Coll Writes

You know how I do.

Happiness.

Written By: Colleen - Jul• 02•18

I found this graphic two years ago after one of the absolute worst days of my life, and even then, it took me another several months to really understand and appreciate its lesson. I’ve held onto it on my desktop as a reminder that only I am responsible for my reactions to things and my own happiness. It was a powerful realization for me to figure this out. I think it’s made me a better person to view life from this perspective. If you’re out there and life is difficult right now, I hope this is a gentle reminder and inspiration for you too. It always gets better.


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20 Years is a Long Time

Written By: Colleen - May• 17•18

And just like that, 20 long years have gone by. I cannot believe it. We continue to miss you, my friend. I hope you’re still singing away with the angels in heaven.

12.20.1983-5.17.1998
Nothing ever so common.

Back to Work…

Written By: Colleen - May• 15•18

It’s back to work today. I can’t believe it’s been 13 weeks already. I have had such a positive maternity leave and have clicked so much with Alexander that the idea of leaving him when I know he depends on me so much is making me sick to my stomach. Not gonna lie, I have had several moments over the last few weeks where I’ve looked at his little face and burst into tears that our precious, precious time together has come to an end. Even as I type this now, my eyes well with tears. ALL OF THE FEELS.

I genuinely cannot even begin to describe all of the emotions I’m feeling right now. While I love my job and want to go back to work, I’m just not ready to go back to it yet. I wish I had another three months at home. I’m probably not going to do this baby thing ever again, and my heart breaks when Alex looks up at me and smiles at me like I’m his whole world. He’s such a happy baby. I’m going to miss our daily routine of his different playtimes and our “chats” and working out “together.” He’s also an excellent helper while shopping and all-around good company.

I also spent Tuesdays and Thursdays with Zachary. We have had a lot of really great times and grown closer as well. I was trying to go over everything that we’ve done over the past few months and was surprised at just how action-packed it’s been. I’m going to miss these times. I did a decent job blogging about them in the beginning but slacked off over the last month. I wish I had done an even better job to capture those memories in writing as they were happening. From weekly trips to the bouncy house and story time with animals to simple Target and Harris Teeter trips, Zach, Alex and I have had a really great time together.

All in all, it really has been a wonderful three months and I am so sad that it’s over. I love my boys. I’m so grateful that I was able to have three full months with them.

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The Broadcast Ep. 2.35 “I’m Not Eating That”

Written By: Colleen - Apr• 13•18

A new episode of The Broadcast will be out today, April 13. Are you current? I think that episode 2.35 is one of my Top 5 favorite episodes. That’s right. Top 5, baby.

On this episode, I tell the story of the mail truck that caught fire on the back/side/front of my house and crowdsource an upcoming decision. We also get a very powerful voicemail from Maggie, who was at the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. This voicemail is incredible and not only did I cry listening to it, several listeners have sent in feedback saying that they cried as well. The show does a hard pivot at the end with a very funny, but very adult/gross voicemail.

You can listen to the latest episode via BlogTalk Radiojayandjack.comiTunesStitcherGoogle Play/Android, etc. Happy Listening and thanks for listening.

Alex is 2-months-old!

Written By: Colleen - Apr• 12•18

On Monday, April 9, our sweet Alexander Thomas turned two-months-old. I cannot believe it has already been two months. It feels like just yesterday that I was lamenting that he was taking too long to be born. Crazy.

At his two-month checkup, Alex was 22 1/4 inches long and weighed in at 10lbs 10 oz. He’s in the 17 percentile for both height and weight, but the 43 percentile overall. His head circumference was in the 93 percentile, though, so clearly, he has Jay’s head. 😉

Alexander is a sweet, happy baby. He loves to converse with you if you engage him. He coos and smiles a lot. We think he’s going to be a good storyteller. He loves playing on his playmats or watching the mobile in his crib. He figured out how to make the little animals on the attachment for the rock ‘n’ play move by rocking it with his feet. He’s so smart! He also likes watching Mommy do an exercise video and will hang out in the same room with her while she does it. He only ever gets fussy within the last five minutes of one. Mommy is grateful for that.

He’s also a pretty good snuggler…

Baby ATG also loves listening to music and remains a good sleeper. He is a big fan of the Beatles and his daddy’s guitar playing. Most nights, he sleeps from around 9 p.m to around 2:30-3:00 a.m., and then again around 5:30 a.m. and 8-8:30 a.m. Mommy is also grateful for that. [Note: Now that I’ve typed this out, I’ve probably jinxed him to wake up every two hours, including for good at 6 a.m., lol.]

Alex’s dislikes include sleeping flat on his back (he gets bad gas so he sleeps primarily in his rock ‘n’ play, with some pack ‘n’ play and swing naps during the day), dairy (again, see: gas), and being outside in the backyard (you can put him in the stroller in the front yard and he’s fine, but bring him around back and noooope lol). He also cries a lot when he is overtired at night. Luckily, he’s started having different cries, which helps us identify the problem a lot quicker now.

Alex gets along great with his big brother, Zachary, and of course, he loves his daddy. He will coo and laugh for Jay whenever he gets home from work like he’s telling him about his day. Zach is a loving brother and Alex enjoys engaging with him while he’s playing. He even smiled at him this morning. And Zoe! Zoe is obsessed with watching Alex. She has even nuzzled his head a few times during feedings. She sleeps at the end of the bed in between me and him, like she’s comfortably protecting and watching over both of us. Her attitude towards Zach has even improved. All is well so far in G-land.

We love this little dude so much and are so happy that he’s a part of our family!

Pictures from the last month:

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NC TOYCON!

