Monthly Archives: December 2014

Revisiting 2014 Goals & Setting Goals for 2015

For the last few years I’ve been writing a post right before the new year about my goals and whether or not I accomplished them. I also set some new goals for the upcoming year. Two things I love to do: reflect and plan!

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So let’s review my¬†2014 goals. I have to be honest, I forgot what a couple of them were until I looked up last year’s post! Oops! But I must have still had them in the back of my mind because I did a pretty good job with most of my goals ūüôā

  • PR in the full and half marathon distance.¬†Full marathon- check! Half marathon- not so much. That distance just keeps getting me and I can’t seem to break the PR I set back in 2011! I have to say though, I’m super proud of my full marathon PR of 3:56:08. It took 6 years, 9 marathons and 1 DNF marathon to get there. I feel like that was one of my biggest accomplishments this year!
  • Do more than just run! [Strength training and cross training].¬†Check!!! I feel like I did awesome in this arena. I’ve been taking Body Pump twice a week and have definitely felt the difference. With my 365 days of fitness challenge, I’ve had to figure out ways to be active every day which didn’t always include running. I’ve definitely rediscovered some things that I love.
  • Get my running coach certification and start using it to help people! I’m happy to say that I also accomplished this big goal of mine in 2014. I took the certification course in April and became fully certified in June. Since then I have trained a few people¬†who were training for 15Ks, half and full marathons and have learned a lot along the way. I started mostly with people I know and my friends and it’s been awesome. I’ve helped two achieve new PRs in the half marathon, and two went onto to run full marathons. I’m excited to work on taking this business to the next level with the help of my brother-in-law who is pretty much a business expert. I lost some steam since being pregnant with pursuing it like I was but I’m making progress.
  • Spend quality time with my husband.¬†Kevin and I did a good job with this, especially over the summer. We had a ton of fun together, went on dates, traveled, visited breweries, and really reconnected as husband and wife after playing the parent role for two years. He started working at his part-time job a couple months ago which takes him away 4 nights a week, so lately we’ve been spending a little less time together. However, we’ve been trying to make sure to maximize the time we do have. Most of the time we do things as a family rather than just husband and wife, since he’s gone most of the week, but that’s fine and it makes me happy ūüôā
  • Disconnect more.¬†Kevin would probably say I didn’t accomplish this goal, and I wouldn’t say I ‘mastered’ it by any means. I did make progress though. I made more of a conscious effort to sit down, play and engage fully with my son rather than letting technology distract me. I also loved rocking him to sleep at night or at nap time and just letting myself soak it in rather than wait for him to get sleepy enough and scroll through Facebook in the meantime. It’s a work in progress!

Now moving on to my goals for the new year!

  • Stay¬†active through the rest of my pregnancy. I’ll be spending the first 5ish months of 2015¬†in the last half of my pregnancy (baby is due May 18th). It is important for my physical. mental and emotional health to stay as active as I can. I know from experience how much it helped me during my last pregnancy, with labor and delivery, and recovery afterwards. Remembering that is¬†really all the motivation I need to make sure this goal gets accomplished. Whether I keep active¬†by running, walking, ellipticalling (is that a word?), body pumping- it doesn’t matter. Of course my hope is to continue to be able to run until I give birth like last time, but I know that anything can happen so I need to be flexible. No matter what though, I just have to make it a priority to get my butt moving as much as I can, while still resting when I need to ūüôā
  • Run for FUN! I really want 2015 to be the year of running for fun. Since I’ll be pregnant the first half of the year, then recovering, then building back up, I want to make sure I don’t put too much pressure on myself. With my last pregnancy I jumped back in pretty quickly afterwards and tried to build up my speed and distance too fast. As a result I got injured and burned out. 2015 will be my year to let my body adjust to pregnancy and then adjust back to normal afterwards. I hope to run a few fall races for fun and then start training harder in 2016, because by that point it will be ON and I’ll be wanting to chase all those PRs I set after baby #1!
  • Eat well. I haven’t been very proud of my food choices lately. I can blame it on the holidays, on trips, on family and friends wanting to eat out, etc. but really, I know better and can do better. There’s a reason I have gained more weight with this pregnancy so far than with my first. I want to make sure I’m the healthiest me possible in 2015 and I know I’m already good on the exercise front- now it’s time to clean up the nutrition part. Of course I always believe in balance and enjoying the things I love in moderation and will continue to do that, but it needs to be more 80/20 rather than 50/50 like it has been. I know it will make me feel better in the rest of my pregnancy and afterwards. Kevin agrees with this goal and is on board as well. We’ve both been feeling the same way and are ready to make changes- starting with planning a month of healthy meals in January and not eating out at all. Good for the body and the wallet!
  • Don’t be so hard on myself. This one is so important to me on many different levels. I have a tendency to be very hard on myself. I have always been that way, but it got worse when I became a mother and questioned everything I was doing. Luckily I’m getting a little better with this and allowing myself some grace. I know I am going to make mistakes and I know need to cut myself some slack every once in a while. This is true not only with motherhood but also with my work, my running and fitness, as a wife, and when it comes to making sure my house is perfect and everything is done and in it’s place. This is going to be extra important to keep in mind during the second half of the year after I have my baby and adjust to life with two kids. I am going to make sure I’m able to let certain things go, keep everything into perspective and try my best to stay positive. Whew. It’s going to be a tough goal for me, that’s for sure!

