The Grand House

Taking SHAPE!

We filled up another dumpster! (And by we, I mean, Mark!)

Mark and my dad spent the last couple weekends clearing out the remaining debris from inside the house we are renovating.

This gorgeous house was built in the 1800s and (we think) was a funeral home or maybe a doctor’s office. It then became one family house…then was turned into two apartments…and then finally turned back into one house when we bought it from the previous owners.

Because it went through SO MANY changes, there were weirdly shaped rooms, awkward spaces and strange staircases. Mark and I gutted the entire inside to start FRESH!

Mark designed all new floor plans for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors and we have framers coming in to help us build the new walls and staircases!

I’m attaching several videos of a recent walk through we did with Henry.

We are VERY EXCITED about the vision for this beautiful house!

I don’t care if we have to eat baked beans out of the can to have the money to get it done! HAHAHA!

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Family

Body After Baby!

I get lots of questions about my fitness routine during and after my pregnancy…especially how I got back into shape after I had Henry.

I’m totally fine with those questions, I even welcome them, because I can be pretty vain and I was VERY CONCERNED about gaining weight during pregnancy.

There are women stronger and more evolved than I, but I’m one of those women who struggles with body image and places a good chunk of my self worth on my appearance and size. I’m doing a lot of soul searching and trying to work on that!! 🙂

For me, during pregnancy, I focused on walking as much as possible and did as many squats and pushups as I could. My body didn’t like to spin or run while I was pregnant, and so I just tried to WALK WALK WALK.

I also REALLY paid attention to the extra calories I was eating for baby. You really don’t need that much. I gained 27 pounds while pregnant and my doctor said 20-30 pounds was recommended.

As soon as Henry was born, I lost 20 pounds in the first week. Breastfeeding full time took care of the next five pounds.

I added walking almost immediately after I had Henry. I tried to get 12,000 steps a day. That got rid of the rest, but I noticed my weight started to creep back up when Henry started eating real food and cut down on breastfeeding.

To fix that, I had to make time to go to the gym. I get one long sweat sesh in every weekend (sometimes 2!) and at least one during the week.

I really, REALLY believe that Health is Wealth. For me, exercise makes me feel great and is the best thing for my mind, heart and soul. Diet-wise, I do the 80-20 rule. 80% of the day is devoted to real, healthy foods and 20% is for my daily sweets!

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One of THOSE Moms

I joke with my friends that I’m gonna be one of those National Geographic moms who breastfeeds their kid forever.

Henry is almost 14 months and still nursing exclusively. (He also eats like a grown man and would’ve eaten his entire birthday cake if we let him!)

There was a moment when I thought I should wean him because I didn’t want other people to think I was weird.

Can I just tell you…I’M SO OVER THAT!

Now that Henry’s older, our nursing sessions are even more about bonding than they were before.

When he nurses, he’ll stop every minute or so and just smile at me…or coo at me…or say Momma, Momma, Momma!

My heart SOARS every time!

I want to point out that I am lucky to still be nursing because I have a husband, parents and work family who were/are very supportive and my body naturally makes a good supply of milk.

I also think I’ve been successful at nursing because I didn’t put any expectations on myself.

When he was born, I told myself I would try to breastfeed but if it didn’t work…it would be fine. I told myself the same thing at 6 months and a year.

Not trying to meet some ridiculous expectation took the stress off.

So, to all my baby Mommas out there, do what works for you, don’t put crazy expectations on yourself and don’t care one bit about what other people think!

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The Row House

Baby proofing to the MAX!

We love our cool little house, but we definitely designed it for adults with its exposed brick and hard wood floors, a concrete dining room table and floating stairs with sharp edges.

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I love our house even more with our 13-month-old in it even though we are constantly trying to make sure he doesn’t slip, fall or crack his head on a corner.

Now, we are baby proofing to the max and Henry is helping.

He helped his Daddy pick up and carry out these pipe insulators from Home Depot.

We put them on the edges of our stairs. Of course, Henry’s favorite thing is to take them off!

My little man…I love how he is a mini version of Mark with his love of all things Home Depot!

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New Year, Better Us

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions but I am going to try something this year.

For 2018, we’re going to set an “intention” for our family. And this intention is going to be a guide post for how we live our life this year.

I’ve been feeling an energy in my soul over the last few months and it’s saying “have no fear.” Do not let fear rule your life, make your decisions, influence your happiness or take the enthusiasm out of an opportunity.

So that’s what we’re going to strive for in 2018. Whether that means moving forward on a big project with the house…or taking on something new at work…or going after a passion that fills our hearts and brings us joy.

I think only GOOD can come from that!

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The Grand House

Christmas with the Champion Eater!

You know Christmas is going to be great when Hank the Tank looks this good in his holiday pajamas!!!

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Sweet baby boy did not disappoint this Christmas…he woke up VERY HAPPY although he has no idea who Santa is and could have cared less that we bought him a Tickle Me Elmo.

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Henry’s Nana and Pap went all out with the gifts for him and cousins Lily and Caroline.

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Henry got like 20 new truck books and a tiny keyboard that he points at and shouts “Oooooo!!!”

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We also celebrated Christmas with a non-stop day of eating. Henry, you know, is a champion eater who had ham and eggs in the morning…3 different casseroles at his Aunt Susie’s for lunch…and prime rib, potatoes and tiramisu at his favorite Aunt Trudy’s!

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I didn’t get Mark a gift and he didn’t get me one…we put a new roof on the new house instead.

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I always thought I’d love diamonds under the tree…but now I’m a girl who gets excited about new shingles and a french door that’s coming in a few weeks!

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The Grand House

Dormer Demolition!

We made some BIG progress on the new house in the past several weeks! Yay!

Mark and my super fantastic brother-in-law, Kevin, got on the roof and demo-ed the two dormers.

Our plan is for that third floor to be two kids rooms with a bathroom, and so we wanted to double the size of the dormers to make that space bigger.

Mark and Kevin got all the demolition done in about six hours and did not fall off the roof. SUCCESS!

We then had an AMAZING Amish crew come in and rebuild the new, bigger dormers.

Mark wanted to help, but the crew was so talented that he just stayed out of their way and watched and learned!

We love how the expanded dormers add so much light and extra height room!

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