Checking In.

I think I might be taking an unexpected break from blogging this week! 
At least a break from my regular M-F normalcy.

Jack and I are at my parents' house/lake house all week.
I decided to pile up all of my old college bedroom things/clothes/baby stuff we don't need 
and have a garage sale. 

I've never had a garage sale before.
So, it should be interesting to see how it goes. 

I hope to use my earnings as shopping money for Seattle clothes.. don't tell my husband hi honey :) 

Bubba is hanging out, basking in the love and attention of his grandparents.
yeah... life is rough.
1.&2. On Sunday and Monday we got to see two different views of Lake Michigan after a few day trips.. #1 in Saugatuck and #2 in Traverse City
3. Bubba is scared of Grandma's vacuum and didn't budge from this spot for about 10 minutes
4. Our Monday view of Lake Leelanau while visiting friends!
5. Jack enjoying a morning snack and some Olympics
6. Pricing stickers and poster board = garage sale prep 

I'll try to post when I can! I hope everyone's weeks have gotten off to a fantastic start! 
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Balancing Act

On Monday, I thought I was going to lose it. 

I had been experiencing on and off flu symptoms all day and Jack was a teething hot mess. 

It was John's night off and I really wanted to honor that. 
So I pushed through, let him do his thing, and made dinner. 

Jack screaming, pasta sauce bubbling everywhere... one.giant.mess. 

John could tell, things were getting ugly

It's like the more I freak out the more calm he is. 
Leaving us, somehow, in perfect balance. 

Right when I think I can't take it any longer, 
my husband swoops in like a beacon of calm.

He had Jack laughing and happy in 2 seconds flat
& we somehow made it through a family dinner.

When Jack was bathed, in bed, with a bottle,
and the kitchen was clean, 
and I was miserably sprawled on the couch-
I couldn't help but feel lucky.

Even though I was fighting waves of nausea, 
I still felt really lucky. 

Not everyone has a partner like mine. 
Not everyone has someone there to help. 

John and I each have our days. 
Days where we are off,
when things just are not going our way. 
Usually the other is always there to step in and bring us to a balancing point. 

Parenting is truly a team sport... 
heck, life is a team sport.
I'm so grateful that John is on my side!
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23 in 23

I had a different post set to go tomorrow, but then Erin posted and I couldn't resist making a list of my own! It was challenging at times to think of things, but there were some things on there that I didn't even think of until I started exploring the possibilities that this year has! 

1. Take a trip with my husband, just the two of us! Already doing this in TWO weeks :) Seattle here we come!

2. Maintain a 3.5 (or higher) GPA both semesters of my first year of grad school!

3. Be debt free (pesky hospital bills...) & continue to grow our savings. coughdownpaymentonahousecough

4. Go to a concert (haven't been to once since 2008!)

5. Go on a girls trip with my mom and sisters!

6. Get back to my high school weight (I can dream right??

7. Start doing yoga

8. Make more "couple" friends

9. Have a date night with my husband at least twice a month

10. Start developing a personal style

11. Go on a bar crawl with all my MSU girlfriends back where it all began - reunion weekend!!!

12. Get our house completely organized

13. Improve my camera skills

14. Grow this blog to 1,000 followers :) 

15. Volunteer over the holidays

16. Be better about catching up with/keeping up with friends

17. Go on "educational" fieldtrips with Jack at least once a month

18. Do devotions/read the bible every night

19. Visit my favorite place on earth (Leland, MI)

20. Host a dinner party 

21. Join a bible study 

22. Go sledding

23. Master PROPERLY painting my nails

What do you hope to accomplish this year?! 
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The Girl Behind The Blog V.3

First off, hello to all of my new followers! I had such a blast co-hosting the blog hop with Melissa yesterday, and cannot wait to get to know you all!

It's that time again! I LOVE this month's prompt. It really hits home with me this month! 

It was so nice to have a reason (other than the obvious) to write down a list of things I not only want but NEED to get done! 

 Here are the "rules" for this month's vlog, hope you enjoy watching mine and then go and do your own :) 

The Girl Behind The Blog- Begin, Accomplish, or Change 
Time limit: Vlogs should be 2-3 minutes long
Introduce yourself and your blog 
What is one thing you are hoping to Begin, Accomplish, or Change? 
Why is this goal important to you? 
What are your plans to achieve this goal?

