The End.

For months now I’ve been seriously considering ending this blog.  And after much thought, prayer, and consideration, I’ve decided that now is the time.

When 2016 rolled around, I decided I was either going to “go all in” with blogging this year or step back completely.  And truthfully, I now know that my heart just isn’t in it anymore.  Rather than being enjoyable, it’s felt more like an obligation recently, and that’s simply not how it should be.  I’m ready for a bit more privacy, and I’m just ready for a change.

And unexpectedly, I’m intimidated by that because this blog, this space to write, express, and (over)share, became a major component of who I am.

This blog was a constant amidst all the change.
It was a part of my life through college, five half marathons, countless miles and fitness adventures, our engagement, our wedding, a year of teaching, a nearly-vanishing then restrengthened faith, another year of school, job changes, so much food, vacations, a move across the country, my pregnancy, and the incredible birth of our son, with bits and pieces of my everyday, normal life sprinkled in all along the way.

When I think back over that time in regards to the blog though, running is what really sticks out in my mind.  Running, racing, and sharing about that journey, well, that all changed my life.  Running represents my challenges and accomplishments, goals and lessons learned.  Running taught me to believe in myself and chase after dreams no matter how impossible they seem.  It taught me discipline and endurance.  It taught me that God always gets the glory.  It taught me lessons that go way above and beyond pounding the pavement.

And I did all of that with your support.

20121021_0806511-225x30020121021_101411-225x300

GosmsPhoto1379857264521Half-Marathon-4-Finisher
IMG_20130526_103046-1024x1024brooke & danica - mud run!

 

 

 

catching up half marathon #3Jesse & I after Half Marathon #5

I started this blog on May 1st, 2011.  It’s now 4.5+ years later and, in many many ways, my life is in a completely different place.  I’ve grown and changed in countless ways in the lifespan of this blog.

I have tears in my eyes as I write this, and I’m surprised at just how much of myself has been identified by and tied to this blog.  It’s hard to wrap my head around its conclusion, but it’s time to move on.

I’m grateful for all that this blog brought into my life – everything from a creative outlet and a place to connect with others to the provider of incredible, life-changing opportunities.

I’ve made friends, shared struggles and victories, and learned a whole lot about myself and this ever-changing world.

And now, as this chapter of my life closes, it’s time to pursue new adventures.

Thank you for reading.
Thank you for conversing.
Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you.

Long Weekend Highlights

Jesse’s office was closed today for Martin Luther King Jr. Day so we got an extra long weekend together, which was great!  Even though the majority of today was spent trying to get our baby to sleep, and then waiting for him to wake up from his nap so that we could go run a few errands, at least we were together?  #parenthood

It was a nice weekend though.  Here are a few highlights:

homemade paleo brownies

–> I made homemade brownies on Friday night (with this recipe as my guide), and it was just the treat I hoped it would be.  If you’re in the market for a delicious batch of brownies, definitely check that recipe out.
(and fyi for anyone interested, the recipe is both gluten- and dairy-free)

–> Saturday morning included a walk/run with our whole little family, and I loved every second of it.  It was misty and warm and it was my first run since Christmas.

trip to the winery - january 2016 - roen, jesse, danica

–> We spent Saturday afternoon at a beautiful nearby winery and we thought it was just a gorgeous place, even though the little bit of wine I tasted went straight to my head.  Oopsie!

mexican food appetizer

–> After church on Sunday we ate at a delicious restaurant called Aqui.  If you’re ever in San Jose and craving fresh Mexican food, I highly recommend it.

–> This isn’t entirely a highlight, but on Sunday, after fueling up with said Mexican food, we made a trip to the IKEA in Palo Alto.  IT WAS A CIRCUS.  AN OUT-OF-CONTROL SEVERE ANXIETY-INDUCING CIRCUS.  Somehow, I really don’t know how, the fact that it might be packed on a Sunday afternoon never really occurred to either Jesse or I.  Thankfully, we left with what we hoped to find and Roen braved the whole deal better than anyone.  It took 2 hours, some deep breathing, and a stranger’s help to get the giant box into our rather small car, but we made out with a great deal on a nice dining room table and chairs (1 table, 4 chairs, only $175!).

new dining room table and chairs from IKEA

I love it!

