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Friday Fours and a Giveaway to start your weekend off right!

20. June 2014

Another week in the books! This one was filled with great discussions with friends in my/our church group(s); eating too many cupcakes; celebrating Bumpy (yep, it never ends!); drinking tea; walking in the rain; going to a few different appointments; spending time on Skype to catch up with one of my favorite people; reading; writing in my journal; and taking the time to enjoy the moments. I have caught myself resisting the urge to rush around, and instead walking slowly through the week. I take my time getting ready, I take my time getting to work, and I take my time transitioning between things to do. It's a wonderful feeling to not rush through this life!

Bumpy and I (and Tim) have had five different showers/events to celebrate this new life! I feel beyond blessed.

Four thoughts from this week 

  • I'm not sure I'm going to be able to survive a Chicago summer without central a/c. Our window air conditioning unit wasn't working one night this week and I seriously woke up every hour, because I was so super uncomfortable. Of course, that led to me chugging water and then waking up because I had to pee... I really hope we figure out a better system!
  • I thought this week was going by so quickly until a few days ago when I realized it was actually Wednesday and not Thursday. Whoops.
  • I really, really love rainy summer days. When I was little, my brother and I used to run outside in our PJs to play in puddles. I would love to recreate that, except I live in Chicago instead of rural Massachusetts and if there are puddles it's probably in a (possibly rat infested) pot hole. Charming image, right?
  • I feel a bit guilty that I haven't been following the World Cup at all. Especially since the USA made it past the first round! Usually I will go out of my way to watch big sporting events, but I just haven't been feeling it. I promise, I'll get on board soon.


Four pregnancy notes 

  • My belly now sits on my lap. It's a strange, strange feeling.
  • This week my coworkers threw a little shower for me and my two pregnant coworkers - it was so incredibly sweet of them. And that concludes all of our baby showers, big and small!
  • I gained 2 lbs between my 37 and 38 week appointments - yikes! I'm not sure if it's water retention or cupcakes, but I don't like it. I'm only up 29 lbs, but I'd really prefer not to go any higher than that.
  • Friends and family members have started to text me to see how I'm feeling... which is basically a way of asking if I'm going to be in labor anytime soon! I don't mind it so far, but if they have to wait a full four more weeks, it's going to be a frustrating time for all of us.


Four links (that are too good not to share)


Four Three posts (of mine) you may have missed

  • I would hashtag this entire weekend as #blessed. (Mon)
  • A transitional Father's Day (Tues
  • A day in the life. (Thurs)


Featured store

Today is an especially happy (Fri)day because it involves a little something you can win from Red Buffalo Trading! Corlie has some truly unique products that I absolutely love love love (her gift to Bumpy is proudly displayed on our shelf!) and I think you'll find her handmade, unique items to be too special to pass up. But I'll let her tell you a little more about it in her own words.

"Four years ago as I was watching a Hmong woman weave scarves on an old wooden loom in a village amongst the rice fields of Northwestern Vietnam, the idea for starting Red Buffalo Trading began to form. I bought a scarf from her as she finished it and right then I knew I had to keep traveling to places with people who could create such beauty. It was not only the spell binding process of watching her work threads of cotton into intricate patterns with nothing more than a picture in her imagination that fascinated me. It was also the stories behind the patterns that she was creating that captured me for life. 

Since that day I have been steadily collecting handcrafted textiles as we travel whilst learning as much of their history as I can. Sometimes my husband collects them for me on his work trips to far away villages where women and men still walk around half-naked in the tropical heat of Southeast Asia. My cupboards are filled with jewelry and textile art that have been hand carved, dyed, embroidered or woven in the same fashion as they have been for centuries past.

I now use these pieces of textile art I have been collecting to design and create handbags that are as unique as you are. Each bag is made with care and love to ensure that you get a product which will truly be a work of art, and each bag carries with it a story to awaken your wanderlust."

