Update & Things to Come!

Woah. It’s been way way WAY too long.


SO many things have happened since my last post {I couldn’t tell you what the last one was about without looking, honestly}. I’m going to skip ahead to the here and now, because what’s past is past…and with the exception of getting pregnant with our miracle baby, 2013 kinda sucked.

Lyla is due to make her grand entrance in March, just a little over 2 months from now. So far, my pregnancy has been uneventful…but rough. I could seriously sleep ALL. THE. TIME. and never feel rested. My hips kill, heart burn has made TUMS my BFF, and I haven’t slept through the night since I was around 18 weeks {probably longer…but who’s counting}. I’m crazy excited for her to get here so I can snuggle and kiss my sweet baby girl…and maybe just slightly so I can have my body back to normal.

Some things you might see coming up on the blog:

1. Home. I’m slowly but surely managing to get our house actually organized & decorated. We’ve been here for two years and it’s never quite felt “complete”.

2. Nursery. After MONTHS of hearing “we’ve got plenty of time”, Steve has finally started work on the nursery. I think seeing 10 WEEKS LEFT shocked him into reality. We’re down to 9 now…so he better chop chop.

3. Baby. I apologize in advance for all of the baby posts. I already know I’m going to do a lot of it…again, sorry.

4. Products. I’ve been doing lots of research on organic…chemical free…cost efficient…DIY…and other products. I’ll definitely share my opinions on whatever I wind up trying. {Wool Dryer Balls are first on the list thanks to my bestie, Cara!…making laundry detergent might be next!}

5. Food. With the baby coming we’re really trying hard to stick to a budget…we eat out way too much. So every once in a while if I find a good recipe, I’ll share it.

6. Parenthood. I’m a first timer. I’m sure i’ll make you say “been there” more than a few times.

7. Love. Face it…the blogs name is Graham Love. I’ll sparingly share our ideas on keeping each other a priority a midst  the chaos of being new parents. Our relationship is important too.

I won’t be sharing much photography here unless it’s of something relevant to our family. I’ll be keeping all of those over on the Trina Louise Photography Blog. Feel free to follow both! 😉


Eventually, I hope to have giveaways and fun contests…but we’ll have to see where it goes.


Christmas 2


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Love always,

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CANCER SUCKS! Help us help our friend…

CANCER. It’s one of those things that have somehow touched every person you meet. You’ve either had a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, sister, or friend who has had cancer. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, black or white, young or old, whether you have 12 children or none at all…cancer doesn’t care. Cancer rolls into your life like a bull in a china shop, taking down all of your walls…breaking everything fragile and precious in its path. Cancer SUCKS!

I’ve watched my Mother battle, and survive, breast cancer. I’ve watched my Aunt lose the love of her life, my uncle, to this horrible beast. I’ve witnessed countless patients go through treatment, the pain, survival, and defeat. I’ve held their hands. I’ve seen what cancer is capable of.

A dear friend of my husband, has cancer.

Graham Baldwin is the type of person who genuinely cares about everyone and likes to help others in his community. He helped care for his wife and his mother-in-law while they both battled breast cancer; the two lost their battle in 2005. Graham has a daughter, 15, a loving girlfriend, and two stepsons, 10 & 11.

Graham felt a lump in his neck for about a year. He’d had it biopsied multiple times, which all came back non-cancerous. After that year, in November 2012 he decided just to have it removed. His worst fears came to life the day after his surgery when the doctor said “its cancer”. Graham was then diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma. His whole world has since been turned upside down. In April 2013 he started aggressive treatment after an additional surgery to remove his tonsils. That surgery showed that was where it all began, before spreading to a nearby lymph node. Now, he’s still getting daily radiation, and frequent chemotherapy…and it’s hard. The radiation makes it hard for him to eat or even speak normally. Its hard on his body, hard on his family, and hard on his spirit.

Steven and I would like to raise some funding for our friend, Graham. He dropped his blue Chevy Silverado off at our house for Steven to fix months ago, but has since been unable to let it get finished. Like any other man, Graham loves his truck. He misses it! There’s nothing better than cruising with the radio up and the windows down with your favorite people riding along, and we’d love to give that back to him. It’s going to take $600 – $700 to buy the parts to fix the truck, and we would love to be able to help him get it finished! As we’re all aware, Cancer treatments are expensive…so is travel to and from the doctor, and all the other every day expenses of having a family. We need your help!


What are we asking of you? Anything! Every little bit helps! If you have even a dollar to spare, we are forever grateful! Graham has always been the one helping others. Now it’s time for others to help him.


Call or text Steven at 240-299-6111 or Katrina at 240-299-6113 to donate!


Checks to: Katrina Graham
Mail to:   65 Hazels Way
                   Sunderland, MD 20689

Thank you!!

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Molly is ONE!!

