Exactly What I Needed

This week has been exactly what I needed. I got back into blogging, had a sleepover with my favorite person, worked “overtime,” cooked to my heart’s content, caught up on my guilty pleasures, started working out again and discovered a new “diet.”

We just got back from our annual trek to Hawaii a little over a week ago and by Tuesday we were all pretty much fully adjusted to home life again. My brother and his wife, however were not. They had just landed that morning and both courageously decided to go to work. My parents gladly took J off their hands for the day and offered to keep her overnight so they could crash. They gladly accepted the offer and we got to spend a few more hours with the little babe. I love those sleepy baby snuggles!

The family I nanny for needed me to cover two more days this week, so I ended up working four days in a row, which I thought would be kind of stressful. Thought. Surprisingly, I actually loved it. It created a little bit more space between me and J, so I could really just be the fun aunt and not a disciplinarian. It also allowed me to bond with the kids more and I feel like we took a huge step in that respect this week. They also got to meet J! My parents brought her over one day and the cuteness was unbearable. There were lots of hugs and kisses!

Oh my goodness, did I cook this week. Last weekend my mom asked me if I would make some freezer meals. I ended up assembling 2 pans each of Chicken Spaghetti and Baked “Ziti” (I used Mostaccioli, although Ziti is pictured below) and making nearly 7 dozen meatballs. One of the pans of Baked “Ziti” ended up with my brother and his wife for dinner Tuesday night (the night we also took their daughter off their hands-they were feeling very appreciative!). I also made Meatloaf (which I’m very quickly falling head over heels in love with, by the way), Asian-Style Chicken with Peppers, Oven-Roasted Barbeque Chicken and Campanelle with pancetta and tomatoes. Oh, and the cookies. Coffee. Cocoa. Chocolate Chunks. Chopped Pecans. Mmmmm! SO delicious!

Ahh, yes. Guilty pleasures. Without disclosing what specifically I watch, I’ll just say that I really enjoy the how-fast-can-I-clear-out-the-DVR game. I’m only down about 10%, but I’m working on it right now.

Last summer I figured out the best motivation for me while exercising: reading. Once I get into a book, it’s really easy for me to get lost in it. I also have this fear of people seeing me sweaty, so I tend to only workout when I’m home alone and can shower immediately after. I’ve had quite a bit of alone time this week and I just happened to have a book to finish from Hawaii, so it worked out perfectly. I love how I feel after working out and I really enjoy reading, so I’m hoping this will stick.

We saw some gorgeous sand art while in Hawaii and actually went back to a store right before we left to buy some. Well, it has become an obsession. Hours can pass while watching the sand fall. It ended up on the kitchen counter and my dad and I have spent a few nights this week parked in front of that rather than the TV. We also discovered that, unlike TV, it’s easy to carry on a conversation while watching the sand and you don’t feel the need to eat. We have both already seen the effects of a few nights with no snacking. Hey, whatever works.


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Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

Last January, I introduced myself and this blog in this post. Honestly, I doubted that anyone would read anything I wrote the first few months, so I wrote completely for myself. I knew that I would love to look back at those posts, so I wrote in the same way I write in my personal journal.

Once I started getting followers and more and more likes, I felt more pressure to perform. The posts stopped feeling like me and started to feel a lot like work. I felt the need to apologize when I lost interest for a few weeks and couldn’t muster one authentic sentence. Granted, I had some other things happening in my life, but I was choosing not to make the time to sit down and just write.

And I missed it.

This year, my resolution (though it may be coming a little late) is to choose to make the time. It may sound simple, but it’s a big step for me. I can promise you that not every post will be fantastic or especially interesting, but that’s part of learning.

I may not always keep calm, but I promise to Carrie on.

So, to kick off this new year, I thought I would reintroduce myself.

Hi, I’m Carrie! I am a recent college graduate living with my parents in frigid Minnesota. At least today it’s frigid. Ask me again in a few months and my answer might change.

I am a kind-of-only-child. My one brother is quite a bit older than me and also grew up as a kind-of-only-child. He lives nearby with his wife and, my current favorite human being, his daughter. Oh, how I adore that girl! She just turned one a few months ago and recently started calling me “CaCa.” (Which, of course, came after “Cocoa,” “Mama,” “Dada,” “Gama,” “Gapa,””cow,” “owl,” and, most importantly, “apple.”) We have custody  daycare duty twice a week and I think it’s safe to say that we all feel extremely lucky to have so much time with that little sweetie!

When I’m not taking care of that little munchkin, I’m taking care of two other little munchkins. I’m a nanny. I’ve always known that kids were my calling.

We’ve always had lots of animals around. Throughout the years we’ve had sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, pheasants, rabbits and fish. But the three animals that we have always had in my lifetime are dogs, cats and llamas. Right now we have one dog, Cocoa, one cat, Charlie, and three llamas, Millie, Rosie, and Fenwood. Don’t ask me why we have llamas-I was only 2 years old when they came on the scene. Cocoa and Charlie are the best cat-dog pair we’ve ever had (no, really!).

In my introduction last year, I wrote that I like to say that I’m born in the wrong century. My dream is to be a housewife. As I already mentioned, I love kids. I never get sick of cooking! I will happily cook every meal of the day without being asked. This past year, especially, I have become the primary cook of the house. My parents have told me on many occasions that they are going to miss my cooking immensely when I finally move out. Another thing that makes me old fashioned is my taste in movies (not necessarily music!). I could care less about Star Wars and Jurassic World. Give me a Nancy Meyers or, going way way back, Doris Day film and I’m happy! I also love to read and knit.

Now, excuse me. This is a bit of a touchy subject right now, but I’m also a huge football fan. Yeah, go Vikes…or not. I’m still not over that missed field goal. But at least we beat the Packers this year and actually have a promising future! My mom, being raised in Wisconsin, insists that she’s a Packers fan, but really only uses that card when she wants to needle us. My dad doesn’t know how this happened, but he instilled in me a hatred for the Packers so deep that growing up, I would have to rearrange the colors in a rainbow so the yellow and green weren’t next to each other. It still irks me when I see those two colors together.

I’ve always had a mild obsession with photography. Having this blog gave me a reason to document even more things last year, but it made me realize that maybe getting two good pictures is enough. Especially when they are all being edited. I appreciate photographers so much more now!


I think that about covers it. Another thing you should know: I tend to get long-winded when I’m talking about things I really enjoy. So, I obviously really enjoyed writing this!

I will try my very best to Carrie on.

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