Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today is the Day: Ready for the New Year!

I'm fairly certain that the next two days cannot go by soon enough.  Tomorrow at 5:00 will kick off the most necessary 13-day break I have needed in such a long time.  It took all I had to come into work today, and although it's pretty slow in the office, showing up is what counts at a time like this.. LOL.

2012 has been a great year, but I am so ready to see what 2013 has in store for my family and me.  The first thing on the New Year's agenda for me is to get healthy.  Why start January 1, when really, there's no better day than today.  P.S. I've said that same thing about 4 days in a row this week and have been bombarded with a Cookie Exchange at work and a platter full of deliciousness from my Mother-in-law.  Today is the day.

So with that said, I am in clean eating mode starting today.  I'm following the Tone It Up Plan: 7 Day Slim Down, and here is what I had for meal 1-- Slim Down Scramble.

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2 egg whites

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green pepper, mushroom and tomatoes

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scramble together 

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Along with clean eating, I will be incorporating running.  I've started the Couch 2 10K program a couple different times, and I've done a 10 week challenge at a local fit club... I feel like I've tried a lot of different exercise regimens, but to be completely honest, working 40 hours a week and having two children under the age of 2, along with a household to maintain, is a lot--- and I need my sleep!  Excuses?  Maybe. 

I am not someone who feels AMAZING when I wake up at the ass crack of dawn to get in a good sweat sesh.  In fact, most of the time, I feel more tired.  After work, it's freaking dark by 4:00PM, and by the time I get out of work, pick the girls up from day care, drive home, feed the baby, get Teagie a snack, start dinner, eat dinner, clean up from dinner and get the girls showers, it's damn near 8:00---AND Mama's tired!!

I'm not a runner, I never have been, but hope to someday become one! Tonight I'm planning a mile run to jump start my 7-days of running.  Stay tuned. LOL!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Menu Mania

It's freaking Friday!  Finally.  What a week it's been.  Monday we were still on our annual camping trip with some friends, so when Tuesday came around, I was so not rested.  At all.  It actually took me about three days to recoup after that trip, and I'm just now starting to feel like myself.

Since we didn't get home until late Monday night, we didn't have a menu plan, and didn't go grocery shopping.  On our way home, we decided that we would try to go the week without a legit shopping trip and that I would pick up whatever we needed for the night's dinner during my lunch that day.  I think I took one lunch break this week.  It was a FAIL.  This whole week was a failure, really.  

As the weekend is upon us, we have a fresh start to next week's meal plan.  I think my entire family is happy about this!  It really is a necessity to our sanity!  *Although, I'm fairly certain my two year old wouldn't complain if she could get to eat corn dogs for dinner every night.  Ew!

This week I did an extra long meal plan because of my husband's work schedule.  Twelve hour shifts blow, but the fact that he gets a couple days off during the week, to spend time with the girls, is a BONUS= less money for daycare!!!

Friday: Tacos & Skinny Taco Dip
Saturday:  Parent's- I have to work an event out of town :(
Sunday:  Crockpot White Chicken Chili
Monday:  Cheesy Baked Penne
Tuesday:  Herb & Garlic Grilled Chicken w. grilled mushrooms and Caesar Salad
Wednesday:  Spicy Rice Casserole
Thursday:  Baked Italian Subs w. sweet corn
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday:  Chicken Alfredo Rollups w. green beans
Sunday: Steak w. grilled mushroom, onions and carrots
Monday:  BLT's w. mashed sweet potatoes and sweet corn

How delicious do these look?  I'm really going to try to keep within my WW points this week, too!
Baked Penne: Amazing!  Whole family loves.  So easy and soooo good! Actually made twice in one week!
Baked Penne
chicken alfredo roll-ups
Lasagna Rollups

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weight Loss Journey Link Up

A few weeks ago, I actually wrote out a blog schedule.  It looked something like this:
Monday: DIY Project
Tuesday: Favorite Organizational/Get This Damn House Sold Project 
Wednesday: Monthly Favorites/Random Post
Thursday: Weight Loss Update
Friday: Weekly Menu Plan (for following week)

That was the beginning of July, and it's now September--ahhh..where does the time go?  I am so intrigued by so many of your fabulous blogs, and seriously need them in my life to feel creative and inspired! :)  Who are your favorite bloggers?  A few of my favorites are: Dana @Real Life, Real Estate, Real Dana,  Brandy @ Mama Lauglin, Natasha @Hello! Happiness and Kristen @All In My Twenties :)

Recently, I've been following Kristen on her Inspire Me Healthy weight loss challenge, where she is down 12 lbs.  Go- girl!  The link-up is awesome, and although up until now I have only been envious of all of the amazing women who participate, today, I am linking up to get in on the action!!