I honestly can’t believe that it’s almost 2015! It’s going to a very exciting year as we expand our family and make even more amazing memories.

Goodbye-2014-hello-2015

What are your goals for 2015?

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Baby 2.0 – 20 Weeks

Ahhh! 20 weeks! Halfway there (maybe!). I’ve been enjoying a very busy and fun winter break, and thankfully still have another week at home before I have to go back to work. A lot of new and exciting things happened this week so it was definitely a memorable one. Here are all the details about week 20.

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Baby

This week baby is the size of a¬†banana- that seems gigantic! At 6.5 inches long and weighing over 10 ounces, baby is definitely growing! His taste buds are now working and he has started to practice swallowing. As you can see by the picture below, at this point the gender of the baby is usually obvious to find out, and ours is indeed a BOY [Here’s our gender reveal if you missed it]. It’s crazy that I can start referring to our baby as a “he” now! Baby is moving and grooving in there a lot lately too. At the point with my first pregnancy I was only starting to feel little flutters, but those started weeks ago this time. Now I am feeling full rolls and jabs all the time. It’s so strong that my husband was even able to feel it on Christmas night! It was such an amazing Christmas gift! I think this little boy is going to be a big one based on how much I’m already feeling him!

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Body

I have been sleeping much better this week- thank goodness! I know this is because I’m on winter break and not needing to get up at 5 a.m. or earlier to get my run in before work. I can sleep later and still run as long as I’m back before my husband has to leave at 7:30. So nice!!! I also haven’t had to stay up late every night doing Christmas prep because it was all done. It’s amazing how good decent sleep feels!

Other physical symptoms basically include more belly growth and heartburn after I eat certain foods. I can tell baby’s already pushing everything up inside which is causing me to continue tasting my food for a long time after I eat. Blech. Other than that though, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m not as emotional/upset about my body changes as I was last week, I think because we found out we’re having a little boy- which just makes it feel so much more real. Of course it’s always felt real, but being able to put a little face to what is making me grow and change puts things into perspective for sure!

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Mind

As I said above, I’m feeling less emotional that I was last week overall, but still got to a point where I was a bit overwhelmed with the holidays and all the craziness that comes with it. We made some amazing memories but I’m ready for life to slow down a bit now. We have literally no weekend plans in January yet except for one 5K race. I’m so excited about that- I need some downtime!¬†PS. My stomach looks weird and blotchy in the below picture because I had just woken up from sleeping hard! Haha.

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Along with the holidays came financial stress as well- like always! To help us bounce back from the hit our bank accounts took in December we decided to have a “no spending” rule in January. Of course we will still pay our bills like usual and buy things like gas and groceries- but no extras. No eating out, no shopping (we don’t NEED anything anyway!), nothing besides the basics. I’m weirdly excited about this challenge!

Last but most importantly, I’m feeling super happy and excited to know that we are going to be having another little boy! Before our no spend January begins I couldn’t resist buying this little onesie in the store. We honestly don’t need anything for this baby since it’s a boy, but I thought he deserved something of his own ūüôā I’m excited to be able to start bonding with this little boy and trying out the name that we think will be his to see if it’s a good fit ūüôā

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Food

Let’s just say I had a big sigh of relief yesterday when our last holiday-related meal was over. I am so ready to get back to my usual way of eating. As part of our no spend January, Kevin and I planned all our meals out for the entire month of January. We really tried to mix it up to keep it delicious, healthy, and interesting so we won’t be tempted to eat out at all. I know we’re ordering out on New Years Eve with some friends but then that’s the last time until February. I know my body is definitely going to thank me for that!

