Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Somewhere to RE-start...

Today (so far) has been one of those days where I woke up and hit the ground running.  (Although I did not hit the ground early enough to take the recycling out - sorry honey!!)

The dishes were done first thing.
The laundry is in progress.
The baby is napping.

And I'm writing a blog post!!

Yesterday was not so productive for me.  However I did make a list (as I am often wont to do).  I made a list of all of the little house projects that I want to complete before the fall arrives.  You see, fall - here in South Bend - is a busy, football-and-family-filled, 3-month-long celebration.  This year we are blessed to have lots of relatives and good friends coming to visit and the only way I could be more excited is if these house projects were already done!

So for the next few weeks, I am hoping to use this space to chronicle my progress on said projects.  Wish me luck.

And to start us off... a little re-cap of what I have already accomplished this year, starting with...

The Dining Room:

Next up... Family room updates! 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And a month later...

Sheesh.  It has been a whole entire month since my last post.   I think I need to work on my dedication to this here weblog.

I have new stories and lots of new pictures to post.  But right now, Mt. Laundry-manjaro is blocking the stairs to my basement.  There are unpacked suitcases in the family room.  There are tall-ish stacks of dishes in my sink.  My carpet hasn't been vacuumed in at lease a week.

And I haven't showered in 2 days (tmi?).

But most importantly, the baby is asleep.  And as any mother to a young one can tell you, that is the BEST time to get things done.

So, I'm off to conquer my womanly duties.

Then I'm going to eat a bowl of ice cream.

And maybe shower.

In that order.


Thursday, June 3, 2010


That photo you see above - the one in my header - is a place called Macatawa.  It is on the West Coast... of Michigan.  I have witnessed some of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen in that place.  It is a small community of family cottages - some of them around 100 years old - that are nestled snugly in among the dunes and hills.  When you arrive, you park your car and often don't visit it again until you head back home.  It's where I spent Memorial Day this year, with my dear little family.    

Here are some other photos of this peaceful little community.

A row of Old Glory

through the dune grass

Local choice for cruising

Boats made ready to sail

The aqua-colored cottage in the center is my husband's family cottage.
It is called Sorrento, after his grandmother's favorite place in Italy.
My husband's Great-Grandfather built it in 1929.
It's full of history and creaky floors, old books and fresh lake air.

My blogging will probably be spotty during the summer, as there is no internet access at the cottage.
Can you blame me?  (It's nice to be "unplugged" from time to time)

You'll probably be seeing many more photos of this beautiful place, so please bear with me.  
My camera just loves it.

Happy Summer to you all!

Clare's first visit to the lake - June 2009.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My lists have lists

Today is one of those days where my To Do Lists seem to have to do lists.

We are preparing to head to the family Cottage on Lake Michigan for the long weekend and we leave tonight.  I am actually proud of my planning so far... I have already completed the grocery shopping, finished the laundry, and made lists of what to pack for myself and my daughter (the hubs is on his own - which really is not a big deal because packing for him consists of throwing a bathing suit, a t-shirt, a pair of flip-flops, and -if we're lucky- a toothbrush, into a bag and throwing it into the car).

So I am rewarding myself with an hour of internet browsing while the kiddo sleeps before I snap back into action.

I finally developed our pictures from the disposable camera that we had to use while our digital camera's charger made it's way home from Florida, and I have two observations: 1) the quality of disposable camera photos is equivalent to crapola and B) I have been taking the "preview" option on my digital camera for granted... like, whoa.

Here are a couple of the shots that turned out decently:

Mother's Day - the baby seat was my new gift!  Can't wait to use it at the Lake

Clare and me on my birthday - I may have scared her...

Sleepy Baby!

Our roses went crazy this year!

I hope you had a happy May like we did.  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Now back to your regularly scheduled postings...

We threw a birthday party for Clare over the weekend.   It was a ball, but I was pooped afterward.  I hope to have some photos to post soon (including the obligatory cake-smashed-on-face shot that 1st birthdays bring).  My camera is still sleeping, waiting for my charger to arrive from Florida.

I also have some ideas for party decorating on-the-cheap to share.

Did I mention that it's also 86 degrees today in Northern Indiana?  We broke down and turned on the air conditioner.  It's too humid to blog much today.

But I'll be back soon with lots of new stuff! :)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

One year ago today...

... I was recovering from major surgery.

My feet were swollen.
My face was puffy.
I had something called "referred pain" in my shoulder.

