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.


the calm before the storm

October is more then half over already. I'm not ready for winter, but its impending arrival is looming ever closer. How do these months seem to go faster and faster each one? I entered the 3rd trimester this weekend, and I know that slide speeds up quickly towards the end (its already gone so fast!).

Today, and the rest of the week, it is cooled off a lot. Highs in the upper 50s/low 60s, but this weekend we had some upper 60s to enjoy. There was a church fair going on nearby, and while they didn't have a lot going on, they did have a horse to ride, which Gwen LOVED.

She looked so big sitting up there!

They also had pumpkins, so my girl was pretty much the happiest.

The rest of the weekend was low-key. Grocery shopping, laundry, and a visit from a girlfriend who picked up some baby stuff we were giving her. I finally switched out the carseat in my car, which Gwen had outgrown, for a bigger 5-point booster. The cupholders make her happy.  :-)

I know I just said it above, but I'm going to say it again... I can't believe I'm already in the 3rd trimester! This pregnancy is going so quickly!

I swear January will be here before I know it, and it will be time to birth a baby!  ::gulp::

Honestly, its feeling a bit like the calm before the storm around here with the weather turning colder, and between my entering the final trimester, plus our biggest event of the year and all the holidays that quickly follow looming ever closer.

It was a beautiful weekend, and honestly, its been a beautiful October already. There have been frustrations (work, house hunting, etc.), but there have been so many lovely, relaxed days this month, I'm just going to suck them all up while they last.

How is your October shaping up?


tasty on tuesday {pumpkin, pear, fennel soup; roasted potatoes and fennel}

Two fall favorites of ours to share today. The first is Pumpkin, Pear, and Fennel soup:

With a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Pumpkin, Pear, Fennel Soup

Adapted from the now disappeared No Takeout

1. Trim the root ends and most of the greens from 2 leeks. Cut them lengthwise, rinse well under cold water and slice thinly. Put them in a colander and rinse again. Drain thoroughly.
2. Peel a winter squash (I use butternut, but acorn works too... just way harder to peel!). Cut in half, scrape out the seeds and cut into 1-inch chunks. You should have about 4 cups of squash.
3. Peel, core and chop 2 pears.
4. Peel and dice 1" ginger (or cheat and use a big ole scoop of the minced stuff from the jar!).
5. Coarsely chop 2 tsp fennel seed.
6. In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons butter, then add the leeks and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
7. Add the squash, pears, fennel seed, 3/4 tsp salt and 4 cups chicken stock (or veggie, if you want it to remain vegetarian) to the stockpot.
8. Increase the heat to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are soft and crush easily against the side of the pot, about 25 minutes.
9. Puree the soup until it is smooth. If it is too thick, thin it with some apple cider (I normally do this no matter what, and cook a little longer to thicken it up if needed).
10. Taste and season with salt and pepper, more ginger or fennel if needed.

To serve, fill a bowl with soup and garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche or plain yogurt and a sprinkling of cinnamon, if desired.

And on the side roasted potatoes, fennel, onion, garlic, and sage. Veggies are never going to be my favorite, but this I would fight people for:

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

Tweaked slightly from Food Magazine

1. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
2. Toss 1 pound halved mini red potatoes with 1 sliced fennel bulb, 1 sliced white onion, 10 sage leaves, and enough olive oil to coat well.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Pop into oven.
4. Slice 8-10 garlic cloves, drizzle with a little olive oil, and add to mixture after about 10 minutes.
5. Roast until golden and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes total, tossing halfway through.



day off for a long weekend

I'm sneaking this in after Gwen is in bed. None of us have the day off tomorrow, so its time to get back to the grind. The weeks have been so long around here lately. Repeat the broken record of work craziness, house hunting blahs, and all the other normal business. But lets look at some of the nice stuff from this past week.

Gwen got some new clothes from her Nana.

The only dress in the bunch, she liked the soft arms.
Nana did a good job of picking out some boy's shirts which Gwen LOVED. We convinced her the one dress was just a really long shirt and she went with it.

