Happy New Year Wishes

I'm popping in today briefly to wish you all a happy new year! I promise to be back to a regular blogging schedule when I get back to my normal routine next week, but this week I've enjoyed being home, getting errands and appointments taken care of, and lots of Cooper snuggles and blogging took a back seat.

There's been lots of talk about how horrible 2016 was and how everyone is ready for it to be over. Trust me, there were some really awful part of 2016 and it seems like all we keep hearing about in the last couple of weeks is death. But let's try and focus on the positive things--the whole entire year wasn't filled with awfulness. With all of the bad stuff, there's always good, even if you have to look a bit harder for it.

This year was tough for me on a lot of levels. I lost my dad this year and have experienced a lot of "firsts" without him which has been painful and incredibly hard. We dealt with infertility for the majority of the year (and the year prior) which was an emotional roller coaster. Work provided me with several super difficult and tricky parents that caused undue stress.

But this year also brought us a pregnancy. And it showed me how family and friends come together to support you when you need it the most. Sure it's easy to get bogged down by the crappy stuff--it's the things that are thrust into our faces every day on the news and seemingly everywhere else. But the good is also there, a lot of times in much more abundance than the bad, we just don't focus on it as much.

I challenge myself, and you, to look for the good in the last few hours of 2016 and going into 2017. A year is full of happiness and sadness, but it's up to you how you choose to see the year. #lookforthegood

Happy New Year to all of you, my awesome blog friends and family! And thank you for being a part of my life, and my journey, and being part of my support system this year. 

WHW: {#73}: Bumpin' Along

I took a bit of time off from the blog because of the holidays, but I'm back for WHW and today I'm sharing a bump-date and the GENDER!!

How Far Along: 5 months (21 weeks)

Size of Baby: The size of a Carrot

Gender: We had our gender reveal with our family on Christmas evening before dinner and now everyone knows we are having a GIRL!!!!!

Weight Gain: about 10-11 pounds--right on track!

Food Cravings: I haven't been having cravings, but boy did we get our fix of Mexican food while we were in San Diego! If this little girl doesn't like Mexican food when she comes out, she's gonna be in trouble.

Food Aversions: Still nothing. I just can't stomach cooking fish, but I have no problems ordering and eating it out. I just can't cook it myself.

Movement: I've been feeling movements for a couple of weeks now, and while we were in San Diego, I saw the first of a few kicks from the outside. Expecting those to become more frequent in the coming weeks.

Sleep: Through the night. I get pain in my hips some nights from sleeping only on my sides, but that was helped by a wedge my SIL got me over Christmas.

Clothing: Wearing maternity jeans and leggings like it's my job. I found an outlet while in San Diego for Motherhood Maternity which has VERY affordable maternity clothing that's super cute ($30-40 for jeans instead of the $80-90+). And a mix of maternity and non-maternity tops. The bump is definitely showing more now though.
Other Pregnancy Symptoms: Reflux from time to time. Luckily not acid reflux...just that full throat feeling.

What I Miss: honestly, not too much. Maybe the ability to go a lot longer without needing to pee, but beyond that, things are pretty good and I can't complain

Best Moment: Doing the gender reveal with our family! It was so much fun and it's nice that we don't have to worry about slipping up anymore :)
Looking Forward To: MG being able to feel the kicks that little girl does when they become more frequent.

Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

WHW {#72}: Christmas Tag

Happy last Wednesday before Christmas!! 
In the spirit of all of the fun that's upcoming, I wanted to post a Christmas Tag that I saw floating around blogland!
1. What is your favorite Christmas film?
I have to go with the girly answer to this and say The Holiday--even though it's not technically about Christmas, it's still one of my favorites.

2. Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Yes. It's rare, even on the east coast, but I've definitely had a white Christmas. I've also had a wet Christmas, too, and those are way less fun.

