Three 31


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KAMDEN // the first year in pictures

Last night, I put Kamden to bed as an 11-month-old infant. Today, he woke up a year old toddler. His birthday marks a significant milestone for us as a family of three and we celebrate a major accomplishment for breastfeeding exclusively for a year as well. We have a lot to celebrate, and we will through the weekend, but for now, I’m going to continue crying my eyes out looking at these pictures (and hundreds others).

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Stay tuned for Kamden’s monthly update, I hope to finish it this weekend. I’ve yet to decide if I’ll continue the monthly updates after his first birthday. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Considering these blogs are his virtual baby book, I’m thinking it’s a good idea. :)


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DETOX WATER // a lazy person’s juice cleanse

This is how I feel right now, only my boobs are much bigger …

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Don’t think for a second I’m jumping on a juicing or fasting bandwagon. No. I’m not even doing this for weight loss. (But if I lose a pound or two, I won’t complain.) Honestly, the best thing that could come from this would be a good burp. A poop would be orgasmic. (TMI?) Seriously, I look and feel like a busted can of biscuits. Thanks to Kamden’s birthday party last Saturday, I’ve eaten more sugary sweets (cake mix cookies, to be exact)  and corn chips with spinach dip in the last three days than I have in 18 months. I drank a cup of Sprite after the birthday party and regretted it immediately. What was I thinking?! I feel like crap because I’ve been eating CRAP – Carbonated drinks, Refined sugar, Artificial and Processed foods. YUCK!

Most juice cleanses are liquid-only meals consisting of raw vegetable and fruit juices and usually last three to seven days. I’m not doing anything extreme, just a simple detox drink once or twice a day to help my body eliminate excess sugar, heavy carbs and fats, and processed junk. I’m still lactating (pumping four to six times a day) so maintaining my breast milk supply is a top priority. This recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment (i.e. juicer machine or blender) and uses simple, readily available ingredients found in your pantry or fridge.

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Add syrup, lemon juice, and pepper to water, mix well, and drink immediately.

Along with my detox concoction, or sweet-n-spicy lemonade as I like to call it, which doesn’t taste bad at all, I’m eating fresh fruit, raw vegetables (minus the creamy dip!), lean proteins, limiting carbs, and drinking plenty of plain ice water. I’m also resuming my daily exercise regimen. (No excuses!) As of today, I’ve been to the gym every day this week. That’s a very good thing for me. Oh, and yesterday was my birthday and all I wanted was a decent bowel movement. I’m still waiting. #keepingitreal


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Finish This #50

Happy Birthday to meeee!!!!!!

Today is my birthday. I’m 21 with 10 years experience. If you’re not good at math, that means I’m 31. But who’s counting?!

FINISH THIS WEEK 50 ….. If this is your first time here, welcome. If you’re a repeat participant, thanks for playing along and joining the shenanigans. Your co-hosts are LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31) and the instructions are simple: answer the prompts on your blog and add the post to the link up. Next week, we’ll do it all over again with a new set of prompts (located at the bottom of this post). Let’s get started!

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The *YEAR IN REVIEW* link up begins December 31 – that’s in TWO weeks. Get your posts ready NOW!
If you are a blogger then you absolutely MUST complete the *YEAR IN REVIEW* questionnaire. If you need some inspiration, click HERE. Please share with others.

1. Getting older
means I’m getting better, hopefully. Turning 30 last year was mind-blowing. Two days after my birthday, I gave birth to Kamden and my life changed forever, in the best way possible. I feel like my relationship with God and faith are stronger than ever; my marriage is incredible; I love being a boy mom; and I’m (slowly) getting stronger and prioritizing my health every day. I am grateful and blessed, and hopefully wiser with age!

2. My best kept secret
wouldn’t be a secret if I told you my best kept secret! Instead, I’ll share a few nuggets of wisdom for you to digest: 1) Never buy cheap toilet paper. Ever. 2)

3. My guilty pleasures
are cookie dough and reading erotic novels. Christian Grey has NOTHING on Gideon Cross, just saying.

