Archive | November, 2012

Christmas Stockings: November Goal

30 Nov

My 2012 goals took a major hit with the whole pregnancy thing. I really wasn’t expecting to get pregnant as fast as we did so I didn’t really make goals that could be done either way.

Climb a 14er… Couldn’t do this because that high of altitude when you’re expecting is a no-no.

Bike 50 miles at once... The only bike ride I’ve gone on in the past 6 months, I almost fell off due to slick roads. I quickly abandoned this goal. (I’m not sad.)

Run 700 miles… I’ve only “ran” 37 miles since the beginning of August which puts me at 563 miles for the year. (So close and yet so far away!) 4.4 miles each day for the next 31 days would get me to my goal… hmmm, let me ponder that.

Read 27 books… I’m only on book 17. And 7 of those books I didn’t even read! (I listened to audio books on my drive home.)

Finish writing my nonfiction book… No comment.

BUT!

I did accomplish my November goal. And I have plans to accomplish October (pumpkin bread) and December (watch It’s a Wonderful Life) as well.

So, about my November goal – Make our own Christmas stockings.

I always see other people do projects like these and think “Oh that looks fun! I should do that!” And even though this project involved sewing (which I am definitely not good at), the stocking tutorials here and here that I followed made it seem like even a sewing-challenged person like me could make them.

So I went for it. I got my fabric, printed out the template, cut out my fabric and started sewing. After a few mishaps and miscalculations, the stockings are hung.

20121129_202032

They’re not perfect and they were definitely more challenging than I had expected (but only because I sew like once every 2 years). I’m still not satisfied with Travis’ (the one on the left – the toe area is a little misshapen since I was still getting the hang of not sewing in a straight line with a machine). I’m planning to make a stocking for our little girl so I might remake Travis’ at the same time. The little ones in the middle were for our dogs but they turned out MUCH smaller than I had planned. They actually kind of look like little baby booties!

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, I made our own Christmas stockings so I’m counting this goal accomplished!

Thanksgiving 2012

29 Nov

Since you’ve probably read everyone else’s Thanksgiving posts by now, you’re probably wishing you had just one more to read. Right? No?

Well, even though I really dislike it when people say this, I’m going to say it – this post is mostly for me to record what we did this year for Thanksgiving so that I have it for the memory book I was supposed to make in April. (That’s a post for another time.)

I flew to Minnesota on Wednesday and Travis and my younger bro picked me up from the airport (Travis was already out there for a work trip). We went out to eat at Axel’s Bonfire in St. Paul with my parents, older brother, sister-in-law and adorable nephew. Then we all (minus my younger bro) drove an hour north to my parents’ cabin and went to bed (it was about 11 by then I think).

The next morning, we got up and had a delicious waffle breakfast with every topping you could think of before Travis and I headed up north to Nevis (where Travis’ parents live… sort of… long story). I actually thought to take a picture before we departed ways:

It was a 3.5 hour drive up to Nevis but it went by pretty fast. We amused ourselves along the way by imagining what it would be like if we lived up there. (It is the area we’re thinking about moving back to.) By the time we arrived in Nevis, it had started to snow. We ate our delicious Thanksgiving dinner and then played Catch Phrase – pretty much a holiday tradition at this point. I’m amazed we don’t have all the answers memorized.

The next day, we slept in (ahh!), ate breakfast (Monkey bread!), and then I went shopping at Walmart in the nearest town with my SIL Carolyn. She found some presents but I only bought a bottle of non-alcoholic bubbly and underwear for Travis. I know, exciting. After Walmart, we only had a few minutes before Travis and I met up with some friends for lunch. It was fun seeing them again – we only see them about once every couple of years so it’s good to catch up. The rest of the day was spent napping, crosswording and reading until we packed up and drove over to Grand Rapids (where Travis’ parents also live…).

Saturday also started out as a lazy day. We ate breakfast around 9 am, I took a shower and then did a puzzle while the guys ran some errands. I completed the puzzle in record time (though it was only 330 pieces instead of 600). That afternoon, Travis and I headed to the Verizon store to get me a new phone – I’ve had a free upgrade for almost a year and still hadn’t used it. Verizon didn’t have the free phone I wanted but we found it at Walmart. And they had a deal where if you bought a new smartphone (even one for $.97 like the one I got), you got a $100 gift card. (The deal is good until Dec 1 so if you’re looking for a new smartphone, check out Walmart – I would assume the deal isn’t just a local one but I’m not sure.) So I pretty much got paid to get a new phone. How cool is that? (I got the Samsung Galaxy Stellar if you’re wondering.)