3. Where do you usually spend the holiday?
Now that I'm married, we do Christmas up in PA with my in-laws since they have kids, and it's a bigger production up there than it had been down here with just my parents. Now, my mom is included in the holiday stuff, and is invited up to PA to celebrate with everyone since my dad is no longer with us. I love that we have family that can share the holidays together instead of feeling like we have to split them or trade off every year.

4. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
I can't choose just one. I love listening to them all! The Pentatonix Christmas songs last week on their special was pretty awesome and I'd definitely listen to that cd, too. 

5. Do you open any presents on Christmas eve?
The tradition in my family growing up was that you could open one present on Christmas Eve, and it was usually my mom's choosing. Or maybe I just always asked her which one I should choose because I didn't want the best gift the night before. I think it's a tradition I'd like to keep with our kids.

6. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? 
I'm pretty sure that I can. Rudolph is obviously the coolest.
7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
I like being at my SIL's house Christmas morning in our PJ's and opening presents with the family, and having this egg fritatta bake that my BIL makes. I also am really looking forward to Christmas dinner at my other SIL's house--the last one we had was SO good. And this year, we'll be doing our gender reveal with our family, so that's a little extra excitement to add into the mix!

8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake. 
Growing up, our tree was always fake, and right now we have a small fake one from when we lived in our condo. Maybe next year, with a little one running around, we'll go out and pick a new one. I've never had one, and think it would be cool. But it's also kind of nice to plug in a tree and have it already lit. Either way, my favorite part is hanging all of the ornaments :)

9. What is your all time favorite Holiday food / Sweet Treat? 
 Probably the same as Thanksgiving--all of the sides! I could take or leave turkey (and no ham for me), but gimme allllllll the sides!

10. Be honest, do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better? 
I like both. I think it's fun finding gifts for people that you love, and seeing their reactions to the thought you put into their gifts. And who doesn't like getting a good gift or two? I don't need a ton, but I appreciate the thoughtful gifts.

11. What would be your dream place to visit for the Holiday season?
I don't know that I have a dream place to visit--being with my family is where I'd like to be during the holidays. This year, we're lucky enough to be doing an early babymoon in San Diego (right now) so it's a nice treat right before Christmas to escape the cold, and also get to see how the West Coast does Christmas.

12. Are you a pro present wrapper, or do you fail miserably? 
I'd say I'm an intermediate gift wrapper. If it's square or rectangular I'm all good. If it's oddly shaped, I usually put it into a bag lol. 
My favorite was last year when I was trying to throw off my husband that I'd gotten him an Xbox, so I put it in a HUGE box, along with two of my workout weights in the bottom, wrapped in a towel so they didn't roll around. He has NO idea what it was, and was super surprised when he opened it on Christmas morning. I like being sneaky :)

Now it's your turn to link up with what's hap-"pinning" with you, or feel free to snag this little survey!

Crazy Preggo Dreams (part 2)

How about another round of Jenn's crazy preggo dreams?? My brain seems to be keeping me in steady supply of them!

~I dreamt that I "woke up" and had given birth to our baby, but remembered nothing about it because I'd been in a coma, and it had apparently happened days before (on the same day as a friend of mine who is pregnant and due around me). When I saw the baby, it was in the bassinet at the hospital with puppies, and had to have been at least 15-20 pounds and super fat. But then I was told I was going home with a 15 year old Indian or Hispanic kid, which was supposedly the 15 year old version of our baby. Umm, wacky!
~I had a dream that I went to an old friend's sister's wedding and they were serving raw ground beef, and the chef was wearing it around his neck. And everything on the dinner menu had the prices that the wedding couple had paid for everyone's dinner.
~I dreamt that my coworkers (all elementary school teachers) and I had to take a final exam which involved writing a paper and it was about science and technology in relation to cancer.
~I dreamt that I was chasing a bad guy (for what reason I don't know), and the bad guy happened to be Kristen Douty from Vanderpump...who then morphed into one of my middle-aged coworkers in the middle of the dream. I chased her to this remote spot that was surrounded by lake/water and apparently by alligators. I had Cooper with me (because who else would you be with on a chase like this?) and had to rescue him from an alligator by hiding him in an oven.
So that one was a mix of real life, reality tv, and Hansel and Gretel lol
~I dreamed that I was with Stephanie and her husband, and we were climbing down into a trench, and we had to help her husband MFD since his feet were injured. I don't remember much beyond that, but I attribute this one to reading her blog post about her husband's ventures out west shortly before going to bed lol.

