100th POST!

I am so excited that today marks my 100th post!  That might seem like a small feat for some but this space of mine has truly been a labor of life {Freudian slip?  I meant to say love but when I went back and read it, I realized life works too :)} and I try to be intentional about what I post.  Whether it's a favorite recipe, weekend recap, or just a bunch of love for my favorite guys, I know that I will love looking back on this space as the years go by and remembering all these little moments.

To celebrate this today, check out a few of my favorite posts from the past 3 years! 

I started this blog back in 2013, after much internal debate.  You can read all about that HERE.
We struggled a bit when we were knee deep in planning a wedding, and Dennis lost his job.  As always, my ultimate goal is to be optimistic, have faith, and not let negativity or rough patches keep me down.  THIS POST offers a lot of perspective for me...those days were hard, but our love was strong and sitting here today, I am proof that there are really good times waiting when the tough days pass.
Of course, looking back on our Wedding Post is one of my absolute favorites!  I remember the little details of that day as I read back through my recap and it makes me want to go dig my dress out of the closet and sit around in it and drink champagne {or beer...don't judge!}...
THIS POST about the 2 weeks D had to spend in CA for the Army Reserves 6 short weeks after we got married, makes me craaave the summer.
I was very vulnerable and very honest in this post about my thoughts on trying to get pregnant.  I am so thankful that my wonderful readers are supportive and I had a lot of comments from friends that they could relate to this post and/or knew someone who could and it made me really glad I took the chance and shared it.
And finally, my two very favorite posts of all are about the birth of my sweet baby Duke!  I am so glad I took note of everything while it was still pretty fresh in my mind.  You can read Part I and Part II!
Thank you for taking that trip down memory lane with me!  Cheers to the next 100 posts!

-T-




Duke Anthony Felecos- 6 MONTHS OLD!!

I had every intention of getting this post up earlier this week but sometimes the best laid plans just do not work out.  And that's okay.  So here we are Thursday, ready to tackle a post all about my beautiful baby boy.  As everyone said it would, these 6 months have gone by incredibly fast, but I genuinely think we've been soaking up every moment and it's been wonderful. 
Duke is a happy little spitfire.  I call him my wild boy about 10x a day... I can't even imagine what it will be like when he's actually mobile.  He is rolling both ways now and scoots his little body to reach for certain toys, fur brothers, and anything breakable.  Peekaboo is a huge giggle-maker right now and we probably played 235913750 games of it on our road trip last weekend.  He also loves reading books, chewing on all. the. things., arching his back and flipping upside down whenever he can, being thrown in the air, and being outside.
Duke is really starting to get more comfortable with new people which makes my mama heart very happy.  I love his snuggles more than anything, but I love seeing the joy in others faces when they get to have that special bonding time with him too.  His little smile lights up the room and I swear it doesn't matter what I'm doing, he can make every stress melt away with that grin and other people gravitate towards him!
Sometimes we do bottles and hold them ourselves!
We seem to be passed the 4-month sleep regression woes {fingers crossed/knocking on wood, etc.}.  Duke is back to waking up once a night to eat and goes quickly back to sleep until he's ready for the day.  He still falls asleep in my arms every once in awhile when we are out and about but generally prefers to fall asleep in his bed with his arms and legs splayed out.  Not gonna lie, I soak up nap snuggles whenever I can get them!
We introduced food this month and so far he seems to be liking it.  He's starting to actually swallow some which is a win in my book!  Breastfeeding is still his main source of nutrition and I am so so thankful we've made it this far, exclusively breastfeeding! 

I am so anxious for Duke's 6-month appointment next Monday (they were super booked this week) so I can get his stats!  He is so long and has wonderful chunky rolls all over his litttle body.  When this nugget turns 7 months old next month, we will officially be South Dakota residents!!!  I am so so excited.  We had a fantastic visit home last weekend {more to come on that later this week} and it really got me pumped up to start our new adventure there.

Happy 6 months to my sweet little love!  Best 1/2 a year of MY LIFE!

-Mama T-


Letters to Duke: Volume II

We are sitting in the chair together and you are eating…your little legs keep kicking against my shoulder and your arm is constantly roaming around, touching my face, grabbing my nose, swinging back and forth to thwop me unexpectedly in the chest.  Your hair is growing in thick again and I love rubbing your fuzzy little head.  You are constantly on the move for such an immobile guy so I cherish these slow moments with you when you will bend your little body in half to try to get a snack from mama.
You are still an incredibly smiley and happy little fella and people always comment on how adorable you are and how much you love to talk.  You’ve got quite the set of lungs on you and these days you seem to really enjoy screaming bloody murder if something isn’t going your way.  I think you get that characteristic from me {I keep my screams on the inside}, unfortunately, because your dad is pretty easy going.  

