Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recap from the Recliner

But seriously, I really am sitting in my recliner, writing. I cannot seem to wake up for the life of me! 

Ahhh, so it's been an eventful 10 days since I've last written. Justin is still enjoying his new gig, and he's made tons of buddies to make the most out of the next year. I'm still so happy about that. I got a little visit with him in Indianapolis, which went really well, but was all too short. Huge thanks to my brother, who was able to house-sit for those 2 days :) 
Here's a few pics from Indianapolis that, I think, really show how pretty that city is! 
We went paddle-boating on the Canal Walk that goes through the city! It couldn't have been more beautiful, and since it's a college city, there were tons of people out running, biking, and just soaking up the amazing Fall breeze. 

I am not someone who enjoys picking up and leaving on a whim to fly stand-by to a destination where I haven't gotten a hotel or means of transportation, but I wanted to see my hubs. I don't know if I don't enjoy that because I'm pregnant and just generally feel too tired all day, or if I just had anxiety about leaving the house on a whim. Either way, the trip turned out really well, and I'm thankful for a good time with Justin! 

When I returned, my grandparents were staying in a beautiful little cottage in Serenbe, called the Mimosa Cottage. I called them when I got in, and they just raved about the amazing french toast they had for breakfast and the fact that they could watch a wedding from the front porch of the cottage. I don't think their stay could have been any better. They spoke to so many people out on the property and really connected with the serenity in Serenbe ;) That's obvious, though. 

I snagged a pic of them eating dinner in their cottage, and my chicken pot pie from The Hil, earlier that day!
And finally, what's been going on this past 10 days? To be honest, I'm still bumming around for the most part. I have been enjoying work so much, and although I'd love to take some time and visit family out of state while I'm feeling up to it, I have too much going on with the pets and the house. And every single day I go to work, I realize how happy it makes me. I see people I care about, sharing in my joys and offering company. I also eat really well (let's not overlook the obvious!), and I have something to do that takes my mind off living alone. 

Pretty soon, I'll be working on the house- finally getting some paint on these barren walls- and starting some other projects for... well every single room. The nursery is on my list, but jeez, it's like we just moved in. I have a ton of ideas and no desire to execute any of them at the moment. Fortunately, I have an awesome momma who is pushing me in that direction with every phone call: " Did you check out floor samples?" "Did you get some paint swatches?" " What do you want to do with window treatments?" 

Man, if I didn't have her, I'd be sitting in a house with concrete floors and things still in boxes. 

So, to end this post, I have yet another set of photos that reflect this past week: 
My belly is growing (although really, half the time it still feels like gas), my dogs are lazy in the back yard, and my cat is getting weird in his old age. 

OH! And I find out the sex of the baby tomorrow! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quick Travel

Tomorrow, I'm going to see my hubs for the last time before he officially leaves. We had a talk about what we can disclose online, or really, to anyone. Unfortunately for friends and family, I can't give specifics because it jeopardizes his job if I do. I don't want to even explain that part, but given the nature of what he'll be doing and where he's going, I think it's clear why I can't divulge. 

My grandparents are coming in town to stay in Serenbe this week! I will unfortunately miss the first day they are in town, but I'm hoping to catch up with them when I get back from seeing Justin. I'm definitely hoping in the near future I can take a quick trip to Florida to see them in my own time, now that things will be quite lonely here. 

Anyway, things at home are getting better. I feel very unmotivated to clean and organize, but knowing that my brother will take care of the animals and house sit while I'm gone gets me off my butt. Today has been an errand-running kind of day, with laundry, dishes, and organizing the office as my tasks. I am working a conference later this evening, so I can't put off all of these responsibilities until later like I always do. It'll be a good thing :) 

I'll be flying stand-by tomorrow and Thursday morning, so I hope and pray that I get on the first flights out. It's such an impromptu trip that I'm nervous about directions from the airport to the hotel, and getting an available rental car and having things go smoothly back here. I'm already an anxious mama! 

