Thursday, September 25, 2014


Fall is almost a new beginning for many.  Everyone is tired of the heat, ready for the colorful, crispness of autumn and all the new things/challenges that it brings.  Life seems to slow down a bit (or so I tell myself), and I have a chance to re-think my life and family.

So I came up with goals, for me, for Emma, and for us as a family.  I hope it helps inspire others to do the same.  

1. Cook 2 new meals a month.  This seems strange, but I get in dinner ruts often.  I get fixated on the same few meals that are easy to make during the week.  Now that I am part time, I really want to focus more on cooking some new things for my family.  Can we say Pinterest????

2. Do more things as a family.  Life has been very busy lately, and Brent and I find ourselves taking turns getting things done and passing Emma-duty around.  I'm okay to admit this, and I'm certainly not proud of it.  I want to do better as a family at spending time together - all 3 of us.  Emma loves to have both mommy and daddy next to her in the mornings, and what better memories to give her than the 3 of us spending time together?  

3. Limit my time on social media.  This is a huge one.  I really feel like I'm getting on social media for the wrong reasons, and I need a reality-check here.  I came across this beautiful print on Pinterest, and was soooo convicted....

4. Keep up my workout routine.  I recently started going to PopUp workout, and I have to say, I'm really proud of myself.  I don't really like working out, and I hate being sweaty.  I've been trying to go once a week, and so far am doing pretty good.  I love the atmosphere, the intensity, and the fellowship of meeting new people.  No meat-heads, no smelly equipment (except for myself), and childcare!

5. Spend more time with friends.  I really don't get out much, or when I do, my time is scattered with chasing Emma around.  I would really like to have more girl nights, and more time that helps me be a better mom.  Social media is so consuming, and I'd like to spend more physical time with my friends, rather than just "liking" their posts. 

6. Bring back date night.  Brent and I don't get out much without Emma.  It's actually really sad how little time we have to ourselves (intentional time - not the half hour on the couch before bed).  I'd like to do something (even if it's just something small) at least once a month together, without Emma.

7. Get out more.  I love going on trips, but between Emma, work, and family weekends are so precious.  I recently read where a friend went on a one night excursion to the mountains - impromptu and kid-free.  They re-grouped about their summer and planned for the fall with their family.  My need to control everything screams at the thought of a one-night, last minute trip.  But the thought of being spontaneous and growing together as a couple, or family, makes my heart smile.  I love going to new places, and exploring things.  But I often get stressed out or anxious about logistics (will Emma sleep?  what if I don't like it? what if someone gets sick and we can't enjoy it?) mind is full of crap!  We rarely go anywhere...and that's ok.  We don't take exotic trips to tropical islands, and we don't have a vacation home.  But we can still enjoy getting out of town and enjoying each other. 

8. Read a book.  I'm not going to get all ambitious and say "read one book a month."  Let's get real, here.  If I finish just ONE of the 5 books on my nightstand, then we will be making some progress.  I have some really good books waiting for me, and I have no idea why I haven't picked them up.  Can it be that I am scared of failure? Scared that I won't ever really follow-through and finish reading the whole thing????

9. Stay on budget.  As a family, we have been trying really hard to set a budget and stay with it. We are not poor by any means, and I am thankful for each and every thing we have and can afford.  But it's still really important to set boundaries and goals.  Brent and I were realizing that if we weren't conscious of our spending, things were adding up really quickly, and we had no idea what we had just spent our money on.

10. Transition Emma to a big girl bed. She hasn't climbed out of her crib yet, but she's thinking about it.  She threatens to during nap time (which, by the way, she has been refusing lately - sigh).  Going on trips has been hard because she really is too big for the pack n play, so my thoughts are that moving her to a big girl bed will make it easier.  Feel free to insert your own 2 cents here....

11. Be a better teacher.  This goal is two-fold.  I want to be a better teacher at work and at home.  I am spoiled by awesome daycare teachers that create structure and a learning environment that I can only dream of.  But I want to carry this out at home, especially since I am more present.  I also feel a sense of renewal at work.  It's very easy to get stuck in a rut and get burnt out.  I recently was asked to do a Program Review over the summer for another college's learning center.  I was flattered, but scared to death since I had never done one.  The experience was great, and I'm sure I learned more from them than they did from my report...but nonetheless, I was energized to start some new practices in my own job.  

12. Potty training.  (Do I need to say anything else???  Again...insert advice here.)  Many, many prayers of patience will be needed.  I don't like to sit around, so the thought of sitting on the potty all day (or near one) sends me into orbit.

13. Live in the moment.  The quote below really spoke to me.  I want to enjoy every second of where I am and who I am matter what.  I don't want to wish I were anywhere else.

I spent half my morning at work one day looking at quotes on Pinterest to hang up around my office space to help inspire students....and myself (and for it was totally work related).  I leave you with these that are such great reminders for me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Just life...

