Friday Free-For-All – 08/17/18

Friday Free-For-All

Ben’s birthday is tomorrow! He will be turning the big 3-0, and we’re having a BBQ to celebrate. It will be the first gathering we’ve hosted at our house since Vera was born, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

My sister in law Emily is coming home from Prague today for a three week visit. We’re very happy her visit coincides with Ben’s birthday. It will also be the first time she has seen Vera, which will be lots of fun.

Even though I haven’t been cleared to run yet, I have cleaned up our second hand jogging stroller. My old coworker gave it to me before I left work. She got it second-hand from a friend, and very fortuitously, it fits the carseat/travel system we got for Vera. This means that I can start using it for walks immediately, and start running with it as soon as I’m healed up and Vera’s pediatrician gives us the go-ahead. I’m VERY excited, and waiting VERY impatiently.

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Soon, my beauty. Soon.

I signed up for my first postpartum race! I will be posting a bit more about this next week, but I’m just so excited that I had to tell you now. Stay tuned!

Any stroller running tips for me?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 05/11/18

Friday Free-For-All

Our new couch finally arrived! We ordered this couch back in FEBRUARY, and it was just delivered on Monday. Boy, was it worth the wait. It just makes our house looks so much more grown up, and it is comfy AF. I foresee a lot of time spent on this couch this summer with our new Baby Girl. I have already claimed the chaise section as mine.

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I bought myself a three-month unlimited yoga membership. We have truly amazing insurance, which has a program specifically for expecting mothers called “Better Beginnings.” Among the many benefits offered by this program, we get reimbursed up to $150 for pre-and post-natal fitness classes. Since the three-month pass was $175, this was a no-brainer. After reimbursement, it will only cost me $25. Now I can go to as many yoga classes as I want between now and August 8, and I can bring Baby Girl to post-natal classes with me! I’m planning to go as much as possible after I leave work and before she’s born. We’ll see how ambitious I am after she comes.

My birthday was Wednesday. I’m now 32 years old. Holy cow! I took the day off work and just puttered around the house. Did LOTS of baby laundry and putting away of shower gifts. Cleaned up a bit. Made some delicious chicken stock. Spent some time outside. Then Ben took me out to Burger Barn for dinner, and I had some Ben and Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core ice cream for dessert while watching GoT season 5 (it was one of my presents!) and lounging on our new couch. Not a bad way to start my 33rd trip around the sun 🙂

I foisted all of the leftover “baby” plates, cups, napkins and miscellany from my shower onto my office. They were originally going to do a surprise shower for me, but because I still have vacation days I need to use up, they let me know not to take vacation on May 30, *wink, wink* So I talked to the office manager and told her that she’d be doing me a favor by taking the stuff off my hands. It’s really a win-win-win situation; I get unwanted items out of my house, my office doesn’t have to spend extra money, and less items will end up in a landfill. Yay!

I am feeling like a super functional member of society because I have almost all of the thank you notes for shower gifts out the door. Normally I am TERRIBLE at this sort of thing, but I decided that come hell or high water, I was getting these cards out the door BEFORE Baby Girl arrives, because I knew that if I didn’t, it might never happen. I just have a couple more to finish up, but having the bulk of them done feels AMAZING.

Are you good about getting thank you notes out? 

 

Friday Free-For-All – 05/04/18

Friday Free-For-All

It’s my birthday month! Honestly, I’ve hardly thought about my birthday at all, seeing as we’re in the thick of baby preparations. I do think Ben and I will go out to dinner next week, but I’m not planning a party or celebration or anything. I’m debating taking the day off to help burn up a few remaining vacation days before I leave work, but we’ll see.

Baby shower this weekend! I’m very excited to see my mama and sisters and family and friends. Baby showers are not really my thing, but I know it’s part of the experience that I might regret not doing, so I’m glad it’s happening. I just made sure to let my mom and sister who are hosting know that cheesy games are NOT my idea of a good time. NOBODY wants to look at melted candy bars in a diaper and guess what kind of “poop” it is, amiright? I’m just hoping for a low-key event with good food and good company.

I need to get a haircut before baby arrives. Ever since getting my balayage freshened up in February, I’ve been noticing a TON of split ends. And not just little splits at the ends. Some of these hairs have split 2 or 3 inches up the strand! I always knew that lightening your hair wasn’t great for it, but I’m seeing the effects first-hand. While I trim the individual strands whenever I can, I need to make sure I get a good whole-head trim in before Baby Girl comes, because god only knows when I’ll have the time/energy again. I’ve also started using a leave-in cream on the ends of my hair to help prevent any more breakage. Hopefully it helps! If nothing else, it smells AMAZING!

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Do you trim your own split ends, or am I a weirdo?