But those things were so far from my mind.

Because I had this:
Clare on her original birthday.

This was the first official picture ever taken of her!
My mom says that she came out fighting...
She practically crawled up my chest at 30 minutes old because she was starving!

Today my girl turns one!

Clare and her daddy at the Zoo!

She's full of giggles and silliness.
She's still a ravenous eater.
She's curious and fearless (a sometimes scary combination!).
She's stubborn too. (I have to admit she gets that from me)

She's moments away from taking her first step.
And it seems, only hours away from speaking her first sentence.
A few days away from her first tooth falling out.
A few weeks away from a bike with no training wheels... from braces.
A few months away from her first date.... from prom... from college.

Didn't the training wheels just come off MY bike?

I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here.
She's the most beautiful, terrifying, miraculous thing that has ever happened to me.
So I have to wish her happy birthday on this sunny 20th of May, 2010.
Mommy and Daddy love you so, baby girl!

(and now I have to go, as she is currently shoving dead leaves from the doorstep into her mouth!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In the words of Randy Jackson...

Yo! Yo-yo!

Ok, maybe not.  I apologize for that open.

This post is not about American Idol - a show that I was formerly addicted to, but with the addition of Glee, Parenthood, and NCIS to my TV repertoire, something had to give, and Idol got the boot.

This post is about my constant struggle to exercise (perhaps all the TV shows listed above have somthing to do with it??).    I am a Yo-yo exerciser.  Ever since I left home for college a decade  (ahem) a few years ago, I have struggled to maintain motivation to exercise.  I love to work out once I'm out there actually doing it, but all too often I get lost somewhere between putting on my sports bra and tying my sneakers.  I actually get up some mornings, put on my exercise garb, and proceed to wear it all day without breaking a sweat.  (That is unless I go shopping... I can work up a good sweat in the aisles of Target).  I'll go for a week, sometimes two, of really doing well, and then I get lazy again.  It's a vicious cycle.

Let me give you a little background on my history with exercise.  While growing up, I was pretty athletic.  My parents encouraged all four of us kids to try different sports.  In high school, I played soccer and basketball, eventually giving up basketball to play soccer year round.  And I was pretty good.  Good enough to be chosen for the "All-State" team in my senior year.  I was proud of that.  And I practiced everyday with few exceptions.  Year-round.  Lots of running.  Lots of activity.  I was buff!  

Me on the field, many moons ago.

I went on to college and was "recruited" by my school to play at the collegiate level.  I was heading to Saint Mary's College - across the street from Notre Dame (I have often been described as having blue and gold in my veins... I was raised on ND Football).  For various reasons - from extreme homesickness in my first month at school, to the fact that being a part of the team meant that I could only attend 1 (ONE!) football game per season - soccer in college did not work out.  I lasted 1 week and that was all she wrote.

Kim and I - GO IRISH!

Quitting this team was the beginning of my fall from fitness.  Over the next four years, I would make my way to the gym occasionally  (moreso in the summers when I was at home and bored during the day), but I never really got back to that place where exercising and staying in shape was a priority.  There were so many other things to do (and boys to meet, and beers to drink)... that exercise became something that I would fit in "when I had time".

Fast-forward to present.  I am now married and have had a baby (that is to say I got married in August 2008 and within 3 weeks of the wedding I found out I was pregnant!).  My body has been stretched, swollen, stitched and strained.  I now have an extra 35 lbs (it hurts to even write that) that I can't seem to shake (I gained nearly 65 lbs while pregnant).  I have good intentions each day to at least do some crunches, some push-ups, try to jog... but so often life gives me convenient excuses.   "It's cold out" "There is SO much laundry to do" "the bathroom needs to be cleaned"... and the list goes on.

The morning of my induction - those Cheerios didn't last long...

But lately I have really begun to see exercise as more of a preventative medicine than a way to look better.  Don't get me wrong - looking at myself in the mirror right now is down-right DE-PRESSING and I'd give just about anything to get my former 6-pack abs back ... but I have decided that it can't be about how I look.  It has to be about how I feel.   Because nowadays, there is another life depending on me and I want to be strong and healthy for her.  

Me and the kiddo - she's 2 days old here

And if my jean size gets smaller along the way, I'll probably throw a party in my own honor I'll be that much more happy!

So here's to hoping that I can train my brain to stay motivated.  I'll let you know how it goes...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Home is where your Mom is...

A Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and moms-to-be out there.  

Me with Clare (2.5 mo) My Mom, and My Grandmother... 4 generations!
(Can you tell we're all related? Same face x 4)

Hug a mom this weekend!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My, How Things Have Changed...

Cinco de Mayo has a totally different meaning when you have a kid.  The biggest excitement of our night was getting our daughter to try a little taco meat.  (Which, I might add, wasn't hard at all.  I could probably place a live earthworm in front of her and she'd give it a try - she'll eat ANYTHING!).

I made a fun mexican meal, complete with Chipotle-style rice (love!) and black-bean-and-corn salsa... we even had Corona with lime... of which i proceeded to drink 1/2 a bottle and promptly fall into a food-induced salsa-and-salt-laden stupor.  We were a couple of lime-scented couch potatoes for the rest of the night.

I ran the gamut of spanish phrases/words that I know, which took about cinco minutos.
Biblioteca.  Beunos Dias! Siesta. Yo Quiero Taco Bell...  and I'm out.

Somewhere out there my 23-year-old self had a tequila shot and laughed at old ladies like me... and probably said something like "I hope I never get old"...

... but in my 28-year-old book, last night was perfect.  I spent it with the ones that I love the most, with a full belly and elastic-waist pants.

I hope your fiesta was equally as fulfilling!!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Somewhere to Start in the Yard...

One of the biggest surprises/challenges that I have been working with since we moved in to our house is actually outside of our house - in the yard.  The previous owners (and the owners before them, it seems) LOVED PLANTS.  I have more plants and flowers growing on my postage stamp of a lot than I can even count.  I mean, folks, it's a jungle out there!

Now, don't get me wrong, I love flowers.  I love trees.  I even love many of the bushes around the yard (except for the a certain unidentified evergreen bush that is the bane of my existence - but I digress).  I just don't love the wild and woolly growth that I am faced with taming each spring and fall.  

We are blessed with very rich (slightly sandy) black dirt here in Indiana... a far cry from the red clay that I made mud pies out of while growing up in North Carolina.  The dirt (soil?) here is so great, however, that the plants (including the weeds) grow out of their little pollenated minds!  I have never seen dandelions so big in my life!  (They're practically roaring at me - ha ha ha! -  too much?  ok, sorry).  Ahem.

Anyway - here are some of the gorgeous spring bulbs growing in our yard... and some before pictures of "the Jungle".  We are hoping to get things in order this spring (and on a budget!) so I'll be sharing more photos as things progress.  


I almost forgot my little garden helper

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An explanation of the web address...

I actually began this here little blog back in November of 2008... when I had just discovered that I was pregnant (surprise!) and I thought that I'd be interested in chronicling the pregnancy experience herein.  However, as it turned out I found it to be easier for me to use my shutterfly account to keep everyone updated on the growth of the baby bump and all that followed.  (This is where the name "to delivery and beyond" comes from).

During and in the time since my pregnancy (my daughter is now 11 months old) I discovered so many wonderful blogs... women who are great writers, great mothers, great sisters, great daughters, and great friends.  Creative, colorful, kind, ambitious, smart, and interesting women who have finally now inspired me to create my own little portion of the internet.  (many of these women can be found on my "blogroll"  and they are all FABULOUS - you should check them out!!)

Bear with me as I get this party started.  I have lots of things to share!

Also, there will most certainly be a new look for this space as fast as my little brain can create one!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nice to meet you...

I suppose a good place to start is to introduce myself and my hopes for this little piece of internet. My name is Maura. I am 27 years old (at least for one more month), a mother of one little girl, and a wife to one great guy. I live in Northern Indiana in a house that was built in 1927, and was once home to an All American Pitcher for the South Bend Blue Sox - a team from the All American Girls Baseball League (think "A League of their own"). I enjoy spending my time working on the house and in the garden, cooking, playing with my daughter, exercising, and figuring out where our lives will take us next.
This brings us to the purpose for this blog. And at this point, I'm not totally sure. I know it will help keep family and friends updated on our lives as we navigate parenthood, homeownership, and all of the challenges and experiences that we will undoubtedly encounter along the way. I hope that is provides entertainment to those who read it... and maybe sparks some creativity for them (you?) as well. Overall, it will be a chronicle of what we're up to, how we're getting through it, and of course, how we are injecting a little color into our everyday!
So here we go! I hope that everyone enjoys this little work-in-progress.