Sunday, December 30, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (vol. 3)

What's that you say? Two posts in one day and both about my fashion sense? HOO BOY! Today's pictures are, as ever, brought to you by my amazing husband. My eyes are closed because the beautiful sunlight reflected off of the snow no matter where I stood and eventually I gave up and stopped trying for a different shot. That or maybe I'm reflecting on the beauty of the Feast of the Holy Family. You may never know....

Now, on to business! 

33 Weeks Pregnant Today
(Aren't cardigans the best?!)
Epic Shoe Shot
The Necklace

I was able to use my actual camera today (i.e. no iPhone nonsense). In the process I remembered how all of the special features are absolutely over my head and no matter how many emoticons they show me, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANS! I mean, what sort of photo setting is Smiling Face with Exclamation Point?! Or Two Balloons? Must find the stupid booklet.....

1. Earrings (not pictured) : Etsy
2. Necklace : Amazon
3. Shirt : Shade Maternity
4. Cardigan : Target
5. Jeans : Target (maternity)
6. Shoes : TJ Maxx(absurdly comfy)

I hope you are all getting geared up for a fun New Year's Eve. Ben and I have an epic plan involving TV, caffeine free soda, and maybe even Popcorn!!! Now please do yourselves a favor and pop on over to check out all the wonderful folks at Fine Linen & Purple!

~ Happy Feast of the Holy Family ~
~ Happy New Year ~

What I Wore on Christmas

At long last we are returned to our home and I have access to WiFi and my desktop! Visiting family is absolutely awesome and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to sneak in so much time with both of our families over the past several days, but there is something magnificent about being HOME! And no, I am not just saying because I can sink back into my antisocial ways so stop judging. Anyways, on to the real point of this post (yes, there is a point).

There is no escape from the awkward arms!

Vanity shot, originally intended to show off earrings. Fail.
My incredible husband who ought to make photographic appearances way more in my blog posts!

I am not sure whether or not the photos capture this or not, but this outfit made me one very uncomfortable individual! I have had an absolute hatred of tights for the entirety of my life. My outfits are strategically chosen so that tights are completely optional, which in my case means they remain tucked away in my drawer. Unfortunately I could not escape them this Christmas Eve and for three hours they tortured me - mind, body, and soul. At some point I hope to have a ritual burning of them. Anyways!

Dress : Target (NOT maternity! Sitting and kneeling was a little epic)
Tights (aka Stretchy Implement of Torture) : Macy's
Shoes : Target
Scarf : eBay
Earrings (not adequately pictured) : Etsy

I hope you all had a Merry and Blessed Christmas and that your outfits were far more attractive and comfy! Now, go please go check in with the amazing Grace and company !

Friday, December 28, 2012

7 Quick Takes

Due to traveling and lack of access to my laptop blogging has been a little bit more difficult over the past several days. This is why I will most-likely not be able to post my "What I Wore Christmas" exclusive until Sunday (my sincere apologies - I know how you all have been waiting and reloading my page over and over in the hopes that it would appear). This is also why my "7 Quick Takes" for today will, for once, be mercifully brief!

1. Merry Christmas! I hope yours was filled with joy and blessings and devoid of sickness. We celebrated Christmas with my side of the family on Christmas Eve evening (the earlier portion of the day was devoted to celebrating my mom's birthday which happens to fall on the 24th of December every year without fail - poor planning, that). We woke up at 5:45 AM on Christmas morning and were on the road by 6:30 AM so that we could celebrate Christmas day with Ben's side of the family. We were spared from both bad weather and traffic and arrived in good time, albeit somewhat delirious.

2. While this is our first year experiencing Christmas as a married couple, it is our second year splitting the holiday between our respective families. We are very blessed to have families who are so understanding and flexible regarding our availability and schedule.

3. Due to the fact that we would be away from home and traveling throughout Christmas, Ben and I celebrated our own little Christmas on St. Nicholas Day - an idea that we stole borrowed from my awesome brother and sister-in-law. We exchanged gifts and had a lovely dinner with Michael, Ana, and the girls. It is a wonderful tradition that I imagine we will continue until we are forced/privileged to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day.

4. The generosity of our families is always something that amazes me and this year was no exception. I am now the proud owner of my very own Ergobaby! Ben and I have already discussed how this will enable to do all sorts of fun things with our Little One. We aren't limiting ourselves to hiking and traipsing about, however - the Ergobaby provides us with an excellent opportunity to see how good our aim really is AND how bouncy babies truly are! Ok, no not really. Hang up the phone and stop trying to call CPS.

5. Because we are absolute Catholic nerds, two of the coolest gifts that we received were the Catholic Latin Classics CD and a really awesome book on the Saints (it is tucked away in our car and for the life of me I cannot remember the actual name of the book or find it on the internet). The CD was the only music we listened to on our drive to Ben's family and it was just perfect for Christmas morning!

6. When I have my doctor appointment next week I plan to ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to stand on the scale facing forward. If the nurse happens to tell me what number appears on the scale I will promptly deck her in the face, flee the office, and comfort myself with sugar cookies and ice cream. That is to say, the whole diet thing hasn't quite gone according to plan over our holiday break. I plan on spending the remainder of the pregnancy doing penance, sticking to healthy foods, and moving for more than 30 seconds at a time. Maybe.


Now please do yourself a major favor and head over to check out Jen and all of the other peeps who actually have posts worth reading!

~ Happy Friday ~

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (Vol 2.)

My friends we have at last come to the end of the Advent season and eagerly await the coming of Jesus Christ this Tuesday, December 25th. This Christmas for Ben and me is a little bit of a juggling act - we were able to get to my family's house late Wednesday (Dec 19th) and will be staying until early Christmas morning, when we will leave to celebrate Christmas with Ben's family. Due to the mix of traveling, family time, and blogging laziness I skipped this past Friday's "7 Quick Takes", a fact that I am sure you noticed with great sadness. My deepest apologies. Anyways, I did manage to snag a few quick pictures after mass this afternoon (again, thanks to my beloved and ever-patient husband and his mad iPhone skills) and figured I could at least enter into the fun of WIWS.

32 Weeks Today!

Epic Shoe Shot

Unlike last time we managed to get decent lighting. The downside is that it was right in my face and I am fairly sure I need some sort of special surgery to see in color again.....

1. Earrings : Stolen from mom for mass
2. Scarf : Ebay
3. Shirt : Forever 21 (purchased several years ago and not maternity)
4. Jeans : Motherhood Maternity @ Macy's (who knew)
5. Flat Shoes : Target 

For actual more fun please head over and check out all the awesome peeps at Fine Linen and Purple !

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 1)

Truth be told I am having a hard time admitting to myself that I am posting this. Not because I think the concept is silly but rather because I usually avoid having pictures taken of me and this requires me to do so willingly. Ah well, yet another opportunity to swallow my pride and just share in the fun!

I apologize if the picture below is not super clear - my actual camera has zero battery so my incredible husband only had an iPhone to work with. Also, he wanted me to make sure that I mentioned him and the fact that he cooperated so fantastically.
1. Will keep hair out of face next time
2. Will try to have better lighting       
3. Will not pose arms so awkwardly  

I was forced to take the picture outside because the lights in our apartment have been on the fritz lately so there is little reliable lighting (iPhone flash is a disaster) and, lest we forget, it is so untidy inside that I am fairly sure that there is no workable background. Anyways!

