All Smiles Here!

Good morning all!! Hope you are feeling as enthusiastic about this day as Quinn is!

Gigi took this photo, and I just love it. Quinn has been all about the big open-mouth smiles lately.

She has become more and more interactive by the day, reaching and grabbing things, attempting laughs and actually playing! It’s been so much fun. I just love this stage!!

The end of August brought with it pretty repetitive days. If I wasn’t working, then we went on early morning walks. Walks were followed by days marked by wake windows and naps and then a super early bedtime of 730/8 pm. I go to bed the same time as Quinn and am asleep prior to 9 pm many nights.

I’m still on my bison or beef taco/lettuce wrap kick. I think I’ll probably need to make these tonight!

August 22nd, I was let home from work early since the census was low. I was ecstatic to go get my girl early. I downed my lunch in the car prior to picking up Quinn which included a salad with various veggies, a sweet beet burger, a hard boiled egg, baba ganoush and fattoush dressing.

Speaking of work!! I don’t know if I’ve talked much about what it’s like being back. I was so nervous going back after being away for 3 months, but it was just like riding a bike. I also cried on the way for my first shift knowing I’d be away from Quinn, but getting updates/pictures from her daycare made ALL the difference. It actually felt so good to be back at it and back with patients. My first patient said the kindest, most encouraging words to me, and it affirmed I made the right decision by continuing in this role. I also don’t work full time right now, so I think that helped the transition.

Anyway, on non-work days, for lunch I’m still on a kick of turkey sammys with vegan smoked gouda cheese, tomato, lettuce, sometimes avocado and mustard on Dave’s bread. Always accompanied by something salty and always followed by a piece of Hu dark chocolate 😋.

I found these Lavash wraps recently and have been making turkey wraps instead of the sandwich some days.

This girl has been soo smiley lately, and I just adore every single one. My heart!!!

Another craving lately is huge salads with chicken, colby jack vegan cheese, hummus and fattoush dressing.

And I’ve been obsessed with air fryer salmon with harissa, veggies and brown rice at least once a week.

The last week of August, it really felt like there were notes of fall in the air. I’m so looking forward to Autumn this year (basic girls commence 😝). We had a beautiful one last year, but I couldn’t enjoy it as I was so sick my first trimester. Also our summer has been HOT, so I’m looking forward to not rushing out the door to beat the heat for walks.

Oh look, another wrap. For this one, I experimented by adding sweet beets. It was good! Kind of reminded me of cranberry and turkey together.

Something I’ve been trying to do lately is make sure nothing is going to waste before restocking on groceries. I also try to find pantry items that have been sitting there for a while and use them as inspo for a new dish. I found a can of cream of mushroom and made this beef stroganoff. So easy & DJ loved. I’ll have to make again once I can have dairy!

Another criminally easy but tasty dinner included these chicken & quinoa lettuce boats with a dollop of kite hill almond milk yogurt as “sour cream”. My one regret was not adding the vegan colby jack cheese – which, of course, dawned on me only after I had gobbled them all up.

On weekends, we always make sure to do a morning walk as a family weather permitting. We so look forward to these walks together as it’s some of the only uninterrupted chat time we get through the week. We are starting to notice all the other “regulars” on the trail too. There are two bikers, Jill and Sue, who pass us almost every single time and always make sure to say a friendly hello!

After feeding Quinn on the trail (I just bring a blanket and feed her standing), DJ snapped this pic. I sent around to family to caption. Mine was “when you have a blowout, but are a mile from the car with the diaper bag”. If it’s wrong to make memes out of your child’s pics, I don’t wanna be right 😆.

It’s really hard for me to get runs in during the week since Quinn is not napping super long in her crib (and other things take precedent during naps like dishes and such), wow, sometimes I find myself sounding like such a mom LOL. Anyway, DJ helps me sneak in a run or two every weekend while he watches Quinn .

This was one of my better runs of late!

My pace is generally slower, which can be discouraging. I know I’ll get back to running regularly one day, but my main priority right now is being with Quinn. Plus, we get so much walking in during the day, so I’m at least getting exercise. I also alternate an ab or arm workout daily (I usually can do that during play time!). She actually loves to watch me do arm workouts, it’s kinda funny.

When I got back in the car from my run, I looked in the mirror and did not realize I hadn’t fully rubbed in my sunscreen. People probably got a giggle as I ran past them smiling with gobs of sunscreen on my face. Also still have the sticker on my hat 🤣.

More smiles from this sweet girl!

She loves when I sing/chant this little jingle to her. Don’t mind my obnoxious voice, but I just love this vid of her!!!

Lots and lots and lots of carrier nap walks!!!

