Friday, June 20, 2014

Fish Israel and Other Thoughts for Friday

Hooray for Friday!! This week my mom took Marty and I out for Froyo and I balanced mine on my tummy. The baby kicked and kicked like she knew what was headed her way. Starting her early.
We have a day trip out of town tomorrow, about as adventurous as it goes as this stage, and I am really stoked. And then Sunday we are going to watch some soccer and have our monthly Sunday dinner at the park so I don't have to cook or clean. So all in all, things are looking good for this weekend! Here are my High Five for Friday.

1. I am healthy. Albeit very large and not sleeping very well, but doing good. I am managing to get some walks in and the occasional trip to the gym. I am full on wearing Marty's clothing and soaking up all the stares like a pro.

2. My sister is moving home!!! After living in Costa Rica for the better part of the last two and a half years, she is going to be home for at least the next one. I am very proud of her for exploring a new country, working as a teacher in a new place, and meeting one very special guy who I hope to meet some day very very soon!

3. We had a great weekend out on a small island where Marty's parents have a small cabin. We chose a random weekend to go and crossed our weekend for good weather and it worked! The weather was great, we got to spend time with the fam, and we ate ate ate. Because I won't be able to get out there for the next little while, for obvious reasons, it was good to log some island time while we could.

4. I had another baby shower and have another one coming up this weekend. Baby showers almost feel like initiation ceremonies into a whole new world of mamas and motherhood. Again, the generosity of women at this stage of my life is overwhelming. Here I am with my mom and my mother-in-law.


5. One of my BFFs is coming into town for the shower next weekend and we are going to get in a Mariners game while we are at it. Mmmm... prego lady at the ball game. Can you say hot dogs and garlic fries and ice cream all night long???

----

Dear Baby,

Well, its week 35. That means we really only have a month (or more! or less???) til we get to see your little face. This week we put up the crib and put away your clothes. You are still moving around in there quite a bit, but now its more of a squirming than kicking because you are getting so big. Your head is waaaaaay far down and your legs are waaaaaay far up. So far you have had foot massages from me, your papa, your grandma, and your auntie Jenny. It seems every day your foot wraps a bit further around my side, making me think you are going to be very tall like your daddy. Last night I dreamed that I woke up in the hospital and couldn't remember the labor. Turns out your papa had to name you because I was too out of it, so he named you Fish Israel. He told me Fish because you were so squirmy when you came out and Israel because of 'that famous beatles song' (?), because you were going to be legendary like the beatles. Then I woke up. I can't wait to hear all about your crazy dreams too. We love you little Fish Israel. Keep on growing, don't worry, we will see you soon.

Us

Friday, May 30, 2014

Memorial Day + 32 weeks

Memorial day weekend was hectic for us! My mom and her neighbor threw me a big baby shower which was such a treat. There were lots of my mom's friends, including some who knew me when I was just a baby. We had a nice lunch, played a game, and just chatted. It was a fun and relaxing shower and I am flattered by all the well wishes for this next new stage! In other big news, I got my hair cut for the first time in a year, so my hair will never look this curly again.


On Sunday, Marty participated in Ski to Sea, a big relay race that takes place every year in our hometown. It is an 8-person, 7-leg relay that covers about 100 miles. Marty did the canoe with our good friend Kevin. 19 miles in the rain! This event is right up my alley - traditions, new and old friends, lots of food and cheering. 



The team was mostly friends from high school with a few new recruits. We had a big after party, where we all played hot potato with Meg's new daughter Parker. 


The next day we took my cousins out for a boat ride in the grey weather that is traditional for Memorial Day. Marty took a nice long nap on the boat to recoup. 
What a fun (whirlwind!) weekend!