Fitness

For the most part I had a really good week in terms of fitness! I did a few¬†runs on the treadmill due to yucky weather, but was able to keep a little bit of a faster pace than I have been recently. I’m almost finished with the winter running streak and I can’t believe I’ve actually been able to run every day since Thanksgiving! My long run on Saturday was the only one that was a little rough.¬†Kevin and I got to run stroller free thanks to my dad and sister who are visiting. It was such a nice treat, but I was only able to do¬†about half with him¬†rather than the whole thing because his knee was bothering him. I also didn’t feel my best due to¬†having to pee constantly (despite peeing a lot before going out, and a pee stop at the halfway point- sigh…) and just feeling the effects of the holidays on my body. But I’m still glad I got it done and was able to run with my hubby!

  • Monday –¬†3 miles @ 9:52 pace
  • Tuesday – Body Pump+¬†2¬†miles @ 9:42 pace
  • Wednesday – ‚Äč4 miles @¬†9:45 pace
  • Thursday –¬†3 miles @ 9:52 pace
  • Friday –¬†4 miles @ 10:17 pace
  • Saturday –¬†7 miles @ 10:36 pace
  • Sunday – Body Pump +¬†2 miles @ 9:41 pace
  • Run – 25 miles
  • Strength – 2x

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Week 20 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: I’m not sure how much I gained this week since the scale’s been broken, I just know my total so far (below).
  • Total weight gained: +13.0. At week 20 last time I had gained 10, so it’s a little more than that this time around.
  • # of baby items bought: Only the onesie! I’m pretty proud of myself, but we really don’t need much!
  • # of days until¬†my anatomy scan: 1. Fingers crossed all goes well!
  • # of days until my next race: 6! I’ll be running the Frozen 5K on Sunday and I can’t wait!

20¬†weeks last time around!‚Äč

Christmas 2014

What a whirlwind week it’s been! As of today we are officially finished with our Christmas celebrations… rounds 1, 2 and 3! Here’s a recap of our extra special holiday this year.

December 23rd.¬†Since I am on winter break, we spent the day gearing up for Christmas by wrapping presents, making cookies, and going to hang out with Kevin’s sister and her family that evening. His grandma had also come to town from Tennessee, so it was great to get to spend time with her too!

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December 24th- Christmas Eve. For the first time in a LONG time, Kevin and I actually had no plans with family on Christmas Eve & Christmas morning. All of our family (except Kevin’s sister who lives here)¬†was coming into town on Friday, and so we were able to do our own thing as a little family of 3 (soon to be 4!). As soon as Kevin woke up on Christmas Eve he was excited.¬†The first thing he¬†said when he woke up was, “Santa coming to town?” ¬†This is the first year he is really able to get into Christmas and I love it! We have really been building it up with our traditions of visiting the Festival of Lights, going to see Santa at the mall, watching Santa ride through our neighborhood on the fire truck, etc. This kid was ready for Christmas!¬†For the last 3 years Kevin’s gotten new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve, so we continued that this year. He was so excited about these pajamas that he immediately stripped and wanted them on!

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We also started giving him a movie last year, which we also did this year. He got the movie Frozen since¬†he’s been obsessed with it, and we watched it together as a family while we ate some yummy cookies.

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We ended the night with my hubby reading Kevin the Night Before Christmas like he has the last two years, and then we got all of his presents under the tree for the morning!

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December 25th- Christmas Day. During Winter Break Kevin had been sleeping in until 8 or 8:30 since we weren’t having to wake him up to go to daycare. Of course on Christmas morning he was up and ready to go at 6:30! I swear he knew it was a special day!

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We got busy right away letting him open his gifts. We didn’t get him a ton of things, because he’s 2 and would be happy playing with wrapping paper, haha! We also knew that his grandparents would be spoiling him. So we stuck to the 4 major categories and kept it simple: something(s) he wants, something(s) he needs, something(s) to wear, and something(s) to read. He loved it all. I don’t have many pictures of him actually opening gifts that aren’t blurry because he was so excited!

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After opening everything up and having breakfast, we spent the rest of the morning relaxing¬†and letting Kevin play with his new things. It was beautiful outside so he rode his new car and I went for a run. After his nap we headed over to Kevin’s sister’s house for a little Christmas dinner and for our kids to exchange gifts.