That’s right! You heard me! My precious fur-baby girl is ONE!! I swear this first year has gone by so quickly. I feel like Steven just brought her home!


We brought Molly home at just 6 weeks old. She was tiny, but fat at the same time. I was in love. She was so timid, and afraid to leave the safety of anyone’s feet {boy, did that change fast!}. She quickly became this rambunctious, bad as hell fun and exciting to be around girl. She has this amazing personality that makes her seem almost human {and I swear I’ve never seen a dog use her paws like hands quite like she does!}.

Our First Family Photo!            


I miss this!

Molly is SO SMART! I think if she were a child, she’d have this incredible IQ that I would be bragging to everyone about. Seriously, the girl can OPEN A LOCKED BABY GATE!!! No, seriously…we have it on tape.






For her first birthday, I made her some dog-friendly cupcakes! Yes, you heard correctly. I made cupcakes for my dog…because I’m the most awesomest pup-mommy evarrr!!! If you’d like the recipe, go here. {I used peanut butter only for the icing because I didnt have a banana, and she loved it anyways}.



Love this face!

Oh, and I totally put a pink candle in it…

..anddd she snatched it up and ran to her “spot” on the couch
and got peanut butter everywhere.



At one year old, Molly can:

 – Sit
 – Lay down
 – Give you a paw
 – Sometimes stay
 – give lots of wet kisses
 – OPEN THE BABY GATE!!!! {we did NOT teach her this!}
 – steal bacon off of the counter when you’re not looking…

She also, is a best friend and most anxiety ridden guard dog I’ve ever had. She knows exactly what to do when her mommy is happy or sad…and knows when I just need her to cuddle with me. I cried on her first birthday…because she is and will always be my first “baby”.

Lots of Love…and wet Molly kisses,

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A New Job – Already!

No, I haven’t left my job as a Nurse…I’m just switching departments!

Ever since I started working as a school nurse, the directors of all the other programs were not so secretly trying to persuade me to apply for their departments. It’s sort of become a running joke in the office. Knowing that I ultimately wanted a full time position, my supervisor told me to go ahead if I needed/wanted to. So I did! I applied, interviewed a day later, and got a call to offer me the position the day after that! Yay!


I’m still working as a Nurse, but as more of a Case Manager for the Cancer Division. I’m excited because my main job will be focused on Breast and Cervical Cancer…and those of you who know me know that Breast Cancer research/screening has a special place in my heart. My mom is a 11 year Breast Cancer Survivor and I am so happy that I will be working to get women the screening they need.


My mom walks in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer every year!
Watch out for information on how you can donate to the cause!

I’m already dreaming up how much PINK I can stuff into one cubicle!! I am SO excited that this all has worked out in the best way I could have ever imagined. God has is ways of putting you exactly where you need to be, and I am learning that more and more with the blessings he has provided me.

Crockpot Dinner – Beef Roast

Are you ready for it? The easiest way to make a roast!

Here’s what you’ll need:

 – Crockpot
 – Beef roast {weight will determine cooking time}
 – Lipton onion soup mix
 – Veggies {potatoes, carrotts, celery, ect.}
 – Water
 – Olive Oil
 – Skillett {optional}


Here we go! {please excuse the amateur photos…I used my iPhone this time}


1. {Optional} drizzle olive oil onto hot skillet or pan. Brown all sides of the roast. You don’t HAVE to do this step, but I think it looks prettier when its done.


2. Set your Crockpot to HIGH to be done in a few hours, or LOW if you will be leaving it all day.

3. Pour 3/4 cup of water into the Crockpot {this can be eyeballed…doesnt have to be exact}.

4. Place your browned Beef Roast in the crockpot and add the vegetables.


5. Shake two packets of the Lipton Onion Soup mix onto everything in the Crockpot.



6. Set your timer. If you have a 2 lb roast, and set it on high, it will be done in a couple of hours 2 1/2 or so. Larger roasts, or settings to low temperature will take longer.


How will you know when its done!? Well, you should be able to cut it easily…even sometimes with a fork!


That’s it! It is seriously the easiest way ever to make dinner. Steven loves his beef, so it’s a win win! I am in love with my Crockpot and will be finding more things to make with it! If you have an idea for a Crockpot recipe, leave it in the comments!

With Love,

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Three Days In – The Whole 30 & My New Job!

If you’re wondering what the heck The Whole 30 is, click here to see my last post all about it!

It’s FRIDAY!! I survived my first three days of both my new job as a school Nurse, and the beginning of The Whole 30! I’m starving, craving something delicious and oh-so-tired…but I survived. My next weigh in is not until next Wednesday, so I’ll update you all then on that part of it.

What i’ve been eating:

Turkey bacon has been a lifesaver. I cook it ahead of time, separate portions into baggies and put them in the fridge. It’s great to be able to grab and go…especially if im in a hurry in the morning.

