Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top 4

In my last post, I told you how weird being pregnant is.
And let me reiterate - it's weird
But I'm not going to bore by droning on and on about this or that. I'm not going to tell the whole world how excited I am to have a little person growing in me that's currently the size of an avocado (!!!).  Nope. I would never bore you with such trivial details. ;)

Instead, how about a top 4 about growing a baby. Four? Yeah, four - because I couldn't come up with five!


Top 4 Awesome Things about Growing a Person


4. Stretchy Clothes
    In a perfect world, I would never, ever have to wear clothes with buttons or zippers. Like, ever. For years now, I've jumped straight into my stretchy clothes as soon as I walked through the doors. Now that I can't fit into my button clothes, I don't have to wear anything but stretchy clothes!!!  Two weeks ago, I purchased my first pair of maternity pants. Maaaan. I love Adam, but these pants, y'all, they're fighting for the #1 spot in my heart. And honestly, I don't know if I can ever give them up. They might be here to stay...

3. Eating
    If you know me at all, you know that eating is one of my favorite past-times. The hubs and I typically plan our vacations around which restaurants we want to visit. I seriously love to eat. Now I have an excuse to eat all of the time! It's the best. 

2. Kindness
     Ok. I'm milking this one for all it's worth. Folks are sooo kind to pregnant ladies. ;)     Here, let me help you get up.     Oh, you can have my seat.    Need me to go get that for you?   Wow. Pregnancy really seems to bring out the kindness of strangers. And the attention! Yowza! Suddenly, everyone wants to know how I'm doing! And I mean, who could pass up an opportunity to talk about themselves? Not this girl. 

1. Naps
     Prior to this adventure, I could count the number of time I've napped during my marriage. It was less than 5. But now? Naps are like gold. I even build in nap time to my weekend schedule. This is my favorite --- especailly if I'm on the couch in my stretchy clothes, eating ice-cream that Adam got me getting ready to nap. 




Top 4 Worst Things about Pregnancy
4. Awkwardness 
      I'm in this awkward phase where I look like I've just really overindulged during the holidays. And it's awkward. I kinda want to wear a sign on my shirt that says "there's a baby in there, y'all" or something. I just feel awkward. But it's completely ok with me. :)
      
3. Restrictions
      I hate having to be so careful. I can't eat this. I can't eat that. Don't take that medicine. Watch how much coffee you drink. It's hard. And honestly, I reeeeally want what I can't have.
- lots of coffee and creamer
- a Jimmy John's sandwich
- a gigantic medium steak
Ughhhhhhh

2. Forgetfulness
      Now this is weird. I cannot remember a thing. AND I HATE IT. It started out small, but it's progressed to full-on I sometimes feel crazy mode. I question whether or not I said something, who I might have already discussed something with, or where I put things. Weeeeird.

1. Bathroom Breaks
     I need sooo many of them!!!

But I wouldn't change any of it. :) I truly love experiencing it all!


Kid Quotes of the Week
4. "Ummm Mrs. Hill? Are you having a baby?"
3. "Somebody said you're having a baby. Is that real?"
2. "You're growing a baby!" as he points to my stomach.
1. "Mrs. Hill! Did you get your baby yet?"



Started out as a fake yawn, ended as the real deal. :)



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

15 Weeks of Weirdness

So, I'm here to pick a bone with you, dear reader.
Yeah. You.

No one ever told me about pregnancy. People only talk about pregnancy, the flowery happy 9 months of growing a human.

You failed to mention all the weird stuff that's going on with my once familiar body. The real pregnancy.

Nausea caused by brussel sprouts, the smell of my favorite perfume, or the thought of swallowing my multi-vitamin.

The most outrageous and all-encompassing state of exhaustion known to man.

Tears because my dog is cute.

Losing my breath from walking down the driveway.

No one mentioned any of that.

But it's ok. I'll forgive ya.

;)


I love those pants. I might live in them for the next few weeks.




Picking out names is hard. For reals.




I still run, but I am waaaay slow. And whiney. Bless my friends for not ditching me. 



I just look like I ate too much during the holidays.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

So this is the new year...

I know it doesn't really comes as a surprise to anyone, but I didn't make it.
I was asleep by 11 o'clock.
Probably earlier.

For a brief instant, I felt sorry for myself - at home on New Year's Eve.
Happily in my warm pjs- snuggled in my uber comfy bed- watching television.
Who does that?