As for me, I think my resolve on the disruptive sleep is thinning out.  I was doing so well so I’m a little frustrated with my own lack of patience these days.  You really are a great sleeper and you typically only wake up once now that the dreaded 4 month sleep regression has come and gone.  Still, I feel like every cell in my body is exhausted when I get up to feed you.  On the flip side, I still love snuggling up to you in the wee hours of the morning…your movements are much softer and sweeter and you typically just wrap your little arms around me, get your food, and fall back into a deep slumber.  I know that between your smiles, daddy’s foot rubs, and coffee, I can get through just about anything, I just need to practice giving myself a little more grace during the tougher moments.

In a few days you will officially be 6 months old my sweet boy {don't worry, I have a whole other post planned for that big event} and I have thanked God every single day for you.  I am so blessed to be your mama and I promise to love you more than anyone on this planet possibly could.  You are a firecracker and I can’t wait to continue to watch your little personality bloom.  I love you my baby Duke. 

Mama

Birthday Reflections- I'm 28!

I LOVE birthdays.  I think they are so much fun and any chance to celebrate the people in our lives {or ourselves} is a great idea in my book.  If you don't like birthdays, I think you're crazy.  We are lucky to get each and every year we get, and we get to eat cake!

I'm going to do something I've never done before on the blog and post about 28 completely random things about ME to celebrate turning 28.  Enjoy!

  1. I am addicted obsessed with coffee.  All thanks to my obsession goes to the most fun job I ever had at a coffee shop in college.  J&S Coffee not only introduced me to coffee for the first time at the ripe age of 18, they introduced me to freshly roasted, amazing coffee and let me drink it for free all. the. time.  I still order this coffee online, used it in favors at my wedding, and gift it to my family for holidays.  Maybe you should check them out!
  2. I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when I was 8 years old.  No, I didn't swear uncontrollably all the time, but I did have a lot of different ticks that both plagued me and made me quite the perfectionist.  I've outgrown most of them, but a few still linger every once in awhile! And no, I will not tell you what they are :) 
  3. I hate shopping.  I'll order stuff online all day/every day but I absolutely hate shopping in actual stores.  
  4. I moved to Colorado at 22, met my husband Dennis when I was 23, was dating him at 23/24, engaged at 24/25, and married at 26!  Duke was born while I was 27 and I have high high hopes for 28!
  5. Chocolate is everything.
  6. I have two wonderful sisters, Jen and Michelle.  Both older and much wiser, but lucky for me they put up with my 'youngest child shenanigans'. :)
  7. I have 1 tattoo and it's green, so I'm always covered on St. Patrick's Day.  Any guesses what it is? 
  8. When my mom was pregnant with me, everyone thought I was a boy and called me Otis while I was in the womb.  
  9. We later had a black and white pig named Otis who lived in a pen in our backyard. 
  10. I should probably mention I grew up on a farm- 5th generation to live in my farmhouse. 
  11. I really really love wine.  And beer.  And cocktails.  Just 1 or 2 is plenty, I'm not getting crazy ever on a regular basis over here, but they are delish!
  12. I've always wanted to be a mom.  I was a nanny/babysat other people's kids for years and couldn't wait to have one of my own.  It clearly was no secret because my senior year of high school, I was voted Most Likely To Have 10 Kids by the 10 Year Class Reunion.  Sorry guys, I'll still only have 1 this summer!
  13. I played trumpet in the band, was on the Dance Team and a cheerleader.  I also played basketball, softball, volleyball, and ran track for a short while {someone really should've talked me out of that last one}.  OH and my dad made me take golf lessons for a few years and I was so bad that the golf pro {my dad's best friend} kindly suggested I not join the Golf Team in high school.  #wellrounded
  14. I am an Auntie to two beautiful nieces and one very handsome nephew!
  15. My parents are amazing and have been married for nearly 37 years (April 27th)!  They are such a wonderful example of marriage and I have always relied on their support, trust, and encouragement.  They silently cringed when I made horrible decisions some poor choices and were always there to catch me when I inevitably fell.  On the other hand, they were always there to encourage me to get out of my comfort zone and taught me that there is no substitute for good ole fashioned hard work.  Anyone who knows them, knows how special they are, and I am lucky to call them mom and dad.
  16. I really want to write a book someday. 
  17. One of my greatest adventures was going spelunking in Spain when I was in High School.  Even though I probably caught hypothermia because I fell into the river in the cave within the first 10 minutes, it was amazing.
  18. My 4 absolute best friends are all girls I met from the ages of 7-10.  We  are spread out across the map from California to Massachusetts, but we always pick up right where we left off.  I am a better person because of them.
  19. I really want 4 kids and my husband wants 3...TBD on who will win this battle.
  20. I was 1 of 2 high schoolers chosen from the state of South Dakota to go to the Hugh O'Brian International Youth Leadership Conference.
  21. I HATE fresh cilantro.
  22. I love to read- I think it's such a fun escape.  Duke already enjoys looking at pictures in books and I can't wait until he's old enough to understand them and read them with his mama.  Harry Potter here we come!
  23. I've traveled to Mexico, Spain, London, Costa Rica, and Jamaica...I really hope we can continue to travel and see more places all over the world.
  24. I love watching baseball games at major ballparks- so far I've seen the Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, and I think the Minnesota Twins.  Lots more to go!
  25. When I was 17 I was a nanny full time in Maryland for a 1 year old and 3 year old.  Love the family that gave me this opportunity and thankful they are such close family friends, from our grandparents down!
  26. Reese's are my favorite candy.
  27. I have an extra bone in my right foot.  The one in the left was removed when I was in college, causing me to be on crutches for 11 weeks.  My family fondly refers to it as niblet. 
  28. When I was turning 3 I freaked out and did not want to have a birthday...I didn't want to get any older. Ha!  Thankfully I've embraced the process since then.
Phew! That was fun.  I hope you learned a little something about me you didn't know in the process!  Happy Monday and cheers to another year!

