and then it was done

How different will things really be next week? Not much, really, but the end of a year still feels like a changing over. I felt really good leaving work today, for the last time until after the New Year dawns, a hardy dose of contentment for having finished off the year well. In my last day I killed it productivity-wise, was able to give my boss good news, and left myself in a great place to start off 2015. (I also finished a book I'd been lingering over for probably a month, not bad but not a page turner, and that was nice too.)

This year was a big one for me and my family. The surrogacy has obviously been a huge part of that year; a humungously huge part. But there was also our trip to Disney and two trips to Cape Cod. We started house hunting. I got a new title (a promotion of sorts) at work. Delving into what I wanted my life and consumption to look like with my Nothing New project.

Next year is looking pretty big too. It will certainly start with a bang (you know... labor), and I hope it only goes up from there! There are certainly big changes in store. A new house (fingers crossed!), "big kid school" for Gwen, some more trips. I look forward to getting my yoga game back, exploring how Nothing New can fit into my life for the long haul, and hopefully at least one more tattoo (what? I've got to be me!).

As for this actual last day of 2014? Well, I'll be spending it home with my much higher energy then me almost 5 year old. I'll do my best to keep her entertained. Trav will get home, we'll eat dinner, get Gwen to bed, pop a bottle of sparkling apple juice, then probably heading to bed ourselves well before midnight.  :-)   But honestly, there are many worse ways to ring in a New Year.

I hope you spend the last moments of your 2014 exactly as you hope.
See you in 2015!


Christmas Eve and Day

Christmas came so quickly this year, and passed just as fast. Here I am already back to work after 5 days off, and counting down to the New Year!

It was a really great holiday. Christmas Eve we went to visit one of Pappy's old Boy Scout Troop members. Larry Joel has been a part of Trav's life as long as he can remember. LJ spent every Christmas at Willy's, and it was really hard for him when Pappy moved away and then when he passed. We go to visit him before Christmas to try to keep that connection.

It was a great start to our holiday break. After that we headed home to meet my parent's, who came down to our place this year. We enjoyed an appetizer lunch, then watched some Christmas movies and just relaxed. We had our big meal that night, since we were all together and my parents needed to head out Christmas afternoon (my mom had to work Friday). Ham, mac and cheese, a potato casserole, peas, and corn.

That night we put out some milk and cookies for Santa, some carrots for the reindeer, and a great note that Gwen dictated and wrote (with help for the spelling).

I can't believe my girl is writing her own Christmas notes now!

Santa came, and it was a very full tree.

Gwen slept until around 7, came to bed to snuggle with us for a little, but couldn't contain herself for too long. We headed downstairs, grabbing out stockings along the way (we hang them from our staircase banister). Gwen was so excited to see that the cookies and carrots were gone, and that there were presents from Santa under the tree.

We let her tuck in, while people got drinks, and Trav started the cinnamon rolls.

It was a great day overall. Gwen was a little overwhelmed by the end of it, but seemed to love everything.

Her big gifts were a batman cave from Trav's parents, a policeman outfit from my parents, a pirate ship from Santa, as well as a Hulk figurine. (I was still struggling a little with just how much she was getting... but she's happily cleaning out old things to make room for her new stuff; and dang, she was just so happy/grateful/excited for everything!)

She was playing with them all together, which was cute. We got her more boring things, like boots and new PJs, but she seemed happy even with them.

Pirate ship docked at the Batman cave, with
the Hulk standing by in case anyone needs some muscle.

Trav got some new work clothes, snow pants, a gift certificate for a zoo membership (which we are all excited to use!), and I got him new hiking boots (his bit the big one after our last camping trip).

I mostly got money for the yoga festival I'm going to this summer, and Trav got me some yoga clothes to help me make it through said festival. I also got tons of super soft socks, which I love.

We got my mom a book she wanted, my dad some soaps he wanted, and jointly got them a gift certificate to one of their favorite restaurants.

After that we turned on A Christmas Story, Nonnie helped Gwen play her new board games, and we relaxed until lunch time; after which my parents got ready to head home.

The rest of the day Gwen pretty much entertained herself figuring out all of the things her new toys could do. And that was actually much of the rest of our weekend! She loves her new items and will play independently with them for hours (though Trav and I have both taken our turns playing pirates and batman stop the bad guys).

