Multiple Quick Takes: Otherwise I May NEVER Update

Untitled1. I’ve been struggling to find time to write although my brain is full of random things to discuss. Nothing that is life changing, of course. Well that’s not entirely true — I’m in my 23rd week of pregnancy and that, of course is changing my life. DUH. But you know what I mean, just crippety crap that I’ve been meaning to share. Here goes…

2. Garrett’s mom was in town last week over Garrett’s birthday and over Mother’s Day and we did a bunch of traveling, visiting, cooking, shopping, and then I worked the entire week as well and MAN I AM TIRED. I sure can’t party like I used to, I tell ya. She flew home Saturday morning and I seriously slept the entire afternoon away and then woke up to eat dinner and basically go to bed. Hosting a guest internally and externally at the same time is exhausting, yo! She brought out a bunch of Garrett’s old baby clothes though, which was a riot to see. Like this little fringed vest…OMG!

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3. We had our Level 2 Ultrasound while she was here. It was SO FUN to take her with us and let her experience this tiny squirming little baby living inside of me. Well, apparently tiny but with GARGANTUAN legs, according to the ultrasound tech. I guess it’s not that surprising — I’m almost 6 feet and one of the shortest people in my family so I didn’t expect a little guy, but it was still crazy to see long ass baby legs. Crazy and fun. it’s still blowing my mind every time we confirm that there is a human growing inside my body. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH.

Legs!

4. It’s funny to think that neither of our sets of parents had any ultrasounds or even knew our genders before we were born. They are both blown away (for better and worse) about all the monitoring, testing and information that is available to us every step of the way during this pregnancy. It is a little overwhelming at times, but it’s also incredibly calming to go in and see our baby growing and developing just like he should and moving around like crazy. People keep saying to me “Just you wait…all that moving will get annoying.” And maybe that is true. But right now, 23 weeks in, I’m savoring how fun it all feels and really enjoying the process. So far this pregnancy has been very (knock on wood) mellow.

5. I did a free one-month trial of Showtime through Amazon Prime and was hoping to find some life changing fun television to watch and so far it’s just been…okay? I’m definitely not feeling like it will be worth keeping up after the free trial for $8.99/mo. I started watching The Affair because it has gotten so much hype and it was fine, but not like BINGE WATCH WORTHY, ya know? I got about 4 episodes in and took a break and I haven’t really felt compelled to go back and see what happens next. So am I missing out? Is there anything else on Showtime that is a must watch before I cancel it on the 27th?

6. We are in the middle of car shopping, which sounds like a very fun and finite task in theory, but we’ve been doing it for months. We BOTH need new cars, so obviously the singular sum of money we are investing alone is requiring lots of thoughts and discussion. Then add in whether these cars are short term commitments or long term commitments based on what will work now versus what will work a few years from now (what if we have another baby? OMG I KNOW, I JUST WANT TO HAVE THIS BABY FIRST — but also: MULTIPLE CAR SEATS. And man, I don’t want to be buying another car in 2 or 3 years because I’m more of a “drive it ’til it dies” kind of person) and UGH. It’s just not the most fun chore ever, and I feel like for the amount of money I’m going to be spending I want to be a wee bit more excited. Tell me about your kids/car situation (especially if you have two close in age. This potential variable seems to be the most challenging to deal with. Especially if you want to drive other people around aside from your actual children. BOO.)

7. Also, we are going to be buying a house soon so I’m very conscious of how much we finance on these vehicles/monthly payments/etc and how that will affect our lending experience in the future. I mean cars are great, but I’m more interested in moving. So many fixed commitments based on a lot of future variable scenarios and I’m finding that it’s sucking all the fun out of things. Adulting seemed like way more fun when I was a kid. OMG, and then there’s the fact that Garrett suggested in a 100% serious tone last night that we should consider buying a mini-van, which: HELL NO! NO SIR. I AM NOT READY FOR THAT. ABSOLUTELY NOT. NO NEVER.

8. We spent a few hours at CarMax yesterday sitting in a bunch of cars with the express purpose of eliminating them from the list. And while we were successful, I almost about died of heat stroke walking around on the lot and sitting in cars that had been sitting out in the sun. It was only 86 degrees out you guys, and I know as a pregnant person I’m “running hotter than usual” but OHMYGOD I am now panic-stricken about being knocked up during June, July and August in Sacramento. It’s going to be a long, hot summer and well — I may just hole up in my air conditioned house without apology and never leave.

9. You guys, I really miss my dog. I know it will get easier, but man it is still hard.

So over having his picture taken. With that look I think we might be approaching Buster's teenage years.

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Faithful Companion. Pillow Stealer. One of a Kind.