I know this post is boring. I'm sure that when I'm waiting in the hotel for Justin to get off work and be able to visit, I'll have much more interesting things to write about. I have many ideas for future blog posts, but for now, I have my priorities to get through first! Blah!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Pick YOUR Brain

I am totally partial to the self-improvement themed books out there. I don't know why, but ever since my middle school years, I have been fascinated with the idea of improving myself. It led to a phase of perfectionism when I was still in middle school and on through high school, which made my teenage life much more emotional than it already had become from just... growing. But, thankfully, much of that perfectionist and "need to please" mentality has waned throughout the years. 

But every time I feel down or overwhelmed, there's a site that I love to go to that has lots of professional blogger guests who contribute really great posts in regards to self-improvement and the overall struggles associated with being a normal human being.

It's called

I've had a ton of setbacks when it comes to college. That move to California was worth every struggle I've had with the University, but it still gets me down from time to time. I get down about people who feel compelled to talk about me, and most especially if I consider them any kind of a friend. I get really down thinking about some of the things my family has been through, because sometimes I really think that we've had more hardships than the next family, but that's certainly narrow-minded. I usually catch myself with these downward spirals of thought, but it doesn't mean that I don't have a mini-breakdown from time to time. 

This website touches on so many topics. It's certainly a quick pick me up for anyone who likes the subjects of psychology, neuroscience, health & wellness, writing, reading, and philosophy. There are over 1500 archived articles dating all the way back to 2006, so check it out if you are curious! 

Until soon!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Week Down

Yesterday I really realized just how much I miss Justin. I have been on a "high" from my neighbors being so great, friends and family being so supportive, and just keeping busy. I've felt so strong and relaxed, and I've honestly embraced the extra responsibilities of living alone. 

Yesterday was also my official day off from school and work, and there was nothing to do but clean, hang with the dogs, exercise, cook... all that jazz. I've been tidying up the house a little more, but I think a part of me keeps it in limbo, as far as never quite being clean enough, so that I'll always have something to think about doing. If the house is clean, what will I do with my spare time? None of that spare time will involve hanging with my hubby, and that's a huge bummer. But if the house always needs some sort of organizing project or cleaning project done, then I'll always wake up with a to-do list. How's that for a little analysis? 

Justin is almost in the same boat. He misses me, Mags, Weezy- and secretly, Fred- yet he's enjoying the fresh environment, making friends and being around guys like him. He hasn't found very much of that since we've been home, and I know that it's been difficult to try to make friends with a bunch of people who don't quite understand you. They get you, but not on certain levels, I guess. I can appreciate that. And hearing him say those things really does make me feel good about his job and what he's trying to do for us. But we both agree that sleeping alone really blows.

Currently, the hardest part about being here alone is taking care of our zoo by myself. I love these animals, but they dominate my life right now. If I work or go to school and I'm gone for more than 8 hours, I feel horrible about the dogs being locked up in their kennels. What's almost as bad is when they have all this pent up energy that they can't calm down for a bit after I get home. They don't run through the house or anything, but they can't just fall asleep with me when I get home from work. I'm trying to be better at walking them, but one is 52lbs and the other is 73lbs, and I have to walk them separately. After they walk with me, if they still have tons of energy, I let them take it out on each other in the back yard. So far, it's going well, but it's more time-consuming than when Justin and I could split up those duties between our schedules. Either I'm going to get in really great shape from taking care of these dogs during pregnancy, or I'm going to pull my hair out :) I imagine I'll be in really great shape and love this process. It's just been an eye-opener in this first week by myself. 

Other than that, I am so grateful that I hit my 2nd trimester last week! It's true for my pregnancy- I really do feel so much better! I took each dog for a walk, challenged the hills in my neighborhood, and jogged as well. Justin called in the middle of my second walk, and I was so out of breath he couldn't figure out what I was doing, haha! But I told him I was really proud of myself for finally getting to a point where exercise and eating well were feeling really good again. No more nausea-friendly starches for me! I ate a bowl and a half of fresh sauteed collard greens and I couldn't have felt better. This trimester feels like a blessing! My heart really goes out to those ladies who had to deal with nausea/morning sickness and other 1st trimester woes well into the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. It's no bueno :(

Until Soon!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Hubby has a New Job

Okay, so I've been a little aloof with a public announcement of my hubby's new job. There are many reasons for this: 
1. Our plans could have bottomed out for any number of reasons, so why get everyone worked up? 
2. We have and will receive negative comments for this decision and its timing. 
3. The hiring process moved so quickly, we really didn't have much time to talk about it. 

