Thursday, December 31, 2015

15 for 2015: Final Recap

Happy New Year's Eve! It's crazy to think that 2015 is almost over. This past year Nate and I traveled, spent a lot of time with family and friends, both transitioned to newish jobs (well, I went back to my old job, but it was a new team so I'm counting it!) and announced that our little family will be growing by one. I'd say 2015 was a great year, and I'm looking forward to the challenges and promise that 2016 brings. I didn't check off everything on my list, but overall I'm satisfied with how keeping myself accountable meant that I got some stuff accomplished that I don't think I would have otherwise. Here's how I did on my 15 for 2015 list:
  1. Try 6 new recipes that aren't desserts (and post the review/recipe on here).Done! The final list is below. My favorites from the list are definitely the baked chicken parm and the creamy chicken buttermilk dumplings. The chicken parm is soooo easy to make, healthy and delish. The chicken and buttermilk dumpling recipe is definitely more involved, but was well worth the labor and the one recipe where both Nathan and I were fighting over the last leftover. 
    1.  Zucchini Lasagna
    2.  Baked Chicken Parm 
    3. Cheeseburger Casserole,
    4. Bangin' Good Shrimp,
    5. Creamy Chicken Buttermilk Dumplings. 
    6. Roasted Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Pizza
  2. Read 5 new books. Read 10 new books. So I met my original goal of 5, but came 3 books short of 10. I think averaging a little over a book every two months was a good pace, and I definitely read more this year than I have any other so I'm still counting this a win. 
    1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
    2. Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? by Mindy Kaling
    3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (seriously, SO good!)
    4. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
    5. The Vacationers by Emma Staub
    6. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
    7. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 
  3. Try something that takes me out of my comfort zone. Done, well....almost :). I guess having a baby technically is something that's going to come in 2016, but deciding to start a family was a big step. 
    1. Having a baby
    2. Pushing myself skiing (hello black diamond runs!)
    3. Flying 8 (yes, freaking 8) times over the 6 day trip for work to Puerto Rico, Barbados and Trinidad. 
  4. Take pictures for at least 4 family functions. I was just one shy of making my goal, but a nasty cold and being exhausted meant I was in no mood to take pictures this Christmas. 
    1. Family Ski Vacation - Colorado
    2. Little Brother's Graduation
    3. Ashton's first birthday party
  5. Hang pictures of family/friends on the walls (this sounds simple, but our home has had nearly bare walls...for almost 2 years). Complete! 
  6. Send a birthday card in the mail to 3 6 friends/family members. Met my original goal of 3, but didn't step up to do 6. 
  7. Do an act of kindness. I think this is halfway done. I paid for a stranger's coffee, and Nate and I adopted a family from our local community shelter. Nathan was the one to really dive into the adopt-a-family by offering us to help, so I can't take most of the credit, but it was nice to be able to help out a family in need. 
  8. Visit 3 places I've never been before. Complete!
    1. Trinidad
    2. Barbados
    3. Puerto Rico
    4. North Carolina
    5. Atlanta
  9. Follow a clean eating or whole 30 plan for a week (hopefully longer, but baby steps, right?) Yea, this definitely didn't happen. Could it have? Yes. This will definitely be on my list for 2016. 
  10. Work back up to running a 5k again, straight through. Completed on the treadmill in July, but never got to it outside. Right now running seems downright laughable, but once baby comes I'm looking forward to getting back into it. 
  11. Blog at least 24 times. Done! 
  12. Clean out/organize all of the closets in our house. I'd say this was about 80% complete. Before our little guy gets here I'm planning on doing an overhaul on our basement/closets (baby stuff takes up a lot of space!) so we can donate/purge everything we don't use or need.
  13. Surprise my husband in some way. Surprised N with tickets to Modest Mouse in September. 
  14. Do a house project.  Complete! Painted the house and put on new shutters, and then in early November we replaced our kitchen back splash with tile in lieu of tin. 
  15. Go visit a friend that lives in another state. Done! Visited our friends in Atlanta over Labor day weekend. 

-A

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

24 Weeks



Weeks along: 24

What's new with baby: Baby is the size of a cantaloupe and is just about a foot long. His skin is becoming less see-through and the new capillaries that are forming in his skin are making it pinker as well.While little man still has 16 more weeks until he's fully cooked, he'd have a chance out in the world if he came early.

Maternity Clothes: Yes

Symptoms: Pregnancy-wise, still feeling great, but I've officially hit the week mark with this cold and I'm so freaking over it. Unfortunately there's nothing my doctor can really do since it's a virus, so I just have to let it run its course. I'm still taking Sudafed maybe once or twice a day and then one Benadryl tablet at night to help me sleep. It helps a tiny bit, but not much. Fingers crossed that by Christmas it's all cleared up!

Cravings: I had a massive craving for a Taco Bell taco this week, but with everyone being out and about for last-minute shopping, the line was ridiculous so I opted out. Don't worry though, I've still been eating all the Christmas treats at work this week ;)

Workouts: Nada. Nothing. And probably won't happen until I feel better.

Baby Purchases: Bought our little guy this outfit that says "Mommy's Little Cub" on it from Carter's on Sunday. I know we'll probably be overloaded with boy outfits, but I just couldn't pass it up.

High point of the week: Christmas, of course!

Concerns/Issues: Just want to be able to sleep with my mouth closed again.

Missing: Being able to take all the medicine without hesitating. I've been staying away from taking anything besides my pre-natals throughout this pregnancy, but I finally caved towards the end of the week and got the clear from my OB to take some Sudafed and Benadryl to help with my cold.

Sleep: With being really congested sleep has been hit or miss, but I <3 the Snoogle. Actually, the entire family does. I've caught N stealing it at night to put in between his legs, and the pugs love resting their head on it.


Looking forward to: Getting everything for his nursery and putting it together.

Monday, December 21, 2015

23 Weeks

A little late, but better late than never! 



Weeks along: 23

What's new with baby: Baby boy is the size of a grapefruit and his face is fully formed.

Maternity Clothes: Yes

Symptoms: Was feeling great this week...until N brought home a cold. This whole weakened immune system kind of sucks, but I'm just trying to take it easy. Fingers crossed it doesn't last long.

Cravings: Cheeze-its were on my mind this week, besides all the sweets.

Workouts: Thanks to being sick, only got in one 3 mile walk/run with weights afterwards. Taking a break from pushing myself until I feel better.

Baby Purchases: None this week, although my mom bought him a couple soft blankets for his room.

High point of the week: My dad painted the nursery and installed some new closet doors for little man. My friend Jenny and I also did our annual baking day, which is always fun and helps me get in the Christmas spirit :-).

Concerns/Issues: Just wanting to make sure this cold doesn't progress into anything that could harm baby M.

Missing: Being able to take all the medicine without hesitating. I've been staying away from taking anything besides my pre-natals throughout this pregnancy, but I finally caved towards the end of the week and got the clear from my OB to take some Sudafed and Benadryl to help with my cold.

Sleep: With being really congested sleep has been hit or miss, but I <3 the Snoogle. Actually, the entire family does. I've caught N stealing it at night to put in between his legs, and the pugs love resting their head on it.


Looking forward to: Getting everything for his nursery and putting it together.

Friday, December 11, 2015

22 Weeks


Weeks along: 22

What's new with baby: Our little boy is the size of a water bottle/papaya. He's sleeping anywhere from 12-14 hours a day and his eyes and lips are more developed.

Maternity Clothes: Yes

Symptoms: Had my first week of some lower back pain, but all around I continue to have an easy pregnancy (which I'm so thankful for)!