I don't have any special title for this post...just life lately.  Emma came down with a fever the other week, and was pitiful.  I got the call from daycare around 5pm on my way home, and decided to take her in to the doctor.  Her fever was over 102, and she had been coughing a lot lately (so I was paranoid about the new respiratory virus). Thankfully, it was just an ear infection, and she bounced back after a few days.

Waiting to be seen by the doc...bless her heart!!

She fell asleep on the couch.  This NEVER happens.  I see friends' posts about their kids falling asleep at random spots and I wonder how that happens...because she never does this!

She felt a little better one morning, so I took her to the mall.  She usually is just content to sit in the stroller when she doesn't feel well.

We did a ton of yard/house work the past few weekends.  Brent pressure-washed the whole driveway and both porches, fixed the mailbox (that some drunk ran into one night), and seeded, fertilized the lawns.  Emma is at an age where she can "help," which is nice.  We can all be outside together, or I can go inside and get some laundry, cleaning, etc... (the list never ends) done.

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Friday, I went to the lake with my dad.  Fall is definitely approaching and these days won't happen for long.  It was beautiful, and we had a great time.  Emma stayed at home with my mom (and they also had a blast!)

"We're at the lake, and you're not!!!!!!"

I love my daddy:)

Emma requested a cookie after lunch...shocker.

The sweetest girl ever...

This past weekend was a crazy one.  We had Brent's parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and the 4 cousins come stay with us.  This is not something I can handle on a regulat basis, as my house is not big enough for that many people.  But it went well!  I did go through 2 rolls of paper towels, 2 trash bags, 2 dishwasher loads, 4 loads of laundry, and a lot of wine.  I don't know how the Duggar's survive!!!

We went to eat lunch at Nantucket Sunday morning, and the kids loved playing outside.  How awesome is the cooler weather, finally!!!
 After everyone left on Sunday, Brent and I took Emma to University mall to try on some shoes at Glee.  We also went to Southern Season to get some ice cream, but I guess they have closed the ice cream parlor down????  Anyway, we got some muffins and scones instead.  On the way out, Emma found this out Fabio!!!

It has been a busy, productive, fun, chaotic last few weeks.  But we have loved every minute of it!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Emma's first football game

I have been meaning to post this earlier, but forget over the weekend.  Last weekend, we took Emma to her very first UNC football game.  It was hot, very hot.  And I'm not sure she really enjoyed any of the game (and if we're being honest, I didn't really either...partly because I was chasing her around the outside part of the stadium for most of the first half).  Nonetheless, it was a great family outing, and as soon as some decent football weather arrives, we will enjoy it even more!

I couldn't have been more hot here.  I think the humidity was about 99%.  I was dripping with sweat....and pretty ready to get indoors.  Did I mention the game hadn't even started and it was a 6pm game, so there was no need for this kind of heat!

Emma had to sit in our laps since we only have 2 tickets, and as luck would have it, our section was packed.  This only lasted for about 10 minutes.  I had to take her outside to get some air and cool off!

But not before a family selfie to document the event!

The pre-game entertainment is probably one of my favorite parts.

Outside, we found some benches in the shade at the edge of the stadium, and sat down to eat our chick-fil-a.  Emma came up to me and put her arm around me here.... my heart melted.

Pretty sure she is rolling her eyes at me of many to come, I'm sure!

This ram kept us entertained for an entire half...thank you!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Summer recap

Since I failed blogging 101 this month, I at least wanted to document all the fun things we did.  So, in a is what they Talley's have been up to this August!

***Warning...picture overload!!!

Some backyard pool fun to beat the heat.....

Many trips to the beach at Jordan Lake.....

A new found love for momma's shoes....

Giveaway win - Helen Ficalora!!

A trip to the Raleigh Farmer's Market....can't wait to go back!!

Rainy (but FUN!) weekends at Beaver Lake....

Another family day at the lake...

Snuggles with my cat, Painter...who has been sick for quite awhile:(

Getting organized with my Whitney English Day Designer planner...

Emma's first McDonald's Happy Meal!

Emma's first insistent clothes cowboy boots!

Watching Frozen for the 18,455,682nd time.

Heading out on our walk to Target...yes...Target.  The bridge over I-40 is finished and we can walk to Southpoint!

An impromptu date to see Nickel Creek!

A Durham Bulls game....

Saying goodbye to sweet Painter...he had an episode one night and was unable to move, so we knew it was time to let him rest:(

Another trip to Beaver Lake!

Maple View Farms with the Winslow's!

Helping mommy shop!

Hanging out at University mall while the car gets inspected...

Brent went offshore one weekend, so we have been eating some delicious dolphin tuna lately:)

If you made it to the bottom of this post, then surprise!!!  You win nothing, except a headache from starring at the screen too long...and maybe some smiles from seeing my sweet Emma-bear:)