8 times grateful

This year has been a weird one. Compared to the last several, it's felt surprisingly mellow. 
I guess that is just mostly because we haven't moved at all, and I can't even remember the last time I went a whole 12 months without doing that. Anyways, as I've reflected over the year, I realize that along with NOT moving a bunch, I'm really thankful for a lot of things. In the spirit of the season, well.... 
You know what comes next. 
(Incoming cliche and frivolous gratitude list!)

1. I'm thankful for my family. When things get shaken up, as the inevitably do, family is always an anchor. Even if it's just me and Christian and our tiny bun for now! 

2. I'm thankful for the gospel. Now that I have a brother on a mission, it's really put things in perspective and reminded me how much I truly cherish it. It's the only thing that keeps me going sometimes!

3. I'm thankful for this guy. 
He's just way too cute for his own good., and I'm not even going to try to describe how grateful I am for Christian!

4. I'm thankful for good t.v. shows. There's something so awesome about getting lost in someone else's drama for an hour a week (I'm looking at you, Parenthood!). And can we all agree that Bachelor season can't get here fast enough?! I mean really.

5. I'm thankful to be pregnant. This is something I've had to remind myself of every day for the last 4 months. With every dizzy spell, trip to the toilet, episode of heart burn (this is new!), wave of exhaustion, and twinge of pain as my body continues to expand, I'm reminded that I'm CREATING A LIFE. It's truly miraculous, and I know there are a lot of people who don't get to experience this. So I'm trying to enjoy it and be as thankful as possible, barfing included. Plus, pregnancy has done wonders for the girls (moms, you feel me?!) and for my hair, so I can't complain that much ;)

6. I'm thankful for the holidays. They fill me with so much happiness and love for people. This is such a wonderful time of year! Now if it would just snow already, everything would feel right in the world.
(I will probably kick myself for saying that in 3 months but right now I look at snow and I'm like "come at me bro!". Or something like that)

7. I'm thankful for flannel sheets. Although they make our bed a little too warm, they make everything feel so cozy, which is very fitting given the season. Our little apartment feels very much like a cabin, and this time of year just begs for flannel accents. So sheets it is!

8. Finally, as my culminating "thankful", I'm thankful for nail polish. Yes. Nail polish. Nothing makes me feel quite as pulled together as a fresh manicure. And if I can't BE pulled together, I might as well feel it for 5 or 6 days at a time!

Seriously though, one thing I love about this season is being thankful for the little things. Whether it's nail polish, or flannel sheets, a tasty dinner, or that stranger who smiled at you at the store. That's what it's about. And with that....
Happy Thanksgiving y'all!


cranberry relish, or "because I love you"

I shared this recipe last year, but it's a family favorite and it's TO DIE FOR GOOD. 
So I thought I do it again, this time a little preemptively, in hopes that you will make it and love it as much as we do. I'm serious you guys. 
You NEEEEEED this in your Thanksgiving spread.
 Y'welcome in advance.

Cranberry Relish

  • 2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 blood oranges, or navel oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces, juices reserved
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled to remove strings, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

1. Place cranberries in food processor, and pulse to chop coarsely, about five pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl.
2. Add onion, jalapeno, lime juice, orange sections and juice, ginger, sugar, and celery; mix gently. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Just before serving, add mint and toss to combine.

This will feed 10-12 people with leftovers. Which you will want.

woes of puppyhood

Remember how our upstairs neighbors got a puppy about a month ago?
And remember how we babysit the kids part time? And remember how that also means puppysitting this  midget?

We've certainly had some adventures with the little rugrat, and yesterday was no exception. I was hanging out upstairs on the couch, not thinking much about where I was sitting because I mean it's a couch. What's usually wrong with couches? 
After about 10 minutes, I think to myself "Something feels weird. This couch feels colder than normal."
So I stand up and there's a GINORMOUS wet spot right where I had been. I turned to the littlest, who was sitting right next to me, and said "WHAT IS THAT?!"