Today's weight is 162.8 pounds.  I am currently 3 months 2 weeks post partum, and have 12 pounds to get down to my pre-baby weight, and 22 pounds to get where I want to be.   I will be using the Weight Watchers points system that I found here

Are you:
A Nursing Mom*?-----12pts

How Old Are You?
Over 58-------0pts

What do you weigh?
Enter the first two digits of your weight in pounds. For example, if you weigh 175, enter 17. If you weigh less than 100 pounds, enter the first digit of your weight in pounds. i.e. for 98, enter 9. 16

How tall are you?
Under 5'1"----0pts
Over 5'10"----2pts

Do you spend most of your day:
Sitting down?------------------0pts
(e.g. as a receptionist, bus driver, cab driver)
Occasionally sitting, but mainly standing?---2pts
(e.g. sales person, housewife, cook, teacher)
Walking most of the time?-------4pts
(e.g. waiter, mailman)
Doing physically hard work most of the time?---6pts
(e.g. nurse, gardener, construction worker)

The total is your daily points target.

*Nursing moms and young people under 17 should talk with a WW leader before beginning the program.

**If your total is less than 18, your daily points target is 18; if your total is more than 44, your daily points target is 44.

***Retake the quiz as your weight goes down, as you get older or if you change the way you spend you day.

Basically, I get 35 points per day.  Let's do this!!

Excuse the super classy bathroom shots on my super high quality iphone pic. You get the idea.  Ew!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Wind-Down

This weekend was one of the most relaxing and comforting weekends we've had in quite a while!

It all started Friday night after my husband got home from work.  Teagan and I prepped dinner and had it sitting on the table when Lance walked in at 7PM sharp.  We made a salad that I found somewhere online-- I was thinking it was a Blog that I follow, but cannot, for the life of me, find the link to the website.  Anyways--Talk about a labor-intensive salad that is oh-so-worth-it...

We chopped. -romaine lettuce, green pepper, onion, salami, fresh mozzarella, olives, parsley, garlic
We mixed. -balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, dried basil, sugar
We combined. -the dressings with the prepped salad
We DEVOURED. -OMG, this salad was so amazing- and light and refreshing, too!

We also made some homemade garlic bread wedges to go with our yummy salad.  I wish I had a picture to show you what it looked like, or exact measurements so that you could go make some rightnow!  Seriously, DELISH!

Just waiting for Daddy to get home  :)
So, after we cleaned up dinner, we picked up the house and packed our bags to head North. We got to see Aunt Lexi get ready for prom.  Teagan insisted that she partake in the primping festivities, too!
Oh-my dear LORD!

Aunt Alexandria and Teagan looking so PRETTY!

Teagie with her Lala

Testing out the new bunk beds at Lala's


A little wedding date with my hubby, 9 days before Juliana's Due Date!
Saturday, Teagan got lots of hangout time with her Lala, while Lance and I went to a no-kids-allowed wedding/brunch.  It was a very nice ceremony, but felt kind of weird to not have our Teagie Tot with us.  Teagan went to a wedding reception with my Mom Saturday night, so she got plenty of dancing and acting crazy in, while I came home and crashed on Mom's most-comfy sofa!

Because we only got one day with Lance (due to his stupid work schedule), he headed back home Saturday night, which left Teagan and I to spend our Mother's Day together with my mom!  My sister, her fiancee and their three kids came over, too.  We definitely missed my brother, but he's out in CA for work.  It was such a nice dinner.

