Weeks 22-24 Failure

Somehow three weeks went by and I became a complete failure when it comes to keeping up with my bump dates!  I have no excuse - absolutely none.  My goal was to do this each and every week but I dropped the ball for a couple of them.  That being said, I'm back!  I'm now at 25 1/2 weeks and I even have a 25-week bump date picture (that you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see!)  

For today I wanted to do a quick update on weeks 22 - 24, which actually were very exciting weeks for me!

22 Weeks

Each new week, for me, starts on a Saturday.  The beginning of week 22 of this pregnancy had me at my parent's campgroup taking a much needed mini break from house stuff and work drama.  I started Saturday morning at my brother and sister-in-laws (as of last week!) helping them get some final wedding prep done. I also got to see two of my nephews - it was great!  Saturday night a friend from work came to the campground and it was a lot of fun to just relax!  

This week we also were able to put together my new desk, and let me just say this: I am in love!!!  We had a roll-top desk which was functioning and was beautiful, but there was very very little room to spread out and really feel like you could delve into work.  The new desk gives me all the space I would want plus some!  New living room furniture AND a new desk?  I'm one happy lady!

Earlier in the week (so, technically, in week 21) Jake and I went in for our first ultrasound.  I still haven't shared those pictures either!  Mommy failure!  

23 Weeks

On the day we turned the corner on week 23 Jake and I went on our very first shopping-for-baby outing and it was super exciting.  We wanted to pick out a crib and dresser set so we (well, maybe more I, since I'm a bit of a worry wart!) could feel like we had at least a bit of a start on the nursery.  We each had differing opinions on what our favorite one was, and ultimately we compromised and chose our mutual 2nd favorite set.  It was delivered just this past weekend and I have to say that I am glad we went the way we did.  Both our number 1 choices were a bit more 'out there' in terms of design and color (mine was gray, his was a distressed wood finish).  The one we chose will likely stand the test of time a bit better than either of those would have.  

Also during this week our dishwasher decided to die on us.  I woke up one morning and went to unload it when I realized that everything in it was EXTREMELY hot still!  We had started the dishwasher before going to bed so this absolutely should not have been the case.  Once I looked at the front panel I noticed that it had somehow become stuck on the heat dry cycle.  I thought it was just a fluke and re-ran it that night, but it never successfully completed a cycle again. We had a repairman come out but he informed us that it wasn't worth it to fix - so we got to go dishwasher shopping!  We did, for a day or two, discuss not replacing it, but we decided that adding handwashing all our dishes right when we're expecting a new little one was probably going to stress us out more than necessary, so we nixed that idea pretty quickly.  Hopefully the new dishwasher will be installed this week - I can't wait to have one back in the house again!

24 Weeks

The weekend of 24 weeks was a VERY exciting weekend!  After getting off work Jake and I drove up to the cities to start the celebration of my brother and brand-new sister-in-law's wedding weekend!  They had an open house on Friday night and it was a lot of fun to get to see everyone before the hectic wedding day!  Saturday I got up and headed to the hotel with all the ladies to get our make-up done, and just a few short hours later we were on our way to the park for the ceremony.  They seriously could not have had more perfect weather than what they had - the day was absolutely beautiful and the ceremony (and bride, of course!) were as well!  

On Sunday (which just so happened to be my birthday!) Jake and I woke up early and drove up to Duluth for a night away to celebrate both our birthdays, our 2nd anniversary and a mini babymoon.  We went to Northern Minnesota for both our honeymoon and an engagement trip, so it seemed perfectly fitting to do so again.  Let me tell you something, though... all that walking was hard on this pregnant lady's legs!  Jake gave me the absolute perfect gift while we were up there - a pregnancy massage!  I had never before had a professional massage, and truth be told I probably wouldn't have spent the money on it myself.  I am so beyond grateful that he chose to get one for me, though.  My lower back and upper left shoulder had been causing me a LOT of pain lately, so it was great to have a bit of time to just get pampered and get all those issues worked out.  My shoulder hasn't hurt once since!  (Jake gained more points than I can imagine with that gift!!)  

I very much wish that I had full posts on each of these weeks but what can I say besides "I dropped the ball!"  Starting tomorrow I am back on track with my weekly check-ins though!  It's absolutely incredible to think that there are now less than 15 weeks until my due date... time is going to fly!


My Year without Alcohol

So just yesterday I posted about my two year anniversary - and here I am posting about another anniversary!  No, it's not a coincidence - I definitely planned this out (though, to be honest, it didn't quite go according to plan.)

A year ago today I started on a challenge.  I challenged myself that I would go one year without drinking any alcohol.  You can read all about my thought process going into it here.  I chose August 18th to be my last day having a drink with the intention of having a celebratory drink that would coincide with our second anniversary.

Well, that's just not going to happen.  Here I sit six months pregnant so I definitely extended my year out by quite a bit!  Truthfully?  I don't mind a bit.  In college I drank quite a bit, but in the years that followed I had slowed down by a lot.  I knew, though, that those times when I did go to the bar I often found myself not able to stop at one drink.  I would give in to a second, then a third, then throw in the towel completely and just have a fun night - which inevitably led to a horrible morning the next day.  Did these days happen often?  No, not really.  But even one of these days wasn't worth it!