Friday Free-For-All – 08/18/17

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It’s Ben’s birthday! He turns 29 today. We don’t have any specific plans for after work tonight, but we are having a party tomorrow, which should be a blast 🙂

This week was my office’s “volunteer week.” We did a bunch of great activities outside the office, like helping to refurbish a tree house, and helping out at a youth center’s summer carnival. I’m proud to work for a company that really takes community involvement seriously, and I’m grateful I had some opportunities to be outside on beautiful summer days.

We met with a mortgage broker on Wednesday. Frankly, it was scary and kind of discouraging. We’re able to borrow quite a bit more than we need or want to, which is great. But based on our current amount of available cash for down payment etc, our monthly mortgage payment when buying a house in our target price range (including property taxes, home owner’s insurance, PMI etc) would be a LOT higher than we had thought it might be, and definitely NOT doable if I’m going quit my job when we have kids. This means that we need to seriously lower our target price range, which seriously limits our options. Thankfully, we are in a situation where we can be patient and wait for the perfect opportunity, but it’s still pretty discouraging. I had initially hoped for us to be in our own place by the end of the year, but I’m no longer so confident in that timeline.

Happy Friday!

Friday Free-For-All – 05/12/17

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I met my fundraising goal for the Jiggety Jog this weekend! I actually surpassed it, thanks to the generosity of my friends and family, and I couldn’t be happier. Every year, I hear from so many people about how the Respite House made a difference in their lives or the lives of their families, and I am so proud to support such an amazing cause. Now all that’s left to do is run a victory lap of a 5k race 🙂

My birthday was Tuesday. I am now 31 years old, and not ashamed to say it. Although I did buy some eye cream this week, hehe. I also got a new driver’s license on Monday since mine expired on my birthday. My good luck streak with license photos continues; it’s not a perfect photo, but it isn’t half bad either.

We’re going to visit my parents this weekend. I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember the last time we went down to see them. They’re just far enough away that it always seems really hard to get there. I feel guilty sometimes, but then I remind myself that it’s JUST as easy for them to come to us, which they haven’t done either. It’s a two-way street, ya’ll. But anyway, we’ll be doing a joint Mother’s Day/birthday celebration for my mumma and me, and all of my sisters except the one who lives in Detroit will be there. Yay!

Do you have any Mother’s Day plans?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 05/05/17

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It’s the weekend before my birthday (May 9), and I don’t really have any celebration plans. Ben was supposed to be away this weekend, but his plans changed at the last minute. I’m gonna try to rustle up some people to do something tomorrow night, but I honestly won’t be upset if it’s not a big thing. After the big milestone of turning 30 last year, 31 just feels sort of “meh.”

So far I’m digging post-workout protein shakes. I do feel like they’re helping me not pig out every night. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the stuff I bought (Vega Protein and Greens) has Stevia in it. I strongly dislike the taste of Stevia, and while I can definitely taste it and I find it somewhat unpleasant, I’m just gonna deal with it. This particular product is pretty affordable, and I like the other ingredients. I got the vanilla flavor, but I think maybe next time I’ll get the chocolate to see if that helps to disguise the Stevia aftertaste more. If not, I can try to find something else without Stevia.

As of Tuesday night, we are home from house sitting, and I am SO HAPPY. While it was really nice for us to have some time alone as a couple, I missed our kitties, I missed our bed, and I actually missed my in-laws quite a lot. Whoulda thunk? I’m also excited to play some video games and prep healthy weekday lunches. I have GOT to get my shit together.

I’m entering the last week of my fundraiser for the VT Respite House Jiggety Jog, and I’m almost at my goal! I have some very generous people in my life, and I’m so happy to be nearing my goal of $1,000. If you feel moved to make a donation, you can donate online by clicking right here.

Do you like the taste of Stevia?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 08/05/16

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I spent all day yesterday on a pontoon boat with my family. All my dad wanted for Father’s Day was to spend a whole day together as a family while my sister Haley is home from Michigan this week, and yesterday was the only day we could get a rental. I took a random Thursday off of work to drive down, and it was great. The weather was perfect, and we just swam and floated and ate and drank all day. It made coming into work today VERY hard, but thankfully, it’s Friday, and tomorrow is the weekend.

I get to go to a toddler birthday party tomorrow. My friends Aimee and Andrew’s son Axel is turning 2, so they’re having a low-key party tomorrow morning. I’m sure this is going to throw my baby-crazy into overdrive. I’m VERY excited to play with some cute kids and see my friends. Aimee is pregnant with kiddo number 2, and I haven’t seen her in a while, so it will be nice to catch up.

Frittatas are my new breakfast jam. My best friend’s mom made one for breakfast while we were down for 4th of July, and I have been obsessed ever since. They’re so damn easy, tasty, and HEALTHY! I just make a big one in a 13 x 9 pan on Sundays, and eat it for breakfast all week. Lots of protein and veggies. Mmmmmmm.