There have been some other, less strange dreams, but these ones definitely were share-worthy lol

Weekending Highlights

Happy first day of Winter Break to my teacher friends! 
As you read this, MG and I are on our way to San Diego for our babymoon!! But the days leading up to today were pretty great, too.

My weekend highlights included:

~Finding out who my Christmas elf was on Friday morning at work. It ended up being my friend who had lost her mom a few months ago. She told me that the 12 days of Christmas was something her mom would do for families at their church who had lost someone that year. She said she had a ton of fun doing it and that she wanted to remind both of us that there are good things around. Of course, lots of tears were shed by both of us, and her thoughtfulness touched me SO much. Truly, I'm blessed by the friends that I have.
~Celebrated the start of Winter Break with some yummy Mexican food from Chuy's (I didn't save the snap in time but trust me, it was deeeeeee-frickin-licious!)

~Finished watching season 2 of Fuller House

~Woke up to icy rain and super slick roads and sidewalks...tried to wait it out but the temps didn't rise fast enough for us to get out to Quantico safely to lay a wreath on my dad's grave (there was a 25 car pile up on 95 and a fire truck slipped off the highway). We have plans to get down there after Christmas, at least, but I was bummed not to be there.
~Did a ton of laundry and packed for 30 degree weather in PA and 60 and 70 something degree weather in CA. Not an easy feat for someone who is an overpacked anyway.

~Had a pretty low key day. Got some presents wrapped, got MG's oil changed, and picked up a milkshake at Potbellys (hey, when you can't drink, you find other vices haha)
~Our friend Kurt came over for a laid back night because his wife was out with a friend visiting in town #sweatpantsnight 

~Sunday morning we packed up the car, loaded Cooper and bundled up the bump and made our way to PA.

~Got in some family time on Sunday, and found out that our niece who is a junior accepted an offer at a college about an hour from her house and the scholarship is pretty incredible--so proud of that girl (and can't believe she'll be leaving for college in a year and a half!!)

~Saw Rogue 1 with the fam at 7 and then headed home and got in bed for our early morning flight this morning.

So basically, it was a busy/not busy one haha. 
Can't wait to share the pics from our time in Cali!!

Fun Holiday Stuff

Instead of doing a typical Friday Five, I just wanted to share some of the fun holiday stuff that I've seen/gotten, etc.
~My Christmas Elf has been doing the 12 days of Christmas with the number of work days left...and today is day number 1. They've been takes on each day (12 drummers drumming was Drumstick ice cream cones, 5 Golden rings was 5 golden powdered donuts, 2 Turtle doves was a bag of Doves chocolates). I'm curious to see what day 1 is today...and to see who the mysterious Christmas Elf behind this is. I have a feeling I know, but I'm not 100% sure.

~One of my super sweet families (the same ones who got the baby bath toys when she found out I was pregnant), brought in a Christmas gift yesterday. A mason jar filled with granola which is super tasty (and mush less guilt-ridden than the chocolate floating around), and this adorable clothespin ornament! It's the first ornament we have of a family of 3 (minus Coop), and I know that it's one I'll treasure forever because of that sentiment, and the sweet family that it came from.
~Our Christmas card tree is quickly getting filled with all of our family and friends (and my bloggy friends) and I love getting them in the mail every day and seeing everyone's beautiful photos! This Christmas card tree is one of my favorite decor items for the holiday season!
~Speaking of Christmas cards, since ours went out last week, everyone should have gotten them by now, so I thought I'd share this year's card. Last year I did a card of all of our adventures from the year, which I really liked, so I did another card with our adventures from 2016.
I have a feeling next year's card will be heavily baby-centered, so this is the last one of just the two of us!

