January 16, 2019

End of Second Trimester

Hello! How are y'all this week? Hopefully settling into the new year and January well. I've perused blogs more this month than before, just haven't had as much time to comment as I'd like. But, I'm here and reading and hope you know I so enjoy being here more.

I realized the other day this is the last week of my second trimester. Can I say, WAIT WHAT?! There have honestly been times where weeks seemed so long and then, poof, here I am. On the brink of the third trimester and getting closer and closer to meeting our lil one.

When I was blogging more seriously (2015 or earlier) I expected to be one of those bloggers who did a weekly bump post. More for my records than for readers, but now I realize I've never DONE ONE HERE. Part of that is because, TIME, however I will admit part of me doesn't really want to share as much here for some reason. Maybe I'm just getting older, who knows.

But, I do hope to be able to look back at this blog one day and see a journey, which right now includes pregnancy. So, please indulge me in a quick BUMP UPDATE post.

How far along: 27 weeks

Gender: Not finding out

Weight gain: just under 20 pounds, which honestly seems high to me with 12 more weeks to go.

Movement: TONS, especially when I sit down leaning forward. Baby lets me know it needs more room. Last night BOB had a tap dancing party from 3am - 5am which was something new.

Sleep: Yeah, ish. We bought a mattress topper to help with my back issues [yes I still have back issues from the summer, unbaby related] and it has helped. I FINALLY purchased a pregnancy pillow [super late I know] and can't wait to finally use it. Need it for the expanding belly.

Working Out: Still teaching a few times a week. Can definitely feel the extra weight and my belly now hits the floor in modified pushups. Hoping to teach until due date, but want healthy baby of course.

Work: Not as stressful, although super slow which means stress about money, which is nice. I can't sit for very long before my ribs make me get up and move.

Dr Appointments: I have my glucose test tomorrow, eeek! Hoping for good results and looking forward to talking with the doctor because I have tons of questions about the next trimester.

Nursery: ummmmm, yeah. Le Husband is building the furniture and that's where we are now.

How I'm feeling: Large, large, large. Tired. Nervous for the next step. Wondering where all the extra weight will go. Worried I haven't enough to prepare for birth. Excited about my baby showers. Baffled that BOB will be here in 12 weeks, OH EM GOODNESS.

January 10, 2019

A Deep Inhale, A New Year, A Fresh Perspective

Inhale.

Exhale. 

Hello, friends. 

Hello, 2019. 

Hello, blog. 

It has been a minute since I've posted here. Not like I was posting a ton before, but I purposefully took a break mid December to just be in the season. To savor it because I had life's needs, wants, have tos and stresses take over. I needed less to think about. I needed more air to breathe. I needed to turn inward instead of looking outward. 

So, I stayed away from blogs. And spent less time on Instagram. 

It was magical and glorious. 

As was my Christmas time with family. Four fantastic days together in VA and all the feels were had. My sweet niece was adorable. My sisters were so fun. Le Husband had a great time and I was able to catch up with a few local friends, too. 

Waking up without worry was wonderful. Having people excited over my growing belly was so fun. Being with those I care about most made my heart so happy. Christmas day was so perfect, good food, family time and naps. Wonderful naps. 

Thankfully I was able to end my December month much better than anticipated so my stress and fear in my job is minimal to none now. Again, another post for another day but I wanted to mark the attitude shift. The mindset change. The ability to just be. 

I am using this month to get reacquainted with who I truly am. Who I used to be and who I need to grow into as I grow a baby. I am stepping back up in the kitchen. I'm planning my workouts more. I putting energy back into my instagram with fitness and working to create more workouts and possibly trial them with people. 

2018 was a lot of stress. A lot of holding my breath and waiting. So much tension. 

I vow not to let that happen again. I vow to remember to breathe through tough times instead of burying my head. Inhale good energy, exhale the bad. I will remember to be more present. 

December 19, 2018

Savor The Season


Savor. Hold fast. Remember this moment in time, for it is fleeting.

After writing my post last week, I took a step back and marinated in my thoughts. I won't lie, it felt good to get the feelings out of my head and onto (virtual) paper. To express nostalgia for easier times and vent about tough times. Words and thoughts have power and keeping everything inside was taking a toll and I'm so grateful to you for your kind words. They meant so, so, so much.

I am not 100% normal, yet. And until I see final numbers at the end of the month my little worrying part of my brain won't turn off. But, there is MORE peace. There is more JOY. There is more savoring in my life.

Savoring the kicking inside my belly.

Savoring our little townhouse with just the two of us for the last time.

Savoring the lights at night, no matter how late I get home.

Savoring watching Christmas movies together.

Savoring this Advent.

Savoring the hard work and hardship of this season because next year it will be different.

Savoring being 23 weeks and people noticing my belly and sending me well wishes.