So I decided to go cold turkey.  If I couldn't stop at one, I would just have to stop at zero - so that's what I did.  Here's what I have learned about myself along the way:

I can have just as much fun without ever having a drink.

Even though I gave up drinking, I did not give up having fun.  I still went to weddings, the bar, bachelorette parties (I even hosted an after party that went until roughly 5 am!).  I never felt deprived and I never felt like the odd duck out.  In the beginning people would kind of look at me funny when I turned down a drink, but after a month or two it wasn't even on most peoples' radar!  Some people feel like in order to have fun you have to have a drink in your hand.  I am proud and glad to say that this is not the case with me!

Drinking makes me tired!
Before giving up alcohol for a year, being tired was often my go-to excuse for drink number two (and three, and four...)  I would have my vodka 7 + grenadine and at the end of it I would start feeling sluggish and like I was ready to sleep.  So to trick myself into waking up a bit more I'd have that second drink.  Now that I don't have drink number 1, I don't get tired like I used to!  Yes, I know this is kind of an obvious thing to point out, but I'm glad I learned this about myself.  I'd rather be awake because I actually am awake, than to be awake because I'm tricked myself into it with a second drink.

I don't have a desire to get back into the drinking game.
This, more than anything else, is what I have learned over this past year.  Even if I weren't pregnant right now, I honestly don't think I'd be running to the liquor store to treat myself to a drink.  I have become perfectly accustomed to having my water bottle with me 24/7 (seriously, it's never very far away!) and I have absolutely no problem turning down a drink.  I like the fact that I don't need to drink to have fun, and I'm glad that I saved myself so many wasted calories over the past year.  I will obviously be alcohol-free for quite a while now that I am pregnant, but I just don't know that I'll be jumping back on the alcohol bandwagon even when I can!

Have you ever thought about giving up alcohol?  What are your thoughts?  Are you tempted to try?


Two Years and Counting

August 18th is here again!  Just two years ago (already two years ago?!) Jake and I were a brand-new Mr. and Mrs., and here we are two years later expecting a new little one in just a short couple months who will transform us into a little family of three.

Last night we went out for dinner (after having a dinner party on Saturday I was absolutely in no mood to cook again!) and on the way back home we started talking about our anniversary and how quickly two years has seemed to go by.  On one hand, it feels like just yesterday that we were wearing a wedding dress and tux and having the best day ever.  On the other hand, that day feels like an entire lifetime ago.

Before we got married I was living with my parents, working at a different job and living in an entirely different city that meant at least an hour commute for when we wanted to see each other.  He had roommates and a house with zero Eiffel Towers used as decorations.  Although these two years have flown by, we both agreed that we couldn't even imagine going back and living those lives again!

A lot has happened in two years.  Some good and some bad.  We have shared laughter, tears, frustrations and celebrations.  If these past two years is any indication, we are set up to have a pretty darn exciting rest of our lives!

And I, for one, cannot wait to experience it.

Thank you, Jake, for making me feel safe.
For loving me.
For being the most understanding and patient person ever while I have been dealing with all these pregnancy hormones and acting like a crazy person most days.
For agreeing to be the full-time vacuumer since it is my absolute least favorite chore.
For being my biggest supporter in my weight loss journey but continually reminding me that you love me for so many more important reasons than what my reflection in the mirror looks like.
For laughing at my jokes (even if you don't really get why they're funny.)
For teaching me.
For helping me.
For loving me.

Two years down, a lifetime to go :) 


A Butterfly Around Here

This weekend I took a (much needed) break from running around the house trying to organize, clean and downsize everything we have jammed into closets and extra bedrooms.  Truth be told, we don't actually have that much clutter or extra boxes around, but I am continually on a quest to make the house more organized, cohesive and stress-free.  For me, a box of who-knows-whats is something that aggravates me and stresses me out.  So I'm really trying to get as much of that out of the way as possible before baby comes (because I can only imagine all the additional stuff we'll have in the house in November!!)

Anyway, back to the point of this post.  I took a break from doing this cleaning out and watched a documentary that I had added to my list in Netflix.  If I'm going to take time to watch a show, 90% of the time it will be something on Netflix.  I love that there are no commercials and I can watch it much more quickly than on a normal station - plus, there's none of that "I'm going to flip channels for the next 20 minutes trying to find something remotely interesting, just to turn it on in the last 10 minutes of the show".  Netflix = timesaver.

And, once again, back to the point of the post.  I pressed play on a documentary called Paper Clips and the entire thing was, quite simply, breathtaking.  It is the story of a middle school in Whitwell, Tennessee that decided to learn about the Holocaust and the 11 million lives that were lost (6 million Jewish lives and 5 million other lives including homosexuals, Romani, the disabled and more).  The students started thinking about the Jewish toll of 6 million lives and realized they couldn't even imagine 6 million of anything, let alone lives.  