Me.
And it makes me so happy.

~~~

In the chill of the morning, I stood outside and watched my dogs zig-zag across the yard. I watched as the sun weaved its way through the clouds creating a kaleidoscope of dazzling colors.

This.
This is the New Year.
This is my New Year.


But what about the old year?
You can read an overview of 2014 here, but let's look at 2014 the best way possible- in pictures.

The Year 2014

January:

In January, I received one of my favorite essays every. I mean, this kid! I laughed soooo hard at this one.



February:

February is best described as spontaneous. This was the month Adam went to get his CrossFit L1 Certification, my friends and I decided to run a marathon relay just a few days prior to the race, and, most importantly, the month of snow days!

We run like a boss. For sure.

It's what you do in the snow - deadlift your dog, right?

March:

This was the month I conquered the devious beast: fear. I participated in the CrossFit Open, a series of workouts everyone completes, and then competing athletes are then ranked against one another. Now, I knew I wouldn't be amazing. Honestly, I didn't know if I could do a lot of the movements. But, at the encouragement of many wonderful teammates, I registered. For this one particular workout, I had to do squats while holding a 65 pound bar over my head. This was something I had never done. Something I knew I couldn't do. Something I was afraid to try.

The day came to complete the workout. Nervously, I stepped up to the bar and tried. Much to my surprise, I successfully did 8. It was the lowest score of anyone in the gym, but I remember that being one of my proudest moments.

This still amazes me. :)

April:

Growth. That's what April had to offer. Not necessarily by way of muscle, but mental. Mid-April, I ran the Bridge Street Half Marathon. This one was flat, and I intended to set a new personal record. I wanted it to be my fastest time yet. I started with a pace group that promised to have me finish with a PR, but I just couldn't keep up. For the majority of the race, I had an internal battle: quit or slog through it---just finish. I kicked myself over and over for nearly 2 hours. What went wrong? Why couldn't I keep up? What's wrong with me? Why do I sign up for these things? After an eternity of running, the finish line neared. I kept pounding the pavement. I crossed the finish line, disappointment across my face. I knew that I should be proud, but I just couldn't muster it. I had given it my best effort, but it just didn't seem good enough.

Well, elation soon took the place of disappointment. Despite it all, I had done well. I actually placed first in my age group!

Talk about excited. :)

May:

An unexpected opportunity to go to New Orleans couldn't be passed up in May. I had never been, so I was pretty excited to get to experience it. While we ate REALLY well, that town's just not for me. Not. At. All.


June:

My sweet friend got married!!! This was big news. And so much fun. :) Couldn't be happier for Wes and Emily. They are so cute together. :)


July:

It was a Wednesday. Adam called. We got tickets. And Saturday we got on a boat to go on a cruise. Talk about spontaneous.

We also got rid of my favorite car ever. :(   Well, we anticipated some changes coming soon. ;)

Bahamas, 2014

Bye bye, Effy. 
 


August:

You know, 86 years is a long time. And I'm so lucky to still have my Grandaddy around.

Love these folks. 

September:

September was filled with me being a spectator. I love watching Adam lift weights at competitions. :)


October:

Hands-down, October is my favorite month. Adam and I celebrated our birthday. I turned 27 (for the 3rd time)! It was also a big month for my parents. I actually baked them a special birthday cake!


Wow. My little brother looks so happy. Haha!

Best birthday cake ever.



November:

Road trip to Indianapolis. Ran a FREEZING half marathon---this time with a baby on board! ;)

You have no idea how windy it was!

Baby's first freezing half!

December:

Finally, we told folks about this. :)




What a wonderful year. :) 








Wednesday, December 31, 2014

To Something New

A lot can happen in a few weeks.
A.
Lot.


Ok, well duh.
So I’m gonna get down to the point here. I want to talk about gaining weight. 
Yeah.

I quit CrossFit.
I changed gyms.
I don’t run much.
And I eat. 
A lot.
You name it, and I’ve probably consumed it in the past few weeks. I have literally had no self restraint. Ice cream. Bread. Pasta. All those things I swore off a few years ago. All those things I said I wouldn’t eat because they’re unhealthy. Yes, those delicious things have been momentarily gracing my lips. And now, as one might expect, I’m finding reminders of those poor choices where else but my hips. And my chins

But I’m here to say that I’m ok with it - perfect even. 

In fact, I’m planning on doing much more of it in the next few months…

Farewell, 2014

I've always loved Christmas break (duh). But New Year's Eve has always been bittersweet for me.
As a child, my parents had friends come to our house to celebrate. The occasion was always marked by grilling out steaks, a huge salad bar, and many delicious deserts. We would try to stay awake until midnight - something that has only been easy for me in my teenage years. There were even times that the kids, four of us altogether, would create these wonderfully terrible plays and perform them for our parents. Poor adults. They had to endure the awkwardness of our talent (or perhaps even the absence thereof!). My father even kept the contract we signed agreeing to no more play. Truthfully, they were horrible.

But along with the great celebration with friends came the harsh realization that things were changing. New Year, but the same school year. No more Christmas to look forward to. And, most depressingly, the return to school.