4. My favorite place in the world
at home with Husband and Kamden. They are my world.

Prompts for WEEK 51 — December 24
My favorite Christmas tradition
My most memorable Christmas
The best gift I’ve ever received
The gift I’d rather forget


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Kamden’s Winter ONEderland 1st Birthday Party

Later this week, Friday to be exact, you will find me in the corner crying my eyes out because Kamden is one year old. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures from his Winter ONEderland party we hosted last weekend with our closest friends and family.

Photos from Sticky9 made into a number one collage and the magnets were hung on strings attached to a frame with mini clothespins. I sorta-kinda forgot to tell all of our party guests to take a picture or magnet as their party favor when they left our house — oops! No worries, I’ll put them inside the thank-you notes I’m mailing later this week.

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I’m quite impressed with myself and how well the banner turned out, using chalkboard paper and markers. I found this set at Target and wrote the letters myself.

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As usual, I made enough food to feed a platoon but, rest assured, no one left our home hungry. We had rattlesnake bites (sausage and cream cheese in crescent rolls), BBQ meatballs, veggies with ranch, chicken strips from Chick-Fil-A, homemade salsa and spinach dip, and honey ham sandwiches.

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I made several flavors of cake mix cookies to go along with the fresh fruit, mixed nuts, and cupcakes lovingly made and decorated by Simone, my friend, milk bank director, and one of Kamden’s biggest fans. Knowing the party theme was winter ONEderland, she even added sprinkles in the shape of snowflakes on top of each cupcake. Adorable!

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My heart is still swelled with joy seeing our close friends and family in our home to celebrate Kamden’s first birthday. Husband’s parents and oldest brother drove from East Texas (about two hours) and my parents came from Kentucky (14+ hours) to attend this party, plus friends from church and The Little Gym. Husband and I have never had so many vehicles parked in our yard, they were double-stacked all the way to the back fence! In total, there were 28 adults and kids.

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During the party festivities, guests wrote little notes and special messages to Kamden in the book, Where the Wild Things Are. I plan to have a different book available for friends and family to sign next year, making this an annual birthday tradition.

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Kamden’s friends from The Little Gym, Hallie and Jackson, enjoyed the party. It was great having other babies Kamden’s age around. Jackson even took a spin around the family room in Kamden’s walker (that he has outgrown, of course!) and Miss Hallie watched Kamden open all of his gifts. At one point, the three infant/toddlers got tired of all the adult noise and played together in the back bedroom amongst all of the toys, trucks, balls, and noisemakers.

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No first birthday would be complete without a cake smash. For Kamden,  since he’s never had any sweets, we elected against an official smash cake and let him try one of the cupcakes. If he ate it, great. If not, less mess to clean. Surprisingly, Kamden stuck his finger in the icing, licked it, then had the most sour expression on his face. Just like his Daddy, he prefers the cake over the icing. Mommy, however, would rather have the icing than the cake! Nonetheless, he took several bites of the cake and seemed content. After a quick diaper and wardrobe change, it was back to the party and playing with new toys.

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After tasting his first bite of cupcake and icing, Kamden opened presents. Well, Mommy opened presents and Kamden played with the wrapping paper and bows. He was content sitting in my lap until we opened the big box and a Caterpillar dump truck was inside. PawPaw and Mamaw Hutchison, and Uncle Sookie, did good!

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Another big thanks to everyone who came and helped us celebrate Kamden’s first birthday. This party was for Husband and I as much as it was for Kamden – we survived the first year of parenthood! This year has been unbelievable, I can’t believe Kamden is a year old but I am so looking forward to the next year and new adventures of being a boy mom. This Mini Man Child of ours is a keeper!


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Finish This #49

FINISH THIS WEEK 49 ….. If this is your first time here, welcome. If you’re a repeat participant, thanks for playing along and joining the shenanigans. Your co-hosts are LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31) and the instructions are simple: answer the prompts on your blog and add the post to the link up. Next week, we’ll do it all over again with a new set of prompts (located at the bottom of this post). Let’s get started!

FINISHTHIS.linkupbutton

The *YEAR IN REVIEW* link up begins December 31.
If you are a blogger then you absolutely MUST complete the *YEAR IN REVIEW* questionnaire. If you need some inspiration, click HERE. Please share with others.