There was a little snafu with the upgrade (long story) so Travis and I had to go back to Walmart on Sunday to get the phone then. And I discovered the downfalls of getting the free phone that no one wants anymore – cases and screen protectors are near impossible to find in a store. I was able to find a case at the Verizon store but still need to buy a screen protector.

Saturday night, we played Yahtzee and had root beer floats. Delicious. Sunday we watched more football and just hung out reading and doing Sudoku. If you can’t tell, it was a very mellow trip. I didn’t really do much of anything. And it was wonderful. Unfortunately, we had to leave Sunday afternoon for the Cities. Our flight back to Denver left at 7 am on Monday morning so we wanted to be as close to the airport as possible. It worked out nicely though because we got to see my younger brother, SIL and parents again for a few hours. We went out to Chinese at a local restaurant and then my parents drove back down to Rochester (about 1.5 hours south). They drove up just to have dinner with us! Aren’t they the greatest?

Monday morning came early but we got to the airport with plenty of time. After we landed in Denver, we got our luggage, took the shuttle to our car, and then headed off to work. Boo. This week has actually gone by really fast though. Tomorrow’s already Friday! Yay!

 

We’re having a…

28 Nov

GIRL!

{face profile}

Emma Grace is developing perfectly. It was so fun to watch her squirming and kicking on the ultrasound. She’s an active little baby! She had her arms up in front of her face almost the whole time.

{left and right arms}

{face}

Travis won our bet on gender so he gets to choose where we go on our babymoon (probably the first or second weekend in March since we’ll be busy every other weekend in January and February). It won’t be anything too crazy – just somewhere local-ish in Colorado.

We’re very excited to have a baby girl!

Pregnancy Update: 21 Weeks

26 Nov

This is going to be a quick update because it’s been a long day. I’ll recap Thanksgiving in a separate post but just mention that we had to get up at 4:50 to make our flight this morning. And I slept horribly – it was one of those nights where you wake up every 20 minutes because you’re paranoid of oversleeping. I’m looking forward to an early night in my own bed!

My sleep this week overall was noticeably worse than previous weeks, though I’m still sleeping decently well. I just wake up a lot and sometimes lay awake thinking about random things before being able to drift off again. Even so, my energy levels are almost the same as pre-pregnancy, which makes me happy. I have lots of Christmas crafts and gifts to create and buy!

I was consistent with my workouts last week until leaving for Minnesota:

M: 1.15 mile walk

T: 1.15 mile walk, 20 min strength

Hmmm…

………………

Cravings: Can I say wine? I haven’t drank any (obviously) but I did buy a bottle of NA sparkling cranberry juice over the weekend. *sigh* So not the same. I’ve also renewed my love for chocolate. I have a stash of leftover Halloween candy in my office… good thing it’s almost gone.

Movement: I’m feeling movement fairly often again – the same kind I felt before (when it feels like my stomach is doing flips).

Weight Gained: 15 lbs

Favorite Moment This Week: Taking many naps

What I Miss: Wine. Sleeping on my stomach or back. Feeling thin. Doing intense workouts.

What I’m Looking Forward to: Finding out the gender TOMORROW morning! Once we announce it to all our VIPs (family), I’ll announce it here! Stay tuned…

 

Off to Minnesota

21 Nov

I’m currently sitting in the Denver airport waiting to board my plane. I ended up getting to my gate almost 2 hours before my plane leaves because I expected the airport to be nuts. It’s busier than normal but not crazy.

We’re spending tonight and tomorrow morning with my family (I get to see my nephew again!) and then heading up north to spend Thanksgiving and the weekend with Travis’ family. It should be a very enjoyable, relaxing time.

Hope you have a great holiday wherever you are!

Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks

19 Nov

We’re halfway baby!

