Friday, December 28, 2012

Whew! I made it...

It is 2:10 mountain time on Friday, December 28, 2012.  Today is the last work day of 2012 for me.  My very generous employer is giving us a full paid day off on December 31 when usually it's only a half-day.  I'll take it! Especially because I can say that I survived 2012 without taking a single vacation day!

The past 365 days have been a whirlwind for us.

It started in January with three business trips and a baby shower.

February followed with a business trip, a baby shower, and an overnight stay in the hospital.

March was a little more quiet as we readied ourselves for Bryan's arrival.

April kicked off with my birthday and eleven days later the birth of our son.

May was maternity leave whereby I cried through dinner, cried on the phone to my closest of friends, learned about the witching hour and the value of a baby swing.

June brought maternity leave to an end and daycare to a beginning (including a change in providers).  It also marked the passing of my last living grandparent.  I feel so fortunate to have had Bryan before she left this world.  She stuck around long enough to make some really great blankets for our little Nugget!  Thanks, Gram!

July was filled with visits from family and friends, an effort to sell our house, a broken air conditioner and a lesson in friendship.  Thanks Christie and Alan!

August gave us our first babysitter for Bryan (Ms. Ashley, we really do love you!), the house off the market, estimates on finishing the basement and my first client meeting requiring a business suit.  Ill-fitting as it was, it still worked!

September brought us a long trip to MI for work and time with family.  It also marked my first night away from Nuggs.  It was harder on me than on him.  And I didn't sleep a wink that night.  But I made it!

October celebrated our anniversary and my brother's wedding (which I missed and am still sad about).  We learned that Bryan doesn't have asthma (at least not yet) but still needs breathing treatments.  But he can sit up by himself!

November was Chris' first night(s) alone with Bryan.  It was only one night, but it was two bedtimes.  They both survived!  Bryan's first Thanksgiving in Rowland style with my family, Chris' family, and my cousin and two of his buddies.  It was a perfect day!  With contractors in our house for 3 1/2 weeks to finish our basement, it was completed without a minute to spare. The day after completion, my parents arrived and stayed in the new Grandparent Suite!

December.  Two nights for Bryan and Chris to play, and two nights away for me.  There was some fun had, but I was as sick as a dog so didn't get to enjoy much of it.  Chris' birthday came and went while I was gone, but he survived.  Bryan cut his first two teeth early in the month and is cutting the top two as I type.  We are hoping it goes fast in that we are all needing a good night's sleep.

There is so much to be proud of in 2012.  It has been an adventure.  And at times mentally exhausting with no end in sight.  There have been lessons learned and puzzles solved.  Belly laughs and crocodile tears.  Aches and pains, and miles of accomplishments.  And through it all, I can say that I made it. We made it.

May 2013 be as tremendous and triumphant as 2012 has been!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

26 (point two)

This blog is not about how I feel about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It is not about guns or security or "what is this world coming to."  Nope.  If you are reading this, you are likely a close friend or family member and probably already know how I feel about all of it.  I am sad. I am mad. I am inspired.

How is it possible that I am inspired by any of this?  Well, that would be a complicated and quite lengthy answer.  And I am not even sure that it's one I can articulate today, or probably ever for that matter.  But the gist is that I am inspired to make the world I live in a better place. Better for me.  Better for my family.  And especially better for Bryan.  I want him to know the love I feel for strangers.  I want him to see the good in everything.  And I want for him to know that bad things happen to good people and it is up to the rest of us carry the torch and make things better.

This morning, I logged in to my iGoogle page (which is essentially an RSS feed of my favorite blogs) and my top two are Another Mother Runner and A Happy Little Family.  This morning, my favorite Mother Runners posted about the 26 acts of kindness and paying it forward.  And my favorite mother runner reader, Lisa posted an update to the Mother Runner blog.

Here's my contribution to the 26 acts of kindness.  And in typical Jenna fashion, it's a list!

1.  Between now and the end of the year, I will share 26 random acts of kindness with others.  My typical holiday giving will not count.  If you want to know what I am doing, you can follow me on Twitter.  Ann Curry (NBC News) has created the #26Acts trend on Twitter and just announced that those participating should take pictures and  post videos for Rock Center.  I will not be participating in that part.  I believe that random acts of kindness are not about the recognition you receive for being kind, but rather how you make another person feel.  I will  hashtag (that's the # in Twitter speak) my acts with #26Acts hoping that it helps add to the infectiousness of the trend.  Not because I want recognition.