She turned to me and said:

I removed my bathrobe, which is extra extra thick
(which was the reason why I didn't feel the wet spot earlier than I did. Also don't worry. I had pajamas on), and sure enough, there was a giant yellow-brown spot. It was most assuredly pee that I had been sitting in.

Fast-forward after church.
First thing we walk in the door and I notice a bunch of egg shells on the floor. 
"That's weird" I thought. 
So I went down to our apartment for my after-church-snacking ritual and guess the sight that greeted me. 
Oh right. 
The contents of our trash can strewn all over the floor, and the dog chewing on a yogurt container in the corner, looking guilty and satisfied. I may or may not have called her a "damn dog" or something like that. Sorry mom.

And the final story. This didn't happen yesterday, but it merits telling.
So the littlest still wears pull ups to bed, and there are plenty of mornings when they are saturated, if you know what I mean. So the other day, I walk into the kid's bedroom and see white flecks on something covering the floor. 
And to my horror, I turn and see the dog munching away on the insides of A USED PULL-UP
It was all I could do to not throw up right there on the spot.  

She's a cutie.
But I've decided that unless you want to sell your soul, if you are ever thinking about getting a puppy, you probably should just un-think about getting a puppy.

*I will probably be eating my words later because let's be real. I want nothing more than a bulldog puppy. 
But shhhhh... you didn't hear it from me.*


a public apology and other stuff

This morning, I was mentally running through the list of people who've communicated with me and expressed some desire to "catch up" and you know, the likes. Then I was mentally running through the number of people I've followed through with. 

GUYS. It's like 1. 
Out of probably 10 people. 
Which should probably make me the worst friend ever, so I just need to apologize to anyone who I've maybe half communicated with and then never followed up with. I've hardly had the mental energy for school this semester, let alone extra social engagements. One of the travesties of the first trimester drain I guess? Anyways, I'm really really tired of that being an excuse, and having to use it all the time, but I guess it's reality. I'm just a lame person okay?! I promise I love you and I promise I won't be unavailable forever!

Also, let me tell you a story. 
On Sunday morning, I woke up at 3:45 am and proceeded to puke every 20 minutes for the next 6 1/2 hours. That's approximately 20 total times. And sadly, this is not even a slight exaggeration.
After a phone call to my doctor, she confirmed my worst fear: I needed to go to the ER.
Upon which we discovered it was going to cost $1000 big ones, so we opted out of that crap (because A THOUSAND BUCKS? joke.) and went to the urgent care, where we hung out for about 2 hours while the shoved the hugest needles of my life into my hips, and did this test and that test while I sat there dying and just wishing that I could have a drink of water because my mouth felt like the Gobi Desert. Also I fell asleep in the chair at one point, and when I walked out of the office I had a huge red mark on my face which made me laugh because I already looked horrific, so why not?

Thankfully, the injections worked miracles and stopped the vomiting, and even though they made my whole body hurt like you wouldn't believe, I went home and watched movies with Christian all day while eating popsicles and gatorade and being grouchy that I always get so sick on the weekends, but also so thankful that Christian isn't grossed out by me. So that's good. 

Ah pregnancy. Such a beautiful, beautiful mess.  
And I promise I'm done talking about being sick all the time. 
Promise, promise, promise.


14 weeks

And look who finally decided to show up. 