We finally have the nursery completely painted. After doing a third coat of the yellow paint on Monday night, we decided that the right thing would be to also paint the ceiling and trim, since those were still the color that the previous owners had painted them (which was a dirty off-white). So Thursday night, I painted the trim and Saturday, we finished the ceiling. Travis got the new windowsill installed but still has to coat it in poly before it’ll be done. So slowly but surely we’re making progress. On Tuesday night, I also finished the tie-together fleece blanket that my mom and I had started while she was out here.

On Saturday morning, I did something new: went to a blogger meetup. It was intimidating and I was nervous all week but I knew that I would enjoy it and be glad I had gone. And I was! All the girls were super friendly. We met up down in Littleton to run or walk. I would’ve loved to run but I won’t subject anyone to my horribly slow I-could-walk-faster-than-this pace.

The group from L to R: Mel, Heidi, Tiffany, Lena, Kristen, Lynne, Me

After our run/walk, we went to brunch at Lucile’s Cajun Cafe. It was delicious.

So glad I went!

With that morning’s workout, the week turned out pretty good.

W: 2.67 mile jog/walk

Th: 1.15 mile walk

F: 2.04 mile jog/walk

Sa: 3.1 mile walk

I’ve been really slacking on strength training though, so I plan to start doing that again.

……………..

Symptoms: I’ve been on the verge of leg cramps several times at night, I can see my belly button start to stretch out, my back is still hurting somewhat, and one night this week, my ankles were swollen but luckily that went away by the next morning. But my energy is back up and overall, I’m feeling great!

Cravings: Grapes, ice water, sweets – my appetite/food preferences are pretty much back to normal.

Movement: I definitely felt more movement a few weeks ago than I do now. Or maybe what I thought was movement really wasn’t?

Weight Gained: 13 lbs

What I miss: WINE! One of these days, I need to find me some non-alcoholic wine. I miss it a lot. Which is weird because I didn’t think I would.

Favorite moment this week: Getting the nursery all painted finally!

Looking forward to: Flying to Minnesota on Wednesday, finding out the gender in 8 days!

 

New fall boots

14 Nov

You may remember my boot dilemma – well, after many hours searching every single possible website I could think of, I finally narrowed it down to a few different pairs:

1) Material Girl Lennox Boots, $75

2) MIA Pali, $59.99

3) Madden Girl Zandora, $79

4) Madden Girl Earnie, $59.99

I had actually decided to get the Earnie boots because I liked them the best, even though I was apprehensive about the zipper only being at the bottom. But when I tried them on at Famous Footwear, they were too narrow. I tried on every other pair of boots they had in the Cognac/Camel color. No luck. None of them fit me right.

After that experience, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to buy boots online without trying them on (even though I’ve done that before). A couple of Saturdays ago, I stopped by Babies R Us and Gordman’s just happened to be next door. So I figured I’d pop in and see what they had. The only pair of tall tan boots they had were the MIA Pali boots. Famous Footwear hadn’t had those in the store when I went so I tried them on.

They fit great! They’re loose enough in the calf that I can wear skinny jeans under them and not have my circulation get cut off. They have a slight heel, which is nice and I like that the zipper runs the full length of the boot (definitely makes getting them on and off a LOT easier). They’re a nice cognac color and best of all, they’re comfortable. I even wore them taking the dogs on a walk one day. I am very pleased with these boots.

Outfit made possible by new boots!

Pregnancy Update: 19 Weeks

13 Nov

Pictures taken in our newly painted nursery! (The first picture is the most accurate representation of the color.) Here’s what the room looked like before:

It’s SO much brighter in there! I love it. We ended up going with this color paint:

It took 3 coats of paint + primer (in one) to cover that aqua color but it’s finally done. In addition to that project, Travis and my dad also replaced the window in that room. While they did that, my mom and I were busy sewing curtains (which I’ll post about once they’re hung up) and shopping for a nursery glider. We had success with both (though the curtains were a close call – luckily, I have an amazing dad who was able to fix my sewing machine after we had almost given up!) Here’s the glider recliner we ended up ordering:

 

We ordered it in a solid charcoal gray. I had been planning to get a glider with an ottoman because I honestly didn’t know they made glider recliners. But since our nursery is on the smaller side, I thought it’d be nice to not have an ottoman to always get in the way. This chair is also super comfortable and good for tall people (since the back is taller than a lot of other gliders.) It’ll take about 6 weeks to come in so I’m glad we ordered it early! (If you’re in the Denver area, Firefly Furnishings has lots of VERY CUTE stuff.)