Cravings: Just all the sweets. Chocolate. Fruit. You name it. I try to eat healthy at least 2/3 meals of the day with healthy snacks, but I know where I really need to cut back is the sugar.

Workouts: Shooting for at least 3 workouts a week got that in this week. It wasn't much, but did a 3 mile walk/run and 2 more 2ish mile walks. I need to step up the intensity, but with work and home life being really busy I'm counting any activity as a win.

Baby Purchases: We bought the paint for little guy's room, and last weekend we picked out a crib/dresser. My dad is a rock star and is actually painting the nursery for us and installing new closet doors. I'm so lucky to have such supporting parents, and I hope N and I can be half as great as them when our baby is born.

High point of the week: N got to feel the baby kick! The look on Nate's face when he felt it was priceless, and it left us with the biggest grins on our faces :-)

Concerns/Issues: Nothing this week. 

Missing: Feeling a little vain  this week with the numbers on the scale continuing to rise and freaking out a little bit about fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes after he's born. I know I just need to focus on eating healthy and staying active though, and what happens happens.

Sleep: Has improved! N bought me a snoogle for Christmas, and since my sleep has been so crappy lately he decided to gift it to me early. I was worried it was going to take up the whole bed and be more of a nuisance than anything, but it's actually helped and I don't think N's feel squished at all.

Looking forward to: Seeing the nursery all painted with new closet doors, and really starting to design his room! We also need to register at some point, and I'm looking forward to that too :-)

Friday, December 4, 2015

21 Weeks

Looking more and more pregnant every week! 

Weeks along: 21

What's new with baby: Baby is the size of a baseball cap, bok choy, or a pomegranate - take your pick :-). This week he's working on producing meconium (his first poop) and he's now about 10.5 inches long!

Maternity Clothes: Besides workout clothes and cardigans, pretty much exclusively maternity clothes at this point.

Symptoms: Struggling with sleep, but otherwise feeling great! Little man is more active every day and feeling his kicks are the best :-)

Cravings: Continuing to crave sweets. This week my mother-in-law brought over this cream-filled banana bread and it was out of this world.

Workouts: Decent this week. One 3.5 mile walk with weights, and 2 more 2-2.5 mile walks with some running and weights at the end.

Baby Purchases: N and I took advantage of Black Friday sales and bit the bullet on getting the stroller/car seat combo we wanted. Our baby purchases up to this point have been thrifty, gently-used products, but I really really wanted the UPPAbaby Cruz with the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat. Out of all the strollers we looked at it, it was the most user-friendly and compact while also coming with a lot of optional attachments (plus it had awesome reviews). The only downside? The price. Luckily on Black Friday it was 20% off, and since it's rarely on sale we jumped on it. I never thought I'd be so excited to get a stroller, and having a car seat in our house is starting to make this all feel real :-).

High point of the week: N feeling Baby M after I worked out this weekend. Our little guy has been active enough that N can feel him when he decides to curl up in a ball on one side of my stomach, which he especially likes to do after I've been walking or running.

Concerns/Issues: Now that we're a little more than 4 months out labor and delivery is on my mind more and more along with how we're going to adjust to sleepless nights with a newborn.

Missing: Nothing this week

Sleep: Hasn't gotten any better. A pregnancy pillow might be in the near future....or a new mattress.

Looking forward to: Picking out the nursery furniture! My parents have generously offered to purchase us a crib and dresser so we're heading to KC this weekend to shop around.

Monday, November 30, 2015

20 Weeks

Definitely feeling like I've "popped" this week!


Weeks along: 20

What's new with baby: Baby is now the size of a banana (one of my favorite fruits). At our appointment we found out that he is 11 ounces (49% percentile which is perfect!). He's swallowing amniotic fluid every day which gets him ready to take his first breath - still crazy to think about!

Maternity Clothes: Wearing mostly maternity tops and pants, with the exception of a few shirts that are long enough to still wear.

Symptoms: Feeling great. After a rough couple of weeks, now that the kitchen back splash is done and we know Baby M is officially a mister I've been enjoying this pregnancy more and more.

Cravings: Give me alllllll the Thanksgiving foods. Especially pie :-)

Workouts: This one I can't remember...I think it was par for the course with this pregnancy in that I got in a workout 2-3 days out of the week.

Baby Purchases: Baby clothes galore! After the gender reveal on Friday my mom and I made a trip specifically just to buy little man some things. N and I also went to the second hand store by our house and found a new Halo Bassinet that they knocked down to $99. We scooped it up along with a like-new Baby Bjorn carrier, a baby bottle drying rack and a diaper changing organizer. I'm a sucker for a good deal so it was so nice finding like-new baby items at such a great price!

High point of the week: Our gender reveal party with our family and friends, along with the fantastic news that our little guy is measuring along just fine and looks healthy!

Concerns/Issues:  Sleep, oh how I miss you. My belly has reached the point where I can't lay on it, and my doctor told me at my appointment that I should be mostly sleeping on my left side. I've been going to bed early, but I wake up at least 3-4x at night wide awake. I just can't get comfortable.

Missing: Nothing this week

Sleep: See above, It's spotty at best, but I'm sure I'll look back when little man is born and think how silly I was to complain.

Looking forward to: Getting the nursery put together and meeting our boy! It's hard to believe this pregnancy is already halfway over.

Monday, November 23, 2015

19 Weeks

Okay, so I lied, this isn't my 19 week post. Another crazy week at work last week led to me neglecting to write everything down. As much as I could say it was a tough week, it really wasn't so bad because it made time go by so fast. Before we knew it, it was Friday and my 20 week sonogram was here!

(Drum roll please)

And Baby M is a.....


BOY!!!

But the best part of all is that he is measuring along beautifully and everything looks healthy (we declined any screenings/tests so this was especially a sigh of relief!).

It's hard to believe I'm already halfway through this pregnancy and in just 20 weeks we'll be meeting our son. He's going to be the squishiest, cutest, snuggliest baby, and he'll be ours. There's so many things N and I want to teach him/do with him, and I cannot wait.

-A


Friday, November 13, 2015

18 Weeks



Weeks along:18

What's new with baby: Baby is now the size of a sweet potato and is sucking, swallowing and yawning right now.

Maternity Clothes: Have switched to exclusively maternity pants, but still getting away with wearing some regular tops.

Symptoms: Oh man, this is the week where a mixture of exhaustion and frustration (we tackled tiling our kitchen back splash) resulted in my emotions being all over the place. We're almost done with the back splash, and I'm just over it. Hopefully once the kitchen is put back I'll be back to my regular self. We now know that house projects are a definite no-go when N is overworked and I'm pregnant.

Cravings: Mexican food. I've been better this week about not indulging, but I did go out to lunch on Wednesday and had my Mexican fix.

Workouts: Ha, almost nonexistent. We've spent almost every weekend/night working on the kitchen, so that's been my workout. I did squeeze in a 4 mile run and a 2.5 mile walk with some weights this week, but haven't had the time to do much else.

Baby Purchases: We're so close to finding out whether baby M is a boy or a girl (7 days!!!) that I've been trying to hold off, but I did purchase an adorable sock monkey onesie this week.

High point of the week: Taking the night off last night from projects so I could do a little shopping with my mom and pick up some maternity jeans I ordered online.

Concerns/Issues:  This week has just been a bit of a downer. No issues, but I've felt frumpy and fat in maternity clothing, and I've been downright exhausted. Luckily the weekend is coming up, and I'm in love with the jeans I ordered which is making me feel less self conscious.

Missing: My favorite ski resort opened this weekend. This baby is so worth not being able to go, but I can't help but miss it.

Sleep: So-so. Hopefully this isn't the beginning of the end of sleeping through the night!

