Dirty Thirty

It’s a big day today folks. I turned 30. That’s THIRTY, 3-0, The Dirty Thirty, a new decade. Ohf-ta!! In honor of the big day, I thought I’d write a list. One of my favorite things. I figured it would be impossible to think of 30 life highlights (not because they don’t exist, but because it would be impossible to write them all down!), but I can think of 30 things that I love in my life, or just about life in general (in no particular order). I mean what better day to count your blessings than the day that starts a whole new year of life, right??

1. My handsome son, Smith.
2. My handsome and charming husband.
3. My sisters. Who are constantly teaching and showing me you truly can ‘have it all.’
4. My parents. Who show me time and time again what unconditional love really means.
5. My brother-in-laws. I couldn’t have asked for better ones if I could have picked them myself. They add some awesome value to our trivia teams! ;)
6. My nieces and nephews. Who constantly make me giggle. And are the key to keeping me young. It’s all about SnapChat and Rainbow Looms, yo! Wait…do kids these days still say ‘yo’?!
7. My mother/father-in-law. Honestly, I struck GOLD here people. They are so helpful and supportive helping us out with Smith. And are always good for that, ‘oh hey I just happen to have stopped by over dinner time….!’ :)
8. All of my other in-law family. They are such a great (slightly crazy, in a good way!!) crew. Mass group text are our new thing and I dig it!
9. My friends. There are not enough words in the world for all of these wonderful people in my life. From grade school, high school, college, and grown-up life. They all hold a special place in my heart.
10. My husbands friends, who have become my friends. They are such a special group of people. Many can learn from them on how to stay close as the years go by. It’s impressive and I’m honored to be apart of it.
11. My job. It’s challenging, fulfilling and based on relationships of all kinds. I truly enjoy going everyday.
12. My co-workers. They are a goofy bunch, as I was reminded of today at lunch, and with the crazy days we have, we need that fun!
13. My house that is a home. The walls grew a bit smaller with the introduction of our son, but it will always be our first home and hold a special place in my heart. That makes it sound like we are moving or something….we are not…yet!!
14. Going back to school. Yes it’s costly, yes it’s time away from my boys and other fun things, but I very much enjoy pushing myself to be a better professional.
15. Living in Iowa. Sure, it’s bitterly freezing right now and the summers get annoying humid, but I choose to live here for a reason. The heartland is just that…full of heart. I love traveling away, but I love calling this pace of life home.
16. More specifically, living in the Corridor. We are right in the middle of it in North Liberty and am thankful for the options of shopping, dining and play we have in this area. Those who say there is nothing to do, don’t look hard enough. Now, if we could only get our farmer’s market every Saturday….! ;)
17. On this trend, Okoboji. It’s our summer escape and I love every second of it. I simply cannot wait to get Smith up there!!
18. Participating in fitness races. I signed up for my first post-baby race for this coming August. I’ll likely do a couple between now and then, but August is my prize race. I love the adrenaline rush from racing and appreciate the motivation to get, and hopefully stay, in shape!
19. Traveling. I’m not a world-traveler by any means, but my hubs and I try to escape once and a great while. Lucky for us, we have a lot of great friends around the country to visit. And great friends that plan trips we tag along on! ;) This year’s agenda: Colorado, Mexico and NYC.
20. Pampering. We all have guilty pleasures, right? I am okay admitting that I probably have more than others. But, I like to argue that it keeps me happier too! :) An occasional mani/pedi, a shopping trip, etc. It clears my mind and rejuvenates me to keep on swimming!
21. Watching movies. I love escape from reality movies provide. It’s award season, which I really enjoy. I made a tiny dent in the Best Picture nominees, but not by much. I hope to see some more before the Oscars air!
22. Attending concerts and theater shows. I always look forward to catching a couple good shows outdoors over the summer months, but attending plays in the winter is a fun treat too. So far on the docket: Spamalot here in a couple weeks. I need to work on this list!!
23. My health. I think everyone needs to take more time to appreciate their health. I’m thankful I dodge the flu and cold season often without coming down with anything (KNOCK ON WOOD), but also that I don’t have to deal with anything much bigger than that (KNOCK ON WOOD). People need to be more thankful for this, every day.
24. Parties. Who doesn’t love a good reason to celebrate…anything? Birthday? Yes! Anniversary? Yes! Retirement? Yes! New hair color? Why Not!!
25. FaceTime. I vow to use this more in 2014 and beyond. I mean why just call a friend that lives away when you can SEE them?! Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy catching up with friends that are separated with miles in between. Maternity leave with some awesome mommy friends have really made me realize how great this is!
26. Sweet treats. Remember when I said I had a lot of guilty pleasures? Sweets is a big one! But I’m ending my birthday with a cupcake with my husband and life can’t get much better than that!
27. My blog. Truly, I love having a blog. It’s my person diary that people seem to enjoy. How flattering! ;) I caught myself looking back at some pregnancy posts during one of my mid-night feedings with Smith. I love having life documented!
28. Lake and Pool time. My in-laws have a pool. My hubs and I have a boat and live right by a reservoir. Life.is.good. Well…in the summer at least! ;)
29. Sleep. It really is something one can take for granted before a baby enters their life. I look forward to getting more than a couple hours at a time. But until then, I just remind myself that I’ll miss that one-on-one time with my man when those days are gone.
30. And last but not least…just…life. It’s great. Appreciate it friends! Don’t take things for granted, and be a good friend. Keep in touch. Technology makes it too easy NOT to.