1. My ideal winter weekend
consists of cold weather (below 50-degrees), watching college football, and eating chili with Fritos chips. For Thanksgiving one year, I’d really love to go to New York City for the Macy’s parade and Christmas tree is Rockefeller Center. I’d also like to spend Christmas in Colorado (or someplace in the Rocky Mountains) surrounded by snow and an actual winter wonderland. And, if I’m planning dreamy vacations, I’d like to spend another Christmas on the beach and build a snowman in the sand. I wouldn’t say no to any of these opportunities – hint to Husband!!!

2. My favorite song lyric

I’ll paint my mood in shades of blue, paint my soul to be with you
I’ll sketch your lips in shaded tones, draw your mouth to my own
I’ll draw your arms around my waist, then all doubt I shall erase
I’ll paint the rain that softly lands on your wind-blown hair
I’ll trace a hand to wipe out your tears, a look to calm your fears
A silhouette of dark and light, while we hold each other oh so tight
I’ll paint a sun to warm your heart, swearing that we’ll never part
I’ll paint the truth, show how I feel try to make you completely real
I’ll use a brush so light and fine, to draw you close and make you mine
I’ll draw the years all passing by, so much to learn so much to try
That’s the colour of my love
And with this ring our lives will start, swearing that we’ll never part
I offer what you cannot buy, devoted love until we die
THE COLOUR OF MY LOVE - Celine Dion

3. I smile because
I have so much to be grateful for, including my faith, family, friends, and good health. I’m smiling because my parents are here  and we’re celebrating Kamden’s first birthday this Saturday. It’s so good to be with them and watch them love on their one and only grandchild. I am incredibly blessed!

Prompts for WEEK 50 — December 17
Getting older is
My best kept secret
My guilty pleasure
My favorite place in the world


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Finish This #48

FINISH THIS WEEK 48 ….. If this is your first time here, welcome. If you’re a repeat participant, thanks for playing along and joining the shenanigans. Your co-hosts are LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31) and the instructions are simple: answer the prompts on your blog and add the post to the link up. Next week, we’ll do it all over again with a new set of prompts (located at the bottom of this post). Let’s get started!

FINISHTHIS.linkupbutton

The *YEAR IN REVIEW* link up begins December 31.
If you are a blogger then you absolutely MUST complete the *YEAR IN REVIEW* questionnaire. If you need some inspiration, click HERE. Please share with others.

1. My biggest fan
is my husband. My entire family is very supportive of me, I don’t want to dismiss any of them.

2. My great blessing is
Kamden. The love I have for this child is indescribable; I can’t imagine being a mom to anyone else, which is why he’ll be an only child!

3. Sometimes, all you need to feel better about life is
is a good cry sesh, a big spoonful of cookie dough, and a phone call with your mother. I may or may not have participated in all three activities recently. Being a mom is hard.

Prompts for WEEK 49 — December 10
My ideal winter weekend
My favorite song lyric
I smile because


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Resolution Update // November 2014

11 months down, one to go. Holy sh*t, I better get busy!

BLOG RELATED
co-host a weekly link-up called “Finish This” The *FINISH THIS* link up is going strong, despite a decrease in participation the past few weeks. I have a special end-of-year questionnaire post coming up in December that I hope is popular and lots of people join the fun. Will you join me?
attend the Texas Women Bloggers’ Farm-to-Table event Major success! And I wore *THE* ex-bridesmaid dress to boot too. It was epic. And a prime example of what not to wear to a social gathering. 
write a guest post for someone Sharing my human milk donor story on Lexy’s blog.
write a monthly update for Kamden

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

be featured on The Wise Baby
develop relations with more bloggers
reach 500 followers on Twitter
*BLOG-RELATED NEWS*
I applied, and was accepted, to the writing team of MOMquery, a website dedicated to providing encouragement, answering questions, introducing products and gears, and being a reliable, authentic, and REAL resource for moms written by moms! My first published article, “I Exclusively Breast Pump” can be found HERE. I’m really excited about this new endeavor, an exciting opportunity to work with some amazing women/mom/bloggers, and share my experiences along this journey called motherhood. Stay tuned for more! :)

PHOTOGRAPHY RELATED
have professional newborn photos taken of Kamden photos taken Dec 30, 2013 by Jennifer Wynne Photography
learn Lightroom On-going process, but coming along nicely. LR is so much easier, less overwhelming than Photoshop. I’m glad I made the investment and switched!
acquire this lens
take lessons with a professional
have professional family portraits taken for our 2014 Christmas card YESSSS!!!!!! I can finally say I have portraits of us as a family of three for a Christmas card. I’m beyond excited. Our session was yesterday (Nov 30) so hopefully I’ll get the proofs back soon and order our cards ASAP.