-T-

Oh Friday, you look good

This week has been such a good one for us.  I didn't feel like it flew by like so many weeks before it and we were lucky to have loads of late afternoon/evening family time that we don't usually get depending on D's work schedule.  He couldn't work OT this week so he was off by 4 at the latest every day and we loved it!  Anyway- let's jump into the 5 things I am loving this Friday!

1- Family Walks. When the weather is nice, we love to get outside and go on walks as a family and that happened a couple times this week. If we aren't going too far and it's a dog friendly place, Capone gets to come, but sometimes it's too much for his little legs to handle! I love this time for us to slow down, talk and reconnect without technological distractions.  Plus Duke loves being outside and checking out the sites from his stroller or carrier.

2- An old frenemy?  I haven't walked on a treadmill in a long time. I don't love them and would much rather walk outside than in a boring gym but I was itching to get moving on Wednesday night and opted for 30 minutes of walking while watching random YouTube videos and training's for my business.  It felt fantastic and I will definitely be doing it more often. PLUS I get a pretty view.

3- Water Baby.  I am so thankful Duke loves the water.  He is such a riot during bath time now and never ceases to have all of us giggling and smiling the whole time.  He makes the funniest faces when he's being splashed like he can't decide if he likes it or not, but ultimately breaks out in a huge smile. It's amazing what simple tasks become my favorite when I see this semi-gummy grin!   
PS Pink hand-me-down bath seats are all the rage right now, in case you didn't know.
4- First Foods!  There are a million and five opinions about when it's best to start babies on food and Dennis and I both agreed we wanted to wait until Duke was close to 6 months old.  Since we will be out of town on his 6 month birthday, we decided to give it a try this week and introduce our boy to some banana purée. He's been so engaged and curious lately when we are eating dinner so we figured he'd be pretty excited when he actually got to try something new.  Overall he did great and got a few spoonfuls swallowed vs on his shirt/face/tray/my arm.  I love firsts with our sweet boy!
5- Birthday Weekend!  It's my birthday on Sunday and even though we are expecting snow on it for the 3rd year in a row, I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with the perfect mix of friends, family, and my sweet boys! 28 is looking mighty fine.
Have a superb weekend people!