Buster

Saturday night we made the gut wrenching decision to say goodbye to Buster. To say that we are heartbroken doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

While the decision was, thankfully, very clear in the end it does not take away from the absolute devastation that we are currently experiencing. I am speechless to describe how low we are feeling, and every sentence I type sounds so melodramatic. But the truth is this: it is the largest loss I have felt since my dad passed away, and I had forgotten how physical the pain of loss can be.

Grief is so non-linear, and it feels strange to be managing it amongst the minutiae of daily life. To be experiencing it side by side with the joys we are going through as parents to be.

Buster 2

Four years ago when Buster walked into our lives, I was not confident that I could take care of something that was so dependent. As his health problems escalated over the years, I not only developed confidence but I became almost dogged in my desire to give this dog the best life possible despite the poor genetic hand that he had been dealt. We were constantly searching for answers to his health problems, and while I knew we would find them someday, I didn’t think that it would be the same day that we had to say goodbye.

I am angry because we were hitting our stride as a family. While things were never “normal” with Buster, we had gotten to a place of effective management with all of his challenges. Food allergies. Environmental allergies. An autoimmune disorder. Chronic Ear Infections. Eye Lesions. Mouth Lesions. Nose Lesions. Inflammatory Bowel Disease. A mis-shapen stomach. All things we knew how to deal with. Make no mistake, we knew he was not going to be one of those dogs who lived to be 20 years old. It was inevitable that one day we would part ways, but I am angry that he was barely 8 years old, and this was the end of the road.

There was a point, about a year ago, where it began to feel like Buster was brought into our lives specifically to help demonstrate that we could, in fact, take care of something. We had both been cautiously considering trying to have a baby, and after surviving years of the team work required to address a dog with a number of special needs, we began to feel like “Ok, maybe we actually can take care of a human.” It feels bittersweet to know that Buster won’t be here to help usher in the baby that he helped us prepare for.

Buster 4

Over the years, unknowingly, we rearranged our lives for Buster. Never leaving him for too long. Learning to recognize his barks. Understanding the sounds and needs of his tiny little overworked body in an effort to anticipate the intervention it would need before a problem could escalate. I even joked with a friend recently how I ashamed I was that I would drive him to another neighborhood for walks (TWO BLOCKS AWAY) because it was quieter than ours and Buster could be skittish around cars, and no longer enjoyed walking down the one busy street it took to get there.

But it wasn’t really shame, actually. There was joy in that accommodation. Finding small things I could do to make his life more enjoyable or more surprising was such a simple form of happiness for me. For both of us. And it’s happiness that I am reminded of during so many parts of my day now, but then it is quickly replaced with a feeling of loss, like a punch in the gut. No longer needing to leave the lights or the tv on while running out to do an errand. No longer joking with him “Ok, buddy — Don’t buy anything on QVC while I’m gone” before heading off to work in the morning. No longer needing to look down before I put my feet on the floor first in the morning to make sure I’m not interrupting a snoring puppy. They were silent gifts that no longer have a recipient.

Buster 5

Where there was joy and love, it is now just quiet and empty. My house that was full of lightness and brightness a week ago all of a sudden feels dark and hollow all at once. It’s amazing how these habits came about so seamlessly that I honestly didn’t even realize we were going out of our way. It just felt like part of loving him. A love that he returned so unconditionally, every single day.

Our hearts have a permanent hole without him, and while I know from experience that we will get through this one day at a time, and that we will think more about the gift he was instead of about the loss we feel, right now it seems like we are at the bottom of a very steep mountain.

Buster 3

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House Stuff, Baby Stuff, Dog Stuff

The objective this weekend was to relax and to decide on nursery furniture.

Buy Buy Baby

After two trips to IKEA, a trip to Buy Buy Baby, and helping a fellow dog walker save their dog from a rattlesnake bite while out on our leisurely Sunday stroll, I can tell you we only accomplished one of those things. Hey, at least we were productive? I guess I’ll relax when the baby gets here BAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.

With a baby coming, we are very much in the process of purging crap from our house: clothes, books, random things, furniture. It’s fun, but purging leads to re-evaluating, re-evaluating sometimes leads to reorganizing, and then reorganizing leads to buying more stuff. I’m sure Marie Kondo is shaking her head.

But we have actually been quite happy with our progress. We’re getting rid of furniture that’s never really worked for us, addressing house issues that have been “on the to do list” for years because we all of a sudden have a fire under us to fix them, and doing some major re-structuring of space. All of this is normal, I think, when you are inviting a new person (and the necessary amount of baby-related crapola) into your house.

People keep telling us, “Oh you don’t need that much stuff” which I believe in theory, but the truth is — baby’s need some stuff. So we started with the major stuff this weekend. We plan to go pretty low key with the nursery mostly because we have to – the room is SUPER TINY. I wish I had a picture to show you. Wow, ok so I just spent an hour scrolling through tons of old photos and apparently I have never photographed that room in our house?