Written By: Colleen - Apr• 06•18

If you are in the Raleigh NC area this Saturday, April 7, come check out NCTOYCON, Jay’s newest project.  It’s from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.at the Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport-Brier Creek. Tickets are $5 for anyone over age 13. You can buy tickets in advance here or purchase them at the door. Check out their website for more information, including toy dealers who will be attending.

It is going to be a really great event. Hope anyone in the area who is interested in collecting cool toys will come check it out. Never too early for Christmas or birthday gifts!

The Broadcast Ep. 2.34 “Speedboating”

Written By: Colleen - Apr• 05•18


I started editing the most recent episode of The Broadcast and realized that I never posted anything about our last episode, which was released two weeks ago. We took last week off because it was Jay’s birthday on Tuesday (the day we usually record) and I needed a mental health week.

The episode is good though! Shandy talks about her experience at the open call for Big Little Lies extras in Monterey, take a Harry Potter character quiz, solve the mystery behind Shandy’s mysterious children’s toy, and have a discussion on what is theft and what is not.

The theft discussion has garnered a lot of feedback so far. Since there was so much of it, we did not get to it on this week’s episode (2.35). We will be covering it next week, so you have time to listen and get your own feedback in if you want to. (And judging by the amount of emails and Facebook comments we’ve received so far about the topic, you may want to weigh in, haha).

You can listen to the latest episode via BlogTalk Radiojayandjack.comiTunesStitcherGoogle Play/Android, etc. Happy Listening and thanks for listening.

That Time Our Mail Truck Was on Fire

Written By: Colleen - Apr• 03•18

Nothing like getting a good blogging rhythm going and then disappearing for two weeks, #amirite? It’s been a very crazy couple of weeks; we had Jay’s birthday last week (more on that in another post) and Zachary is on Day 6 of being home sick, though he’s finally on the mend. He had a high fever for 5 days (he hit 105 on Sunday). They originally suspected the start of an ear infection and strep was the cause, then we were back yesterday (Monday) and they tested him for mono, but it’s just viral tonsillitis. The week before that, Alex was eating a lot more frequently due to the 6-week growth spurt, so needless to say, it’s been a sleepless two weeks and I kind of feel like crying right now, haha.

Anyway, last Monday, we had some excitement around these parts. Around 3 p.m., I was nursing Alex in his room when I heard a loud bang outside, like a gunshot or a car backfiring. Jay had taken off for his birthday and was downstairs cleaning up and organizing his office/Studio West-er(ous)/toy room, so I thought perhaps he dropped something and called him. He didn’t answer, so I figured I’d wait another minute or so before getting up and checking things out. After another minute, I heard two more loud bangs in a row. At this point, I started to get up when Jay called me back from downstairs (I wasn’t shouting and didn’t get up right away because I was trying to get Alex fed and down for a nap). He asked if I was calling about the bangs and I responded, “Yes. Was that you?” He said it wasn’t and that he was wondering if a car had backfired. I decided to get up and investigate.

I walked out of Alex’s room and through the dining room windows, I saw the motherf*cking MAILTRUCK WAS ON FIRE.

“The mail truck! Fire!!” I yelled into the phone.
“What?” Jay replied, clearly confused by the very fast escalation in my tone and volume.
“The mail truck is on fire!!! Look outside! Fire! Call 911! Call someone!”

At this point, Jay had gone outside and seen the flames. He ran upstairs while dialing 911. For some frustrating reason, they were having trouble helping him. I heard him spelling the name of our street and trying to explain what was going on more than once.

I didn’t know what to do and it was seriously burning up in big flames right on our property line. I put Alex down in his crib and decided to run outside to see if the driver was still in there or if anyone needed help at all. I didn’t really have a plan, but I didn’t want someone to be seriously or mortally injured in front of my house, especially without trying to help them.

Thankfully, when I ran out front, a firetruck was already there and preparing to put it out. The driver was standing near the truck. He had seen smoke coming out of the hood while turning around at the end of the street. He pulled over and got out, grabbed his phone and called 911 just as the truck burst into flames. The bangs that I heard were likely the tires blowing.

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The Broadcast Ep. 2.33 “A Vibrator for Everything”

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 19•18

The latest episode of The Broadcast was released on Friday, and it’s a doozy. In a little over 90 minutes, we manage to pack in a ton of different topics, including 23andMe results, a fitness exchange (yoga for running tips), the contents of a Pure Romance package that a listener sent me (click here to visit The Broadcast’s Pure Romance “Party”), and a discussion on how it feels when you find out that someone who you thought liked you doesn’t like you. We also return to the gun control topic, which morphs into a talk about hunting and becoming a vegetarian and get some good lost-and-found stories from listeners.

You can listen to the latest episode via BlogTalk Radio, jayandjack.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play/Android, direct download, etc.

If you’re interested in doing 23andMe, here’s my referral link.

Tex Mex Stuffed Bell Peppers

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 15•18
Now that the baby is a month old, we’ve settled into somewhat of a routine that’s worked well enough for the last week that it was time to try to make some new meals. My first attempt was a modified version of this recipe from Pinterest. The result? It was delicious and a big hit in this household. I loved it. I can’t wait to make it again. It didn’t even take that long. The longest thing was cleaning out the insides of the peppers. Here’s the recipe I did, made for a family of 3:
 
Ingredients:
  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 3 bell peppers (I used red but you can use red, yellow and/or orange)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Mexican blend cheese
  • Sea salt (recommended 1/4 tsp but I did to taste)
  • Black pepper (recommended 1/2 tsp but I did to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove the seeds, core, and membrane from the bell peppers. Slice each one in half.
  3. Cook the ground turkey, breaking it up as it cooks (like you would do for taco meat). Cook until it’s browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the cooked turkey with the salsa and spices.
  5. Evenly distribute the turkey/salsa mix into each bell pepper
  6. Sprinkle extra Mexican blend cheese on top
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bell peppers are hot.
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