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It has been 8 months since I visited this little corner of the internet. A place to share my story and reflect on life quickly became priority #… scratch that, not a priority at all. It’s been a whirlwind of a year with no signs of slowing down. In February we visited Sanibel Island and I fell in love. Its serene beaches, abundance of silence and lack of high rises made it the most relaxing vacation to date. Our early mornings were filled with coffee and sunrise walks along the beach, just Harper and I. Lucky for her, I have a ‘never-miss-a-sunrise-while-on-vacation’ rule. This jived well with her ‘never-miss-a-sunrise-ever' rule [in February, Harper's sleep habits hadn't swayed much from her first year of life. Alas, at almost 2, we finally sleep]. Our days were lazy; sunrise walks led to mid morning snacks, then naps on the beach, lunch, and a bike ride to wherever dinner was calling us. In addition to one long 20+ mile bike ride exploring the island, our days were similar, pure bliss for 7 solid days. Harper’s immune system kicked into high gear and it was as if the ocean washed away every last germ that made our lives challenging the year prior. She’s been perfectly healthy since. A solid reminder that a beach vacation is absolutely necessary in the dead of winter.

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March and April proved themselves the coldest and snowiest months of spring in Minnesota history [I may be exaggerating, but I’m quite sure Sven had stats to prove this at some point]. Thankfully I had another getaway planned and visited my friends in NC. While not hot, 60 degrees surly beat -20 and 6 feet of snow. May rolled around and two life-changing events rocked my world; I turned 30 and started grad school. Since then, my hairstylist found my first gray hair and I almost cried right there in her chair. Turns out working full time + taking Biochemistry + raising a toddler takes a little toll on the ol’ body. Chemistry, which was once the bane of my existence, suddenly clicked and I walked way with an A. Thank the good Lord above; without it, my career as a nutritionist would quickly have become nonexistent.

The summer flew by way too fast, but I soaked up every minute of sun and heat that I could. We got to know our neighbors better and while some can’t stand the sight of my terrible, awful dog that knocks over innocent children sweet Belle, the majority are great. I also discovered the highest point in our neighborhood gives sight to the skyline of Minneapolis. That was a good day.

In May we headed to Nashville for a week with family and to celebrate nuptials of friends. Jeff worked hard putting together our backyard oasis/paver patio where we now enjoy weekend mornings sipping our coffee, eating breakfast, and listening to the novels Harper is sharing. The girl is a chatterbox.

With a week off between summer classes and fall term, I’m back at it this week and couldn’t be more thrilled to be following my heart. It may have taken me 30 years to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up but I suppose it’s better late than never.

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01:24 pm: alliinminny17 notes

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Harper Rose, 16 months.

This girl continues to amaze me each and every day. I’ve been saying this every month, but it’s official, this is my favorite age. She graduated to the toddler room at daycare and is learning so much. Her newest words are “oh no!” cheese (naturally), smoothie, Belle, ditty (kitty). Mama and Dada were the first words out of her mouth however many months ago but she finally recognizes me as mama and Jeff as dada. One day this week she searched the entire house, top to bottom, yelling “mama!” in every room while I was still at work. She has quite the personality too. One morning she pretended to be sleeping when Jeff dropped her off at school. He opened her door to get her out of the car and her eyes were closed. As he unbuckled her, she whipped her eyes open and with a big cheesy grin said, “hi!” and started giggling. 

We had intentions of leaving Harper behind for our first vacation alone since she joined our clan. We left her together on NYE and it took me until 5am the following morning to realize I was absolutely crazy to think I could leave her for a whole week. New plan, she’s coming with! She had her first experience at the beach last spring but something tells me she doesn’t remember. A few more weeks of work and possibly another polar vortex (shaking my fist at you, Minnesota), and we’re island bound.

Harper Rose, 16 months.

This girl continues to amaze me each and every day. I’ve been saying this every month, but it’s official, this is my favorite age. She graduated to the toddler room at daycare and is learning so much. Her newest words are “oh no!” cheese (naturally), smoothie, Belle, ditty (kitty). Mama and Dada were the first words out of her mouth however many months ago but she finally recognizes me as mama and Jeff as dada. One day this week she searched the entire house, top to bottom, yelling “mama!” in every room while I was still at work. She has quite the personality too. One morning she pretended to be sleeping when Jeff dropped her off at school. He opened her door to get her out of the car and her eyes were closed. As he unbuckled her, she whipped her eyes open and with a big cheesy grin said, “hi!” and started giggling.

We had intentions of leaving Harper behind for our first vacation alone since she joined our clan. We left her together on NYE and it took me until 5am the following morning to realize I was absolutely crazy to think I could leave her for a whole week. New plan, she’s coming with! She had her first experience at the beach last spring but something tells me she doesn’t remember. A few more weeks of work and possibly another polar vortex (shaking my fist at you, Minnesota), and we’re island bound.

09:09 pm: alliinminny27 notes

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

11:35 am: alliinminny14 notes

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We visited The North Pole today. Real reindeer and the friendliest Santa I’ve ever met. It’s amazing how magical Christmas can be with this little munchkin in my life. We started off our two week vacation right and tomorrow we head north to Mimi and Grandpa’s house. Merry Christmas, all!

11:02 pm: alliinminny21 notes

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! 

