Mom Talk Mondays

Mom Talk Monday: What is your baby name crush?

Choosing the perfect name for your baby can be one of the most stressful parts of pregnancy. It is such a huge decision that can seemingly affect your child’s entire life. When you finally do come up with one you like, your partner inevitably tells you he hates it or it sounds funny with your last name.

Then there is the problem of making the name flow with the other people’s names in the family. When we were expecting our fourth, it seemed like every name either rhymed with or clashed with one of our other kid’s names. The boy name we had picked out for Elle was Leo, but we felt we couldn’t use Leo for number 4 because when saying “Elle and Leo” I was afraid it would sound like “LELELELELO”.

Maybe I was over analyzing things, but at the time we totally struggled with the decision and didn’t decide on a name until the absolute last minute. Baby names are hard.

Now that we are done having kids, I have certain names that give me a little twinge of regret whenever I hear them. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love our kids’ names and they suit their personalities perfectly. But I am a little sad for the names I used to lust over that I’ll never get to use.

My baby name crush list:

Mabel- The husband declared I had pregnancy-induced insanity when I suggested this one. I tried to sell him on “it’s so ugly it’s cute” but he wasn’t budging.

Meadow- He called me a hippie (like that’s an insult?)

Ava- I love it but so does everyone else. Too popular.

Penelope- Our last name also has three syllables and starts with “P” so yeah, it sounds ridiculous.

Reese- Love the name but feared a complex relationship to a certain chocolate.

Sylvie- I liked Sylvie, he liked Sylvia, and we were never able to meet in the middle.

Leo- I still sweat this so name hard!

Jude- Such a cute name but we tried to avoid any names that people associate with songs.

Don’t be shy, share with us…

baby name crush

Mom Talk Monday: What’s your dream travel destination?

Travel has always been one of my greatest passions in life. Almost nothing makes me happier than planning a trip, especially to a new destination that I’ve never been to before.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always planning my next trip to Disney World, and coming up this spring, a Disney cruise. But at any given time, I can guarantee I’m also fantasizing about at least one new location.

With temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit this past week, I’ve been dreaming about a winter getaway even more than usual.

what's your dream travel destination
Even my children, who are normally immune to cold, only lasted about 15 minutes in these frigid temps

Since I could never limit my dream travel list to one destination, here is my current top spot per continent. I may never get to half of these, but like my girl Cinderella says, you can’t order me to stop dreaming 😊

North America

Tie. (Wow, aren’t I good at narrowing down my list?)

your dream travel destination
What happens in Vegas…

Las Vegas because apparently all the bachelorette parties I’ve been to were lame so I’ve actually never been there! I’m not a big gambler but I do enjoy dabbling in a little here and there and I think I’d like the fun vibe and pace of Vegas. I like to see shows too. And it just seems like a place I should go before I get too old to enjoy it.

your dream travel destination
An Alaskan cruise, perhaps?

Alaska would be my other top pick. I know, I know, I was saying I’ve been dreaming about warm destinations. But Alaska has been on my mind for the last couple years just because it’s such a different destination than I typically go to. My husband is a big nature lover and he likes more of an action-packed, outdoorsy trip than the usual beach vacation.

South America

your dream travel destination
Rickety bridge through the jungle? Bring it!

Costa Rica

I’ve had this trip planned out in my mind for at least 7 or 8 years now. If I stop having kids, maybe I’ll actually get to take it!

Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park, Monteverde Cloud forest, hot springs, waterfalls, rain forest, zipping, pura vida all the way.


your dream travel destination
Photo credit: Aitutaki Private Island Resort


When I was researching destinations for my honeymoon, I stumbled upon this little hidden gem in the Cook Islands. A territory of New Zealand, the whole island is less than 7 square miles. Its romantic, empty white sand beaches seem like they are calling out directly to me.


your dream travel destination


Another contender when I was planning my honeymoon, Bali seems like an awesome mix of adventure, sightseeing, nature, culture, and relaxation. (We ended up going to Thailand by the way, which was a similarly amazing blend.) Realistically I don’t know if we will ever make it back to Asia, but I hope we do!


your dream travel destination
Is this even real?! Photo credit:

Cinque Terre

I’ve been to Italy several times, but have never had the pleasure of exploring Cinque Terre, a string of 5 villages on the Italian Riviera. We plan on hiking the rocky terrain from village to village, lingering and enjoying each one. With the brilliant coastal views and trademark colorful buildings, the photos will absolutely rock my Instagram feed!


your dream travel destination
I’d trade frostbite for excessive sweating to visit these bad boys!


