Work/Life Balance

By 3:53 PM , , , ,
Today I thought I would share with you my thoughts on work/life balance. As a full-time working and traveling Mommy of soon to be two little ones under the age of 4 and a blogger on the side I absolutely do NOT believe in work/life balance. It is a complete falsity and simply does not exist. You might be wondering..."Wait, Chelsea, what do you mean?!? I am always hearing I need to strive for a 'good' work/life balance." 

If you look at a single given day you will not find balance. Each day is going to be weighted heavier either to work or to life. That is just the way it works. Instead I like to picture it like a scale...instead of stressing yourself over an individual day's work/life balance imagine your life as a whole on a scale. What you are looking for is it to average out overall. Where you are needed most at that moment in time is where you need to adjust the weight on your scale. For everything there is a season and purpose...some seasons will be much heavier at work (as it was for me this past fall and winter as I set out down a new career path and had to sacrifice 6 weeks away from my family for in-field job training) and some seasons will be heavier at home (my current season with two doctor's appointments a week as I prepare to welcome a new baby in less than 4 weeks). But you know what I am learning?!? This is totally ok. Release yourself of the pressure we put on ourselves as we try to be superwoman. The perfect mom, perfect wife, and all-star employee...

I once heard a female speaker, also a mother of four, who has been very successful in her career say the following, "don't ever let anyone tell you can't have it all. You absolutely can. You just can't have it all at one moment." This has stuck with me - oh what sweet truth. 

One thing that has proven helpful to me is to list the top 7-10 roles you play in life (mom, career, wife, friend, sister, volunteer, etc. you get the idea) and rank them in order of which play the most important roles in your life. That way if there is ever a question of where you should direct your time you can reference this as a guide. Be aware...these roles do and should change both in which you claim as your top 7-10 and in which order they serve as your phases of life change.

So friends let's let go of the pressure we put on ourselves to find that perfect balance and instead let's strive to "have it all - maybe just not all at once." 

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35 Week Bump Update

By 3:10 PM , , , ,

Here we are...35 weeks...only 34 days until baby B's scheduled arrival date for March 1st for a family c-section due to complications from my last birth (which you can read all about here). Since my last post I have developed pre-hyper tension which means in addition to my weekly OB appointments we now have weekly appointments with a high risk doctor - also weekly ultrasounds which is the plus. 

 This past weekend I had a lovely baby shower for baby girl and got some adorable pink and frilly items to bring into our home and am so excited about it. The picture above (I'm on the left - lots of precious baby girls I know) is from my baby shower and here are a few more:

Baby Bump Update: 

Size: Baby is the size of a watermelon! At my ultra-sound today she measured almost 6 lbs. 
Weight gained: Totally stopped counting...😉  
Symptoms: I have had contractions so I am careful to make sure I am drinking plenty of water - also feeling lots of pelvic pressure and lots of movement. And plenty of back pain. Oh the back pain. 
Favorite wardrobe piece to wear right now: Leggings, leggings, and more leggings with a long tunic. So comfortable and the only thing I wear when not at work. 

Food cravings: None at the moment 
Currently working on: Her nursery and closing things out the next month or so at my work prior to maternity leave.

You can read my other baby related updates here:

Moms whom have had c-sections? Any advice? Tips? How about from going from one to two kids? Would love to hear from you!

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Top 10 Things to Do in NYC for a Weekend

By 6:33 PM
This past weekend the sweet hubs and I took a short trip to New York City for a little baby-moon. Although it was absolutely freezing outside we had a blast. Below is our list of our top 10 things favorite things to do in approximately 48 hours in NYC.

10. Wall Street

You really have to see it. Located on the corner of Broad and Wall it was an easy pit stop and was neat to see even on a holiday. I can't imagine how cool it would be to see when the stock market is actually open. Less than 100 steps from Wall Street there is a really neat Tiffany's store that is worth walking through and Trump Tower. The iconic bull is also very close by and worth looking at. 

9. 9/11 Museum and Monument

If you have ever been to the Holocaust Museum in DC this museum reminding me of that in a way. It was very nicely done and I am so glad we saw it but it certainly leaves you feeling very solemn, proud to be an American, and thinking about where you were on 9/11.

8. Times Square - The Ride

Get tickets to The Ride for a fun and entertaining way to view the city. We recommend getting night tickets. It's a show and a tour all in one and a total blast. Highly recommend buying the New York CityPASS in order to get tickets for this and many other events. It easily pays for itself and you can sometimes find this pass on Groupon for an even steeper discount. 

7. Grand Central Terminal

Absolutely beautiful to see and their cafe has some of the best food in the city. 