Looking forward to: Feeling the baby kick more. I *think* I've been able to feel it this week (tiny little flutters) but I'm ready for it to be obvious :-).

Friday, November 6, 2015

15 for 2015

I know I keep saying it, but I seriously don't know how 2015 has flown by so fast! Just 2 months left until 2016 and here's how I'm doing...
  1. Try 6 new recipes that aren't desserts (and post the review/recipe on here).Almost there! So far this year I've tried zucchini lasagnabaked chicken parm, cheeseburger casserolebangin' good shrimp, and creamy chicken buttermilk dumplings. The past couple months I've tapered off, but I'm sure by Dec 31st I'll be able to whip up one last recipe so I can officially cross this off my list. 
  2. Read 5 new books. Read 10 new books. This might be tough. I finished another book this past month with Leaving Time, but I still have 3 more to go. Any good suggestions out there for books you just couldn't stop reading?
    1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
    2. Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? by Mindy Kaling
    3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (seriously, SO good!)
    4. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
    5. The Vacationers by Emma Staub
    6. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
    7. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 
  3. Try something that takes me out of my comfort zone. I've been trying to hint to this one all year, but my #1 at the top of this list is definitely adding a new family member to our lil' duo. N and I have a great groove with it just being the two of us for the past decade, so I'm excited (and a touch nervous!) to see how a little one changes our lives. 
    1. Having a baby
    2. Pushing myself skiing (hello black diamond runs!)
    3. Flying 8 (yes, freaking 8) times over the 6 day trip for work to Puerto Rico, Barbados and Trinidad. 
  4. Take pictures for at least 4 family functions. Still have one more to go. Hoping to take some pictures this Christmas for sure. 
    1. Family Ski Vacation - Colorado
    2. Little Brother's Graduation
    3. Ashton's first birthday party
  5. Hang pictures of family/friends on the walls (this sounds simple, but our home has had nearly bare walls...for almost 2 years). Completed! 
  6. Send a birthday card in the mail to 3 6 friends/family members. Blech, no progress on this. I need to remind myself to do this...
  7. Do an act of kindness. Just paid for a stranger's coffee, but besides that nada. With the holidays coming up I'm sure I can pull this one out. 
  8. Visit 3 places I've never been before. Complete!
    1. Trinidad
    2. Barbados
    3. Puerto Rico
    4. North Carolina
    5. Atlanta
  9. Follow a clean eating or whole 30 plan for a week (hopefully longer, but baby steps, right?) Uh yea, so this may be one that has to wait until 2016 to get one. I've been loving my fruits this pregnancy, but I don't know if I could stomach no carbs for a week. 
  10. Work back up to running a 5k again, straight through. Completed on the treadmill in July. Will definitely have this back in 2016 for a post partum goal. 
  11. Blog at least 24 times. Done! This little blog has been my pregnancy diary, so I've had a lot to write about. 
  12. Clean out/organize all of the closets in our house. Eh, this is almost done. We need to scrub through our closet again and the guest bedroom, but the hall, office and baby room's closet have all been cleaned out. 
  13. Surprise my husband in some way. Surprised N with tickets to Modest Mouse in September. Also planning a little something for him tonight :)
  14. Do a house project.  Painted the house and put on new shutters. We also put up trim in the baby's room. Ideally we would do the entire upstairs, but it's a big undertaking so I'm not sure we'll get to it. We're also looking at replacing our backsplash in the kitchen now. 2 years ago when we remodeled it we made the mistake of putting up a tin backsplash. Now said tin is getting rust spots on it, especially around the sink. I'm tired of looking at it so hopefully that's something we can get done before Thanksgiving. 
  15. Go visit a friend that lives in another state. Done! Visited our friends in Atlanta over Labor day weekend. We had a blast visiting the aquarium, going to dinner and just hanging out. 

-A

Thursday, November 5, 2015

17 weeks



Weeks along:17

What's new with baby: Baby is now the size of a game controller (or if you're more fruit-analogy inclined, the size of an onion). Baby is putting on some fat this week and cartilage is now turning into bone.

Maternity Clothes: Caved late last week. I've never been a fan of ultra-low rise jeans, but all my mid-rise pants were digging into me every night and I was over being uncomfortable. Since this belly isn't getting any smaller, I walked myself into a Motherhood Maternity and bought myself a couple things.

Symptoms: Definitely had a couple days of some crazy fatigue, but otherwise still loving the 2nd trimester.

Cravings: Cereal.

Workouts: Hiked 4 miles on Sunday, and walked/ran 2 miles Monday and Wednesday. Not terrible, but it's been better in other weeks.

Baby Purchases: Nothing this week. Eventually I know I'll have to put together a registry of some kind, but there's so many options for baby gear it's a bit overwhelming. Meh, it can wait until next week.:-)

High point of the week: Spending a quality day with N on Sunday. We just hiked, went to lunch, relaxed and spent a lot of time talking.

Concerns/Issues:  How I'll handle labor, the first day of daycare and balancing work/life. I try not to let these bubble up too much because I know we'll cross those bridges when we get to them, but it can be overwhelming to think about at times.

Missing: Nothing this week

Sleep: Great! Still having weird dreams though.

Looking forward to: Finding out what we're having! The countdown has begun and we find out what we're having November 20th.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

16 Weeks

Week 15 was a blur and I completely forgot to write a post, so onto week 16!

I'm not sure why my hand looks giant in the photo, but I promise in real life it's not that big ;)

Weeks along:16

What's new with baby: Baby is the size of an avocado. I guess I could feel movement as early as this week, but I haven't yet. The ears are developed enough that he/she can hear my voice and N's voice, so that's kind of cool!

Maternity Clothes: None yet, although there's one last pair of jeans that will button comfortably, and cardigans have been my BFF.

Symptoms: Feeling a little out of breath and still having some days that I'm exhausted, but overall feeling great!

Cravings: Chocolate. Halloween candy. I'm embarrassed at how much I've consumed.

Workouts: Had a major lag in week 15, but this past week we walked about 6 miles a day when N and I were Boston, and then Monday when I got back I ran/walked a 5k. I also took a BodyStep class that was brutal, but good. Let's just say burpies are not my friend.

Baby Purchases: We bought baby M's first bib when we were in Boston that says "Little Monstah." My mom also picked up the cutest KU infant hat that instantly made me melt. I love it.

High point of the week: Spending the weekend in Boston with N. Even though it was a short weekend trip, we had an absolute blast spending quality time together.

Concerns/Issues: None this week :-)

Missing: Fitting into my jeans. I feel like I'm hitting the peak of the awkward pregnancy phase where I feel chubby, but not noticeably pregnant. At this point I'd rather have a real baby bump.

Sleep: Great this week, but the weird dreams keep on coming. Last night I had one that my dad put up and took down all of his Halloween stuff before Halloween actually happened, and I was really upset that they put everything away early.

Looking forward to: Scheduling the anatomy scan appointment! I'm hoping we can find out a couple days shy of 20 weeks so N will know what we're having before his birthday.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

14 weeks

Excuse the unmade bed - it was a busy morning!


Weeks along:14

What's new with baby: Baby is now the size of a lemon. His/her ears are developed enough that it can actually hear mine/N's voices.

Maternity Clothes: Not yet

Symptoms: Feeling like myself this week, besides my nose being on overdrive. I can smell everything!

Cravings: Still changes constantly, but this week it was egg sandwhiches (which is really just buttered toast with some eggs on it) with OJ. I could still have this every day.

Workouts: Continuing to get better! Took a BodyJam class Friday, walked/ran 3.5 miles Sunday and took a Body Step class that was killer on Tuesday.

