ENOUGH!!!!

Hoping you have fun plans for the weekend, and that your week was filled with love!

{WHW}: Valentine's Day edition!

Happy Valentine's Day, lovies!
What's hap-"pinning" over here, lately?

Pinning lots of new recipes to try--mainly in the Instant Pot. We made this delicious meal on Monday night (Creamy Shells and Beef):
and have Enchilada Chicken Soup on the docket for tonight! The Instant pot has definitely been worth it for us so far (even though we got it as a gift from my mom, I'd be pretty satisfied if I'd bought it myself).

My coworker at my 2nd school (who I go to help) is suuuuuper annoying and lazy. She's now emailed me twice in the last week, last minute, saying she forgot about a student's meeting, and can I do the whole thing for her?
This week it was for a student who we share, so I input all of the information I normally do and told her she could write on the Present Level page since she always puts a novel there and I don't, and she responded with "You can do that, thanks". 
I'm there to HELP you, not to DO YOUR JOB. There's more, but I'll spare you the details, I'm just tired of being expected to save her butt all the time because she's lazy and disorganized.

All of us are healthy in the house--praise! We narrowly avoided the flu last week and I hope we can continue to dodge that bullet. My youngest niece came down with the flu on Monday and we're going to PA this weekend so I'm hoping everyone is well come Friday or we may be rethinking some plans.
My FIL is doing well, after the heart scare the other weekend, too, which we are ALL extremely thankful for!

The Olympics! And I'm intrigued by The Bachelor Winter Games--a winter version of Paradise (sort of)? Yes please!!! #bringonthedrama #istillhatedean
Thinking About:
Ella's daycare for next year. Our friend who watches her now is likely going back to work, so we've been looking at a preschool that would be closer to our home, that has a 1s class. I'm nervous about leaving her with people we don't know, but our neighbor's kids go there, it's close to our house, and less expensive than having our friend watch her, plus it follows my work schedule so we wouldn't have to pay during the summer. We'll see how things shake out, but I'm keeping faith that it will fall into place how it's supposed to.

MG and my sweet girl! This time last year, we were celebrating with a little bun in the oven, and this year, we've got a 9 month old adorable little nugget!

Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Weekending: Fully Fulfilled Plans

It was the weekend where ALLLLLL of the plans we had on the docket were fulfilled, despite a near brush with the flu!

Normally we have like no plans for the weekend, but this one I had about 4 things going on between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon and was sure that something was going to wreck at least one of them, if not all! 

That 'thing' that threatened was a call from my friend who watches Ella on Friday morning saying her son had tested positive for the flu. Nooooooooooo! We kept Ella home on Friday even though she'd already been exposed the day before, and monitored her the entire weekend, thankfully without consequence (I've never put my hand on her head to feel her temp more frequently though, and poor girl is probably over that rectal thermometer at this point).

~Friday after work, my friend had a HH at her house for a bunch of the ladies from work and it was SO much fun. We had wine, cheese and other snacks, and just hung out, chatting and laughing. It was definitely good for the soul.
~While I was out, MG was on Daddy Duty and took Ella out to dinner, just the two of them. I got this picture of their daddy-daughter date and it was adorable:
~I came home in time for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. Maybe I was distracted, but it was a little underwhelming to me. I remember the one from the London Olympics seemed to go on FOREVER (the show part). 
In typical Friday night fashion, especially after two glasses of wine, I fell asleep on the couch lol

~Saturday it was POURING rain, but I had brunch plans with some of my girl friends I haven't seen for a bit. We went to Palette 22 near our old condo and had "bottomless brunch"...You'd assume that means a "bottomless" drink right? No, apparently that meant all of the food, and you still had to pay a discounted rate for the drinks. Everyone at the table had to order it, so because a few people wanted to, we all did. I think it ended up being a rip-off but it was a good time catching up with everyone and somehow I was gone for 3 hours in the blink of an eye!

~That afternoon we just hung out at home since it was so gross out, and then later we got ready for our double date night with our friends Kelly and Alex. My friend came over to watch Ella, and once we got her down for the night, we made our way into DC to RPM Italian (Bill and Giuliana Rancics restaurant). The food was SOOOOO good. We all had trouble deciding what we wanted, and everything we ordered was phenomenal.
Somehow we were gone for 4 hours and it felt like the blink of an eye. I guess that happens when you're with great company :)

~Sunday was another crummy weather day. MG ran errands in the morning, and then we had our friends come over for lunch. The rainy weather was perfect for pesto grilled cheeses and tomato soup, and we got to break in our new dining room set with company. I didn't take any pictures because I was busy being a good hostess, and just enjoying our friends' company, and chatting about her pregnancy!
Instead, I'll share an adorable pic of Ella in perhaps one of the cutest outfits of all time:
~That afternoon the rain stopped, and the temps warmed up so we took a little walk around the neighborhood, and had some quiet post-nap snuggle time, and I got in some reading while little miss napped.
~We ordered Chipotle for dinner and had a quiet night in the rest of the evening

Hoping your weekend's plans all went off without a hitch, too, and hopefully you had slightly less crappy weather than we did!