Paper Clips Documentary

They decided to make a collection, and that collection ended up being paper clips.  The students wrote to celebrities, townspeople, government officials and everyone in between to help collect the 6 million paperclips.  It was slow-going at first, but news of the project hit the media and interested parties started contacting the school.  Not only did they surpass their original goal of 6 million (at the end of the film they had received 29 million paperclips!) they were, in the process, changed.  

The students learned about the Holocaust not just from textbooks, but from survivors of the Holocaust.  They received letters with paperclips dedicated to the memory of those who perished and several survivors came to the small town to speak to them personally.  Watching these stories was incredible in an absolutely heart-breaking way.  The atrocities the survivors witnessed and lived through is something completely unimaginable to me - but something that I will try to not forget.  If you haven't seen this documentary yet, I urge you to do so.  You just might never look at a paperclip the same way again.

After watching it I was reminded of my time in Prague in college.  While there, we visited a Jewish cemetery and a children's art exhibit from Terzin, a camp-turned-ghetto where an unknown number of already-condemned Jews were sent en route to concentration camps.  While there, we walked through a memorial for the children who spent time here.  The children were unaware of what exactly was happening - though they were aware enough to know that it was bad.  They drew pictures, colored and wrote poems - and these were later put into a book called I have not seen a butterfly around here.  

I have not seen a butterfly around here

The book is something I hold dear but which also breaks my heart.  Under each drawing and poem is the child's name, date of birth and also date of death or the simple word 'survived'.  There are very few that say survived, and the thought that the little hands that drew pictures of princesses, wrote of butterflies and dreamed of going into "the far unknown, there, where no one kills another" is almost too much to comprehend.  

If you are able, I encourage you to visit Terzin and spend time there. I didn't get to visit the camp itself, but even just visiting the cemetery and the children's art exhibit will stay with me forever. But don't just walk through and see what there is to be seen - but to truly be there and experience it for what it is.  If you are unable to do that, I still encourage you to watch Paper Clips and spend a bit of your day thinking about how lucky we are to not be living the nightmare that so many had to endure.  Along with that, I stress that it is up to each of us to not take our blessings, freedom and the accompanying responsibility for granted.  The Holocaust was horrible, but it was not the only genocide and it was certainly not the most recent.  People deserve to live - and when that is ripped away from them for political motives or pure hatred, that is a stain on not only the perpetrators, but also those who stand by and watch.  

I don't normally post about these things on this blog, but the impact of this film and my memories compelled me to do so.  And, if we can't share who we truly are and what we truly feel, why share anything at all?


Kill Doubt + Start to DREAM!

It is almost the end of JULY!!  Summer has been flying by but luckily we still have a couple months left to enjoy the sun and sand (or, in Minnesota this year, the rain and thunder!!)  When summer is in the horizon a lot of us will say it's time to buckle down, get our workouts in, eat well and lean up for the summer weather and outfits.  By the time the Fourth of July is over, though, it's easy to have slipped into barbecues, beers and not really watching what is happening to our bodies anymore.

It doesn't have to be like that, though!  On August 11th I am starting a challenge group specifically for people who want to knock their results out of the park for the last half of summer and really see some BIG changes in their bodies!  Just wanting a slimmer, healthier, stronger body doesn't guarantee that we will get it - we have to work for it! As I have learned, it's a whole lot more fun to work towards these goals when you have people supporting for you, cheering you on and helping you overcome those bad days and temptations (that we all have!)

So what exactly is the point of this group, then?  

Challenge groups were designed to give you the best nutrition, fitness and support available anywhere - with no gym membership required!  You can be in a challenge group from home, while on vacation and while working a full-time job with crazy hours and 2 kids at home, too.  

The goal of the group is to help you set goals and then reach them.  In the beginning of the group we will discuss goal-setting so you can not only reach your big goals, you can do it in a healthy and intelligent way.  A challenge group is not about a quick-fix or a short-term weight loss.  This is for people who want to change their life and their health and NEVER go back to where they were again.

What do you have to do?

To be in a challenge group there are only a couple things you have to do.  First, you have to want to change.  I, as your coach, will be with you every step of the way to help you get to your goals, but you have to make the decision that you will get there!!  Secondly, you will choose a Beachbody workout program and commit to drinking Shakeology one time a day for the length of the group.

Beachbody programs are not all the same - there is truly something for everyone.  If you're unfamiliar with the programs or just aren't sure where to start, I can help you pick the perfect one to get the results you want to see!  Throughout the group we will be crafting weekly meal plans, and incorporating Shakeology into this makes this process even easier!  Shakeology isn't your standard shake - it's not a protein shake, it is a tried-and-tested daily meal replacement shake that gives you incredible nutrition at an awesome cost.  Beachbody refuses to use second-rate ingredients or production techniques, so you will get first-rate results with first-rate health!

How do I get started?

To get started, all you have to do is let me know that you're interested.  Then, we can chat about how this can work for you and I can help you choose a program!  I will then add you to a closed online support group where we will chat daily throughout the course of the group.  My job is to make sure you get the results you want and I take that job seriously!

Every morning in the group I will give you a mini-assignment to complete, something to think about, a tip, recipe or general motivation - repeating this over 60 days can completely transform your life and your body (it did for me!)

Fill out the application below and you're already on your way!!

Online contact and registration forms from Wufoo.