WHEW! This may have been the longest week I've ever had in a LOOOOOOONG time.
Every day this week has felt like a week in and of itself, so in my head, I've been at it this week for about a month...needless to say I'm ready for the weekend, desperately.

Unfortunately things did not go well with my admin and they are in the process of trying to make my work life uncomfortable because I stood up for myself and requested not to have a morning and afternoon duty because I'm split between schools, and have a lot of other program specific things that I need to take care of during the school day. Not to mention that the duty lasts after contract hours every day.
So, that hasn't been the best start to my year, and basically I've now learned that I should just shut up any time I have a concern about something instead of standing up for what I need because now they are just making life here worse for me, and I still have to do the duty they assigned anyway.

I come home from days and weeks like this and collapse. And then I wake up at 4 something in the morning because I can't shut my brain off. 
I'm tired.

I'm SO thankful for the long weekend this weekend, and a highlight tonight with Hamilton! I've been playing the sound track on my commute to and from work which puts me in such a good mood. I'll tell you all about it next week!!

We're planning to head up to Philly this weekend to see my in-laws since it's been a while. As much as I'm not looking forward to the drive or possible traffic, it'll be nice to put some distance between myself and Virginia after this week.

Today also marks the last day that Ella will be in daycare at the place she's been at the last two weeks. It's been fine for the short term fix that we needed, but I wouldn't select this place as a long term options. For one, it's super expensive ($400/wk) which includes "healthy" meals, but a lot of what I've seen them write on Ella's sheet is very very carb-heavy with not a lot of protein things. And every time I drop her off or pick her up, 90% of the time the little kids are sitting around a table eating saltine or oyster crackers instead of playing. 
I had Ella's back to school night at her preschool last night and I'm hopeful that her experience there will be a lot better, and more personal. It's really hard trusting others to care for your kid, and no one will do it as well as you would, but it's nice when you find something that's pretty close to it. So, we'll see how next week shakes out, but I'll say I'm not sad to be saying good bye to the daycare center.

At the end of the day, the most important things are your family, friends and a place to lay your head. I saw this on Lynn's instagram the other night at a time I probably needed to see it the most. I just wish everyone was able to look at life and jobs with this ideal in mind
I live for this girl:

Anyway, sorry for the heavy-ness of this post. Just the space I'm in right now and working on moving towards happier, more carefree, roll-off-my-back kinda times.

Hoping your week didn't feel like a month, and that you get to enjoy the long weekend ahead!

{WHW}: A New Year

Happy hump day, lovies!
Today marks the second official day of school for students in my county, and it's already started off with a bang for me! (more on that below)
Let's get caught up...

My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last week. They're away on a trip to Maine, so in addition to our celebrations down the shore a few weeks ago, MG and I sent them a bottle of wine and dessert of their choosing at their anniversary dinner since we couldn't be with them. 50 years is quite the accomplishment!

At our house, we're adjusting to me being back at work as best as we can. I've got two crock pot meals going this week (Salsa chicken yesterday and meatballs today) to ease up on the demand for cooking etc now that kids are back at school making the days longer.
my "helper" :)
Within 3 days of daycare last week, Ella came home with a runny nose and it's been running ever since. MG caught her cold and I stayed unscathed (thank you saline nasal spray and Zicam!) which is a change from last year when I'd get any and every germ she had.
Also, how is she going to be 16 months tomorrow?? Where is the time going???

Our oldest niece is off to college and loving college life it seems. Crazy to think she's off on her own now, but so glad that she's adjusting so well!

I'm basically going cross eyed after attempting to create my schedule, and looking at 7 grades worth of teacher schedules, plus specials/lunch schedules in order to determine when I can pull kids. It's crazy! I'm also trying to advocate for myself with my administrators who gave me bus duty before and after school when I'm split between two schools, and currently not even getting the mandated amount of planning time in my schedule as it is. I'm sure they're looking at it as though I'm not being a team player, but in reality, I'm just trying to stick up for myself in order to get my job done, and done well. Which to be honest, gives me knots in my stomach because I'm not a wave maker--I'm a rule follower and a do-what-you're-told-er. But I've learned over the years that if I don't say something, no one will, and better to stick up for myself than to just shoulder another burden and stress myself out even more. Even if it means them looking over my shoulder and making me prove to them how busy I am.