Mother's Day Menu:  BBQ ribs, bow-tie salad, baked beans, twice-baked potatoes and a DELICIOUS trifle for dessert.  It was the perfect ending to a PERFECT weekend!  
favorite summer dessert! Berries, angel food cake, cool whip, pudding....
Super Quick and Easy Berry Trifle
Ingredients: 1 angel food cake, 1 lg box of vanilla pudding, container of lite Cool Whip, 2 qts. strawberries/ other berries of your choice.
Directions: Mix pudding according to package.  Add Cool Whip.  Cut up the angel food cake into 1 inch chunks (I do it right in the package so it's not messy!).  Slice the strawberries. Create the trifle with the pudding mixture, berry mixture, and angel food cake, and continue to layer until all of the ingredients are used up!  SUPER Quick and Easy, too!!  This is always a crowd-pleaser!

*39 week prenatal appointment for sweet Baby Juliana today, and hoping some progress is being made, as I have been a complete crampy-mess since last Friday :)*

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This Week's Dinner Menu

Wow---only 20 days until my due date for little Miss Juliana Kate.  Can't freaking believe it!!  My husband and I sat down to pay bills last night, and as we were making out the check for day care, it hit me that this is our second to last schedule that we will be filling out for Teagie Tot until next fall when both of our girls will be in day care full time--  HOLY CRAP!

I'm so freaking excited to spend the entire summer with my two girls!  It's going to be AWESOME!

 On another note, Juliana's nursery is just about complete.  :) 

So, along with paying bills, it's also time to make out our weekly menu/grocery shop.  My husband and I split the costs of most everything--groceries included.  We usually spend about $140 (combined) on groceries for a full week's menu.  Is that a lot?  What's your weekly grocery budget?  

Here's a sample of this week's menu (LOVING for menu inspiration and pure reading entertainment, too!):
Tuesday: Philly cheese steak subs w. garlic red skin potatoes
Wednesday:  Pizza stuffed burgers w. asparagus
Thursday:  Chicken enchilada bake
Friday:  Meatloaf w. corn on the cob, scalloped potatoes (Mom's specialty)
Saturday:  Reubens w. baked beans, pasta salad
Sunday:  Cheeseburger macaroni

***Our normal weekly menu usually doesn't contain this much meat, but it is what is is this week :)
My mom's coming down Thursday to watch Teagan while I'm out of town for work.  She's also prepping us for a weekend of the garage sale that we've spent a month talking about!  I'm so excited to purge my garage with all of the junk that we've accumulated since we moved in our first house two years ago.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pure Family. Pure Love. Pure Michigan.

My husband and I have decided that we are going to start taking FULL advantage of our family time together, with Teagan, before Juliana arrives.  Furthermore, once Juliana is born, we're going to start spending family time together visiting places and spaces right here in our home state, Michigan!  Because I am taking a very-much-needed ten weeks off of work for maternity leave, this summer is going to be an awesome time to embark in activities and visits, to places that are located in the Mitten State.

Last weekend we visited the Children's Museum--where Lance taught Teagan how to milk a dairy cow.  P.S. for growing up in a small town in Michigan, my husband is soooo not a country boy ;)
We played at the water table, which is the absolute messiest learning station they have at the museum--FYI  :)
We planted some 'Forget Me Nots' in honor of Earth Day!
We played in the maze--mama had a hard time fitting in the little spaces!
We made a stop at the 'Dentist' where we were intrigued with the mouth--and got to sit inside of it!
And finally, we weren't about to call our visit to the Museum complete without a beautiful cupcake face-painted on Teagie Tot's cheek!  By this point, she was SO tired and about to fall asleep.
Overall, we had such a great day!  It was so much fun to hang out together as a family:)  

Not sure who had more fun though, my two year old--or my HUSBAND.  Here he is hanging out at the 'Eye Doctor'!  LOL!
What type of things do you like to do with your kiddos that the entire family enjoys?  What are some cool MUST SEE/DO family attractions in your home state?