Now Roen can join us when we eat since he’ll be eating soon here, too.

Roen in his highchair. 1.18.16

–> This evening we went to a bookstore and picked out a few books for Roen and then stocked up on groceries for the week ahead.  And you know both of those errands made me happy.

Save Money, Eat Healthy Food, Invest in Your Life {part 3/3}

in case you missed them:  part 1 and part 2

I’m thrilled that so many of you have enjoyed this series.  I’ve loved reading your comments, and if there are any other tips you have that weren’t listed, please share in the comments today.  I look forward to posting more “health coaching stuff” type of posts in the future :)

grocery haul - spring

Here are a few more basic tips to wrap up the series:

–> ALWAYS read the ingredients list.

This is more important than the “nutrition facts” section, which you really don’t need to ever look at.  The most healthful food doesn’t have an ingredients list (because it’s just one whole food), but whenever it does, find out; WHAT is in your food and Where did this food come from.  That’s the information that you need to know and that’s what will help you decide what items to choose.

For example, if there is less than .5 grams of trans fat per serving in a packaged food, the company can write “0g trans fat” on the label.  They’re legally allowed to round down.  But if you read the ingredients list and notice that there’s “hydrogenated oil” listed, you know that there’s some trans fat in that food – and any trans fat is dangerous.  See how that can be deceiving?

Some questions you can ask yourself if you’re pondering a purchase that may be helpful:  Is what I’m choosing a whole food?  Did it come from a plant or animal?  Is it one ingredient or ten?  How do I feel after I consume this?

Always read the ingredients list so that you know what it is you’re buying and eating.

–> Do some of your shopping online.

I’ve found that there are several staples I like to have in our pantry that I can purchase for a much better price if I purchase them online.  For our home, some of those items include; chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flaxseed, nut and seed butters, oats and other whole grains, honey, maple syrup, blue corn tortilla chips, vanilla extract, coconut flour, cocoa powder, canned pumpkin, avocado oil mayo, and dark chocolate bars(!) and baking chips.

There are three main places I shop for these: Swanson Vitamins*, Thrive Market*, and Amazon.

*referral links

–> Make your own versions.

Granola, salads (the veg kind or the fruit kind), muffins, snack bars, dressing, hummus, french fries, smoothies, bread, trail mix, kombucha, desserts – there are endless recipes online with a quick google search to make your own versions of food for a fraction of the price.  You’ll know exactly what the ingredients are, it doesn’t require much of your time, and it can be a lot of fun to experiment!
(this is where ‘cook once, eat twice‘ really comes into play, too!)

–> Grow your own.

Plant a garden, grow herbs on your windowsill, cultivate potted veggies, etc. (I did this last one the last summer we lived in Minnesota and loved it – I grew bell peppers, jalepenos, and tomatoes right in pots on our front patio).

–> Let go of the pressure and stress.

Never buy something because you think you *should* or *shouldn’t*.  Don’t give into pressure, for better or worse – use your brain, trust your instincts, and let go of the stress that can so easily creep in when you’re trying to make “all the right decisions.”  A little trial-and-error, nutrition education, and balance will go a long way.

–> Do your best to choose healthful items and be grateful for all of the beautiful, available food we get to nourish our bodies with.

In an ideal world, “organic” wouldn’t be a label on certain, more expensive foods – it would just be how all of our food is grown (as it used to be years ago).  Unfortunately though, that’s not how things are now.  Do I think it’s best for us all to eat all organic food?  Of course.  But is it true that organic food is accessible and available to us all?  No, not even close.  So I say pick and choose what’s important to you, and choose what feels right.  Conventional produce is always better than no produce!