Baby Purchases: We have a second-hand baby clothes/gear store next to us, so N and I went in on Monday when we were off looking at daycares. We found an almost brand new baby swing/glider thingy for half off so we jumped on it!

High point of the week: We announced on FB. I went back and forth on saying something/not, but with a lot of out of town relatives I figured we might as well. We used the baby shoes we bought last week and incorporated the pigs into the photo. I think it turned out pretty well :)



Concerns/Issues: Ugh, daycare. Besides it being crazy expensive, our top choice won't know until 3-4 months out if they have a spot when we need it. We're putting a deposit down this week on our 2nd choice, and then we'll be putting our names on the wait list for our #1 choice. Put this on the list of "things that are not fun when having a baby."

Missing: Nothing this week.

Sleep: Becoming more hit and miss. I'm having crazy realistic dreams at night (unfortunately none where we know what the baby is) and it's constantly waking me up.

Looking forward to: My 16 week appointment in a couple weeks. Hearing the heartbeat is always music to my ears :).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

13 weeks

6 weeks
13 weeks



Adding some bump pics this week! I feel like some of the bump is definitely bloat, but it's big enough that I think (at least I hope) some of it is baby.

Weeks along:13

What's new with baby: Babe is the size of a matchbox car (about 3 inches) and has formed vocal chords and fingerprints.

Maternity Clothes: Nope

Symptoms:Feeling less tired and just overall more like myself!

Cravings: This changes weekly, if not daily. I craved Rotisserie chicken on Sunday like cray, so we got one for dinner and it was delish.

Workouts: Workouts are getting better, but I should probably be ramping up the intensity now that I have more energy. Did a 2.5 mile walk, 3.5 mile walk and body pump class last week.

Baby Purchases: I bought the tiniest pair of baby shoes for our announcement. It's still hard to believe that in just 6 short months little feet will be filling them!

High point of the week: Telling my work, and officially being in the second tri. I feel like I can breathe now! After hearing our baby's heartbeat for our 12 week appointment (best. sound. ever.) I was so ready to let the secret out!

Concerns/Issues: Currently trying to research and set up a time where N and I can tour day cares fairly soon. Hoping that our top choice doesn't have a wait list.

Missing: Nothing this week.

Sleep: Continues to be great. Sleeping on my stomach for as long as I can :)

Looking forward to: Finding out the sex, showing (and not just looking like I ate a huge meal), and spending the holidays looking at baby stuff with N.

11 weeks

Written September 24th

Week 11 I was mostly home with a cold, so we're just going to skip over it and get to a week where I was feeling better :)

Weeks along:11

What's new with baby: Just two short weeks until the first tri is over, and I cannot wait! Baby is looking more baby-like every day and fingers/toes aren't webbed anymore. Important stuff like hair follicles and nail beds are also forming.

Maternity Clothes: Nope, although by the end of the day I have to unbutton my pants...but like 80% sure that's due to a food baby and not the actual baby.

Symptoms:Still tired 24/7, but the nausea officially stopped around 8 1/2 weeks.

Cravings: This week when I got home I had to order myself a California roll and some edamame from our favorite sushi place for dinner. I'm also loving fruits (especially oranges) and any/all sweets. 

Workouts: Finally got in a little bit of activity. Ran 4 miles on Saturday (haven't done that since week 5!) and then did a run/walk combo on Monday for 2.5 miles with a quick weight session after.

Baby Purchases: New molding was purchased/painted/installed in Baby M's room. I painted the new molding when N and I were both coming down with a cold. When we were both out for the count later in the week my dad came to the rescue and cut/installed it for us. We still have to paint the window/door molding and reface the doors, but it already makes the room look brighter and cleaner!

High point of the week: Telling my aunts/uncles/grandparents. After weeks of my parents asking if they could tell family, I caved this week and told them to go for it. They're all very excited and supportive, but it's times like this where it's a little bittersweet having all of them live on the East Coast while we're in Kansas.

Concerns/Issues: Just anxiously awaiting our next appointment (next Friday). Hoping that we can hear little one's heartbeat and everything is continuing to progress well.

Missing: Still throwing myself a mini pity-party whenever I see that most ski places will be opening in a little less than a month, and I won't be able to go. N and I were thinking about taking a babymoon to somewhere that has mountains (we're thinking Pacific Northwest) so we don't feel like we're missing anything.

Sleep: Fantastic, but I feel like I need at least 10 hours to not feel exhausted. Luckily N isn't opposed to being in bed by 8:30 on the weeknights :-)

Looking forward to: Finding out the sex. Right now there are tests out there that can determine the sex as early as 10-12 weeks, but they're only covered under insurance if you're high-risk (thankfully we're not), so we still have to wait 9 more weeks. 9 weeks seems like such a long time, but hopefully it flies by!

9 Weeks

Written September 11th

Weeks along: 9

What's new with baby: Baby has officially been upgraded from embryo to fetus! Currently just a shy of an inch long, he-baby or she-baby is developing more facial features, teeth buds and external ears.

Maternity Clothes: Nope

Symptoms: Feeling better this week! Nausea has definitely subsided. Unfortunately because of that I've been eating everything, but I'm hoping to reel it back in. Still tired most days, but definitely an improvement.

Cravings: I've had a strong cupcake craving lately. I may or may not have ran downtown to a bakery to buy a mini cupcake to satisfy my craving, and now I just want 15 more ;-)

Workouts: A couple of walks, but nothing stellar. We also visited our friend in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend which made it hard to get in exercise. Not an excuse, but I'll be picking it up for sure next week!

Baby Purchases: My mom surprised us when we got home from Atlanta with a snuggly winter weather outfit in white for baby M along with some basic onesies and a little firefly toy to hang from he-baby or she-baby's car seat. Our friends Rachael and John also got us the softest, fuzziest little bunny rabbit stuffed animal for the nursery, along with this book where we can write letters to our babe and give it to them in the future. This kid is already spoiled :-)

High point of the week: We got to see Baby M on the ultrasound! He/she was measuring exactly along with where it should be and had a heartbeat of 175. I think N and I seeing it on the ultrasound more real, but I still can't wait for the day we find out the sex so we can really start planning.

Concerns/Issues: That much closer to the end of the first tri, and I'm anxious for it to get here already. Part of me is just hesitant to truly be relaxed about this pregnancy until we get past the 13th week.

Missing: I'm throwing the silliest pity-party for myself, but I'm bummed that I know I won't be able to go skiing this year. I know it's for a great cause (hello, baby), but I'm by far my happiest on a ski slope. It's just one season, but I'm hoping this winter I'm distracted enough that I don't dwell on not being out there.

Sleep: Still great, although I wish there were about 5 more hours in the day so I could sleep more and still get stuff done.

Looking forward to: Having a relaxing weekend and decorating for fall! Planning on going to all the craft stores to find something to spruce up our mantle.

8 Weeks

Written September 1st

Weeks along: 8

What's new with baby: Now the size of a wild strawberry, or 1/2 of a Lego brick, take your pick. Little miss or mister is moving its arms/legs, and the taste buds are forming.

Maternity Clothes: Nope

Symptoms: Still tired 24/7, and some days nausea kicks in like whoa, but other days it's manageable. The girls definitely still hurt though, which continues to be fun.

Cravings: ALL the Mexican food, and carbs are my BFFs.

Workouts: Another lackluster week with being exhausted. I got in a couple of walking workouts (2.5/3 miles apiece) but that was about it. I'm hoping once the first tri fog lifts I'll be able to get back to my regular 3-4x a week workouts.