Monday, April 23, 2012

36 Week Pregnancy Update!
How far along?/Weeks Highlights: 36 weeks, 0 days...28 days to go! 
This morning I had my 36 appointment-- it was a two hour ordeal, but so worth it after hearing that everything is looking 'AWESOME' and going really well.  Music to my ears.  We started the appointment with a NST(non-stress test), then moved into the ultrasound room, and finished with a quick prenatal appointment with my Midwife.  Finally got a nice face shot of little Miss.  She's been sitting very comfortably up against my uterus throughout this entire pregnancy, which is reason to believe why we haven't gotten a good picture of our itty bitty, and also why her nose is appearing semi-smooshed in the one pic that we did manage to get of her...  So far, she is looking exactly like her big sister did in the womb.  
Size of the babe? 6lbs 11 oz.  Measuring bigger than her older sister did at BIRTH! Oh my! ;)
Weight Gain: 27 pounds--up to 181-ahhh! 
Cravings: Have really tried to subside with the cravings lately.  I went through a pretty rough patch of eating a bag of Cadbury Eggs, with the hard shells, pretty frequently.  Damn 70% off Easter Candy!!  I think I'm good now.  I've been eating super well and really have tried to cut out extra processed sugar--aka whole bags of candy--from my diet.
Symptoms: Sciatic nerve pain shooting down to both butt cheeks, but nothing too painful.
Movement: All the time.  Sharp, intense movement.
Baby to-do list: Finally feeling much more prepared for baby Juliana.  Need to purchase diapers (going to be using Pampers Swaddlers), and get the bassinet, car seat, swing, bouncers and stroller washed up, and we'll be good to go.  My mom has helped out tremendously with washing all of the newborn-6 month clothing we had in storage :)  Also on the to-do list:  *Prep hospital bags *get breast pump out to figure out any supplies we need to update it with
Maternity Clothes: Still rocking the super annoying maternity clothes.  If it would warm up, I would LOVE to start wearing dresses SANS leggings!  I'm so over undershirts that don't quite cover my entire belly.  I CANNOT wait to start wearing my normal clothes!!
Baby Buys: Haven't bought anything for the baby in a while.  She needs NOTHING!--except a diaper stash!  Also, am super interested in cloth diapering, so I need to start on that, too :)
Gender/Baby Names: We're so ready to meet Juliana Kate in four short weeks!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

OK, Mr. Easter Bunny- We're Ready for YOU!

I left work Friday at 5:00PM with the mind-set that I wasn't going to do a dang thing the entire weekend.  Since hubs had to work, Food Network, my bed and my two year old were about the only three things on my agenda :)  

I contemplated stopping by Michael's to grab some things for a little diddy that this pretty lady inspired me with, and when it was snowing/raining and 28 degrees (it was 80 two weeks ago...), it took all I had to get out of my car and go into the store...  

Let me just start by letting you in on two little secrets--
1. I am so NOT crafty!  I have the best of intentions, but creativity/crafting just does not come natural to me- which is why I'm in LOVE with Pinterest and Bloggers, who give me that boost of inspiration!!
2. Sharpie Paint Markers are the absolute WORST invention!

So, I'm pretty sure I had Teagan's Easter Basket made and my MESS was cleaned up by, oh, about 9:30AM on Saturday morning.  So much for being a lazy  sleeping in!

*Galvanized metal tub
*Sharpie Paint Markers (Next time I'll just use regular Sharpie Markers)
* Stencils (but just because I have TERRIBLE handwriting to freestyle!)
*ribbon of your choice
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There really are no rules when making this Easter Basket, but check out Dana's awesome how-to to get you started.  I definitely started out with this project STRESSING  out because I was trying to be too perfect!  It really doesn't matter that my bunny's face is a bit dis-formed, or that my eggs didn't turn out to be perfect oval shapes. 

Thank you so much, Dana for your coaching and inspiration on this CA-UTE project!  Pretty sure this basket will be around for years to come :)  P.S. If I had more patience, I would have made Juliana a basket too.  Poor baby girl will have to wait until next year!  Not quite sure how the heck you did THREE of these!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Current Favorites

Call these my current favorites, call them obsessions, call them what you will, but these are just a few of my indulgences that are helping through weeks 30-31 of pregnancy ;)
EOS lip gloss-- I have the tropical fruit, but want to try the other flavors!