---

Dear Baby,

What's up in there? Oh how I wish there was an "everything is okay" button on my belly so I knew you were a-okay in there. I know, I know, roll your eyes at your already protective mom. You are getting bigger and bigger and taking longer and longer naps, which makes me nervous when I don't feel you kick/move/shake your groove thang every so often. We are puzzling over what you will be like. During our ultrasound it took you a very long time to open your legs so we thought you would be a nun. Now you just LOVE to shake your tush in there so now I am thinking you are going to be more like Beyonce. Wherever you are along that spectrum, we will love you. During yoga yesterday the teacher read Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou and I thought about you, and me, and your grandmas, and your aunties. They are sure a bunch of phenoms. Two more months!

Love,
Us

Friday, May 16, 2014

High Five for Friday! + a letter

Hey Friday!

You sure are lookin good. Time is speeding up, that's for sure. People always say pregnancy goes by fast, but I haven't really experienced that til these last couple weeks. Wait, its May? Do you know what comes after that? June. Then JULY. Here are five things I am happy about this friday.

1. I am happy and healthy at 30 weeks. That means there are only NINE more mondays til the due date. Things are gettin real.
2. We are taking a birth class which has already taught us so much in just the first couple weeks. Marty has now sat through two birth videos and was only mildly traumatized. They did reinforce his insistence that he is to be no where near the 'business end' of the birth. And that's okay with me.
3. We are finally starting to get some painting of furniture and rearranging done in our little place. We have a small two bedroom, and the second bedroom which was once our guest room/ store room/ office/marty's man cave will now be all that plus housing a baby. Except maybe Marty doesn't have a man cave.

4. Its been nice and hot here! In the northwest, you wait 8 months for a few months of just blissful weather. I love living somewhere you can open the windows and go outside in the summer, rather than having to shut yourself in an air conditioned room. Ah, its good to be back.
5. I went for a nice long walk with a friend who I haven't seen in a while and who is moving away, a skype date with some old pals, and a phone call with a college roommate. It feels so good to reconnect with important people from the past.


---
Hey there baby,

How's it going in there? You are getting big enough to bum rush one side of my belly. All of a sudden my tummy gets real flat on one side and huge on the other. I felt your hand (or was it a foot?) from the outside this week for the first time. High five, baby, good work growing. This week I thought a lot about all of the little life tricks that we get to teach you. For example, the redemptive power of a baked good. Did you enjoy that danish on Tuesday? I sure did. We will teach you all sorts of things to cheer you up and chill you out. Your dad will probably tell you about playing soccer, and your grandma will teach you about literally taking the time to stop and smell the flowers. I am so thankful that you will have so many life gurus surrounding you (and us!). Only 10 more weeks!!

Love,
Us

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Life at Week 28



Dear Baby,

Its the beginning of the third trimester. We are two-thirds there! Every day, I wonder what you will be like. We are adding you to the family, who you are will change and guide our lives. Three months seems like a crazy long time and I can't waitwaitwait, but we also have a lot of things to do before you get here. For now, I am happy you are safely tucked away in my belly. When your dad comes home after a long day of work, he pats my belly almost secretly, and says "how are both of you today?". I see you moving around, your little kicks catch my eye when my tummy moves back and forth suddenly. In the morning before I have eaten its all hungry hungry hippos in there. This week I met a new friend for you, baby Parker. I held her, and your papa held her, and we both thought about you. This morning I went to a coffee shop and drank my coffee in the sunlight, my favorite thing. One day I will take you with me and we will share a cinnamon roll and squinty-eyed smiles, and let the hot sun freeze us in a moment of gratitude.

