{WHW}: Dear Wednesday

Instead of Friday letters, I'm changing it up and doing some letters this Wednesday for WHW!
Dear Wednesday, you got here so much faster than normal since we had a teacher workday on Monday, and I'm grateful for it!

Dear Massage, I took advantage of having some free time in the afternoon on Monday and got a much needed massage. It was mediocre, but that was better than nothing. The worst part was that there was drilling going on outside of my massage room, so it wasn't the most relaxing. Way to go, Massage Envy.

Dear Allergic reaction, please stop. I've had it happen twice now that my eyelids have swollen due to some allergic reaction to something, yet I have NO IDEA what it is! One eyelid swells on top, and the other swells on the bottom. And it's happened after I've eaten food that I've always eaten before (and from two separate restaurants). Monday it happened after I ate leftovers of food that I had Saturday and didn't have any reaction to, so I'm at a total loss.

Dear doctors appointments, I'm over you. Between Ella having another ear infection (and follow up appointments), needing to schedule an ENT consult for her, and a ton of follow up appointments recommended by my fertility doctor, I'm just done. I'd love for everything to be normal and healthy so I could avoid all of these extra appointments, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon.

Dear pointless trainings, you suck. Without going into detail, I hate having work trainings that are a waste of time and meeting just to meet. Give me time to work, or let me stay at home and use my time productively!

Dear Manifest, you were good for the first few episodes, and after about 7, it got repetitive and meh. Moving on to The Resident and loving it!

Dear couch, why you gotta be so comfy around 9pm, making me want to cozy in and fall asleep? All. The. Time.

Dear Superbowl, borrrrrrrrring. Snoozefest. I stopped watching after the halftime show and watched Sister Wives on demand instead.

Dear weather, thanks for the mid 70 degree day which was quite the change after our single digit days (and negatives with windchill)! Those days did lend themselves to lots of mommy Ella time...and cute photos like this:
Dear bestie, so so happy I got to see you this weekend and shower you and baby C before her arrival! The next few weeks are gonna fly by and I can't wait to meet your little love! Like always, it's like no time passed at all between the last time I saw you, which I love. Hoping it's not so long til the next visit!
(Also, how cute are these handles that she got for her daughter's dresser/changing area? I'm obsessed!)
Link up with Jessi and I below and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

TBB Asks: Relationships

1. Who is your oldest friend/how did you meet?
    My oldest friend is Crystal and we met in 6th grade. She was new to the state and our school and it was just as we were starting middle school. I had my best friend Shannon at the time, and our middle school had two "teams" and Shannon and Crystal happened to be on the other team that I was so they became best friends and I disliked Crystal for "taking my friend". Cut to the next year and Crystal and I were on the same team, and then we became best friends and she's been in my life ever since! Gotta love middle school drama haha
2. Tell about your circle of support. Who are your people?
    My circle of support is really strong the older I've gotten because I've learned what healthy relationships are. I keep friends who invest in me as much as I've invested in them. A lot of my circle has become my mom friends who I lean on in those mom moments and I appreciate that help SO much. I've also been blessed to develop so many strong relationships with women from blogging--some I've met in person and others I haven't, but still talk to on the phone or text frequently. But I also have my long time friends who I know I can call on at a moment's notice and they'll be there to listen and help. I'm blessed to have my sister-in-laws to include in that list, too, as they've become two of my closest friends.

3. How did you meet your partner?
   On match.com. MG's initials on here stem from him being "Match Guy" when I initially talked about him on the blog and the nickname has stuck around here ever since! He was the one and only person I met on Match and I'd say it worked out pretty well for us :)
4. How is Valentine's Day celebrated in your home?
   Lately, it's pretty low key which is totally fine with me. I'm about quality time and we usually exchange a small gift or something, but have dinner together at home. My favorite part is the card and MG always delivers there! I keep all the cards MG has ever given me.

5. What is your love language?
   Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation

6. Do you prefer receiving flowers or chocolates?
   I'll take either. Flowers are always a nice way to brighten up a room so I love them, especially when they're "just because" flowers. And chocolate always tastes good, so I'll never complain if I get either one.

7. What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received or have given?
   This is hard to narrow down, but I'm thinking about most recently, I got a package delivered that I wasn't expecting around the holidays. And when I opened it, it was an ornament to memorialize the baby who we lost from miscarriage from my friends Lynn and Jess. I immediately teared up at the sentiment and the thoughtfulness of my two sweet friends, during such a tough time.