Keeping with my tradition of roll-out-of-bed vlogging! Yay! Sorry I totally didn't stay within the time limit... OBVI I need to get some more girlfriends or something cause I can just talk.talk.talk. 

What are you ready to start, accomplish, or change?!
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GFC Blog Hop!

I'm really excited to be co-hosting the GFC Blog Hop with The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife this week! Please link-up and join in :)

I have found some of my favorite blogs through this blog hop and am really excited to be a part of it :)
It's Tuesday again which means it's time for the GFC Blog Hop!
Last week we broke our record of 267 with 293 Link Ups!! Let's try and get to 300 this week!! 

When I want to follow a blog the first thing I look for is GFC (Google Friend Connect), it's so easy and it's nice to be able to go and see all of the blogs you follow in one spot. It's really a great tool to have. 

One side note- Did you know you can follow through GFC using your Twitter Account? TRUE, it's definitely an option!

Ok, so let's get to the party, shall we?
RULES are simple:
1. Follow your host via GFC
The First link below
2. Follow your co-hosts via GFC
The Next 8 links below
3. Link up below using your main blog url not a specific post.
4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them via GFC 
and if you want to leave them a comment, I'm sure they'd appreciate that as well.
5. Tweet about this blog hop
6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar! 

I hope that everyone's weeks have gotten off to a great start! 

I want to wish the HAPPIEST 26th birthday to my big sister Megan today :)
She is not only my sister, but one of my best friends. I am so lucky to have her in my life!
Love you Meggy Moo!

p.s. trying to find a recent picture that I knew would make this birthday lady happy was like near impossible... so we are left with a pregnant mid-winter pic - Megan, you look fabulous!
p.p.s. I have been trying to convince her to start a blog of her own... everyone should be excited if I succeed in my peer pressure campaign :)
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Teething is Better at the Lake

I think everyone that follows me on instagram could probably tell that I forgot my camera. 

That's okay. 
I kind of liked the freedom to snap a cell phone picture here or there, 
but really not worry about getting a "good" picture in every awesome moment. 

It was a good weekend.
There were a lot of awesome moments!
It wasn't anything crazy, just simple and SUMMER perfect. 

On Friday, Jack and I had a lunch date with one of my college roommates.
It was so great to see her, have girl talk, and catch up!
When John got home, we took our time loading up the car and made our way to the lake!

It was perfect weather. Kind of chilly at night but perfect sun-filled days with a nice breeze!
Our little man appears to be working on FIVE teeth at the moment.
He struggles with teething so it's been... fun (insert sarcasm)

He decided to wake up a full two hours earlier than normal on Saturday,
and boycott ALL naps.
Not. One.
This child usually gets 3 hours worth of naps a day.
So we tried to keep him happy and comfortable.

This meant lots of swimming with Aunt Megan

Lots of walking with his walker

and even playing with his new cousin puppy... Rammy!

This weekend we were celebrating my sister's 26th birthday, so our "lake family" aka all other cottage owners that we love to party with, came over for dinner, a bags (Cornhole, bag-o, whatever you call it!) tournament, giant jenga, drinks, & a boat ride :)

Yes, our lake family showed up as "The Swap People" as a joke. It was hysterical!
They all have cottages in a cove across the lake,
so since the show has aired, Swamp People has become their new nickname :)

My drink of choice all night long :)

Now we are back at home, Bubba is still teething, this mama isn't feeling so hot either, & there is a mountain of laundry with my name all over it. Is it the weekend yet?!

P.S. be sure to check out this amazing July group giveaway
P.P.S. i'm giving away a pretty sweet prize over here

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Friday's Letters

Dear Jack, thanks for being a good snuggle buddy this week. It's been rainy and gross so we've been hanging out at home, a lot. You haven't minded. You are working on some toofers and working hard. I will not lie to you- I'm excited to get to grandma's tonight so she can love on you and give me a little break :) p.s. Happy 11 months big boy... can't believe in one short month you will be a whole year old!