Red Buffalo Trading - awaken your wanderlust.

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A day in the life.

19. June 2014

When I look back on my life a year ago and compare it to my life today, it's like apples and oranges.

My daily routine is not even remotely similar to what it once was, even a few months ago, actually.

I guess late-third trimester pregnancy will do that to a person!

So when I saw this link-up from Brittany and Rachel, which asks us to post about a 'typical' day, I thought this would be a great opportunity to do a little compare/contrast about my former routine vs my current routine.


A Day in the Life of Non-Pregnant Lisa

6am - Wake-up

6:30am - CrossFit workout (alternatively, sometimes I would do CrossFit class in the evenings)

8am - Shower

9am - Leave for work and enjoy a very crowded commute on the public transportation (train) system of Chicago. There's nothing like spending the morning up close and personal to lots of (sometimes smelly) strangers who all look miserable to be going to work, too.

9:30am-5:30pm - Work (which also included blogging, obviously). A year ago I was working for a start-up company as a Business Analyst/Project Manager type person. 

5:30pm - Commute home, this time with slightly happier strangers.

6:15pm - Walk in the door and take Ozzie on a walk (sometimes with Tim). If Tim beats me home, I get the night off of dog-duty and can rest!

7pm-10:30pm - Eat dinner and talk about our days together. Alternatively, many days we'd go out to dinner with friends or to church groups or one of us would have happy hour so we wouldn't get home until 10:30ish. If we were already at home (rare occasion, actually) we watch TV or get lost in our own worlds of social media and work and catching up with long-distance friends.

10:30pm-1:30am - Read a good book and parts of the Bible and/or blog & social media stalk & all things internet. This really does seem like a large chunk of time, but from what my memory is telling me, it's accurate! 

1:30am-2am - Get ready and go to bed! (Of course, I didn't always go to bed especially if I planned on working out in the morning. Some days I went to bed as early as 1am! You could say that sleeping is definitely not my thing.)


A Day in the Life of Third-Trimester-Pregnant Lisa

2am - Wake up to go to the bathroom

6am - Wake up to go to the bathroom

7:30am - Hit snooze on my alarm clock or wake up and immediately get distracted by everything in the world on my phone.

This little guy is willing to stay in bed with me until it's time for guard-duty

8am - Ask Tim to make me oatmeal and tea (which he does, because he is very, very nice to me) so that I can eat breakfast in bed. We let Oz out on the patio to bark at all things potentially dangerous. This includes: squirrels, birds, and our neighbors. We also spend time together watching and feeling Bumpy move around and commenting on whether it's a boy or girl that particular day (it changes a lot in our minds) and talking to the baby. It's not as sweet as it sounds, usually we're making fun of each other and our little Bumpy, but (s)he should probably get used to it since this won't be changing when (s)he is actually born.

8:30am - Get ready for work, which includes looking through my closet and realizing that there are 4 'outfits' that fit me and I've already worn them all to work in the past four days. I hate getting dressed for work now! Some days I shower, but usually I do not. My hair is put up in a ponytail almost every single day and I just don't have enough energy to care! Needless to say, getting ready for work is a quick but painful process!

About 2 months ago I looked like this going to work... now it's much more of a not-so-hot-mess situation

9am - Check the bus tracking app and when it alerts me that a bus is nearby, I head out the door to work. (If I'm being honest, sometimes this doesn't happen until closer to 9:30am) I always get a seat on the bus now, thanks to Bumpy!

9:30am-5:30pm - Work. I'm currently working as a contractor and do accounting/IT types of work. Of course by 'work' I mean that I try to avoid work by using Google Chat very liberally and also blogging. It's amazing how quickly most of the days go by... By about 2pm my ribs start to really ache and my back starts to hurt and I get pretty grumpy and vow to start working from home the next day. It isn't pleasant!