After all of those happy-inducing things, I'm gonna get on with my Friday so that by 4pm I can start Winter Break! Hope your Friday is cozy, and happy-filled! :)

Stuff N Things

I'm so excited that today is Thursday which means one more day of work after today!! The kids and teachers are both super ready for the break to begin, and with the cold temps rolling in today (single digits with the wind chill), I'd be 100% ok under layers of blankets right now instead of working.
But alas, work calls, so in the meantime I'll entertain both of us with some confessions and random thoughts:

~Getting a "window" of time from a company that is 10am-3pm....you may as well tell me you'll be there "sometime during the work day" because that's how long I'll have to take off of work to be there for you. That's not a window.
~Assuming the weather is safe (they're calling for icy mix Saturday morning), we're going to Quantico National Cemetery this Saturday morning to lay wreaths...one of which will be on my dad's grave. It touched me that one of our close couple friends said that they wanted to go with us. Love the support during an emotional time. #friendsarefamily

~I hate the new main screen for blogger. They said it was easier/more efficient, but every time I log in, all I see are my list of posts, and have to click around to get to my comment moderation, or to the actual blog feed. Not easier, not better. Go back to how it was, blogger. #gohomebloggeryouredrunk

~when you're in your office and you can hear a parent yelling and cursing through cinder block in the office next to yours......you put your ear up to the cinder block and listen even MORE intently (and thank your lucky stars that you're not in the meeting too) #eavesdropper
~I sat in on a meeting on Tuesday at work with a parent who is new to me, and based on her demeanor and some of the things that she said, I had a flash-forward to all of the "intense" meetings our school will be having with her in the future, probably with lawyers and/or advocates. #thefutureisgrim

~MG's coworker, who is a martyr, came in to work on Tuesday saying she thought she had the flu. EVERYONE, including their boss, told her to go home, including MG who shares a cubicle with this chick. But nooooo home girl had to stay at work ALL day just to prove (I guess to herself) that she's too valuable. She even said to MG "I know you have a pregnant wife at home"...well then biatch, GO HOME! Wednesday morning she texts that her doctor says she definitely has the flu. So, now we are hoping that neither of us come down with the flu, especially before our trip. Pregnancy immune system is the worst--thankfully we both got our flu shots this year. #stayhomesicky #keepyourgermstoyourself

~this week is sex ed week at school (aka "Family Life Education) for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. During a parent meeting on Tuesday, this girl's dad shared how his daughter had learned that babies are made up of each parent's DNA, and then proceeded to ask "how does your DNA get into mommy? Does she swallow it?" One: awkward (and hilarious). Two: more awkward hearing it shared in a meeting lol #icouldwriteabook
And on that funny story, I'll leave you and get back to my day. Hoping your Thursday goes by quickly so we can get to Fridayyyyy! :)

WHW {71}: Currently

Happy What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday, friends! 
Reading ...
Tell the Wolves I'm Home. So far it's ok. I'm only about 25% of the way through and the story JUST seems to be picking up. At least, I hope that it does.
Watching ...
The second season of Fuller House (still cute and funny--I'm a little mad that it was put on "The worst tv of 2016" list), Vanderpump Rules (is it me or does anyone else feel like this season is kind of blah?), RHOBH...the standard Bravo fare :)
Pretty much all of the Fall tv is on hiatus right now...

trying to add in more veggies to my diet. I realized that our dinners were lacking in that department recently (with the exception of black beans), so every meal this week has an extra helping of veggies! Buffalo chicken zucchini boats, roasted veggie enchilada bake, broccoli cheddar soup, and sun-dried tomato feta meatloaf (with a side of artichokes and veggies)! #veggieme
Roasted Veggie Enchilada Bake
Looking forward to ... 
Our San Diego trip next week! It will be nice to escape the frigid temps spreading across the country and get into some mid to upper 60's for a bit!

