"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

You Might Be Pregnant If...

In honor of how much fun I'm having being pregnant lately, I compiled this list.

1) there are exactly 2 positions you can sleep in, and neither of them are comfortable. And switching from one to the other is a 2-minute procedure involving a lot of groaning, discomfort, and useless flailing...and it's probably not worth it anyway since it will soon be followed by a sudden urgent need to eat food and/or pee
2) your feet look more like monster-sized marshmallows with little sausages sticking out of them than recognizable human feet
3) several times a week you randomly burst into tears, then stop even more suddenly and randomly...and have no clue what you were even crying about
4) you want to eat the same exact thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for weeks on end, even if whatever food it is isn't that great. For example: olives.
5) it feels like there is some sort of creature inside you practicing kick-boxing with your organs
6) successfully pooping is an event that merits immediately informing your husband (even if that means texting him because he's at work) and receiving sincere praise and congratulations every time
7) shaving your legs, putting your legs into and out of pants, putting on shoes, and picking things up off the ground are just not worth it any more because your belly is too big
8) you wake up every morning questioning your sanity because of the bizarre things you just dreamed
9) staircases are suddenly indistinguishable from Mr. Everest, and you feel like passing out any time you accidentally walk at a normal speed instead of a turtle speed
10) you frequently feel like you're about to pee your pants, but then you try to pee and it's like nothing. 2 seconds later you feel like you're about to pee your pants again. (This is especially not cool when you're test driving new cars, or on an airplane, or on a 3-hour road trip in the boonies, or ever really) 

I could go on...but I think this girl does a great job summing it all up at her page http://pregnantgirlproblems.tumblr.com

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Little Inspiration from My Dear Friend, Dr. Suess

As I mentioned in my last post, morning sickness seems to be threatening to make an appearance again in this third trimester.  It actually hasn't been unbearably bad the past couple of days, but I've been taking anti-nausea medication much more regularly lately as a precautionary measure after things got pretty bad on Sunday...so of course that's probably been helping a lot.

With the impending threat of possibly having to deal with the same nausea misery that haunted my first trimester and part of my second - on top of all the other "joys" that come with the third trimester as my wonderful growing baby continues to wreck havoc on my body - for another 3 months (possibly an additional 2 weeks if I deliver late like my mom did), I was NOT a happy camper! Especially knowing that the only way it will end is with labor and delivery, which I've been reading about a lot lately, and right now, to me it sounds like the #1 worst, scariest, most awful, horrible thing in life ever!!!!

So of course I've been an uncomfortable, unhappy, sick, moody, complaining mess. Trevor even voluntarily told me the other day that if being pregnant made me this miserable, he was ok with this being our only kid. What a sweetheart :)

I need to get a thicker skin though. Sure, I'm not living the dream, and sometimes I'm downright miserable, but many women have a much harder time with pregnancy than me, and/or have to work through the symptoms while trying to keep their job or take care of other kids or as a single parent. At least I have the option to skip a shower and getting dressed, and just lay around and watch TV all day if I'm feeling rotten!

Plus I have an incredible husband, awesome friends, a great group of ladies and other wonderful people as a support group at church, a good family, super duper health insurance thanks to being allowed to be on my dad's still, my husband has a decent job and income, a darling baby girl - the beginning of our little family! - on the way, and, really, life is good!

I LOVE this quote by Dr. Suess, because, quite frankly, when you stop and look around, this life really is pretty wonderful! Exactly like he said! What a brilliant man!

I've heard it several times, but I especially loved it this time around, and it made me think of this picture - partially because of the photo itself, and partially because of the story behind it.

Several months ago, I was introduced to a friend of a friend, who is a photographer. She wanted to do a photo shoot of a ballerina, and needed someone to take pictures of. I was the lucky winner :) She chose the hair, makeup, location, poses, and even provided the dress she wanted me to wear (conveniently we are exactly the same size!). All I had to do was show up!

What makes these pictures so special to me is what I didn't know at the time we were shooting them.

I didn't know I was a mom.