Cheers to the next thirty years. Now, I’m off to enjoy that cupcake!

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2013: What A Year!

How is it that life gets better as the years go on? I honestly consider myself extremely lucky and blessed to be able to say that for me…it really seems to be the case! I’ve spent the last day organizing, filing and printing photos from 2013 and can’t believe how much happened in just one short, fast, year.

So, here we go, some of my best highlights to share.

A trip to Colorado in January to visit our dear friends that live outside of Boulder. We had an absolute incredible time!

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Another fun trip, this time to Charleston, South Carolina for a friend’s wedding. What a blast! Five days at a beach house and downtown fun. The only bummer was the weather…and also having to ‘fake drink’ the whole time. I found out the day before we flew out that I was pregnant!

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I was fortunate to enjoy a lot of really great shows on stage. Those included; Beauty and the Beast, Legally Blonde, and Rock of Ages.

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I had the pleasure of being the ‘Host’ for my niece as she competed for Junior Miss Iowa, and, she won! It’s unreal how fast all my nieces and nephews are growing up.

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Another amazing summer passed and I was able to enjoy some wonderful time at Spirit Lake/Okoboji. Here I am, with my first purchase from an Ice Cream Man truck, ever! It just goes to show you, there is always a new adventure, no matter how small, around the corner.

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We had some great time with family over the summer months (and all year really!). Here I am with my in-laws (and my fellow preggo!) at a local baseball game.

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An epic night at the Delaware County Fair with my family for the Beach Boys concert celebrating my Mom’s birthday. So.Much.Fun!!

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Enjoying some ‘simple days’ of wandering downtown with a dear friend, kicking our feet up, and enjoying some frozen yogurt. This photo reminds me how much I enjoyed being pregnant and how lucky I was to have an easy-going with it from start to finish.

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Reconnecting with some wonderful ladies for our monthly date. We all got a little too busy to be an actual ‘book club’, so we decided to ditch the book and just get together to do something fun together. Gatherings have included; wine bar, DQ for Miracle Treat Day, Apple Orchard with our families, DISH night (making freezer meals), and a Cookie Exchange.

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Jimmy Buffett in Alpine Valley. This will be a yearly highlight as long as we keep going! :) This year was extra fun because my hubs and I brought along many ‘JB Virgins’ with us. And, of course, the show did not disappoint for them!