-T-



On Being Enough

The other night I was staying up way too late scrolling through pictures from the the end of my pregnancy / labor / delivery / bringing Duke home, and I was overcome with the feeling I first had when we brought him to our apartment. I remember being so anxious and excited in the car on the way and then when we got home I felt so uneasy and unsure of what to do.  What would our lives be like now?! In those 3 quick nights in the hospital, everything had changed. Our lives were totally different walking out than they were walking in {a lot less painful too} and it just felt so weird to be released back into the world so quickly! 
There was some strange comfort I felt sleeping in the hospital bed with Duke wrapped like a burrito next to me because bassinets are stupid I couldn't imagine not having him near me after carrying him for so long.  We had a constant stream of nurses and visitors and it was exhausting but I was riding such an adrenaline high that coming down to reality and our home, though comfortable, felt a bit daunting.  Now life had to begin again and we had to figure out this whole parenting thing for real.

My mom stayed with us for the first week to ease us into our new reality and it was awesome.  She cleaned constantly, cooked meals, and gave me endless hours of worry-free snuggle time with my boy.  My dad came in towards the end of the week to meet his grandson and we enjoyed 4 days worth of constant family time.  It was fantastic.  We took Duke out to his first restaurant at just 5 days old and I felt really good being surrounded by everyone.  When the time rolled around for them to leave, I was a bit of a wreck.  Dennis was already back at work and now this meant I would be alone day in and day out with my sweet boy.  I was completely freaked out. 
I'm sure all of you mamas out there can relate that those early weeks are a total whirlwind and I was probably struggling more with the feeling of not knowing what to do all day than anything else.  It just didn't seem possible that my new job was to spend every moment with this perfect little boy; feeding him, loving him, snuggling him, etc.  It was everything I could possibly want and I felt like I couldn't possibly deserve it.  Where were all the people in their neat little cubicles that I had been managing for months?  Where was the computer and constant barrage of emails?  When were the conference calls?  What on earth was I supposed to do?

Dennis would get home some days and I felt like a kid who was so proud of all I had accomplished..."Look babe!  I did the dishes AND the laundry!"  "LOOK!  The baby is alive and happy."  "Don't worry, I didn't sit on the couch all day..." "Uh, yea I may have watched 13 episodes of Scandal, but it's because the baby was cluster-feeding all day."  I felt like I had to justify every action, even though my wonderful husband couldn't care less.  Was I happy?  Was the baby happy?  OK, deal.  Then it was a good day.


It really makes me think about the meaningless things we utilize to place value to ourselves.  The constant pressure of feeling like we have to always be doing something to matter.  The useless art of always being busy.  Taking care of and raising tiny humans is more than just doing something, and it should be enough.  We shouldn't have to justify our days filled with giggles and playtime by adding in that we also conquered a list of household chores.  Why do we feel like we have to?  Why does it seem like a day behind a desk is more important, more impactful, than a day spent on the living room floor with tiny humans?

I've been home with Duke for a short nearly 6 months, and I know that as the months and years go by and we enter different seasons of our lives, ones in which I might not be able to be at home with him full time, that our priorities will continue to shift to meet the needs of our family.  I also know, that we will always strive to put our family first, to make sure our unit is taken care of, healthy, and happy.  I pray that we don't fill up the days/months/years with meaningless activities just to seem busy.  I pray that we are intentional with our time together and stop feeling like we have to justify the way we spend it.  Being a wife and a mama is the greatest blessing and the greatest joy in my life, and it's enough.

-T-
  

Sunshine = Happiness

This weekend was pure Spring perfection.  We spent loads of time outside, or at least with the patio doors wide open when we were home, enjoying yummy food and delicious cocktails.  I know I'm not the only one who is so much happier when the sun is shining!  To be honest, that's the only thing I'm worried about when we move to South Dakota.  The winter days aren't nearly as sunny as they are here, and gloomy days seriously affect my mood.  Here's hoping I can bring some CO sunshine with me when I go!

In other sunshine news, I was a MORON on Friday afternoon and didn't properly sunscreen my arms and I got fried.  Like a lobster.  Seriously hoping turning 28 next week will smack some sense into me!  I do great taking care of my face and neck with my favorite products, but tend to leave the rest of my body to fend for itself.  Not anymore.

Anyway, this weekend was a great one, so let's do a little weekend rewind!

{Friday}
As I mentioned in this post, Friday was Opening Day for the Rockies and my friend Ashley and I had some plans to celebrate it!  We were originally going to venture downtown but we weren't going to be able to get down there until the celebration would've been going on for 4-5 hours...which meant 0 chance at parking and likely spending WAY too much time getting there and back, leaving little time for hanging out and chatting.  We opted to go to a bar closer to both of us, ended up skipping the game entirely, and talking for 5+ hours. So much fun.  I forget just how important it is for me to have some solo time away from all my boys...I always come back feeling recharged and ready to spoil them all with attention.
 