Other thoughts I had while scrolling: I would kill for my 2012 body composition right now. Seattle is beautiful. Time flies and kids grow so quick. Dang, I’m sad we aren’t going to Maui this year.

Hmmm…Ok, I will take a pic of that room soon even though it is currently filled with crap. I’ll make that happen.

Anyway, a little refresher on our living situation: we currently live in a 3 bedroom house (master, guest bedroom and office) and we’re going to leave it that way because it works for us. But we also have an annex (with a door) off our master bedroom that used to be Garrett’s “man cave/game room” that is now going to be the nursery. (RIP Man Cave. Well, I guess it will still be a man cave, but just for a squishy little baby man.)

House

We plan to move in the next year, so we think this little space will work perfectly, for now, so we want to outfit that room, but also buy some long term things. To say the least, it has posed some challenges: There is no closet, few walls (one wall has a door on it, one wall has a sliding door on it, one wall has oddly placed light switches) so this weekend we busted out our measuring tape and found a solution with some furniture that we hope will work.

baby shopping
Why don’t cribs come equipped with coffee cup holders, man?

I was set on a double wide dresser/changing table with a hutch for storage, since there will be very little storage in the room, and a crib at a minimum. We have a pretty massive walk in closet in our bedroom so I don’t mind sharing that with baby, and the doorway to it is right across from the future nursery so I think we’ll just hang whatever baby stuff we need to in the entry there for easy access. But you still want other fold-able baby clothes and supplies accessible by the changing table, hence: double wide dresser and hutch.

Here’s the nursery furniture we landed on, which I’m pleased with:
Nursery Furniture

Just the crib and dresser/hutch. We still have a glider to buy, and I may end up picking up that little nightstand-ish piece as well to keep by the glider just to store breast feeding “supplies” — I don’t know. This is all new to me. It’s the blind leading the blind here AND BUYING FURNITURE. Danger, Will Robinison!

Anyway, we ordered everything from the appropriately named Buy Buy Baby and now we just wait 4 months for it arrive. (WHO KNEW this stuff takes so long? :))

In other news this weekend I also had a small breakdown over unpasteurized cheese. I don’t miss alcohol really at all. But what I miss dearly are HOT TUB HOT scalding baths, and unpasteurized cheese. I may have shed a tear or two about it this weekend. Alone. While grocery shopping. Awesome.

I’ve found I am getting super good and shedding lots of tears about random things lately. We watched Draft Day recently and I cried during the first five minutes. For no reason, and couldn’t stop. (The NFL Draft — SO EMOTIONAL?) And a couple weekends ago I was so frustrated at how frustrated I was, I just cried about it. Seemed reasonable. Although when Garrett asked what initially frustrated me, I couldn’t actually pin point it. These pregnancy hormones are really no joke. :)

Walking B

I spent most of Sunday crying though, because I had a sort of traumatic experience. We took Buster for a walk because it was a gorgeous day and as we were heading back to our car I noticed an elderly guy coming up behind us and carrying his dog. My spidey-sense sort of went off, seeing as people are usually walking their dogs, and right as I started to think that something might be up — he yelled to us asking if we had a car because his dog had been bit by a rattlesnake.

Everything happened so fast, but we ran to my car (score — pregnant and out of shape, I can still hustle!), I left Garrett and Buster to fend for themselves a bit, and we got this guy and his dog into my car and took off for the closest emergency vet clinic. The dog was howling and in so much pain, and the guy was just hysterical in the back seat consoling his dog and saying “Please Esther, don’t die” and the entire time I felt absolutely calm. But the second we got them to the vet clinic (Thank GOD it was open!) and the dog was in being treated, I just started sobbing and couldn’t get it together most of the day. Adrenaline + pregnancy hormones are a real combo.

We took a trip to IKEA later that afternoon to pick up MORE FURNITURE (omg) and I couldn’t keep it together there — every time I thought about sweet little Esther, and her scared owner it I just got so sad. It just went on all day, reliving it. I was just out! in the world! crying at the drop of a hat. JEEZ LOUISE.

GOOD NEWS THOUGH: Garrett and I did stop by the vet clinic later on in the afternoon just to inquire about the dog (she was a fluffy little Australian Shepherd type mix just about Buster’s size, so I was very worried) but they said that she was alive and recovering, and only paralyzed in her leg where she got the bite and that even that may be temporary. That made me feel a little bit better, but honestly I just teared up writing about this, so I’m still shaken. Again: Pregnancy Hormones, NO JOKE.

On a happier note, we assembled our new media stand from IKEA the same afternoon (and by “we” I mean Garrett). My own personal version of hell is a 40 page long instruction booklet from IKEA, no unpasteurized cheese, and no booze in a piping hot bubble bath afterward, so I just couldn’t really be of help. πŸ˜›

ikea stuff

But in the meantime, I was able to perfectly captured Buster’s GIVE ME THAT TREAT IN YOUR HAND face while this was all going on. So that was a win. :)

Buster

So tell me a good story: What did you get up to?