I also want to shed light on your WHY – it’s key for you to find your motivation for eating well.  Is it so you’ll feel better day to day, with fewer headaches, bloating, or aches and pains?  Is it so you set yourself up to have an active, happy future with your children and family?  Is it so you can honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) even in the small decisions you make each day?  Grasp that why and let it guide your choices.

Find a balance that really works for your lifestyle, do the best that you can for yourself and your family, and be proud of that.  That’s enough.  That’s what will bring you health.

–> Remember that every time you shop you get to vote with your dollar!

*****

 Please feel free to leave any other suggestions you may have in the comments below!

Save Money, Eat Healthy Food, Invest in Your Life {part 2/3}

in case you missed it:  part 1

There’s a popular stigma about eating healthy, and it’s that “healthy eating” means eating very little.  And friends, that’s simply just not true.  Overeating aside, of course, there are so many real foods out there to enjoy, there’s no need to shortchange yourself!

Today’s suggestions focus in on the shopping aspect.

bulk bins at the grocery store

Here are a few more ways to save money while eating well (and plenty)!

–> Buy staples in bulk.

-Nuts and seeds
-oats, rice, any whole grains
-bags of produce (like a bag of potatoes or apples instead of just a few)
-beans and lentils (cooking your own is super inexpensive and easy – utilize your crockpot here!)
-eggs
-yogurt (the larger tubs instead of the single serve containers)
-cheese (blocks instead of already shredded)
-meat (especially if buying from a local farmer)

Remember though that it’s only a good value to buy more at a time if you will eat them.  Otherwise, it’s just more wasted food and, therefore, wasted money.

–> Shop sales.

You can get aggressive with this and watch weekly ads, or you can wing it a bit when you’re at the store (like swapping turkey for chicken if you get there and see the turkey is on sale).

I love when frozen fruits and veggies are sale – it’s a great time to buy a few extras in advance since they’ll be perfectly fine in the freezer for a bit.  You can also buy more meat and beans when they’re on sale and freeze them for future use.

Same rule applies here though as above – don’t just buy something because it’s on sale – only get it if you’re going to use it.

–> Purchase in-season produce.

I’ve done a blog post for every month of the year about what produce is in season (you can use the search box on the right side bar if you’re curious) – this ensures you a better price and fresher food.

Pro Tip: utilize frozen produce during the wintertime, especially if you live in a very cold place this time of year.  Fruits and veggies are frozen at their peak of ripeness and as long as you don’t nuke them in the microwave every time, their nutrients are perfectly in tact!

–> Buy locally whenever possible.

-Visit your local farmers’ market

-Purchase products in bulk from nearby farms (especially meat since that goes right into your freezer and will be a fraction of the cost of a store).

-Join a CSA.  (click here to find one near you)

–> Pass on drinks.

Soda pop, high sugar juices, alcohol, etc. – they aren’t beneficial for your body (particularly when consume frequently) and they can quickly chip away at your budget.

–> Explore and compare different stores.

No need to buy everything at the same store every week.  Shop around a bit and see what stores hold the best value for foods you love and purchase often.  You might find that certain stores have more choices for you as well.

For me, I do the majority of our shopping at Trader Joe’s (I wish everyone had access to one!), but I also get bits and pieces at places like Target, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Safeway (in CA, HyVee when we were in MN).

*****

Be on the lookout for the final post in this series, coming Friday!

Save Money, Eat Healthy Food, Invest in Your Life {part 1/3}

There’s extra attention on eating healthfully this time of year, which overall, is a fantastic thing.  Along with that interest in eating better, the thought/comment that “I can’t afford to eat healthy” often makes it way into conversations, too.  Long story short, I completely disagree that it’s “too expensive” to eat well, and more often than not, that comment comes from a person who has little to no education on whole food nutrition.