6. 5th Avenue 

Ah, I loved 5th Avenue! There was so much amazing shopping, food, and things to see in this area. From Radio City Music Hall to the iconic Rockefeller Center, to NBC studios and gift shop, to St. Patrick's Cathedral we loved this area and honestly could have spent an entire day or more here. Don't miss a stop at 5th Avenue if you are going to NYC. If you register in advance you can even get free tickets to a live taping. Hello Jimmy Fallon. 

5. Little Italy

If you want some of the absolute best food in the city we HIGHLY recommend Little Italy. Our favorite dinner spot was Benito One. It is a little tiny place where the owner sits in the corner and talks to you. It was literally the best pasta I've ever had. Reservations are highly recommended but not necessarily required just depends on how many people are there. After dinner head over to Ferrara Bakery for some of the best pastries you've ever had in your entire life. They are amazing and very affordable

4. Statue of Liberty 

Because everyone needs to see it, right? Arrive early! If you arrive after 2pm you will not be able to see both Ellis Island and Liberty Island. There are also great views of the city from the boat ride. Recommend sitting on the top deck. 

3. Empire State Building

The building is really neat and you can't beat the views. Although both day and night are pretty neat I recommend arriving when it opens in the morning as you will beat the lines and have a great view of the city. 

2. Go see Good Morning America filmed live

The good news is you don't need tickets in order to view the show. You can simply show up bright and early (6am is best) and watch from the window outside. However, if you register early enough in advance you can get free tickets to view inside the studio which would be great. Even if you are late and show up after 6 you can view outside the window for free until 9am (the anchors often come outside to say hello and sometimes even film outside). At 9am turn the corner of the street and you will see all the limos lined up for the guests and crew. You can stand there and get photos and autographs of the guests and crew departing the show from the door to the limo. 

1. Top of the Rock

Just as great as Empire State Building but in a different way. If you do both I vote doing this one at night and Empire State Building during the day. Again the CityPASS not only saves you money here but will let you cut the line which paid us great dividends. The elevator ride to the top is really neat as well. 

BONUS: Big Bus Tour
Comes with your New York CityPASS and you can hop off and on all around the city. Great way to see the city, learn more about it, and learn where all the celebrities live. We saw the church where Trump married his 1st and 3rd wives, Justin Timberlake's apartment, and so many more cool places that had we not been on the tour we would have not known what we were looking at. 

All in all there are SO many great things to do in NYC and this list is just a drop in the bucket, but, if you only have a few hours these are the things I would make sure you don't miss. I can't reiterate enough how much it will save you to buy the New York City pass (check Groupon) and ride the subway - I promise it is not as scary as it seems.

Have fun! 

If you are looking for other top sober travel destinations check out this one.

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33 Weeks Bump Update

By 3:31 PM , , ,

Hard to believe I am already 33 weeks. We have scheduled baby B's arrival date for March 1st for a scheduled family c-section due to complications from my last birth (which you can read all about here). So as long as she does not surprise us and decide to make an earlier appearance (which we are praying she does not) we have exactly 50 days until her arrival. It is a little crazy to me to think we know her (probable) birth date. 

As I think about the transition from one to two kids I feel so many emotions. What will life be like? How will it be to be the mom to two kids? What will having a girl be like? 

We have been working tirelessly to get room ready for her arrival and I am looking forward to sharing nursery photos with you all soon. 

Baby Bump Update: 

Size: Baby is the size of a pineapple! She is a little over and growing at a lightening speed! It’s crazy to me that this belly is so big and so is baby! 
Weight gained: Up 20ish lbs. Maybe more, who’s counting? 😉  
Symptoms: I have had contractions so I am careful to make sure I am drinking plenty of water - also feeling pelvic pressure and lots of movement. 
Favorite wardrobe piece to wear right now: Leggings, leggings, and more leggings with a long tunic. So comfortable and the only thing I wear when not at work. 

Food cravings: Come and go but nothing consistent
Currently working on: Her nursery and closing things out the next two months at my work prior to maternity leave.

You can read my other baby related updates here:

Moms whom have had c-sections? Any advice? Tips? How about from going from one to two kids? Would love to hear from you!

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2017 Books in Review

By 5:03 PM , ,
It’s time for my 2017 Books in Review post!
This is a page where I list down all of the books I’ve read in 2017.  I will link to the books I reviewed in the first half of the year and review the books I read in the second half.  If you click on the book title, you’ll go to Amazon where you can purchase the book. 

Happy reading! 

 PLUS, I’m going to name my top 3 books of 2017.