that getting things fixed in/on/around your house didn't cost so darn much!
Enjoying ...
that in 2 more days, I'll be off of work for 2 weeks and a day (I dont know why they gave us the extra day, but I'm not going to complain)!
lots and lots of water! I forgot my Swell bottle knock-off at home yesterday, but luckily I had a regular water bottle to drink from during the day. Still trying to keep to at least 80-90 ounces a day...and still not sure how that one nurse expected me to get in 130 ounces!

that I've been starting to feel baby's movements a bit the last week. It's only usually when I'm really still, and just kind of sitting or lounging, but they're definitely there! Little nugget is particularly active after dinner time! :)

Wanting ... 
maternity pants to be more inexpensive. Thankfully with all of the holiday sales, some have been slightly more reasonable, but sheesh! $80 for a pair of pants I'm going to wear for a few months? A little absurd. The baby market is definitely similar to the wedding market #markups
And it would also be nice if Old Navy's shipping could work a little faster than frozen molasses. 

Wearing ...
layers and layers and layers because it is getting COLD out and about to get colder. We're already getting warnings about Friday's weather being below freezing and windy. So, like I said, San Diego is going to be a welcome change!

Add caption
Grateful For...
the report of a healthy baby at our ultrasound/anatomy scan on Friday. Plus, I just love the ultrasounds because it gives me a chance to see our baby wiggling around in there which is just super surreal, but also incredible. I'm SO thankful and grateful for this experience.
Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I to share what's hap-"pinning" with you guys!

San Diego Recommendations Please!

Hey friends! I need your help in the form of recommendations!

It's been 5 years since I've been to San Diego, and even then, I was there for a work thing so I didn't get to do a ton around the city. If you've been and have any recs for must-see places, restaurants, sites, etc send them my way pretty please!!


Today's the last Monday before my Winter Break which means only 5 more work days to get through! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...hehe

My highlights this weekend included:

~Going for our anatomy scan--waiting an hour past our appointment time before getting called back. All in all we were there for 2 hours!
~Found out that baby looks WONDERFUL and HEALTHY! Thank you for all of the well wishes and prayers that our little one is in good shape!!

~Got to see our little nugget let out a yawn during the ultrasound, and also what appeared to be a laugh which had us and the ultrasound tech laughing. It was so cool to see baby G's arms, legs, feet, toes...and lots of wiggling around in there!

~We also found out the gender, and I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't bursting to let the cat out of the bag, but we're being good and keeping it hush hush until Christmas with our family (but man is it hard!)

~Had some celebratory "we have a healthy baby" pizza for dinner, and had lots of talks about the baby
~Went home and watched Secret Life of Pets--I've been waiting MONTHS for this movie to come out on demand. It was really cute! 

~Hot cocoa, marshmallows and Christmas lights--what's not to love?
~Saturday MG went to volunteer--I was supposed to go but the volunteering was outside for 4+ hours and it was freezing out, so we both decided it was smarter for me to stay at home instead of risk getting cold and sick

~Got in a morning workout and did some laundry instead

~Did some of our last minute Christmas shopping for our family since it's right around the corner!!

~Since we were in the area, we stopped at Brio and had dinner which obviously included some lobster bisque (best lobster bisque ever!)

~Sunday started with pancakes, followed by errands

~Drove to meet up with my mom to have lunch and celebrate MG's birthday. We discovered an authentic Chinese restaurant that had soup dumplings (if you've had them in NY, you know what I'm talking about)--oh my word, they were good!! (not pictured because we ate them so fast haha)
~Took care of a few more gifts, and watched some of Season 2 of Fuller House (which apparently came out on Friday)

All in all it was a pretty chill weekend, but a very exciting one, none the less :)
Here's hoping for a smooth week ahead!

The Real Reason for the Season

In a season of "gimme gimme gimme", the real reason for the season often gets lost.

Watch this video and you'll be reminded about the true meaning of the season--love and family. I was brought to tears watching it (and I don't think it's just the pregnancy hormones) and just had to share.

