Improvising + I spoke way too soon.

It’s that time of year where I realize that I HAVE to find a way to get some fresh air and sunlight in at some point throughout the day.  I was going to walk on the treadmill but decided that what my brain really needed was time outside even if that meant it was going to freeze my face a bit.  If I go a day or two without being outside I really notice how much it effects my mood.  I came home a completely different person yesterday morning.

It was lightly snowing for the majority of the time and it was so peaceful outside.

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Rewind to the first picture that I took of the day—> Remember in my baby post how I wrote about Beck now doing 3-4 hour stretches at night?  Well, I spoke too soon and he was up every 90 minutes.   This lack of sleep is causing me to forget very easy/common words when I am talking to people.  I think Beck took out a part of my brain with him when he was born;)

My hair was evidence of the rough night:

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Skye dressed herself yesterday as you can tell…

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Megan D brought me dinner and dessert!  She puts together this combo below (she sautés the peppers and onion with bbq chicken on the stove to go over the rice) and brought it for us to make for a quick, delicious and easy dinner.

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We all loved it, you must try this combo.

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She also brought the most perfect dessert.  I’m REALLY into cookies right now and the Twisted Sugar peppermint cookies are officially the best peppermint cookies ever (sorry Sodalicious, you are now in second place).  The other two were banana cream pie and they are also heavenly.  I want to send you each a box of these cookies right now.

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We had a special event with the girls last night.  Brooke and I have had the tradition to go to the Nutcracker together every year and she was so bummed that we wouldn’t be able to go this year.  We decided to surprise Brooke and Skye and have a special Nutcracker night at home.

Andrew made the tickets.

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We had the girls dress up.

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And we watched the Nutcracker (on Amazon Prime) on the couch.    It was perfect and I am so glad we could continue the tradition this year in a new way.

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Beck slept through the entire thing:)

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How have you changed or adjusted any of your traditions this time of year to work with all that is going on in 2020?

Have a favorite frozen meal from TJs?  SHARE WITH US PLEASE!

Favorite holiday treat—> Give me the details?  

Do you find that fresh air/sunlight are important for your mental health or do you not notice much of a difference with or without it?

-I notice a HUGE difference and I think that is partly why I love running so much—> It gets me outside.

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43 comments

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Awww those Nutcracker tickets are so cute!! VIPs. What a wonderful idea! I did a virtual cookie decorating night with friends, which was fun!

YES, I need sunlight and fresh air too, even if it’s cold. It makes a HUGE difference in my mood.

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Virtual cookie decorating night… okay, that sounds like a blast! I hope you get some sunlight today… enjoy your Wednesday!

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I would be interested in a day in your life with times. I have a newborn and a 3 year old and want to figure out how to fit in workouts, ideally in the morning but I also like to sleep!

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Great idea for The Nutcracker!!! I love how the value of the ticket is $1,000,000. I think we’ll all look back on this time and have some fond memories of a “different” year!

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Hahah Andrew thought he was pretty clever with that:). I totally agree with you Jenny! Have a beautiful day.

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I definitely notice a difference in my attitude when I am out in the sunshine more. Especially this time of year when it gets dark so early I really need to get out a little each day!

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I hope this winter you are able to get plenty of sunlight… our souls NEED IT! Have a great day Sloan.

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Omg the Nutcracker tradition continued at home?! Cue the sappy tears from me. Andrew spared no expense on those tickets at $1,000,000 each!

Favorite holiday treat is sugar cookies which might sound lame but hear me out. This recipe is from my great grandma or grandma forget which and we only make them around Christmas. So naturally I eat about 2896329 on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Last year, I made them for the staff at my old apartment building and one of the guys said he almost didn’t get any since he kids were devouring them since they were so good.

I can tell a difference when I don’t get fresh air! Luckily my doggo has to go on bathroom walks so even on crappy weather days I get some which is nice

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Can you please share the recipe?

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Hi Sarah! So I just looked for it and it got lost in my move :( I did just ask my mom to send it to me so I can happily share it once she gets back to me with it!

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Thank you so much Maureen! Haha Brooke was laughing over the 1M value too:). I hope you get ALL of the sugar cookies this year, they sound amazing! Enjoy all of the walks… perfect for you and your pup:)

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I am 100% with you on the need for sun and fresh air. In Boston, we can sometimes have weeks of grey and freezing temps and I feel quite depressed, lethargic, and irritable. Once I force myself outside- I transform. One thing that I am trying this year on days I am stuck inside is using music/dance parties at home to pump up my mood (sometimes while I am cleaning or in between homeschooling lessons). I just tried Apple Fitness’ new workouts and I liked the Dance HIIT workout (it pumped up my mood on this grey icy day).

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Oh I bet those weeks of grey are SO hard Nadya. I totally feel you on that (and so does my sister)… we think it is in our DNA to need the sun. I LOVE that you are doing those music and dance parties at home, I bet they make the biggest difference. That Dance HIIT workout sounds awesome and I’m glad it cheered you up. Good luck with homeschooling today, you are amazing.