Necklace : Freshwater Pearls from England (courtesy of my beloved husband)
Earrings (hidden by unruly hair) : Etsy
Shirt/Dress : Amazon
Maternity Pants : Target
Shoes : TJ Maxx

For those of you who are looking for combinations that are more (a) creative (b) thought out and (c) beautiful please visit my amazing sister-in-law Ana or the wonderful peeps over at Fine Linen and Purple!

~ Happy Sunday ~

Friday, December 14, 2012

7 Quick Takes

In the event that you have ever stumbled upon my blog before then you know that the real women you want to be reading are Jen, my amazing sister-in-law, my other amazing sister-in-law, and Grace. If you are still here and reading, however, I really ought to provide some new material. Here goes....

1. Weather : Ben and I currently live in the magical region of Michiana, where forecasters and weather channels use the phrase "Lake Effect" practically year-round. I find it to be a cute euphemism for "Freaking Unpredictable Weather That Will Ruin Your Life." It usually results in lots of shifting snow, cold and strong winds, etc. Usually by this time of year it is in full swing and making our lives miserable. It seems, however, that we are getting an absolutely delightful reprieve this season. We have had barely any snow and today's temperature reached all the way up to 44°F ! I believe I deserve a little credit for this. Not many other individuals took the time to empty dozens of aerosol cans into the air and do their part to further Global Warming, but I sure did! You're welcome.

2. Fitness : Despite the more moderate temperatures and lack of massive snowfall, Ben and my nightly walks around the apartment complex do take place after the sun has gone down. The drop in temperature paired with the wind requires more extensive preparation and layering. I have overly sensitive ears. Perhaps I had a lot of ear infections as a kid or maybe I'm just a wuss (likely) but even in the Summer I have to wear a protective covering if there is even just a gentle breeze. Ridiculous. Anyways, below is a picture that depicts the measures I have had to take as of late in order to keep our nightly walks possible.

No, I can't see

3. Babies 'R Us : My incredible in-laws visited us this past Sunday and took us to Babies 'R Us. I had never been there before and was therefore completely unprepared for what was in store (literally) for me. I probably could have spent HOURS and God knows how much money there! Seriously, I never realized what a complete sap I am. Just so you know I had to consult my husband regarding the previous sentence to see whether or not I should say "I am" or "I was" regarding my sap status. He thought it over and said that since I am still rather a sap I should use the present tense. I'd be offended if it weren't so darn true....
4. Baby : Speaking of babies, I feel like I would be remiss if I did not have at least one take dedicated to mine. Luckily there is not too much to report. I am hopeful that this will not change until I am deemed full term and go into labor. He is as active as ever (I sometimes refer to him as a human pinball) and when a coworker of mine did my ultrasound (yes, another one!) the other day she could not believe that he was able to move as much as he did, given the general lack of room. You see, Kiddo does not just make one or two movements. No, he issues forth multiple waves of attack that seem to hit every imaginable point. It has happened on more than one occasion that while doing an intake with a client his kicks have bounced the clipboard off my lap. One thing that I find absurdly adorable is that during our nightly reading the baby moves far more when Ben is reading rather than when I do.

5. Nausea : there has been a rather noticeable increase in nausea lately. I am not sure whether or not it is due to Kiddo's movement, hormone levels, or the fact that I simply cannot eat small amounts at a time. I can out-eat almost anyone. While I never watched Sesame Street while growing up, I have always felt a strong kinship with this guy -->

Including Our Crazy Eyes & Facial Expressions

The only real difference between us is that I do not limit myself to cookies. My solution thus far has been to complain, curl up in the fetal position, and pop Tums like they're going out of style (which, incidentally, I think they did quite a while ago). Please feel free to provide theories or advice. I am referring, of course, to the resurgence in nausea and not my bizarre coping mechanisms.

6. Google Maps : Google Maps is a wonderful free service that helps provide individuals with interactive maps and easy-to-use directions. That is, unless I am the individual using it. I seem to have a real knack for misreading both maps and directions and this has proven to be a gigantic annoyance in the past week. This past weekend I needed to go to the AT&T store. I knew there was one at the Mall just a few minutes away but I also knew there were other stores nearby and they would not have the sort of holiday traffic that would be present at the Mall. I looked up another AT&T location and got directions from Google Maps. After driving around aimlessly for over 30 minutes I sank into an angry sort of despair and was forced to pull over and use my phone to get to my desired destination. This happened today with the post office. Much anger and frustration followed. If only updating Garmin maps were free......

7. Reading : Ben and I finished reading The Hobbit in under a week. Even though we have both read it several times before it was hard to put down and finishing it was as bittersweet as ever. We have moved on to one of his favorite childhood series, The Chronicles of Prydain. This is the first time I have encountered this series and do not share the sense of nostalgia that Ben has. Consequently I am more prone to *ahem* making fun of characters, exposition, etc. It has come to my attention that greater sensitivity may be needed, especially because my hope is that the next series we read is the one that I grew up reading - The Exitorn Adventures. I have had a good deal of trouble locating reasonably priced copies, however, so it could be that my plans are thwarted.... Here's hoping!


Friday, December 7, 2012

7 Quick Takes : On Time Edition

Occasionally it occurs to me that I have a blog and ought to make attempts to keep it somewhat current. For the sake of full disclosure, when I use the term "current" it does not mean that I am actually keeping up on the latest blogging trends or that I have interesting things to say. If you are interested in that sort of thing then I suggest you visit the blogs belonging to Jen, Ana, or Grace. I find that the best way to view my blog as a sort of web-based Tourette Syndrome. What's that you say? This has nothing to do with "7 Quick Takes"? Very well. Off I go...

1) Part-Time : After 2+ years as a full-time crisis pregnancy counselor I have made the transition to part-time. My work week consists of three (MTW) full days of work and then, in essence, a four-day weekend. This means that I can actually schedule prenatal appointments, keep the apartment in (relative) order, and (hypothetically) make real meals for my husband to enjoy (did I mention that this was hypothetical?). It also means that when the winter weather really hits I will only have to skid down icy, snow-laden roads make my 30+ minute commute two or three days a week! I have looked forward to this for months and despite the constant questioning of my coworkers, YES, I AM SURE THIS IS WHAT I WANT! The only downside is that I now have no idea what day of the week it is and may or may not have stayed up until 1:30 AM Thursday morning to post this...... I remained oblivious to today being Thursday until having a chance conversation with my sister-in-law who gently set me straight.

2) Nesting : I recognize that this is entirely absurd, but whether it is the transition to part-time or the earliest onset of nesting EVER (we are due in mid-February), Ben and I have already set up the baby's Pack'n Play, washed, folded, and put away all the clothes we have received, and moved around the furniture as needed for baby's arrival. Speaking of which....