As someone who budgets and can’t stand to waste money or food, I thought it would make a fun series on the blog to share what I share with my health coaching clients – ways to save money on healthful food and ensure you also have a healthy mindset about what you purchase and consume.  These are just the basics, but they’re things I remind myself of from time to time just to refresh and refocus, so hopefully this will be beneficial for you as well.

grocery cart 12.2.12

To kickoff a 3 part series, I’m going to share with you some of my advice for eating healthfully within a extremely reasonable food budget, all while investing in your health, for today and for your future.

So without further ado, here are my two cents ;)  . . .

–> First and foremost, decide on your priorities.

Truth #1: Americans spend less on food than people in any other developed country.
Truth #2: In many rankings (onset of diseases, early preventable death rates, mental illness, stress vs. happiness levels, etc.), Americans fall to the bottom in comparison with nearly all other developed countries.

I don’t believe those two are coincidental.

While the truth is that we’re all going to die at some point and we certainly can’t prevent everything, it feels fair to say that we can either invest in our health now (by lifestyle choices) or pay for our health later (pharmaceutical drugs, surgeries, etc.).  It’s simple yet profound to understand the direct impact the food we consume has on our bodies and minds.

And just to be clear, this does not mean that you need to eat all organic food, because while that would be awesome, it’s not practical for everyone or everything – it’s not at all the only way to make healthy choices.  I’ll address this more later.

–> Plan meals (and snacks).  Make a shopping list and stick to it.

Wasted Food = Wasted Money.

–> Never. Shop. when you’re Hungry.

Ever.  Just avoid it.  Pack a snack in your purse/bag so that if you’re ever running errands and get hungry, you can avoid getting groceries on an empty stomach.

–> Cook Once, Eat Twice.  (or three times or four)

Homecooking saves tons of money and is exponentially better for your health.  I’m a big fan of this saying because leftovers make my time spent cooking even more worthwhile – it allows for extras to be reheated for lunches or dinners on busy nights.

If you have an especially busy schedule and cooking dinner most nights just isn’t an option for you, I highly recommend picking a day each week, preferably the day your grocery shop, to spend one hour or less prepping food to grab throughout the week.  If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Lindsay and all of her awesome prepping ideas.

–> Do the preparation yourself.

This might add just a few seconds (literally) to your cooking, but it’ll save you a lot of money in the long run because you’ll get more for your money.  Shred your own lettuce, cut your own carrots, slice your own fruit, make a whole pan of healthy snack bars, dice your own chicken, mix up your own seasonings, etc.  This is a simple way to increase the value of your purchases, and it’s also a fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen after a shopping trip.

*****

stay tuned for parts 2 and 3!

Currently {january 2016}

currently reading:

The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
and I’m just starting Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

currently - books reading - the no cry sleep solution and julie & julia

currently listening to:

several Pandora stations, my favorites right now are:
NeedtoBreathe
The Vitamin String Quartet
and Elvis Presley  (I may or may not dance around with Roen to this music each afternoon)

currently watching:

Making a Murderer on Netflix.  It’s completely and totally jaw-dropping.  We’re on episode 7 though so please, no spoilers!

currently eating:

At this exact moment I’m eating my dinner while typing up this post.  I usually aim to not watch any screen while eating, but sometimes in this mom life you just have to do several things at once to get those things done.

leftovers easy dinner and la croix sparkling water

currently drinking:

La Croix sparkling water. . . I fell head over heals for this stuff when I was pregnant, just to have something other than plain water each day since, and I’ve had it regularly ever since.  Yum!

current exercise:

Yesterday I did the workout below (6 times through without rest instead of for time) and tomorrow I’m going walking with a friend, which I’m really looking forward to because it’s been rainy here all week!

Toned in 10 - full body circuit workout - itsprogression.com

currently needing:

Honestly, nothing comes to mind here.  I guess that’s good?

currently loving:

the rainy weather!

currently not loving:

the rainy weather!