These suckers have 9g of fiber in them and are the perfect fix for those evil 3PM chocolate cravings!
Hot Pink nail polish...need for vacation:)
I love pink nails. period. 
Also in love with this chap stick.  Makes my lips feel like  SILK! 
These itty bitties are just too much.  Can't.get.enough!
YUP--polished a bag of these off in two days.  OOPS!
Making drinking 400 oz of water (it seems like that much) much more enjoyable!
One of my new favorite blogs!  Adventures of Decorating!  So CUTE and inspiring! & I found this banner at  TARGET!
That's all for now.  Hoping to spend some time in Juliana's nursery this weekend and Springify our home :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Wish List & A Pay Raise!!

Hey there!  The sun is shining, the grass is green and I just noticed this morning that my apple blossom tree, in my front yard, is in full bloom I just had to Google what type of tree I have in my front yard, OMG!  Today is supposed to be 80 degrees--almost of unheard of for the Mitten State in March!  Needless to say, it's kind of hard not to be in a good mood :)

(this is not my tree, but I hope mine turns out to be this gorgeous!)

I'm just now getting over my 11 day (but who's counting) stint of sickness.  BLAH!  I literally have not been sick in years, and this cold that I'm recovering from kicked my ASS!  Ear ache and all.  EWWWWWW!

Anyways, things are starting to look up for this girl, and I couldn't be happier.  I received a phone call yesterday morning that, I believe, was the turning point for my two weeks of misery that I've been experiencing.  I'm pretty sure the Big Man upstairs had something to do with it, as I have been praying every single day for his guidance and support :)

 --Back to that phone call--

So my boss calls to tell me that I have just been given a $5,000 raise because of all of my hard work and dedication that I have given to my team in my newly appointed position as 'Team Leader.'  WHAAAAT?!   I know that I am very underpaid for what I do, but for crying out loud, I work for a non profit, and getting that kind of a raise is almost unheard of around here!  LOL!  Instant gratification instilled upon me, and I literally wanted to reach through the phone and hug my boss!!

So what are we doing this weekend?  We're celebrating, my friends.  Not with cold beer and good food, like we normally would if I wasn't preggo, but we are going shopping and out to lunch with our two year old. :)  The weekend cannot come soon enough.

Here are just a few things that are on my wishlist...

Cute flowy dresses to wear in these final weeks of pregnancy and also post baby...
 So cute :) love the pattern
Nautical inspired cuteness...

 Love this outfit!--this summer!

Statement necklaces--preferably some big PEARLS!

Chunky necklace

RUFFLES--lots of ruffles!

cute blouse.

Bright colored jewelry!
chunky. cute!


pretty yellow dress  $59
all images from my Pinterest site which can be found HERE!

Let's be honest, our trip will not be complete without purchasing our Teagie Tot her favorite pair of summer shoes--- crocodile dundees AKA CROCS--don't judge, they're cute and practical--for a two year old :)

Talk to you tomorrow-- wait, WHAT?  Two posts in one week?  Yup that's right, I'm doing a Current Favorites post tomorrow, so come by and check it out!! :) :) :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pregnancy Update: Week 29 & BABY'S NAME!

How far along?/Weeks Highlights: 29 weeks, 3 days...74 days to go! 
I had my Glucose Test this week, and the results showed that my sugar was a bit high-I honestly don't even remember what the nurse told me it was, but she referred me to come back and do the 3 hr Glucose Test--YUCK!  Also had to do this with Teagan, and my results came back normal after the 3hr, so I'm not freaking out too badly yet.  I have definitely changed my eating habits and activity levels.  Now that the weather is getting nicer, it's a lot easier to want to do good for my body!