3) Boy Clothes : What the H is up with boy clothes? I realize that boys tend to like animals, machines, sports, etc. but must they really be plastered over every single article of clothing that they are meant to wear?! I don't see unicorns and mermaids and chocolate enveloping practically every inch of girl clothes! It seems to me that there must have been a man out there, perhaps the younger sibling to sisters who received their hand-me-downs and was scarred as a result, who made it his life's purpose to enter the world of baby boy couture and leave no onesie, overall, or bib without a symbol that proclaimed "I AM MALE!". I am not opposed to expressions of masculinity and I am not some wacky "gender neutral" enthusiast who thinks everything should be nothing but yellow or green. But seriously? Ok. Tirade complete!

"But I'm a real boy!"

4) Third Trimester : Despite having several weeks to go before being considered full-term, I have definitely reached a point where the pregnancy is not all fun and games. In other words, I have yet to find a position that is genuinely comfortable. I am including all positions so this is not merely limited to sitting. Over the course of the past several months I have acquired more and more pillows and now have what my husband affectionately refers to as my "Pillow Throne." Perhaps I need to continuing accumulating and I am just one or two away from complete Pregnancy-Pillow-Nirvana. Somehow I doubt it. As far as standing/walking/moving is concerned, I am pretty sure that my genetic code has a laziness gene so really I cannot be blamed for all that business.

5) Pregnancy & Fitness : I have complained inordinately mentioned in previous posts that my obstetrician and I have differing views regarding fitness/health and pregnancy -- he believes that I should avoid almost all grains, all sugar on God's green Earth (basically), eat mostly protein, veggies and fruits; I believe that no meal is really complete without a dessert, grain, starch, unnecessary fattening agent, or all of them combined! Doc had me meet with the nutritionist this week. And really, since words cannot capture what the experience was like, I have decided to provide a visual aid -->

"Repeat after me - sugar is poison!"

Regarding fitness, my ideal Pregnancy Fitness Program would involve me getting out of bed in the morning, moving around the apartment (as needed), and alternating between lying down and sitting (propped up by pillows) throughout the day. My doctor said that I should get a pedometer and try to aim for 10,000 steps per day. I have gone ahead and purchased a pedometer but I have a sneaking suspicion that my results will fall somewhat short (say by 8-9,000). Since it admits to being only "96 - 98%" accurate I believe the best course of action is to blame the pedometer for not counting properly.

6) Maternity Clothes : This week was huge for me regarding maternity clothes. Up to this point in pregnancy, I have gotten by using one (i.e. less than two but more than zero) pair of maternity jeans, three maternity shirts (one of the perks to liking baggy shirts - it's a trend I keep waiting to see rise up in the world of Fashion), and lots of returns to Gap Maternity, Old Navy Maternity, Motherhood, etc. I am not a short person but, as it turns out, my 5'11 frame is not quite tall enough to usher me into the hallowed halls of "Tall" fashion wear. This has resulted in me having to buy jeans that are either bizarrely long or absurdly short (I mean, in the end I do actually believe that the sexiest part on a women's body happens to be between the edge of her sock and the cuff of her pants. I'm sure you agree). Anyways, short story made long, I found a pair of maternity jeans that, while still overly long, fit. I purchased them and they are safely tucked into my dresser drawer. I plan on wearing them. Eventually. Maybe.

7) Topics : I should probably consider writing on other things beside pregnancy and babies. Maybe art so I can sound cultured. Oh, that reminds me! In preparation for the upcoming release of The Hobbit (midnight showing in 3D what?!) and because every baby-ist out there insists you ought to read to your child while in-utero, my husband and I have been taking turns reading Tolkien out loud at night. I would say that it is one of the nerdiest things I have ever done but my lying quota has been met for the day. At any rate, it has been a blast and even if the movie is just dreadful it has managed to infuse our evenings with a great deal of fun.

How our baby imagines us

 Happy Friday

Friday, November 16, 2012

Random Takes of a Quickish Nature

Taking my queue from actually good bloggers like Jen and my amazing sister-in-law I decided to try my hand (again) at the "7 Quick Takes" phenomenon. I realize that this barely even counts given how late in the day it is, but "better late than never" as they say. 

1. Sleep : I love to sleep. It is one of my favorite things in life. Do I realize that that will be basically lost forever once Kiddo is born? Yes, I do. And yes, I admit that I don't fully understand what that means and I cannot truly wrap my head around the amounts of coffee that will be required for my survival. That all being said, I headed into pregnancy with this comical notion that the loss of sleep would not arrive until, well, the baby did. I am now in the latter end of my 2nd trimester and am at the mercy of sleep aids. They do not always work, however, and when that is the case the latest my body remains successfully dormant is 4:00 AM (give or take a few minutes but really, it's uncanny). After this has happened more often than not in the past two weeks I had an appointment with my doctor and, in no uncertain terms, told him that he had to fix this. Honestly I was scared that he would tell me that taking a sleeping aid every night made me a horrible person and I ought to feel ashamed. He surprised, though, and told me that I should try Tylenol PM instead. It is not perfect but it makes Unisom look like a Flinstone vitamin by comparison so I WILL TAKE IT! Speaking of things my doctor and I discussed...

2. Glucose Tolerance Test : I had been given four weeks to take my Glucose Tolerance test and like a good little soldier I was until the last possible minute (i.e. the night before my appointment with my doctor). Now, before pregnancy I was on a rather strict diet that permitted (at most) one dessert per week, one alcohol per week, and one complex grain per day (i.e. goodbye beloved French bread). This is not because I am a masochist. I loath diets and am admittedly a little angry with people who do stuff like that for funsies. No, my doctor told me this was a necessary evil due to my body's demonstrated "insulin resistance". Anyways, when I became pregnant I stuck with the diet until "morning" sickness made survival dependant on things like sleeves of crackers and toast. So the whole "one complex grain per day" thing went sailing out the window (and good riddance) but I kept up with the "one dessert per week" bit for quite some time. I am not entirely sure what spoiled it. I would like to blame time with family and Halloween candy floating around the workplace but I think I started slipping beforehand anyway. It doesn't really matter and at this point I am rambling like a fiend. The point is that when my doctor was handed the results for my Glucose Tolerance test his eyebrows disappeared into his forehead (granted, they're thin eyebrows) and he gave a little whistle. Apparently my results were bad. Very bad. I informed him that he had no business giving me such news before Christmas, much less Thanksgiving. He laughed. I laughed too, secretly picturing myself burning the results on the floor. So it seems that my beloved affair with grains, sugary cereals (oops), desserts, etc. may be at an end. I am holding onto my "one dessert per week" with an absolute death grip until the second (3 hr!) Glucose Tolerance test reveals how good or bad things really are. He hasn't agreed to the 3 hr test yet and I know he'd prefer that I buy a glucometer, lancettes, etc. but they are too darn expensive so I guess I'll just have to persuade him to let me down an absurdly sugary beverage that tastes like Kool Aid on crack. Yay pregnancy.

3. Family : The past several weeks have been a very blessed and privileged time for me regarding family. My brother and his wife welcomed their third daughter into the world and maybe it's the pregnancy, hormones, or because I'm just an absurd person, but she stole my heart the moment I saw her (nevermind the first time I got to hold her!). Ben and I got to spend some special time with her two older sisters and then my mom came into town. We had the chance to grab a few evenings with the girls, my brother and sister-in-law, and my mom and on one night I had the chance to have my mom all to myself for a few hours. My husband and I also had the chance to spend a weekend with his side of the family up at Pokagon State Park. We shared a pleasant hike, tons of fun conversations and games, a delicious dinner at a random local Italian restaurant, and I was able to avoid wearing my swimsuit without anyone making a single comment! Since then I have had some more special time with my brother and his family and am loving every moment of it. Speaking of family....