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Our Family Is Growing!

Family Photo

Well it feels a little out of order to be telling you this when I haven’t even finished recapping our wedding but I figured it was high time to apologize for my two month hiatus and say: OH HEY! I’M PREGNANT!

It feels a little surreal to say that still, despite being 15 weeks into this gig, but it is getting more and more real each day. I’ve had a rough couple of months of intense morning sickness, which has led to basically abandoning my social life/workout life (and this blog, obviously since that’s mostly what I talk about here. lol) but I’ve turned a bit of a corner and I’m ready to get back to my life. (Which now involves GROWING A HUMAN. Sweet!)

We are thrilled, excited and of course, a little bit panicked, but I thought I’d pop on today and give you some of the fun facts. This might be a little long, but hey — I’ve got a lot of info to share. Indulge, me…

Our Due Date

Strangely enough, our due date is September 18th which, if you are paying really close attention (and I don’t expect you to be), will be our first wedding anniversary. That was a fun little coincidence! Although I’m sure this little nugget (if it’s anything like its stubborn parents) will show up WHENEVER THEY DAMN WELL PLEASE. :)

I’ve been joking that “There goes our long anniversary weekend!” but I promise you, I could not care less. We are so excited to meet this baby! In related vacation planning, we actually ended up cancelling our official honeymoon to Maui that we were going to be taking next month as well.

It sounds kind of sad, but we both wanted to save our vacation time for when the baby arrived, and plus — I was SO SUPER SICK over the last couple months that I just didn’t want to chance a five hour flight and thousands of dollars spent to be barfing into a toilet in Maui instead of California. Thankfully, I am no longer barfing with such awesome regularity, but I’m still happy we are saving that two weeks of vacation to add on to our maternity/paternity leaves!

How We Found Out

If you remember, in the last post I wrote here I was lamenting my mystery illness. HA! I had taken a 5 day Staycation and basically slept through the entire thing. My cold symptoms had subsided but I still sort of felt like I was dying. I think I said ” It’s hard to take on 2016 when the sheer act of making the bed makes you feel like need to get back in it.” Yep that’s pretty much what I told my doctor:
*I’m SO INCREDIBLY TIRED all the time.
*My heart rate has notably higher than normal, which seems weird.
*I’ve been feeling sick at weird times, but then feeling totally normal. The inconsistency has been strange.
*Every time I do a workout that I would consider “run of the mill” I come home and sleep for at least two hours.
*SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT.

And do you know what she said to me?
“Well, you are overweight, and it can be very tiring to be out of shape. Maybe you should try becoming active.”
And I think in that moment my mouth dropped open, but no words came out.

Finally I was like “Actually — AS I WROTE ON MY QUESTIONNAIRE THAT YOU ASKED ME TO FILL OUT — I am very active, but all of my symptoms lately have prevented me from doing that. I am VERY in touch with my body and my health and this is not how my body normally feels. Something is happening that is not normal!” And I think I even started to tear up out of frustration.

Her answer, “Yes, it’s why we recommend not having a high BMI. It can decrease your quality of life. So maybe you can even just try light walking. Perhaps start out just going to the end of your street. In the meantime I’m going to prescribe you an antibiotic, a cough syrup with codeine, allergy medicine and a steroid inhaler.”

I was annoyed, as you can imagine, and left feeling super upset. I filled my prescriptions just because I didn’t quite know what else to do in my frustration, and when it came time to do the pharmacy consult the pharmacist asked me “Are you expecting?” To which I confidently replied, “Nope!” and then she said, “Good because 3 of the 4 items you’re being prescribed can’t be taken if you’re expecting.” And then I was sent on my (not so) merry way.

That was a Thursday, and after that whole ordeal I came home (and took a nap, obviously!) and decided that I would read all these prescription instructions over the weekend and decide if I even wanted to take any of them. But on Friday morning I woke up feeling strange again, and something just told me “Maybe you should just double check that you aren’t expecting.” I had just started charting my cycle the month prior, in hopes to figure out exactly when I ovulate, knowing that information might be useful when we began to get serious about getting pregnant. I wasn’t even really in the habit of checking if we were pregnant, so it was not at the forefront of my mind.
Photo

Obviously when this happened it was a wonderful surprise — but a surprise nonetheless! And then a couple of weeks after we found out I read this article on CNN and honestly, it took every ounce of self control I had not to send it to my doctor in an email with a passive aggressive note saying TURNS OUT I WAS PREGNANT, NOT JUST AN OBESITY STATISTIC! #RAGE

But so far I’ve refrained. :)