FOOD & DRINK
bake homemade bread in my Le Creuset loaf pan I baked Honey Butter Beer Bread and gave it to the Zachry family since I’m refraining from all alcohol while lactating. They approved of my creation. 
eat at a celebrity chef’s restaurant
prepare Kamden’s baby food purees SUCCESS! Kamden had his first bite of pureed food on May 18. I peeled, sliced, and cooked two apples then pureed with breast milk until smooth. I divided the mixture into an ice cube tray, put the tray in the freezer, and several hours later put the “cubes” into a Ziploc bag. I did the same thing with a ripe banana and avocado. Kamden loves both and I’m excited to continue exploring new foods with him. His next food introduction will be sweet potatoes. Mmmm!!!!
JUNE UPDATE: In the freezer, there are now several Ziploc bags of pureed cubes … applesauce, avocado + banana, sweet potatoes, peach + banana, kale + spinach + avocado, and blueberry + peach
JULY UPDATE: Kamden is mostly interested in the bottle of breast milk. He’s just not that in to the pureed stuff. One or two licks of the spoon and he’s done. No biggie, really, we’ll keep trying.
AUGUST UPDATE: Nothing new to report, really. Kamden’s only truly interested in breast milk and pushes away spoons with pureed solids. I made a batch of homemade teething cookie bars that he likes to hold in his chubby fingers and lick, especially since I keep them in the freezer and they’re cold.
SEPTEMBER UPDATE: Kamden loves him some banana …. the kid really is a monkey!
OCTOBER UPDATE: Kamden is enjoying solids on a more consistent basis, but he still doesn’t eat very much of them. He loves bananas though and can polish off half of one all by himself. He’ll accept pureed avocado, applesauce, and sweet potatoes from a spoon. He is also eating banana-flavored Puffs. We’ll try new flavors soon.

create a monthly meal plan
host a dinner party Success! Hosted the Zachry family while my mom and aunt were visiting from Kentucky. I roasted a pork loin and, if I don’t say so myself, it was damn awesome.
prepare a dish with curry
eat Neopolitan pizza at Cavalli Pizzeria in Irving
try a new food
JANUARY: I’ve spent more than $100 on specialty lactation products said to increase breast milk supply. I have organic rolled oats and flax seeds, essential oils, and granola mix. If milk isn’t squirting out of my nipples every time I sneeze, I’ll be disappointed.
FEBRUARY:
I found the perfect recipe for LACTATION COOKIES.
NOVMEBER:
I’ve been eating my weight (not really) in fresh organic kale with a lemon and garlic vinaigrette and dried cranberries and raisins. YUMMY!

PEOPLE & PLACES TO VISIT
Thompson family reunion in Louisville, KY SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kamden rode on an airplane for the first time; met his maternal great-grandmother and more aunts, uncles, cousins, and family than he knows what to do with; and, overall, travelled like a champion.
Perot Science Museum in Dallas, TX