4. Holidays : I cannot wait to spend Thanksgiving in my hometown with my folks! After that it is just a few short weeks before Christmas and then we get time with BOTH sides of our family! I am very much looking forward to ridiculous amounts of games, conversations, and fun in general. I have to admit that I also look forward to getting to go to Mass at the parish where I grew up and received most of the Sacraments :)

5. TV & Movies : Still loving Fringe, tolerating Once Upon a Time (at best. why we even bother watching anymore is beyond me), and getting back into Breaking Bad (small doses - heavier shows require some pacing). We also purchased our advanced tickets for the midnight showing of The Hobbit. We opted for 3D since it was filmed in 3D but I still prefer 2D because if something is going to be headed towards my face I want to be able to punch it.

6. Election : THANK GOD POLITICAL ADS ARE DONE! That and Facebook statuses (yes, even mine) can start getting back to normal(ish).

7. Hair : I finally lopped it off and got a "mommy" cut. It is long enough to go up into a ponytail but short enough that even I can style it (hypothetically). In other words, it's a match made in Heaven.
Stylist version. My version does not get photos.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Baby Post

So it occurred to me the other day that my last post was in August (what?!). I keep meaning to do the "7 Quick Takes" thing but find myself so impossibly behind at the end of my Fridays that I promise myself that I will just post the following Friday... I have done this since August so clearly that didn't pan out the way I planned. For the sake of brevity I will be using this post to provide some baby updates. Yes, I realize your life is more complete - you're welcome.

Many couples out there love to keep others in suspense regarding their baby's gender and name. As much as I would love to believe that you would simply DIE from anticipation without us filling you in, Ben and I decided that secrets really aren't our style so...

We now know that we are expecting a baby boy. We are mostly set on the name but it isn't so fixed at this point that I'm gonna get it tattooed on my neck (that comes later, complete with Zodiac sign ). I would like to take this time to pat myself on the back and tell all of you that I predicted the gender from the beginning.
Sadly, this is more due to the fact that I had a 50% chance of being correct and happened to be right. In other words I am refusing to attribute it to "Mother's Intuition" and you can't make me. Which leads me on to....

...The wacky things I have heard throughout my pregnancy. I feel like I missed a real golden opportunity over the past few months in not keeping better track of some of the absolutely inane superstitions and/or practices people have regarding the human gestational process. That being said, here are a few for your consideration...

Gender Predicting Tools

- Hang a ring from a bit of thread. Ideally it would be your wedding or engagement ring but it can be any ring or even a needle if you find yourself in such a desperate situation. Rub it against your stomach (has to be skin clothing ruins the prediction) and then lift it up to see which direction it moves. Honestly I cannot remember if side-to-side means girl or if it's front-to-back. Guess I should grab some thread and put it to the test...
- If you dream that you are having a girl then you are having a boy.
- If you dream that you are having a boy then you are having a boy.
- If you have weird dreams then you are having a boy
- If you have weird dreams then you are having a girl

Wisdom That Lacks a Proper Category 

- If you put your hands in the air (higher than shoulders) the baby will strangle on the cord
- If you put your hands in the air (higher than shoulders) the baby will be born breech
- The more digestion issues and heartburn you have the more hair your baby will have
- The times you wake up at night are when your baby will need to feed. The exact time.
- You cannot have or get an STD while pregnant. Ever. Forget Africa.
- You should not lift anything while pregnant. I don't care if it is 30 lbs or 5 lbs. If you lift something heavier than a half-filled box of tissues you will do permanent damage to your unborn child.
- To avoid the unseemly "outie" belly button that occurs in late pregnancy simply place a quarter over the protruding flesh and secure it by wrapping a few layers of tape (or bandage) around yourself

.... and sadly these are the only gems I can remember. I promise to try to post more and not be the worst blogger of all time. Posted below is a semi-recent picture of our little guy. Despite having a good idea of his name I find myself referring to him as "kiddo" and "honey badger" far more than anything else.

He never seems to close his mouth... just like his mama
The first thing Ben said when he saw this was "He looks like Homer Simpson"

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Long Awaited Dessert

Chocolate Ice Cream + Graham Cracker Crust + Oreo + Reece's Cup

My husband and I finally made it to Coldstone Creamery and I purchased the most chocolatey, sugary concoction I could create. I basically expected an angelic chorus to sound off when I took my first bite, but alas, 'twas not the case. My dessert is pictured in the foreground. It looks delicious. It looks like Hope. It looks like what a dessert should look like. So imagine my surprise (and horror) when the dessert that I was truly looking for was situated in my husband's cup! Mine should have been better, people - I had spent hours of thoughtful deliberation and careful planning so that it would be! Ben merely walked up to the counter and ordered the first thing he thought of. But his was superior. It truly was. In my own defense, I have grown quite accustomed to eating at Culver's and Culver's doesn't give you ice cream - they give you creamy deliciousness that slaps you in face (i.e. custard).

I allowed ambition to cloud my judgment and suffered the consequences. I will not make the same mistake this upcoming Tuesday, my friends! And yes, the planning and deliberation has already begun for that........

Friday, August 3, 2012

7 Quick Takes

Inspired by my sister-in-law and Jen, I have decided to try my hand at writing a "7 Quick Takes" blog post. I actually find it quite helpful because it gives me the freedom to do what I already do - write a bunch of different thoughts that don't have to be related! So here goes nothing....

1. Family : My parents and three younger brothers came to Indiana earlier this week and provided me with three fantastic evenings of hanging out/talking, games, two meals neither Ben nor I had to make, and the best pizza in the world! I know the last two are basically the same thing, but I was so hoping for and craving Bruno's pizza that I felt it deserved its own special mention. While our time together was truly wonderful, it happened to coincide with a surprise bombardment of intense nausea. I am an admitted pregnancy wuss, but the past few days have certainly had me at a loss as to how to fight back. When even crackers, water, and lying down no longer work, you start to feel a little discouraged. Anyway, I have started to take my B-Complex Vitamin again and hope that that will help.

2. Desserts : I may have mentioned before that I have developed a fondness for/obsession with foods of a very sugary nature. Well, this past Tuesday marked the New Week (ie I can have a dessert now) and I have been planning an epic trip to Coldstone Creamery! My sister-in-law made an exceptionally tempting alternative, however, and it took extraordinary self-restraint not to devour more than a borrowed bite from my husbands piece. The plan was to grab ice cream with Ben and my parents after we had dinner together Wednesday night, but nausea made that impossible. Plan #2 was to get dessert Thursday night, just Ben and me.... but even after a small bowl of cold cereal and some fruit it was clear that our little one was not going to permit me my sugar fix. Plan #3 is for us to make it to Coldstone at some point this weekend.... I promise to post a picture as proof!