Savoring the anticipation of going home for Christmas with my family.

This playlist, especially the first song Light of the World, has brought me much peace and joy throughout this season of life. When it all seems too much I remeber, Love came down at Christmas and the Light of the World was given to us by a gracious God. Through Him, with Him, in Him, life will work and I will be okay. 

December 13, 2018

Decembers Past & Present

Nostalgia has hit me hard this month. I'm sure I'm not alone, as the holidays tend to remind us of the good/bad things in life, but this year I've found myself especially nostalgic. Of looking back at what was back in the day. And note, this isn't meant to be an upper or a downer. I've always strived to be real here. TO share the good and the bad and not hide behind 'a fake life'. To each their own, but that's not me. If you're having the best Christmas season ever, I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! If this season is harder than ever, I'M HERE FOR YOU!

2010: My first Christmas knowing Le Husband. We didn't do Christmas with each other until we were married, but it was fun celebrating with my boyfriend at the time. We didn't do anything major together, but started small traditions while in DC.
short hair, wow!

2013: Our first married Christmas. We spent time the holiday together for the first time (with my family) and began our own family traditions. Setting up our tree, going to church together, waking up together on Christmas morning and not having to talk through a phone was the best thing ever.
He was sooooo annoyed I made him take this picture :)

2015: Our last Christmas living in DC. It was quite bittersweet as we hadn't told many people our decision to move and we celebrated a few lasts quietly. It was also a super fun Christmas because the next day we left for a Christmas cruise to celebrate Mama B's 60th birthday.
The FAMILY

2016: Our first Christmas in Tennessee. It was so tough, y'all. So stinking tough. The actual holiday was spent with Le Husband's family in Ohio and it was much shorter than normal due to my gym job. I was a complete mess because we were still living with my aunt & uncle and Le Husband and I were fighting all the time. We were so frustrated with our jobs, our lack of having our own place, our living on top of each other and my inability to sleep. I cried all the time and almost missed my sister's going away party because I didn't know HOW to get time off. I was so grateful a higher up in the company forced me to take the weekend off and I spent much of the eight hour drive to DC crying. Oh and we were trying to put in an offer on a house and it was miserable with all the paperwork. Thankfully it all worked out and before New Year's we set our closing date.
SISTERS!
2017: The year I expected everything to be better. The December that started out with so much promise. So much joy. So much expectation and ease. We were in our FIRST HOME. With our FIRST real tree and our first year of OUR OWN TRADITIONS. I was in a job I didn't love but it caused me NO stress (except taking time off) and allowed me to get my PT cert. I wasn't fullfilled but the money was fine and I as beginning to plan my goals in 2018. And then came the surprise announcement. The reorganization that rendered my position redundant. The unexpected after work meeting with my boss informing me I no longer had a job and even though I would be paid until the end of the year, I no longer needed to come to work. To the job that held my insurance. To the job that allowed me to dream of better. I was beyond devastated as Le Husband was out of town for work and I was meeting him Ohio for Christmas so I cried alone for multiple two nights until I could get myself to Ohio. My wonderful, bright and beautiful December as turned upside down and even though I enjoyed my extra long Christmas break it was hard not to feel like a failure and lose some joy.
Cheers to a healthy husband. 

2018
: Here we are now. And friends, I wish it were a happy fabulous Christmas season. I really, really do. I'm so tired of having hard Christmas seasons. I'm so ready for the relaxation and ease I used to feel. Yes I count my blessings, but it's so hard right now. It wasn't supposed to be this way. Before July it was supposed to be a different job, with easier hours and less stress. But, nope again. I'm currently sitting here, mask on my face, Christmas cards just stamped, a movie on as I try to grasp the LAST LITLE BIT OF chill before I work 9 days straight. Because I can't get behind again. Because I can't not hit numbers this month. Because it could come down to me not having a job in the New Year. I have a post in the works about how hard my job has been for me and how I keep trying to find the GOOD or the reason for it, so I'll just say sales is hard and I really can't wait until maternity leave. Which is another thing. I should feel NOTHING but joy about this new phase of life. This sweet, precious baby [kicking me as I type] will be in my arms next year. I should be thinking of that, should be holding on to THIS feeling of just the two of us and dreaming of fun traditions next year. However, I'm barely making time for holiday fun. I'm worrying about numbers instead of the season and I'm desperately clinging to hope of it will all work out. On the outside I've put on a good face. I'm not crying. I'm not freaking out to friends/family. I'm not stressing Le Husband. But inside, I'm barely keeping it together. I was good for a bit, but then I realized it's crunch time. Even if I feel like crap I have to work because of the four days I'm taking off to be with my family. Which I can't wait for. We are so close to a wonderful family Christmas, I just need to get there. I just need to be present and let everything else go.