Baby Purchases: Got our first pack of diapers! Target had a promo where if you bought 2 packages you got a $10 gift card. We had to pick up a pack for our neighbor's newest addition anyways, so I figured we might as well pick up one for us :-)

High point of the week: Our first prenatal appointment was Friday! It almost didn't happen because my OB had to go to the hospital to deliver a baby, but 2 hours after my original appointment they were able to squeeze me in. We haven't gotten back any of the blood work yet, but my Dr. said everything so far looks very normal and healthy. We have our first ultrasound tomorrow, so I'm anxious/excited to see the babe. I feel like it'll make it feel real. We also told my two childhood BFFs this weekend since my friend Sarah was in town. Their reactions were great, and they're very happy for us.

Concerns/Issues: I love our families, and I'm so happy they know right now, but a part of me is really paranoid/concerned that someone will find out through the grapevine. I just don't want someone at work hearing that I'm expecting without it coming from me....

Sleep: Still great, although I wish I could do it all the time.

Looking forward to: Our first ultrasound tomorrow! Fingers are crossed for a healthy and active bebe.

7 Weeks

Weeks along: 7

What's new with baby: Upgraded to a blueberry. The lungs and digestive system are forming, and over 100 brain cells per minute are being produced.

Maternity Clothes: Nope

Symptoms: The fatigue has hit hard. Last night I got home from work, laid in bed for about an hour, fed myself and then went back to bed at 8. I was asleep by 8:30. Oh, and nausea is definitely kicking in.

Cravings: This week was blueberry muffins. I bought one last night for dinner and it was delish.

Workouts: Oy vey. Workouts were definitely tough this week. I got in a 2.5 mile walk, a 3 mile walk and then did about 3 hours of yardwork. No running, no classes. I know I need to step it up, but being exhausted/nauseous makes it hard to want to do anything but lie down.

Baby Purchases: My mom picked up a couple books and some picture frames from a garage sale. The books are two of my childhood favorites (If you give a Moose a Muffin and If you give a Mouse a Cookie).

High point of the week: Going to a comedy club and seeing Cristela Alonzo. She was hilarious, and it was nice for N and I to find something we can both enjoy on a Saturday night that's pregnant lady-friendly.

Concerns/Issues: Just holding our breath here for a little bit until we get out of the first tri and can actually see Baby M.

Sleep: Amazing. I <3 sleep. Now if only I didn't feel so tired 24/7....

Looking forward to: My first appointment this Friday and my friend Sarah coming into town!

6 Weeks

Weeks along: 6

What's new with baby: Currently the size of a sweet pea. This week the major organs and systems begin to form.

Maternity Clothes: Nope

Symptoms: Tired, and a little nauseous during the morning hours. Oh, and my boobs. Yea, those things feel sore and swollen 24/7.

Cravings: I don't think this is necessarily baby-related, but froyo has sounded amazing lately so we indulged and had some Saturday :-)

Workouts: Run/walk on Monday for 3 miles, 2 mile walk Wednesday, walked 5 miles Saturday and did a Body Pump class on Sunday. Not too shabby!

Baby Purchases: None yet.

High point of the week: We told my family this weekend! Nate and I went out to lunch with my parents and little brother Saturday morning and told them then. When we were waiting to be seated we were just hanging outside the restaurant, and I told my dad "did you know there was 6 people in the car?" Of course he didn't really quite understand, so I then just said "well, 6 because I'm carrying an extra one - I'm pregnant!" My parents proceeded to shower us with hugs and kisses and tell us how happy and excited they were for us. My older brother wasn't at lunch, so at family dinner the next day I gave him a mug that said "good things are going to happen" and on the inside of it wrote "Baby Myers coming April 2016" He had the same reaction, and my sister-in-law almost broke out in tears she was so happy. It feels so good to have so much love and support.

Concerns/Issues: Trying to enjoy  this pregnancy, but also wanting time to speed up and for my 10 week ultrasound to get here. Our #1 thing is we just want a healthy baby.

Sleep: Good! Some tossing and turning at night, but overall I've been going to bed EARLY (like 9:30pm) and waking up at around 6:30am. 9 solid hours helps a little to not be so tired, but I still find myself feeling like a zombie some days.

Looking forward to: My first appointment next Friday, the results afterwards, and scheduling my first ultrasound.


The Positive Side

Written August 10th, 2015

It's hard to believe that it's been less than a week before I saw the magical plus signs and realized that yes, this is really happening.

Being 5 weeks today brings such a rush of mixed emotions. I'll admit I google too much, and for every happy baby story it seems like there's five about miscarriages. We told N's father's side last night after his sister revealed to everyone she was expecting her 2nd. We kind of just blurted it out, and ever since I've been slightly regretting even saying anything. It's still so early on, and while part of me is on cloud 9 imagining what life is going to be with a baby, the other part is terrified that it might not happen.

We still have 7 long weeks until we're officially in a "safe" place, but now begins a life where nothing is truly "safe" anymore. I keep telling myself the best way to be is positive, so for now I'm focusing on today. Today I am pregnant, and today I love our baby.

Weeks along: 5

What's new with baby: Currently an apple seed. This week the spine starts to form, along with some of the major organs.

Maternity Clothes: None yet.

Symptoms: Getting the tiniest bouts of nausea and some mood swings (Ns mostly getting the brunt of those), but otherwise feeling great.

Cravings: Nothing so far.

Workouts: Just a 4 mile run on Saturday. I didn't get back from visiting NY for my Grandma's funeral until Wednesday, and Thursday/Friday I was wiped out.

Baby Purchases: Nope

Rants/Raves: N has been great throughout this process so far, and seeing him so excited melts my heart.

Sleep: Okay, but not great. My brain has been on overdrive ever since we've found out, and I've been having really vivid dreams so it's been hard to stay asleep.

Looking forward to: Telling my family this Sunday at family dinner. I can't wait to see the look on my parents faces :).

Concerns: 7 weeks seems like such a long time. I'm so anxious to get my first ultrasound so I can see Baby M, but 5 weeks seems like such a long time away.

How we found out: I was in New York visiting my family since my Grandma had passed away, so I took a test the day before I left. We had been trying for about 3 months, and when the test was negative I assumed nothing was out of the norm so I didn't think anything of it. Well, when nothing came during my 5 day trip, I was officially late. N picked me up from the airport and I had him drop me off at home so I could take the one test I had left while he went to buy a couple more. Almost instantly it was a positive. I texted him the picture of the test and added in a "Yep, definitely pregnant!" but never got a response back from him. Then I realized I just texted my husband the biggest news of our lives so far. TEXTED. Who does that?! I was so excited at this point I waited for him in the driveway to get back, and when he got out of the car I asked him if he had checked his phone. Luckily he hadn't, so when he looked at his phone and read the text I got to see the full effect of him realizing he was going to be a dad. It was the cheesiest, happiest face I've seen, and we sealed the good news with a kiss.








Thoughts on TTC

Written March 31st, 2015

We're still 2 months away from trying, but just knowing we're working our way towards having a hard date at TTC is making me giddy, nervous and so happy.

Now don't get me wrong, I haven't been this way until recently. Honestly, the last year has been a year of ups and downs when it came to this topic. I love kids, but frankly, having one has scared me ever since I can remember. Hearing from friends (and the internet) how expensive day care is, how uncomfortable pregnancy (and labor, yeesh, that one still freaks me out) can be, and the million things that can go wrong along the way, there were lots of times where I thought having kids maybe wasn't worth the trouble.

Then..... my mind changed. I started thinking for myself. Kids will always be expensive, pregnancy is tailored to the individual (I can only pray for an easy one), and there's always things that can go wrong, but that's just one side of it. The underlying theme to almost everything that I've heard or read is that yes, there are sacrifices and pain and long nights, but it's worth it. It's so, so worth it.