I am literally counting down the days, minutes, seconds until we see Hamilton this Friday! I seriously can't wait and it will definitely be a bright spot at the end of a really long week.

MG and I finally made it to bartaco this weekend! We saw that it had opened near us many months ago and after seeing Amanda rave about it (and all of her snaps there on the weekends), it made me want to try it even more. The weather was gorgeous and we got a table outside, with no wait, and enjoyed so many of their tacos--including a secret one with lobster!--their guac, and the churros with chocolate sauce. Ella's face says it all with how we enjoyed it, chocolate face and all!
Afterwards we spent some time on the lawn, soaking up the gorgeous weather.
Sunday Ella took a 2+ hour nap (praise!!!) so we missed a friend's birthday party, but instead we took a walk along the water in Old Town with E-bear and took a path that was "less traveled" and discovered this historical land mark for where the original state lines were for DC and Virginia. 
someone was excited!
Adult Stuff:
I can't remember if I mentioned it here previously, but our neighbors had told us about the cleaning company they used for their house, and we had been talking about maybe getting a cleaning service anyway. So we used them the other week, and then they came again on Monday. Can I tell you how nice it is to walk into your house at the end of a work day and have beds changed with fresh sheets, a nice clean scent and everything glistening??? Amazing! Best money we've spent, and now we have that much more time together on the weekends because it's not spent cleaning toilets, etc.

Tomorrow we go in for our consultation with our fertility doctor and I'm nervous. I'm anxious and...scared isn't the right word, but maybe timid? Trying to keep my mind and my heart open, while also keeping the stress and fears at bay for now. Send us some positive vibes if you have a sec!

On that note, I'm gonna depart! Make sure you link up with Jessi and I and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!!

There's Nothing Better...

....than climbing into bed with fresh sheets

....having your kid walk over and wrap their arms around your neck

....a cold drink on a hot day (white wine? Beer? All of the above?)

....seeing karma in action

.....a note in the mail or a surprise package humidity

.....reading a book on the beach/deck/outside on a nice day

....putting your feet up after a long day

....getting amazing news from your friends

.....seeing someone you care about smile

....cuddling a sleeping baby

....holding the hand of someone you love

.....seeing someone after a long absence

.....getting an unexpected raise

What else would you add to this list?

Doing It All?

I've been struggling lately with how to "do it all". I felt it over the summer, some, but I had more time (nap time, and while Ella was playing) to tend to other things that needed to be done. Now that I'm back at work, and getting home around 4:30 every a toddler who signs and says "eeeeeeeeat" to me until she's fed dinner, I'm really feeling the struggle of how do I do it all?

Last year MG was in a position at work where he could go in early and beat the insane traffic in our area, and he could leave at 3, be home around 3:30, get some things done around the house and even start dinner by the time I got home around 445/5. This summer, and this school year, he's been getting home later and later as the demands of a new office/position increase, along with a coworker quitting, dumping all of the work on him. 

I know I'm not the only one to face this struggle, and I have no idea how single moms do it on the daily (seriously, I bow down to you). I am just struggling with this season right now. I'm treasuring every second of the evenings that I get with Ella, because those precious hours are all I have during the week. But it is hard when you get home, and immediately have to start making dinner, with a kid who just wants attention from you because she hasn't seen you all day, walk the dog, feed the dog, etc etc. It's not impossible, but it's definitely not without its fair share of stress.

In the season of trying for baby #2, MG and I had a talk the other night about how to do this, especially if we have a second kid. Because if he continues to have to work later, it will fall on me and I'm not sure I can handle it all, with another baby in the mix. I know that if he had the choice, he'd be home with us, but he's up for promotion this year and feeling the pull (and frankly, the need) for him to be there. He leaves at the earliest opportunity when he can, and I know he's doing his best to get home to us, because he WANTS to be with us. It's just hard. 

I'm not even sure what the purpose of this post is, other than getting it out there, and maybe finding out how some other people do it, or just knowing that I'm not alone in this feeling (which I'm sure I'm not). 
I would love to be able to push dinner from 5/515 to 5:30, but Ella literally comes into the house signing for "eat" since being at daycare. I know she's eating there, and eating well, according to the reports I get, so I don't understand the bottomless pit she seems to have as soon as we get home.

Any thoughts, ideas, comments or love you have to share are totally welcome.