How I Told Garrett

Anyway, it was obviously a happy/exciting moment, and I’m sure this would be the exact right time to consult Pinterest to find a cute way to tell my husband we are expecting, but instead I waited until I got to work that morning (after silently freaking out for about an hour) and then sent this:
Text

So, you know, feel free to pin that to your idea board. πŸ˜›

It was the only pregnancy test we had in the house so I at lunch I stopped by Target and got some more and — well, six tests later (I know, I am insane) I felt sort of convinced that this may actually be happening. Of course, the subsequent ultra sounds have also helped. :)

BABY

How We Found Out The Gender

So because I’m old, ahem — Of Advanced Maternal Age — at week 10 it was suggested that we do a blood test that would be analyzed to screen for the most common chromosomal abnormalities. It took two weeks for the results, and I will tell you that was a long two weeks of waiting.

But because they are analyzing chromosomes, they can tell you if the baby has XX chromosomes or XYs, so we opted to find out with the other chromosome results. I had felt very strongly from the start (after having two crazy vivid dreams) that it was a boy. And when we got the results back (everything came back low risk) those dreams were right on point!

So coming September 18th of this year: Baby Boy Franklin. (Name TBD, obviously. WOW naming a human is hard!)

It’s been mind blowing, exciting, emotional and completely beyond anything I have ever experience, and I’m so grateful to finally be sharing the news here because it has felt like this giant secret that I was keeping while lying on the couch, and now that I’m off the couch again, I can’t wait to write about this journey.

15 days before I found out I was pregnant I wrote about my 2016 goals and priorities here. One of my guiding thoughts for the year was this:

“I’d like to spend the year doing relaxing things. Silly things. Celebratory things. Superficial things. Seasonal things. I want to spend my time embracing the awesome. Opening my heart and my mind. Learning new things. I want to stretch myself into something new, and at the end of 2016 I want to feel like I have shed a layer of sorts.”

I think this just may do the trick. :)

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Staycation Review: 2 out of 5 Stars

I took a 5 day Staycation beginning last Thursday, and I had planned to have all sorts of fun adventures to chat about on the blog this morning, but all I have to show for it is a Doctor’s Appointment and a dead Fitbit.

Not so photogenic, those things.

I am still sick. Typing those words is frigging depressing, but I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever I’m dealing with is now beyond the scope of Dr. Google’s education. I had a super bad cold the last week of 2015 and it hung around the first couple weeks of the year but now it is JANUARY NINETEENTH and I am not myself. My cold symptoms have subsided for the most part (except for a nagging, uncomfortable cough) but I still feel incredibly weak and tired.

I have zero endurance and my five days off were basically filled with things like grocery shopping and then taking a nap. Taking a bath and then taking a nap. Getting the mail and then taking a nap. (Ok the last one is an exaggeration, but you get what I’m saying.) On Thursday I had 5 loads of laundry I planned to do, and by yesterday evening there were 3 left. It’s not like laundry is running a marathon, but it sure felt like it this weekend. (Of course in one of the two loads of laundry I washed my Fitbit and despite having that mishap before — this time it did not survive. WEEP!)

I did venture out to a spin class on Friday night because I thought I felt alright, despite knowing that probably wasn’t the best decision. But it was a Neil Diamond THEME RIDE, and in my mind I was like “it’s only 45 minutes, you will survive.” And I did — but then of course, I came home and took a nap. And then went to bed for the night two hours later.

So. At this point I have set aside my stubborn tendencies and made a appointment with my doctor for Thursday, but I feel stupid and like I don’t even know what to say. “I had a cold and still feel like shit. Fix me.” I don’t have high hopes they’ll tell me much with that description, but I don’t really know what else to do at this point because I’m too tired to figure it out myself. GRUMBLE. In the meantime, I’m obviously skipping last week’s workout post because I didn’t. I mostly worked out my eyelids opening and closing them so frequently.

I did manage to make a recipe last Tuesday that was supposed to be a GAME CHANGER! And it was in the sense that it made Garrett break out in hives. So that sure changed the game. Yikes, sorry babe! As you can imagine, I won’t be sharing that recipe here as a “recomend.” :)

So, all in all, I’m glad I had 5 days off — it was a welcomed respite, but nothing like I had hoped. Continuing to lay low this week, work, and see the doctor. Cross your fingers for me they can tell me something informative, because I’m getting a little stir crazy up in here with all this resting. It’s hard to take on 2016 when the sheer act of making the bed makes you feel like need to get back in it.

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What I’ve Been Into This Week

Happy Friday, friends!

What a good week this has been! I had so much fun watching The Golden Globes last Sunday that I think it just set the tone for what was a fun and mostly relaxing week. I’ve been taking it easy — I’m not longer dying (THANK GOD) but I’ve still got a nagging cough and just needed some rest, so I’ve been taking advantage of lots of downtime.