Otherwise I did some cooking to use up our extra ham (ham, chicken, and corn chowder one day; a chicken cordon bleu casserole the other day; both yum!). There was a Harry Potter marathon on over the weekend too, so we watched a Harry Potter movie each day; and made sure to take Daisy on some walks to enjoy the 50-60* weather we were having (what?!), and to help Gwen run off some extra energy! She definitely was ready to go back to school today, since happy as she was with her new toys, Trav and I are no replacement for a room full of 4-5 year olds!

Especially since this is happening now:

37 weeks and starting to feel it! I was so happy for the extra rest this weekend, and for the days off I'll have this week. The parents arrive a week from Wednesday, and once they are here, I'm ready for him to come!

In the meantime, I have plenty of work to get done before the New Year, so off I go! Hope your holidays were wonderful!


more Christmas stuff, but of the much more edible variety

Happy Winter Solstice!
I love that from here on out the days will slowly, but surely, start to get longer and longer again. I love too, that this Solstice weekend fell on one that was so full of holiday prep. 

Friday night I was pretty beat, but considering Saturday was the cookie exchange at Ro's place, I knew I had to get some stuff done. I had actually, finally, put together my hot chocolate squares (using this recipe) on Thursday night (not hard at all, just took a bit of time to chop all the chocolate), so I had to take care of cutting, skewering, and bagging those up to before I could pass them out to friends and family (and our postman, and garbage men, who are all the sweetest). I did that while Gwen was getting ready for bed.

After actually putting her to bed, it was back downstairs to bake my cookies. I made Gooey Peanut Butter Cookies, and despite my tired crankiness ("I don't wannnnnt tooo..."), I forgot how damn easy and delicious these cookies are! So I had them all done (a double batch, three cookie sheets worth), in about a half hour. Then I got to eat a few fresh cookies while watching a movie with Trav.

Saturday was the actual exchange, and it was a lot of fun. Got to bring home some great cookies, and spend some fun time with friends.

Sunday we had no official plans, but between Trav cleaning, us both working on laundry, me doing the final grocery shopping for the big week ahead, and Gwen and I working on Trav's special present, it was a busy day. I think we are finally completely ready for Wednesday and Thursday though!

I also turned 36 weeks yesterday, which just feels huge. I'm officially "allowed" to go into labor now (aka they won't stop it if it happens on its own), and am going to the doc weekly.

Only a two day work week this week, then its time for holidays! I'm really getting excited! Hope you're all feeling the holiday spirit.


6 days - giving and not getting caught up in the material

Christmas is 6 days away. 6! We're ready. The decorations are out, cards sent, the gifts are bought and wrapped, music being played, I have some cookies in the freezer, and more coming this weekend, the meals are decided on, and plans have been made. Yet it still surprises me and freaks me out a little that it is so damn soon. How did it arrive so quickly, and with it the New Year just a week later?!

I love Christmas. It is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I love the big special meal, the extra time off of work and the time spent with family. I love picking the perfect gift for family. And yes, I do love opening a pretty package on Christmas morning, wondering what's inside.

As much as I have moved away from gifts and buying and consuming this year, it is still just so ingrained. I think we did pretty well for ourselves this year. I asked mostly for an experience gift, tickets to Wanderlust (in VT), which I have been dying to go to for ages. As well as the lodging to go with. And yes, some yoga clothes to make it through the experience clothed! Trav asked for, amongst other things, a gift card/tickets to see movies and for an activity he/we could do with Gwen. For Gwen most of the presents from us are ones she will enjoy, but which have a practical edge: boots to get her through the rest of the winter, more fleecy PJs, since she's outgrown more of her PJs then I anticipated a month or so ago.

Still when I looked at those precious few packages under the tree, with even fewer frivolities, I had a pang of guilt about it. Which is silly. Especially now that we've added packages from Trav's parents and his brother and SIL. That tree is looking MUCH fuller (and much more toy laden). And that doesn't even include the gifts my parents and brother will bring with them, nor a few special, much requested gifts from Santa.

We spend a lot of time emphasizing to Gwen the other aspects of the Christmas season, and what is really important. Family, generosity, giving back, and appreciating. But even with all my work on not consuming this year, and changing my mindset, its amazing how ingrained it really is. I'm still working in these moments to walk the walk, and talk the talk; which I will continue to work on until it becomes second nature and I don't even have to think about it anymore.