To read my review of my books for the first half of the year click here

2017 Reads...

January-July (review linked above):
It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover
The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth 
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
The Art of French Kissing by Kristen Harmel
Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman
The Good Sister by Druscilla Campbell
Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weinsberger
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
2 Second Lean by Paul Akers
The Hypnotists Love Story by Liane Moriarty
Chess Not Checkers by Mark Miller
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Time, Talent, Energy by Michael Mankins
This book has become a current hype in the business world and is all about how you might not truly need more resources but a better allocation of the resources you already have. This book really challenged by thinking and I would give it a 7/10. 
A Simple Winter by Rosalind Lauer
This is a story of an Englisher who converts to be Amish having falling madly in love with an Amish. Very interesting and gets you thinking about a different, more simple way of life. I gave it 6/10. 
Sarah's Key by Tatiana De
Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. This story jumps back and forth between today and Sarah's time and was beautifully written. Fair warning. This book is a tear jerkier. I gave it 8/10. 
When Cricket's Cry by Charles Martin
I truly enjoyed this story as it is a fiction story written about our family's beloved lake - Lake Burton. It is a lovely story about uncommon friends, a doctor, and a heart transplant. I loved every minute and gave it 7/10.
Silver Girl by Erin Hilerbrand
I am going to be honest I didn't love this book near as much as I hoped I would. It was about a lady who discovers her husband has been the founder of a Ponzi scheme and has to recreate her life and everything she knows as well as risk jail time for using illegal money. I gave it 4/10.
Christmas on Nutcracker Court by Judy Duarte 
This was a really fun Christmas read about an unusual group of friends and their poker club. Was the perfect holiday read and I gave it 7/10. 


It's time...


Coming it at #3...It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover
Just WOW! It Ends With Us is one of the most  raw, honest, inspiring, and beautiful stories I've ever read. It wasn’t anything like what I expected, but it delivered so much more than I ever hoped for. This is the kind of book that I want to give to every woman and just be like… READ THIS BOOK. NOW. Come to think of it, all the men should read it too. EVERYONE should read this book. Absolutely everyone. It's a story of unshakable love and finding the strength to make the right choice in the hardest situation. I honestly don't think I've ever been prouder of a character.  It truly is a must read bo0k. 

Coming in at #2...One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I believe this is one of the most beautiful books I've read in my entire life. And most thought-provoking. I loved how the whole story was portrayed, how the romance touched me so deeply, and how the turn of events played with my mind. Right off the bat, I knew exactly who I was rooting for and I was really hoping that he will be the "one true love" that Emma will choose.This my first Taylor Jenkins Reid read and I'm already a fan. This author has a way of taking something so emotional and turning it into a beautiful novel. I am so glad I read this book because even if it broke my heart in the end, the overall journey was way worth it. Now if I would be given a chance to change an ending of a book, I would really change the conclusion of One True Loves without hesitating. So incredibly good! 

And, finally, my #1 book of the year....
Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman
My only criticism about this book is the title because it leads you to believe this is a light chick-lit read only good for the beach, but it's so much more than that! I haven't felt this emotionally connected to a novel in a long time. The book follows Olivia on a quest through small-town Georgia to uncover many secrets her mother never revealed during her lifetime. You meet several amazing characters that truly bring this book to life.It's hard to believe this is Carolyn Dingman's debut novel. She had me laughing and crying. This book pulled at my heartstrings and had me so engaged that I was reading as quickly as I could so I could uncover the next twist and getting nothing else done in the meantime.  Carolyn wrote so beautifully and wove a wonderful tale of love, loss, and love again. She gave you little details to lead you in the right direction, but you never knew how all of the piece would come together or how they story would end. It offers the perfect amount of romance, friendship, and mystery to hold your interest. I was hooked until the very last page which is why it is my favorite book of the year and and the one I would say everyone should read. 

Happy reading everyone! 

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Welcome Welcome 2018

By 2:19 PM , ,
2018, welcome, welcome! 

This year has already started off with a bang. The Bulldawgs won the Rose Bowl and this girl could not be any more excited! 

I am so excited for 2018 and all it will bring most notably being my baby girl in only 56 days! AHH!! This year I decided to focus on 4 questions and a hand-full of goals instead of resolutions. 

I have four main questions I plan to ask myself throughout the year:
1. Who am I becoming?
2. What difference am I making?
3. What key relationships am I investing in?
4. Do my thoughts, words, and actions glorify God?

I find I don't like my answer to one of those questions I will adjust accordingly. 

I have set the following goals for this year:
  • Drink 8 cups of water a day
  •  Blog at least once per week
  • Read at least one book a month
  • Walk at least 2 miles every day
  • Learn how to be the mom of two precious kiddos
  • Become an effective consultant
  • Sell our home
  • Continue work on our dream house
  • Go on family vacation
  • Go somewhere with just my sweet hubby
  • Meal plan weekly 
I had this devotion earlier today and it spoke to me - what truth.

Oh 2017 you were so good to me and I look forward to seeing what all 2018 holds! 

This past weekend we got to see our baby girl in an ultra-sound and it was so amazing. We are looking forward to her upcoming arrival and have been working rigeriously on her nursery to prep for her arrival. Can't wait to show off photos of the finished product to you guys. In the meantime here is a pic of our precious girl.

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