I would occasionally crave the time I know a lot of moms get when their baby is an independent napper, but now I so appreciate that Quinn loves contact naps. I just treasure this time, holding her so close. I usually will watch a show, listen to a podcast or read while walking. I look forward to the naps & oh my goodness, I will miss them when she really starts napping in her crib for long periods. She does fine napping at daycare surprisingly which was my biggest concern, but she adapted well. Oh, we upgraded our carrier too!! Now that she’s bigger, this one is a lot sturdier than the cloth and way less a hassle (the fabric was getting stretched way too easily).

Before leaving for Traverse City, our Aunt Jean and Gigi stopped by to see us and play with Quinn! 💕

Unfortunately, Quinn also got sick with a cold for the first time on the heels of DJ and me having one. Girl is gonna have a heck of an immune system with me working in a hospital and her going to daycare. She battled it well and got over it fairly quickly, but it’s scary seeing your little one so congested and having difficulty clearing out that mucus.

We also FaceTimed my mom that week. She was playing peek-a-boo with Quinn which she got the biggest kick out of. My mom and Pete are coming next week & we are SO stoked!!! My mom hasn’t seen Quinn since May, so she’s changed a lot. It’s going to be a great week ❤️.

Thanks for reading this little hodge podge of a post!

Questions for you:

– What are you looking forward to this fall?

– What was the highlight of your summer?

– Have you watched Stranger Things? I’m thinking it’d be a good show to watch during spooky season! I’ve never seen it.



20 thoughts on “All Smiles Here!

  1. You create the best posts- so many cute and adorable photos of Quinn and plenty of gorgeous and delicious-looking food shots! I read your posts at least twice. Sounds like you are all doing great!! Sending lots of love to you and your beautiful family.

  2. LOVE LOVE your updates!! All of your food makes me drool. I want to step it up and make these meals. They may seem simple or on rotation for you, but they are so inspiring.

    Quinn is unbelievably precious and full of the cutest personality! She has a smile that can light up the world!

    I have hardly exercised aside from walks, but I always try to hold grace for myself. We are in the thick of mothering, working outside of the home, dealing with sicknesses, etc., so I am rather proud of you and myself. Slow and steady plus acknowledging I have forever been changed in the best way possible.

    I am looking forward to visiting a pumpkin patch with Matt, Ansley, Kaci, Drew, and Camden, and we are all getting photos together!

    The highlight of my summer, as cheesy as it sounds, is just all of the memories made with Ansley and my family.

    Stranger Things is an amazing series! Perfect for spooky season.

    1. Thanks so much, Kori!! That really means a lot you find the meals inspiring, especially coming from you who is so creative with meals! ☺️

      Awww thank you, friend!! It’s just the best seeing their personalities develop, isn’t it?!

      Giving ourselves grace is sooo important, more than I even realized going into motherhood! I love how you focused on the things we should be proud of ourselves for 💕 thank you for that!!

      Yesss! Cannot wait to go to a pumpkin patch too! Please send your photos 😍

      That’s the best way to spend summer- with family 💕.

      Ohhh I think I may start today! It feels like full on fall here now 🙂

  3. Loved Steanger Things! And it will be the perfect series to tuck into a cozy blanket and watch with a candle glowing beside you. Might have to rewatch it just for that experience myself!

      1. I wouldn’t say it’s scary really (I don’t typically watch scary things). It’s more thrilling/spooky. You get invested in the characters very quickly and intensely.

  4. She is getting so big! And I can tell she has a happy personality… just like her Momma! Her smiles are adorable!
    I get inspired with your food shots. Salmon in the air fryer… sounds delicious. I need to look into that .
    It also looks like you live close to the metro park trails. I loved them when I lived in Strongsville.
    Happy Fall to you my friend! And give that little one a hug from me.

    1. Aww thanks, Nancy!! Oh yes highly recommend the air fryer salmon – so yummy!

      Yes!! We love the metro parks. Even though we don’t have much of a yard, I’m grateful we live close to them!

      Happy fall to you too! I sure will ☺️

    1. Aww thanks Rossy!! I don’t see it, but thank you for taking the time to comment 😊 no worries about rewriting it- I know how frustrating it is when WP deletes a comment!!!

  5. Ahh, look at all those precious smiles! Love the meme picture on the trail, LOL! I’m glad the transition back to work hasn’t been too rough on you! Also, I am so impressed by your running pace!! That’s amazing in my eyes! Oh and about contact naps… you will never think back and wish you hadn’t had Quinn sleep on you or snuggle you <3 She's beautiful Mackenzie! You and DJ are doing SUCH a good job as parents and it's clear by how happy your girlie is! <3

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