{WHW}: I'm the Mom Who...

.....has lost her cool in a stressful moment, and then immediately felt guilty.

.....has held babies to get them to sleep, for other moms who were "in it" and needed help without asking for it.

.....worries and worries over the next transition (out of swaddle, teeth coming in, switching to regular milk) and every time was pleasantly surprised.

.....has felt really secure in the routine and system we have going, only for it to get flipped upside down by a new change/developmental milestone.

.....breastfed and gave formula. And my kid is totally fine.

.....offers resources to new mom friends for things that helped me.

....calls or texts my mom friends for advice or opinions, because dammit sometimes you just need to know that what you're doing is "okay" or to hear someone else say "that sounds right"

.....falls asleep on the couch well before bedtime. And often.

.....has made dinner with a screaming, crying toddler clinging to, and pulling, the bottom of my shirt.

....pees when I've coughed or sneezed or ran or jumped or or or or....

....sits down and colors with my kid when she says "lolo" (color) and holds out the marker to me

.....treasures the sleepy pre-bedtime snuggles in our glider

......hears baby cries even when she's not crying

......sometimes checks the monitor in the middle of the night. Just because.

....seemingly goes through infant Motrin like water some weeks (because teething or fever, or ear ache, or sick, or cranky or or or or...)

.....gets lost in the rabbit hole of old pictures of my girl when scrolling on my phone.
....has hard days. And great days. And days that are hard and great at the same time.

Friday 'Fess Sesh

I confess that....

....I had this post drafted and ready to post on Thursday but I didn't get it all set up on Wednesday night because I was in the ER with MG who came home from work and started throwing up off and on for 5 hours with no other symptoms. Some IV fluids, a CT scan (to check appendix) later... MG was discharged at 3am and diagnosed with a virus. Thankfully he's doing much better, but I'm seriously over cold/virus and flu season!

...two hour delays on the days that I go to my second school are my favorite because I just go to my second school, but I have a bit of time between dropping Ella off at school and having to get to work. So I enjoy some time at home alone and it is magnificent.

....I've done everything that I can to avoid getting the full blown cold that Ella has (right around 2 weeks of being back at preschool--sounds about right). Extra vitamin C, drinking water, using saline spray and Zicam swabs....and then she sneezes and coughs right in my face. Some days my life is pretty glorious haha
....my coworker and I tried to call a parent 3 separate times last week to tell her how well her kid was doing but never got a chance to speak to the mom because she kept hanging up on us, and then eventually just didn't answer. Awkward!

...I'm bummed that this past weekend MG and I let the chance of icy weather ruin our plans to go to PA for the long weekend. All of the weather reports in PA were sounding pretty bad so we scrapped the trip, and of course no bad weather came. Better safe than sorry, but ugh, annoying.

.....my MIL gave me this foundation a while ago and I forgot about it. Then recently discovered it and am totally loving it. It gives me nice coverage and has a good glow to it, so it helps beat that Winter ghost look! #win
.....the other weekend MG and I took Ella to eat and as we left my eyes got itchy, and in the 10 minutes it took to get home, my one lower eye lid and my other upper eyelid had swelled up so big I reminded myself of Hitch. Luckily it went down after an allergy med and a night of sleep, but I still have NO idea what I had a reaction to. 

....I had a dream Tuesday night and my dad made an appearance, complete with a kiss on my forehead. It's been a while, but that was the most welcome dream visit I could have asked for.

....I won my Fantasy Football league for the second year in a row, and the league commissioner (leader) sent out an email over a week ago telling everyone to pay me directly instead of collecting it (she paid out the second and third place winners already). And no one has paid. It's not a ton of money but it's the principle and it's annoying that they aren't playing by the rules. I have a feeling I'll never see that reward for winning.

Hoping your weekend is fun and virus-free!

{WHW}: Get Cookin'!