The Cake Made to Challenge Willpower

3. Our Baby : One of my coworkers is in training to do ultrasounds at the Women's Care Center and was in need of practice so baby and I were asked to be of assistance this afternoon. It never ceases to blow my mind when I get to see our Little One on the ultrasound screen! Our first ultrasound was right at 5 weeks and I have been lucky enough to have several since then. So it is that I have been able to see our child's developmental milestones occur before my very eyes! The appearance of the heartbeat, emergence of arms and legs, the feet and hands, and now movement and thumb-sucking! Our Little One was VERY active today and was less like a baby and more like a spastic acrobat, bouncing all around, going upside down, and barely staying still long enough for y coworker to get the measurements she needed. It is moments like those that put nausea, sleepiness, and emotions in perspective. I know it's several months until I get hold this new life and I haven't even reached the point where I can feel the actual kicks and movements, but I can't wait!

Baby Reinhard (sorry about the side angle)

Baby Reinhard (again)

4. Scarves : Yes, I know this is super random but I am a bit of a scarf fiend. I have a ridiculous amount of scarves that fill up all three drawers of my little Tupperware dresser. Still, the majority of them are on the bulkier side and are difficult to wear as accent pieces and are more suited for winter coats or autumn jackets. I have 2 scarves that successfully work as clothing accessories but I am rather sick of them and don't like that the dominant colors are pink. I am much more of a brown, green, and gray kind of girl. That is to say, yes, I am totally boring. So imagine my absolute delight when I stumbled across this gem of a website! It is taking a considerable amount of restraint not to add about 30 scarves to my virtual cart but so far I am staying strong... 

5. Music : Yes, I know - music again? The answer is Yes, ALWAYS! I go through phases with music. Last week was more of a Nostalgia & Indie/Rock Phase. This week is a Soundtrack/Classical Phase. If you are someone who does not tend to enjoy instrumental music, I encourage you to listen to this rendition Viva La Vida or Fields of Gold . I am a super sucker for string instruments in general, but cellos end the discussion. I have a 30 minute commute to and from work each day and while this is a source of frustration for me, it also provides me with the perfect opportunity to get in my daily prayer and listen to music without any interruption or distraction (provided no one ticks me off... I am a little bit of a road-rager).

6. Politics : I cannot stand them or the practice of discussing them. To be honest this is probably more due to my own ignorance on the issues and people involved, but when I do try to understand them or look into things I just get more disgusted. The end.  

7. Parenting Advice : Despite only being in the 1st Trimester of pregnancy I have already received unsolicited advice regarding the topic of parenting and raising a child. I need to emphasize the first part of the previous sentence - despite only being in the 1st Trimester of pregnancy - just so you can try to imagine my internal reaction. The best part of all is that the advice is not coming from people I actually respect (e.g. family) but clients and other individuals who I barely know! I am sure this is merely the beginning and I will try to accept such advice with gratitude and without any baring of teeth or rolling of eyes. That being said, when my sister-in-law posted THIS, I found myself in a much more pleasant mood.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekend Ramblings

The past few weeks have been filled with all sorts of randomness. I tried to pick out a particular thought, obsession, or event to focus on but my brain is all muddled these days and so I just decided to break things into categories and ramble go from there. Enjoy.

I have always been rather obsessed with music. Until I started dating my husband it was completely normal for me to spend the majority of my time with music blaring and searching for new musical artists. I have an external hard-drive for the sole purpose of housing the several gigabytes of music that I have accrued over the years. And, sadly, this does not include the high school years (computer crashes are just evil). Now that I think of it, however, losing the music that I listened to in high school probably isn't the worst thing that could have happened. I feel this is even more true after the past few days, in which I spent some time searching YouTube and Amazon for several of the artists that I spent my angsty years listening to. I can only make it halfway through most of them before I shake my head and relish the fact that I have moved forward. There will always be a select few, however, that hold a special place in my heart, particularly due to the events and locations they are so intimately tied to. All this is to say that music has found its way back into my heart (and ears) and I am enjoying it immensely. The neighbors and my poor husband may have a different view...

Due to the advice of my doctor, I have spent the past few months trying to keep a relative distance between myself and some of the best foods reality has to offer (e.g. pasta, bread, desserts, etc.). Nausea has reunited me with most of them (crackers, anyone?) but I have tried to stay somewhat on track with the diet and continue to try and limit myself to one dessert a week. What this actually translates into is me spending (truly) hours scouring the internet for all the things that I cannot eat. My current food obsessions are Snickers bars, Reece's Cups, and pretty much anything with Cinnamon Sugar in it. The other night I went onto Pinterest and spent 45+ minutes looking up as many desserts that contained “Cinnamon Sugar” as I could. Let's just say that as soon as this Tuesday rolls around I won't be content until I am in danger of putting myself in a sugar-induced coma!
I will eat this entire cake myself

Speaking of Pinterest and prowling the internet, I have also devoted a great deal of time researching how to refurbish furniture. I have all sorts of devious plans for several of our bookshelves, the coffee table, and pretty much anything in the apartment that can be (theoretically) stained, painted, or distressed. I have no doubt that my husband is relieved that, due to a lack of proper space or ventilation, my insanity creativity will have to wait a bit.

Several months ago mutual friends of ours introduced us to the card game Deal Monopoly. This marvelous game has helped me to discover a few truths about myself –

1) I never did actually outgrow my, um, “zeal” for winning

2) It is important that games come with a strong and clear set of rules to prevent me people from taking advantage of others using questionable means to win.

I suppose that one day I will mature and relax and when the cards are dealt my eyes will lose that bloodshot look and my mouth will stop twitching. As evidenced by last night's loss, that day has not yet arrived.

This is actually not an existing obsession but rather a desire. I did used to devote a great deal of time to reading, but that was before my brain went fuzzy and atrophied. As luck would have it, I managed to marry the one man on earth who can handle someone like me and he sat down last night and penned an extensive list of “Must Read” books. So it is that in the upcoming weeks and months I plan to spend my many evenings delving into the truly wonderful world of paper and ink. This may require the direct injection of caffeine but still...

Because I was a mere adolescent during the 90's I happened to miss out on one of the more enjoyable sitcoms produced on TV. No, I'm not referring to Roseanne or Married with Children. I am in fact alluding to a certain Seattle psychologist with a receding hairline, quirky family, and more issues than the callers he deals with. Yes, that's right – Frasier! My husband and I had started to watch Scrubs but even with the marvelous character of Dr. Cox I just couldn't get into it. So we took the plunge and jumped into Frasier and are, at least for the moment, enjoying it quite a bit. Will keep you posted if this happens to change.

ladies and gentlemen, Martin Crane

At last the seemingly endless cycle of complete disorder has been disrupted! A few evenings ago I had a breakthrough of sorts and, despite the constant companionship of “morning” sickness, finally rolled up my sleeves and spent a few hours organizing, cleaning, and doing laundry! I know this isn't exactly the victory of the century but it was still a smashing success in my mind and a welcome reprieve from the growing piles of both clean and dirty laundry, dishes, and dust. Ben, of course, pitched in and was an indispensable help. And while the apartment is neither pristine nor perfect, it is a great source of encouragement for me to see that progress can be accomplished and that (semi) order can be restored, even in the haze of nausea, hormones, and exhaustion.