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I was lucky enough to be included for a road trip to Nashville for my dear friend’s 30th birthday celebration. It was super hot. But so much fun. My highlight was the Grand Ole Opry concert and seeing Steven Tyler walk right in front of me!

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My husband, and his best friend, turned 30. What more of an excuse do you need to have a party than that!? And a party it was. I’m so lucky to have been welcomed in to such an amazing group of friends. I’m in constant Awe of how much these boys stay in touch between their email list-serve and marathon text message chains. But nothing compares to seeing them all together in the flesh.

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And speaking of parties….my Dad’s retirement party. I’m so incredibly proud of his hard work and dedication to Alliant Energy. It’s also been great seeing him enjoy life after work the last couple months of the year.

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Having all of these lovely ladies in my life is such a blessing. Whether they are a friend since kindergarten, high school, college or through my husband, each lovely lady means so very much to me. I love having events like a baby shower for the selfish excuse of getting them all together!!

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My team at work is so wonderful. Some of our male colleagues participated in No-Shave November, so us ladies wanted in on the fun. So here we are with our ‘stashes’. All our off-sitters are there in spirit!! :)

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The birth of our first son goes without saying, doesn’t it? The year started off as a continuation of trying to get pregnant, then we found out mid-March that I was, next I spent 40.25 weeks pregnant, and boom….it’s all done. Yet, truly, it’s just beginning.

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And we ended the year with another holiday season. A little stressful with a tiny newborn, but becoming a family of three was the best present I could have ever received.

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Cheers to you and yours as we say good-bye to 2013. To 2014, I welcome you with open arms!!

Showered With Love

Today was a special day. Baby L was showered with gifts and love and I’m so thankful for those who took time out of their busy lives to help us celebrate! It was a gorgeous fall day, so I took advantage with some great outside photos. Let’s let them do the talking, shall we!?

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My lovely, lovely hostess! Thank you both so much. My “Ready to Pop” shower was so cute and fun! I especially loved the game of “Pair the Celebrity Mom with baby.”

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GROUP SHOT! So blessed to be surrounded by such loving and caring women. And yes, the grandma’s-to-be found the babies of the bunch!20131013-204620.jpg

The future baby sitters….Baby L’s [girl] cousins!

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My sisters and soon-to-be life-lines for panic new-Mom calls!! They have six kiddos between the two! Although, it’s been awhile since they’ve had newborns! :)

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The grandma’s!

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My sister-in-law, who just had her second baby seven weeks ago. She makes post-baby look good!! She’ll also be on speed dial this winter!

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The handsome Daddy-to-be! If this baby cookin’ is a girl and she has my dimples and his baby-brown eyes…I have a feeling all of his worst nightmares will come true! ;) We’ll find out soon enough. Five weeks and three days to go!

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The loot*. It’s nice and condensed in these bags…but trust me when I say we hit the jackpot with goodies today and we are SO thankful. Plus…baby stuff is small! ;)

*Not pictured: our killer travel system. I’m so excited for nice long walks with baby and dadio next Spring!

Dirty Thirty – Nashville Style

A dear friend, since elementary school, asked me a few months ago if I’d be interested in a girls road trip to Nashville for her 30th birthday. Ummm….YES!!!!!!!! Can you see why we are friends!? ;) So, off we went. There were five girls total and we had a 9 hour road-trip and three days to cram in as much fun as possible. Ready, set, go!

The road trip was great, complete with a live scavenger hunt by a friend who was unable to be with us in person, she was certainly there in spirit. Once we got to the hotel we freshened up and hit the famous Broadway Street.

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(Honestly who let me wear this zebra dress…so much print around so much belly!! EK! ha That said, it was an extremely comfortable dress, so I stand by my choice…at the time! :))

We got a special treat our first night there…major celebrity spotting!! Look real close below…do you spy a country cutie?