"Your family matters. Not Legos. Not toys. Your family. So it's either family or Legos and I choose family."
Happy Friday, friends.

Thursday Thoughts

Thursdays are perfect for a bunch of random stuff, so off we go!

~Christmas lights just make me happy. Coming home to our lights outside makes me smile, and just brightens up the house.

~I woke up Wednesday morning thinking it was at least Thursday or Friday. Womp womp.

~I'm nervous and excited for our anatomy scan tomorrow. Really hoping everything looks good, normal and healthy. Healthy baby is number 1! 

~The baby gender poll yesterday was a fun post to read, and no I don't take any of those old wive's tales seriously (my doctor debunked the heartbeat and the acne one), it was just for fun--but it looks like the majority of you are thinking girl, too! 

~Based on the number of posts about Uncommon Goods gifts I've seen in the last two weeks, I'd say the Uncommon Goods team did a huge promotional marketing tour recently. It seems like posts about Uncommon Goods or Minted have flooded my feed.

~MG and I decided not to do big gifts this year since we're going to San Diego for our babymoon right around Christmas. But I did figure out what to get him that was a smaller gift, which is always tough for me since his birthday is 3 weeks before Christmas #win

~days that start and end with rain stink. Days that include all of that and a leaky roof...they stink more. #calltheroofer

~I hate when people post spoilers online the next day after a show aired. In the age of DVR not everyone watches a show live. I saw, in huge letters, on Facebook yesterday "What did you guys think of ____ Winter finale? Do you think X dies?" Grrr...guess I know what the cliffhanger is....#angryemoji

~last week I did a maternity workout on Beachbody On Demand that had me waddling for the next 3 days because of all the squats. Then two days later I stubbed my toe on the door and was hobble/wobbling. At least I have pregnancy to blame it on #wobblebaby

~I got my Christmas cards addressed and mailed out this morning! I got the cards a while ago, but MG and I were dragging our feet on printing the addresses on the envelopes, but last night we buckled down and got it done. #productive

~I love when I work with a student who is otherwise quiet and kind of "down and out" about school, and we laugh and have a good time together while working on speech and language. It seriously makes my day that there's a bright spot for those kids during the day where they feel successful.

What's on your mind this week?

WHW {#70}: Blue or Pink?

For this week's What's Hap-"Pinning", I'm talking about finding out the baby's gender!

don't mind our tree slightly leaning--it's been fixed since haha
MG and I have our anatomy scan on Friday which involves looking over everything, including the heart, brain etc, to make sure everything looks ok--so we'll be hoping for good news about a healthy baby for sure!

In addition to that, we'll also get to find out the gender. We had planned to do a reveal with our family, and might still do that...but we might find out before hand because I'm not sure either of us can wait for another 2 weeks!

Since we've gotten pregnant, people have told us their thoughts on boy versus girl and it overwhelmingly seems like people think girl. I, myself, have felt like it was a girl from the beginning without any real reason why. So I thought I'd share some old wive's tales and then see what you guys think: Blue or Pink?

Baby's heartbeat: over 140 bpm (girl)

Moodiness: no more than usual (boy)

Morning Sickness: None (boy)

Acne while pregnant: Yes (girl)

Cravings: sweet, more than usual (girl)

Chinese Gender Chart: boy 

Dream of the sex of the baby/means the opposite sex of what you dreamed: only one so far, and it was a boy (girl)

Clumsy/Graceful: I guess I'd say I've had a few more clumsy moments than normal, usually trying to get dressed lol (boy)

Dad gaining weight? No (boy)

Headaches: Yes (boy)

Feet colder now? No (girl)

What the mom thinks: girl

Baby Names: when you can only think of/agree only on gender of names: girl

Side you prefer to rest on: left (boy)

The ring test: back and forth (girl)

So basically, it's really close, with girl coming out ahead just a smidge.

Now I want to know what you guys think? Blue or Pink??

Blue or Pink


Link up with Jessi and I below to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!