I have officially signed up for a dance class this fall. It’s called Jazz Fusion, and it’s an hour and a half long class each Tuesday. It will combine elements of Jazz, Musical Theatre, Lyrical, and Modern dance, so it’s pretty much perfect for my needs. I’m excited because this will be the first time since high school I’ve taken a dance class at an actual dance studio, so I’m hoping I’ll learn a lot. I’m extra excited because I’ve convinced a few of my theatre friends to do it with me, so I won’t feel awkward. I’m also planning to sign up for the next level of Tap with my friend Emily, so I’ll be taking two dance classes a week, which means my cross-training is pretty much taken care of!

Have you ever gone out on a pontoon boat? What did you think?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 07/22/16

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July is a birthday-ful month in my family. My older sister Jessica’s birthday was Monday, my mom’s birthday is today, and my dad’s birthday is next Friday. This means my budget is shot for the month, haha! Paying for all those presents in rapid succession is tough.

This is the first weekend all month that I haven’t had to travel somewhere. I am PUMPED. I’m pretty tired of driving, and it will be nice to just be at home and spend some quality time with Ben and our local friends. Our buddy Pete’s birthday celebrations are tomorrow, and then I have to work at Athleta on Sunday.

My running club changed their Saturday morning start time to 7:30 from 8 am and I am NOT a fan. I already had a hard enough time prying myself out of bed on Saturday for an 8 o’clock run, and now they expect me to get there for 7:30? Rude. Still though, I miss the camaraderie, and the excuse to drive to Shelburne and run on the Ti Path and Shelburne Bay Path. I haven’t made up my mind yet whether or not I’ll be attending tomorrow. I guess it depends on how late I stay up tonight. Also, I’m toying with the idea of switching my long run to tomorrow since I have to work a 6.5 hour shift at Athleta on Sunday. Decisions, decisions.

Do you wake up early on weekends to run?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 05/06/16

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Ben didn’t get the full-time job. It looks like they may try to cobble together full-time hours for him next year with half time teaching, half time being an instructional aide (IA). This would allow him to keep his benefits (which we’re both currently on), and provide close to his current salary. The problem is, this would still be a temporary position, and we’ll be in this exact same position next year–total uncertainty. And of course, that’s not even a sure thing yet. We’ll know more after his meeting with the hiring person today. So we’re in the process of dealing. Trying to crunch some numbers and come up with alternate plans. To be completely honest, I’m reeling a bit, but trying hard to take it in stride. We’ve just decided that we’re not going to let our current circumstances dictate our course of action; we will decide what we want, and figure out how to get there. OK, now on to the fun stuff!

It’s my birthday weekend! We’ll be celebrating with a party of course. Lots of food. Lots of drink. Lots of my favorite people. I can’t wait!!

I have a race tomorrow! The Vermont Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k is my favorite local race. I’ve fundraised and ran it the last two years, and it’s great. Last year, I got a birthday PR. Because of my looming marathon and stupid injured status, I may not be racing, but even so can’t wait to participate. I just met my fundraising goal yesterday (woohoo!), but the donation site is open until tomorrow. Please consider making a secure online donation by clicking this link. Every dollar goes directly to the Vermont Respite House and helps families say goodbye to their loved ones with dignity and respect.

Who else is racing this weekend? Good luck to you!

 

 

 

Friday Free-For-All – 03/18/16

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Tomorrow is my younger twin sisters’ birthday! Haley lives in Michigan now, so I won’t get to see her, but her present should be arriving on her doorstep today. I’m hoping I’ll see Hilary at some point tomorrow to deliver her card and present. I’m really proud of myself for finding fart-themed birthday cards for both of them. I’m such a sweet, caring sister 😉

My diet overhaul is going well. Eating well and not being hungry all the time requires a lot of prep work, but I’m getting there. My sugar consumption is down, my overall calorie consumption is down, and I’m eating more fruits and veggies. The best part, though, is that when I actually follow through and eat right, the overwhelming runger is gone. I actually haven’t been eating my usual afternoon or pre-dinner/pre-run snack in the evenings because I’m… not hungry. Crazy! I’m excited to see how things progress over the next couple of weeks. Although I’m a bit worried I might turn orange from all the sweet potatoes and carrots I’m consuming…

Ben and I still haven’t done our taxes. I’m starting to feel really anxious about it, because this weekend is pretty much my last free weekend until April 15. Logically of course, I know it will get done, but I’m still stressing about it. I’m also not sure whether or not we’ll actually get a refund this year. We’ve never owed anything on our taxes before, but that would seriously blow.

I went to a comedy improv show last night. The Vermont Comedy Club is a recent addition to the culture scene here in Burlington. This was my second time going, and I have to say, it was a blast! It’s such a great alternative to the typical bar scene, and it’s usually a relatively cheap, super fun night out. If you’ve never seen improv comedy before, I highly recommend it. I really admire how quick-witted the performers are, and they were all so open and in the moment, it was very impressive to me as a fellow performer. They also offer classes in stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy, and I have to admit I’m tempted. But only if I can get a buddy to sign up with me!

Have you ever been to an improv comedy show?

Have you done your taxes yet?