December 11, 2018

Show Us Your Books

Y'all, I'm here. I made it for the Show Me Your Books. This is only a bit of what I've read the past few months but I'll take it as  a win right now. Most of my picks are light hearted because of the past season of life, however a few made me think and realize my problems aren't really all that awful. I'm so grateful for literature and fiction, two things which usually never disappoint. What have you been reading lately?

[source]
The story of one spouse always supporting the other and the kids and then finally saying enough. Lots of hyperbole and metaphors and family strife, but with love. You'll feel you know part of the story and then be surprised. And then you'll be right, too. I'm always happy when a flawed character realizes their flaws and activity tries to change it instead of just whining. Fun read. 

[source]
* * * *
I've expressed my enjoyment of Flukes series and this one fit perfectly with her mystery recipes of past books (see what I did there?), ha! Sadly the victim in this book is a well known character and that stupidly made me sad. But, we finally get some idea as to the whereabouts of Hannah's husband, finally! Good easy read for a trip on a plane, in the car or just something fun and light to pass the time. 

[source]
* * * *
What an intriguing story. I was hooked from the beginning and really enjoyed all of the characters. Some of the plot was predictable and some had me going 'oh wow', which is how I like a book, honestly. Hannah works some magic here with her writing and I'm all about being spellbound by a story. I think most people will enjoy this book whatever your taste.

[source]
* * * *
Love me a good mystery and this one had twists upon twists upon WTHs. This book has been described as similar to 'Gone Girl' (which I never read) and 'Girl on the Train' (which I didn't really enjoy) and I would just describe it as a thrilling mystery. The characters are all flawed and it was hard to decide who did it because of alllll the jumping from before and current. Definitely one to read if you need to pass the time quickly.

[source]
* * * *
Heartbreaking. Harrowing. Infuriating. Confusing. This book is going to touch your heart and piss you the hell off. I am still baffled this book is based on a true story and after doing a little research I can't believe the woman responsible was never truly held accountable. As a curious cathy I felt some of the storylies could have been fleshed out a little bit more because quite a few just ended suddenly. This will grip you and will probably be a book you can't put down.

[source]
* * * * 1/2
I found this book because I searched for Downton Abbeyesque books. The storyline intrigued me and after reading a preview and I thought, why not. I was fascinated by the characters, storyline and heartbroken with part of the story. The heroine has guts, is resourceful and is definitely someone you can cheer for throughout the book. 

[source]
* * *
I do not understand the fascination with this book throughout blogland/instagram. I'm a big fan of Hannah, but this book was not what I expected and definitely didn't live up to the hype. The main characters frustrated the hell and no, I'm not victim blaming. I just don't understand why this story was so fascinating when it really was super drawn out and the same situation over and over again.





December 10, 2018

TBB: Holiday Edition



1. Candy canes? YES, but only peppermint ones.
2. Christmas morning early riser or sleep in? Normally sleeping in, but with our niece probably early this year.
3. Did you shop on Black Friday? Nope, I worked it. Be nice to associates in stores, it's a long day.
4. Christmas tree up in November? Normally I try for the weekend after Thanksgiving, this year it was 12/1.
5. Do you get holiday ideas from Pinterest? I used to, but now I honestly don't care what other people do.
6. Christmas glam or ugly sweater? Glam all the way. I LOVE fancy holiday clothes.
7. Stocking stuffers wrapped or unwrapped? Unwrapped is how I grew up and a tradition I will follow.
8. Traditional or modern Christmas songs? I love all Christmas music, but CAROLS are my jam.
9. Fruitcake? NO THANK YOU!
10. Is your Christmas shopping finished? Halfway, maybe?
11. Is there snow in December where you live? Yup, had snow yesterday and some this morning.
12. Classic show, a Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph? Man, I love both, but have to go with Charlie Brown.
13. Favorite Christmas dessert? I added this one, ha. I LOVE CHRISTMAS COOOOOOOOOKIES


December 5, 2018

C U R R E N T L Y {DECEMBER}



gifting fun homemade or small business made gifts this year.
baking nothing at the moment but cookies will happen this weekend, yay!
singing Christmas carols at church and getting teary eyed because of the joy of the season.
mailing something, hopefully. I'm usually the first to send out Christmas cards but this year, so behind.
decorating our home and now everything is place perfectly I'm so stinking happy.
loving our three stockings on the mantle this year.
reading lots of silly books to help myself relax at night.
praying for those who have lost loved ones during the holidays. I know this time of year is hard.
watching all the Christmas movies, the Nutcracker and our standard shows.
listening to different genres of Christmas music and particularly draw to Lauren Daigle's album.
hoping to feel the joy and wonder of Christmas cheer all month, even during stressful days.
feeling baby movement everyday and feeling thankful for a healthy baby.