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That night right before bed my husband got what he said was the best gift of all- he felt our baby move for the first time! He was super active and I told him to come over to see if he would be able to feel it, and after a big kick, he could! It was so amazing and special!

December 26th. The day after Christmas my hubby worked a half day and I stayed home with Kev and waited for my family to arrive! It was another beautiful day so when they got here we took a walk outside, then just hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.

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Eventually we went out to dinner and then visited the brewery that my husband has been working at part-time in the evenings. They all had fun tasting the different varieties of beer while I sipped my water jealously… just kidding ūüôā I do miss my beer tasting days but I know I’ll be back at it this summer!

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December 27th- Christmas, Round 2 + Gender Reveal Party! We woke up on Saturday morning and had Christmas, round 2 with my family. Kevin got some really special things, like his very own oversized chair with his name embroidered on it from my dad, and a personalized big brother book from his aunt. He also received an Olaf stuffed animal and blanket from my dad’s girlfriend, which he hasn’t stopped carrying around since! After opening presents we made breakfast together, which is another one of our family traditions.

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After presents and breakfast and lounging around, Kevin went down for a nap and I went for a run with my hubby stroller-free, which was so nice! We had to hurry up and get back though so we could shower and get ready for our gender reveal party. The party was at Kevin’s sister’s house, and by this time the rest of his family had arrived- his parents, brother, his other sister, her husband and their kids, etc. It was awesome to have everyone there together along with our friends. I’ve already written about the reveal, but it was AMAZING! We found out we’re having another baby boy, and we could not be happier!

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December 28th- Christmas, Round 3.¬†Time for round 3! This morning we headed to Kevin’s sisters house again for Christmas with his family. He has a really large family and everyone was there. His mom made a big lunch and then we had a crazy opening-fest. There was paper everywhere, it was insane! His mom goes all out for her grand babies… all 6 of them! It was a lot of fun though and a great way to wrap up our Christmas celebrations.

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And now… we REST! So thankful that I still have one more full week of winter break left!

It’s a… [Gender Reveal!]

Ever since we decided to find out the sex of this baby it’s all I can think about! We didn’t find out that Kevin was a boy until he was born, and I¬†was honestly fine with waiting. Of course I wondered whether the baby would be a girl or a boy, but it was not at the forefront of my mind at all. That is so not the case this time! Even though I loved waiting until the birth last time, I have been so excited to have a different experience with this pregnancy. To make it even more difficult, we could have found out weeks ago after doing a blood test that tests the DNA for a variety of chromosomal issues as well as the sex of the baby. But instead, we put the results in an envelope and handed it over to our designated secret keepers who were planning our reveal.

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To pass the time we’ve been talking about some of the old wives tales and doing some of the tests they say can predict the gender of your baby. Of course this is all for fun, but it’s really interesting to see what the clues are pointing to and speculate! Here are some of the predictions below.

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Some others that I couldn’t fit on the chalkboard include:

  • Clear skin, dry hands, and always being cold- BOY
  • The Mayan Gender Prediction method- BOY
  • Preferring to sleep on my right side- GIRL
  • Feeling extra emotional and moody- GIRL
  • Lots of headaches- BOY
  • Extra clumsy- BOY

Hmmm… very interesting! I’ve thought from the beginning that this baby was a girl, mainly because of how different this pregnancy has been compared to my first. However, I also thought Kevin was a girl the entire time, so really what do I know? My husband thinks it’s a boy, and whenever we ask little Kev what mommy has in her tummy he says baby girl.¬†The best part about this pregnancy is that when I visualize myself finding out if it’s a boy or if it’s a girl, I truly don’t feel an ounce of disappointment either way. I love the idea of having one of each and I love the idea of having brothers too. It’s a win-win situation for us!

Okay, now onto the good stuff. Will we be having a baby boy or a baby girl this May? We wanted to find out with both of our families and friends at Christmas, and tonight we did! Watch the video below to¬†see what happened¬†ūüôā

Yes, it’s a BOY!!! I am so, so excited to have two little boys! Ahhh!

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Kevin’s sister and my brother-in-law planned an amazing reveal party for us and were the best secret keepers. They bought the silly string and had so many special touches for the party. I will write about it more in my 20 week post on Monday when my dad is finished editing the photos!