I don't think I could ever do a completely "nothing new" Christmas, but I'm going to keep working on getting closer. In the meantime, I'm going to stop with the guilt and just appreciate how blessed Gwen is (and we all are) by our friends and family.


little big milestones

Wearing her new robe, from Miss Tally.
This past weekend was full of good stuff: movies with a coworker/friend on Friday night (Mockingjay - loved it!), cookie baking (sugar, peanut butter blossoms, chocolate covered cherry cookies, and coconut thumbprints) and Christmas gift exchanging with Ro, Pat, and the girls on Sunday (pretty new tumblers! pj pants! super hero clothes! movie tickets! - they know us so well). All of that was so wonderful, and I have not a picture of any of it, since I was so busy enjoying.

But right now I want to talk about Saturday. Again, no pictures... but I have to commemorate one of Gwen's little big milestones. My girl got her first hair trim, and she was so brave! It was her choice, and she wanted to do it to make brushing easier and keep her hair healthier, but "I love my long hair Mama, I don't want it short!" So we only took off about an inch to even it out and get rid of the slightly broken ends.

She was nervous. Despite reassurances that it was easy and fast, and having seen me get my hair done, I think she was afraid it would hurt. On the way up Gwen told me, quite seriously, that she would get her hair trimmed today, but that was it, "one time only." Cindy is amazing though, and had her brushed, trimmed, and out of the chair in about 6 minutes! Gwen was amazed at how easy it was and told me that she would get her hair trimmed anytime.  :-)   I told her that she didn't need to go everytime Mama went, but that she could definitely do it on a semi-regular (every few months) basis. She agreed, "I'll get my hair trimmed anytime you say I need to."

Oh my brave, sweet girl.

I wish I had taken pictures, but I did save a cut lock for saving in a baby book.

So at 4 years, 10 months, my baby girl finally got her first hair cut. My baby girl's baby hair!
Check that one off the list.


nearing the end: a surrogacy update

I'm 34 weeks now. I cannot even believe how quickly this pregnancy is going. Maybe because for me its as much about the journey as the result, or because I'm chasing around a 4 year old, or because this time of year always seems to run at turbo speed! No matter the reason, it blows my mind to know I only have a month or a little more to go.

I had a prenatal appointment today. At 34 weeks I've gained 21 lbs, putting me at 140. My BP is great, my belly is measuring spot on, and everything is going well. The little one is head down (good boy!), and will hopefully stay that way at this point.

I'm still actively doing yoga and I'm sure that is helping with my sleep and with keeping me feeling generally good. I noticed that when I missed 2 weeks because of work/life craziness, that I felt infinitely more pregnant and uncomfortable then I had prior (or then I do now, thankfully). So I'm going to keep this up as long as possible!

Gwen continues to enjoy feeling the baby move and loves my big belly. We read the surrogacy book sometimes before bed.

I've scheduled all my appointments for the rest of the pregnancy. I go back in 2 weeks, then every week after that until I deliver. The parents and I are working out final details for labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period. So many things to consider, so very different then if it were my own. But we're getting everything ironed out.

And I guess that's where we stand at 8 months!


cold weather warm ups: santa and sesame place

Monday again, and only a bit over 2 weeks until Christmas! We finally broke out the Christmas decorations this weekend, and while we're not done with them, we at least have a very good start.

This weekend was cold, but we managed to have fun. Saturday i joined Trav and Gwen for their monthly Home Depot project since it was a special one for the holidays.

She sat on his lap twice and was so excited to tell him what she wanted.  :-) 
We watched White Christmas that afternoon, and Gwen loves it as much as I do!

Sunday we used a groupon to head to Sesame Place for their Very Furry Christmas. After some initial fears, Gwen was just as daring with the rides as last time. The rollercoaster was her favorite, and any ride that spun was spent yelling "faster Daddy, faster!!"

She absolutely loved seeing the characters too, and was much braver about saying Hi to them and giving them hugs this time.

It was definitely cold, but we had a great time anyway, and weren't really bothered by the weather too much until the sun went down. It was nice to spend some extended time outside, since that definitely falls off with the cold weather.

We grabbed a pizza on the way home and got our tired girl in bed a little early.

Now we're on to another busy week!


and then it got busy again

I forgot about the part after our big event, when we have to catch up on everything that got pushed aside while we were preparing for said big event. A process which is interrupted by 2.5 days off for Thanksgiving (definitely not complaining!!). I think I am just about there now, caught up, and moving into the things that will need to be done to close out the year and things that we want to do in the coming year.