My mind changing was the last piece that needed to click into place. N's been ready this whole time. I can see it in the love he has for our nieces in nephews. The excitement he gets when helping the neighbor's daughters with a woodworking project. The way he would talk about our future children and his hopes and dreams for them already. As soon as I brought up that I had been thinking about us starting a family, and starting one soon, he was all in. Having his support and love was all I needed to be reminded that no matter what challenges come our way, we'll tackle them together.

I've always heard babies change your life, but I guess it's time to see it for ourselves.

-A

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

15 for 2015 Check-In

It's September! I know I'm impatient, but I'm ready for everything fall. Plaid shirts, boots, cooler weather, fall leaves, candles, and of course ALL the pumpkin flavored things. I want all. of. it.

Here's how I'm doing on my 15 Things for 2015 so far:
  1. Try 6 new recipes that aren't desserts (and post the review/recipe on here).Almost there! I tried out another Skinnytaste  recipe and tested using zucchini as noodles with this zucchini lasagna. It was more labor intensive than the other recipes I've tried, but it made a family-sized portion and was pretty darn good. You can see the other recipes I've made hereherehere, and here. 
  2. Read 5 new books. Read 10 new books. Added What Alice Forgot to the list. It was a really interesting read, with the premise being that this woman falls down at the gym and can't remember the last 10 years of her life. I loved the ending, and it makes you think about how much time can change things. 
    1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
    2. Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? by Mindy Kaling
    3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (seriously, SO good!)
    4. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
    5. The Vacationers by Emma Staub
    6. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  3. Try something that takes me out of my comfort zone. Turning this one into a list so I can keep track of everything that took me out of my comfort bubble this year. 
    1. Pushing myself skiing (hello black diamond runs!)
    2. Flying 8 (yes, freaking 8) times over the 6 day trip for work to Puerto Rico, Barbados and Trinidad. 
    3. I'm still thinking there's an even bigger one though that I'd like to get to this year, which is TBD
  4. Take pictures for at least 4 family functions. One more to go! 
    1. Family Ski Vacation - Colorado
    2. Little Brother's Graduation
    3. Ashton's first birthday party
  5. Hang pictures of family/friends on the walls (this sounds simple, but our home has had nearly bare walls...for almost 2 years). Completed! 
  6. Send a birthday card in the mail to 3 6 friends/family members. No progress over the last two months, but still halfway there! I had sent 2 cards for Valentine's day to friends, and in June sent my BFF in Minnesota a b-day present and card.
  7. Do an act of kindness. So far I paid for a person's coffee behind me, but it felt a little too easy.Still keeping this as incomplete. 
  8. Visit 3 places I've never been before. Complete, with adding another one to the list! This ties in with #15, but we're visiting our friends that moved to Atlanta this month. I've only ever driven through the city, so I'm counting it.
    1. Trinidad
    2. Barbados
    3. Puerto Rico
    4. North Carolina
    5. Atlanta
  9. Follow a clean eating or whole 30 plan for a week (hopefully longer, but baby steps, right?) I've come close, but haven't done a true consecutive week of clean eating yet.
  10. Work back up to running a 5k again, straight through. Completed this on the treadmill in July, but have yet to do it outside. Maybe with some cooler weather coming I'll be more motivated to run outside.
  11. Blog at least 24 times. Almost there! I've definitely had a lull in the past 2 months, but I'm still on track to get to this number. 
  12. Clean out/organize all of the closets in our house. Blech, my least favorite activity. I cleaned out part of our bedroom closet last weekend and got rid of some clothes we don't wear anymore, but it still needs a deep scrubbing. 
  13. Surprise my husband in some way. The concert tickets I surprised him with are for tonight! He's pretty excited to go :-)
  14. Do a house project.  We got the house painted/added shutters, but it feels a bit like a cop-out since we hired someone to do it. N and I went out and bought trim paint and plan on replacing all the trim/molding/doors upstairs with white to make it brighter. It's an undertaking, but hopefully we can knock it out in a couple weekends. I'll have to remember to take some before/after pictures!
    Before

    After
  15. Go visit a friend that lives in another state. Going to Atlanta this month to see our friends. N and I are both so excited!

-A

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Five

Happy Fri-YAY! I'm so ready for this weekend. My brother turns the big 3-0 this weekend so my sister-in-law is throwing him a party tomorrow night. Adult beverages + family + BBQ = a good time. 

But before I get ahead of myself, here are my top 5 from the week!

1. Target curtains. This store has come up in 90% of my Friday Five's, but I can't get enough. I've been wanting to spice up our family room for awhile now by adding in curtains with more visual interest (we just had plain beige ones before). I score a big 0 in the decision making department, so I ended up buying 4 different patterns and hanging them all up at home before deciding on just one. Below is the winner, but the other contenders were this onethis one, and this one


Source
2. New lipstick. I'm in love with the Clinique Chubby Sticks, but since the one that I have decided to grow legs and walk away, I decided to splurge on a new lipstick. I picked up  Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in High Heels. It's the perfect bublegum pink, and although it's not as moisturizing as my beloved Chubby's, I'm digging the color enough to run with it.

3. Beauty Brands Liter Sale. I usually settle for Dove conditioner/shampoo, but I'm currently stocking up on salon-quality liters thanks to Beauty Brands. I've picked up a couple liters so far of Redken Blonde Idol Shampoo. I'm obsessed, and planning on stocking up on at least 4 more liters before the sale ends. It's sulfate-free, smells great and has the feel of a really high quality shampoo. 

4. All the chips and guac. N and I had a dinner date this week at our local Micro Brewery, and they had homemade guac as the special appetizer. It was seriously the best guac that I've ever had, and even though the appetizer was meant for at least 4 people, we definitely polished the whole thing off. I've been craving it ever since. 
Source
5. N being home this week. He was gone all last week thanks to a work training in Boston, so having him back has been amazing. We even went running together for the first time in ages on Wednesday, and are both thinking about getting back into running some 5ks/10ks coming up. Hanging out together completely unplugged from all technology is the best!

-A

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

15 Things for 2015: July Check-In

Hello and happy July 1st! I'm pumped for this holiday weekend. 3 day of relaxing with friends and family sounds marvelous.