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How about now?! BAM!! Keith Urban, with special guest Steven Tyler, played approximately four songs at three bars on Broadway, walking outside and greeting fans between each stop.

I didn’t get a photo of Steven (but I did get a quick video!) because honestly, I was too star struck. I’ve been a huge Aerosmith fan since about 4th grade. And Steven has always been my Rock God of choice. Don’t judge, you have one too!! Ahhh, it was so much fun!!

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After our celebrity spotting was complete, we headed in to the famous Tootsie’s Bar. This tiny hole-in-the-wall bar that was INCREDIBLY fun all night long. Some of the biggest country stars on the radio right now got their start in this very bar.

And when the clock struck midnight, it was time to celebrate (she would say embarrass!) the birthday girl. So I slipped the singer some cash and a note to give her a shout out and he totally ran with it…including getting her up on stage!

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And so our first night ended.

On to Day Two.

Of course…boot shopping!! There were a dozen or more shops that all had this same view…walls and walls of boots! Of course, I walked out with a pair for myself, but I’ll save those for another post! ;)

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We took a lunch break to watch the Iowa Hawkeye game with the Nashville Iowa Alumni group. Sweet! Extra bonus: a very nice groom-to-be, on his bachelor party, told me I was a very cute pregnant lady. Thanks stranger man…considering it was 90+ degrees and I sweated my butt off all weekend and therefore felt like a whale…I very much appreciated it. Note: Compliments are always nice. Pass them along from time to time, will ya!?

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Our grand finale for the weekend, pun intended, was to attend a show at the Grand Ole Opry. It was a BLAST!! We all said that this is a must for any and all future Nashville trips.

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Such an iconic venue and so much variety to the show. The highlights for me were James Otto and Deana Carter.

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And with that, our time in Nashville was done. It was short and sweet…but oh so much fun!

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Happy 30th dear friend…may you always have your cake, and eat it too!!

Single Digits Folks!

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I know it probably seems like I just went on a tangent of pregnancy updates, but it hit me today. I am 30 weeks along. Which means come tomorrow, I am officially in single-digits with my weeks.
So here are some short pregnancy updates from weeks 28-30 (August 28-September 11). I don’t want these awesome memories to slip my mind. Pregnancy brain is a real thing folks!

  • Baby keeps a moving-and-a-shaking and I love it!
  • I passed my glucose test, have “only” gained 15 pounds (gulp!), measuring at 29 weeks and my doctor appointments are now two weeks apart. Which makes the time go crazy fast!
  • I had a big sneeze the other day and peed a little. Gee, that’s fun!
  • Speaking of, I feel like I am peeing all.the.time. For some who spent my college years mastering the art of ‘not breaking the seal’, this is a big adjustment for me!!
  • I went up a cup size in the bra world, much toy husbands enjoyment!
  • No, we don’t know what we are having; yes, we have names; no we are not telling. Haven’t we covered this already!?? ;) It’s still the number one question(s), so worth repeating!
  • I have signed up for some great baby classes in October. I look forward to them!
  • I’ve caught my profile in the mirror, I look so much bigger than I feel!! I suppose this is an ‘okay’ thing…but wowza, my stomach is so BIG!
  • Life has kept me busy so time is really flying. It’s full of jam-packed weekends, busy work days, starting up my MBA classes again, etc. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit out-loud that I’ve ventured over that hump of “so yea, I’m pregnant”, to being anxious. I can’t say I’m ‘ready’…still so much to do! But…I’m getting ready. I’m noticing the body changes, I’m feeling baby (which just makes me want to snuggle with him/her!), and well, it’s been 30 weeks!
  • We are still putting final touches on the nursery and can wait to share the journey through photos!

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Pants: Express, Shirt: Gap Maternity, Shoes: Von Maur, Earrings: Cookie Lee

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I love these little polka dot wedges. I’m still rockin’ all my styles, shapes and styles with ease. YAY!