I thought I was a dancer and a working wife with a student husband, and it was hard, but it was wonderful. We weren't trying to have kids, or completely change our lives. I had no clue that the ballet class and rehearsal I had just come from was one of my very last for probably close to a year, or how hard that would be to have to give up. I didn't know how sick and uncomfortable I would be for the next several several months on end. I never dreamed that less than two months later I would be living on the other half of the country! And I most certainly had no clue that I had a baby girl growing inside of me!

Everything has changed so so much since I was the girl in that picture!

And life is hard, but it's still wonderful :)

(This photograph is used with permission, and her business is Enchanted Window Photography. Check it out!)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Today's To-dos

It's Friday! The past 2 weeks have been riddled with returning morning sickness (hello 3rd trimester) and a ton of stress from trying to decide on and buy a crib and a car, so I've been letting a lot of stuff slide. But today I'm feeling good, we finally bought a crib (and I love it!), we're at a good not-so-stressful point in our car researching and purchasing, and we have big plans for this weekend!!!

Today's Plans:
- do 2 loads of laundry - including our neglected sheets
- do *ahem* several days worth of dishes
- shower and actually shave my legs for once
- attach the white trim onto my Halloween costume and pray my wig comes in the mail today!
- take out the trash so no more monster-sized roaches decide to be our new roommates
- sew a strap on my maternity swim suit since I lost the real one
- pack my bags...
- and head on down to Pensacola for a weekend beach getaway with my husband dearest!!

He's taking the Physics GRE tomorrow morning (GAH!!!! Please pray for him! This is a very important test for his/our educational future opportunities, and it's an extremely hard one, and of course he only gets one shot!!) and the nearest test location just so happens to be right near the beach. So after he survives the 3-hour test of death, win or lose, we're spending the rest of the afternoon lounging on the beach :) And then we get to head back home in time for a Halloween party with some of our favorite Alabama friends!!

But we can't leave until I stop trying to remember my epic Harry Potter/Dr. Who/Star Trek/Dancing with the Stars/Hunger Games dream from last night and tackle this to-do list! So, I guess that means I better stop writing and start doing. Onward!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top 10 Tuesdays!

I decided I want to try something new to get the creative juices flowing! Top 10 Tuesdays! Each Tuesday I'll post a list of a top 10 something. For example: 10 favorite lame jokes, 10 things I wouldn't change about my beach trip, 10 pregnancy cravings I have most often, 10 dairy-free dinner recipes we love, 10 things I hate about cold Winters, 10 things I put on my to-do list so I have something easy to cross off, 10 things I keep putting on my to-do list and never doing, 10 inspirational scriptures that I love, 10 imaginary pets I wish I owned, 10 favorite Disney songs, 10 shows me and my Trevor love watching together, 10 things I want to teach my baby girl, 10 reasons to not match your socks, etc.

Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed about posting/documenting after something happens because I think it needs to be some long, detailed, interesting story...and it's so daunting that, not only do I not actually ever write it (and miss out on the memories I could have), I don't post anything else in the week I spend dreading and procrastinating it until I forget about it. Fail. So my hope is that this will help get me out of that rut and on to posting bigger and better things! And having a snapshot of my life in quick-and-easy (to both read and write) lists of 10 seems like a totally fun, doable way to accomplish that!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Super Soft Molasses Cookies

I worked in the bakery at Costco for a few years. Their regular cookies are great - of course, but one year we made these molasses cookies as a seasonal item. They were SO GOOD! I'm not a fan of the super hard and crunchy texture and extra spicy zing of most ginger snaps, but those molasses cookies were perfect! Big and soft, and just the right about of spice! I've been craving them for the past little while, but of course, they were just a temporary seasonal item from a couple years ago that I don't think they've made again...and the nearest Costco is over an hour and a half away...and we've been converted to Sam's since membership is cheaper and it's only half as far away. So yeah. Costco bakery's molasses cookies are just not going to happen. Which is a crying shame, I must say.

Simple solution: try my hand at some molasses cookies of my own!

The end result was a bit too good, and I may or may not have eaten 10 of them...I'm definitely going to be hitting the fruits and veggies hard tomorrow to make up for it!