Here's my progress report on my 15 Things for 2015 so far:
  1. Try 6 new recipes that aren't desserts (and post the review/recipe on here).Finally got this to 4! I put my new Skinnytaste cookbook to good use and made her Bangin' Good Shrimp. It was delish, quick to make, and the sauce (which was to die for) was only 3 ingredients! I definitely need to try out another one of her recipes for this month.You can see the other recipes I've made herehere and here. 
  2. Read 5 new books. Read 10 new books. I finished my 5th book last month, so I want to up this to 10 for the year. I think this is definitely do-able since N got me a Kindle Voyage for my birthday. I was so anti e-reader, but I can officially say I've seen the light! It's the perfect size, lightweight and it looks exactly like a book page. I'm kind of obsessed. 
    1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
    2. Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? by Mindy Kaling
    3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (seriously, SO good!)
    4. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
    5. The Vacationers by Emma Staub
  3. Try something that takes me out of my comfort zone. I could probably name off two big ones for me: pushing myself skiing (hello black diamond runs!) and flying 8 (yes, freaking 8) times over the 6 day trip for work to Puerto Rico, Barbados and Trinidad. I'm still thinking there's an even bigger one though that I'd like to get to this year...
  4. Take pictures for at least 4 family functions. Two down, two more to go. I plan on taking LOTS of pictures for my nephew's first birthday this Sunday! Helloooo baby picture overload. 
    1. Family Ski Vacation - Colorado
    2. Little Brother's Graduation
  5. Hang pictures of family/friends on the walls (this sounds simple, but our home has had nearly bare walls...for almost 2 years). Completed! 
  6. Send a birthday card in the mail to 3 6 friends/family members. Halfway there! I had sent 2 cards previously, and in June sent my BFF in Minnesota a b-day present and card. The time spent at the Postal Office waiting in line was totally worth the sweet text she sent me after she got them!
  7. Do an act of kindness. I paid for a person's coffee behind me a couple weeks ago, but it felt a little too easy. I'm keeping this one as incomplete for now.
  8. Visit 3 places I've never been before. Complete! Our trip to NC was 7 days of pure bliss. I'm kicking myself for not writing a recap, but we had the most amazing, relaxing time with our friends. My next trip will probably be to Boston to visit N while he's training for his job up there, but I've been before so sadly this can't go on the list. 
    1. Trinidad
    2. Barbados
    3. Puerto Rico
    4. North Carolina
  9. Follow a clean eating or whole 30 plan for a week (hopefully longer, but baby steps, right?)LOLOL. Yea, this hasn't happened. It needs to, but all the prep work for a Whole 30 diet (even if it's just 7 days) is a little intimidating. 
  10. Work back up to running a 5k again, straight through. I think I've done 3.1 straight on a treadmill, but I can't remember. I'm regularly running at least 2 miles straight through, albeit slow, but I need to start pushing myself more to do the full 3.1.
  11. Blog at least 24 times. Pretty sure this is complete? I'm too lazy to check, so I'll verify next month ;)
  12. Clean out/organize all of the closets in our house. We haven't done any more in the last month or two, so I think we still have 2-3 more closets to go.
  13. Surprise my husband in some way. I surprised N for our anniversary. For our 5 year we got each other bikes, but a week or so before our anniversary I found out one of his favorite bands is coming to our town. I bought the tickets and stuck them in the card, and he was definitely pleasantly surprised! 
  14. Do a house project.  Done! We bit the bullet and got our house painted, plus added some new shutters to the 2nd story. I wish we could afford siding, but I was hoping that at least painting the house would make it more modern looking. I can't say I was 100% in love with it at first, but the new color has definitely grown on me!
    Before

    After
  15. Go visit a friend that lives in another state. Still need to do this one! I'll be going to NYC, Atlanta or Minneapolis before the end of this year, NO exceptions!

-A

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five and Ten

It's hard to believe, but five years ago today I married this guy, and ten (TEN!) years ago we started dating.

First vacation together - 8 months dating
I mean, 10 years is no short amount of time. A decade. 3,650 days, 87,60 hours, 5,256,000 minutes. We've been together through high school graduations, college graduations, new jobs, new friends and really, new phases of life.  

Vacation 2015
I remember always hearing as our wedding was getting closer and closer that your wedding day is one of the best days of your life. I hoped it wouldn't be, not because I didn't want to have a beautiful and perfect day, but because I hoped there would be days in our marriage even bigger and better than that one day.


I can safely say I've had not just best days, but best years with N. Seeing him graduate college, and flourish in his career. Buying our first home and fixing it up to make it our own. Enjoying our days whether their spent on the beach on vacation, or on the mountains skiing, or simply at home, snuggled next to our dogs. 

Family pictures - 2013

The past 10 years have been, simply put, the best. Cheers, love, and happy anniversary.

-A

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lately

Well, as of late it seems that my posting speed has clearly slowed down. A lot of it is just needing a good prompt to get me going, and today I found one courtesy of one of my favorite blogs to read, PB Fingers. So here's some catch-up on what's been happening in my life lately. Feel free to play along and use the prompts yourself!

Lately I've been....

Making: Cake pops, cup cakes, chocolate chip cookies. I've been a baking monster for my family lately. I'm a sucker for the guys in my life, so when my little brother needed cookies as a finals snack one day and my older brother needed some for my nephew's school picnic the next day, I didn't hesitate to whip out my mixer and get to work. Add on top of that some fun and festive cake pops/cupcakes for little brother's college graduation party on Saturday and that's a full week of baking! 

Glitter cake pops for days
Wanting: New curtains for our family room. We have a grey/dark yellow area rug and  while I'm wanting to brighten up the space with some colorful curtains, I'm at a loss as to what would match it. Any ideas?

Looking: Forward to tomorrow, and really the whole month of June! Tomorrow N and I are leaving after work and driving up to Estes Park for a weekend getaway, and then in June we have my birthday, our 5 year wedding anniversary and our vacation to NC with all of our friends! It's going to be a fantastic month.

Feeling: Proud/happy/relieved. N's company announced in January they would be transitioning some positions (including his) to another company, but wasn't given a timeline or a sense of job security during that transition. With everything up in the air, he started feeling out other opportunities in the area, and started interviewing for an amazing position with another company. He was put through the ringer with 6 (yes, SIX!) total interviews spread over several weeks. It was definitely a roller coaster, but I'm happy to say it paid off as he got an offer and accepted the position!

Pinning: House color ideas. I love our home and how beautiful it is on the inside thanks to the renovations, but the outside still lacks some curb appeal. It's needing new paint regardless, so I'm hoping we can help give it a face lift by changing up the color, painting over the brick and adding some shutters. I love the idea of doing a grey all over with white trim/black shutters.

Source

Source

Knowing: I have 2 short months left until my little brother moves, and it's going to be hard. My older brother and I fought like cats and dogs growing up, but my little brother was always Switzerland, playing neutral and getting along with everyone. Since getting into our 20s, my brothers and I have formed a little trifecta, and I'm for sure going to miss it when he's gone.

-A

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

15 Things for 2015: May Check-In

Hola and happy Cinco de Mayo! Tonight my plans involve mowing the yard, and then going to a small fiesta with some friends and N. This month is already jam-packed with college graduations (my little brother!), a trip to Colorado over Memorial day weekend, and my dad's birthday. I'm looking forward to all of it!