As an adult, though, I look at NYE a little differently. Although I'm not entirely eager to relinquish the freedom of Christmas break, I do look forward to getting back to work. (Weird.) I'm excited about a fresh 12 months to wade into, to set goals in, to experience life. However, I love looking back at what I've done, what I've accomplished over the last year.



Waaay back in 2011, I happened upon a lady's blog. Ok, ok. I was blog stalking her because she was training for a marathon and read a lot of cool books and I kinda wanted to be her. She completed this interesting questionnaire at the end of the year. So, wanting to be her, I copied. 
The Year 2014

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
For once, this question is remarkably easy. Many discussions, thoughts, plans, fears, and tears went into getting to this point. But we couldn't be more excited about it.



2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Giving up coffee. For serious. That is challenging. 

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Adam and I took a spontaneous vacation. We never do anything without careful thought and well laid plans. Booking a cruise three days before it departs was pretty spontaneous for us!
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Late in the summer, Adam had surgery on his nose. He's a pretty good patient, but I'm a terrible nurse. Thankfully, his parents came to the rescue. They're the best. 

5. Pick three words to describe 2013
Quick.
Calculated.
Exciting.

Just like last year, we ate a lot of bacon in 2014.
Still not ashamed.
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2014 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
Busy.
Stressful.
Exciting.
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2014 (again, without asking).
Goal-achieving.
Fun.
Memorable.

8. What were the best books you read this year?
Paper Towns by John Green
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


9. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
While I haven't perfected it yet and certainly never will, I've been working on my patience. Adam will be the first to tell you that I'm one of the worst people at waiting. Waiting is hard stuff. Even if I haven't gotten any better at being patient, at least I'm working on it, right? ;)

10. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
For reals.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Listen. Just Listen.

Ok, I'm sorry.
This blog post isn't going to be funny either.
(Sheesh, what's happened to meeeee?)
I don't even know.

But I do know that sometimes there are these moments. You know, one of those moments that you just know will stick with you forever. I had one of those today.
Yeah.
They don't come around very often - the moments that you remember exactly where you were, what you were wearing, how you felt.

And it was beautifully eye-opening.


Today I was fortunate enough to be able to go on a field trip with 20ish 3rd graders. We walked to our destination in the 90 degree heat and waited outside in the unwavering sunshine for a good thirty minutes. Fortunate.

The USS LST 325 was docked in the harbor across from our school. It actually landed troops at Normandy on D-Day. What an amazing thing to have across the road, huh?



Well, we were finally permitted to begin our tour.
We walked in.
Straight up and onto the ship just as men had done back in  the 1940s.

The tour began. Kids began acting like kids. We kept walking. It was an amazing tour, but that's not what stands out.

As we were walking up to the galley, I noticed a gentleman sitting with another man, maybe his son.
He was elderly, in a wheelchair, and they were just sitting there taking it all in.
I'll never forget his coral shirt. His neat, velcro shoes. His wrinkled skin.
I made my way to them and sat down.
I asked the gentleman if he had served.
He started talking.
It poured out of him.
He was a veteran.
He had been on a similar ship.
He remembered it all.
"I was there.  I was only 18."

Thank you.
His teary eyes smiled up at me.
He thanked me for visiting.

That moment.
In that moment, I realized so much.
Mostly, I realized how important it is to stop and listen.
To real people. Real words. Real feelings.

Listening.
Like kindness, it's so easy, yet so difficult.



Now that I've been all serious, listen (or watch) this awesome video.

This was a memorable day at school. The kids were hard at work writing letters, so I played some Kidz Bop for them as background music. They knew every word to every song. So, what does a teacher do? Takes 40 seconds to lip sync, of course!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wonder.

I've been thinking a lot about kindness.
Last week, I read the book Wonder. It was wonderful.
Sorry, couldn't help myself there.

Anyway, it's a phenomenal read. But it has a great little piece that really stuck with me.

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder


Kinder than is necessary. Gah.
Yes. Just yes.




I'll go ahead and say it, though.
It's hard to be kind sometimes.
Like, it's hard to be kind to dumb.
Dumb like those people riding your bumper on the highway.
            ---Yes, speedy pants, I did intentionally slow down!
Or those folks that ask endless questions.
Or the people who keeeeeeeep talking - even though it's been made it clear that the room should be silent.
Or the trying students.
Especially the trying students.

Kindness is hard.
Being kinder than necessary sounds even harder.

But it's when folks are being kinder than necessary that we - I - feel special.

Like when your sweet neighbor brings you a Lisa Frank manicure set and some stickers.

Score!




Or when you find notes from a trying student at the end of a particularly tough day.

That second one, though... ;)


I wonder when I last made someone smile.
Made their day.
Or just made them feel special.

I think I'll work on that. :)