On top of all that, we went to Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam show on Saturday night. It was the first time I had been to a Cirque show and it definitely lives up to the hype. It was so impressive what some people can do! It was also very weird and random, but I’m glad we went.

………………

Last week was my best showing workout-wise since I got pregnant:

Su: 1.15 mile walk, 15 minute strength

M: 15 minutes light strength + stretching

T: 1.97 mile walk/jog

W: 1.7 mile walk

Th: 1.15 mile walk

Sa: 1.15 mile walk

Too bad I cancelled it out with unhealthy dinners. ;(

………………..

Cravings: I’m loving cheese in, on and with everything, and froyo sounds amazing but overall, my cravings are back to normal

Weight gain: 12 lbs total

Baby-related activities: Painted the nursery, sewed curtains and signed up for childbirth/breastfeeding/newborn care classes

Baby-related purchases: Crib, mattress, curtain + crib skirt fabric, changing table, futon for office (kind of baby-related)

 

Last but not least, my wonderful sister-in-law sent a giant bag of maternity clothes with my parents so now I have lots of things to wear! (The red sweater above is one of the things she loaned me). Thanks Jen!

 

Surrender + Reality

7 Nov

I’ve been reading “When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box” by John Ortberg and I really liked this:

Surrender is not passivity or abdication. It is saying yes to God and life each day. It is accepting the gifts he has given me — my body, my mind, my biorhythms, my energy. It is letting go of my envy or desire for what he has given someone else. It is letting go of outcomes that in reality I cannot accept anyway. I surrender my ambitions, my dreams, my money, my relationships, my marital status, my time, and my desires to God.

Surrender means I accept reality…

Surrender means giving up ultimate mastery of my life…

“Only if one experiences that God is good is it possible to surrender to him unconditionally one’s whole heart, soul, and being.”

I’ve been thinking lately how the gospel enables us to fully acknowledge reality. Instead of trying to convince myself that I’m a good person by turning a blind eye to all the bad things I’ve done, I can face them head-on and accept that I’m not a good person on my own. I can acknowledge that I’m not everything I want to be — and rest there. I can be content in who I am and not strive to be someone I’m not. I can trust that God has ordained this moment, this day, this life for me — that I didn’t somehow miss the memo that He had planned for me to be a missionary in Zimbabwe instead of a marketing copywriter in Denver. When we truly believe that everything we have and are is from God, we can stop questioning, worrying and comparing.

Tim Keller has an amazing (free!) sermon (and now, a short book based on it) called Blessed Self-Forgetfulness. I found a CD of old sermons that I’ve been listening to in the car during my commute and that sermon was on it. Keller talks about how everyday, as humans with fragile egos, we’re in the courtroom. All of our actions are either stamping evidence for the prosecutor or the defense. The case being decided is: Am I a good person? Am I valuable? Am I important? Am I loved?

Because Christ went to trial for me, and was unjustly accused and put to death in my place, I can leave the courtroom. Court is adjourned. The verdict is in. And that verdict is:

Righteous.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (1 Corinthians 5:21).

What does that mean? It means God finds no fault with me. That I am perfect, holy and eternally valuable in His eyes. It means the Father loves me with the same love He has for Jesus Himself.

Keller uses the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 4 to make the point, it doesn’t matter what other people think about me. It doesn’t even matter what I think about me. Only God’s opinion matters. And He says I’m righteous in Christ.

That is why I can accept the full reality of my life. Because in Christ, the reality is I am holy and I am loved.

Up and running

6 Nov

Yesterday, I forgot that the time change meant that it would be dark when I was leaving work. So the dogs did not get a walk.

Since they have to be locked up all day (when Travis isn’t home), I feel bad when that happens and this morning, I made sure to take them on a wog before work.

Yes, a WOG.

I actually jogged a bit! My first “run” in over a month. ::hangs head in shame::

I only had time for 2 (slow) miles and my Garmin was dead so I just based my intervals on feel but I got out there and did it.

The dogs were happy.

And so was I.

 

{Pictures recycled from a run last year but this year’s dry Colorado fall looks pretty much identical}