Maybe I look like I just ate too much Taco Bell, but Christian and I have definitely noticed a difference this week. This is one of the sad realities of being tall. Baby has a lot of room to grow, and all mom has to show for it is awkward bloat and tight underwear!
(Which, by the way... THE WORST)
Also, our bathroom mirror is way too small for any sort of belly shot, so the bathroom at work it is!
Pregnancy has gotten SO much better these days. I went 4 1/2 days without throwing up this week, and I've been to the gym 4 times, so I'm calling it a win. 
 Also, we went to the doctor this morning, and baby and I are fine and dandy! I've only lost weight since this whole thing started (which I'm certainly not mad about! I'm sure I'll pack on the pounds soon enough!), and we are only a few weeks away from our gender ultrasound (EEEEEEE). Any guesses? Both our entire families think it's a girl. Minus the brothers who insist it's a boy of course.
And there's the update for you :)

Also, can I get a halle-freaking-lujah for the second trimester? Life seems so much happier now that I'm not wallowing under a blanket of calorie depletion, vomit, emotional trauma and brain fog (actually let's be real that's still there! Pregnancy brain ftw!). 
I'm so thankful that I can soak in these next few months of the holidays and colder weather, anticipate school coming to a close, and dream about a heavenly Christmas break right around the corner. 

Also I have to admit. I've been listening to Christmas music non-stop, and that certainly does a lot to improve my mood. Haters gonna hate, but I'll take any ounce of holiday-induced-happiness I can get!


telling my baby daddy

**First, I need to give a little shout out to the man featured in this post. Christian has done an amazing job taking care of me through this pregnancy thus far. I'm a very blessed girl and I can't wait to watch my sweet husband be a dad!**

Now that the sap fest is over.....
This pregnancy has been full of lots of funny things so far. 
Man, have I filed away a good barfing story or two!
(Or twelve!)

But one of my favorites is the way I broke the news to Christian. 
A little back story:
We knew that pregnancy was a very likely possibility
(let's be real, it was very strategically planned)
and being the anxious annie's we are, we bought some pregnancy tests a little prematurely. 
I took one the earliest I could, and it was negative. So we decided to wait it out for a few days before I did another one. Well, the first day of school rolled around I was feeling great. 
Chipper and happy, and abounding with energy. In fact, I spent 2 hours at the gym that morning like a boss.
(I would kill to feel that awesome again ha!)
So probably a little high on endorphins, I got home from my cycling class and was all
"HEY! Today is freaking great, why not take another pregnancy test!?"
Or something like that. 

 So I do my thing, and then I'm waiting and waiting and waiting.
And it's taking about 100% longer to emit results than my first test did, so I start freaking out because 
"I have been feeling so AWESOME, I can't possibly be pregnant can I?!"
About 3 minutes later, I walk back into the bathroom to see this.
(Sorry. Pee stick pictures are awky!)

And I immediately burst into tears. 
Obviously, I was BEYOND thrilled.
So my poor husband is already at school, hard at work in the library with NO IDEA what's going on at home. I considered waiting to tell him until we were together, or doing some cute announcement for him, or whatever...... and about 2 seconds later I decided that's the STUPIDEST THING EVER.

So I took a picture of the pregnancy test and sent it to him in an email.
(I know I know but guys I just couldn't wait!)
Followed by a frantic strand of g-chat messages, telling him to "CHECK YOUR EMAIL" of course.
So imagine. 
There's Christian, on the first day of a new semester, sitting in the library, and all the sudden he open his email to a positive pregnancy test from his wife. It's a miracle he didn't go into cardiac arrest!
And thankfully he was just as excited as I was.



Ugh. Sorry for all the drama yesterday. 
I'm feeling a little better. 
Turns out all I needed was a nap,
(Granted, an in-class nap, but hey. You can't win 'em all. Except... it was during the boringest presentation in the history of ever, so probably a good choice. ANYWAYS)
an evening of doing absolutely nothing, and a good workout.
Speaking of, let me tell you about my experience at the gym this morning. I went to a Body Combat class (basically like kickboxing mixed with karate mixed with death). At one point, as she was explaining a move, my teacher said this:

"Imagine that this is your opponent and you are holding their head to the floor and punching them over and over."

This is a class entirely of women, so I thought this was hilarious. 
But then I saw the wisdom in this statement, and I was all: "Okay. I'm pretending that my opponent is life and I am beating the crap out of it BECAUSE I'M A BOSS."