In the evenings I've been taking care of Christmas present wrapping (99% done!), Holiday card stuffing, and for the love of all that is good and holy, some relaxing! Something is bound to be neglected, and yeah, its this lovely little corner of the internet.

Still, lets play catch up, for posterity sake.

The day before Thanksgiving we got out for a half day, which was lovely, and I used that time well to get myself a massage. My tired body was so grateful, and frankly, I would have paid the money just to have the opportunity to lay on my stomach and back for 70 minutes (special pregnancy pillow and a table that props up)!! Such a treat. I want 100 more.

My brother and his fiance arrived that night, and Thursday we all headed up to my parent's. I have exactly one picture I took on Thanksgiving and that is of the Cranberry Salsa my mom had out for us when we arrived. It was divine and I want to make bowls and bowls of it.

It was a really great Thanksgiving. So much good food. Lots of fun hanging out with the family. And satisfying watching the Eagles tromp the Cowboys.  :-)

I love Thanksgiving so.
And now we are on the countdown to my next favorite holiday... Christmas! 22 days and counting.

The rest of the weekend was spent as a family doing... well random bits here and there, but mostly lots of taking it easy. Trips to the grocery store and BJs. Loads of laundry. A long, chilly walk:

Followed by hot chocolate to warm up:

Some movies, some cleaning, some cooking, and some dress up:

All in all, very good. Though I think we were all ready for a bit of routine come Monday. Even Gwen, for all her "I don't want to go back to school" whines, was the most cooperative Monday morning that we've seen in a while.

I was definitely ready for more routine, and the chance to get back to yoga. Weeks of crazy schedules had led me to miss so many classes, and for the first time this week I'm feeling every single bit of my 7.5 months pregnant. But I'm getting back to it, and making it a priority since being active has kept me feeling so good this whole time. My 33.5 weeks bump is all dressed up and ready to go to yoga tonight:

The next few weeks are bound to be busy still, but I'm looking forward to it all, and happy that I'm finally catching up.

How was your Thanksgiving? Are you ready for the holidays?


Thankful on Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I have so many things to be thankful for today, as I do everyday. Here are the things that I was thankful for this month.

11/1: I'm grateful for a husband who lets me get extra sleep on the weekends!
11/2: I'm grateful for coworkers that I like enough to want to see outside of work.
11/3: I'm grateful for an understanding and accommodating boss. When work and life conspire to make things stressful, its nice to know he has my back.
11/4: I'm grateful for chances to catch up with friends.
11/5: I'm grateful for beautiful, colorful leaves!
11/6: I'm grateful for the amazing Miss Daisy who is now 6! Happy Birthday to our sweet furry girl.
11/7: Oh man am I grateful for Friday's that pass quickly!
11/8: For Nonnie and Papa, and the giant blessing it is to get to see Gwen interact with them.
11/9: For amazing, awesome friends who are like family. Who feed us and we can just relax with.
11/10: For the healthy, active, growing baby boy in my belly! And his beautiful parents. I cannot wait for them to meet!
11/11: For all of the amazing veteran's who fought for our country and the freedoms it holds dear.
11/12: For my soft, warm bed... which I'm going to go hop into right now! 
11/13: I'm grateful for a roof over my head and warm blankets on my bed. So happy for these "little things" that can so easily be taken for granted, but that far too many go without.
11/14: I'm grateful for the shoes on my feet, that have lasted me for YEARS; and the new ones that are just arrived. Warm, dry feet should always be appreciated.
11/15: For changing colors, and warm jackets, and hot chocolate; and all the things that make this time of year special.
11/16: I'm so grateful for the relationship that Gwen has with her cousin Wyatt. Though we don't see each other as often as we would like, I absolutely adore how much they love each other!
11/17: I'm grateful for my crazy, loud, fun, ridiculous in-laws! My MIL and FIL who are just supportive beyond words, and my BILs and SILs who are fun and loving, and my nephew Wyatt, who is a joy!
11/18: I'm so grateful for that man that was William Kenny. He was a larger then life presence. While his absence is felt deeply, he left such a legacy of love that I can't be anything but grateful for the part of his life that I got to spend with him.
11/19: I'm grateful for hard work that pays off!  And hardworking coworkers who help to bear the load.
11/20: I'm grateful for work from home days, especially when they are also half days. Sleep! Yoga pants and sweatshirts!
11/21: I am so thankful for good reviews, and bosses who express their appreciation of all you do, while still pushing you to be better.
11/22: For epic, once in a lifetime events, and the friends I get to experience them with, I am thankful! Go Lehigh!
11/23: I'm grateful for holiday cookies, giggling girls, and Eagles wins!
11/24: I'm thankful for every single one of you reading this. For being a part of my life, big or small.
11/25: For my daughter, Gwen, who drives me absolutely crazy sometimes, but who is the light of my life and a blessing beyond compare I am so so thankful.
11/26: I'm definitely grateful for an employer who appreciates family time and lets us out of work early; and the massage I was able to treat myself to with some of that free time!!