The weather finally decided to chill the heck out and return to a decent temperature bracket. This proved to be enough to convince Ben and me to peel ourselves off of the couch and venture into the great outdoors. We drove to St. Patrick's County Park and enjoyed a wonderful little hike under the forest canopy right along the St. Joseph river. One of the side trails even led us to a small bit of shoreline and we were able to take a brief rest on a conveniently fallen tree. It is amazing how much good just a little bit of fresh air and nature can accomplish

ben and his beloved shade


the river

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sanity, Sanctity, and Cracker Crumbs

After a few months of no creative inspiration and a lack of anything to say, I decided to get married and get pregnant. Topic found.

So yes, the end of May rolled around and I found myself getting married. It's several weeks later and I still cannot decide if it was impressively smooth or was an unmitigated disaster. Either way I have decided that one trip to the altar is all I'm up for so that's that. People keep asking me what the most memorable moment(s) of the wedding day were or what stood out the most to me. The truth is that when I think about May 26, 2012, the main thing that occurs to me is how absurdly heavy wedding dresses are. That and I really should have just gone ahead and paid for that silly hem instead of buying heels to save money. Klutzes don't do well in heels. The rest remains a bit of a warm, humid blur dappled with smiling and hugs (so many, many hugs...). We went to South Carolina for our honeymoon and had a marvelous time, surviving a tropical storm in the beginning of the week and a wasp in our condo. We then returned to Indiana and began to settle in (the process is yet to be completed).

Returning to work after not working for several weeks took some getting used to, particularly the part that involved going to bed at a reasonable time and waking up at a very unreasonable time. There are perks, however, to having the kind of job I have. Several, in fact, but the one that was of particular interest to me was the access to free, medical-grade pregnancy tests. So it was that I was able to shock the living daylights out of my husband and both of our families with the news that Baby Reinhard was the on the way before anyone knew it was possible to know. I suppose you could say this is really just a shameless plug for the Women's Care Center and its wonderful services. Anyway.

I have to say that I find married life and pregnancy to be rather interesting. Both are founded on the principles of sacrifice and love and having one without the other is not enough. As it turns out, talking about them is easy – living them out is the difficult part. I wish that I could say that I am already the perfect wife and now a perfect mother in the making. I mean, really, I could say that. I'd be lying, but I could say it. I am not sure if it is the process of taking on a new vocation in general or if it is marriage in particular or if it is just ME, but I find myself being confronted by my own selfishness and inadequacies on a much more regular basis as of late. And by “regular basis” I do mean hourly basis.

When you are single, even dating or engaged, you can find ways to hide these faults and flaws or, at the very least, muffle them a bit. Well, the veil has been lifted, my friends. And, lest we forget, everything is slightly more compounded by the new and wonderful experiences of pregnancy. The medical professionals use the term “morning sickness” but I have my own choice words and descriptions for it. And then, of course, the overall exhaustion that permeates each day (yes, I realize how funny that must sound to you mothers of post-utero children). I have never been one to suffer silently or well so I am sure you can imagine how pleasant the past several weeks have been for those around me =)

There are times when I feel as though I have made progress and am truly venturing forth, beginning to stumble down the path towards sanctity..... granted, these are usually during or directly after sleep (unless it is that horrific space of time in the mornings when I have just awoken – at that point we're all doomed).

The bottom line is that I could use your prayers. And, really, I dare say my husband and future child could use your prayers as well. All three of us do have to deal with me, after all, and it would be preferable if we were able to pursue sanctity AND retain some measure of sanity. In the meantime, if you need me I will be on the couch, covered in cracker crumbs and looking towards the kitchen with a mixture of longing and repulsion.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Dummy's Guide to Anxiety

The Dummy's Guide to Anxiety
9 Simple Steps

For the sake of full disclosure let me be clear : This blog post is NOT going to tell you how to cope or overcome anxiety. The purpose of this post is to serve as a guide for those of you who feel as though you have merely toed the churning waters of anxiety and are interested in taking the plunge. It is also for those of you who have had some beginner's experience and are ready for the master's level. Consider me as your own personal anti-Zen guru. Let's begin!

1. Thoughts : Perhaps one of the most important yet basic steps in producing anxiety is to ensure that your first and last thoughts of any given day focus on things that are beyond your control. If you have trouble conjuring such a thought then try beginning a sentence with a simple phrase like "What if" -->
    Example 1 : What if it snows tomorrow and the roads on my way to work are bad?
    Example 2 : What if I forgot to lock my car?

You may have the urge to search for a solution or try a breathing exercise but attempting either would be counter-productive. Simply focus on the problem at hand and then move on to the next (I assure you there will be another one).

2. Self-Control : There are a number of people out there that believe that it detrimental to our well-being to allow our emotions to push us around and dictate our behavior. If you are truly serious about embracing anxiety then listen carefully when I say that the more control your emotions have over you, the better off you will be! This serves two purposes-->
    1. You will produce many more situations that will result in anxiety
    2. You will be able to wallow in your anxiety on an entirely new level
If your coworker just said something that could have been meant as a personal insult then spend the next 5 minutes thinking about how hurtful that was, how it could be a sign of deep resentment towards you, or what you could have done to deserve the comment in the first place. If your significant other did not sound particularly cheerful on the phone or did not embrace you when you saw each other then assume something is going on and focus on how distant you feel, what the ramifications of this act could mean, etc. The more creative you can be the better!

3. Structure : There is a little bit of a spectrum regarding structure in your life. On the one end you have Zero Structure and on the other you have what I like to refer to as Labyrinthine Structure. It is up to you which you choose but please be aware that you must not work towards a median or "balanced approach".
    1. Zero Structure : Not to be confused with being "laid back" or "relaxed", the Zero Structure approach means that you do not make plans, budgets, deadlines, etc. If you incorporate this approach you will find that opening your mail will never be the same and that your friends and relatives will begin to react in ways that fuel your anxiety!
    2. Labyrinthine Structure : The key to this approach can be summed up in one beautiful word - overextension. If you are in school your professors will assist you with this especially during your midterms and finals, but for those of us who are not merely handed such good fortune, we must make our own way! Schedule as many events (e.g. doctor's appointments) on one day as possible and be sure that they are located in such a way that being there on time is nigh impossible. The moment you hear someone mention an event that requires help be sure to volunteer and make sure you hand out your personal phone number to everyone involved, just in case they need to reach you at 3 AM!

4. Goals : It is best to think as long term as possible regarding goals. Do not limit yourself to a simple 5 or 10 Year plan when all the cool stressed out kids have the next 50 years of their lives typed and saved in Microsoft Word! If you have a family member that seems to excel in a particular field of study a good goal could be trying to become better than that individual! This works even better if you have no interest in that subject matter or if you lack the natural skillset required.

5. Peer Support : Do not confide or talk to anyone. Ever. People are well meaning but they do not understand you or your troubles and even if you spent the next 127 hours trying to communicate them to another person that individual would, if anything, understand you less as a result! Keep everything inside and remind yourself, often, that you are alone in your struggles. You are, after all, an unfathomably complex and unique person that the world has never seen before and could never ever ever EVER appreciate or understand.