This was so my lovely husband wouldn’t eat all of my turkey bacon! He like’s the grab and go too!


Chicken, chicken, and more chicken. Since I knew I was starting this new job and wouldn’t feel like cooking for the next day after work I made enough chicken for the rest of the week. I love chicken, so it’s not hard for me to eat over and over.

Salad. I was never a huge salad lover, but ive discovered that putting chicken in it makes it a whole lot better.

WATER. I dont think I have ever drank so much water in my life. I had really gotten addicted to sodas, so I guess its good that I can’t even have the diet ones on The Whole 30.

That’s obviously not ALL I have been eating, but its the gist of it. I’ve had a terrible headache the past few days, but I’m thinking thats a combination of everything {sugar withdrawl, stress, having bad eyes and not wearing my glasses…}


I also started my new job as a school Nurse. I’m not at any one particular school, so I can be sent to any school in that county. This week has just been orientation..so I basically observed at an elementry school, a middle school, and a high school. Today was the high school, and surprisingly I actually enjoyed that a lot. I think maybe because they’re sort of self sufficient and I wouldnt have to coddle them like you would a kindergartner {usually…haha}.

I also made a note to myself to not wear the scrubs that I wore today again to that school because theyre the same color as the school’s track uniforms…I blend in to the students anyways, matching their clothes is not a good idea! I’m considering wearing street clothes and a lab coat eventually, just because 1. I’d get to wear cute clothes, and 2. I might look older than in my scrubs..thus like an adult and not one of the students!

My husband isn’t one to send these kinds of things all of the time, so when I do get them I love it!
Makes my whole day better!
If you can’t tell, the photo is our furbaby covered up to the nose in her blanket. 🙂



This weekend I am hoping to do some sort of beauty or DIY post. Anything you would like to see!!?? Comment below with requests!

Luh Yuh!

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The Whole 30 – Committing & Getting Started

What is The Whole 30, you ask? Well, Ill tell you!


The Whole 30 is…well, a diet. I know, I know…the word diet just makes you cringe. This is more than just a diet though, its supposed to be a cleansing…the beginning to a new lifestyle, it literally claims that “it will change your life”.


Here is a direct quote…
“Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects {those} foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.”


I actually heard about this a loooonggg time ago…then lost the paper, ate some chocolate and moved on. Now recently, my amazing, beautiful and oh-so talented {gotta stay the favorite neice ;)} Aunt Lisa re-introduced me to it. After hearing that she loved it and has felt so good after doing it, I am going to suck it up {or in} and commit. I have also committed to a weight loss challenge that involves money! So now that my precious dollars are at stake, I am definitely in.


What can’t I eat? Everything delicious.
…okay, not completely. Just mostly.


Here’s some details:

No sugar of any kind. Wait, WHAT!? NO SUGAR!? but what about chocolate….and cake…and chocolate cake!?!?
Do not consume alcohol in any form. This wont be too hard…although I lurve my moscato. Ill survive.
Do not eat grains. Doable.
Do not eat legumes {beans}. Okay, less farting. Sounds okay…I can manage that.
Do not eat dairy. OHHHH NOOOOO! What will I do without CHEESE!?
Do not eat white potatoes. ::Sadface::.


Oh, and do not weigh yourself for the Whole 30….SAY WHAT?! I am guilty of weighing myself at least once a day…and sometimes 3. I need someone to hide it from me.


What I can eat is meat, seafood, eggs, “tons of vegetables”, some fruits, good fats, nuts and seeds. Did I mention that I wont be allowing any of the “NO NO” foods into my house? No? Whoops. Sorry honey. You’ll have to get your rice and  potato kicks elsewhere. You can keep the kegerator though, I dont like your beer.


I’ll be starting The Whole 30 on Wednesday, January 9th. That date also happens to be the first day of my new job. Woo hoo! Up until Wednesday I am weaning myself off of said no no foods to try and avoid the terrible headaches that come with caffeine and sugar withdrawl. I won’t tell you how much I weigh, because then I’d have to kill you…and I can’t do that because then I am legally obligated as a Nurse to try and save you. That crap ain’t what I call a good time. I will tell you how much I have lost at the end of the 30 days though.


I have begun to purge my kitchen of the evil that is carbs and sugar {I dont throw away good food, so it will be put into a tupperware container and hidden by my husband, and whatever we dont bring back out will be donated}. I will check in here possibly weekly about how I am doing with it.


It’s all packed away….

And just because you HAVE to have one last thing before a big change…


Have you ever done The Whole 30?…or any other cleansing? Share your stories below!

With Love,
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2012 in Review — A Survey and Hopes for the Future!

Happy New Year!! For my first blog post, being that it IS new years eve, I thought it would be perfect to start with an “end of year survey” that I got here, and she got here, who got it there….who got it from a book.