We were busy bees over the past 5 days. My first stab at Thanksgiving dinner was equally exhausting and delicious. We successfully finished up all the leftovers today. And our house is slowly transforming into a home. Pictures to come. For now, it’s time to rest up for a short week. Five more sleeps and I’m off to Chicago for a weekend away!

PS, next year we’re getting a 20 foot tree. This 8 footer seems mini.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

We were busy bees over the past 5 days. My first stab at Thanksgiving dinner was equally exhausting and delicious. We successfully finished up all the leftovers today. And our house is slowly transforming into a home. Pictures to come. For now, it’s time to rest up for a short week. Five more sleeps and I’m off to Chicago for a weekend away!

PS, next year we’re getting a 20 foot tree. This 8 footer seems mini.
10:34 pm: alliinminny21 notes

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(via:conflictingheart)
One week until I’m reunited with this wonderful city!

(via:conflictingheart)

One week until I’m reunited with this wonderful city!

(Source: c1tylight5)

10:01 pm: alliinminny164,014 notes

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Today I’m thankful for this little peanut and every day I get to be her mom.
I’m praying for a healthy 2014. Harper has caught every last germ that has circulated daycare this year. Right now she’s battling a second case of pink eye and pneumonia. I had the day off today with plans of sleeping in, visiting my [overly neglected] yoga studio, and shopping for our Thanksgiving meal. Instead, I was up serving breakfast and Amoxicillin at 5am and ensured my girl was well taken care of. She tagged along to the store and was a champ as we shopped for our last minute goods.
Tomorrow I attempt making a Thanksgiving feast for the first time. On the menu: turkey (still debating between Emeril, Martha, or Ina’s recipe..), mashed potatoes (baked with cream cheese and sour cream), green bean casserole, yams, cranberry orange quinoa, and pumpkin pie. I’ll be putting my double oven to work, and praying for no smoke.

Today I’m thankful for this little peanut and every day I get to be her mom.

I’m praying for a healthy 2014. Harper has caught every last germ that has circulated daycare this year. Right now she’s battling a second case of pink eye and pneumonia. I had the day off today with plans of sleeping in, visiting my [overly neglected] yoga studio, and shopping for our Thanksgiving meal. Instead, I was up serving breakfast and Amoxicillin at 5am and ensured my girl was well taken care of. She tagged along to the store and was a champ as we shopped for our last minute goods.

Tomorrow I attempt making a Thanksgiving feast for the first time. On the menu: turkey (still debating between Emeril, Martha, or Ina’s recipe..), mashed potatoes (baked with cream cheese and sour cream), green bean casserole, yams, cranberry orange quinoa, and pumpkin pie. I’ll be putting my double oven to work, and praying for no smoke.

05:07 pm: alliinminny15 notes

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When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up to you. Encouragement should come from the inside.
Joel Osteen (via thatkindofwoman)

(Source: onlinecounsellingcollege, via bees-knees)

09:52 pm: alliinminny16,625 notes

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Scrolling through my archives today, I realized why I started this blog all those months ago, and why (oh why!), I need to get back to writing. Life is passing me by in the blink of an eye and I need to remember the details. The ups and downs and victories and challenges and all the minutia in between.

Harper is 14 months old today. She’s fighting a stomach bug and pink eye and it’s only natural it’s hunting season and daddy-o is away. Thankfully, I have an awesome employer who understands a work/life balance and my inability to control evil illnesses from taking over my daughter’s body. It hurts my heart to see her ill, but have been soaking in every minute at home with her this week. Fingers crossed she turns a corner and we can enjoy our day tomorrow.

Harper is talking more and quickly learning what all the animals say. So far she has mastered sheep (baa!) and monkey (ooo ooo ooo). In addition to shaking her head no (to nearly everything), she’s now mastered saying “no” along with it. I love her little voice.

She dressed up as an owl this year for Halloween. Although we didn’t master “trick or treat” or verbally saying “thank you” in time for the big day, she signed “thank you” to everyone who added a treat to her bag.

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We are absolutely loving our new home and neighborhood. My commute is approximately 10 minutes and convenient side streets get me to work in no time should the highway be congested. The impending winter hasn’t instilled my normal anxiety (or annoyance) as it did in years past when my commute was longer. I finally feel settled and enjoy calling this place home. Also, my social life. It’s back. A-MEN. I’m still trying to figure out the purpose of us moving to our last home, but what’s done is done. If anything, we learned a real good lesson that location should never, ever (EVER in a million years) be sacrificed for a house. Ok, I’m over it. 

Moving on.. 

Home decorating and painting will commence soon. Picking paint colors needs to come first and from there, the rest will slowly fall into place. We had the house painted in a neutral tan color when it was built. I’m thinking now I’d like more grays and blues. Good thing Jeff likes to paint.. Before, during, and after pictures to come. We both have a few extra days off around Thanksgiving and will be spending our first holiday just the three of us at home. We’ll have plenty of time to get started.

I’ll end with this -

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If memory serves me, TBS’ marathon of A Christmas Story will begin in a few short weeks ;)

07:11 pm: alliinminny20 notes

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1 year photos yesterday!
How many times can this girl steal my heart, over and over and over again?

1 year photos yesterday!

How many times can this girl steal my heart, over and over and over again?

10:36 pm: alliinminny19 notes