So lesson learned. If you are ever feeling exceptionally haggard, just pretend that your trials are your opponent. And you are holding their head to the ground, punching them over and over. 
And then be all "TAKE THAT, LIFE."
And I promise you will feel a little better.


bilbo said it best....

"I feel thin, sort of stretched. Like butter scraped over too much bread."

Oh man you guys. There couldn't be better words to describe my life right now. 
I must start with a disclaimer that I, and we, are thrilled with this stage we are in. Pregnancy is such a huge blessing, and I know there are many families who would give everything to be in our position. We are so so grateful for this little one growing inside of me! 

That being said, I don't think I've ever felt more worn out in my life. It's such a nasty combination of exhaustion and feeling, well, SUPER crappy all the time. (No need to sugar coat things!)
I feel like I could deal with life if those were the only things on my plate. But ever since school started, it's been a constant whirlwind of homework, and projects, and group meetings, and workatthisjob then runofftoyournextjob then runofftoyournextjob, and this test and that test, and babysit! babysit! babysit!, and don't forget to house train the puppy that's not even yours (because if YOU don't do it, no one else will!), and keep the house clean because the dishes have piled up AGAIN, and solve the latest family crisis, and teach primary, and get amazing grades OR ELSE, and apply for internships, and budget or else you'll be broke, and grocery shop but try not to puke while you look at all the food!, and don't get sick, and work on your marriage, and make sure you exercise and eat well because oh that's right you are growing another human, and don't forget to smile while you're doing it all!
I don't think all of this would be that bad if I could actually eat enough to function, and if I didn't throw up all the time and if I could actually sleep well at night and you know..... all those other basic needs.

I'm sorry to complain.
I'm just. So. Dang. Tired. 
I just need like one day where we don't have any commitments or work or homework or babysitting or family obligations or cleaning or teaching other crap that has to be done. If I could just have a tiny little break to recoup, I know I could manage much much better. 
And let's be real. This morning sickness can just high tail it outta here because it's been 8 weeks strong and I've just had it with the puking and the ick factor that comes along with everything that's not Panda Express.

I give you 100% permission to complain about anything and everything in your comments.
If it's going to be a big whiny fest, we might as well enjoy it together!!


happy happy friday

A few things.

1. I'm still just so thrilled that we have finally made our baby news public!
(Surprise surprise, if we aren't friends on facebook!)
Here I am, apparently tiny, at 12 weeks.
I'm just dying for this belly to pop already because the bloat is killing me and I want to see proof of this baby!
Also, can we talk about morning sickness for a minute? BECAUSE SERIOUSLY.
It's all day sickness, not just morning. And if you are looking for a fast way to just wreck yourself, that's it.
There will be more barfing stories to come, but let me just tell you. I threw up 5 times one day last week.

2. Today is my birthday!
One friend said it perfectly... "You've been given the best gift this year!" (referring to little nugget in my tum). And I couldn't agree more! I don't even care that I'm another year older and another year wiser. I'm just thrilled to spend the evening with my boo, and relish in the fact that I'm carrying our little one.
Also this is what my coworkers did for me.
Also my family sent me new pajamas and maternity clothes and our first round of baby outfits!
And sweet Christian continued last year's tradition of an early morning Krispy Kreme run (he's so the bomb).
So I guess birthdays are alright ;)

3. Lastly, our....... uh......... house family? People we live with?
Anyways, they got a boxer puppy this week.
(All sorts of awesome, but also not because hello. Now we have FOUR children to take care of)
She is the sweetest most precious little thing ever.
Except she's been having major withdrawals from her mom and sibs, so all she wants to do is snuggle ALL THE TIME. This was my view as I did my hair this morning:
Ahhhhhhhhh kill me with all the cute!

Anyways, life is so busy right now, and it feels like we're in a constant state of crazy. Complete with barfing of course! But things are good, and today is a good day. And I'm so thankful for that!

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