My brother-in-law's photo booth!

My brother-in-law’s photo booth!

We honestly could not be happier, and can’t wait to meet our baby boy in May!

Baby 2.0 – 19 Weeks

Oops, I am a few days late writing this post! I’ve been on winter break since Friday and enjoying every minute of this crazy, family and friend-filled, festive time! We have been busy doing all of our special traditions and spending time with the people we love. Here are the details about week 19.

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Baby

This week baby is the size of a mango- 6 inches long and weighs almost half a pound. I believe that, I’m feeling a TON more movement lately and I can tell he or she has gotten a lot bigger! Baby is now able to smile and frown, and has even formed their own unique fingerprints! He or she is also working on developing the 5 senses and those nerve cells are developing in the brain.

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Body

After having a week of good sleep, this week I went downhill again. I blame it on the holidays and having so much to do, and I am definitely paying for it now. When I did get to sleep I was woken up a lot this week by crazy dreams. I had a lot of these in early pregnancy but then they died down for a little bit. This week they were back in full force and so realistic. In one dream I was helping to deliver my friend’s baby, in another I woke up in a panic because I overslept for a big race… they were so real that it was like I was experiencing them in real life. The worst one was when I dreamt I woke up, went into the bathroom to put on my running clothes like every morning, and when my eyes adjusted to the light I noticed that my ENTIRE BODY was covered in bright, red stretch marks. So realistic and so scary! LOL. I woke up and it was time to go run anyway, and I was so relieved to see that wasn’t true!

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Speaking of stretch marks… I may be dreaming of them because my boobs and belly are growing so quickly I’m pretty sure¬†I will get them this time! My boobs especially are seeming extra huge to me lately. During my last pregnancy, my sister gave some of her bras that she could no longer wear after losing 40 pounds. I was wearing these bras (which are a D cup) at the end of my pregnant last time. I am already wearing them this time and they fit perfectly. That means I grew from barely a B to a D. Eek!

Thinking about how much I’m changing so quickly this time and how different it’s been compared to my last pregnancy had me feeling a little down earlier this week when it comes to body image. I am always honest on here and this is something I want to be honest about as well. I felt amazing during my first pregnancy- confident, beautiful, and loved my changing body. I’m having a harder time dealing with the¬†different ways my body is changing with this pregnancy. I feel and look so much bigger and I’m gaining weight in different places than before (all through my mid-section rather than just in front, in my face, butt/thighs, etc.). I know it’s all worth it obviously BUT it doesn’t feel very good right now.¬†I definitely did not feel this way the first time and it makes me sad because I want to fully enjoy this pregnancy, since¬†it’s possibly my last.¬† I think I also need to stop looking at my pictures from last time and comparing myself now to then. It’s so important to think of the big picture and keep everything in perspective. I know these body changes are just temporary and so worth it, and everything will get back to normal just like it did before. I’m just hearing comments about how big I am already and feeling uncomfortable in some of my maternity clothes and it’s hard. ¬†I talked to some of my friends who are first and¬†second time moms (and one who’s pregnant with her 4th!) and they all helped me realize that what I’m feeling is normal. I also think I¬†had¬†a hormonal surge this week because I¬†was (and still am)¬†super emotional and it goes both ways- happy and sad. Whew… that was a long rant but it feels good to get it all out!

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4 weeks vs. 19 weeks (same outfit)

Mind

What is on my mind? Aside from the previously mentioned body image issues, I felt relatively good the rest of the week.¬†First of all, I had my first official midwife appointment early in the week which was AMAZING and helped me feel really confident in our decision to switch to a birth center. The appointment was almost an hour long with a midwife and a student midwife. They were so patient, so willing to just sit and talk and ask me questions about my life and my first pregnancy and birth, and what I hope for this one. The quality of care was amazing. I never felt rushed, stressed, or uncomfortable. I am so happy and relieved to find what seems to be a great fit for us! At the appointment we heard the baby’s heartbeat and she measured my belly. She said that my uterus is about a half inch above my belly button already. I know that it usually hits the belly button around 20 weeks, but that’s normal for 2nd time moms. I can’t help but think this baby is going to be giant though!