THINGS TO DO
meet with a lawyer and create our wills
open a savings account for Kamden
have my gallbladder removed and tubes tied I had surgery March 4 and the pain was worse than childbirth, especially in my shoulder from the CO2 gas used to “expand” my abdomen during the procedure. Four weeks post-op, my shoulder is tender but doctors assure me the discomfort will subside. I’m so thankful my mom was here with Husband to take care of Kamden while I recovered. I had to “pump and dump” for 24 hours but, thanks to the milk stash in the freezer, Kamden had plenty to eat.
have my DSLR professionally cleaned DONE! Probably the best 75-bucks I’ve spent in a VERY long time. I highly recommend Fort Worth Camera for their camera cleaning services. I won’t wait five years to have my camera cleaned again!
renew my gym membership DONE! Renewed my gym membership on March 31.
hire a personal trainer
wear a size 12
get fitted for a bra
plan a weekend getaway with Husband
plan an overnight girls trip
go hog hunting
compete in a shooting tournament Unofficially officially succeeded at this one – Husband and I shot clay pigeons in the pasture and we made the last four count as bragging rights. He broke one while I shot both of mine clean. Winner-Winner-Chicken-Dinner!!!!!!!
compete in a golf tournament Played in the Glen Lake Golf Classic on Friday, April 11 with three men from church, we shot a respectable 9-under par. We had  a lot of fun and I played much better than anticipated!
go to the eye doctor
see a dermatologist DONE! On April 10, I received a full body skin analysis and the ‘mole’ that I was most concerned about is not even a mole but rather scar tissue and poses no cancer risk. The mysterious rash that appeared the day Kamden was born is eczema and is now gone thanks to prescription steroid ointment. I was diagnosed with adult acne — not a big shock — and using a new cleanser (morning and night) and applying a prescription solution before moisturizing at night. I’ve seen improvements and will share details in a separate blog post later.
watch Jerusalem, the IMAX film Nov 16 – Done! Watched the film at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and Nature. The IMAX “dome” there is quite the experience in itself, I’m not sure I like the round screen. The film about Jerusalem was excellent, though I had very high expectations having been there. I didn’t want it to end and 45 minutes in the city that’s home to the world’s three major religions is just not enough time!
sell my car
buy a used SUV
attend a bridal shower
attend a wedding
attend a baby shower
attend a non-Christian religious event or ceremony
go to a concert
go to a musical or play
go to a college sporting event
go to a professional sporting event
take pictures for someone I have re-energized my blog and photography page — please like Three 31 Photography & Blog on Facebook — and begun taking pictures again. I took pictures for a group of high school students going to PROM, as well as family portraits of the Zachry’s. I have a few more appointments this summer scheduled too.
donate to a worthy cause
MARCH 27 — I donated my wedding dress to the NICU Helping Hands Foundation for the Angel Gowns project. You can read about my experience HERE.
APRIL 30 — I donated 367 ounces of breast milk to the Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas.
MAY 22 — Donated 367 ounces of breast milk to MMBNT and toured the processing facility.
JULY 1 — Donated 619 ounces.
JULY 28 — Took my Mom to the milk bank to see the processing facility and meet the ladies, plus I donated 431 ounces.
SEPTEMBER 23 — Delivered 625 ounces of breast milk to MMBNT.
NOVEMBER 25 – Donated 545 ounces to the Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas.
clean out my closet DONE! Took six LARGE garbage bags full of clothes, shoes, and unwanted household items to Goodwill on April 12.
write a letter

WISH TO HAVE
MacBook Pro
Lightroom 5 purchased April 24
square-toe cowboy boots
Warby Parker glasses

BOOKS I WANT TO READ
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child This was an impulse purchase at 3:00am when I was trying to soothe a fussy newborn who would NOT go to sleep.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
Inferno
All Is Grace Rev. L suggested this right before she left for another trip to Jerusalem, which I’m pea green with envy about since she’ll be floating in the Dead Sea and eating shawarma without me. It’s a book I would have never found on my own but one I enjoyed. The author, Brennan Manning, a recovering alcoholic and former Franciscan priest, shares tales of his spiritual journey and how he has experienced God’s grace in a variety of ways in the strangest of places. ‘Tis a good read.
The Signature of All Things
Happier At Home

MONTHLY GOALS
January:
mail Kamden’s birth announcements FAIL but let me explain: we received Kamden’s birth day photos and I ordered the announcement cards last week. Hopefully, they ship soon so I can address envelopes and mail them before Valentine’s Day. Which brings me to next month’s goals……

February: Create a photo project for Valentine’s Day and send to the grandparents. DONE. Photo albums were mailed to the grandparents and two great-grandmothers on February 13. Address and mail Kamden’s birth announcements. DONE. Birth announcements were mailed to 65 friends and family on February 13. Schedule surgery to remove gallbladder and dismantle baby-making machinery. DONE. Surgery is scheduled March 4. Have 100 ounces of breast milk in the freezer by the end of the month. DONE. There are 52 bags, each containing six ounces, and, if my math is correct, that’s 312 ounces of breast milk collected in just ONE month —  I’m a machine!