1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Ran a household. Sure, we lived in apartment together before…but this was different. We moved into our house right after we got married {literally as soon as we got back from our honeymoon} in early October 2011. Those first few months were just us getting everything situated. 2012 has been an eye opener to how much work really goes into having a home. Being an adult SUCKS!….okay, not all the time. I mean, I get to have ice cream for dinner and skip cleaning my room occasionally…and decorating is really fun too!


2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolution and will you make more for this year?
I actually made a list – a 12 in 2012 list – of a bunch of things I wanted to do this past year…I think I completed two. I don’t think I am going to make resolutions for this year, per se, but make goals that I would like to happen this year. I like goals better than resolutions.


2. What countries did you visit?
In 2011 we went on our amazing honeymoon to Bermuda. We didn’t go anywhere quite as exotic this year, but we did get to Tennessee for the HOG rally! It was so much fun, and the icing on the cake was seeing the Charlie Daniels Band play live! What can I say, I’m a sucker for good old country music.



3. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A baby. I wasn’t going to put it out there, but it donned on me that pretty much everyone I know already knows my baby fever is on the level of cray right now.


4. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
– January 1, 2012: Our first New Years kiss as husband and wife!
– March 17, 2012: We adopted our beautiful black lab, Molly!
– October 1, 2012: Our first wedding anniversary!
– November 30, 2012: I got a new job and will be starting with the new year!!
– December 31, 2012: I’m starting this blog.

This is Molly. She’s so much bigger than this now. I guess I need to update her portraits!

This one was days before our one year anniversary, standing where he proposed! 
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5. What was your biggest acheivement of the year?
Hitting the one year milestone of our marriage. I mean, we made it longer than Kim Kardashian right?!


6. Did you suffer an illness or injury?
Nothing new. I just had some issues with my back again.


7. What was the best thing you bought?
Definitely my iPhone! I bought one for me and for Steve for our anniversary. We LOVE them!


8. Where did the most of your money go?
Billz, Billz, Billz! I can’t wait to get started with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University this year!


9. What did you get really excited about?
Molly. I was SO excited when we adopted her! She is our princess, for sure! Also, I started going back to church. I grew up Catholic, but have fallen in love with a Methodist Church nearby. I’m so excited to grow my relationship with God.


10. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Ho Hey – The Lumineers. I have no clue why…its just always stuck in my head!


11. Compared to this time last year are you:
                         Happier or Sadder? Happier – The possibilities of next year have me giddy!
                         Thinner or Fatter? The same – I’m just about the same. I have yet to lose the 10lbs I gained on our cruise.
                         Richer or Poorer? Financially about the same. Hopefully this one will change soon!


12. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I had been able to spend more time with Steve. Our schedules are opposite, so weekends are what we get together.


13. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas Eve with my family, and Christmas Day with his. Both days were perfect.

This was one of the few decent shots we got from our Christmas pictures.

14. What was your favorite TV program?
I’m a sucker for reality TV. I love it all. My favorite has to be Duck Dynasty though. I love it, JACK!


15. What were your favorite books of the year?
I loved the Hunger Games, but 50 Shades of Gray had me hooked. I read all three books in one week.


16. What was your favorite music of the year?
I’m normally a country music freak, but this year I got a lot more into other music. HOT 99.5 was my favorite station to listen to.


17. What were your favorite films from this year?
I actually didn’t see a lot of movies this year. I loved The Vow, and Hunger Games though.


18. What did you do for your birthday, and how old were you?
I actually had a hard time turning 26 this year. For some reason I didnt like the other side of 25…but so far its going great, and I’m loving being 26. On my birthday I went to see ICE with my sister and nephew, then hubby took me to see Christmas lights and for drinks at Chili’s! It was a relaxed, but fun day.


19. What was one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I would have loved to have paid off a lot of our bills. We don’t have a crazy amount or anything, but to not have any would be marvelous!


20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Better than ever. I love layers, and scarves and sweaters…for once I actually have clothes that are “in” while they are still in!


21. What kept you sane?
My husband.


22. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
I learned that when you have a family {husband, dog…} your decisions arent just yours anymore.


23. Song lyric that sums up the year?
Borrowed this one from Jolie, it was perfect for us.

Feist: Mushaboom—-
I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house
We’ll collect the moments one by one
I guess that’s how the future’s done



As for 2013, there are so many things that have me excited! I am starting my new job as a School Nurse, we’re going to be starting our savings for a down payment on a house, and taking the FPU course to learn all about budgeting and finances. Eventually, I want to make a 30 by 30 list, inspired by Andrea. Last year I made a 12 in 2012 list, but I want to have more lengthy goals. Now that I am older (gag!) I have to think farther ahead than just next year.

Stay tuned! I think 2013 is going to be our best year yet!


With Love,
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