We capped off the night with a visit to Dave and Busters to wish our friend Tom a happy birthday.  We got to introduce Duke into some awesome people that haven't gotten to meet him yet and were all thoroughly wiped out when we got home. 

{Saturday}
Duke blessed us with sleeping in a bit on Saturday and we followed that up with snuggles and giggles in bed.  I LOVE these moments, when we all are completely relaxed and just get to enjoy time as a threesome. 
After a couple hours, Duke decided he was due for a 2.5 hour nap, so our plans of venturing out of the house were squashed but when the baby needs sleep, let him sleep!  When he woke up he was ready to play and ended up rolling over for the first time from back to belly!  I may have cried, I was so proud.

We headed over to my sister's around 5 and her amazing husband cooked us a dinner that is in the top 3 of my favorite meals EVER.  Homemade chicken chimichangas {why does Blogger think I'm trying to type Michigan?!}, homemade refried beans with bacon, rice, and of course margaritas!  We were all painfully full when the meal was over that we completely skipped out on dessert, but the key lime pie in my fridge will surely get some attention this week. 

I made my sister get SnapChat because I've been having way too much fun with it with a few of my best friends.  We laughed harder than I have laughed in a long time doing creepy face swaps, and using each and every filter a million times.  Duke was not to be left out of the fun. 
{Sunday}
Duke decided to sleep in again yesterday after staying up way past his bedtime on Saturday night, so more morning snuggles took place and then we decided to venture out for breakfast.  Dennis headed out to play some outdoor flag football with his friends and I cleaned up the house while Duke napped in the afternoon.  Then we headed out to Dennis' aunts house for a joint birthday celebration for some of his family members.  We capped off the weekend with cocktails and catching up on some of our favorite shows.  Another fantastic weekend in the books!

I hope you all have a fantastic Monday!  Think of it as a fresh start to a brand new week, not an end to your weekend. :)

-T-  

Opening Day!

I am SO EXCITED to go to a bar this afternoon today for a little Rockies Opening Day fun with my friend Ashley.  We aren't going to the game, but I can't wait to be apart of all the excitement that is Opening Day.  I feel like it's a right of passage into Spring/Summer and makes me think of sunny warm days and cold beer.  Time to jump right into my Friday 5 today...here we go!

one- I mentioned in this post that we are really trying to spend a lot of quality time with our friends and family before we move next month.  Well, this week was quite successful on that note.  On Monday night, we brought dinner over to Dennis' aunts house and had a great evening hanging out with her, watching hilarious YouTube clips, and eating way too much fried chicken.  On Wednesday, we had Dennis' cousin, her husband, and their sweet baby girl over for dinner, and last night we went to Dennis' Uncles to celebrate his Grandpa's 92nd birthday with the family!  Today is all about Opening Day with my best friend and tomorrow we head over to my sister's for a Mexican food feast and yummy margaritas.  Quality time all around!


Duke reaching for Papa's cake!

two- Yesterday, my company announced some big news, and I am more excited than ever to be apart of it!  I've spoken with so many people this week about the fantastic products, made some sales, and it feels so good to be motivated about something that will actually help pay the bills!

three- Duke has been such a giggle monster this week.  Wednesday night was the first time we heard full on big belly laughs from our boy and I about burst it was so cute and so sweet!  I have to get it on video!  He brings me more joy in a single day than I thought I could feel in a week, and not a day goes by that I don't stare at him in utter amazement that he is my boy.  I also soak up cuddles all the time because, seriously, babies don't keep!

four- I have been majorly slacking in the pumping department and I recently started it up again so I can be sure we have enough of a stash for a baby-free trip we are taking next month.  It was SO EASY before and I completely took it for granted.  I have been so frustrated with miniscule amounts this week and I'm planning on stocking up on some lactation cookies and whatever else will pump up my supply! Advice appreciated!
#seriously
five- I honestly don't know what I would do without my sweet husband. We went and visited him for lunch twice this week and I know it means a lot to him to get to see us during the day.  Even after a long work day, he still comes home and helps with things around the house AND gives me a foot or back rub multiple times a week. I know, spoiled rotten! Love you hubs.


Cheers to the weekend!

-T-

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