March: Visit Lara in Salado. SUCCESS — Mom, Kamden, and I visited Salado United Methodist Church on March 9. Lara even used Kamden as an impromptu sermon illustration about letting go of control and having child-like faith. Her husband, Travis, prepared a delicious lunch for all of us and we spent most of the afternoon in their home visiting and talking and laughing and having a wonderful time. I miss my Rev. L, so any time I can get with her is a blessing. Send more photos of Kamden to the grandparents and great-grandmothers. DONE! Write more blog posts. Along with Kamden’s monthly updates and the weekly #FinishThis link up I co-host, I posted an anniversary tribute to Husband, a list of motherhood essentials for the first three months with baby, and some random thoughts from my Lenten journey. Instead of giving something up for 40 days, I decided to take something on and read the New Testament with #MargaretFeinberg. Celebrate our seventh anniversary with dinner and a movie. PARTIALLY SUCCESSFUL! We treated ourselves to a barbeque dinner Sunday night, the day before our anniversary, but there was no movie involved. There are movies coming out soon that I want to see though, I’ll ask Husband for a rain check!

April: Read a book to Kamden every day. FAIL. We play and interact all the time, but I don’t always read a book to him. Nominating myself for bad parent award. Purchase an outfit for Easter. I wore this dress from Old Navy. Visit a dermatologist for the rash (eczema?) on my left wrist. DONE. Visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. FAIL. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, every day (#1800MinuteChallenge). Partial success – I exercised 950 minutes and went to the gym almost every week day.

May: Visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. FAIL, but it’s on my to-do list in June. Complete the #1800minutechallenge. Major Success — not only did I complete the 1,800 minute challenge, but I exceeded it by exercising 2,160 minutes in 60 days. Not bad, huh!? Attend Mayfest at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. Fail. Host a girls’ dinner party. Semi-success because I had dinner with a friend and her daughter, plus two of her friends, but I’ve rescheduled the girls’ night I had planned originally. Donate more breast milk. Success — I’m a pumping machine! Celebrate my first Mother’s Day. Success — Husband and Kamden made my first Mother’s Day truly special with a sweet/funny card and took me out for dinner. Complete an online tutorial for Lightroom. Success — thank goodness for Pinterest, YouTube, and photographers’ blogs with video and text tutorials! Take pictures and edit them using Lightroom. Success.

June: Visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. FAIL, but it’s on my to-do list in July. Introduce Kamden to the swimming pool. SUCCESS … the water was a little chilly (we went at 10:30am) but he got used to it and enjoyed it. He was more aggravated by the hat I put on him more than the water. With more visits, and warmer temperatures, he’ll enjoy it! Lose 10 pounds. Losing weight is hard work. Like most people, I pay quite a bit attention to the number on the scale and, as a result, I get disappointed when the number increases after a week of relentless exercise, fitness classes, weight circuit training, and better food choices. According to my weekly measurements in the ‘Biggest Transformation’ competition at the gym, I am losing inches. Bad news: the scale number has not changed. Good news: I’m building muscle and that weighs more than fat. Attend an “ALPHA” group exercise class at the fitness center. SUCCESS … and I lived to tell about it. Seriously, the most intense workout but totally worth the sweat. Eat clean for an entire month — no white bread, white flour, sugar, or processed foods. Semi-Success. I eliminated all white bread except for one ham sandwich when we were out of wheat bread and I also had a hamburger bun. I avoid refined sugar like the plague but I’m addicted to Nature Valley ‘Oats N Honey’ granola bars and I’m pretty sure those are considered processed since they do not grow naturally in the world. Bummer. Celebrate Husband’s first Father’s Day. SUCCESS … Husband asked for pictures of Kamden for his desk at work and I happily obliged. I also created a collage using the letters D-A-D, similar to the collage I created for myself on Mother’s Day and spelled M-O-M. Husband loved them all. How could he not when our child is so adorable and delicious?! Create layout design for a gallery wall in the living room. FAIL, but there are LOTS of new pins on my Pinterest board … does that count?! I need to go through the photos and frames I already have and start from there. A gallery wall is overwhelming but I love the look, it’s going to happen soon.