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While I was at the midwife she wrote me an order to get my 20 week anatomy scan, since they do not do ultrasounds in the office. I made my appointment for next Tuesday and I’m really excited but also anxious, since this is the ultrasound where they check out all the organs and body parts to see if they are developing correctly. This is also where they check the sex of the baby, but we already have confirmation of that from our MaterniT21 blood test that we did a couple months ago. The results of that test all came back normal and the baby’s sex went in an envelope that then went to a designated person. On Saturday we will finally find out if this little one is a boy or a girl along with both of our families at our reveal party! I cannot wait!

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Some of the old wives tales plus our predictions. What do you think?!

The holidays are also making me super happy this week. We were able to continue with some of our favorite traditions, like taking Kevin to see Santa at the mall. He was a little apprehensive at first, telling me “No want him!” But eventually he came around once he watched other kids and Santa waved and winked at him. We also got to see Santa come to our neighborhood on a firetruck, and we went to the Festival of Lights like we do every year. We did a lot of these things with Kevin’s best little friend Leighton and her parents James and Chanda, who we sadly said goodbye to on Sunday after the Festival of Lights. They’re moving to Germany for 3 years with the military and we’re going to miss them so much!

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Food

I mentioned before that the¬†holidays have made it tough to eat as healthy as I would like to, but I think I’m doing a good job of balancing the healthy with the not so healthy, eating out more, more treats, all with regular exercise. I LOVE the holidays and all that comes with them, and I am not going to deprive myself. However, I did refrain from eating any cookie dough because of the raw eggs. Wahhh, pregnancy problems ūüôā

Fitness

I had another roller coaster week in terms of running. Some days I feel great (including an amazing 10 miler with my friend Chanda) and some I feel slow and heavy, even on an easy 1, 2, or 3 miler. I think I might need to start supporting the belly in a couple weeks, even though it’s way earlier than I did last time. But other than that I’m still streaking, and have a little over a week left! I’m so glad I decided to do the streak, especially over the holiday season which usually makes me lazy!

  • Monday – 2 miles @ 10:46 pace
  • Tuesday – Body Pump+ 1 mile @ 10:02
  • Wednesday – ‚Äč4 miles @ 10:27 pace
  • Thursday – 1 mile @ 10:34 pace
  • Friday – 3 miles @ 10:27 pace
  • Saturday – 10 miles @ 10:36 pace
  • Sunday – Body Pump + 1 mile @ 10:21 pace
  • Run – 22 miles
  • Strength – 2x
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Last time running with Chanda for a while ūüė¶

Week 19 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: ? Scale is still out of batteries and with my recent body issues, I think I might not rush to replace them anytime soon.
  • Total weight gained: Not sure but at least 10 at this point.
  • # of gifts left to wrap: 3! Almost done!
  • # of times I have missed wine and beer during this holiday season: at least 10! But it’s okay, I’ll eat cookies instead ūüôā
  • # of days until our gender reveal party: 3!! I can’t wait!

19 weeks last time around!‚Äč

Stridebox: November

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 9.11.18 PMIt’s finally time for another¬†Stridebox¬†review! Yes, I know that it’s almost January- I am so behind on so many things right now! But in case you missed last month’s post, Stridebox is a $15 monthly subscription box for all things running related. For some reason it’s taken me a long time to get through November’s box, but I finally did and I’m ready to talk about all of the items I have received.

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So I dug into this box and started using the items before I remembered to take a picture of everything. The below picture doesn’t include Gu Chomps and a PowerBar PowerGel I received, because we had already used them, so I inserted pictures of those from their websites to show you what they look like. This box definitely had some winners and some not-so-good ones in my opinion. Here are the details!

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RUNA Tea Sampler:¬†I loved this tea! It is made from Guayusa, which is an Amazonian “super-leaf” that provides clean energy and as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, which is all I can really have in a day now that I’m pregnant. I received four flavors to try: Mint Guayusa, Ginger-Citrus Guayusa, Traditional Guayusa, and Cinnamon Lemongrass Guayusa. I have tried a couple flavors so far, and especially loved the Ginger-Citrus. I didn’t have it before a run, but drank it as a mid-day work break for a little energy boost. Kevin had the mint flavor and agreed. He said, “The run tea was very tasty. I had the mint flavor and it was on point. I didn’t use it for a run, but to keep me focused at work and it did it’s job.” We both would definitely purchase this again. I also saw on the info card that they make other products like bottled teas and energy drinks, so I’d be interested in trying those too.¬†Retail: $5.79/16 bags ($0.36 each)