Here's my progress report on my 15 Things for 2015 so far:
  1. Try 6 new recipes that aren't desserts (and post the review/recipe on here).Still stuck at 3. I've been unmotivated to cook lately so I purchased the Skinnytaste Cookbook. This is a reminder that I need to actually try some of those recipes! You can see the recipes I've made so far here and here, and  here. 
  2. Read 5 new books. I read First Frost on the flights during my work trip and it was a nice, light easy read. I definitely recommend it to someone that's looking for a fun book. Only one more to go and I've met my goal!
    1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
    2. Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? by Mindy Kaling
    3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (seriously, SO good!)
    4. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
  3. Try something that takes me out of my comfort zone. I could probably name off two big ones for me: pushing myself skiing (hello black diamond runs!) and flying 8 (yes, freaking 8) times over the 6 day trip for work to Puerto Rico, Barbados and Trinidad. I'm still thinking there's an even bigger one though that I'd like to get to this year...
  4. Take pictures for at least 4 family functions. I've officially got one down. I plan on taking about a million pictures when my little brother graduates in a couple weeks, so that'll get me halfway there!
    1. Family Ski Vacation - Colorado
  5. Hang pictures of family/friends on the walls (this sounds simple, but our home has had nearly bare walls...for almost 2 years). Completed! 
  6. Send a birthday card in the mail to 3 6 friends/family members. 2 sent and 4 to go. Still waiting on some friend's birthdays/events to happen. 
  7. Do an act of kindness. Stuck on this one....anyone have any ideas?
  8. Visit 3 places I've never been before. Completed! I'm counting my work trip, which is kind of cheating, but kind of not (right?). North Carolina is next month, so I still have that one to add to my list!
    1. Trinidad
    2. Barbados
    3. Puerto Rico
  9. Follow a clean eating or whole 30 plan for a week (hopefully longer, but baby steps, right?)Ugh, a big fat nope on this one. I just can't motivate myself enough to give up carbs for 7 days (I know, horrible). Maybe this month? 
  10. Work back up to running a 5k again, straight through. I ran about 2.5 miles straight through last week on the treadmill at the gym. I haven't been consistently training, but I think the other workouts I'm doing throughout the week are definitely helping me get back into shape. N and I signed up for a 5k June 5th so I've got a month to get myself to 3.1!
  11. Blog at least 24 times. Definitely on track to get this one done! I don't remember the exact count I'm at now, but I've been posting at least 3-4 times a month. 
  12. Clean out/organize all of the closets in our house. We FINALLY cleaned the office and office closet this month! Oh happy day! It's the one room in the house that is strictly N's since he works from home/on the road and I couldn't stand the way it was always so unorganized. We still had moving boxes with stuff in it - 2 years after we bought our house. I think my frustration finally hit the tipping point and he got the hint that we needed to tackle it. Now I think we have 2-3 more closets to go!
  13. Surprise my husband in some way. Still stuck on this.....ideas?
  14. Do a house project. Haven't done anything yet! We've been stashing all our extra funds towards student loans and mine are officially paid off! Now we just have to tackle N's :-/
  15. Go visit a friend that lives in another state. Oh gosh, still need to do this one. NYC is at the top of my list, but one of my really good friends is moving to Atlanta this summer so there's another option. What to do...

-A

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Five

TGIF! N's been in Chicago for a training all week so it's just been me and the pigs pugs chillin' at the house. I also cracked my phone on Tuesday and spent a pretty penny getting it fixed, and this afternoon I get to make an impromptu visit at the vet because I'm 99% certain Daisy has an ear infection. Booooo unexpected expenses.

Anyways, here's the 5 things that helped me perk up my week, despite some mishaps!

1. The randomness of Emilio Estevez. Wednesday night my older brother was at happy hour with a friend and spotted Emilio Estevez. He snapped a pic of him and sent myself and my little brother the pic. This is how the text convo went from there:

Older Brother: Emilio Estevez is at Merchant's. I just bought him a beer.
Little Brother: He should've bought you a beer!
Me: Emilioooooooooooooo  
Little Brother: Why is he in Lawrence?
Older Brother: He's doing a coast to coast road trip.
Me: quack, quack, Quack, Quack, QUACK, QUACK

*I realize I'm the 5 year old that everyone ignores in this conversation, but I can't pass up a good Night at the Roxbury/Mighty Ducks reference.

2. Skinnytaste Blueberry Banana Bread. So, so tasty, and healthy to boot.

3. Old photo albums. One of my most treasured birthday presents I've ever gotten is a photo album from one of my BFFs about 15 years ago. This weekend my parents were going through some of our old bedrooms and pulled out the photo album for me to take home. I thumbed through it and all these years later it's still just as hilarious as the day I got it.

My dad pulled off the lumberjack look before it was cool.

BFF's dad

A whole page dedicated to the hotties of the late 90's/early 00's

Little brother! So hard to believe he'll be 24 this year.

4. New bedding. About a year ago when we were re-decorating our master bedroom I bought a big, fluffy white comforter for our bed. While it looked beautiful, it made it so N and I so hot at night we could hardly stand it. Luckily I just snagged this white Jersey quilt from Target and it's 1000x times lighter than the comforter, but just as pretty. Now I'm thinking we should probably get a nice throw blanket and maybe some decorative pillows to finish the look :).

5. Our new Notes Board for our fridge. N can be a little forgetful at times, so this is a good (and pretty) way of reminding him of what we need to accomplish for the week.

-A



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Work with a scenic view

Last week was definitely a departure from what my usual week looks like. Instead of going to the office every day, I had the opportunity to go to Trinidad, Barbados and Puerto Rico for work.

Let me just preface the trip with one thing - I hate flying. I'm not a huge fan of heights period, so being 38,000 feet above ground freaks me out. Nonetheless I wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity to travel, so fly I did.

Monday was basically spent flying the whole day (yay!) and getting through customs. Seriously, I thought the guy at the customs counter was going to ask me to draw blood and give up my first born. Fortunately we all made it into the country and to the hotel by dinnertime. Our hotel was amazing - by far one of the nicest places I've ever stayed, and it was ocean front to boot. After a 2 hour dinner, we went back to our rooms and I took a waterfall shower (so.good.) for 20 minutes before slipping into bed.

Not a bad view for breakfast/dinner!

Enjoying the scenery on the way to the next location

The first half of the week we spent in Trinidad, hopping all over the island and spending a good 14 hours of the day working. Tuesday night we had an early enough dinner that I was able to slip away with a couple of my coworkers down to the hotel bar to enjoy some Mojitos and some live music. While in Rome, right?

Then Wednesday I got my first peak at what I'd be flying on for the next 4 (yes, 4) flights.
Gotta love propeller planes
 I'm not going to lie, I had a mini panic attack when I realized the plane we'd be flying on from Trinidad to Barbados was a twin prop plane and not a plane with engines. I felt even less confident about flying when I:
  1. Got seated in a window seat that was a view of the propellers (luckily a coworker switched me)
  2. The pilot turned the plane around before take off because there was a "technical" issue with the plane (side note: I don't think the plane had a technical issue at all. We just had to turn around because 2 people on the flight had to get off - and get arrested. For what I'll never know.)
Fortunately (and unfortunately) for me, my coworkers thought it was hilarious that I was terrified of flying, so half the flight I spent laughing since everyone else was laughing so much. The nice man across the aisle from me that spoke no English also offered me his KFC. It was definitely an experience. 

We flew into Barbados at 9 at night, and then went straight to dinner. I wasn't super excited about another long night, but my mind changed when I went into the restaurant. We were seated outside right next to the ocean. Enjoying fresh seafood and listening to the waves crash on the rocks was all I needed to unwind from the stress of flying.
One of the best spots to enjoy a meal
The next day was another early day. Fortunately the island was small, so we called it quits around 5:30 at night at had the chance along the way to visit the beach. Barbados is definitely on my list of places I want to come back on vacation. I could have enjoyed weeks of just looking at the ocean.






We also stopped for lunch at the #1 rated restaurant on Trip Advisor for Bridgetown, Cuz's Fish Shack. It's 1 guy that serves fresh fish sandwiches every day, and the type of fish varies from day to day. We had Marlin, and it was one of the tastiest things I've ever had. I'm still drooling just thinking about it.


For dinner we went to another restaurant on the island that was right on the beach. Since we finished up a little earlier than planned, we got to walk there on the way to dinner. I'm now convinced a beach vacation has to be in my future - a couple hours on the beach is not nearly enough.



Delicious mussels
 Friday we got up at 5am to catch our flights from Barbados to Puerto Rico. Since the airlines that fly in-between the islands make no sense, we had to take a total of 3 flights to get from Bridgetown to San Juan. Again, I was stressing about flying, mostly because I got stuck on one of these again:


Fortunately we made it to San Juan right on time (something that rarely happens on the airline we flew) and since we were all starving, we filled up with some delicious Cubans.

We spent less than 24 hours in San Juan, but it was a definitely necessary trip as far as work was concerned. We enjoyed our last dinner at another seafood place, and made it to the hotel around midnight. Saturday was another whirlwind day of flying, but coming home was the sweetest, sweetest thing after a long week traveling.

-A