Dear July, in the calendar in my mind I skipped an entire week of you. On one hand I am sad because it means that there are TWO weeks until I head to Chicago and THREE weeks until Seattle.. BUT I am going to look on the bright side and consider it one EXTRA week to lose some extra lbs before all of my fun vacations!
Dear Megan, I am excited to celebrate your birthday this weekend. I feel like I haven't seen you in FOR.EV.ER. okay three weeks - but whatever. I'm excited for some sistah time at the lake!
Dear John, lets hope this audio book helps the car trips back and forth from the lake pass a little quicker - if it does... we are dumb for not having thought of it sooner!

Happy weekend :)
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Biting the Bullet.

If you follow me on twitter,
have talked to me in the last couple of weeks, 
or even watched my most recent vlog-
then you probably know I've been stressing about child care options for Jack when I start school.

After experiencing terrible child care first hand
needless to say I have been... skeptical. 

At first, I said- NO WAY, NO HOW will my child ever be in a daycare facility. 
So I set off to find a nanny to come into our home 2 days a week. 

I set up a care.com account, which was strange because I had one as a babysitter.
As the applications started pouring in... the prospects seemed bleak.
We set up 3 interviews. 

The first was fine... but not ideal.
The other two - never.showed.up.

So we called the references of the first...
Their review was anything but glowing.

Back to square one.

Cue freak out mode. 
I start school in SIX WEEKS.
Was I ever going to find something I was comfortable with?!

So I revisited some other options.
Yes... dun dun dun, daycare. 

I found a stay-at-home-mom looking to making a little extra money while she was sitting at home. 

I met with her. 
She was nice!

I didn't like that the TV was on or that her daughter was running around eating a cinnamon eggo.
But she was really sweet, down-to-earth, and seemed to have a lot of the same disciplinary/parenting philosophies as me! 
So what- not everyone can afford the $8.00 flax seed waffles... 
and lets be honest- I am guilty of having the tv on when I'm at home. 

But I still wasn't convinced. 

So John, Jack, & I went to visit an in-home daycare. 

Not at the home, not at the children, not even at the workers... but the owner!
She was talking in circles and John and I both walked away with a bad feeling.
A feeling like she was lying to us. Telling us what she thought we wanted to hear.

I still wasn't ready to decide. 
I visited ONE MORE daycare.
This one, a traditional FACILITY.
You know the kind that I swore off?!

I must say I was impressed.

It is brand new, implements christian values, & teaches baby signs. 
The head teachers all had degrees in child development 
& the assistants were required to be working towards their degree.
The director was warm, direct, and I could feel in my gut that she wasn't B.S.ing me. 

I have always been an intuitive person.
I normally trust my gut, and when I don't - I end up being wrong. 
I walked away from this daycare feeling confused.

As much as this last place seemed perfect (My husband was ready to sign up right then and there)
my mind kept going back to the SAHM
I couldn't shake the feeling that Jack is only going to be ONE year old-
Does he need all these "bells & whistles"? 

I sent out a tweet along the lines of an SOS, considering my two options.

Megan said it best. 
Jack can go to preschool when he's 3. 
I don't implement curriculum at home, I just love him.
This SAHM, she's going to love him too!
I can feel it in my gut. 

At the end of the day I just need to feel comfortable about who is taking care of my child.
No one is going to be ME.
The minute I stopped expecting the perfect option to appear, the minute I felt at peace with my choice.

So I'm biting the bullet, I am making a decision. 

And guess what? If it doesn't work out... that daycare isn't going anywhere!

I received this text from John last week... Amanda = SAHM

A giant thank you to all of those who offered kind and encouraging words these last few weeks - it has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, all the thoughts and prayers were/are appreciated!!
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Serious Business

Okay, it's not really serious at all.
Unless you count it as seriously cute
(apologies for the cheesy joke.)

Jack is OBSESSED with our iphones...
This is most likely because we are on them too much.

We try to keep the "playing with our phones" to a minimum.
Mostly because I don't want him drooling into some crack or crevice.
But should probably worry about him getting some kind of toxic something or other...

But seriously, it's cute. 
He has phone conversations with just about everybody-
Aunt Megan, AuntE, Grandma.

He thoroughly enjoys a little Facetime. 

I'm just gonna go ahead and say that I am just raising a technologically savvy child :)

I decided to get on Passionfruit Ads and come up with some new sponsorship options for Life After...
Check them out :) You can also find them here.

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