2.  In 2013, I am registered for two half marathons.  That's 26.2 miles of long racing.  I will direct my "Braver. Stronger. Smarter." mantra to 20 children, 4 teachers, and the shooter's mother as I run one mile for each of them.  The last mile I will run FAST will be my way to demonstrate the need to put an end to violence.  The final two-tenths of a mile is for me.  To remind myself that one person can make a difference.

I guess it's a short list today.  That just means it will be easier to remember.

Merry Wooley and do something extraordinary today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry Wooley!

It seems like Thanksgiving was last week.  Time is absolutely flying around here.  Between work trips and illnesses, we've been a little crazy around these parts.  There's been a lot of fun had.  And this weekend is no exception.  Saturday nigh we head downtown to see White Christmas and I am over the moon excited.  Here's hoping my cough will subside enough by then to not interrupt the performance!  I don't think I've ever had bronchitis before, but I gotta tell's a beat down.  With no time to spare in this last month of the year, my clients certainly aren't taking it easy on me.  But thankfully, this also means that by next Friday, I will be completely caught up and on easy street until January 2!

So, as we wrap up the Christmas preparations and let the excitement for the holiday build, I thought I'd take a time out and share a picture and a couple videos of our little Nugget. I am convinced he's getting cuter by the minute!

No, that's not a quirky smile you are's five seconds short of a full on FIT because he does  NOT like his new jacket.  He's getting used to the hat, however!

We've been having some fun with Puffs.  He really does not love them, but they dissolve quickly in his mouth so that he can get used to the chewing action.  Wait until the end.  Looks like he takes after Papa Doug with that shiver!  That means it's perfect!

There's been lots of this around this house.  Bryan had another ear infection the week I was in Dallas, and my ever-perfect little Nugget contaminated me once again (but I'll never stop kissing and loving on him!).  

And just in case I don't get a chance to blog again before Christmas, I wish you all a very Merry Wooley and am very much looking forward to seeing most of you in February! We will be in MI for two weeks!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


It's the theme of the Rowland house this December.  Busy.  It started on Saturday, December 1.  On that day, my sole sister (Lisa) and I were finally able to lace up again for the first time since August 2011.  Between my pregnancy and baby and her pregnancy and baby, we overlapped enough to be out of it for more than a year.  Lisa had her third baby (a little girl) seven weeks ago and was just given the green light to start running.

We managed to limp out three and a half miles together.  We ran one and a quarter, walked one then ran the rest.  It was a wonderful day and we are both so glad to have our Saturday mornings together every week from now until half-marathon day in May with only a few exceptions.

Saturday night, Chris and I went to a University of Denver hockey game.  It's not the Red Wings, or even the NHL, but at least it was hockey.

Monday (yesterday), Bryan went back to the pediatrician and has another really bad ear infection.  So, last night was a big fat bummer.  He finally settled down around 11:30 pm and slept until morning.  Poor little guy.  And my poor washing machine.  The antibiotics will cause several blowouts daily.  I guess I'll have to go buy more onesies.  I refuse to scrub those suckers anymore.  It's just gross.

Today I am getting my ducks in a row to leave tomorrow for Dallas until Friday.  Oh, and Chris' birthday is Thursday and he's not happy about it.  Apparently caring for our son on his birthday while I am out of town did not make the list of "best birthday ever" criteria.  I don't really blame him, I guess.  So, to make up for it, here's what I am doing today:
I just finished baking four dozen of his favorite cookies
This afternoon I am making lasagna with a homemade bolognese sauce
I have to run to the store to pick up a bunch of birthday cards because I am hiding little gifts all over the house for him to find.  Gift cards to his favorite places so he can have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the places he loves.

I am also headed to the Carters store to buy more PJ's for Nuggs.  He has only two jammies that fit him and even wearing them each twice doesn't leave a lot of room for error and/or forgetting to get the laundry started.

I get home on Friday afternoon and on Saturday morning, Lisa and I are running the Ugly Sweater 5k. And Saturday night, we are headed downtown for Chris' birthday dinner.

Next Saturday we are going to see White Christmas at the Buell Theater downtown and on that Sunday our neighborhood is hosting a cookie exchange (ensue more banking) and then on the 21st Chris' parents fly in for the holiday.

I'll sleep in January, I guess.  But not on Saturdays when Lisa and I run and Nuggs has swimming lessons!  Holy catfish.  Why am I starting to get the feeling that weekends will be like this for the next 18ish years?  But I love every second of it!