(love the rain, hate that we can’t be outside. . .this is especially hard for me when I don’t have a gym membership. . .mama needs to move more and we can only run errands so many times in one week ;)

currently craving:

a little more order in my days. . .knock on wood, Roen’s daytime napping is starting to be a bit more predictable, so *hopefully* that will continue?  As is life though, I’ve learned days with a baby are always full of surprises!

currently praying for:

-my sweet Roen (always.)
-more hearts to become Compassion sponsors this year.
-the many beautiful friends and family members who are currently pregnant!  (some are getting very close to meeting their babes!)
-contentment.

currently grateful for:

-such a nice trip to MN for Christmas.
-growing friendships.
-snail mail, especially handwritten letters.
-a healthy growing son, a handsome hard-working husband, a loving joyful puppy.

currently smiling at:

this picture!  I can’t stop laughing at it.

Roen and mama - photo property of itsprogression.com

Roen was just being extra smiley and giggly so I took my phone out to snap a picture of us, and just as it took the picture he “punched” me in the eyeball.

currently looking forward to:

feeding Roen solid foods!
We’re not going to rush this but I’m getting excited about it nonetheless.  There’s a whole world of deliciousness out there for him to discover!

My Goals and Plans for 2016

The popularity of new year’s resolutions is everywhere we look this week.  There are strong opinions about making goals when the calendar flips – some who are annoyed and find them pointless, and others who find them to be just the ticket for keeping them on track for achieving more and becoming the person they want to be each year.  I think that if goals work for you, then yes, do them.  But if you know that making a goal that takes you 12 months to accomplish will fall flat on its face in 3 weeks, then obviously you shouldn’t bother – another route will be better for you.

For me, creating goals and having an accountability plan just works.  I’ve done it according to the calendar year for at least 4 years now and it’s simply been awesome.

**side note: when you make your goals for the year, always always always know your why (the reason for this goal, your motivation) and the how (a plan for being accountable and truly making things happen).  These two aspects are necessary for success.**

For the past couple of weeks I’ve thought about what I want 2016 to look like, and for the first time in years, I’ve had a hard time coming up with a specific list.

This obviously isn’t because there’s nothing I want to do or change or grow in the coming year, but the things that I want are just different than in years past.

For what I can “put own on paper” anyway, here are my goals for 2016:

Mommyhood Goal –>  Follow my instincts for what’s best for my family, don’t let technology interfere with precious family time, and do it all unapologetically.

That last word is key here – you could even say “unapologetically” is my personal theme for this year because it reminds me that even though there are always contrasting opinions out there, I can be confident and happy with my choices and my life when I do what I know to be best for us.  And if there’s one primary lesson I learned from Roen’s birth, it’s to follow my instincts.

Blog Goal –>  Post consistently (2-4 times each week), create (aka write down measurements) and share more recipes, dedicate time each day to work on the blog, stay organized in my notebook about post ideas and plans, and write more about healthy living (aka health coaching program-type education).

My hope is for the blog to come to life and expand a bit more this year.

Reading Goal –>  Read at least 25 books.

Considering how far I blew last year’s goal out of the water, I could’ve aimed higher, but 25 would be great, especially when I know I’ll become busier and busier as the year goes by.
p.s. feel free to become friends with me on Goodreads!

Fitness Goal –>  Move daily, enjoy rest, do what feels right.

I realize this probably seems incredibly vague to most people, but for me it makes perfect sense and I know exactly when I’m following these guidelines (and when I’m not).  Running a race might be fun, joining a gym and attending fitness classes again sounds great, and I will hopefully do those things, but with a baby who will become mobile this year and some big plans about our year still up in the air, I’m content with going with the flow.

Cooking Goal –>  Make 1 new recipe a week, and start a new series on the blog about dinners.

This one should be fun!  I plan to start sharing dinners I make – sort of like the meal planning posts I used to do years back, but instead share what was already made so that you can hopefully get some ideas for your own home.