Til then,
Us

This week I am...

looking forward to seeing my sister in a few months
working on a craft project for above the crib
hoping there are fun new people in our birth class we start next week
praying for a good bill of health at the midwife tomorrow
excited to hear the tub-thub-thub of the heartbeat tomorrow
eating cantaloupe, drinking lemonade, and sneaking donuts like its my job
reading this article with now twice the interest (wink wink)
enjoying a random 80 degree day in seattle
missing marty while he is at work
dreaming of lazy summer picnics near the water
contemplating this quote
thankful for a weekend with an old friend, and her new baby girl. Twinsies!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A little time away

We got to go to California a couple weeks ago for a whole week off. A whole week! It was the first time we had spent more than a weekend together just the two of us since our honeymoon. It was a much needed breather, a chance to rejuvenate, and to energize. We didn't spend much time talking through the future but instead we just allowed ourselves to be in the moment, breath in the fresh air, and enjoy the sights. What a treat! We went to Monterey, California which was perfect. Same time zone, easy flight, and small town. And such natural beauty to see! All of our days consisted of picking a new state park, packing a picnic, and taking it all in. With many naps in between.

And now on to Trimester THREE!! Here are a few pictures.





Friday, April 11, 2014

High Five for Friday!

It's Friday! Hooray! Although Friday means a bit less when you are unemployed, there is still an ingrained need for pancakes on Saturday morning and a long Sunday afternoon stroll. And I look forward so much to the weekends to have a brief chance to reconnect with Marty after a long hectic workweek. The last couple months have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, so I am back to focusing on the awesome things that are happening. And hey, its Friday! Which is awesome in itself.

Here are my high fives for Friday!

1. I am healthy. So far so good in the pregnancy. I am healthy, baby is kicking (especially when I am hungry - what can I say, apparently getting hungry/angry is a genetic trait). I have the generic symptoms, which apparently include eating too many girl scout cookies, and am happy to report that I am feeling good and happy. Something to be very thankful for.

2. We had a great trip to Victoria a couple weekends ago with Marty's fam. It was a good time to get away and have a bit of a weekend adventure. Any trip that includes a ferry ride is good by me. Here we are at fancy afternoon tea at a very fancy hotel. Pinkies up!



3. We took a tour of the birth center where we will be delivering and meeting our newest addition! We are having a nurse-midwife and these choices just seem so fitting and so right. When I first found out I was pregnant, this was the part that was the most intuitive to me. I am thankful I have the insurance/husband/community to support this.

4. I have started going to prenatal yoga classes which have been awesome. It is good to have an excuse to focus on stretching and being good to my body. It is good to have a relaxing treat for my changing body every week. I also have reached the point where I am wearing Marty's clothes to the gym.

5. I have SO much to look forward in the next few months! A rare and well deserved vacation, a few baby showers, a trip to meet my close friends baby, visits from friends/family who live far away. And I get to see my sister in two and a half months!! She is coming home for a few weeks just before the baby is born. Let's hope I am like my momma and deliver a bit early so she gets to practice being an auntie!

HAPPY FRIDAY Y'ALL!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Confessions...

So I have been cooking (baking? seems more appropriate) up a kid for about 22 weeks now. I know, I know, I should have banged the pots and sang it from the mountain top by now, but the truth is the cyberworld is a bit out of control for me. We were both really in need of some time just with ourselves and our new reality. But now I am feeling more open about it, perhaps because my belly now sticks out far enough that I am definitely preggo. I gave a presentation to a bunch of high school girls the other day and they just kept staring at my tummy, and I just let them. Once upon a time it would have bothered me, but now I am proud of my little secret. It is fun to have my baby with me all the time, it is like having a secret buddy to share all my daily musings with. 


Here are some other confessions I have for you today....

1) Pregnancy hormones are REAL. I highly recommend not starting, and then finishing, any television series where someone dies, someone comes home from the military, anything involving a montage, there is a birth, a new romance, or the good use of a U2 song. I watched Friday Night Lights during the zombiehood of my first trimester and I was a real.hot.mess.

2) Pregnancy cravings are REAL. And I am channeling my inner 8 year old. I am proud of myself that I have only asked Marty once to go to the store for me immediately for a food I was craving. Unfortunately, he was at work at the time and wasn't able to help.... I was super distraught that he wouldn't leave his job researching cancer immediately and go to the safeway to buy my fruit snacks. Yes, I said fruit snacks. I have also craved pudding and ants on a log.