Meanwhile the Autumn weather is well and truly here to stay. We took out the A/Cs, and I got to wear boots and sweaters, which made me happy indeed.

25.5 weeks
I had Friday off. I took it off ages ago for something which didn't pan out, but decided to keep it. I'm so glad I did. AM yoga, lunch with Trav (an early anniversary meal), and some relaxing was just what the doctor ordered. I also spent a few hours in the kitchen which always makes me happy. Friday night it was loaded baked potato soup, and roasted cauliflower on the side. Saturday it was our favorite Pumpkin, Pear, and Fennel soup:

With a sprinkle of cinnamon.
And on the side roasted potatoes, fennel, onion, garlic, and sage. Veggies are never going to be my favorite, but this I would fight people for:

Those two nights of cooking produced veggies for the week for us, plus soup for the nights they were made, one other dinner's worth of each, and another night of each which I froze for later.

Another favorite part... with cooler weather comes much more snuggling from Miss Daisy:

Such a love bug.

Overall, a great weekend, and a good recharge for the sure to be long week ahead.


busy, but okay

It was brisk out this weekend, but nice. I had my park clean up on Saturday, but otherwise, no plans. Which was great. So Saturday I headed off to Ridley Creek to dig holes, shlep concrete, and walk all over the park putting up new signs.

I felt better after 3 hours of that then I had been at the end of 8 hours in front of a computer! Office jobs... they really are going to be the death of us. Sure, I was tired, and a little sore, but in a good way. I wasn't achy, I wasn't uncomfortable, and thank goodness, I didn't feel like I had a baby in my ribs.

Gwen and I hit up the park on Sunday. We went on the slide, did the swings, and played spaceships! 

I took a step back from work this weekend, and decided that I would focus more on myself. From now on, I'm taking lunch, no matter how busy I am. I'm getting outside to walk around once a day, or, if its too gross, at least getting up and stretching. Work will be busy, work will be stressful, and work will be frustrating; but I can't control that, what I can control is my own reaction to the situation. 

Pretending to sleep on our "spaceship."

So now we start another busy week. And I'm feeling okay about that. 

Also, just because, Its Decorative Gourd Season, M****F***


the state of things

Here are the little things that are taking up my brain space right now, but don't warrant their own posts:

I got another jury summons. Another! I'm so thrilled about this, let me tell you.

I was complaining a little to a friend the other day that this baby was SO LOW and I needed to get them out of my hips and bowels. Well it appears that I forgot was the alternative was, because yesterday the baby pushed up firmly, shoving all my organs into my ribs and making me oh so sore. Seriously, ribs hurt man. TMI, but I went from wearing my bra hooked on the second smallest set of hooks, to the widest set of hooks, and I still might need to break out my old, one band size up, bras. I'm considering jumping up and down, to see if the baby will go back down.  ;-)  A good reminder to be careful what you wish for.

Work is pretty horrible right now. We're all stressed and too busy, and when my boss gets that way, he can be, uh, short with people. Which only makes things worse. Its making me frustrated and stressed and annoyed and...  well, more grateful then ever for my weekends.

Speaking of which, time to wrap things up here.

Have a great weekend!



How is it possibly October already?! My favorite month, by far, so I'm not complaining... but September went so quickly, that I'm spinning a little bit. Thankfully our October weekend days are looking a lot less full then last month's, which will be a welcome break. This says nothing about the craziness that is my work week, leading up to our biggest event of the year in November, but at least I'll have some real down time on the weekends.

Its getting really beautiful. Amazing sunrises that I actually get to see, because they happen after I wake up; vibrant leaves popping out all over. I love it.

I had an appointment at the Birth Center yesterday. I'm 24 weeks now, and October will bring the start of my 3rd trimester. Again, I can't believe it. I'm moving super slow today, which is of course, partially because of getting bigger and more unwieldy, but mostly because I feel so short of sleep this week, and hot yoga kicked my butt last night! I'm going to bed early tonight, throwing open the windows to another one of my favorite parts of the season, the cold evenings.

What is October bringing for you?