I looked at recipes from Betty Crocker, Mrs. Fields, the back of my jar of molasses, and several random recipes on Pinterest, and came up with this version. It's a keeper! And it's dairy-free!

Soft Molasses Cookies

Cream together:
- 1/2 cup margarine (it helps make them softer than butter. To make it dairy-free use Blue Bonnet's light margarine)
- 1/4 cup shortening

Add in and mix until well-blended:
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed firmly)

Sift in:
- 1/4 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter or margarine, or if substituting shortening for the butter, make it heaping)
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 2 1/4 cups flour

Dough will be sticky, but don't add more flour. Set aside some granulated sugar (about 1/3 cup) in a bowl.

Chill dough for 1 hour, then roll into balls. Roll the dough balls in the granulated sugar and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

I know it's Fall and everything, and these are totally a Fall cookie, but it's still nice and hot here in Alabama so I just couldn't resist helping myself to some of Breyer's lactose-free vanilla ice cream with a cookie on the side :)

Dear Diary...

Back when I first started this blog I intended for it to be like an online diary where I would post about my doings each day. Ha! Now it's like a hodge-podge of quotes, recipes, vents, and random stories of my life that I post in sporadically. So I think it's time for a nice old-fashioned journal entry post :)

Today I:

- woke up at 6:30 AM
- promptly fell back asleep until 10:30 AM
- started my day out feeling sick and yucky
- got better after several hours (thank you zofran!!)
- found out the mirror in my walk-in closet makes me look waaaay skinnier than my other mirror. I don't think I'll be looking in my other mirror for several months
- decided that spaghetti noodles are too difficult to eat neatly and shouldn't exist. Rigatoni, macaroni, bowties, shells, penne, and ziti are MUCH more practical
- found out I'm anemic. My poor body does NOT like being pregnant
- didn't get out of bed until 4:00 PM thanks to not feeling well, which means my feet and legs actually didn't get very swollen today!
- took a shower AND put on makeup AND got dressed AND went out in public (All are rare occurrences these days. I guess I should mention that none of these happened until 4:00 PM. And no, I did not wear pants. I wore a skirt. I don't like pants these days. Or clothes for that matter...)
- finally decided on a crib and bought it! Wahoo!!
- got a free sample of a whoopie pie at the bakery!
- went car shopping/browsing at The Lemon Lot. I even found one I like that's in our price range! Although, I'm probably biased now because the seller named it and wrote the specs as if he/she was talking about a person so now I feel like I'm friends with the car. Silly brain.
- bought some yummy pre-marinated pork shoulder for a steal of a deal!
- didn't buy the steak that was on sale because it was green like the bad meat in Oregon Trail
- made dinner (...ok actually I cooked up some onion rings and we dipped them in Thousand Island dressing and ate leftovers. My husband loved it though, so my task is complete :)
- learned how to create my own banners for my blog!
- learned that I'm very bad at making my own banners for my blog, and deleted my first 6 attempts
- decided I'm not ready to change my banner for this blog yet until I get more skills :)
- ate a bunch of food with mild amounts of dairy and didn't take any lactaid and I was ok!!

And I also didn't go to bed until well after 1:00 AM because my husband is staying up late studying for the Physics GRE and I'm keeping him company :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

30 Days to Greatness: Part 3

Back in September I wrote a post about how I was inspired by a short video of a 3 minute TED talk. The point of the video was to choose something - anything - that you want to work on for 30 days, and do it! The time will pass anyway, so you might as well do something with it and start being who you want to be!

The link to my original post is HERE if you want a refresher, or want to see the video clip again.