Here’s what I’ve been into:

Reading

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Finally getting into my book club’s pick this month: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. It definitely feels like everyone and their mother is reading this book, so I can’t wait to finish it and discuss. Garrett has started it and told me it was a little weird, but so far I’m enjoying it.

Listening

I find, when it comes to what I listen to, that on any given week I’m usually committed to an audio book, podcasts, or an album of some sort. This week it’s been all podcasts.
criminal

I’ve been loving catching up on Criminal, even though that show can sometimes be a little heavy. The most recent The Stay was really sad. When I was done listening, it reminded me of how I felt when I watched that documentary Into The Abyss.

But the episode prior about the LAPD dive supervisor who was faced with doing a dive in the La Brea tarpits was FASCINATING!

On a MUCH lighter note, I really enjoyed Modern Mrs. Darcy’s new podcast called What Should I Read Next?

what should i read next
She has guests each episode and asks them to discuss a few books they loved, a few they hated, and what they’ve read recently. Then she makes a recommendation. The first two episodes are up and were so fun!

Perusing

Lots of fun stuff on the internet this week, as usual!

*10 Instagram Accounts I Love Following — I always loving finding new Insta accounts to follow. Who are your favorites?

*A Week of Meals to Break Your Junk Food Addiction — A little simple, healthy meal inspiration seemed to be just what I needed this week.

*Smoking in the Mirror – 10 Years of Girls Gone Child — I can always read long posts about why bloggers blog. Makes me feel inspired and nostalgic.

*Speaking of bloggers talking about blogging, I liked Bri from Design Love Fest’s thoughts on returning to old school blogging. I feel like a lot of people are going back to their roots this year and just SHARING. Thumbs Up Emoji.

*2016 Fitness Trends: How We’ll Be Working Out – This showed some interesting data around what industries are increasing and decreasing interest.

Watching

I’ve been in the mood for comedy apparently, because the only things I watched this week outside of my normal Bravo-worshiping tv schedule was John Mulaney New In Town and Louis CK’s Chewed Up. Both very different. Both VERY hilarious.

Buying

I had to stop at Walgreens to pick up cough drops the other day, and of course I left with two new lipsticks. Did you know Burt’s Bees has like, actual legit non lip balm lipsticks now? THEY DO! And they are pretty fun!
burts bees lipstick Image Credit

I picked up Blush Basin and Juniper Water — basically the lightest and darkest shades my Walgreen’s had (All the shades are right here) and I love them both! Easy to wear, and they feel moisturizing without being too high maintenance. In case you needed something to impulse purchase the next time you are a Target… You’re welcome! πŸ˜›

******

Have an awesome weekend, friends! Hope you are doing something fun!

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A Book Equivalent To Comfort Food

AJ Fikry

I finished my first book of 2016 and the only word I could think of to describe the experience of reading it was COMFORTING. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin was a literal delight. It was short, sweet, light hearted, and warm, but it’s most notable quality was that it screamed: FOR BOOK LOVERS!

“A book for book lovers” is an expression I hate a little. I’d put it right up there with “The Next Gone Girl.” But in this particular instance, it is completely warranted. A lot of the book is spent exploring themes surrounding how much meaning books can have in someone’s life physically, emotionally, and in their relationships.

Spoiler Free Summary

It follows a bookselling curmudgeon named AJ Fikry who owns his own small shop on the fictional Alice Island. His wife has passed away and his life has turned into a depressing little mess. He drinks himself silly on the regular and one night during one of these episodes he pulls out his very valuable copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tamerlane, passes out and wakes up in the morning to find that it is missing.

Meanwhile, he comes upon a mysterious package left in his bookstore that ultimately changes the entire course of his life. I won’t add too much more as part of the pleasure of the book is just meeting all of the characters surrounding this town, the store, and AJ Fikry himself, and seeing how their intersections unfold.

My Thoughts

A lot of what happens involves the bookstore, the publishing industry, and mentions of contemporary novels. It is an environment and setting I always love reading about, and the tone of the novel is just easy and enjoyable.

It is not perfect — there were parts that were predictable, or where I thought things moved too quickly or that characters could be fleshed out more. But while I was reading it I just didn’t really care because it was so charming.

I listened to it on Audible (It is strangely not showing up there now) and I think it was something like 7 hours, so it was so quick that I was almost sad to be coming to the end. It is the kind of book you don’t want to end because you just want to keep the characters around for a bit longer.

I generally characterize myself as a mystery/thriller reader and I love books that are plot driven and page turning and sometimes a little tense, and this book was really focused on the people and their stories, but I still found it just flying by. In the past when this book was recommended to me I kind of put it in the back of my mind because I didn’t think the cover was appealing and it sounded a little boring, but now being on the other side I’m almost sad I waited.