Happy Wednesday, friends! MG and I had MLK day off on Monday, and then because of the arctic blast that's taken over our area (literally temps in the teens with windchill below zero), my school district gave a two hour delay Tuesday morning, and we have a teacher workday on Friday. Not a bad week!
Today I'm bringing a recipe to you that I mentioned last week that was seriously SO SO good!
This was an InstantPot recipe, but I think you could make adjustments to make this if you don't have an IP.
Mushroom Stroganoff (recipe c/o Pinterest)
It may not look that pretty, but the flavors are awesome!
What You Need:
~3 Tbsp olive oil
~1/2 red onion, diced
~3 garlic cloves, chopped (1.5tsp minced)
~16 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used shiitake; you can use cremini or button as well)
~1/2 tsp pepper
~1/4 Cup white wine (the rest for drinking haha)
~2 Cups veggie or chicken broth
~2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
~1 Tbsp flour
~8 ounces pasta (rotini or penne) "about a scant 3 cups"*
~1/2 C sour cream
 *this was from the original recipe--so I just measured 3 cups of dry pasta and that seemed to work

What You Do:
1. Heat oil on sauce function and then add in the onion, garlic and mushrooms, salt to taste, and pepper. Saute about 8 minutes.

2. Add in the wine (pour yourself a glass and take a sip), broth, mustard and flour. Stir well, add in the pasta, and then stir again.

3. Put the lid on, make sure it's set to sealing and then pressure cook for 3-4 minutes (*or whatever half the cooking time is on the pasta that you're using)

4. Manually release the IP and then stir in the sour cream. Keep on the warm setting of 5-10 minutes so the sauce thickens.

The dish was SO good. I will definitely be making this again as it was simple and easy, but the flavor was incredible. Great as a meatless dish, but I could see eating this with chicken as well.

Link up with Jessi and I and share what you're cooking or what's hap-"pinning" with you!

{WHW}: Current Happenings


Reading....I finally finished Beneath a Scarlet Sky during my Winter Break (there was some skimming for the last 25% of the book, but I made it!) and now I'm on to a lighter read called The Honeymooner. After that one, I have Verity downloaded and ready to be read after seeing it on Karly's Instagram Monday night

Drinking....not enough water, but getting better. Over break, I invested in a new water bottle (my previous one from HomeGoods wasn't keeping my water cold through the day). This one is 22 oz, and the powder coating on the bottle is so well done--it feels really nice to hold. My old water bottle had a straw which I liked, but it make a loud squealing sound when I drank from it, which this one does NOT do. I got mine for $16.99, but it looks like it's $18.99 right now on Amazon.
Eating...after trying 4 new meals last week, I added two new ones to the rotation this week. Instant Pot Mushroom Stroganoff (last night--AMAZING!), and Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet (tonight). Will report back!

Anticipating....Spring Break! Too soon? Maybe, but MG and I book a trip to St. Augustine, FL with Ella, since it'll be our last time being able to travel by plane without paying for a seat for her. It'll be nice to get away to someplace warmer, see the sights, and hopefully see some friends in the area!
In addition to that, we've got a week booked in Lake Anna with my in-laws and my one SIL's family. A week at that lake in a beautiful house sounds a-okay to me!

Loving....snow days! The snow we got this weekend ended up giving us an extra day off of work on Monday, and a 2 hour delay yesterday. 
Unfortunately MG had to go to Boston for a work meeting on Sunday (the peak of the storm), so he wasn't able to spend the snow day with us. We still had fun, but we're excited to have him back as of last night.
Watching....Killing Eve. We finished Handmaid's Tale (and are eagerly awaiting the next season), and then watched the mini series 11.22.63 which I highly recommend!
Also, where are my Married at First Sight fans? I need to debrief with you on this season so far!

Wanting....to do this (or something similar) to our entry hallway. Saw it in a house in our neighborhood online with the same layout as us. Been thinking about painting the banister white, and doing the trim in the hall
Also think doing this "built in" by the door for coats would be a nice "upgrade" change too. (Obviously we would match everything since it's the same hallway)
Trying....to get Ella to wear bows in her hair. It's been an unsuccessful mission for anything longer than about 5-10 seconds.
What's hap-"pinning" with you? Link up with Jessi and I below:

SNOW much fun!

Happy snow day from VA! We got over 8" around here as of the time I'm writing this (Sunday evening). Originally they were calling for 2-3" so I figured it would be a dud of a storm, but it picked up and some places got over a foot.

Last year Ella wasn't walking when we had snow, but this year...we got her in her snow suit after we ate breakfast, bundled up (and she somehow magically wore both her hat AND mittens), and we had so much fun playing in the snow yesterday morning.

Today my school system is closed, and Ella's preschool is as well, so we're gonna have a nice little mommy/daughter day at home together.

Hoping you're staying warm if it's chilly where you are, and that your day is as fun as Ella's was in the snow!