5:30pm - Leave work to head home. Once again, I always get a seat on the bus, which I'm starting to realllly need. I just get really tired standing now, and yes, this does make me feel like a weakling.

6pm - Walk in the door and say hello to Tim (who usually works from home) and our little Monster (Ozzie)

6:30pm - Eat dinner, which Tim cooks, together

7pm-10pm - Either go to church group or a labor and delivery class or decide on a TV show to watch or set-up baby things or clean the apartment or just relax... 

10pm-11:30pm - Start relaxing by reading or journaling or listening to some self-hypnosis tracks or reading useless but entertaining information on baby boards. When Tim comes to bed we spend more time watching Bumpy.

11:30pm - Start getting ready for bed and take all of my vitamins (so, so many. I don't know how I've managed to survive thus far being deficient on so many things!). I also try to drink a cup of red raspberry leaf tea before bed.

12am - This is my new bed time and I really try to make sure I'm asleep by midnight! I'm more successful some nights than others. I no longer blog at night, so this helps me get into bed a bit earlier.

I recently finished this book and I think my pregnancy hormones have failed me, because I didn't cry once. Am I the only one?!



After writing this out, I have a few observations:

  • I really could cut down on the amount of time I spend in bed by just putting down the darn phone. Being on that thing is such a bad habit at night and in the mornings.
  • The biggest change between pre-pregnancy Lisa and (current) pregnant Lisa is the amount of working out that's incorporated into my daily schedule. Currently, I do no workouts at all. I did CrossFit until about 18 weeks and then I ran until my abs couldn't do it anymore, and then I did barre class until 34 weeks and I haven't really worked out since, except for prenatal yoga. 
  • My schedule hasn't changed as much as my mental state has. I still wake up and go to work every day (unless I'm working from home) but now it's just harder to do. (The same goes for pretty much everything in life.)


Does your life look the same as it did a year ago?!


Cheers to changes!

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A transitional Father's Day

17. June 2014

Father's Day isn't a day I have ever really looked forward to.

When I was little, my family barely celebrated it, considering it more of a 'Hallmark Holiday'. I'm sure we bought my dad gifts or something like that, but I honestly don't remember celebrating it in a really significant way. 

Now with the internet and social media, it seems like we see everyone's 'notes' to their father. Instagram/Facebook/etc are covered in 'I love my dad and here's why' sentiments, accompanied with old photos or wedding photos or just happy and cute photos in general.

And I'm not knocking that at all, I think it's great that so many people love their dads and want to shout it to the world for at least one day per year. I think it's a little strange when people write 'Happy Fathers Day, dad!' and write a super sentimental message, but their dad isn't on that particular social media so they'll never see the message... But that's neither here nor there.

Over the past few years, I've celebrated Father's Day with my own dad some years, and some years I haven't acknowledged it. My father and I aren't close and have become less so over time, and more often than not, Father's Day is a special kind of reminder of the relationship I don't have with my dad. And it's not because of a lack of trying (on my part, at least). Suffice it to say that some years this 'holiday' is more painful than happy for both of us.

But this year was happy for me. This year we celebrated Father's Day with my in-laws (including Tim's father and grandfather), both of whom are family men I greatly admire. Even more special, this year we celebrated Tim's impending fatherhood.

It was the first Father's Day of a lifetime of Father's Day in which I will be able to celebrate my husband and our child(ren) and his role as a dad.

And I'm really, really excited about that.

I know I've said it before, but making Tim a dad is the thing I'm most excited about with Bumpy. The man was made for fatherhood, of this I am most certain.

Not that the future can erase the past and that Father's Day will not be painful going forward, because it may continue to be a rough day for me, but joy has a way of overcoming hurt and sadness.  I'm incredibly excited to be starting/growing my own little family and creating our own traditions that we'll hold onto going forward.

This year was a special year because we're so close to welcoming our first child into our lives. This year I carried Bumpy all Father's Day, but next year, Tim will have that privilege.


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Two Martinis