6. Exercise : Much like Structure, Exercise is a field in which there is a bit of a spectrum. In the scientific community they are referred to as the Fetal Approach and Twitching Puppy Approach.
    1. Lazy Cat Approach : In truth this philosophy is driven by an ingeniously simple concept - move as little as possible no matter what. Do not run when you can walk and do not walk when you can order someone else to bring you the remote. If you feel as if this will not produce the necessary level of anxiety try subscribing to magazines or watch hours of TV shows and movies that feature fit, skinny, beautiful people. Keep a mental list of all the ways in which they are better than you or the things they can do that you will never be able to (e.g. perform a real cartwheel)
    2. Twitching Puppy Approach : Similar to its third-cousin-once-removed, the Lazy Cat Approach, the Twitching Puppy Approach succeeds due to its delightful simplicity. The key ingredient is excess. The preferred approach requires hours of exercise every day and the understanding that anything less than making Jillian Michaels cry out of jealousy makes you an absolute failure. A wonderful addition to this approach is the Shaky Leg. Whenever you sit or stand try to move or otherwise jostle your leg(s) as     much as possible. Not only will this allow your pulse to quicken unnecessarily but if there are others near you they will be affected as well.

7. Identify and Label the Emotion : One of the best ways to heighten anxiety is to misidentify and mislabel your emotions or the emotions of others. If what you are feeling could be sadness or, better yet, be the result of a lack of sleep, be quick to identify it as anger and act accordingly. If your friend just laughed do not assume that it is because of the joke you just told -- sometimes people laugh when they are angry and want to hurt you. Deeply.

8. Diversion : Do not have hobbies or interests. Do not engage in any activity that requires you to go outside of yourself. I don't care if it's scrapbooking, a bible study, or the latest episode of Community - reject these as the distractions they are and find a shadowy corner where you can properly reflect on the failures of the day.

9. Laughter : It is a well known and mathematically proven concept that laughter is toxic to anxiety. It is often symptomatic of a deeper issue and one that I have avoided until now - not taking yourself seriously enough. If you wish to be an expert on anxiety (i.e. like me) then you must realize that not only is life not funny, but it is dreadfully serious and the only way to enjoy it is to realize that it must be controlled, micromanaged, and analyzed to death. Seriously.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Not So Glorious Return

Thus begins my glorious return to blogging! I realize it's been awhile since my last post and to anyone who has actually been keeping tabs on my blog, I apologize for my absence! I am getting married this upcoming May, I work full-time, and, as I have mentioned before, I have a lazy streak... Oddly enough none of these excuses are why I have been away. The real reason I have not sent my fingers dancing over the keyboard is that I have not had anything to say. I like my posts to be like scrambled eggs – light and fluffy with a dash of something extra for flavor (sarcasm is better than pepper). I really hate politics and social issues but it's difficult not to feel as though we're drowning in both these days. I used to listen to talk radio on my way to and from work and several weeks ago I realized I could not take it any more and opted for Pandora instead. I now start my days driving over the speed limit with techno damaging my speakers (and ears) but at least when I arrive at my chosen destination I do not feel as though my heart has sunk and my blood pressure has climbed.

Some people live for confrontation and the thrill of a debate. I am quite the opposite. Perhaps it is due to my being a middle child or maybe it's just that I have never been particularly good at winning arguments. We can always play it safe and opt for both. I know a fair number of people who enjoy this kind of thing, even thrive on it. In spite of this I still love them and still hang out with them, though I admit my entire being cringes if I am present when the games begin. I'm not the wishy-washy person running in the middle crying “Why can't we all just along?!” but I'm closer to that than the “Take no prisoners” individual. I guess I'm wondering where the balance is. I have no idea and I worry that by the time I figure it out I will have let far too many situations creep by where I should have stood up for my beliefs or. at the very least, stood up for something with a better defense than stoic silence.

I have often said that one of the reasons that I love Fantasy literature is that it (usually) provides us with a reality in which Good and Evil are more stark. The protagonist, whether eager or reluctant, must go into battle and literally fight Evil. In some cases this may be an orc, goblin, dragon, mad king, witch, evil sorcerer, etc..... but the reality remains the same – Evil exists and must be stopped. Reality is not so easy. We do not fight merely one glorious battle but rather a million little skirmishes every day – washing the dishes, going to work, treating others with kindness, saying your prayers, etc. It is a wearying thing. Evil rarely introduces itself as such and can easily slip past our meager defenses. Would it not be easier if we could point to specific individuals or situations and be able to say “You see that disembodied glowing eye? Yeah, don't vote for that thing!” or “I dunno... that awesome looking sugar house may not be worth approaching after all, man”. I realize I'm rambling here, but it's late and, well, it is my blog after all.

In the end I am a very, very small person in a very, very big world. I have my beliefs, my loved ones, and prayer. Also, Pandora radio station. If you figure it all out let me know :)

xoxo Hannah

* I don't feel like using gender neutral terminology. Apologies if you're ridiculous sensitive to this**.
** I'm not really apologizing

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Laziness : The Truth Revealed

I am going to start off with a quote from Albert Einstein

"The idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest." 

It is precisely this kind of nonsense that this post is intended to correct. In the next few minutes and paragraphs I hope to clear up some misconceptions about laziness and get to the truth of the matter. I find myself uniquely qualified to comment on the subject as I am a lazy person. I find Einstein's comment to be both irrelevant and dubious. Why? Two reasons : 1) He was probably a workaholic and 2) He is deceased. That being said, I ask that you clear your mind, lay your presuppositions at the proverbial door, and believe everything I say without question. Ready? Perfect! Let's begin...

Laziness is hard. This is the deep, dark secret that those in positions of power and authority seek to keep. They would have us believe that laziness is "taking the easy way out" and leads to things like "sloth" and "lethargy" and French words like "apathie". And maybe they are right, but that does not mean it's a cakewalk! Who has a harder time, I ask you - the hardworking idealist or the slothful pragmatist? The idealist is full of energy and passion that propels him forward, leaving his fellow man behind in the dust with barely a second thought! Here are a few examples from my own personal life

1. It is much harder for me to get to work on time in the morning than it is for my coworkers because I lazily, repeatedly hit the "Snooze" button on my alarm clock instead of getting up when I ought to. By the time I actually rise from my bed I barely have enough time to slip into my clothes and race out the door!

2. Putting on my shoes takes more time because I did not undo the laces the night before when I lazily slipped them from my feet. I have to work that much harder than my fellow man just to put on my shoes!

3. It is harder for me to be proud because I do not take the time to do my hair like other women do. I have just about enough energy to do one of three things - 1) Brush it and leave it down 2) Pull it up into a ponytail or 3) Pull it up into a messy bun. Because of my laziness I cannot hope to walk down the street as if it were a catwalk or wow others with the luminous shine of my hair, the intricacy of a braid, or the elegance of a French twist!

4. I am often forced to eat the exact same type of meal multiple times a week because I am too lazy to prepare anything else or diversify when it comes time to go grocery shopping. On that note, I barely have any food in the house at all because I do not wish to go the grocery store in the first place!