{WHW}: Life Updates

Happy Wednesday, friends! It's been a bit since I've been here and I was really just soaking up all of the time I was having with Ella before going back to work. Unfortunately, that dreaded day has come this week and I'm back at it, so I thought for this WHW, I'd fill you in on the random things I've been thinking about and dealing with.
~We had an amazing summer! Getting to spend 2 months with Ella, every single day was incredible. I won't lie, there were hard LONG days, and being a SAHM is NOT easy. But knowing that my time at home with her was limited made me appreciate even the tough days just that much more.

~Our family vacation to the beach was everything I'd hoped it would be and more. I still need to recap that, but it's not often we get 2 uninterrupted weeks together (other than maternity/paternity leave), and it was absolutely the best! Ella is definitely a little beach/water baby and it was the most fun watching her get to experience everything now that she's more alert and into exploring.
~We've been trying for baby #2 naturally for months now, in hopes that we'd be one of the couples that things just "clicked" for after having the first. That's not the case, and it's frustrating, upsetting, depressing and just ugh. We have an appointment with our fertility doctor next week to lay out next steps and get on our way with the next round of our infertility journey. There have been so many tears shed over this, and the feelings of "what's wrong with me?" resurfacing. I've said so many times, I just want to know what it's like to get pregnant naturally, without medicine and doctors, and it just doesn't look like that's in our future which has been hard to come to grips with, a second time around.
All this to say, I'm thankful that there are still options for us, and I am so thankful that we have Ella already. I know there are others waiting for their first pregnancy/baby and I TRULY understand that desire/heartache/struggle. This is just the place that I'm at, once again.
~Going back to work on Monday was a struggle. Ella is in a daycare center near our house for these two weeks before she starts her preschool program after Labor Day. It was the first time that I've had to leave my baby with someone I don't know and trust and that was SO hard. Last weekend was a bag of emotions that I had trouble dealing with (and I was doing it alone since MG was away for a bachelor party until Sunday early afternoon). I've realized even more this summer that being a mom just comes with all kinds of inherent guilt. Having Ella plucked out of my arms Monday morning, crying and likely scared/unsure of what was happening, and leaving her like that broke my heart. I sobbed on my drive to work, feeling like "how could I do that to her?" She was, of course, fine after a few minutes and had a great day...and yesterday she got out of my arms and just walked off to play, no tears. But there is SO much guilt. Working moms, SAHM moms...the guilt is there no matter what.
Morning snuggles before work/daycare:
I appreciated all of you who texted, or sent messages on Instagram checking on us on Monday and Tuesday, knowing it was going to be a tough day for us. I was reminded again why I love this blogging community so much and I've missed you all.

~My mom got us Hamilton tickets!!!!!!! We are going next week and I am still in shock! MG and I have been on the Hamilton train for over 2.5 years. I remember listening to the soundtrack on the drive to see my dad in the hospital, so we've been wanting to see this show for YEARS now. I'm pumped that it's actually happening and so so grateful that my mom made this happen!

On that happier note, I'll depart for today. I'm hoping to be able to get back here regularly now that I'm back to the work grind. 
In the meantime, fill me in on what's been hap-"pinning" with you!

{WHW}: Post Vacay Blues

Happy hump day, friends!
Sorry for the short blog posts the last two weeks--I didn't bring my computer, as I was trying to fully engage in our family vacation.

We got back on Sunday and I haven't had much time to upload my photos from the two weeks we were away, but I wanted to share a few highlight photos before I do a recap post (eventually).

In the meantime, we are all definitely experiencing some post vacation blues. It was incredible having MG with us every day for 2 full weeks. Spending time with our friends and their baby for a week was a ton of fun, and definitely a new experience. And then getting a week with family was the best cherry on top! So many people to love on Ella, and help out with her, let MG and I relax a little bit and really sink into vacation mode.

Our sweet pea took to the beach like a champ--her first sight of the beach and the waves, while walking up with my holding her in my arms, she said "wowwwwwwwwww" which was so cute to see the awe on her face.

Ok, for now here are some highlight photos from the 2 weeks!

Now it's your turn to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

{WHW}: Week Two

It's August!!! Which means only a few more days (a couple of weeks) until I'm back to the grind of work every day.
For now, we are living the dream and going on our second week of vacation at the beach, this week with my in-laws for our annual week at the shore. 
Tons of pictures and things to catch you up on when I return, but for now, I'm soaking up the last few days of family and beach time!

Link up below and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!