3) I have had the normal pregnancy symptoms and ups and downs, and am so grateful that I am happy and healthy, and in the 'eye of the storm' as a friend put it. We are also extremely grateful we live near our families and are able to share this with them. We will reward their support and patience with access to their new, and first, grandbaby come July.

4) Pregnancy has been a total lesson in letting go and letting God. You are totally out of control of the process for the most part. Literally - sit back, try to relax, pop these horse pills, and let your body MAKE A HUMAN. Seriously. I can't parallel park, bowl, or make rice but I can make another person (I had some help). It is truly a strange mix of humbling and empowering.

And now for your friday funnies (non pregnancy related)

Some really awesome awkward moments.
Have you seen these google spoofs? I like the first one, but the second is good too.
Did you catch President Obama on this comedy show?
Check out what this dog does when his people are away.
One can only hope to be as lucky as this guy.
Parenting Advice: When in doubt, make funny faces (see below). If so, we got this. Thanks, Amy and Tina.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sleepless in Seattle

Our version of Sleepless in Seattle, now in production. Due out sometime end of July. 


(does that somehow explain the blog silence?)

Did you see this funny, and related, twitter feed?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Best Advice I got last year

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy

The best advice I got all last year was...

Don't compare your insides with someone else's outsides. 

Meaning, you know your struggles, your hang ups, your weird traits, what you are working on. You are well acquainted with your own mess. There is no use to compare all of this with what someone else is presenting to the world. They may seem like their lives are all cute and tidy. People struggle with all sorts of surprising things that you don't even know. That is the weird thing about having so much of ourselves presented in the cyberspace land - too many smiling pictures and tasty looking plates of food. (Although a picture of me fuming at my husband over the stack of dishes he left me while consuming 2 4 donuts is something no one really wants to see). 

Recently I heard people say things like... 

You and Marty are always so patient with each other!

I can't imagine you making Marty mad!

I can't imagine you needing a big ugly cry!

Oh friends, if you only knew. Let's have compassion with each other, and importantly ourselves, and let ourselves off the hook for not being perfect like everyone else, okay?

(So far this is the best advice of 2014)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 Bucket List Update

For the last couple of years, I have updated my bucket list with things that I have checked off this past year. This year was a hectic one, to be sure. 2013 had a rough beginning, with new challenges, and injury that turned in to a chronic problem, job interviews, and we had to learn how to communicate and relate in a time of high stress. But Marty graduated, defended for his PhD, and got a new job. And the best part was moving on home to the northwest, just a couple of hours away from where we grew up and met, an hour away from where we went to college, and right in a new(ish) city. It seemed both like coming home and a new chapter all at once. 2013 held a lot of adventures, maybe not a lot of bucket list ones, (I don't think people have get through a tough year in one piece on their lists), but I am happy that it is behind us and feel stronger for it. We did have a few fun times though....

Give my sweetie a kiss under the Eiffel Tower
In April this year we went to Paris to visit Marty's brother. The trip was amazing, full of art and bicycle riding, and even a trip to the beach. And I am 98% sure that heaven smells like a French bakery, so, yeah, I was in heaven. 

Have monthly Sunday dinners with whoever wants to come
One of my favorite things in the whole world is to cook for people, and I dreamed about having a standing Sunday dinner for a long time. I hosted plenty of people in North Carolina, but moving back gave me the excuse to start a new tradition. (Oooh! Another thing I love!) So far, we have had four dinners with anywhere from 8-15 people and they have just been such a treat. 

Get Marty through school
Marty is one of those crazy kids that went straight through school without any breaks. Until just a few months ago, Marty didn't really know what it was like to be out of school. To be fair, he is still in a training position so he has a bit to go before he has a real life grown up jobs, but this position is slowly but surely headed that way. So proud of Husband, PhD.



See Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea is our favorite soccer team, and we have been dreaming of seeing them forever. And just for the record, Marty loved Chelsea FC before he ever really knew me. Seeing them play at their home stadium was unlike anything I have ever seen, and watching Marty watch them was so fun. He was just in heaven. Watching soccer in London is a totally different experience, the stadium was full of fathers and sons. Soccer in the UK (and, lets face it, everywhere that isn't America) is a way of life. 

Present at a conference
I know it sounds nerdy, but I always wanted to present at a conference. And this year I got to present some findings from an evaluation trip that I had led for my job. It got me fired up for global health and I got to hear all sorts of famous-in-my-field talk. I wore my suit, and strutted around DC, and had dinner with my new BFF Michelle Obama (okay, not the last one).  Here I am with a mural of a bunch of presidents.


Live somewhere that is not the northwest
We spent five years in the south. And let me tell you, the south is very different from the northwest. It was good for us to start our marriage somewhere so foreign - a bit of sink or swim if you will. We ended up finding all sorts of things we liked about the south, including the sunny, sandy beach just a few hours away. Here we are at the Cape Hatteras Light house on the outerbanks. 

Bucket list 2011 and 2012 updates

Monday, January 13, 2014

Seattle, So far


We have been here in Seattle for about four months now. In some ways it seems like our five years in North Carolina was just a dream, and in some ways I keep thinking about what I will do first when we get back there. Leaving North Carolina was bittersweet, but because it was during such a hectic time we didn't have much space to really think about it. Moving to Seattle was kinda like moving home, but we have never lived before here before. We lived in Tacoma, about 30 miles south, during undergrad, and we grew up about two hours north. So living in the big city is new to us.

So far we are doing well. It has been an adjustment to be in a kinda-sorta-new place, but we are soaking up all our favorite people who we haven't seen in forever, and taking advantage of just being a short drive away rather than a long plane flight. The PNW has drawn most of our hometown friends back to the area and we are throwing dinner parties and looking for excuses to hang. We are loving having an excuse to explore a new city, and working on convincing ourselves that it is now OUR city.

Marty is doing awesome in his new job and this should be a great few years for him. I have been looking for a job and trying to get us settled. There have been some long days of job searching, and I am trying to keep my head up. I am hopeful about 2014 and that it will bring some good opportunities.

It is great to be back in a state where there is a scale of how fancy your sweatpants are, where the green moss grows and droops and takes over in the winter, and where the Thai food is so good and so ubiquitous. I do miss the warm ocean in NC, some friendly faces, and the routine including a good job. But we are living the dream of being back closer to family and back in the great northwest.

And we are always welcome to having visitors!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lately!

Wow, it's been a whole month since I have added anything to the blog. This past month has been super hectic. We have been up to visit our families every weekend since Thanksgiving and then there was the holidays. It was SO nice to already be here and not have to hop on a plane at Christmas, we didn't miss all the stress of dreading sudden winter storms in Chicago which would delay our flight, cramming in all our family time for the entire year with two families  into ten days, doing all the traditions and eating at our favorite places, and trying to see all our friends too.We always came back from our Christmas vacation feeling like we need a vacation.  It was much more relaxed this year. Even so, after this month, we are exhausted!

Here is the brief run down.....
Thanksgiving with my family and some friends

Picking out our Christmas tree and creatively getting it home in one piece

 Seeing Pearl Jam in Concert where they played over a three hour set

Nutcracker with my mom and sister on a very cold night

 Throwing a baby shower for my long time friend Meg

Christmas Cocktail and Cookie Party 

Saying goodbye to my sister, who moved back to Costa Rica the week before Christmas

 Missing our third elf (see above) on our annual Christmas Eve oyster run

Christmas Eve seafood fest - Oyster stew, pan-fried oysters, raw oysters, steamed mussels 

Christmas Morning at Marty's parents


 New Years with my favorite girls and some root beer floats


I hope you had a fun, happy, and relaxing holidays. Here is to 2014! 

(and I promise - more blogging soon!)