At the risk of being the most cliche dreamer out there, I’m including one of the Seven Wonders on my dream travel list. My best friend growing up wanted to be an Egyptologist and some of her fascination seems to have rubbed off on me.


your dream travel destination
Actual footage of my best Mom friend and I walking the kids to school

My home currently feels like Antartica. Just no.

What’s your dream travel destination?



Mom Talk Monday: What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

If you are on any type of social media this week, all you’ll read about is New Year’s resolutions. Love them or hate them, you definitely can’t escape them.

I’m the type of person who becomes obsessed with things at random. I’ll have an idea pop into my mind and I’ll throw myself into it for a period of days, weeks, months or more. When this happens it doesn’t have anything to do with what time of year it is. So when New Year’s rolls around, I’ve already made the change I wanted to make.

If I try to force myself to make a change when it’s the time that I happen to be obsessing over it, I already know it won’t work.

Last year my resolution was to drink more water. I made myself sick for 3 days trying to choke down 64 oz and then promptly forgot about it.

Several times I’ve tried to quit coffee, taking weeks to wean myself from 2 cups a day down to nothing. Then a kid will keep me up all night for whatever reason, and I’ll decide to “make an exception” and drink a coffee that day. That one cup will be the most delicious cup I’ve ever tasted and I’ll wonder why I ever gave it up. BOOM: coffee quitting resolution down the drain.

Another year I resolved to be more organized, and then my husband asked me to organize a drawer. I started twitched from the idea of having to organize and declared myself allergic to organization. Then I resolved to be content with my disorganized life.

This my first New Year’s with a blog so I feel like I need to make a resolution around that. Should I bother? Are my resolutions cursed? Do they ever work for anyone?

What’s your New Year’s resolution? If you don’t have one, why not?

what's your new year's resolution

Mom Talk Monday: What was the highlight of your Christmas?

Christmas fell on Monday this week so we are doing Mom Talk Tuesday and pretending it’s Monday 😉

highlight of your Christmas

We had a truly fantastic Christmas here yesterday, starting at the crack of dawn of course. The kids tore through their stocking gifts as soon as we got downstairs. Then we made this fantastic Sweet and Sticky Monkey Bread which the kids devoured. (It’s fun because you can pull pieces off and it basically tastes like a cinnamon doughnut.)

After breakfast we got dressed and opened all the presents under the tree. I try really hard not to overdo it at Christmastime, but between the 3 or 4 gifts that we get them plus the ones each kid gets for each other (times the six people in our family) it does end up looking like a lot of presents! A lot of them are books, school supplies, or other useful items though.

highlight of your christmas

While the kids enjoyed their gifts, John and I hit the ground running to get ready for company to arrive. It was our first time hosting Christmas and we really wanted to make it special. The prime rib roast needed three hours to cook, so we put that in as soon as our apps came out of the oven.

I always like to set the mood for a party by serving a signature drink. This time I chose a simple cranberry mimosa because of the festive color, and threw a couple frozen cranberries in to make it look even more like the holidays.

highlight of your Christmas

We served dinner on our fine china (only the second time we’ve used it during our 8 years of marriage). Of course I was so caught up in the moment I forgot to take any pictures!

Our guests stayed for the afternoon and into the evening, and the kids were so exhausted they actually went to sleep really easily.

A couple of my favorite moments

Looking back on our wonderful day, it is hard to pick one highlight. One of my favorite parts was seeing the kids give each other hugs unprompted after opening the gifts they gave one another. It’s so touching for me see how much they love each other.

Another highlight is when we went to put Luca to bed for the night. Most of our guests were still there, and we told him to say goodnight to everyone. Well this baby loves to give kisses, he went around the table insisting on giving every single person a kiss goodnight. When someone offered him “knuckles” he shook his head no and puckered up.

I may be biased, but I find his kisses irresistible!

highlight of your christmas

We were exhausted after everyone left, but it was the best kind of exhausted following a very special day.

Share! What was the highlight of your Christmas?

highlight of your christmas

Mom Talk Monday: O Christmas Tree!

With exactly one week to go until Christmas, I have another holiday-themed question for today’s Mom Talk Monday.

My husband and I are on different sides of this one, but I won’t tell you which of us is on which side.

Is your Christmas tree real or artificial? I’d also love to hear the reason why!

christmas tree

Maybe your reasons will sway one of us to switch sides 🙂