If you are on the fence about this book, or if you are looking for a charming little book to read this winter, my recommendation is to pick it up. It’s a quick and easy story that rewards you while reading it. I haven’t read any other books by Gabrielle Zevin but I’m thinking I’ll have to pick one up. If you have any recommendations for one of her books, or just another warm and fuzzy novel feel free to let me know in the comments!

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Weekly Workouts + Eats

I want to get back to re-capping workouts and meals because I enjoy getting inspiration from others in this area (I’M ALWAYS INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU ARE HAVING FOR DINNER, TELL MEEEEEEEEEEEE!) but I was sick this week and I’m a little rusty at remembering to photograph our dinners so this week is not really starting off with a bang now is it. I had some wins though, chest cold be damned, so here’s what last week looked like:

Monday

Garrett and I were up bright and early for 5am Crossfit. I felt like my cold was much better and was happy to get back to working out. Here’s what we did:
workout

It was one of those workouts that looks nice and inviting but then when you are finished, you feel like this:
workout pic

That night I also hit up a yoga class over at CorePower Yoga in Fair Oaks. They were doing a friends and family night and my friend Amy is teaching there so I joined because my body has been craving a bit more yoga lately.

Dinner was a Beef Pot Roast with Cauliflower Mash and Carrots that I had made in the crock pot. My crock pot regularly saves my ass on Monday nights. :)

Tuesday

Tuesday morning when I woke up (after doing two workouts the day before) I thought to myself “Maybe that cold *wasn’t* actually over.” GRUMBLE. I took it easy that morning (usually I will go to spin) and then by the end of the day I felt okay so I thought I would see if a little hot yoga would help me sweat out whatever my body was trying to get rid of. I know, just go with it. It made sense in my head. Look – even the Mayo Clinic says it is good to workout when you don’t feel well! Usually working out *does* make me feel better, but I think this cold was getting good and ready to move down into my chest. Asshole.

YOGA

Came home and on tap for dinner was Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. I cooked them in the Trader Joe’s Bolognese sauce and seriously — THAT IS THE BEST JARRED TOMATO SAUCE! (I mostly hate jarred tomato sauce, so that is quite the compliment coming from me.) I wasn’t super hungry so I ended up just making a smoothie and going to bed, but that made some BOMB lunch leftovers! :)

Wednesday

Oh Wednesday.

Wednesday was the day that my body woke me up saying “NO MORE WORKING OUT, YA DICK! GET SOME REST.” So that was nice. :/

Dinner was Garlic Pork Chops that I had sous vide on Sunday (thank god! because I did not want to cook.) + Green Beans from Trader Joe’s.

Garrett was stoked. I went to bed early.

Thursday

Thursday was more of the same. More rest, more coughing, less working out. I considered going to Crossfit but the workout was The Filthy 50 and even I’m not that stupid.

Dinner was some basic Burgers + Salad + Sweet Potato Fries. I am currently obsessed with Brianna’s Italian Vinaigrette. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is!

Friday

I had high hopes for Friday but I was mostly chugging cough syrup and leaving work early. I would like to tell you we ate something super duper healthy. Instead, I made BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Nachos.

Nachos

I don’t even regret it. I made sure my corn chips were organic you know. BAHAHAHAAHHA

Sat + Sun

We spent the weekend eating leftovers and mostly I was chugging water and taking monolaurin.

monolaurin

It was sexy, as you can imagine.

*******

I have higher hopes for this week. I’ll still balancing rest, but I’m on the mend for sure and I’m just ready to get back to real life! Cross your fingers for me, and have a great week, friends!

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What I’ve Been Into This Week

What a crazy week it’s been with people returning back to work and reality after the holidays, right? I wish I had found this funny or die instagram post on Monday morning — I probably would have printed it out. LOL

It was a gray and rainy week, which sounds sort of depressing but my formerly brown drought deprived lawn was loving it, so I guess I am happy. I just feel like my wardrobe was not prepared. I guess there should be some shopping in my future? I can live with that. :)

Nevertheless, we survived the week and now: WE WEEKEND! Here is some stuff I’ve been into this week that seemed worth a mention.

**************

Reading

books
I’ve been pouring through My Cooking Year by Ruth Reichl and listening to The Storied Life of AJ Fikry on Audible. Both have been GREAT so far, so that’s a nice way to start off January after a year of mediocre reading.

Scrolling

On the internet there was all sorts of interesting stuff floating around.

*Kendi’s Top 10 Beauty Buys of 2015 – I thought it might be fun to write something similar because I bought a lot of new beauty products this year, but look — 7 of Kendi’s 10 would have been on my list, so hey — read that one instead. :)

*57 Small Changes You Can Easily Can Make To Improve Your Life — I was lured in by “small” and “easy” and for the most part they were. I especially liked #5, 9, 24, and 31 (SO MUCH YES to # 31)

*6 Face Masks That Really Deliver — I ALWAYS love talking about face masks and a few faves I enjoy are on this list.