Run Gum- Performance Gum (Fruit & Mint):¬†I have TMJ and I’m not supposed to chew gum, so I passed these onto Kevin. The idea is to eat one piece before a run and one piece afterwards for optimal performance and recovery. The energy boost comes from a mixture of caffeine, taurine and B vitamins. Here is what he said: “I didn’t really feel any difference when I chewed this gum. The mint was better tasting than the fruit. The gum’s lifespan was very short as it hardened up after only about 2 minutes of chewing.”¬†Retail: $18.00/12 packets¬†($1.50¬†each)

ProMax LS- Low Sugar Protein Bar (Honey Peanut): OMG you guys. I honestly don’t know what to say about this bar except I took one bite and had to spit it out immediately. Blech. Not a fan. It was really dry and had a terrible taste. Nothing like honeys or peanuts. I’m sorry to say this was a big fat fail for me ūüė¶¬†Retail: $1.89/bar

SWORD Performance Hydration Drink (Berry):  I had high hopes for this powdered drink mix that is all natural with no artificial flavors or colors, especially when I mixed it up after Kevin and I went for a run and it smelled really good. Unfortunately, the taste did not match the smell at all. It tasted almost sour and left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. I thought maybe my taste buds have just been super sensitive lately due to pregnancy, but I had Kevin try it and he agreed. Another one bites the dust! Retail: $25.00/10 pouches ($2.50 each)

GU Chomps Energy Chews (Black Cherry):¬†¬†This was the first item that I used from the box. I brought them with me to Richmond when I ran the last 8 miles with my friend Amanda during her marathon. I loved the black cherry flavor! However, if I’m going to eat chews I really prefer Honey Stinger Chews because of how easy they are to chew. I have found that some chews like the Gu Chomps and Clif Shot Bloks are chewier and tougher to get down. I still enjoyed these though and they provided me with the energy I needed during the race. Retail: $31.75/16 packets ($1.98 each)

PowerBar PowerGel (Orange Dream):¬† Like I have said before, I’m not a fan of oranges or anything orange-flavored, so I passed this energy gel onto Kevin. Here are his thoughts: “The PowerGel was tasty, but not something I would look forward to having during a run. A little over sweet in my opinion.”¬†Retail: $32.40/24 pouches ($1.35 each)

StrideBox Light-Up Armband:¬†I was excited to receive this in my box because I have been doing most of my runs in the dark lately before the sun comes up. I am lacking in good reflective gear, which I know is not good! This is just a simple armband made of reflective material. It stayed on well on top of the jacket I was wearing and didn’t move, and it gave me piece of mind that I was well seen at 5:30 a.m. I do wonder how well it would stay on my arm if I were wearing a short-sleeved shirt or tank top, but I’ll have to wait to test that out until after winter!¬†Retail: $9.99 each

Running Sticker:¬†¬†I really love this little bonus item in my box each week ūüôā This month’s sticker said, “Long-short, fast-slow, early-late, just GO!” Love that!

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I received my December¬†box a couple weeks ago and have already tried a few of the items. I actually made a video of myself unboxing everything for the first time, so look forward to that and my awkward commentary (LOL)! I promise I won’t make you wait so long for that review. I am so behind on blog posts since I’ve been so busy, so I’m hoping to catch up with everything over my wonderful two week Christmas Break!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Stridebox (I wish I was! LOL). I purchased this subscription myself and all opinions are my own.

Baby 2.0 – 18 Weeks

As of today I am 18 weeks pregnant! It’s crazy to think that I’m only a couple weeks away from the halfway point. I know I keep saying this but it’s crazy how quickly time is passing lately. It’s awesome in a way but also sad since this is most likely my last pregnancy! I really need to remember to enjoy this time! Here are the details about week 18.

Family snuggle time!

Family snuggle time!

Baby

This week baby is the size of a sweet potato! That seems huge! His or her reflexes are developing more fully, and baby is now able to hiccup, yawn, suck, swallow, and move easily. Apparently baby is growing quickly at this point, which makes sense based on some of the symptoms I’ve been experiencing this week.

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Body

I did so much better with sleep this week, which has really helped me get through another very busy week. It makes a huge difference when I get to bed early, even if I don’t sleep the whole night through because I have to get up to pee or something. I know I’m going to need to make this a priority for the remainder of the pregnancy, especially since I’ve also been getting up early to work out. I’ll do what I need to do in order to continue feeling good!