Labor Day Fun!

Tis the season of being extremely busy…and loving every second of it! Even though a week and some time has passed, I wanted to highlight the awesome Labor Day Weekend I enjoyed. Pictures say it best, so here we go!

Iowa Hawkeye Home Opener. Phew, it was a hot one! Ninety degrees plus some wicked humidity = I only made it through half-time. But it was a great half, and it’s good to be back at Kinnick and hanging with these crazy Hawk fans!

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Baby Shower Time! Our dear friends Scott and Jess were back from Colorado for the long weekend and Baby Girl Hanlin is due October 29th so some lovely ladies and myself hosted a pink-a-licious shower.

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Super cute diaper cake compliments of my Mother-In-Law’s crafty ways!

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Hot Mamma Jess and the hostesses!

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Such a fun idea, if you know a girl is on the way…we ordered a ‘headband-making kit’ from Etsy. Such a fun and personal touch to help Mamma Jess make sure her baby girl is styling from Day 1.

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There were a lot of lady humps going on with our hugs good-bye. We called this our ‘ass-out’ hug. :)

Super proud wife moment – my husband participated in the inaugural GranGable and rocked the 100-mile route. Complete with a photo-op at the finish line with the one and only Dan Gable himself!
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We capped off the weekend with a pool-side celebration with the Grinde clan (my in-laws). We had much to celebrate: Grandma MaryAnn’s 85 birthday, an engagement (congrats Lindsay and Chris!), a new baby (Welcome George!), and a top Hy-Vee triathlete (Way to go Ian!). And really, just general awesomeness that is this family!!

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Poolside chit-chat.

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You know you’re in Iowa when….!

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Lovin’ on baby George! :)

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Our turn is next, here I am 7 months along!

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The immediate in-laws. Such a stellar crew right here.

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Welcome Fall. I’m glad you are here…now will you cool down a bit!?

Well Hello There Third Trimester!

There are some mixed messages out there as to when exactly the third trimester begins, but I’m going with 28 weeks. Which is me…today! So, so-long ‘fun/breezy/carefree’ second trimester, and hellllllo homestretch, aka, apparently when you get miserable again. Yay!

In efforts to remind myself how I am feeling and when, I’m here today to capture my highlights from Weeks 22-27 (July 18-August 28).

The hubs and I spent some time up in the great Lake Okoboji area. First with some friends for the weekend and then a few days with my family. It’s never enough time, but I have to admit I was a bit ready to get back to a routine.

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I’m doing to my best to stay in shape. Or rather, not sit on the couch every night. I’m not sure I’d consider myself ‘in shape’! ;) So the hubs, some friends, and I headed out for a bike ride from Blackstone to Red’s Alehouse. It was about 13 miles. Nothing too long…but boy there were some HILLS! I just made sure once I got to the top to take it slow and lower my heart-rate.

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A good old fashion wedding, they never get old for me! This one was for a dear friend from high school. So it was a bit of a HS reunion, with a whole lot of fun on top. Congrats again Noah and Ashley!

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Let’s talk about this dress for a minute, shall we!?? I love it!! I tried so hard to make something from my closet work, to save a little money, but my loving husband watched me try on about 7 options with more and more sadness as each attempt made me more and more depressed. Tight on my a**, the seam didn’t hit belly bump right, etc. So he finally said, ‘Why don’t you go out and by yourself something nice.’ Gosh, I knew he was a keeper!! So here was my find…it was comfortable, cute, maternity and on sale for $20! Bonus!

Fins Up! This rockin’ crew made our way North to check out Jimmy Buffett at Alpine Valley, WI. An experience I highly recommend to everyone in their lifetime. If not for Jimmy, someone. Alpine is a super cool venue. As for the JB experience, think of your favorite college tailgate…and add flamingos, inappropriate ‘spin the wheel’ boards, and lots of margarita machines.