Justin is contracting in Afghanistan for a year.
There. I said it. Judge as you may... I'm sure there are thoughts like, "You're pregnant!" "He's going to miss everything!" "Is he really going to leave at a time like this?!"

Yes, I know I'm pregnant, and it's unfortunate that we youngsters let ourselves be surprised by this pregnancy (this very happy, huge blessing of a pregnancy). Justin and I were very happy to find out we are pregnant. But if you've seen my other post, you'll know that a mere 9 days prior to finding out this news, I had convinced him to leave his job. 

Justin will not miss everything. He is involved in this pregnancy, and even calls my stomach "Liam" when he refers to "him," haha. Of course, I'm sure that means we are having a girl, which we will be thrilled to have, no matter what! :) But back to missing everything- he won't physically be here, but he will be constantly updated with my blog, Facebook, emails, letters, pictures, care packages, and Skyping. Thankfully, he'll have internet access in his own room, with his own computer, with a webcam. Of course, it's not nearly the same as running out at 3am for my strange cravings, or rubbing my swollen feet, or seeing the ultrasounds at the very same time that I do. I fully understand there's a difference. And trust me, it hurts. It hurts us both. We don't need people asking such obvious questions or making equally obvious statements. We already feel the sting of our decisions, but there's a much bigger goal in mind here, and that's to create an incredible financial support system for our future little monster. 

Justin likes to remind me that he's just in the "vetting" process. He likes to whimsically declare that "anything can happen" so that I could get the idea that something could always go wrong and he'll be headed home from Virginia rather than heading out of the country. I simply don't believe that. I know that he's in his niche. I know he's happy to be around guys like him, and all of them are highly motivated by the potential income when they deploy. It's uplifting to hear his voice on the phone, talking about the crazy 50-something-year-old man who smoke checked the whole group of younger guys by pulling a 9 minute 1 1/2 mile run! Well, that's pretty intense, so I like the story, too. But what I really love is that he's entertained and feeling good. He deserves that. It makes these first couple of lonely days so worth it. 

But I certainly miss this face.

It's poor lighting, but such a reminder of a wonderful night <3

I love seeing him happy. It makes my heart smile. 

Anyway, Justin is currently in Chesapeake, VA, continuing the vetting process before he heads out for training, and from there, Afghanistan. I certainly hope I'll be able to see him before he officially deploys. Right now, we are just taking the whole process day by day. 

Did I mention how incredible I think he is, for wanting to be so supportive of his future child, that he'll give up a year of his life  to be in the desert so we can have a stronger foundation for our family? What a good husband I have!

Until soon.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

We Have a Zoo.

It may seem, through my social media outlets, that I'm a tad bit obsessed with my animals. Truth is, I am- Justin and I both are. You would likely think that we are quite strange as you find out how we narrate our dogs' and cat's actions and thoughts (what we think are their thoughts, ha!) all the time. 

For example, Weezy gets a really high-pitched, cracked out voice when either of us narrates her behavior. We definitely play around with her the most because she really is off her rocker. When we call her and she comes running, or she makes really strange faces, one of us says something in our "Weezy voice" that is somewhat reflective of what we honestly think she thinks. I'm sure we are totally off. The picture below may give you an idea of the voice we deem appropriate.

Mags gets a sweet voice. Innocent, thoughtful, kind. She's the best dog you could ever ask for. Yes, there's a voice for that. 

Unfortunately, I can't show an individual pic of Mags, because she's terrified of anything that remotely looks like a camera. She was so photogenic as a pup, but one day, she decided to shake vehemently and pant uncontrollably after I took a picture of her. I have no idea where it came from, but any time I pull out my phone (black and rectangular like the camera) she walks right out of the room. That goes for my Kindle, too.

And then there's Fred. 
To me, he has a normal, teenager voice. He's got attitude, wants very little to do with his Momma, but is as sweet as can be when he wants something. So, in my head, Fred's got teenage angst. 