Weekend Wins: Unexpected Happies

Happy Friday, lovies! This week brought some unexpected surprises which just added to my list of wins for the week!!

~A totally unexpected "snow" day due to expected ice etc which really just ended up being a cold, rainy day (at least where we were) which allowed me a full day at home with my girl! We got in some good play time together, including more mirror fun (Snapchat friends--hope you enjoyed that gem of cuteness), meals together, and some extra snuggles. Did not see this day off coming, but I wasn't complaining at all!
~Speaking of our little miss, someone finally sprouted her first tooth (still just starting to come up). Not that I wanted it to happen, I've just been waiting and always thinking with a fussy day/night "maybe she's teething"... Her toothless grin will be no more very shortly!

~MG and I have a double date planned with friends of ours for Saturday night (praying that the sickies stay away so we can actually make it out this time). We're doing it up big and trekking into DC for our night out--totally looking forward to it!

~Brunch plans both Saturday and Sunday this weekend--Saturday is an all-girls brunch and Sunday we're having our friends over who we missed last weekend. Again, with a kid, who knows what plans will actually stick, but I'm looking forward to all of the get-togethers: friends, food and drink!

~Happy Hour after work today at my friend's house (who watches Ella) with a ton of girlfriends from work. MG is picking Ella up from daycare and on baby duty until I get home tonight, so it should be nice to just unwind with friends over a glass of wine!

~I tried out Lizzie's Cauliflower "baked potato" soup and I have to say it was awesome!! 1) It was so easy that my husband could do it (a win!)--and he loved it as well; and 2) it was delicious and tasted so similar to potato soup!! And I loved that I was just eating straight veggies! Unfortunately, no pictures were taken because we all, including Ella, devoured it. But I'll share Lizzie's picture so you can salivate, too!
~My FIL is doing better, and did NOT have a heart attack or any other situation related to his heart, thank goodness. It seems like it was a severe muscle strain/tear from lifting and moving furniture earlier that day. We're all breathing sighs of relief that there was nothing more serious going on!

Lots of fun time with friends scheduled this weekend, in addition to time with my family--I'm a happy camper this week's end!

Hoping you've got some good stuff on the docket for the weekend--can't wait to read about it on Monday!

{WHW}: Iggles, Ickies, and Cancellations

Sorry for the delayed weekend recap (although lately it seems like Wednesdays are my go-to recapping day), but Ella came down with a cold from daycare and, you guessed it, Sunday it took me down. Luckily it's just a head cold but it's still been wearing me down.

This weekend got a little off track from our original plans, but it was still a pretty decent weekend overall.

~Friday night we went out for Mexican food. Ella enjoyed puffs, puree and part of my burrito (this girl WILL like Mexican food)
She was VERY curious about all of the goings on around her--we have to work on her eavesdropping skills being more covert, though :)

~At the end of dinner, an older gentleman commented on "him" (Ella)...which prompted me to buy some more headbands to put on Ella when we go out.

~Saturday our girl woke up with a runny nose that literally would not stop!

~Our dining room set was delivered during nap time, and our girl slept through the drilling of the legs being put together--praise! The table is awesome and the chairs are SO comfy! Definitely more conducive to lingering after dinner for chats than our old table and chairs were.
And now we're talking about what we're going to paint the dining room because it's kind of "blah" now
~We'd had plans to have our friends over for dinner, but they got the weekends confused and ended up being out of town, so we made plans for another weekend and MG decided to try his hand at a recipe from Chrissy Teigen's Cravings cookbook and it came out SO good (minus the few burned spots on top)
Bakes Pasta Alla Norma with Mozzarella Bombs (if you don't like heat, leave out the red pepper flakes. We did half of what the recipe calls for, and I don't mind heat, and it was on the border of too spicy)

~Baby clothes arrived and I just revel at the fact that she's going to fit into 18 month clothes before I know it.
~Saturday night also brought a health scare with my FIL. We got a call that he was having chest pains and an ambulance had come. He stayed overnight and everything looked good, so we're hoping it was just a new med and/or a really bad muscle strain. Definitely was an uneasy evening though (and maybe a good thing we didn't end up having company over)

~Ella had a ROUGH time getting to bed Saturday night but thanks to Motrin and lots of snuggles, we got her down and she slept through the night.