I got asked a few times throughout the day ‘why I was there’ or ‘does it suck to be sober’. I honestly don’t give it a second thought until people draw attention to it. So…I was there to have fun with my friends and enjoy one of my favorite musicians. And no, it doesn’t suck to be sober. I enjoy hanging out with my water and kickin’ baby belly. And by the way…you are a drunk idiot. There, are we fair now? Kthanksbye.
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Lastly, my wonderful husband and I celebrated three great years of wedded bliss. You can check my post all about that here.

General Notes/FAQs/Comments:
How are you feeling?
Still great! Lucky me…trust me, I still know this! Although, bending over is getting to be more and more challenging. Buckles on shoes, shaving, picking things up, etc. is all getting to be a little more…strategic!
Have you felt baby kick?
Yes! I felt baby kick in early July. But around week 25 I could actually see my belly move a bit. I call this my ‘don’t mind me as I stare at my belly while I listen to you’ phase! It’s so neat and makes it so very real. I also have moments where I feel like a character from Men In Black with an alien inside trying to bust out…not too far off when you really think about it!;)
Are you finding out the gender?
Nope. One of life’s surprises, and we’re taking advantage!
Do you have names picked out?
Yes, and we have for awhile. It was an easy process for us!
Are you sharing? 
Nope! Nice try! ;)

Nutrition: Can someone please pass me a cookie, cupcake, donut, brownie, ice cream?! Gross! I think I’ve had one of the following once a day, if not more. Can I get another GROSS?!!!! Ugh! I also can’t go a day without fruit. My favorites are grapes and blueberries these days. So I guess it balances a bit!?? I’m also getting better at not resorting to cereal as an acceptable dinner. Baby deserves better nutrients than that, so I try!!
Fashion: I’m well in to the world of maternity to clothes. I still have some pants I wear that I simple don’t button, dresses are the best, and some of my normal tops are stretching right along with me. I’ve had no signs of growing feet (knock on wood!!!!), and I still rock heels and wedges. Yay for that!
Health: I’m still doing my best to be active every day. Mainly walks and yoga at this point. I have dreams of getting back in the pool as the weather cools down, but we’ll see. I started a weekly prenatal yoga class and love it!! I find the class beneficial in both building strength but also learning techniques for laboring.
Body: Let’s make this quick, shall we? I officially don’t weigh myself any more. I  feel great, so that’s what I focus on. Also, at this point baby alone weighs over 2 lbs, and growing, so I know that what I see on the scale is not just me and my excess indulgence in cookies! :) My belly button is about half-way popped out. I embrace this cute little bump-on-my-bump! I don’t have any visible stretch marks…yet. EK! I lather up with tummy butter at least twice a day, and again am doing my best do the weight-gain slow and steady. I’ve had some acne kick-in. Not surprising as I suffered from this growing up. And without Birth Control pills keeping those hormones in check, and all sort of other hormones kicking, again, this isn’t surprising. Thank goodness for a ‘summer glow’ and makeup!
Emotions: I experienced what I consider my first pregnancy hormonal breakdown. Lets just say I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with someone who was interested in conversing about breast feeding. My most touchy subject. Oye! Regardless of what triggered it, it was my first ‘I can’t control my tears and no I don’t want to talk about it’ moment. My husband handled it like a champ. Thanks babe!
Life: I stared up MBA classes again this week. I’m excited to get started again after the summer off, but some anxiety comes with knowing that soon I’ll be balancing this with a baby and a working husband also in school. How will I take care of baby those nights I have class and the hubs works? How will I handle the emotion of going back to work AND giving up a night away from my new bundle of joy!? Ek, it’s a lot to think about. I remind myself to take things one day at a time and the end result will be worth these more challenging times.
Baby Prep: The nursery made some great progress during these weeks and I’m happy that it’s not something the hubs and I put off. We also registered at Babies ‘R Us and Target. BRU…phew, totally overwhelming. Target, it’s like 3 aisles, so it was a breeze! I’ve signed dadio-to-be and I up for a Birthing Class. That should be interesting! :) I’ve also dabbled in to the diaper purchasing world. I figured a little head start would do us good. And there was a killer coupon in the Costco ad this week that I couldn’t refuse! I have about 150 ‘newborn’ diapers and about 200 ‘size 1′. I know, I know…I’m no where near set. Baby steps people…literally!!