Here's a little inspirational quote I found in a friend's facebook status this morning:
Throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart. Live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.- Dale Carnegie
So that is kind of a mini motto for these 30-day challenges! Choose something, and throw myself into it whole-heartedly for 30 days! I know that's now exactly what the quote is saying, but work with me here ;)

My first 30-day goal was to post in my blog every day. While I didn't succeed 100% (obviously!), I did post noticeably more in that 30-day time, so it was still a partial victory :)

The second 30-day goal I did was to change one thing every day. For example: change my overgrown eyebrows to sleeker ones, change a cluttered counter into an organized one, change myself by spending extra time reading my scriptures, change some fabric into a completed (or at least a more completed haha) sewing project, change random food that was about to go bad into a delicious meal, change my number of friends by spending time with someone new, or change my knowledge level by reading tutorials or taking/watching a class. That was a really fun one! The downside is that it's a really easy one to rationalize since it can be kind of an anything-goes thing at the end of the day. Someday I plan to make some more specific guidelines and do it again!

Right now I'm a few days into my third 30-day goal! (I decided to adjust the start date so I'd be doing my goals from the 1st to the 30th/31th of each month instead of from the 16th to 16th. It's a lot simpler!) The goal for this month is to keep a daily food log to encourage mindful eating.

As I get further and further along in my pregnancy, my fitness level keeps deteriorating like crazy. It's just too hard, I hurt, I'm swollen, it's too hot, I'm too tired, I'm moody, I don't feel good, I get too out of breath, etc. My eating has also taken a turn for the worse, and I kind of just eat however much of whatever I want, whenever I want it. I also don't really think about it very much, I just grab the container of leftovers/box of crackers/whatever and eat right out of it. Yes, being pregnant has turned me into an animal! It's not a healthy way to eat at all, and right now I should be at my healthiest because I need to be strong to grow (and deliver. yikes!) this baby, and I need to have enough nutrients for her to grow a strong, healthy body!

The food log I'm keeping is not just of what I'm eating, but how much, when I ate it, how long I spent eating it (a good 20-minute relaxed meal vs. a 3-minute gobbling session), how hungry I felt before and after eating, and daily totals of how many servings I ate from which parts of the food pyramid. It's kind of intense, but it's good for me! It's making me stop and realize exactly how poor my diet is sometimes, and giving me a chance to fix it! You may have noticed that I'm not counting calories, grams of fat, grams of sugar, or any of that. This is not a diet (I'm growing a baby for heavens sake!), I'm just trying to be more mindful and make better choices than I am currently doing. I've still got a long way to go before I'm where I want to be, but I'm getting there :) Slowly...haha

Wish me luck!

PS, I don't plan on posting my entire food log on this blog (I'll spare you the boredom!), but I do have another obscure blog about being healthy that I started forever ago and completely neglected after like 1 or 2 posts. I'm thinking of posting it there for the sake of accountability, so if anyone is curious or wants to join me in this 30-day goal, just let me know (comment, fb message, text, email, you know the drill) and I'll send you the link!

Monday, October 7, 2013

A List of Buckets

I finally did it! I wrote my very first bucket list!

Now that I'm 25 I guess it's long over-due, but it's never too late to start doing awesome things! Just look at this article (linked here) about Celtics player Brandon Bass (who I had never heard of before seeing this...I'm not very sport-savvy). I saw this article last week and now I'm even more pumped to start making progress on my list!

I'm not going to post my whole list here, but some noteworthy items on it include:

- go to Europe with Trevor
- compete in ballroom again
- go back to school at some point and earn another degree or certification (Bachelor, Associate, PT school, PT assistant school, etc.)
- overcome stage-fright
- take piano lessons again
- teach piano lessons again
- re-memorize all the seminary Scripture Mastery scriptures
- be conversant in Spanish
- become a better public speaker and teacher
- be in another ballet performance
- be an extra in a movie or commercial
- run a 10k
- ride a rollarcoaster and not be sick (yes, I have never been on one and it has been completely by choice)
- be in one of the church pageants (Manti, Hill Cumorah, City of Joseph, etc)
- overcome my fear of water and learn to swim

I guess it's not your typical bucket list. Several of the things on it (especially some of the ones not included in this post) are skills I want to develop, or opportunities I want to qualify myself for rather than things I can just do and check off. So it's kind of more like a "become list" rather than a "bucket list". Whatever. It's mine and I like it!

And just a few days after making my list, someone asked me to teach her girls piano lessons! So, lo and behold, I am on my way :)