Personal Goal –> Say less, love more, help if/when/how I can.

to be (extra) vulnerable for a moment. . .
I love to help people, and I believe I’m good at helping people.  I’ve never loved to be in the limelight – I’ve always loved to be the person who’s behind the scenes, helping, without receiving recognition or in any way being the center of attention (I loathe being the center of attention).  This all sounds good, but sometimes it turns negative because I let myself get carried away with the desire to help people and it gets meshed with being judgmental.  I’m finding that I can easily cross the line and see that my want to help becomes nosey and unnecessary because it’s simply not my place.  Too often, I find myself literally sick to my stomach worrying about other people’s lives, trying to figure out how to help them with something bad that’s going on, and it’s silly, unhelpful, and borderline gossip-y when I let it spill into conversations with them or others.  Even though my intentions are good, that doesn’t make talking about others right.  Is this just totally confusing?  Ultimately, I want not talk about other people unless it’s strictly positive, place love at the forefront at all times, and be there to help if that’s an option.  It’s a bit messy but it’s just a personal (mostly inside my heart) thing I’m working on.

Financial Goal –> Invest!

Now that we’re debt free and have our goal amount of a 3-6 month emergency fund built up, we’re moving on to the next baby step and will start investing our money this year.

*****

If you make goals for yourself each year, what’s one you’ve set for 2016?

A Look Back on my 2015 Goals

The last day of 2015. . .

What a year it was!  Obviously, Roen was easily the highlight of my year.  I spent the first 7 months focused on my pregnancy, then after his birth, my focus has been on him.  He’s purely a blessing to our family.  It was a very joyous year that also came with unexpected challenges.  It was all life-changing in countless ways.

Before we ring in the new year I thought it’d be fun to take a look back on the goals I set for the year.

These are my 2015 goals and how they turned out:

Faith Goal –> 1)  Read Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado (a devotional) to guide me in my daily scripture-reading/prayer time.  2) Find a church here.

I completed and enjoyed the devotional (I reviewed it in this post) and I *think* we’ve finally found a church here to attend regularly.  That second part about a church was quite daunting – it was a challenge.  We’ve only been to this new one a couple of times now but have liked it so much more than any other one we’ve visited so hopefully it’ll be a good place to make connections and grow in faith.

Fitness Goal –> Join a gym.

I did this one right away in January, but then we canceled our membership just months after.  I exercised all through my pregnancy, but the kind and extent of my workouts just weren’t fitting for that particular gym.  It also wasn’t convenient to get to, and when you live in Berkeley, CA and are pregnant and tired and alone on your adventures, that matters tremendously ;)  I’m hoping to find a gym with great childcare in the coming year though – I’m craving fitness classes.

Financial Goal –> Continue following Dave Ramsey’s financial “baby steps” to pay off the last of our debt and move onto the next step of saving.

I still sometimes get teary about this one. . .
As of May 2015, Jesse and I are completely and totally DEBT FREE!!!!!
And we’re now in the step of saving up a 3-6 month emergency fund, which we should move on from in just another two months or so.
I could go on and on about how life-changing all of this education has been for us, and I can’t recommend looking into Dave Ramsey’s financial advice enough.  I have an upcoming post planned on this as well.  In the words of Dave Ramsey, “It feels good to be weird.”

Cooking Goal –> Make at least 3 new recipes each month.

This was a lighthearted and fun goal.  I did this very well until Roen was born, then for a month or two it wasn’t at all a priority (even though I savored any time I could spend cooking), but in the past two or so months I was able to experiment with new recipes regularly again.  I was glad I made a point of doing this in 2015!  It’s too easy to get into a food rut and just cook the same things every week.

Service Goal –> (nothing in particular was set here, but I’d hoped to find service acts through a church)

This area of my life can always be improved, but I’m pretty happy with what I was able to do here in 2015.  I focused first on the people I know in my life – friends, family, and people I encountered throughout my days – and just tried to make a point of going a little further, like smiling and saying hello to everyone I saw, reaching out to friends/family through phone calls, texts, and emails more often, sending birthday cards so people feel special and know they’re cared about, etc.  Then bigger than that, we started sponsoring Irakoze through Compassion International and I became a member of the Fair Trade Friday club, which supports women artisans around the world and supports them and their families.  Again though, always always room to grow here.