Phew, so there you have it. I have to admit, I am quite ready to be done being pregnant. But I know I’ve had it good, so complaining just really isn’t fair! :) Wish me luck, 12 more weeks to go!

Rejuvenation!

Every have one of those weekends where nothing was planned, yet you got some really great things done?! I totally had one of those weekends. And after some busy Saturday and Sunday’s prior, it was much needed.

Here’s what I relaxingly (I make up words, FYI) enjoyed:

  • A bike ride
  • Three movies – Safe Haven and Identity Theft. Let’s just say I am glad I Redboxed both! Also, The Business Being Born, a documentary about birthing choices in the US, it was interesting!
  • Attending the GRAND opening of Von Maur in Coralville. Yes, I bought a pair of shoes. More there later! ;)
  • Wandering downtown Iowa City.
  • Sleeping in and pancake breakfast…a favorite tradition for my hubs and I!
  • Putting together a crib and baby dresser. The dresser was from IKEA, so it came in about 2 million pieces. We knocked it out in 2 hours. And stayed married. SUCCESS!

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Shirt: Charming Charlie, Leggings: Old Navy, Shoes: BCBG Generation, Purse: Target

Here I am, enjoying some Aspen Leaf (frozen yogurt) with my girlfriend Kinsey as part of our trip downtown Iowa City. Yum!

Well with that, cheers to a new week, nice and refreshed.

Oh Baby!

photo with textSo there you have it folks, a baby is on the way!! I can’t promise that I won’t blog about the realities of being pregnant, and eventually a life with a baby, but I can promise to keep sharing my fashion and love of shoes!!:)
So here we go, a little timeline for those who like the details…

It was a Tuesday night…just kidding! ;) Not THOSE details. Gross. Fast forward a bit….

St. Patrick’s Day - A successful home pregnancy test! It took a few months of trying, so it was great to score some luck of the Irish! I immediately wake up the hubs, text/call my BFF and sisters.
March 19th - Pregnancy confirmed with a lab test at my doctor’s office. Here we go!! It’s so weird to think by this point I’m 5 weeks along.
March 20th - Head to Charleston for a friends weekend. EK! A week with close friends, at a beach house, for a friend’s wedding, with free booze. Let the game of ‘fake drinking’ begin!! My hubs got called out by his BFF. Guess I didn’t fake drink too well!
April 3 - 7 weeks along, I throw up for the first time in the morning. Oye! I quickly, and luckily, learned that taking my prenatal vitamins with my breakfast (as opposed to when I wake up, about a 45 min difference of time) is key, and with that, I never got sick again. I did have to change my eating habits a bit to have lots of smaller meals, and lay off the fried food. Something I should do anyways, right!? ;)
Week 8 - My first doctor appointment, with my nurse. Talk about a LOT of information, but I was ready to get reading. We also spread the news to our parents*…so exciting!

*For both sets of parents, we told them by giving a set of “Congrats” balloons. As in “we wanted to be the first to congratulate you on being grand parents again!” This is lucky number 3 and 7 in our families! :)