Size of the babe? About the length of a loaf of bread (about three pounds)
Weight Gain: 22 pounds--up to 176-ahhh! (I've officially surpassed the amount of lbs gained during my first pregnancy. On  a good note, that's nearly what I weighed before I even got pregnant with Teagan!)
Cravings: Energy bites (taste like oatmeal cookie dough, but are packed with protein), teddy grahams, grapes, strawberries, apple juice.
Symptoms: Aside from feeling large and in charge, I haven't been getting much sleep lately. Extreme hip pain in both hips, too.  
Movement: Baby moves around ALL the time.  Pretty sure she's going to be a gymnast.  Definitely a little dancer :) 
Baby to-do list: We've transitioned Teagan into her big girl bed, and moved the crib into the baby's room.  
Things to do before the end of March: wash crib bedding, letters for Juliana's room, dresser organization for both the girls, changing table moved and set up in baby girl's room.
Maternity Clothes: Only wearing maternity jeans/pants now (size 10).  Loving dresses-both maternity and regular. Cardigans and scarves nearly every day :)  
Baby Buys: A few weeks ago, we went on a mini shopping spree for baby Juliana.  She now has a mini wardrobe of new clothes in addition to the tons and tons of clothes she gets as hand me downs from her big sister.
Gender/Baby Names: My husband and I couldn't stand it any longer!!  We finally decided to find out what we're having, and have decided on HER name :)  Juliana Kate <3  So super excited!

Still deciding on nursery themes/colors, but I am loving this yellow!
Handmade Wooden Letters
Yellow & Pink Nursery: Love the simplicity and the color combination!
Handprint Tutu

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pregnancy Update: Week 22

I first want to start out by saying THANK YOU so much to the beautiful Dana at Real Life, Real Estate, Real Dana for the nice shout out, she gave me a couple weeks ago. It is so encouraging to know that a veteran Blogger cares enough to post my link on her page--and I was shocked when I saw that my followers have increased-- even if it was just a wee bit!!

Now onto some updating on BABY #2! Lance and I found out we were expecting our second baby back in September 2011. We are SO excited, but I was a bit let down when I found out my due date was a couple weeks later than I had suspected. We will be welcoming our new bundle of joy on or around May 21, 2012! Our daughter, Teagan, will be a BIG sister, and we are so freaking excited!! I'm officially committing to Tuesday's to do my weekly update blog post! So, here we go:

How far along? 22 weeks, 1 day...125 days to go!
Size of the babe? A spaghetti squash (about one pound)
Weight Gain: 14 pounds--up to 166--but I'm definitely fully aware and getting these ridiculous cravings under control!!

cheesecake bars-WW!

Fudgy Coconut Valentine Brownies 

choc eclair cake - no bake 

Cravings: Lately, I've been craving SWEETS (can ya tell?!)--graham crackers and milk, rainbow chip cake with rainbow chip frosting!, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting & peanut butter. Hoping that getting back to our weekly meal planning AND sticking to it will help to reduce the weight gain...:) Thanks Pinterest!
Symptoms: I think I have a mild case of restless leg syndrome, but other than that, I've been feeling GREAT! Aside from my growing belly (and missing running so much!), I don't really even feel pregnant.
Movement: Hubby finally got to experience feeling the baby move last week (21 wks)! I've been feeling the baby super low this time around. <3
Baby to-do list: There are lots of things I would like to get done to prep for baby, but the first on our list is going to be getting Teagan into her big girl bed so that we can start putting together the nursery. It's just so hard to move her out of her crib when we don't have to... she LOVES her crib, and we love knowing that she is safe and confined once we put her to bed while she is still awake.
Maternity Clothes: I'm fitting into my size 12 jeans without any problem. I am loving my new favorite Old Navy full front maternity dress pants. I have them in khaki and black, but I need to get a couple more pairs! Also, just scored some Motherhood Maternity khaki dress pants on Ebay for a whopping $1.99 (8.00) with shipping! They're so cute and comfy! Really loving leggings and long tunics/dresses right now.
Baby Buys: Since we originally decided that we would not be finding out the gender of this baby, it is has been so stinking hard to buy clothes, blankets and everything baby related, really! These days I swear they do not make anything gender neutral. You get either blue or pink accents in EVERYTHING! ugh! I did buy a couple lots of clothes from an online re-sale site. I think I got about 20 sleepers for $30--all in boy colors sizes 0-6months--all in brand new condition!
Gender/Baby Names: I have an ultrasound on Thursday, and my husband has ALMOST persuaded me to find out the gender. almost. I still say BOY!

Here are some names that I really like: 
Boy:                             Girl:
Graham                       Juliana
Grayson                      Marlena