~Sunday MG ran errands and talked with a listing agent about putting our condo on the market in the coming months, so we'll see what happens with that.

~Ella discovered a super cute baby in the mirror and had a grand time touching and kissing that cute baby for a solid 30 minutes or more lol
~Ella's cold hit me Sunday mid morning and just got worse into the afternoon. She wouldn't nap without being held so I held her, while fighting a dripping nose and my throat being on fire. I felt miserable and Ella woke up before she really should have so she was cranky. Due to all of this, MG canceled his plans to go and watch the Eagles game with friends.

~We made food at home, dealt with a fussy baby for bedtime again (but thankfully she eventually went down and got a solid night of sleep again), and we settled in to watch the Eagles's first Superbowl win! My husband's family were all group texting during the game which was really fun, too!

So, basically all of our set plans for the weekend kind of went up in flames, but such is the life of having kids, especially when they're sick (and you're sick). 

Hoping you've been spared from the germs! 
Link up below and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!


I'm joining in on the fun with the TBB Asks ladies and answering some questions about LOVE!

1. Kisses or Hugs: I love them both but I love hugs more. Something so reassuring and comforting about a hug.

2. Candy or Flowers: I'd say flowers--fresh flowers are so pretty and just brighten up a space and my mood. But I also wouldn't turn down some chocolates either

3. Baking or Cooking: I prefer cooking, but I'll happily help someone to eat their baked goods :)

4. Do you remember your first kiss? Yes, it was my neighborhood/childhood friend Jacob

5. Favorite color of roses: Red and/or pink

6. Conversation Hearts: Yes or No?  The original kind--yes. The knock off ones that taste like hard plaster--no.

7. Do you leave love notes? Usually when MG goes on a work trip, I leave him love notes in his luggage for when he gets to where he's going, just to remind him that I love him and miss him

8. Do you decorate for Valentine's Day? Not yet, but I feel like next year with Ella being older and able to recognize it, we will more.

9. Red or Pink? Either one!

10. Milk, White or Dark Chocolate? Can I just answer this and say YES! I can also add in...OINK :)

11. Do you believe in love at first sight? Not really. I believe in attraction at first sight, but love runs so much deeper than just looks, and it takes a while to really KNOW someone on the level of loving them.

12. Humorous or Serious Valentine's day cards? I usually pick out a card that's humorous and then write a serious note inside. Best of both worlds!

13. Favorite Chick Flick or Romantic Movie? I'm pretty sure MG could answer this without hesitation since I've subjected him to all of them several times (and he will even willingly turn them on when he sees them on tv--good man!): The Holiday, Serendipity, and About Time

14. Stay in or Go Out? Either one honestly. I prefer going out without all of the hubbub and craziness that surrounds V-day so I'm ok with a night in and then a random date night. Quality time is what matters, doesn't matter where.

Weekly Wins: The First of Feb

Happy Friday on this fine February Friday morning! 
Hope your week didn't feel as long as mine did, but I am certainly glad that the weekend is here! Lots of fun stuff ahead!

Let's talk about some wins this week, shall we?

~I stood up for myself with a coworker who was lying about me. Thank you for all of your support on this. It wasn't easy, but I don't take well to people lying about me, especially about my professional work ethic and integrity.
I also got an apology card in my mailbox at work the next day...
~ALLLLLL of your sweet comments on my dad's birthday. It's been tough these past two years on his day, imagining what it would be like if he was still here, especially now that Ella's here. Your love and kind words did wonders to help me get through the day.

~I said it earlier this week, but our dining room set is coming tomorrow!!! Can't wait! Ella has enjoyed exploring the empty dining room this week, though.

~We are planning on having our new neighbors over for a drink tonight (we chat them up when we see them outside, etc, but haven't really gotten a chance to know them so this should be a nice way to do that), and our couple besties are coming over Saturday night for dinner! Haven't seen them since they told us they're pregnant, so I can't wait to see her little bump and get in some friend time!

~Ella is allllll about standing lately. We started putting her behind her little walker thingy and she was a pro at standing. The whole moving forward thing we're working on. Currently it's more of a forward plank she's got going on lol.
~MG took it upon himself to start planning a little anniversary trip/getaway this week for us for early April and it's so fun to have that to look forward to in the coming months!

What are some wins for you this week?
Catch you next week, lovies!