Pinning

Get in mah belleh, all of you!

*Korean BBQ Steak Bowls with Spicy Sesame Dressing

*Massaged Kale Salad

*General Tso’s Meatballs

Watching

netflix-making-a-murderer

Like everyone else in America it seems, I spent the New Year’s Eve Weekend binging on Making A Murder and I am unsettled with the experience. It was thought provoking and tragic. Dramatic, but realistic. And really, just so sad. It’s hard to say “I recommend it!” But I absolutely do.

Listening

weeknd
*The Weeknd’s album Beauty Behind the Madness. And I can’t decide if I like it yet. All of the hits are hits, but the album versions all seem to have really vibey intros which bug me. I’m undecided, but still listening.

Around The House

We got sick the week between Christmas and the New Year and I came across a random coupon for Lavender scented Breathe Right Strips. Congested as all get out and chugging cough syrup like it was Purple Drank, I figured what the heck could we lose.

Turns out: they were actually kind of awesome! And mixed with my new bad-ass humidifier (old lady alert!) and some essential oil voodoo, I feel like things are getting back on track. Whew!

cough syrup

******

That was my week in a nutshell. What have you been into?

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2016 Goals + Priorities

Believe you can and you're halfway there

I’ve been a little out of touch with my inner goal-setter for the past few years between challenging promotions at work, getting engaged, planning a wedding, and all of the other living in between. Since about 2013 I would categorize my focus as very external, and I think it shows.

January is no better a time to set goals than July, but something about this January feels a little bit transitional to me. I’m ready to focus on myself again after a few years of focusing on things outside of me. Of course those external things are all still plates that I am spinning, but I am feeling a shift in priorities. I want to do some things that are just for me.

I’d like to spend the year doing relaxing things. Silly things. Celebratory things. Superficial things. Seasonal things. I want to spend my time embracing the awesome. Opening my heart and my mind. Learning new things. I want to stretch myself into something new, and at the end of 2016 I want to feel like I have shed a layer of sorts.

Physical + Emotional Health

I want this to be the foundation of my year. The thing that is most important. When I feel emotionally and physically grounded, most of my other goals easily fall into place. So this will be the priority.

*Be diligent about your morning routine
*Find a therapist (How does one do this? It feels overwhelming.)
*Prioritize mobility as much as exercise
*Walk the dog ALOT!
*Spend lots of time outside
*Continue to mix up CrossFit, Spin + Yoga
*Only do things that feel good in your body

Travel + Leisure

We don’t have kids right now (and it remains to be seen if we will) so I would like to take advantage of that fact this year and spend time traveling to new + beloved places. Also, I’d like to read significantly more than I read this year.

*Palm Springs
*Napa
*Central Coast
*Maui
*Yosemite
*Take a Girls Trip
*Read for 20 minutes everyday
*Read 50 books by the end of the year. DNF any books that you don’t find compelling in the first 50 pages.
*Find seasonal things to celebrate (Maybe bring back the bucket list!)

Family + Friends

I want to feel connected to my community of friends and family and the older I get the more I realize that this doesn’t happen unless you MAKE it happen. Here’s to making it happen.

*Take more photos, make more memories (This year was a bad year for photos and I actively missed it.)
*Send more care packages, and random fun mail.
*Send all family and friends Birthday Cards. It’s a small gesture, but always nice to receive.

Try New Things!

(below are some random ideas)
I read a great article last year about why time goes by so quickly as an adult. The cliffs notes were that it’s because we have less “firsts” after about age 20. So I want to try more things. Be a beginner. Have new experiences. See new places. In essence, slow down time. And appreciate it. I’m tired of always feeling like time flies.

*Take an OrangeTheory class
*Take a hip hop dance class (dude, I am DYING to do this but won’t go alone! LOL)
*Run a 5k, a 10k (and if you feel like it, something longer. No pressure.) While this isn’t new, it’s been a while and I want to approach it like it is.
*Go to Molokini and snorkel (YIKES, this scares me, but Garrett really wants to go.)
*Find some new “staple” recipes.

Financial

Ho Hum, but needs to be done.

*Get our finances a little more automated
*Buy new cars. (This *sounds* fun in theory, but I’m actually dreading it. But it needs to be done.)

Superficial

Because you must always have a few random, fun, superficial things to aspire to.

*Look into Invisalign
*Buy myself a fancy (but classic) handbag
*Finish your gallery wall
*Get a god damn headboard for your bed! (This has been on the list for 3 years in a row. Get it together, girl.)
*Re-decorate the home office
*Cut your hair. (It’s been like a year and I’m not sure this long hair is for me! LOL)

******

I feel good about that list and those priorities. Obviously I’ll add and delete things as the year evolves, but it’s a start. And I feel excited.

Look out 2016!

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