Reading Goal –> Read 20 books.

I read 52!!

Career Goal –> (didn’t share specifics)

I accomplished some goals in this area, and others I simply didn’t.  I realize this is totally vague but I can’t share everything on the blog ;)  This area is changing once again though, which I may share about later in 2016.  Right now, however, I’m thrilled to be a wife and mom first, plus get to run this blog and do a little health coaching as well.

Biggest Goal of the Year –> Do my part to grow, deliver, and raise a healthy baby!

While I didn’t realize we’d have quite the role we did in Roen’s delivery, I’d say this is ‘so far, so good.’  And this journey of motherhood has only just begun!

*****

This year was over in the blink of an eye, wasn’t it?!  And I can only imagine the adventure that awaits in 2016. . . more on my new goals to come.

Wishing you a safe and fun New Year’s Eve!

Christmas 2015

And just like that, Christmas has come and gone.  I hope you all had a good one!  We’re still in MN for a bit yet but I wanted to pop in and share about Roen’s first Christmas.  We captured over 300 pictures this past week, and while I love nearly every one of them, I’ll try to be brief in what I share here so this post doesn’t take you 30 minutes to read ;)

Roen's first christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

roen's santa butt - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

We flew here on Monday the 21st and got to celebrate with almost all of our family over the course of the week.  On the 23rd, we had a fun gift exchange with Jesse’s dad and brothers.

Jesse, spencer, scott, mark, roen - Christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

On Christmas Eve, we spent the day celebrating with my immediate family, and then that evening we drove to my grandparents’ to see my mom’s side of the family.

louwagie family - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

zida - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

louwagie family siblings - danica, jesse, roen, brooke, justin, eli, hannah - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

great great grandma mae and roen - christmas 2015 photo property of itsprogression.com

On Christmas Day, we had brunch with my grandma Carol before heading to the Buss family (Jesse’s dad’s side) get-together for the weekend.

roen and great grandma carol - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

danica, roen and aunt brooke - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

I hate hate hate saying goodbye to my siblings – it never gets any easier.  I love them so crazy much and our time together never feels near long enough.

Roen sleeping on christmas day 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

Our Saturday included some bowling, in which Jesse bowled a 200(!?) and I spent the second game swaying our sweet potato to sleep. #momlife

danica and preston - christmas bowling 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.comphoto property of itsprogression.com

roen asleep on momma - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

tipsy elves ugly christmas sweater - photo property of itsprogression.com

I wore my ugly Christmas sweater that day as well.  How fun is it?!  It’s from Tipsy Elves and they have a lot of funny options, including sweaters and more apparel for other holidays as well.

After leaving J’s side on Sunday we visited my mom’s side again since our Christmas Eve celebration, while loads of fun, is quick and a bit chaotic.  We had a really nice time visiting them again.

hanson family - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

jesse, danica, roen - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

On Monday we said goodbye to Eli and Hannah and spent the evening at my father-in-law’s.
eli, danica and roen - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

He made a fantastic dinner and it was a fun night.

christmas dinner at mark's 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

mark and chris with roen - christmas 2015 - photo property of itsprogression.com

I wish there’d been more time to see our friends while here, but overall we’ve had a wonderful visit.  There was a lot of time catching up with family, and there was certainly no shortage of love for Roen :)

Merry Christmas!

Christmas bible verse Luke

May you feel the wonder of a child and find peace in God’s love.

Roen Jay Buss - Christmas 2015 - property of www.itsprogression.com

Roen Jay Buss - Christmas 2015 - property of www.itsprogression.com

Roen Jay Buss - Christmas 2015 - property of www.itsprogression.com

Roen Jay Buss - Christmas 2015 - property of www.itsprogression.com

Roen Jay Buss - Christmas 2015 - property of www.itsprogression.com

from our family to yours,

we wish you a very

Merry Christmas!