Today I am so especially thankful to be able to spend this day with my amazing family, sharing amazing food, and good company. There is so much there that is an extra blessing. I am an amazingly blessed, and thankful for it everyday.

What are you thankful for? 


Yankee Stadium and cookies galore!

It was a very full weekend. Good, but tiring.

Saturday was the big Lehigh-Lafayette football game. Ours is the most played college football rivalry, and it was our 150th meeting, so it was a big deal.

We met at our friend Lauren's house, then took a van together into the big city... because this game was being held at Yankee Stadium!!

We ended up losing (wah!), but it was a great day and a lot of fun anyway.

Sunday we headed to Ro and Pat's where we took some holiday card pictures, plus some extras. One of my favorites (and ironically, the one where all of the kids were actually behaving!) is this one of Ro and I with our gaggle of girls.

We then proceeded to make 3 different kinds of cookies, and have a great afternoon/evening together.

It was a great weekend, and I feel like I was able to enjoy it even more thanks to last week being done (including my annual review on Friday, which went so well!). I'm still feeling the relief.

Today I'm reveling in the 70* weather, and ignoring the fact that they are calling for snow on Wednesday. Let's live in the now, on this one.  ;-)

I hope your weekends were all as full and wonderful as mine!


cousins, happiness, saddness, and dress up

What I week! I'm so glad its Thursday already.
This was THEE week that I've been alternately dreading and looking forward to for weeks now. It was every bit as tiring as I thought it was going to be, but while I'm happy to be on the other side of it, it was not bad.

Let's start at the beginning. Last weekend we had a birthday party for a friend's twins on Saturday, then Sunday my in-laws started arriving into town. We met up with Andy, Megan, and Wyatt on Sunday evening to hit up Chucky Cheese, so the kids could run around and be nuts. We went out to dinner, then headed home.

I had to work Monday, but Trav and Gwen met up with them again to head to the Please Touch Museum. That night Trav and Gwen picked me up at the train station and we headed to a restaurant to meet with Andy, Megan, and Wyatt, Trav's parents, his Aunt and her husband, his Uncle Bob, and his other brother Scott and his wife Tammy. It was a loud, fun dinner!

Tuesday were all off Willy's services. There was a 9am viewing, followed by a 10am Mass, then the graveside portion, and finally a lunch for everyone which lasted until about 3. Trav's Aunt then had the close family over to her place for some finger foods, so we didn't get home until about 6. It was a long day, but a really good one. There were sad points, but many more happy ones. It was a great celebration of a great man, and I know he would have loved that his memory made us smile and laugh.

That night we were all in bed early. Wednesday Trav and Gwen were off again, this time to spend some time with Trav's Mom and Dad, but I was back to work. And not just any work day, but the biggest work day of the year! It was the night of our big dinner (our largest fundraiser of the year, with a big speaker and an amazing dinner at a gorgeous hotel). I got to get gussied up for the occasion.

And a coworker even helped with with my hair and makeup:

It was a very long day, but a wonderful culmination of a LOT of hard work. I was in bed, exhausted at 11:30.

Thankfully this morning I got to sleep in. Trav and Gwen were back to work and school as normal, but I have a work from home day, and a half-day too! So I was able to sleep in, eat a leisurely breakfast, take a relaxing shower, and throw on a pair of yoga pants and a sweatshirt. I needed that!

Loving her Mama...
or begging for breakfast sausage...
Now, hopefully things will slow down. There is still plenty going on, but two of the biggest things are behind us, and I feel like I've let out a breathe of air I've been holding for months.

Two big events days/events down, I picked up the stuff I need for my contribution to Thanksgiving, I picked up cookie supplies for baking with Ro this weekend, my Christmas shopping is 99% done, and we have lots to enjoy coming up shortly. Lehigh-Lafayette football this Saturday, picture taking and cookie baking with Ro, Pat, and the kids this Sunday, a much needed massage for me next Wednesday, Thanksgiving with the family Thursday, and looking at another house that following Sunday! Then we're on to December already!