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I spent the majority of the week feeling like things are changing for me physically. I was pretty achy in my stomach/uterus area and I feel like things are growing rapidly. This is also true for my boobs! They just keep growing, and the blue veins are fully visible at this point. I’m getting out of breath more easily when I walk up stairs and things like that, and I’m feeling a lot more movement in my belly so I can tell he or she is growing!

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Little Kev had me laughing in the above pics when I took my shirt off. “Mommy nakey!”

Mind

Things are starting to wind down a bit in terms of work and life stress. I had a night event at school this past Tuesday that I had to bring little Kev to since my husband was working, and that was rough. I had to try to juggle talking with parents and watching my toddler who was overtired and not having it. But once that was over the rest of the week was pretty smooth sailing. We had an amazing weekend as a family, doing Christmasy things like riding on the Santa Train, putting up more lights and watching Christmas movies.

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Fun on the Santa Train!

Fun on the Santa Train!

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I filled out my maternity leave paperwork this week and was so happy to be able to fill in “school year 2015-16” for my¬†expected date of return. I am so excited and thankful to be able to have a longer time at home with this baby than the short 8 weeks I had with Kevin, even though some of it is going to end up being unpaid. I know it’s worth it. Maternity leave in this country is a joke! But thankfully, the timing we hoped for worked out so I’ll be able to take my maternity leave and then have the whole summer as well. Depending on when the baby is born, this will end up being 3 to 4¬†months. So much better than 8 weeks! This is giving me so much peace of mind.

I can tell there are some changes going on with my hormones though, because I was pretty emotional and moody this week. I found myself getting upset and/or angry at things that wouldn’t normally set me off. I am thankful to have a very patient husband and fellow pregnant/mommy friends who understand! And a little boy who loves me unconditionally ūüôā

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Food

Once again, I did super well with my eating during the week and then let myself indulge a bit this weekend. It started on Friday when I met my former colleagues for happy hour at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. I wasn’t planning on eating dinner there but I was having so much fun catching up with my friends and got hungry. I ordered veggie fajitas which were delicious, but didn’t end up mixing well with the Mexican salad I packed myself for lunch that day. Too much Mexican!!! I was up all night with a stomachache and wasn’t sure I would be able to run with my friends on Saturday morning, but it ended up being okay. Lesson learned though! Last night my neighbor brought over a huge container of homemade cookies. I haven’t craved many sweets this pregnancy but damn, these were so good! Of course I had to sample some! Being pregnant during the holidays is definitely going to cause me to gain more than the 26 pounds I gained last time I think!

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Fitness

I felt pretty sluggish on my runs this week, so I listened to my body and cut back a bit in distance and pace. I know it was necessary due to the half I ran last weekend and the fact that I’m streaking. I did get in a couple really good runs, including a 6 miler with my friends who are just as crazy as me for being willing to run at 6:30 a.m. on a freezing cold Saturday morning! I also got to take Body Pump with another friend on Sunday, followed by a 3 mile run with my boys.¬†¬†After we finished my hubby went on to run 3 more (much faster) miles by himself. We officially signed up for the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon yesterday, so he’s trying to build his mileage back up. The last time we ran a half together was when I was 26 weeks pregnant in Seattle. This time I’ll be 26 weeks pregnant again, and the race is on Valentine’s Day! I’m so excited, even if we go so slow he’s shuffling beside me, at least we’ll be together ūüôā

  • Monday – 2 miles @ 10:23
  • Tuesday – Body Pump+ 1 mile @ 10:11 pace
  • Wednesday – ‚Äč3 miles @ 10:18 pace
  • Thursday – 2 miles @ 10:06
  • Friday – 3 miles @ 10:20 pace
  • Saturday –¬†6 miles @ 10:40 pace
  • Sunday – Body Pump + 3 miles @ 10:35 pace
  • Run – 20 miles
  • Strength – 2x

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Week 18 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: +? My scale needs new batteries! Will update this later
  • Total weight gained: I think I’m at¬†least 10 pounds up as of this week
  • This week’s guilty pleasure: The Snooki & JWoww show, although I’m embarrassed to admit that! I just find it hilarious because she has a toddler and is pregnant again. It’s crazy that I can relate to Snooki, LOL.
  • # of days until¬†winter break: 4! I’m so excited for two wonderful weeks off!
  • # of days until our gender reveal party: 12! Eeek
  • # of times I peed in one day (yes I counted): 16. About once an hour. Yeah, that’s insane!

18 weeks last time around!‚Äč