5. I live amongst piles of unorganized materials (clothing, papers, etc.) and dust because I do not make myself clean properly or often! As a result not only does my physical health suffer, but my mental health is often affected as well! Sometimes I even forget what folded laundry looks like....

6. I have a much harder time winning an argument or sounding intelligent because I was lazy in all the years of school that I attended. How easy it is for individuals like Einstein to mock those of us who cannot recall the year of the Revolutionary War or what the difference is between Communism and Capitalism - they both begin with a "C", darn you!!!!

Now that you have had just a sampling of my own personal testimony, I hope that you will use care and caution in the future before judging those who have less drive and fortitude than yourself. It is important to note, however, that I believe the U.S. Government, E.U., etc. have made fantastic strides in the past several years in recognizing, supporting, and even furthering laziness! I can only hope that the enlightened attitude that they possess will be adopted by others and we can put these lies and misconceptions to rest once and for all.

I would write more, but I find that my fingers have grown cold and need a rest before I go play a video game.......

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Confession #1 : I don't know if it makes sense for me to blog. I am neither a homemaker or mother (for the next few months, at least), I am not especially crafty (or really crafty at all for that matter), I don't have mounds of wisdom or intelligent thoughts that need to be put down on paper (virtual or otherwise), I am not a master chef so any recipes that get posted are probably from All Recipes or someone else.

Confession #2: My biggest reason for doing this is that I stopped keeping a journal a year ago (due to superstition - no, I'm not kidding). Long story short, in all of the years that I kept a journal any time I wrote about the relationship I was in it ended and often ended badly. As soon as I started dating my now-fiance I made a mental vow that I would not write anything about relationship down, at least not on paper. It is absolutely ludicrous, I know, but I would rather not tempt fate. That and it is a whole lot easier to delete a post or backspace when what I'm writing/have written gets angsty or stupid. I am now going to stop writing about this because I feel a little dumber with each word.....

Confession #3: Anyone who knows me knows that I am rather bad with words, hence the title of the blog. My mouth and mind still have not mastered their relationship and it is rare for me not to trip over my words or put my foot in my mouth at least once in any given conversation (the length of conversation is of little consequence). It has become a bit of a running joke with my friends and family. And while I often find myself amused as well it can be a major source of frustration. I like to think that it's just God's way of keeping my ego in check (done and done). I have a much easier time writing/typing out my thoughts and I like the amount of control the "edit" and "backspace" button provide! I look forward to the day when I find a way to implement that into speech.....

Confession #4: I take my work home with me. Not physically (which would be illegal, actually) but mentally and emotionally. I work as a crisis pregnancy counselor. There are good days and bad days, easy weeks and challenging weeks. This week was challenging for me as a counselor. The first few days of the week were busy and filled with clients. Busy is not bad, but it can be exhausting. It is especially exhausting when you have a client who is in an actual crisis and not just showing up because her friends told her we provide free ultrasounds (which we do and are happy to do). One of the many clients I saw on Monday and Tuesday was what we refer to as AO (abortion oriented --> planning on having an abortion). Now, it is important to note that "AO" is not so much a category as a spectrum with "Open Minded" on one end and "Absolutely Decided" on the other end. My client was at the very edge of the spectrum and very much decided. Due to the incredible generosity and flexibility of our nurses I was able to offer the client an ultrasound that very afternoon. I could hear the sounds of the baby's heartbeat from outside the ultrasound room as I wrote my notes and put the client's information into the computer. Until that door opened I was able to nurture the hope that my client had changed her mind or, at the very least, was more open than before. These hopes disappeared as soon as that door opened. When you work at a crisis pregnancy center it does not take long for you to recognize the face of determination. I spoke with her a little longer and wished her luck as she left. I know that is the last time I will see her. And no matter how many times you experience that (and I have had my share, believe me) it does not get any easier. In a way I am grateful that it doesn't. I hope that I never grow callous to the loss of a life, no matter how small or new that life is.
The next day I found myself having a pretty easy day with plenty of time to catch up on client notes and sip delicious coffee. Then it happened. The second most difficult appointment I have had in my 1+ year of working at the crisis pregnancy center. Due to confidentiality I will not disclose any of the particulars, but suffice it to say that some people have a way of etching themselves into your memory and I will remember that client and that situation for the rest of my life.

Confession #5: I am a work in progress. I like to think that I have changed a great deal over the past several years and made a lot of progress, but I will be the first one to tell you that I have a heck of a long way to go. I have a quick temper, an impressive capacity for laziness, the tendency towards extreme selfishness, and the list goes on and on. It is important to note that being the type of person who trips over words AND has a quick temper makes for quite a cocktail. My faith life is not what I want it to be. I pray daily but let's just say I won't be giving any nuns a run for their money. I love the mass and love my Roman Catholic faith, but seem to regress into something like a toddler when it comes to things like attending daily mass. Again, a real work in progress...

Confession #6: I love to be entertained. I love music, movies, TV, books, etc. I like what I like and will admit that I do not have superior taste. For instance, I like Techno. No, not all Techno, but enough for it to be a little weird. I also like Usher and some of the other pop music that floats around the radio waves. Much to my chagrin I have even enjoyed some Katy Perry and Lady Gaga on occasion, though I will never purchase their music or patronize them. There are some boundaries at least.

Confession #7 : I will never make it on to Jeopardy. I doubt I could even swing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, though if I was able to use "Phone a Friend" I imagine I'd have it in the bag.

Confession #8 : I am surrounded by incredible people. My family and friends make me the most blessed person on Earth. I tried submitting proof to Guinness World Book of Records but they were more interested in my height (OK, no, it turns out that I called the wrong number and ended up talking to a small Haitian man named Jubi for the better part of an hour. This is also a lie).

Confession #9 : I spend way too much time on the computer and on my iPhone. When I lose the data plan I have now and am forced to retire my iPhone I may cry. Or swear. Or just have no reaction at all. We'll see.

Confession #10 : I am an extreme sort of person. I am trying to find the middle ground and may even be making some progress but my natural reaction(s) tends towards the extreme. I get really passionate about, well, whatever I happen to be passionate about at that given time. This could be food (I love food), a TV show (I love TV), road trip (doubtful - I hate road trips), people (hmmmm), etc. If I decide I want something or want to do something I tend to want to do it IMMEDIATELY. For example, I had the church and reception hall reserved for our wedding before we were officially engaged. I thought about buying a car and then obsessed over cars for the next three weeks, causing undue stress on my poor fiance who I dragged with me to different car dealerships and websites every step of the way (luckily I ended up listening to reason and just kept the car I have now). Even my facial/vocal reactions are extreme. I try very hard to make this not be the case but it still escapes me. I once was on a blind date (worst. idea. ever!) and the guy stopped me mid-sentence to ask, in a suspicious/semi-alarmed tone, "Has anyone ever told you that you have a very... expressive face?". Yes, sonny, I've been told. I have also been told I am tall and that I am a female. Gold star.

Alright, well, I really ought to be going now. If you read this whole bit of nonsense then bravo - even I was bored by the end! My hope is to start living a radically interesting life so that I have something to blog about. Then again, if I accomplish that I highly doubt I will wish to spend my time blogging about it...

Confession #11 : I don't know when to shut up