So glad to be on the other side of things.


eye on the prize

Some Friday's feel like the prize at the end of a very harsh competition. It feels like winning just to get to them. This is definitely one of those Fridays. I'm making it even better in a few ways. Listening to this song right now:

And heading out to get a much needed pedicure at lunch.

Next week is going to be hard, but I'm hopeful that things will calm down after that. I'm ready for a little bit of calm.

I'm a little sad. It snowed last night and I can feel the death tolls of Autumn, and the impending deep bone chill of impending winter. I'm ready for winter holidays, but not winter weather. Thankfully the snow melted by morning, so we have some time... but the cold is moving in, and its only a matter of time now. 

When seasons collide (picture by my Daddy!).

Hope you enjoy your well earned weekend! I know I will.


a million little things

I'm tired of work stressing me out to an extent that I'm having trouble putting it aside at the end of the day. I'm tired of all those little things that go wrong that I can normally handle just fine, but just can't right now, not when they happen all at once. I'm tired of being tired.

Mostly, I'm tired of hearing myself complain.

Life is overwhelming, but I need to be thankful because it is also good. I need more weekends, and more hours in the day, but who doesn't. This will all pass. In a week our biggest work event of the year will be OVER and in two weeks it will be Thanksgiving.

For now, I'm going to take a deep breath, enjoy that I am working from home today, and do the best I can to power through the rest of this week.


no more evening light

It is so dark now when I leave work, and too bright in the morning... though that part will change and soon it will just be dark all the time. I try to leave work for a little over lunch to get some fresh air and sun, but its hard right now because there is so much to do, and even after things settle, well the colder it gets, the harder it is to convince myself to leave the warm building. There are so many things that I love about this time of year, the DST time change isn't one of them. I would much rather continuing to ease into the shorter days and less light, then be thrown into it all of a sudden. But boy does it suddenly make the rest of the holidays seem so close.

I'm actually about 80-90% done with my Christmas shopping. I always like to get a jump on it, buy things as I find stuff that people need/want, but this year I'm extra on top of it. I think its because it is providing me with a sense of accomplishment and control while I am otherwise feeling slightly unmoored. Work may be busy beyond my control, and life may just be nuts, but I'm am going to be so damn on top of Christmas, so that is something. Whatever helps, right? And it will make December a lot more relaxed.

Linking up with Just Write.

Ps. Did you vote today? I did! Remember, if you don't exercise your right to have a say and a voice, then you don't get to complain about the results. Those are the rules.  ;-)



We broke down on Saturday and turned on the heat. At least we made it until November. Honestly we probably would have made it further, if it weren't for all the time our door spent open the night before because of Trick-or-Treaters. But it is officially cold now, and this weekend more so, plus rain which chills you even more, so I was happy for even the little bit of heat we applied.

Our weekend was good overall. Gwen came home from daycare on Friday overly tired, overly sugared, overly excited, and with a cold blooming. She and Trav went out trick-or-treating and had a lot of fun, but then she didn't want to go to bed when she came home. She helped hand out candy until about an hour past her bedtime, when we finally put our foot down. She had a great day/night, but it ended with her completely bursting into overwhelmed tears and me having to console her before she could fall asleep. She woke a few times that night.

I needed sleep so desperately that I skipped my monthly trail clean up. Trav took Gwen to the store and a few places, and I slept until 9:30. It was a rainy miserable day and Gwen still wasn't herself, but we colored and tried to just chill and enjoy the day. That evening we headed to a coworker's housewarming party, we all had fun and Gwen did really well. She actually was adorable when we left because said coworker lives in the city, so walking to our car in the dark and seeing the center city skyline all lit up on the horizon was awe-inspiring for her. She was so amazed by the huge glowing buildings. It was pretty great. Unfortunately she got to bed a bit late that night too.

Trav let me sleep in again on Sunday, which was amazing, and after lunch I took Gwen to her school friend's birthday party. I was excited for it since it was at a giant play place, and I needed her to run around to burn off some energy. Unfortunately I think that was completely negated by the cake they gave them at the end. She was good, but just again, so not herself. We did get her to bed early last night, and besides one wake at 4am, she slept well. I could use another weekend day, but it was nice.