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The Nutcracker idea and tickets was just the cutest idea!!

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Thanks Tara! I’m glad we were able to still do it. I hope your morning is off to a great start!

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New traditions: Hope got videoed in front of a green screen for the Children’s Christmas program at church. We will watch the program virtually on Christmas Eve with whatever they weave together.
It will just be the 3 of us and I am so excited about it.

Huge difference in the fresh air. It is a brain fog lifter for me.

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That is an AMAZING idea. I love that your church did that! Enjoy watching it and you explained perfectly what fresh air does for my brain too!

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I love how you continued your Nutcracker tradition! Very special.
YES! I need to get outside daily! If I don’t, I definitely notice that my mood is off. I’m sure there is actual science to back that up too.
TJ’s orange chicken over rice is delicious too. Add in some broccoli, and it’s such a good, quick meal that everyone loves.
I was just telling my hubby last night that I was going to bake our favorite Christmas cookies this weekend, and have the boys help me like they used to when they were little 😊
Have a good Wednesday.

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Yep, science can back us up on this! It’s not all in our head:). Oh I love their orange chicken too. Enjoy the Christmas cookie making with your boys, that sounds perfect!

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I always love hearing about new quick and easy Trader Joe’s meals. One of our favorites is falafel gyros. We use TJ’s frozen falafel and frozen naan and top it with TJ’s avocado tzatziki, cucumber slices, tomatoes & red onion! Fast and delicious.

When I was breastfeeding both of my children I started to give them a formula bottle right before bed and they were sleeping through the night at 8 weeks! Sleep (and my sanity 😂) was more important to me than 100% breastmilk. But I know that is a very personal decision for everyone!

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We have done that combo once before too and it is incredible. I totally forgot about it so I am going to have to go and get that again! I have ALL of the questions for you because sleep is my sanity too… did your kids have nipple confusion at all? Beck has had a bottle twice and afterwards he did not want to nurse until he was starving! Also, did you have to pump during the night to keep your milk up? I totally understand if you don’t have time to answer these questions!! Have a great day Lara!

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Hi Janae! They did not have nipple confusion. We used Avent Natural Baby bottles, not sure if that helped. Also, I would always breast feed them first right before they went down and then give them the formula bottle on top of it – so that way I got in an extra nursing session and they were STUFFED. Lol. And if I went to bed a while after them then I would pump right before I went to sleep. It didn’t seem to affect my supply. Hope this helps!

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Hi Janae & Lara: Kind of a middle ground idea, but with my babies, I always give a bottle of pumped breastmilk before bed instead of nursing. This way I would know the amount they ate and could be sure that they were getting full feeds, which is hard to tell with nursing. So they did wake up, I would know that hunger probably wasn’t the reason. All four of my kids (including my now 4 month old twins) slept through the night around 8-10 weeks and didn’t have nipple confusion (Medela bottles). I know formula is supposed to be more filling, and I have zero issues with formula feeding (my other kids got formula around 9 months or so), but just offering this suggestion if you’re worried about your supply or want to stick with breastmilk!

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That is so nice!! Love the nutcracker tradition at home.

I don’t really notice a difference if I am outside or not. I’m definitely an indoor over outdoors person! I actually love the winter because I don’t feel so much “pressure” to get outside, if you know what I mean.

I love cinnamon buns on Christmas morning! I also love all my moms holiday cookies – she makes sugar cookies, shortbread, brownies, truffles… and many more!

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I totally know what you mean about the pressure to get outside or to be at all of the places… that is definitely a plus of winter. ENJOY all of the cinnamon buns and your mom sounds like the best baker! Thanks Andrea!

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We did the same thing with the virtual nutcracker and getting dressed up yesterday!

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Oh that makes me SO happy! I am so glad you guys were able to do it! Have a beautiful day Mandy.

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That is so sweet about the Nutcracker!

We’ve kind of exhausted all the typical activities and last year we did a bunch of repeats and this year we were going to start traveling for a weekend prior to weekend – this year was supposed to be Vermont (we did NYC a couple of times – I could do that every year but it is $$ and takes away from other activities). We did buy tickets to watch TransSiberian orchestra online this weekend. But mainly we are just doing a lot of at home crafts and movies that we usually don’t have time to do. Also this year, for the first time I am taking the week after Christmas off so we may still do some things after Christmas when usually I am the one who wants to take the decorations down on Christmas day.

How have you changed or adjusted any of your traditions this time of year to work with all that is going on in 2020?

There is no way I could pick just 1 holiday treat – I love gingerbread and peppermint (though not together!) – We also do toffee and peppermint bark. All is on the list for this weekend.

I definitely get SADD and I KNOW that sunlight is so important for it, but getting outside is easier said than done. It was nice when I would walk my son to the bus stop every day at 8:15 and I’d literally stand looking at the sun (with my eyes closed!) for 10 minutes, but now I drive the kids at 7:10 and that’s only 2 days a week so I really need to make it a priority to get outside every day. Last summer I did buy a bunch of different lights – I haven’t dragged them out yet but it is getting to be time.