July: Visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. FAIL … I really, really need new contacts and glasses. This MUST get done in the near future. Prepare a special dinner for Husband’s birthday. I don’t remember exactly what I fixed for Husband’s birthday dinner, but I’m sure it was special and, of course, homemade. Lose five pounds. FAIL … but I’m losing inches. Does that count for anything besides making me extremely frustrated?! Limit myself to one granola bar a day. FAIL … yeah right, like I have self-control to eat just one! Get a copy of Kamden’s birth certificate and call Southwest Airlines to get details on flying with an infant as a lap-child. DONE! Flying Southwest with a child has to be the BEST airline choice and Kamden’s first trip away from home was a huge success. He’s such a great baby and excellent traveler. And I’m not saying that because he’s mine, he really is an amazing child! Have lunch/dinner with a friend. DONE AND DONE … Lunch with the Zachry ladies and dinner with Heather, I’d say I’m pretty blessed with friends who like to eat. Start an editorial calendar for my blog. SEMI-SUCCESS … I have the calendar. I have some ideas for scheduled blog posts. I do not have said posts written or edited. I really need to work on writing more often, especially with the incredible opportunity I’ve been given with a major website. Eeek, excited to share more, later!

August: Visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. For real, this month. Nope, failed again. I’m such a loser. Exercise five consecutive days, at least an hour each day. Major failure. Publish two (additional) blog posts each week. Fail. Clear out Kamden’s wardrobe of clothes that no longer fit or he doesn’t wear anymore and post them online to sell. Fail.

September: Visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Fail. This is bordering on ridiculous. I’ve got one pair of contacts left, so it’s just a matter of time before I’m walking around blind as a bat or looking like a nerd in my glasses. Complete and exceed the #1500in30 exercise challenge (1500 minutes in 30 days) and lose 10lbs. Fail on both accounts — time at the gym and the weight loss. Start outlining a book study I’m creating. Fail, didn’t even open the book I’m supposed to be outlining. Begin The Story Bible study at church. SUCCESS! Began this study on Wednesday, September 24 and really enjoyed the first session. Let’s hope my enthusiasm and enjoyment lasts another 31 weeks. Participate in the American Heart Association Heart Walk. SUCCESS! Despite the weather, it was a lot of fun to walk around the Fort Worth Stockyards for a great cause. Eat (relatively) clean for 30 days, eliminating processed foods, sugars, and carbohydrates. MAJOR FAIL. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Read The Bible Storybook to Kamden every day, for at least 30 minutes. Semi-success. We’ve been reading every day but not The Storybook because Kamden likes to grab pages and I’m afraid he’ll tear pages out. Schedule at least one additional mini-session for Three 31 Photography. Semi-Success. Another friend got engaged and we’re trying to figure out a good date for pictures. But it’s going to happen! Write three articles for MOMquery. Two complete, one on the way. Run the vacuum once a week for a month. Success. I’ve also been mopping the floors on a regular basis. And “maintaining” better. But I’m still not ready for an impromptu “white glove” test. Purchase a new mattress set for our master bedroom. Fail.

October: Visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Guess what? I still haven’t gone to the eye doctor. I know, shocking. Go to the gym at least four days every week. EPIC FAIL. I didn’t make it to the gym for an entire week, but I had a legitimate reason: Kamden wasn’t feeling well and I don’t want to be THAT MOM who takes her sick child to a public place with others. That’s just rude and my Mom raised me better than that! Complete two “photography projects” at church. Half success – half failure. I took pictures at Pumpkin Patch but the other “project” is still under development. Complete a 30-day elimination diet. I am currently on day nine of no nightshades (i.e. potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers). Stay tuned for more details in tomorrow’s blog post!

November: I’d like to get new contacts and glasses before the end of 2014, but we know my track record for this is less than stellar. I’m going to include it in my goal list though. Still not glasses or contacts …. but I’m going to make this happen in December. I promise. Do a portrait session for a high school senior. Jamie’s senior portraits turned out really fabulous, I’m proud of them. Decorate for Christmas and Kamden’s first birthday party. Semi-Success. The decorating is still underway. Host a mini-Thanksgiving meal at our home with friends. Fail. Order family portraits and Christmas cards. Fail – my photographer got sick!.

December: Glasses and contacts. Reschedule portrait session and order Christmas cards, address envelopes, and mail them by my birthday, December 17. Host a fabulous first birthday party for Kamden with friends and family.

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