I'm so glad for the nice weekend because overall, I'm really overwhelmed right now. Between the craziness that work has been for the past two weeks, and what I know is in store for the next two to three weeks, plus house hunting, and everything else going on, I just feel like I'm just tapped out of patience.

I haven't mentioned this yet, but Trav's Pappy recently passed away, and its been hard to deal with. The range of emotions is one thing, and add to that the logistics... well, its a lot. I'm trying to be supportive while balancing what else has to get done. His services are on the 18th which is the day before our biggest work day of the year. Thank goodness for an understanding boss, but frankly, I'm just dreading that whole week because its going to be physically and emotionally exhausting.

While I never want to rush the time away (it goes too fast on its own), I am counting down until Thanksgiving, when a lot will finally be behind us, and hopefully we can have a moment to breathe.

So that, friends, is where we stand!


boo-tiful day

Happy Halloween all!

I love this time of year, and this is the first of my 3 favorite holidays. My morning was made when Trav headed off for work in his Batman costume, which he will still be wearing when he walk our Robin around the neighborhood tonight for Trick or Treating (pictures to follow, I promise). Love it.

This week has been lonnnng, so this is a great end to it. I got home from an overnight work trip to DC at 8:45 last night, and slept like the dead. It was a nice change from the night before when 2am found me walking to an all-night CVS for the Zantac I forgot to pack. I will never forget again! Today is day 12 (in a row) of work, so this weekend is going to feel wonderful. Just spending quality time with Gwen and Travis is going to be amazing, as I've been way short of that lately. I only saw her for a few hours last Sunday (not at all Saturday), and missed two nights this week.

And tomorrow is November! I can't believe how fast this month went and how busy this coming month is going to be. A housewarming, multiple kids birthday parties, the Lehigh-Lafayette football game, and of course, Thanksgiving. Plus more looking at houses. And work, lots of work, as our biggest event of the year is this month.

Thankfully though, this month promises more time for family and balance then the past two weeks have allowed. I am grateful for that. I'm always striving for balance.

I hope your weekends are relaxing and fun, and full of yummy sweets. Happy Halloween!


mini pregnancy update

After my appt this morning I can tell you that, at 28 weeks I am:

- measuring spot on

- have gained 17 lbs total

- baby appears to be head down

I can also say that I feel pretty good. I'm tired this week, but I feel well. I'm still going to yoga every week (as my schedule allows).

Did I ever tell you about cravings? During my first tri, all I wanted was shrimp tempura. During my second trimester, I couldn't get enough PB&Js! I'm curious to see if there will be a continuous craving during this last trimester.

12 weeks to go, and so far, so good!



I'm tired.

Watching the sunrise over the city.
Not bad, though I would have preferred to still be asleep!
Its Monday, so this is not hugely surprising, but its more then just your typical Monday tiredness, since it was brought on by working 17 hours this weekend!

We had a big weekend event on Saturday and Sunday, so I was up and out of the house by 6:30 on Saturday and just before 7 on Sunday. Saturday was long. I didn't get home until 8:30 or so, and I didn't get to see Gwenie at all.

Sunday was better. I was out of the house a little later, got to give Gwenie some hugs before I left, and was home at 3ish (after a nice celebratory lunch with some coworkers).

That is not to say the weekend was all bad! It really wasn't. Friday night Apoc came over for dinner.

I always love seeing these two interact. Apoc is great with kids, and Gwenie loves him.

Saturday, while I was busy working, at least I got to enjoy some cute pictures, since my mom was entertaining Gwen (since Trav had a meeting to attend).

Sunday I turned 28 weeks:

And when I did get home we got to do one of my favorite activities... pumpkin carving. Gwen decided on the design for the one, Trav and I picked the dots on the other.

And we got SO many seeds to roast!

I didn't get to take today off since I have to work from home tomorrow for an appt at the Birth Center, and to wait around for the guy to come do our yearly heater maintenance; plus I had a dentist appt in the afternoon for a tooth I broke on Friday (same one that broke before... the ONLY tooth that has given me any problems!), and I'll be in DC for work on Thursday. Sheesh. But at least I did get to come in late and get a few hours of extra sleep in the morning.

And now I have to run! Are you keeping busy in this final week of October?


wordless wendesday {amazing view}

All photo credit for these AMAZING pictures goes out to my friend Cassie.
She took these on a hike the other day and I was too amazed not to share.