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This baby is spoiled already by Grandma Barb. She immediately took me to Walmart for a shopping spree! :)

photo 1 Week 11 - My BFF, who had a baby in January, walked me around the baby section at Target. Wowza, how can three small isles have SO.MUCH.STUFF.!!
Week 12 - We get to hear, and see, baby for the first time. Simply amazing!!!! I got a little more choked up with hearing baby than I did seeing him/her. Something about that perfect little beat. We immediately Face-Timed with friends every night this week. Such fun news to share. We had a lot of ‘I thought maybe…’, etc. But for the most part everyone was 100% surprised with our news.
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Week 13 - I started getting, and feeling, the ‘beer gut’ stage. I learned that some of this was a touch of constipation (TMI, deal with it, I’m here to help other preggos!), which was a new concept for me. Regardless of that issue, turns out the little plump was here to stay. Since I hadn’t told work yet, the flowy blouse trend was my friend!
Week 14 - I tell my manager, which went up the ladder to our director and department heads. Phew, another cat out of the bag! Everyone was so happy for me, here I was all prepared to talk about leave already and they just wanted to celebrate and hear how I was feeling. Ahhh. Another amazing reminder how great of a place I work! We also took the ‘shoe’ photo above at the Lake over Memorial Day weekend and announced our news to the world via Facebook. Talk about feeling the love! :)
Week 15 - I swam the first leg of a triathlon that the hubs finished.
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Week 16 - My second doctor’s appointment takes place. Talk about short and sweet, which is good considering that means everything is going well. And that heartbeat again….love it! Also, it’s the first ‘selfie’ I took to send to my Mom and Sisters:

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Phew, that was lengthy. Sorry, I shouldn’t have let so many weeks go by!! I guess more happens than you realize!

Some other highlights/answers to the most common questions, so far:

  • I’m 17 weeks, today!
  • No, we aren’t finding out if it’ll be a boy or girl.
  • I’ve been feeling great. Hate me now, I know. Considering I have moments where I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near ready to bring a life in to the world, I take this as a sign that my body is ready, my heart is certainly ready…and everything else will fall in to place. Ahhh yes, to be naive!
  • We have nursery colors planned to be gray and yellow. Some other ideas in play here; we are having our nieces and nephews create artwork over the summer to frame and be hung up for some color wall decor. Grandma B has already made a quilt with awesome fabric we picked out together.
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  • My official due date is November 20th.
  • I don’t know how long I’m taking for maternity leave, I have plenty of time to figure that out, which I’m thankful for!
  • Yes we’ve talked about names, and honestly already have them pretty much set. No…I’m NOT sharing!! ;)
  • I haven’t been running simply because I found it uncomfortable early on. My chest, well, perked up quite quickly and since I never really got ‘in to shape’ this Spring I found my breathing to just be really off. So I swim, a lot, and walk, a lot and bike, a little. And also just ordered a prental yoga video I am excited to tackle!
  • We are meeting/interviewing our first day-care next week.
  • Things bought so far: crib, glider, dresser, and new ceiling light.
  • I’m loving Burt’s Bee’s Belly Butter to (hopefully!) help prevent stretch marks.
  • I was proactive in gathering some maternity clothes from friends that I knew were done with having kids, as long ago as last March. My BFF used them for her pregnancy and added a few things to ‘our tote’, so I’m excited, and thankful, to have a good start there. To date, I’m still rocking my normal clothes. But I’m thinking that will soon change. Yesterday was my first day with the ‘rubber band trick’ on some work slacks!!
  • Yes, this baby will have some rockin’ style, regardless of gender!!

Destination Spring Break 2013

Oh Spring Break, you’d seem so much more real if it was nice out…everywhere in the US! Regardless it came time to pack for my five day trip to Charleston for a dear friend’s wedding.

So here is how I planned things out:
First off, options for the rehearsal dinner and wedding.

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Second, a variety of outfits top to bottom, jewelry and shoes included.

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Third, a few extra shirt options to go with a couple extra jeans thrown in.

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Finally, a couple scarves and a blazer to tie me over when it gets chilly.

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Lastly, throw in some running gear, jammies, undergarments (yes I’ve forgotten that part before!!), toiletries…and then like 10 more articles of clothing and you’re set!!

What’s your packing system; a list person? a by-day person? a throw-it-all-in person? I love hearing tips!