Justin gives Fred the whiniest voice you could ever imagine. He thinks Fred is weak, annoying, and nerdy (because he's got allergies and sneezes, which translates to nerdy, in his book). 
My hubs pretends to hate the cat. (Is this a guy thing?) He tells Fred he's stupid. He calls him names and acts like he's a waste of space, but at the end of the day, Fred ironically chooses Justin as his cuddle buddy. It's ridiculous and unfair in my world of animal love, because I've had Fred longer than I've known Justin, and quite frankly it offends me. But you know cats. They do what they want. And Justin secretly loves him.

Every day we wake up to two dogs in the bedroom. Ideally, they'd stay on their large makeshift palette on the floor. They do, but they've also mastered somehow getting on the bed ever so softly, so that we honestly do not notice until the wee hours of the morning. For that, they are spoiled and pretty much impossible to train differently. We don't mind for now. But tell me: How could you not adore waking up to this?

Or this?

Or this??

Anyway, we have some serious love going on in this house. In a later post I'll show you what we're dealing with currently, as I humbly admit our beautiful house fell prey to this ridiculous love. Yes, I have pictures for that, too. 




12 Weeks and a Day


Reading my older posts has me giggling a good bit. For me, fluctuating between baby fever and no baby fever has been pretty consistent, it seems. I know when we got the house, I initially thought that it would be a great time, despite the fact that we're both college kids and don't quite have our careers going. But, Justin and I would have long talks and come to the conclusion that we simply weren't prepared for bringing a human into this world...just yet. We don't want them to need for anything, and we simply couldn't guarantee that. But you know, not a whole lot of people can guarantee these things, anyway. We should certainly try by properly planning, though.

Well, to say the least, this post's headline is reflective of our current pregnancy! If you've read past posts, you may have seen that I had a very early miscarriage back at the time Justin and I were married. I would have embraced that pregnancy just as well, despite being too young and way under prepared. We have been able to take this last 4 years and grow together, move closer to family and friends, buy a home, and be slightly more prepared for baby. I'm very thankful for that time. 

Ok, so above is the initial picture I took of myself and sent to my mother first thing- after I told Justin, of course. I couldn't be more surprised! According to previous posts, you'll know that I was careful to cut out caffeine and other restricted items during pregnancy, during occasional pregnancy "scares." This time, I thought I was wasting a perfectly good pregnancy test. Little did I know. Plus, this provided some much needed comic relief after I got over my heart's incessant racing ;) 

Here is a snippet of the calendar we have on our refrigerator. July 10 is when we found out, but what you'll see below is conducive to the "WTF" you see above:


So, I hope all of you reading have seen Anchorman. If you haven't you won't understand this picture. I convinced my husband to leave his job (of 3 years), which was around the time of July 1st. He called me while I was having a coffee break at the Blue Eyed Daisy in Serenbe (check this place out, if you haven't!). He vented to me about management and just all of the daily problems he's had with this place, and honestly, I couldn't take anymore. We've had a super busy summer at work, and I've been working enough to handle a few short months of Justin's peaceful hiatus from work, if he would so choose. So, after instilling some confidence in him to chase after some peace- on his lunch break, mind you- he drafted his two-week notice. He handed it in that afternoon and I honestly have to say I was really proud of him. I wanted him to take a break. I wanted him to be happy. He's a wonderful man, a hard worker, and deserves to enjoy where he works, considering he, along with the rest of the world, will spend a majority of his waking hours at his job.

Thankfully, Justin quickly nabbed a part-time job and we didn't have a huge gap of unemployment (as I knew he would not rest until he found something- that's my hubby!). Nonetheless, we are still completely and totally taking life day by day, trying to plan for the future which is seemingly moving at lightning speed- well, except for this challenging first trimester, but I'll get to that in a later post. 

So, right now, I'm inching toward the end of this first trimester, and looking forward to what the second one brings! I hope it's all it's cracked up to be, and I certainly cannot wait until I feel more like my normal self again. Really, I just want a little energy boost ;) But I can't wait to see what life hands us, and how we'll face this new challenge of being parents. I'm beyond freaked about pregnancy and all of it's out-of-my-control-surprises, but I'm on board with it, regardless. I sure hope you'll enjoy reading this blog and keep me company- especially if time calls for commiserating! 

Until Soon.