I do love the Winter Solstice knowing the days are getting longer and am especially excited in January when the mornings start getting earlier as well. I know January is going to be rough this year. I thought a party every Ground Hog day to celebrate winter being over, but I need something to get myself through each day in January.

Have a wonderful day!

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Enjoy watching the TransSiberian orchestra this weekend, that sounds great! I am so happy that you get the week off after Christmas too and I hope you enjoy all of the gingerbread and peppermint:) You’ll have to let me know which lights help you the most because I would love to get one. Thanks Jessey and I hope that you are able to get a bit of sunlight in today:)

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Great dinner idea! I’ll just double it for my fam with 2 teenage boys lol
I also love the nutcracker idea. My daughter is bummed because she’s been in a youth dance nutcracker for years but not 2020:( I’m going to look up that today.
Your Beck is a doll! My boys didn’t sleep either then but they sure love it now!

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Oh I bet those boys eat a lot! I’m so sorry about your daughter missing out on being in the nutcracker this year. I hope you can do something at home. Hahah good to know about your boys now. Have a beautiful day Christina!

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Having a dog that needs excercise keeps me outside frequently!

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YES, it’s a win-win for you and your dog:). Have a great day Mary!

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I have never seen the Nutcracker. I should probably do that!

Of course it’s best if the sun is out but fresh air even without sunshine is a daily must for me.

I keep thinking that in the years ahead we will look back at 2020 and all the ‘remember when’ stories. Some stories will be sad, some will be funny, some will be unbelievable but they will all be memorable.

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Those cookies look AMAZING. And I love the homemade tickets! We also have a Nutcracker tradition and had to change it up a bit this year too. Luckily we live in San Diego where it’s typically warm, so they had drive-in Nutcracker event. It was really well done! They had the stage set up in a parking lot and people paid per car and were allowed 2 spots: one for the car and 1 for setting up chairs, blanket, etc. They even handed out goodie bags with sparkling cider, popcorn and a small Nutcracker. It was very scaled down, only an hour, but they did a great job with the performance! The kids had fun but said they prefer the inside one. Lol

I can say with certainty – and I am a mental health professional – that being outdoors is ESSENTIAL for your mental health! So keep getting out there and taking care of YOU!

Have a great day, Janae!

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I love that you improvised your Nutcracker tradition! My running group usually does a gift exchange and night out together, so this year we drew names and are dropping gifts on doorsteps and then will have a Zoom night. I’m really looking forward to it as we haven’t run together as a group since early March. And YES to getting outside. Our dog passed away earlier this year and I didn’t realize that those midday walks were just as good for me as they were for her. And now I will be thinking of that box of cookies all day!

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Oh I love the Nutcracker and I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to go! Funny story but the 2nd time my now husband and I went to the Nutcracker, I didn’t pay attention to the seat numbers and assumed that they would be together… it wasn’t until we were printing them out that I found out they were not only not even in the same row, but they were on different levels… We tried to move them together, but there weren’t any open seats next to each other, without going down to orchestra level and paying an arm and a leg. So the first Act we sat separately, luckily there was an empty seat in the row my husband was in. Turns out the person wasn’t able to show and the group had no problems scooting over so I could come and sit next to him during the second half. Now I always make sure that our seats are actually next to each other before buying them…
I definitely notice a shift in my mood when I don’t get out in the fresh air. Luckily I have a dog that requires 2-3 walks a day whether it’s hot or cold she’s all about it. She used to be my running partner, but she’s had knee surgery and has arthritis settling in, so she can’t really do anything more than 2.5 miles anymore. She’s 9 and teeters between large & giant in dog size, but she LOVES getting outside, so we just go on long walks and I fit in my runs on my own now. Working from home, I appreciate having a reason to get outside, otherwise, it would definitely get pushed off.
Those cookies look DELICIOUS!! i wish we had a cookie delivery service close to us. We have a local bakery that I go to, but they don’t have as much variety in cookie flavors, but still tasty :-) Favorite holiday treat is almost everything! haha I love Chocolate PB Blossoms, peppermint fudge, sugar cookies, ginger molasses cookies, m&m cookies, you name it!! I’m not a fan of nuts in cookies or coconut, so that’s my limit.

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Love that you are keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive!
P.S. Please share everyone’s TJoe’s recs! 🤩

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Where are those delicious looking cookies from?

I’m traveling to Arizona next week to visit my parents for Christmas and looked up Sodalicious. There’s one close to their house! I need to try the peppermint cookies.

Now I’m craving cookies. Thanks a lot! :)

Have a super day!!!

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Ok, Beck as a football? Yes!

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I’ve been making myself get outside for a walk every couple of days too!! The fresh air just is so good for my mood even if it’s not sunny out.

We usually go to the nutcracker too so I love the idea of watching it on Amazon Prime!!

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What a sweet way to continue your tradition this year! Getting out for a walk or run with the dog in the afternoon always perks me up after a day of virtual school. I miss running before school but it’s too darn cold!

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Which Nutcracker did you guys watch together?

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